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Archive for the ‘Physical Health’ Category

THE HAPPY BUSY B’S

Have you ever had times in your life that you just wanted to cry or throw something?  Have you been so overwhelmed that you could hardly function?  When I was raising my kids, there were times that they were so…….how can I say this and have you still think I am a nice, sweet lady………obnoxious and hateful that I could almost understand how a mom could abuse her kids!  Almost. Where were those B Complex vitamins when I needed them so badly???? 

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I didn’t know about those wonderful B’s then, but about 27 years ago when I was working 12 to 14 hour days and was in BIG TIME stress, a dear friend told me she had some “Happy Vitamins” that would help me cope with all the stuff in my life.  I didn’t really believe her, but I needed some help, so I thought, “Why not?”  Those small yellow pills made such a HUGE DIFFERENCE in my life that I believe they may have saved my life. They gave me “cope-ability”!

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Since B’s feed the nerves, they have a profound effect on mental and emotional stability. And our immune system, our brain, our skin and our hormones NEED the B vitamins. Many cases of dementia are really a case of B deficiency. I want to hasten to say that you MUST have ALL the essential B’s in a balanced complex for them to be really beneficial.  If you take an isolated B for a long period of time, they are out of balance and you’ll have a deficiency in another B. And you must be aware that B’s, as well as C vitamins, are water soluble and you don’t store them.  They are used up rapidly, especially by stress and medications and environmental issues.  And also when we eat or drink white flour, sugar, caffeine or alcohol, we burn more B’s just to metabolize these foods.

B’s are normalizers: if you are fatigued, they help to give you energy (they convert your food to energy).  If you are hyperactive, they help you to calm down.  But I wouldn’t want to take them 2 hours before bedtime as you probably wouldn’t  be able to go to sleep!  They are usually lost in a couple of hours, by the way, and need to be replaced to keep the blood levels up. B’s seem to reduce cravings for sweets, believe it or not.  And a slight deficiency can cause abnormal heart action, constipation, and mental depression.There are many other reasons why you would want to take B’s, but it’s bedtime for me and I must get off this computer!  Of course before I close,  you must know that I have found that Shaklee’s B Complex is superior to others.  They even have one in the daily Vitalizer pack that is a sustained release B and C and releases some of both every hour for 12 hours.  It gets the right B to the right place at the right time.  Can’t beat that! 

Want more info? Check it out at healthconnection.myshaklee.com.

PEACHES, PEACHES & PEACHES, OH MY!

A few years ago, while driving in East Texas, we stumbled upon what I lovingly call “Peach Heaven” just East of Terrell!  That would be Ham’s Peach Orchards.

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That doesn’t look so heavenly, I guess, but believe me, the peaches are divine.  It looks like they have hundreds of peach trees of all varieties! There is a sign that tells you what peaches ripen when, not that it really matters, for they are all delicious. But last week I think I got the best of the best………..yummy Freestone peaches that come right off the seeds. Just thinking of them makes my mouth water so I think I’ll just go get one as we talk. They are only open from May 15 til August 15, and in that 3 month period, they must make enough to live on the rest of the year as there are usually HUGE crowds that pour into that tiny place every day, especially on the week-ends.

One of the things that really draws people to Ham’s is they make out-of-this-world soft peach ice cream! Well, they make strawberry ice cream, too, but I’m addicted to the peach. Sometimes the line to get the ice cream is a 15 minute wait, but well worth it.  We were over last week and I meant to have someone take a picture of Bo and me eating our cones, but we were such pigs, we devoured them before I remembered.  But here is a picture of a man from Louisiana enjoying his, plus a view of both flavors!

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One good thing about Ham’s is that they have LOTS of pints of the ice cream frozen, so since we took our cooler, we loaded up on ice cream to bring home and enjoy for the next few months.  And, no, I don’t share it with visitors very much! Ham’s has so much that I can’t begin to  describe it to you.  It is one of those things you have to really see to enjoy. They have fresh peach & blackberry cobblers as well as frozen ones & fried peach pies. There all other kinds of pies, like buttermilk, pecan, etc., and pound cakes, and peach cakes!

The shelves are lined with everything you can image that one can “put up” or “can” or whatever you call it where you live.  And there is a cooler with shelled cream peas and crowder peas and snapped green beans and black eyed peas.  But the fresh fruit and veggies….Oh my!

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So we bought some of all you can see, plus more, and headed to the car where are doggie kids waited. They like to go with us because their daddy always takes them a little bit of peach ice cream to eat, too.

