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Friday, January 30, 2009

Gluten-Free Menus

From the blog at Delicious Living

Another great gluten-free tool is GFree, an online gluten-free menu planning service, from the creators of Relish.

These smart people teamed up with longtime GF expert Carol Fenster to provide menus, easy recipes, and even budget-conscious shopping lists (with predetermined gluten-free brands; no more studying the teeny print on every label) to take the guesswork and monotony out of making GF home-cooked meals.

For those of us who find meal planning tricky even without going GF, this is a hassle-free godsend — and a steal at only $10 a month for the subscription, for which you get five already-tested dinner recipes (from a choice of ten), plus access to recipes for baked goods, desserts, side dishes, and more. Visit G Free Cuisine.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sugar And Health

I once read that "sugar is the most prevalent drug in our society." While some may disagree with the analysis of sugar as a drug, how many know about the way which the body deals with C12H22O11 (table sugar) and when you understand how it deals with it, what's the most useful way to prevent the damage from sugar? Read the entire article.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Product For Candida Cleansing

Created by Larisa Wright

Cleansing the digestive system is an important part of a health maintenance regimen. To accommodate individual needs, cleanses are often formulated to target specific issues. The Candida Clear cleansing program was developed to help balance the colonization of Candida albicans.

Candida albicans is a yeast-like fungus. Candida is a natural part of the body’s gut flora and is also present on the skin and in mucous membranes. Under normal circumstances, Candida coexists without harmful effects. However, factors such as stress, weakened immune function, a diet high in refined carbohydrates or the use of antibiotics can lead to Candida overgrowth.

Candida Clear is a 14-day cleansing program that helps the body maintain a natural balance within the digestive system. Its dual-action approach consists of the Candida Clear Combo pack and the Candida Clear Enzyme pack.

The Candida Clear Enzyme pack is a unique, proprietary formula designed to break down candida’s defenses. Candida cells are well-adapted to environmental extremes because of the protection afforded by their cell wall. Candida’s cell wall is a rigid structure composed of a variety of components, including carbohydrates and proteins. The action of the carbohydrate and protein-digesting enzymes in the Candida Clear Enzyme pack may help discourage the colonization of Candida by disrupting the cell wall. Cellulase, hemicellulase, amylase and glucoamylase enzymes aid in breaking down its cellulose and carbohydrate components. Protease and bromelain specifically target proteins.

The Candida Clear Combo pack is a blend of ingredients specifically selected to help balance Candida levels. Black walnut hulls, pau d’arco, elecampane, garlic, echinacea, red raspberry leaves and oregano are renowned for their digestive system-cleansing properties. Historically, black walnut hulls and pau d’arco have been relied upon for multiple fungal concerns.1,2 Studies have shown that elecampane helps maintain an optimal balance of gut flora, and has specific activity against candida.3 In addition to immune system support, echinacea and garlic have been shown to inhibit the activity of multiple fungal species, including candida.4 Red raspberry leaves have a long history of traditional use and were frequently employed for bowel complaints.5 Oregano is an aromatic herb commonly used to flavor foods. Carvacrol, an active constituent present in oregano, helps to promote balance within the digestive system. Caprylic acid, sorbic acid and sodium propionate have demonstrated efficacy in addressing fungal concerns. These natural substances may disrupt the integrity of fungal cells and inhibit their function.6,7,8

Several components of the Candida Clear Combo pack also help support immune system health. Echinacea, garlic, zinc and selenium may boost the body’s defense mechanisms. These ingredients are important in protecting against free radical damage and in the function of immune cells.

Product Info on Candida Clear

1. Spoerke, D.G. Herbal Medications. Santa Barbara, CA: Woodbridge Press Publishing Company, 1981.
2. Enotes. Pau d’arco. 2008.
3. Bourrel, C.; Vilarem, G.; Perineau, F., “Chemical Analysis, Bacteriostatic, and Fungistatic Properties of the Essential Oil of Elecampagne (Inula helenium L.).” Journal of Essential Oil Research 5, no. 4 (1993): 411-417.
4. Jellin JM, Gregory PJ, Batz F, Hitchens K, et al. Pharmacist’s Letter/Prescriber’s Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. 9th ed. Stockton, CA: Therapeutic Research Faculty; 2007:pg 462, 562-3, 956, 987, 1142, 1395-96.
5. Willard, T. The Wild Rose Scientific Herbal. Calgary, Alberta: Wild Rose College of Natural Healing, Ltd. 1991: 283.
6. Hendler SS PhD, MD, Rorvik D MS et al. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. 1st ed. Montvale, NJ: Thomson PDR; 2001: 79-80, 416-17, 535.
7. Ghumra A. School of Chemistry: Universtiy of Bristol. The Antimicrobial Activity of Sorbic Acid. 2008.
8. Chemistry Daily: The Chemistry Encyclopedia. Propionic Acid. 2005.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wet Sock Cure

To clear out nasal congestion, wear wet socks to bed. Believe it or not, this soggy strategy can help ease a fever and clear congestion by drawing blood to the feet, which dramatically increases circulation. (Blood stagnates in the areas of greatest congestion.) Best method: First warm your feet in hot water. Then soak a thin pair of cotton socks in cold water, wring them out, and slip them on just before going to bed. Put a pair of dry wool socks over the wet ones. The wet socks should be warm and dry in the morning, and you should feel markedly better.

