Dec 26, 2007

How to avoid Colds & Flu This Winter

One of my husband's favorite TV series was "Monk", with that germ-a-phobe detective, Adrianne Monk. His nurse, Natalie, has to keep a supply of wipes with her so he can clean his hands after he touches....almost anything!

Maybe we don't have to go to the extremes Monk does, but it sure isn't a bad idea to be a little conscious of where your hands go, and wash them regularly, to keep yourself healthy. They say it's right up there at the top of the list of things you can do to maintain health.

I get rather Monk-ish myself when I'm in a public place. After I wash my hands, the last thing I want to do is reach down and turn off the faucet with my bare hands, so I grab a paper towel, dry my hands then use the paper towel when I turn off the faucet, and use it to open the door before I toss it. Is that extreme? I don't think so. I also have some antibacterial hand sanitizer in my pocket book all the time. And at the office, since others use my phone at times, I occasionally wipe the phone off with an antiseptic wipe, like the ones Lysol makes. Okay, now am I being extreme? I hope not :-)

Stay healthy this year, and be sure to wash your hands regularly, especially if you are or have been handling things out in the public. Keep your gloves clean as well!

Updated 1/22/16

Dec 20, 2007

Exercise More Important than Weight ~ Keep On Moving!!

I am looking ahead to next week when I'll officially reach the age of 56! And as I update this in 2016, I have reached the age of 64! Where did that time go? (No, that's not me in the picture to the right :-) 

Studies and articles like the one I read today really ring true. I work from home part time, and can get up and move, sit and work, get up and move, etc. During the past several months, I have begun to exercise in a way I haven't done in years! It took some time to build up to the point that the cardio, toning, and yoga routines that I'm doing became easier. I feel blessed to be able to get my body to do more than I expected.

Enjoy the following article about the importance of exercise:

When it comes to living longer, a new study suggests that physical activity is more important than weight as we age. Ideally, all of us should be both slim and active, but this new study is a “light at the end of the tunnel” for so many who struggle with their weight as they age.

Exercise expert Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina and colleagues tracked about 2,600 people age 60 and up, examining how physical fitness and body fat affected their death rates over 12 years. The study results are published in the December, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In short, the men and women who were fit, as judged by a treadmill test, but were overweight or obese had a lower mortality risk than those of normal weight but low fitness levels.

Those in the lowest fifth in terms of fitness had a death rate four times higher than participants ranked in the top fifth for fitness. The study showed that even a modest effort to improve physical activity can provide health benefits and lower mortality risk significantly.

The findings are particularly relevant as people in the United States and many other countries live increasingly sedentary lifestyles and obesity rates remain high. At the same time, the populations are aging in many nations.

"If you're obese and unfit and you start taking three 10-minute walks a day and you do that at least five days a week, you're not going to lose an enormous amount of weight; you’re going to still be heavy. But you're going to be much healthier if you do that," Blair said. Blair also stressed the importance of a healthful diet including lots of fruit, vegetables and whole grains.

Article brought to you by Wholefood Farmacy, where foods are rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains – and – they are the perfect food to snack on before, during and after taking your walk!

Dec 16, 2007

Fats, Corn and Garlic, What a Mix

Wondering how the three things in the subject heading come together?

There are some interesting new studies that show that low-fat diets many not be as beneficial to certain health conditions as originally thought.

Corn has a long list of wonderful nutrients and health benefits. As a "Jersey Girl" who loves "Jersey Corn", I was surprised to see how many. You do have to find corn that is GMO free, organic, as it is one of the most common genetically modified foods.

And Garlic? Researchers have come up with some interesting new information!

Where can you find all of this? Please visit my website, look at the right margin and find the food list and the health topic list, you'll find Corn in the food list, and the new information on garlic under "Garlic and Onions". Then look for the topic related to Low Fat eating.

Updated 1/22/16

Dec 13, 2007

Is Dr. Weil Negative on Certified Nutritionist (CN) Programs?

Dr. Weil, the Medical Doctor who gives advise on Nutrition, posted an article that was a bit of a dig to those of us who have educated ourselves in the area of Nutrition. But at the same time, the article does provide some helpful information and advise. The part I didn't care that much for is the following:

"Certified Nutritionist (CN) programs were launched about a decade ago for those who wanted to practice nutrition but either were unsuccessful with the RD approach or didn’t have time to commit to the educational requirements for an RD degree. Although you must pass an exam to earn certified nutritionist designation, you don’t have to complete the same coursework required for the RD degree or do an internship. Usually, the CN designation is awarded to students who have completed a two-year, college-level, six-course program, which includes studies in public health and wellness, anatomy and physiology, normal nutrition, contemporary clinical nutrition, alternative therapies, accessory nutrients, practice management and case studies. CNs hold private licenses and must also obtain continuing education to maintain them..."

The description of the course of study is true, the negative spin, saying that it is "for those who wanted to practice nutrition but either were unsuccessful with the RD approach or didn’t have time to commit to the educational requirements for an RD degree" is not and is a bit insulting to someone like myself. 

I loved my CN training, and the reason I took it is because it provided BOTH the medical/clinical view AND the alternative approaches, including the use of medicinal herbs and such. At the time I took the courses, there were no medical institutions teaching alternative approaches to nutrition close to me, and I was a stay-at-home Mom. There were no internet courses like there are at this update in 2016. 

In fact medical doctors received very minimal at best training in nutrition. I learned a lot and I continue to learn a lot even though I have completed my course of study. I think it is important to know your own limitations, I know what I am able to help a person with, and what I am not able to help with. If you want to read Dr. Weil's complete article, it's right here

Updated 1/22/16

Do you eat Red Meat or Deli Cold Cuts?