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Well, we have felt so pure all this week as we have eaten so many healthy things like okra and tomatoes ( those of you who aren’t from the south may not have ever had that delicacy), green beans and new potatoes, corn on the cob, cream peas with a little okra on cooked with them, fresh cantaloupe slices, peach salsa, peach spread for bread, and yes, peach ice cream.  I failed to mention that they also have a refrigerated  section that has home made salsa, pimento cheese, chicken & tuna salad ,several different casseroles they have made, and of course we got one….sour cream chicken enchiladas.  That’s for dinner tonight along with guacamole, of course.

So the health tip today is eat a lot of fresh veggies and fresh fruit, and eat ORGANIC ones when ever possible, as they much healthier! And eating them raw when you can is even better. You get all kinds of God given antioxidants from His wonderful veggies and fruit.  The dark colored veggies are simply loaded with them.  And the sweetness of good fruit just might satisfy your sweet tooth! I would caution you to try to wash them in something that will get rid of the pesticides.  I know you can buy something at the health food store, but I use Shaklee’s amazing Basic H to wash mine, because it definitely removes the bad stuff. And I would also  like you to know that you really loose some of the nutritional value of food when you freeze it.  It you buy it in cans, you not only get less nutritional value, but you also get alot of other stuff that is hidden that you might not want! It was suggested to me that it is wise to just shop around the periphery of the grocery store!  Until next time, have a healthy, happy day!

SUGAR…..TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT, THAT IS THE QUESTION!

What a dilemma!  Things that have sugar in them usually tastes SO good that it is hard not to eat them, isn’t it?  For instance, we went to a new Yogurt Zone last week and had some really awesome yogurt.                                                                                                                   2010-07-06 20.06.11

All those little squares below the name, plus some you can’t see, are different flavors.  Yummy in the tummy!  Then I saw the sign that told me how good yogurt is for me, and I thought, “Great! I’ll have a BIG bowl of chocolate and vanilla swirl.”  Why not?  They said that it was GOOD for me, didn’t they?

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And since you probably can’t read it, it says:

  • can help lower bad cholesterol
  • helps to strengthen and stabilize the immune system
  • a rich source of calcium
  • may reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • aids in overcoming skin problems & builds clear skin
  • contains active cultures that help improve the digestive system
  • may help prevent osteoporosis
  • aids in healing infections
  • excellent source of protein
  • stimulates the memory

And the picture next to it is all the goodies you can put on top of it. What they failed to mention, which I knew but ignored, is that the ingredient that makes it so delicious is SUGAR, which probably trumps the benefits of Yogurt! I have a list of 78 reasons why it is not good to eat sugar with references from medical journals & other scientific publications. I won’t bore you with all 78 or these reasons, but I will list only a few.  If anyone wants to see the whole list, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. But here are a few:

In addition to throwing off the body’s homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant metabolic consequences, such as:

  • can suppress the immune system
  • can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties
  • can produce a significant rise in triglycerides
  • can reduce the good cholesterol (HDL) and raise the bad (LDL)
  • can play a big part in one’s getting various cancers….feeds & promotes growth of cancer cells
  • interferes with the absorption of calcium and magnesium
  • can contribute to cardiovascular disease
  • can increase the amount of fat in the liver
  • can cause headaches, including migraines as well as depression
  • can increase the risk of Alzheimers disease
  • can adversely affect the children’s school grades & behavior…..they get sugar highs and then they crash!
  • can cause arthritis and asthma
  • can cause candida (yeast infection)

After recalling all I knew about the evils of eating a lot of white stuff, like sugar, flour, rice, pasta, I sort of regretted eating such a big bowl topped with Heath bar bits, pecans, chocolate & caramel sauce. It was, however, absolutely delicious!  Unfortunately it would do no good to say, “Forgive me for I have sinned”. So I just prayed that I didn’t get close to someone who had some disease I might get with my compromised immune system!

And while we are talking about sugar, did you know that one 12 oz can of soda like Coke contains between 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar?  Add that to all the HIDDEN sugar that is in just about everything we purchase that’s in a box or a can. Thus you eat several pounds of sugar a year.

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It’s kind of scary, so you switch to “sugar free” things and think you are A Okay.  Guess what……you are merely fooling yourself. From what I have learned from several Nutritionists, your body treats “non sugar” substitutes like it is sugar.  And Aspartane may be the worst! It can be like a hazardous chemical to your body. A long list of chronic illnesses have been linked to the use of aspartane, everything from ADHD to MS, and researchers say that it may be years before the symptoms occur. Splenda and Sweet and Low are not alot better.  The safest powdered natural sweetner you can use is Stevia.  It is a little harder to find, and different brands taste a little different, but it is well worth the effort and incredibly better for your health. You can also use Honey as a safe sweetner. And I want to be sure you understand that your body metabolizes fructose, the sweetner that is in fruits, differently than granulated sugar.