To clear out nasal congestion, wear wet socks to bed. Believe it or not, this soggy strategy can help ease a fever and clear congestion by drawing blood to the feet, which dramatically increases circulation. (Blood stagnates in the areas of greatest congestion.) Best method: First warm your feet in hot water. Then soak a thin pair of cotton socks in cold water, wring them out, and slip them on just before going to bed. Put a pair of dry wool socks over the wet ones. The wet socks should be warm and dry in the morning, and you should feel markedly better.


Get more health tips at the Dollar Savvy Health section of the website.

Car Maintenance Poison Exposure For People and Pets

As you read this information, keep in mind it applies to pets also.

Cold weather car maintenance can lead to poison exposures from a number of common auto products, warns the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Windshield cleaner fluid and antifreeze both contain substances that can be deadly if ingested.

Windshield cleaner fluids typically contain methanol, which is extremely toxic if ingested. Blindness or death can be the consequence of ingesting even small amounts.

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a toxic liquid with a sweet taste. Following ingestion, the symptoms of ethylene glycol poisoning start with intoxication and vomiting and may end in kidney failure if treatment is not sought.

“The danger of poisoning by such products is especially acute for children,” according to AAPCC Board Member Edward P. Krenzelok, PharmD, director of the Pittsburgh Poison Center. “More than half of all poison exposures occur in children under the age of 6. Curious young minds may not realize that an attractive color and sweet taste doesn’t mean something is safe to drink.”

A tragic result of methanol poisoning is permanent blindness through destruction of the optic nerve. Toxic effects take hours to start, however, and effective antidotes can often prevent permanent damage.

The sweet taste of antifreeze increases the likelihood of large ingestions by young children. Any product that is spilled should be cleaned-up immediately. Like children, pets may be attracted to antifreeze’s sweet taste and become severely poisoned.

“You should call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 if you think you have a poisoning emergency,” advises Dr. Krenzelok. “Time can be crucial in such situations to avoid permanent damage.”

The AAPCC suggests the following precaution:

· Keep potential poisons in their original containers.

· DO NOT use food containers such as cups or bottles to store household and chemical products.

· Keep all chemical products in a locked cupboard that is out of the reach of children. Never let children play with the containers.

· Never cover up or remove labels. Keep all safety information.

· Make sure that child-resistant closures are working properly.

Poison control centers around the country are prepared to respond with information and treatment advice about poison exposures. To reach a local poison center call 1-800-222-1222. More information about poisoning prevention may be found on the AAPCC’s Website at

Friday, January 23, 2009

Statin Meds Causing Eye Disorders

Statins are known to cause side effects in some users, including neurological symptoms and muscle pain. Now a new study headed by F.W. Fraunfelder, MD, of the Casey Eye Institute of Oregon Health and Science University, is the first to report on eye disorders caused by statin use. The reserach group documented double vision (diplopia), drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis), and loss of full range of motion of the eyes (ophthalmoplegia) in people taking statins. The disorders were totally reversible when the statins were stopped. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Take Time For Your Health

by Donna L. Watkins

Since I've made the decision to spend more time on myself and my health-building program, I've had great rewards. Too often we believe the needs of others are more important than our own, even when others are not even asking for anything.

© 2009 Christina Bethke - Lucy Who Knows How To Have Fun
My mother's days evolved around my father's schedule and all my many needs, desires and wants. I saw a woman who sacrificed her life for her family and that's an honorable mindset, but God tells us to love others as we love ourselves. I do not believe we can truly be a blessing to those we love or others if we don't treat ourselves with as much care and concern.

I was always one that didn't fuss about myself ... there were too many things to be done, and I enjoyed the process of doing. However, my health obviously paid a price. Now, I'm learning to do better and regaining the ground that the devil stole from my health.

One of the things lacking in my program was exercise. With weak adrenals you can't do aerobics or machines since they only make you tired, when exercise is supposed to give you energy. Walking is the best form of exercise, but I'm not a repetitious type person. My husband has been walking with a neighbor at 6:30 in the morning for years. The same two mile route. It drives my mind dizzy to even imagine it.

Take away the asphalt and replace it with a woodland path and I'd be hitting the ground daily - same path, but so many different things going on in nature that each day would be a new experience. Woodland paths are miles away so that's not a daily option for me. So, I went back to rebounding.

I had forgotten the many benefits of it. Since I'm fighting an auto-immune disease I have to liberate my cells which get bogged down with the toxins of hypersensitive allergenic reactions. Rebounding has an amazing way of cleaning up the body and it builds muscle at the same time, which is something I definitely need since rheumatoid arthritis attacks the muscles also. I was having difficulty holding a jug of water to fill my glass.

I began slow but I noticed such a difference quickly. No more severe fatigue and the muscle strength is very exciting. Since I would get easily bored with this daily routine, I use it as a time to accomplish more than exercise in my health program. I have Scripture cards so I can memorize and meditate on the powerful Word while my body is in the process of focusing on healing.

I bounce and say, "Happy, Healthy, Holy Cells" and see happy faces within each of my cells. I've read so many stories of people who spent time visualizing what their bodies must do to get rid of a disease ... and with the power we know we have with our minds, it can only do good and speed the process, so why not!?

