Spring Clean Your Body

Spring Clean Your Home
You may try to keep your house tidy, but do you know how clean your home really is? Cleaning expert Julie Edelman, author of The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean-Enough House
explains how to truly keep your home clean and avoid hidden health dangers, especially those hiding in the most surprising of places.

Cleaning house call

Cleaning expert Julie Edelman gives you tips on how to keep even the most difficult-to-clean rooms in your house spick and span!

The Bed
Pillows gain weight over time because they collect dust and dust mites. “Not just dust mites, but the dust mites’ poop!” Dr. Jim says.

“I call all these things the fungus among us,” Julie says. “An average mattress can have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites in it. And it’s not just dust mites. Think about what you do to the pillows. You slobber on them, you’re sneezing, your little kids [use them].”

The insides of the pillows and other bedding can harvest the microscopic dust mites. To keep any dust mite problem under control, Julie recommends changing your pillows every one to three years.

The Cutting Board
The kitchen should be as clean as possible, to avoid any food-borne illness, but 200 times more bacteria live on your cutting board than your toilet, so keeping your cutting boards clean is essential, Julie explains.

Types of boards
• Wood: The wood boards are porous, so they dry more easily. Bacteria can get into the pores and crevices, so to maintain and clean them, Julie suggests using vinegar or a mixture consisting of a teaspoon of bleach and a quart of water.
Plastic: Bacteria and moisture will build on these because they are not porous. “These are easy to deal with, because they are machine washable,” Julie says.
Bamboo: “The best and most popular these days is bamboo,” Julie says. “But the thing you want to look for is -- bamboo is glued together, so if it has formaldehyde, don’t buy it. It should say non-toxic. But these are the most porous.”

To keep food from becoming contaminated, use a separate cutting board for meat, poultry and fish and one for vegetables, fruits and other foods that are non bacterial.

Stuffed Animals
If you or your children have become attached to certain stuffed animals, don’t fret, because there is a way to keep them clean! Julie explains that to keep your stuffed friends looking and feeling fresh, simply put them in a zip-top pillow case filled with baking soda and shake it. This will help remove the dust from the stuffed animals.

A regular feeling

For more tips on staying regular and curing constipation,
click here.

Staying Regular
Rhonda from Seattle, Washington says she sometimes needs help clearing out her body and staying regular, and asks The Doctors what she can do to stay on schedule with her bowel movements.

“Obviously, liquids and fiber are your first choices,” Dr. Travis says. “But we talk about carbohydrates that are malabsorbed. The potatoes, the bananas, other [root] vegetables here [carrots, parsnips and rutabagas] are malabsorbed, which is a good thing because they make their way all the way down into your colon, and it helps you have a nice, regular bowel movement. Fiber does that too, but if you add these to your diet, you should stay regular. But the other key is plenty of liquids.”

Beating the Bugs
Are you concerned about insects as your kids play outside during spring and summer? To help your young ones avoid bothersome bug bites, using bug sprays with DEET is effective. While the spray does not kill the bugs, it does repel them and make the skin less attractive to them. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, products containing up to 30 percent DEET can be safely used on children. The concentration determines how long the product will last, not the strength, so if you are concerned about the higher concentrations, you can use a lower number and apply more frequently.

Spring Sniffles

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? See exactly what affect these allergies have on your sinuses, and how to prevent and treat them, right here.

If you want to avoid using DEET altogether, products made with lemon eucalyptus oil, soybean oil or citronella are effective as well. Also, wearing light-colored clothes and, if possible, long-sleeved shirts tucked in and long pants can keep the bugs from biting.

Benefits and Risks of Saunas
Using the sauna can be a great way to relax and decrease pain in the muscles and joints. Saunas also spur your body to release serotonin, which is the hormone associated with relaxation and sleep, open up blood vessels and can even help ward off the cold and flu.

“I get in the sauna before I exercise at the gym, because I feel like it loosens me up and warms up my [body],” Dr. Travis says.

Some people believe saunas have even more benefits than that, including ridding the body of toxins and helping with weight loss. “There are going to be a lot of claims, obviously, that saunas are a cure-all, that you’re going to lose a pound a day if you get in a sauna, that every toxin in your body is going to be sweated away,” Dr. Travis says. “That’s really not what’s going on.”

Dr. Lisa says that pregnant women should never use the sauna, and if you have a history of heart disease, blood pressure abnormalities or obesity, talk to your doctor before using one. If you are running a fever, have inflammatory disease or are on alcohol or drugs, including certain prescriptions, avoid the sauna as well, to avoid dehydration and fainting, among other problems.

Radiant Skin for Spring

Has winter taken a toll on your skin? If you want better skin for the warmer months, exfoliation is key. “It’s great, this idea of spring cleaning, because you’re removing dead skin cells,” Dr. Travis says.


“People don’t realize that your skin is constantly re-growing new cells,” Dr. Ordon says. “The old cells work their way up to the outer surface. It’s so important to get rid of those dead cells on the outer part of the skin so other things you can do for your skin will then work. So, exfoliate first, then you can moisturize and give yourself healthy, lustrous-looking skin.”


Esthetician Marcella Cardinal from Skin Haven Spa explains that while professional exfoliation treatments are available, there are things you can do at home to have radiant spring skin. “You can get an exfoliant to do a scrub two to three times a week,” she says. “It’s ideal to get it professionally done once a month because it’s a little bit more thorough, but maintenance is important. So two to three times at home, then follow with a good moisturizer to hydrate so the skin will absorb more moisture.”


After exfoliating, make sure to protect your skin with sunscreen, so you can maintain a healthy body.


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OAD 4/24/09