Does all this mean I have given up my Blue Bell ice cream and yogurt from Yogurt Zone and my Dove Chocolates forever?  Well, I wish I could tell you that I am that pure, but I am not. Every now and then I just have to eat that good comfort food, especially dark chocolate. Well, they say that dark chocolate is good for you, too, so I figure that 1 or 2 small pieces of Dove dark chocolates after dinner is okay. But it is a wiser choice to choose a piece of fruit when you want something sweet.  Granted, it may not be as satisfying, but I guess that’s how it goes…….

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The name of the game is probably moderation, if you can’t quit entirely! You might like to know that a food based,BALANCED B Complex with no additives or preservatives, like the Shaklee B Complex, will help curb your sweet tooth.  Really!  More about B Complex next week.  ‘Til then, enjoy those peaches and nectarines while they last.  Our Texas ones are simply delicious!

WHAT HEALTH BENEFITS WILL I GET FROM OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS?

Well, I am glad you asked because Omega 3’s offer our bodies tremendous support in so many areas. They are in deep and cold-water fish oils, and most of us  just don’t eat enough of that kind of fish! And many of the fish are so full of toxins that they aren’t safe to eat. It is VERY difficult to purify them without degradation from heat and oxidative damage; consequently there are many contaminated Omega 3 supplements out there, believe it or not!  Since supplementing with EPA and DHA, all omega 3’s, is the only way to be sure we have a beneficial amount in our systems, we have a dilemma.  Are there any out there that have been proven to be pure?

I have found one called Omega Guard that is produced with a low temperature purification process that removes harmful contaminants & is safe and pure. I will share where to get it with anyone who is interested. Here are some of the benefits you could get from these amazing Omega 3’s:

  • Reduced the risk of heart disease & stroke
  • Lower triglycerides & cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Keep blood from clotting too quickly
  • Has anti-inflammatory capabilities
  • Help with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Help with migraines
  • Help with psoriasis & eczema
  • Help with ADD
  • Help with depression/mental illness
  • Help repair myelin sheath
  • Essential for pregnancy for development of baby’s brain

I don’t know about you, but I definitely like these benefits! By the way, some of the “good fats” that are sources for the body’s necessary amounts of daily fat are monounsaturated fats like avocado, peanut, flax, olives, & canola oil.  Other choices are sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils.  Saturated oils are definitely to be avoided.

Until next time, here’s to your good health!

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THOUGHTS ON MEMORY

Do you ever try to remember why you went into another room?  Or do you ever forget where you put your car keys or some important papers?  Have you tried to remember where you went on vacation year before last, but can’t? Do you have a hard time remembering if you have read that book before?  Wow. haven’t we all?

WHAT IS MEMORY ANYWAY?

Memory is the process by which information and experiences can be stored, retained and then recalled. Memory starts with some sort of stimulus coming into the brain but only data with meaning go into storage.  And different types of memory are stored differently in the brain.  We have:

  • Short-term memory
  • Working memory
  • Long term memory

Well, how does the brain remember, anyway? Memory relies upon an intricate biochemical process involving  neurons, and the flow of information between neurons in the brain is the basis for all memory.  When data comes in, we actively sort through networks of stored info to make connections. These links are strengthened by repetition and eventually become memory.

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WHY CAN’T WE REMEMBER?

There a number of reasons healthy brains forget things:

  • Decay – Info we don’t use may simply fade away. The brain only retains data that has meaning and the data declines unless there is repetition of some kind.
  • Interference – New info may bury or replace the old.
  • No longer accessible – The so called “Tip of the Tongue” phenomenon. You recall the info but can’t name it.  It often suddenly emerges when you aren’t trying to recall it.
  • Overload – The brain is temporarily overloaded and distracted by stimuli. This is very common in our busy lives.

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CHALLENGES TO MEMORY!

Many factors can cause memory problems.  As with other aspects of health, lifestyle has a big impact on memory throughout life. Things that can interfere with memory and the ability to learn include:

  • Poor nutrition – Shortchanging the brain’s need for high quality protein, nourishing fats, and essential micronutrients can seriously impact learning and memory.  This is a particular problem for children and older people. A poor diet can increase the risk of hypertension, which can lead to strokes and threaten brain function
  • Alcohol – Alcohol interferes with short term memory, limiting the ability to store new information.
  • Inadequate sleep – This can contribute to forgetfulness and memory loss.
  • Smoking – It limits the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain.
  • Caffeine – May interfere with normal memory function and interfere with sleep.
  • Dehydration – Lack of water has an immediate effect on memory, producing confusion and difficulty thinking.
  • Medications – Certain drugs such as tranquilizers, muscular relaxants, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety meds can cause loss of memory.
  • Disease – Certain diseases and injuries to the brain can cause serious loss of memory.
  • Stress – Anxiety and stress interfere with concentration. Many people are tense, distracted and over stimulated and memory can suffer when all circuits are busy.