The results are becoming so evident. I have so much more energy and with more time focused on the Word, my spirit rejoices in life and healing. Even though I'm spending hours each day on eating right, taking all my supplements, drinking all the water I need, exercising, spending longer periods in the Word ... I am able to get more done than I was doing before I made myself my first priority.

God loves us and wants us to love ourselves. Getting busy with tasks and people before we care for ourselves is not a good thing. Although it would seem that the sacrifice is beneficial, I have not found it to be so. I know that my mother showed no joy in her own life ... and many who run themselves ragged from morning to night have no peace or joy to share either.

Although it's winter, a time that in the past I've dreaded, my mind is busy with more important things and I am not experiencing more pain because of the cold. I'm actually doing so much better than I was even in the summer. I know this is because of what I am choosing to think and believe. How awesome it is to use our mind for what we truly want in life, rather than to allow it to run wild.

I'll close with one of my favorite Scriptures. Memorizing Scripture has been easier doing it over and over as I bounce, so that's a great side benefit. It makes me smile and want to shout for joy!

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall,
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will mount up on wings like eagles, they will run and not be weary,
They will walk and not faint.

We can all rise up like eagles! Capture the energy of your thoughts and keep it positive. Come fly with me!

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either or both of them on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2009 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from
Link URL is:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Life Isn't That Serious

by Donna L. Watkins

Health challenges have taught me so much about living life better. We all need to take ourselves less seriously. Circumstances need not control whether we have a good or bad day.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Skipper Butterfly - Montpelier Gardens

One of my new attributes is that I'm sloppy since I can't hold onto things well and pouring is not a good time. In the past, I might have three different recipes going, but the kitchen would look neat as a pin. For years, my inabilities would make me angry and create a lot of negative self-talk because it also vividly reminded me of the progression of the disease.

With my ADD tendencies, keeping things neat allowed me to be better focused, but I can tell my mind something different about that and gradually overcome it. I spill and splash around and instead of directing words of condemnation, I laugh at myself. Everybody likes being a child now and then, so I just laugh that I'm children-like and God says we're all to be that way, so I figuring I'm getting better at life. There are things that I can no longer do, but I'm focusing on what I CAN do and lightening up on life in the process.

"Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused."

It makes me more humble and gives me more mercy about the inabilities of human kind in general. That classroom is one that God's been sending me through again and again. We are all inept at so much of what life throws at us. Being able to take it more "Lightly" allows us to shine our Light more brightly.

Count your blessings - focus on what you can do, laugh at what you can't. It will bring healing about so much sooner than whining and complaining. Negative thoughts and words don't heal anything - they only tear down. Keep your focus on what's important and at the top of that list is: Keeping Your Joy."

Our choice is attitude. Keep a blessings list nearby or keep your image of whatever if pure joy to you in your mind. When you want to go down Moaning Road, flash your image. Is it your grandchild? Your pet? A lovely scene of the beach or mountains? A stream taking away all your troubles.

Put yourself in a peaceful moment and smile. Smiling produces hormones that makes you feel better even if you're forcing yourself to do it. Studies have shown that the immune system instantly weakens when you frown and put on a tragic face. When you smile your immune system and your entire body perks up.

Turns out that there are various pressure points in your face that affect your entire system when you flex certain facial muscles. That should make you want to smile every chance you get. Smiling will make you more attractive as you age also, so get used to wearing a smile all day, every day. You'll be amazed at how many people will smile back and give you unexpected good energy.

Copyright and Reprint Information
The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either or both of them on a website if you include the following credit and an active link back to this site:
© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from
Link URL is:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Can Cancer Go Away On Its Own?

by Susan Morse, formerly with the Washington Post, writes about health and consumer issues at AARP.

In our zeal to fight cancer early, are we treating some tumors that might simply vanish? It’s possible, according to a study of some 200,000 Norwegian women.

Researchers in Oslo and at the Dart­mouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in Han­over, N.H., compared breast cancer rates in two groups of women. One group had three mammograms over six years; the other had one. All the women were matched in age and reproductive history, so tumor rates in each group were expected to even out at the study’s end. But the rate in the women who had one screen was 22 percent lower, leading researchers to speculate that some cancers had disappeared before they could be detected.

The findings, reported in the Nov. 24 Archives of Internal Medicine, are controversial and require more study, say some cancer experts.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fast Food Has High Price On Health

“Value meals” at fast food restaurants may not be such a bargain when you look at the potential health costs.

Many of these low-cost menu items are packed with fat, salt, cholesterol and processed meat, notes The Cancer Project, a nonprofit cancer prevention organization. The group has produced a list of what it says are the five unhealthiest items sold at the nation’s largest fast food chains.

The organization’s dietitians reviewed so-called value menus at five of the largest fast food chains in the nation, awarding points for such unhealthy characteristics as sodium, fat and low-fiber content. Read the entire article.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Vitamin D Update

by Curtis Walcker

This fat-soluble vitamin is best known for its roles in preventing rickets and maintaining proper levels of calcium in the blood. The “sunshine vitamin” is generally acquired by the body in two ways:

• exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays
• dietary intake

The latest research reports are announcing ways that vitamin D may be involved in protecting against the development and progression of several common diseases. Unfortunately, many of these new disease connections are being made because of newly found widespread deficiencies of vitamin D in the U.S. population.

