Billies Health Connection
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Archive for June, 2010


If you follow my blog, you will note that there is a big space between some paragraphs.  And almost every time I look at it, the space has changed places.  I have no earthly idea why or how that space got there and I can’t seem to get rid of it.  So I will just live with it and so must you, I guess.  Since I am new at this, I also can’t figure out why I have little backgrounds behind some of the pictures that have one big quotation mark. So I guess we’ll have to live with that. too, until my grandson in law, Joseph, comes back to help me!  I also don’t know why it changes fonts on me…..just another mystery of my computer.  Oh, well…………………………


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?


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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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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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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  • 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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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//

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… 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!

Our Furry Kids

Since most of our people kids are grown, and some with children of their own, that  makes us great grandparents. We are very proud of all of them and love them “a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck”,which is what my daddy used to tell me!  And one of these days I’ll introduce you to them.  But today I want to introduce you to our four legged daughters, Stephie and Sophia. They were actually both MY dogs when we got them, however, my husband, Bo, is so kind and loving that he just about spoils everyone. I finally had to acknowledge that I’ll probably never have a dog of my own, because it doesn’t take long for the dogs to attach themselves to Bo.  They are his shadow.  I only get their full attention when he is gone. But then he spoils me, too, so I can fully understand.

Stephanie is a 7 year old Fox Terrier, who is definitely the Alpha Dog and she lets all the cousin and neighbor dogs that come around know it.  She used to play with them a little, but now she merely tolerates them and if they get in her space, she’s not above trying to scare them with a growl and a snap. I don’t know what Sophia thinks is going to happen to her, but she won’t even go past Stephie when she’s asleep on the bed! Sophia is more or less named after her Uncle Steve, who got her for me.  Stephanie is about as close to Steven as we could come!  The first picture is of Stephie taking a nap with her daddy when she was a baby and the next one is about a year later:

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And about 14 # later, when she forgot she was supposed to be a toy,  here she is:
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And in May of 2008, after losing our beloved Yorky, Mandy, our adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Princess Sophia Grace, joined our family.  There has been a bit of sibling rivalry, you might say.  Sophie is very gentle and quite submissive, so all Stephie has to do is stand and glare at her, and Sophie hands over her treat, or her place on the sofa, or whatever Stephie wants.  An sometimes, she growls and shows her teeth and won’t let Sophie on the bed or come in from outside. Sophia is  definitely a wimp around Stephie!  I’ve had dogs all my life, and Sophie maybe be the prettiest, sweetest, most obedient, the funniest, the most loving dog I’ve ever had. And she seems to tell me exactly what she is thinking and what she wants with her beautiful brown eyes and her explicit body language.  It is rather amazing. The book I read about Cavaliers, said that they are definitely lap dogs!  Well, Sophia didn’t read that book because she is definitely NOT a lap dog, & while she adores to be loved, she won’t kiss either! Here’s what she looked like at 4 weeks old and then at 6 months:

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When Sophie was a baby, Stephanie actually played with her.  I don’t think she realized that Sophie was here to stay!
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And here she is today:

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I must bring Sophie’s boyfriend, Reilly,  who lives across the street,  into the picture.  He is an adorable Maltese who is a very “vocal” dog, to be sure.  Sophie and Reilly run miles chasing each other in circles around  the yard every day or two.  Reilly often enjoys sleep-overs when his mom and dad are out of town.  He and Sophie like to snuggle in the bed, and of course all 3 love to go anywhere in the car.  The wind in their face gives them sheer ectasy. These pictures just about tell it all.

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But my girls favorite of all things is to take a nap with their dad every day.  This is a typical afternoon at the Coburn’s for Steph and Soph:

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Now I’m not exactly sure how having and loving these adorable furry animals fits into the health picture, but I am sure they do.  They entertain us greatly and bring such joy and pleasure to us.  They are always overjoyed to see us and offer us unconditional love at all times and always forgive us if we hurt their feelings. And they make us laugh, and laughter is the best medicine of all!  So maybe that is why God has blessed all of  us with these  precious pet kids.  Oh, and they don’t give us nearly as much trouble as our children did!

Before I go, I thought you might like to see Charlie, one of my granddogs, and Dali, one of my great-granddogs when they first met Sophia at the park!

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I am just learning about all the blog ideas like Alphabet Thursdays, Wordless Wednesdays, Pink Saturdays, etc.  And I don’t know how to do those things yet.  But I’d love to have some of you post pictures of your loving pet kids. If I knew how to do this, I’d call it “Wonderful Pet Wednesday” maybe! Have a great, happy, healthy day!

Backyard Fantasies

Well, I am into all the other social media stuff, so I said to myself, “why don’t you blog like everyone else does?” so here I come, ready or not as I sit on my patio enjoying all my flowers on the overcast Saturday morn, especially the beautiful roses, I am simply amazed at my Cecile Bruner climbing rose, which is supposed to be pink. Always has been. But it has gotten confused this year and part of it has become……………shall I say, “a transvestite”! There is a big branch of red roses blooming on branches that used to be pink! See for yourself.

This is my favorite time of the year as God awakens the sleeping trees and flowers and showers us again with the beauty of his magnificent landscape. God continues to amaze me! And while I’m at it, you may as well see some of God’s other pretty roses in my back yard….….they are called Knockout Roses and will bloom all summer long.  Incredible!

This is really my “Safe place” where I spend  quiet time with my Lord and Savior most every day. And  my husband and I spend many hours just soaking up the beauty that surrounds us and watching the variety of birds that fight over their places on the bird feeders. We seem to have the market on uninvited pigeons, but I guess they have to eat, too.  Squirrels also abound in our back yard,  and while they can be pests, they are really cute. And we’ve discovered that there really aren’t any “Squirrel Proof” bird feeders.  Squirrels are VERY ingenious! So we find ourselves  laughing at the squirrels as they try all kinds of ways  to beat the birds  to the food..

Before I go, I just want to say that I am passionate about enjoying optimum health………. physically,  mentally, and emotionally. What I’ve shared today feeds my soul and that’s the best and most rewarding kind of health one can have. Here’s to yours!

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