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EXERCISE YOUR MIND!

  • Stay physically active – This helps keep blood vessels delivering adequate oxygen to the brain & keeps you alert.
  • Get plenty of rest – This allows the brain to sort through experiences and activities and to organize memories.
  • Learn something new – New activities can make new connections in your neural pathways.

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  • Exercise your mind – Do word games or Sudoku puzzles, play chess, study a language and keep those neurons firing.
  • Concentrate – Sharpen your focus with a common object —coffee for example.  What’s the color, smell, flavor; what is the size of the cup? Such an exercise helps you remember details.
  • Relax – Learn to calm yourself with breathing exercises.  Unwind. Let things go.
  • Stay connected – Keep up to date on current events, films, and other things that interest you.  Seek out people with whom you can have a lively and positive conversations.

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FEED YOUR BRAIN!

A good diet with plenty of complete protein (preferably soy), fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats is as important for the grain as for any other organ. However, brain cells can be more demanding nutritionally than other cells.  They require a great deal of carefully controlled energy to function optimally and thus deserve special dietary support.

  • Proteins and fats are needed to make new connections
  • Essential fatty acid affect neurotransmitter release and are critical for other brain functions,  The omega 3 fatty acids found cold water fish is considered brain food, but you must be careful about toxic fish oil.  Discussion on omega 3’s is for another day.
  • Some vitamins and herbs are particularly important for memory.  Some of these are thiamin, folic acid, and vitamin B 12.
  • Lecithin provide choline, an important messenger that helps protect the mylon (I’m not sure how to spell this!) sheath and the nervous system.
  • Ginkgo biloba appears to increase the flow of blood to the brain.
  • Both bacopa and vinpocetine can help to improve memory and cognitive functions.

I have found that the Shaklee products have really made a huge difference for me in this area.  There are 2 specific products especially designed to help with memory…………Memory Optimizer and Mental Acuity, which contain some of these things. If you have an interest, you can check out my website @ http//healthconnection.myshaklee.com

Until next time, have a blessed, healthy week-end!

The Optimum Health Puzzle

Everyday each of us has the opportunity to choose the kind of life we want, and my guess is that just about everyone would rank “a healthier life” close to the top of the list. And what is that? Well, I’d say health, energy, vitality, and well-being…..you know it when you feel it; you know it when you see it.  Healthy living is a beautiful thing and healthy people feel energized and look fantastic, and thus have a better life.

Sure, everyone would like to experience this level of health, but the BIG question is, “How do I do it?” Well, your health is the result of a lot of things……genetics, diet, accidents, stress, pollution, and most of all, your lifestyle. We must take charge of our own health and learn ways to prevent disease rather than waiting until we get something and then try to cure it. This is an easier and wiser approach, and less costly in most cases. But the journey to optimum health is like a jig-saw puzzle as it has many pieces to it.  I guess you could say that it is almost like working your way through a maze.
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Some of the pieces of the wellness puzzle that will help connect you to a healthier lifestyle are:

  • Exercise several times a week
  • Get plenty of sleep each night
  • Drink a lot of pure water each day
  • Get a massage each month
  • See a chiropractor regularly to keep your back in alignment
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eliminate alcohol (well, at least keep it to a minimum!)
  • Keep your weight under control, to the best of your ability
  • Stay away from Fast Foods as much as possible

But what I am most passionate about and will be talking about in future blogs are these:

  • Reduce stress levels
  • Supplement your diet with the best quality natural food supplements you can find

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  • Proper nutrition
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    And this is the way I can help you get from this:
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    to this:
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Twenty seven years ago I had so any health issues that I was just certain I was going to die young.  It was at one of my lowest times that God sent a friend to me that helped me choose to make a lot of lifestyle changes and to take control of my own health.  Today I take no medications and enjoy optimum health at age 81.  Our bodies are miraculous, you see.  If we give it what it needs and take away what it doesn’t need, it can prevent getting major diseases and can just about heal itself!  So as we go along this wellness journey together, I will be talking with you from first hand experience.  I pray that what I’ve learned will make a difference for you, too

Come back to see me and we can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea next time! Here’s to your health!

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