The current recommended daily intakes (RDIs) for vitamin D are 200 IU daily for those up to 50 years of age, 400 IU daily for those between 51 and 70, and 600 IU daily for those over 70. It has generally been thought that if you get enough time in the sun and eat a diet with foods like vitamin D-fortified milk, deficiency will not be a problem.

However, many factors come into play when it comes to your body receiving UV exposure to the sun and processing that into vitamin D in the body. Things like time spent in the sun, age, genetics, use of UV-blocking sunscreens, and even where you live can all have an effect.

In fact, much of what is being discovered about vitamin D has come about from population studies that have correlated increased risks of certain diseases to populations living in more northern latitudes that receive less sunshine. In attempts to correct deficiencies, it is being found that the RDIs may not be sufficient. The topic of officially increasing vitamin D intake recommendations is current under review.

A link between vitamin D and several types of cancers has been known since as early as the 1940’s, but the mechanisms through which it works are now under rigorous investigation. In a prostate cancer study, researchers found that vitamin D may link to a gene called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6DP), which release antioxidant enzymes that protect against DNA damage (1). A role for vitamin D in combination with calcium has been identified for colon cancer as well. In patients that consumed sufficient amounts of vitamin D and calcium, expression of the biomarkers E-cadherin and betacatenin associated with the disease was significantly different than those with low intakes(2).

A large breast cancer study demonstrated vitamin D’s anti-proliferative effects on hormone-receptor-positive cells (3). Higher levels of vitamin D intake were associated with 24 percent risk reductions in these types of tumors. In a study following 3,299 patients with fatal cancers for nearly eight years, those with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were 55 percent less likely to die from their cancer (4).

Research on vitamin D on cardiovascular disease was just as impressive. Vitamin D intake was linked to fewer heart-related deaths, lessened heart attack risks, and better health of the arteries. For the first time ever, it was demonstrated that higher levels of vitamin D are associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortalities (5).

A blood level of 20 ng/mL was advised, and intakes of about 3,000 IU of vitamin D per day were needed to raise a low level to this level. Patients in this study with the lowest average blood levels of vitamin D had 122 percent increase in the risk of cardiovascular mortality compared to the group with the highest average levels.

Potential mechanisms of action were discussed in two other recent studies (6,7). Vitamin D has been proposed to improve smooth muscle health, reduce inflammation, reduce vascular calcification, and improve blood pressure.

Additional new areas of vitamin D research have included diabetes, longevity, skin health, mood, and Parkinson’s disease. In two separate studies involving children, development of diabetes was correlated to vitamin D status (8,9).

Further supporting a study published in 2007 regarding vitamin D’s association with telomere length and the slowing of the aging process and the onset of age-related diseases (10), a new study looked at data taken from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES III) (11). This study took into account a population of 13,331 health men and women over 8.7 years, and found that low levels of vitamin D were associated with increased risk for all causes of mortality, as well as a host of other health conditions.

Vitamin D supplementation has been found to improve skin conditions such as itching, redness, and scaling through increased cathelicidin production; an antimicrobial peptide (12).

Also, low levels of vitamin D have been reported on recently to be associated with mood disorders (13) and the development of Parkinson’s disease (14).

Related Articles:
Vitamin D Deficiency Health Issues
MS Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency
Vitamin D Minimum to Be Increased

1. Bao BY, Ting HJ, Hsu JW, Lee YF. “Protective role of 1 alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 against oxidative stress in nonmalignant human prostate epithelial cells.” Bao BY, Ting HJ, Hsu JW, Lee YF. Int J Cancer. 2008 Jun 15;122(12):2699-706.
2. A. Thomas, C. Dash, R.M. Bostick, Associations of calcium and vitamin D with E-cadherin and β-catenin expression in normal-appearing rectal tissue; markers of adenomatous polyps II (MAP II) case-control study, American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, 13 April 2008, Abstract 565.
3. Blackmore KM, Lesosky M, Barnett H, Raboud JM, Vieth R, Knight JA. “Vitamin D from dietary intake and sunlight exposure and the risk of hormonereceptor-defined breast cancer.” Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Oct 15;168(8):915-24. Epub 2008 Aug 27.
4. Pilz S, Dobnig H, Winklhofer-Roob B, Riedmüller G, Fischer JE, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Boehm BO, März W. “Low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D predict fatal cancer in patients referred to coronary angiography.” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 May;17(5):1228-33. Epub 2008 May 7.
5. Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, Renner W, Seelhorst U, Wellnitz B, Kinkeldei J, Boehm BO, Weihrauch G, Maerz W. “Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin d levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.” Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 23;168(12):1340-9.
6. Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. “25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study.” Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9;168(11):1174-80.
7. Melamed ML, Muntner P, Michos ED, Uribarri J, Weber C, Sharma J, Raggi P. “Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease: results from NHANES 2001 to 2004.” Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2008 Jun;28(6):1179-85. Epub 2008 Apr 16.
8. Zipitis CS, Akobeng AK. “Vitamin D supplementation in early childhood and risk of type 1 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Arch Dis Child. 2008 Jun;93(6):512-7. Epub 2008 Mar 13. Review.
9. Svoren BM, Volkening LK, Wood JR, Laffel LMB. “Significant Vitamin D Deficiency in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.” Journal of Pediatrics. 2009;154:132-134.
10. Richards, B. et al. “Higher Serum Vitamin D Concentrations are Associated with Longer Leukocyte Telomere Length in Women.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2007;86:1420-1425.
11. Melamed ML, Michos ED, Post W, Astor B. “25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and the risk of mortality in the general population.” Arch Intern Med. 2008 Aug 11;168(15):1629-37.
12. Hata TR, Kotol P, Jackson M, Nguyen M, Paik A, Udall D, Kanada K, Yamasaki K, Alexandrescu D, Gallo RL. “Administration of oral vitamin D induces cathelicidin production in atopic individuals.” J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Oct;122(4):829-31.
13. Hoogendijk WJ, Lips P, Dik MG, Deeg DJ, Beekman AT, Penninx BW. “Depression is associated with decreased 25-hydroxyvitamin D and increased parathyroid hormone levels in older adults.” Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 May;65(5):508-12.
14. Evatt ML, Delong MR, Khazai N, Rosen A, Triche S, Tangpricha V. “Prevalence of vitamin d insufficiency in patients with Parkinson disease and Alzheimer disease.” Arch Neurol. 2008 Oct;65(10):1348-52.