If so, the following information may be something you need to read. I know we have red meat on occasion, and when we buy processed meats, by that I mean cold cuts, we've been trying to get them with no nitrates. Here are some studies that may interest you.

The first large scale study of red meat and processed meat consumption and its effect on cancer risk was recently completed by the U.S. Cancer Institute. The long term study followed 500,000 people aged 50 to 71 for several years, during which time about 53,000 cases of cancer occurred within the study group. For purposes of the study, red meat was defined as all types of beef, pork and lamb. Processed meat included bacon, red meat sausage, poultry sausage, luncheon meats, cold cuts, ham and most types of hot dogs including turkey dogs.

The study findings are published in the December 2007 issue of the journal Medicine from the Public Library of Science. The researchers reported that people who eat a lot of red meat and processed meats have a higher risk of several types of cancer, including lung cancer and colorectal cancer. This study was the first to show a link between meat and lung cancer. It also shows that people who eat a lot of meat have a higher risk of liver and esophageal cancer and that men raise their risk of pancreatic cancer by eating red meat.

According to Dr. Amanda Cross and her colleagues at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, "a decrease in the consumption of red and processed meat could reduce the incidence of cancer at multiple sites.” Study participants who ate the least red meat showed a 20 to 60 percent decrease in risk of esophageal, colorectal, liver, and lung cancer when compared to those who ate the most red meat.

These differences held even when smoking was accounted for. If you’re looking to decrease the amount of red meat and processed meat in your diet, Wholefood Farmacy foods offer an easy and delicious way to take that first step in a healthier direction with their unique wholefood buyers club.

Updated 1/22/16

Dec 8, 2007

A Little Honey for that Nasty Cough

As I update this post, I'm getting over a cold, and honey sounds good right now...I'm just about to go to bed and think I'll have me a spoonful with some added lemon juice.

Almost every spring my husband and I go to Lancaster, PA for our Anniversary in April, and each year, we used to stop at the same spot in Honeybrook on the way to our motel to pick up a very large jar of raw wildflower honey for the coming year, made from honey on the property where we shopped. We then re-fill our "honey bear" as it empties. I received the following about the health benefits of honey, and thought you would enjoy it for yourselves and for your children.

"Many parents are concerned about the recent FDA recommendation that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines not be given to children under 6 years of age because of a lack of effectiveness and potential for side effects.

"With this recent news in mind, a team of researchers from the Penn State College of Medicine decided to put nature to the test. They tested the effectiveness of three different approaches for children who were having trouble sleeping due to a cough.

"The children in the study were given either no treatment at all, a little bit of buckwheat honey or dextromethorphan (DM), the chemical cough suppressant found in many over-the-counter cold medicines. The children receiving the honey or DM took it about 30 minutes before bedtime.

"The research team found that honey was more effective in reducing the severity and frequency of nighttime cough compared with DM or no treatment at all. Honey also allowed the children to sleep better. The findings are published in the December, 2007, issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

"According to the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Ian Paul, Penn State’s director of pediatric clinical research: "Honey provided the greatest relief of symptoms compared with the other treatments. With honey, parents now have a safe and effective alternative to use for children over age 1 that have cough and cold symptoms”. Some of the children were hyperactive for a short time after being given the honey, Dr. Paul said. However, children who received honey slept better and so did their parents, he noted.

"Paul cautioned that honey should never be given to children younger than 1, because of the rare risk of infantile botulism. In addition, he noted, cough medicines that mention "honey" on the label actually contain artificial honey flavor not real honey.

"Honey has been used for centuries to treat upper respiratory infection symptoms such as cough. In addition, honey has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects, and also soothes the back of the throat.

Once again, science has proven that food really can be your medicine.

Article by The Wholefood Farmacy, the Wholefood Buyers Club.

Updated 1/22/16

Dec 7, 2007

What I am Doing for an Intense Upper Respiratory Infection Cold

I'm into my 2nd day of a nasty cold, and am happy for my laptop so I can snuggle into a corner of the couch in my 'jammies and slippers, with a box of tissues close at hand. 

No, I don't take any over-the-counter medications to suppress my symptoms, I stopped doing that years ago, and just help the body along with the work it's doing ridding itself of the little "bugs" that are causing the problem. The colds seem to go away much more quickly that way.

I've also been taking herbal combinations called Lymph Gland Cleanse and AL-J, one having natural antibiotic type properties, and the other natural decongestant properties, as well as trying to drink plenty of liquids.

You may also want to read about allergies which can feel like a cold sometimes.

Please contact me in the comment field below for fact sheets on the items marked in red. I approve all comments, and will not post a private request.

Updated 1/22/16

Dec 3, 2007

Fasting and Exercise

Some time ago I had someone contact me who was about 40 years of age and wanted to make some fairly dramatic lifestyle changes. This person was doing fairly intensive exercise program including cardio, weights, and pilates, at the gym about 5-6 days a week.

The question was whether or not it is safe to continue on this rigorous program while fasting.

Turning 40 is one of those "wake-up call" ages, I remember starting an exercise and weight loss program at that age myself...and at this update I am 64, and still working out at least 3-4 days a week.

I did suggest that it would be a good idea to cut back on any intense exercise during times of fasting so that your body can use all that energy the you would be using in exercise to cleanse and because you will not be receiving the food-energy that you need to exercise. I also suggested drinking plenty of pure water throughout the day to flush out toxins that will be released during fasting. I do have a more extensive article on fasting at my website.

Walking or other easy-going exercise shouldn't be a problem, but let your body tell you if it is too much.

Updated 1/22/16

(Clipart courtesy of