Stroke of Luck

I was so impressed with this short article in AARP that I reserved the book at my library and ended up writing 6 articles because of it. They've all been posted so many of you have been reading along. The story has been a real inspiration to me in many ways. I hope it might be the same for you if you're just joining us. Knowing how our brain works gives us many advantages to using them wisely in reference what we allow it to think about.

The article from AARP Magazine, Nov/Dec 2008:

By Mark Matousek

In her bestselling memoir, My Stroke of Insight (Viking, 2008), Harvard-trained brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor, 49, tells of the rare form of stroke she suffered in 1996 that shut down the left hemisphere of her brain (where language, logic, and linear thought are based). For months she was unable to walk, talk, read, write, or recall the events of her life. Remarkably, this shutdown—and silencing of mental chatter—left her in a state of bliss. After eight grueling years of rehab, she regained full brain function yet could still access at will what she describes as a state of complete peace and well-being.

Q: Can a person tap into this bliss without suffering a stroke?
Absolutely! When you’re really paying attention to the richness of the present moment, that’s right-minded awareness. The left hemisphere is preoccupied with past and future, projecting fears, contemplating ideas that aren’t relevant to the here and now. Once you realize you have these two different brains, you can learn to choose, moment by moment, how you want to live. Of course, you do need the push as well as the pause to function properly.

Q: “The push as well as the pause”?
I use the tools of the left hemisphere to push into the world, but as soon as it becomes stressful, I can feel that in my body, and I switch to the right hemisphere to pause. I may prefer the pause because it feels better. I’m more joyful, cooperative. People like me better. As I recovered my skills, I consciously chose not to let that left-brain circuitry dominate again. Stress is a frame of mind. If I’m in traffic and there’s no solution in sight, I relax and enjoy the few moments I have. Standing in line at the store, I observe rather than engage. You can say, “If I pull the plug on this circuit, I don’t have to think [stressful] thoughts anymore.”

Q: How can the rest of us learn to pull the plug?
One way is to use your senses to pay closer attention to your environment. What does the air smell like? What are the sounds, the colors? What’s happening in the distance? Take a walk outside and don’t focus on details. The other great thing is to awaken your body by jiggling your head, your shoulders. I guarantee you’ll feel different after three minutes. You’re pumping the nervous system, encouraging the cerebral spinal fluid to move around. Or try dancing.

Q: How do you spend time these days?
I work on brain-cancer cases, particularly with children who come for proton radiation therapy, at the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute in Bloomington, Indiana. During the spring I teach neuroanatomy at Indiana University School of Medicine. Then there are many keynote speeches at medical conferences.

Q: You haven’t exactly slowed down.
I do have a very busy schedule, but it’s filled with what I love to do. I’m a teacher at heart, helping others get their brain to do what they want it to do. Down the road I want to do educational programming that will teach children how to tend the gardens of their minds from a younger age.

The articles I wrote are these:
Your Amazing Brain
Power To Change Your Mind
Stroke Of Genius On Emotions
Taking Thoughts Captive
Getting Out Of Negative Loops
Fighting The Darkness

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Herbal Medicine Integration

According to a report by Functional Ingredients, the World Health Organization has called for greater integration of traditional herbal medicines into national health care systems.

“Governments should establish systems for the qualification, accreditation or licensing of traditional medicine practitioners,” said WHO in the declaration. “Traditional medicine practitioners should upgrade their knowledge and skills based on national requirements.” Read the entire article.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bones and Muscles

Giving The Body Structure and Movement
By Courtney Hammond

The structural system does exactly what its name implies; it provides structure or a framework for the body. It gives the body its form and the ability to move. The structural system is comprised of bones, connective tissue and muscles.

A newborn baby has about 300 soft bones—some bones are actually cartilage at this stage of development. As the baby grows, the cartilage calcifies as calcium phosphate permeates the bones. Eventually the calcified cartilage is replaced by true bone, and some of the baby’s bones fuse together. An adult has between 206 and 209 bones, depending on the number of ribs and an extra bone in the tailbone.

Bones stop growing in size during the mid-teens for girls and around age 20 for boys, though the growing process lasts as bones constantly rebuild themselves. Bones contain two types of cells—osteoblasts and osteoclasts—which work together to build new bone material on the outside and remove old material on the inside. To sustain this regenerative effort, the body must receive sufficient supplies of vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus. If a shortage of these minerals occurs in the bloodstream, the body will pull them from the bones, which can lead to weak and porous bones.

Connective Tissue

Some of the most important connective tissues in the structural system are those that make up the joints. Joints are designed to permit movement between bones that must meet, but not touch. These engineering marvels bind two or more bones together while cushioning and lubricating them to withstand a lifetime of bending, twisting, swinging and lifting.

The body has many different types of joints. Some allow for a wide range of movement, such as the hinge joints of the elbow and knee, or the ball and socket joints of the hip and shoulder. Other joints allow for more limited movement, such as those found in the spine. Most joints are composed of similar elements. The joint is enclosed in a tough fibrous capsule filled with synovial fluid to lubricate the moving parts of the joint. Ligaments surround the capsule to protect it and provide stability to the joint.

Cartilage is a type of dense connective tissue. It is made up of chondrocytes that produce a matrix of collagen and elastin fibers. Cartilage provides support and structure to body tissues without being as rigid as bone. It also serves to cushion the joints.

Bones and joints provide the framework for the body and determine how it can move. Muscles create the movement by converting chemical energy from food into physical energy. There are more than 600 muscles in the body in three basic types: cardiac muscle, smooth muscle and skeletal muscle. Each muscle is made up of countless fibers, and each fiber is composed of minute filaments that vary in length.

Muscles produce movement by contracting. They never push; they pull, which means a pair of muscles is required to make a full range of movement. Muscles grow through use. The effort it takes to use muscles signals the heart to supply them with more blood and nutrients, which in turn stimulates the growth of the size of each muscle fiber.

When Things Go Wrong
Damage to the structural system can affect the way you move and enjoy life. Three of the most common problems occurring in the structural system are osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.

Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass and a loss of bone tissue, leading to weak and brittle bones that are prone to breaks. Osteoporosis is especially common among post-menopausal women, but men also develop osteoporosis. While it is usually thought of as a disease for the elderly, research shows that peak bone density is achieved by age 25. It is vital that men and women alike develop strong bones by that age so the bones can remain strong throughout life. While the best defense against osteoporosis is to build strong bones during childhood and adolescence, other steps can help you lower your risk, such as getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D, engaging in regular weight-bearing exercise and choosing a healthy lifestyle free of smoking and excessive alcohol.

Arthritis is a general term for a group of conditions involving damage to the joints of the body. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, and this is the leading cause of chronic disability in the United States. Osteoarthritis is caused by an abnormal wearing of cartilage in the joints, a decrease in the synovial fluid surrounding the joints, and chronic low-grade inflammation. Since the bone surfaces in the joint are inadequately protected, osteoarthritis sufferers experience pain with weight-bearing activities, including walking and standing.

Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic muscle pain. This disorder is not entirely understood and is often referred to as fibromyalgia syndrome because researchers are learning that pain is just one element of fibromyalgia. Associated pain can present itself in a variety of ways, from muscle pain, spasms and weakness, to sleep disturbances. Other sufferers also experience brain fog and depression. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but certain triggers such as stress, physical exertion and lack of deep sleep seem to exacerbate symptoms.

A healthy structural system is built on basic principles of good nutrition, particularly adequate vitamin D and calcium intake, and regular exercise. The structural system gives your body strength and the ability to move. Taking care of it will allow you to engage in your favorite hobbies and activities for a lifetime.

Related Article: Structural System Support

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Go Green For Babies' Health

Many women discover the green lifestyle when they are expecting, or become moms. Wanting to do the best you can for your child includes considerations that you make before your baby is even born. Everyone knows that eating right and getting enough rest will help both mother and baby be healthy, but the green movement has opened our eyes to the effects that the world around us can have as well.

Back in 2005, a frightening study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found chemicals in the blood of the umbilical cords from 10 newborn babies. These chemicals were linked to cancer, birth defects, and hormone disruptions, and included lead, mercury and PCBs. Since then, moms-to-be have demanded more information about reducing the impact of the chemical soup that we all live in. Read the entire article.

Our favorite product, to transform the house from toxic to non-toxic fast, is Sunshine Concentrate. I've used it for 20 years now. It's wonderful for laundry. My husband used to get rashes from the chemical detergents because when you sweat those chemicals are absorbed into the body.

Sunshine Concentrate has so many uses. We use Sunshine Concentrate for our yard and garden also, so we stock up on it. Makes for a great gift to a neighbor. With chemicals being linked to so many diseases, it's a great feeling to share this product with our friends and family.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cell Phone Driving Same As Drunk

Research now shows

Several studies show cell phones are a leading cause of car crashes. It is estimated that cell phone distracted drivers are four times more likely to be in a car wreck.

According to a Harvard University study, cell phones cause over 200 deaths and half a million injuries each year. has collected together cell phone related crash pictures! Driving while on a cell phone does seem to be a serious problem if those photos are any indication.

You probably see it every day: a driver chatting away on a cell phone and not paying attention to the vehicles or pedestrians around them. Perhaps you've even been involved in an auto accident resulting from a careless, inattentive driver who was talking on a cell phone.

Although the risk of accidents greatly increases when a driver is using a handheld phone, few states have enacted laws prohibiting individuals from using cell phones while driving.

In fact, across the U.S., only four states (California, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey) and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning the use of a handheld cell phone while driving.

Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IHIS) issued a report on the chilling link between cell phone use and the risk of vehicle accidents. The IHIS study revealed that drivers using cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in an injury-sustaining accident than individuals who do not use cell phones while driving. The study focused on drivers who were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries suffered in vehicle accidents between April 2002 and July 2004.

An additional study which used cell phone billing records and interviews with crash victims to form the basis for its data, also found that generally, weather played a nearly non-existent role, and that there was no distinction between hands-free and hand-held cell phones.

Make the decision to put your cell phone away during driving time. A study in which both the participants and the scientists got sloshed has shown that motorists who talk on cell phones while driving are as impaired as drunk drivers.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Why Guys Can't Cry In Grief

When it comes to the loss of a loved one, not everyone can feel emotions the same. There are a number of reasons feelings do not get expressed.

Firstly is the personal belief to what feelings are, or what it would be to express feelings in a vulnerable fashion. Growing up some people are taught to try and ignore feelings, that feelings make you weak, and your are not strong if anyone sees you express them. This persons lack of expression can be due to this belief being instilled in him.

Not only does the person have expectations of his or herself in this situation, there are perceived expectations that the people around him, place upon the person as well.

Children learn from parents at a very early age how to express yourself. Whether it is through peaceful self reflection to extreme outburst of anger, children learn how to feel by watching their parents feel. If a child never sees a parent cry, then it is harder for the child to know how to properly express these feelings, as well.

Some of the more intellectual types complicate matters further by trying to analyze what is going on with our hearts. I admit, I am one of these, but I have recognized that the need to understand something can be another facet of denial. This safety feature carries over to my day to day life. I compartmentalize my feelings and do not express them until I am alone and to what stimuli I am reacting to. I find this is the best way I can protect myself emotionally. Read the entire article.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Precaution For Health

Some time ago, Co-Op America published an article called “The Ugly Side of Cosmetics,” detailing why many experts are concerned about the vast number of potential toxins in body care products.

That article cited studies showing that many of the body care products we use on a daily basis—from make-up and hair care products to soaps and baby wipes—contain known or probable carcinogens, hormone disrupters, and other potentially harmful substances.

A group of individuals started discussing the article on an Internet message board. At first, they were concerned - until a young woman popped in and reassured everyone that “I’m a chemistry major, and all of these products are safe. The government wouldn’t let them be on store shelves if they weren’t.”

Like that student, many people have considerable faith in the government to protect them, assuming that if a product of any type is sold in the US, it must be safe for human health and the environment.

That faith is misplaced. As evidenced by the recent news reports about ingredients and products made in China. In October 2007, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics discovered lead in several trusted brands of lipsticks still sold today in US stores, from drugstore stalwart L’Oreal to the more exclusive Dior brand.

We have more than just lead to worry about. There are now some 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the US, and more than 2,000 new chemicals are introduced each year. While the government does require health studies and pre-market testing on prescription drugs, it does not do so for most other chemicals.

Take a close look at the cleaners we use in our homes; the pesticides that we spray on our food; the hormones ingested by our meat or dairy animals; the paints and stains and finishes we use on our cars, furniture, mattresses, or walls; the body and hair care products we use on ourselves, you’ll find that very few of them are independently tested to ensure they won’t harm human health or the environment.

While corporations may save money by not conducting health and safety tests on the ingredients they use, it’s consumers who pay the price. “So much of public health and environmental policy relies on what I call the ‘dead body’ principle,” says Carolyn Raffensperger, executive director of the Science and Health Environmental Network (SEHN).

“When you wait for proof before you take action, the proof is usually in the dead bodies and the sick bodies. When you let the chemical out and haven’t tested it, you’re using our bodies as lab rats.”

When Carolyn Raffensperger was a young girl, her father, a pediatric surgeon, came home from work and made an announcement that would reverberate throughout her life.

“He said he believed the birth defects and childhood tumors that he was a world expert on were caused by pollution,” says Raffensperger. “And when he told me he couldn’t do anything about it because he couldn’t prove it, I was stunned. He was seeing suffering in babies, and they hadn’t done anything to deserve it. Why, I wondered, did he need proof before he could take action?” Read the entire article and also learn more about the Precautionary Principle.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Structural System Support

Bone Up on Structural System Support
by Jody Taylor

When the cold days of winter arrive, many people find themselves acutely aware of their joints and muscles. Because the chilly weather brings these body parts to mind, we’re reminding you of the Nature’s Sunshine products designed to help. These products support the structural system—keeping the body’s bones, joints and muscles strong and healthy, and optimizing full function of them.

Skeletal Strength®
As women age, proper bone support and maintenance become a priority. Working in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise, Skeletal Strength helps women maintain good bone health, which may lessen the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Each daily serving of 4 tablets provides 600 mg calcium, 600 mg magnesium, plus key vitamins and trace minerals in a blend of six synergistic herbs.

EverFlex combines all of the most promising joint health supplements into one tablet—hyaluronic acid, glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and devil’s claw herb—to protect and lubricate joints and help increase shock absorption. EverFlex Pain Cream enhances flexibility and joint mobility through pain reduction. This penetrating, fast-acting cream features MSM and the cooling relief of menthol to help with minor joint discomfort.

The botanical ingredients in HSN-W nourish hair, skin and nails with nutrients that support the entire structural system—including bones, joints and muscles. HSN-W contains dulse and horsetail, which contain high natural concentrations of the trace mineral silicon, plus sage and rosemary for antioxidant protection.

Collatrim delivers proteins and important amino acids to the body, which it may utilize to rebuild muscles and strengthen lean muscle mass. The key ingredient in Collatrim is collagen, an important nutrient for healthy skin and strong joints. Available in capsules or powder, Collatrim provides the amino acids your body needs to build muscle tissue and help keep joints healthy.

IF Relief
IF Relief combines herbal extracts that may support the body’s natural process for relieving minor muscle pain due to overuse. While it can be especially effective following strenuous exercise or physical activity, it’s also a great choice for people seeking simply to maintain ongoing joint and tissue health.

Nature’s Noni®
The juice of the Morinda citrifolia fruit is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. Phytonutrients nourish the body’s cells, organs and tissues. They, along with antioxidants, fight oxidative stress caused by pollution, strenuous physical activity and other free-radical-generating factors. By fighting free radical damage to the body’s cells, the nutrients in Nature’s Noni provide essential support to the structural system.

SynerPro® Calcium–Magnesium
Keep bones healthy and strong by providing them with 800 mg calcium and 400 mg magnesium—plus beneficial amounts of vitamin D, phosphorus, zinc, copper and boron—in each serving of SynerPro Calcium–Magnesium. This is a great daily supplement for ensuring you always get the nutrients you need, even when your diet falls short.

Vitamin D3
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that supports both bone health and the immune system. Normally, the body synthesizes vitamin D from sunlight, but recent studies indicate that we may not be getting enough from sunlight alone. Nature’s Sunshine recently introduced a new supplement that provides 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, which is the amount many studies recommend for maintenance. This essential vitamin is naturally derived from lanolin.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic muscle soreness, stiffness and fatigue. The body’s energy production process may make muscle discomfort worse. When the body is deficient in energy-producing fuel, it breaks down muscle protein to create energy. Fibralgia contains malic acid and magnesium. Malic acid, found naturally in high concentrations in apples and other fruits and vegetables, plays an important role in cellular energy production. The body uses magnesium to help absorb several vitamins and minerals, promote bone strength and regulate nerve impulses.

Let these time-tested products from Nature’s Sunshine combat occasional stress to the structural system and make this winter season more enjoyable.

Animals Heal Abused Children

In 1999, Ellie Laks realized a dream that she had nurtured since childhood. During her formative years, Laks had faced numerous challenges of not feeling understood and not fitting in with other children. But in dealing with those challenges she found that animals were always soothing and helped to heal her soul. So she decided to find a way to help other troubled children. She majored in special education and psychology, and with that educational foundation and her special love of animals, Laks founded The Gentle Barn.

The Gentle Barn was started on a half-acre property in Tarzana, California, in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. The concept was simple: bringing together troubled children and abused animals and letting them interact to heal each other.

By helping animals learn to trust and depend on people again, kids also learn to trust, along with developing empathy, kindness, forgiveness, courage, and leadership skills. The healing that results is nothing short of a miracle. "I think ‘The Gentle Barn’ just incorporates everything that we do," Laks said. "We love to focus on that word because that's what we're trying to teach to the kids, is gentleness."

Visit The Gentle Barn website.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Leading Cause Of Tooth Decay

Silver Shield kills Streptococcus mutans.

Streptococcus mutans is the leading cause of dental caries (tooth decay) worldwide and is considered to be the most cariogenic of all of the oral streptococci. Streptococcus mutans, sticks to the surface of teeth and subsists on a diverse group of carbohydrates. While metabolising sugar and other energy sources, the microbe produces acid that causes cavities in teeth.

S. mutans is carried by virtually everyone and the only other species common in man is S. sobrinus, carried by between 8 and 35% of people in different countries. Although S. mutans and S. sobrinus can be distinguished by appropriate laboratory tests, these are expensive and time-consuming so it is not always practicable to identify down to the species level in large-scale epidemiological studies.

Streptococcus mutans was first described by JK Clark in 1924 after he isolated it from a carious lesion but it wasn't until the 1960s that real interest in this microbe was generated when researchers began studying dental caries in ernest. Researchers have identified several hundred genes that appear to be unique to the organism. These are potential drug targets because disrupting them would disable the pathogen without harming other bacteria in the mouth.

S. mutans is a Gram-positive spherical bacterium.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A 99 (22):14434-9 (2002)


Read from the patent information about Silver Shield's effectiveness with tooth decay and many other health issues.

Make your own anti-cavity mouthwash with Silver Shield and water. Buy Silver Shield at wholesale price.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Healthy Families Now

"Americans have a shorter life expectancy than people in
41 other countries — even though Americans spend more on
health care, on average, than people anywhere else."
— Dr. Mark Stengler

In 2001 Evangelical Environmental Network launched the Healthy Families Now web site for an educational initiative. From a biblical perspective the site offers practical information to help families protect their loved ones from health concerns in the environment. It is the only web site of its kind. Visit