Friday, November 20, 2015

Are You Still A Smoker?

It's no secret that smoking cigarettes has a negative impact on your health, and the health of those around you. The message that smoking is bad for you is not a new one, and it's easy for us to ignore because we have been hearing it for so long.  The dangers don't seem a concern for the more than 45 million smokers who light up every day. 
We have all heard that cigarette smoke will lead to deteriorating heath: decreased lung capacity, emphysema, and cardiovascular problems. These health problems,that most people do not notice until it’s too late, are not the only problems caused by smoking.

There are a number of other side effects that we often overlook. Have you ever considered the impact that smoking cigarettes has on the rest of the body?
Smoking cigarettes actually has a huge impact on the brain’s neurotransmitter, dopamine. Dopamine is one of the chemicals in the brain that elevates pleasure and makes you feel good. But while the nicotine in cigarettes is making you feel good, other chemicals in cigarettes, including carbon monoxide, are affecting your brain capacity. Smoking may soothe your stress, but you are essentially damaging motor-skills and short-term memory.
Of course, our brain isn’t the only part of our body that we overlook when we consider the negative impact of smoking.
Smoking depletes your body of vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, Vitamins C, and E, and the amino acid cysteine.  Some of these deficiencies are responsible for the negative skin changes in smokers and the vertical lines out from the lips. Smoking uses up about 25 mg of vitamin Cper cigarette and smokers are found to have below normal levels of vitamin C.  Smoking stains your teeth and encourages periodontal disease. Couples who smoke have decreased fertility. Smoking has also been linked to cancer in the lungs, bladder, esophagus, kidneys, pancreas, and cervix, mouth, throat.  Thomas Sellers Ph.D. , M.P.H. Associate Director, Cancer Prevention & Control at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute has stated eliminating smoking would reduce all cancer-related mortality by 30 percent. 


Friday, October 30, 2015

Are you Vitamin D deficient?

Statistics show that 40-50% of Americans have less than the optimal level of vitamin D in their bodies. This means that the chances of you being vitamin D deficient are quite high.
Don't be a part of the vitamin D deficiency epidemic! Get your vitamin D(25 hydroxy) blood test at least once every year. If your physician will not request this test, you can call my office to schedule a phone appointment with me or order the test yourself from Life Extension.
 We have known for years that high cholesterol can be deadly. But do you know Vitamin D deficiency can be a greater risk to your health and longevity than high cholesterol. Also vitamin D deficiency is more common than high cholesterol.
Two recent studies elucidate the risks of low vitamin D.
Study 1:
 Involved 13,331 adults over the age of 20, following them for an average of 8.7 years. Researchers found a 26% increase in all causes of mortality among those with the lowest vitamin D blood level (<17 .8="" div="" ml="" ng="">
Study 2:
Involved 3,299 Austrian subjects and showed a dramatic increase in the risk of heart disease in those in the lowest quarter of vitamin D levels. These subjects suffered a nearly three times greater risk for death due to heart failure and a five times greater risk for sudden cardiac death.
 The researchers in the first study concluded that the elderly, females, non-whites, diabetics, smokers, and those who are overweight have shown a greater risk of deficiency.
A vitamin D deficiency puts you at a much higher risk of death from all causes than even the risk from high cholesterol levels.
Another study showed high blood pressure develops at three times the rate in women who are vitamin D deficient before menopause.
 The normal blood range for Vitamin D at most laboratories is 32.0-100.0 ng/ml.  Those who have studied and researched vitamin D suggest the  optimal blood level is over 50 & preferably around 70-80.
 Tests for vitamin D need to be incorporated in all medical checkups to at least an equal extent as cholesterol levels are checked. 
Vitamin D deficiency is much easier to correct than high cholesterol. All you have to do is take a vitamin D supplement. The dosage varies depending upon how low the initial levels are.  With treatment, vitamin D status is slow to improve and may sometimes require surprisingly high doses to increase the blood levels. If vitamin D is low and supplementation is begun, it is best to recheck in 3 months to make sure the levels are increasing.  Once an ideal level is attained, then a yearly check is sufficient.  Treatment dosage recommended is usually 5000-10,000 units daily.  General supplementation doses are 1000-2000 units daily.  Since vitamin D is stored in the body, it is possible to develop a toxicity, though I have not seen this.  If you are taking higher doses of vitamin D, you need to be sure to monitor with blood tests.
 Natural foods high in vitamin D are:
  • Cod liver oil (1 tablespoon) 1,360 International Units (IU) – 40   IU is equal to 1 microgram
  • Salmon (cooked - 3 ounces) 794 IU
  • Mackerel (cooked - 3 ounces) 388 IU
  • Tuna fish (canned in water - drained - 3 ounces) 154 IU
  • Egg (1 whole) 25 IU
  • Cheese (swiss - 1 ounce) 6 IU
 Read more at:  Find Foods High in Vitamin D

Monday, October 26, 2015

Childhood Obesity Part 3 of 3

As far as food intake, parents can do their part by only providing food in the home which is healthy and nourishing and by lobbying for more nutritional school cafeteria foods.  Also, parents can  cook healthy meals, or have healthy snacks available, versus letting kids have the junk food they want. Have no sugar or white flour products in the house.  If fast food has to be procured, there are healthier options than those filled with white flour and sugar, which need to be avoided across the board. One would not want overindulging a child with  food to become a substitute for the love and attention children need.
Sugar is a big culprit in childhood obesity.  It is also well known that sugar is addictive, the more you eat the more you want.  Sugar also destabilizes the blood sugar and stimulates the appetite, leading to overeating.
Unfortunately we are bombarded by sugar in many hidden forms, as well as the obvious.  The average per person sugar consumption in the U.S. is 142 pounds yearly. This equals 48 tsp daily.  Hard to believe?  This is because 33tsp of that intake are added during the processing of foods and beverages as opposed to being naturally occurring. 
A 12 ounce soft drink contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  Eight ounces of one brand of sweetened apple yogurt contains 44 grams of sugar.  Four grams of sugar equals 1 teaspoon, so this is the equivalent of 11 teaspoons of sugar.  You might think handing your child a container of yogurt was a good thing.  Instead you can buy plain yogurt which has no added sugar, flavor it with fresh fruit, and sweeten with stevia powder if it even needs to be sweeter.  Be careful about some of the artificial sweeteners, as they can pose their own problems.  See my newsletter on this topic for what to avoid.
Read labels and look for hidden sugars such as corn syrup, corn sweetener, sucrose, dextrose, glucose, barley malt, agave nectar, rice syrup, maple syrup, honey.  This is not to mention the obvious listing of sugar on the label.  If you take this extra time to read and be a detective while shopping, you can save your family many empty unhealthy calories and promote their health and well being.

Childhood Obesity Part 2 of 3

One part of the problem is that children aren't playing outside at home or at school as much as they have done in previous times. Many school districts nationwide have cut physical education classes in an effort to meet national academic standards. But what decision-makers don't realize is that being physically fit and having exercise breaks often helps students in the classroom. With decreased encouragement from adults - at home and at school - kids have less of an interest in exercise.
Children under 6 years old spend an average of 2 hours daily in front of a TV, or DVD.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children spend no more than 1-2 hours daily in front of a screen, and those under 2 years have no screen time.  Older kids and teens spend a daily averge of 5 1/2 hours in front of a computer, TV, Video or DVD screen.  Screens with children sitting in front of them have become the most popular babysitters of our era.  It is so tempting for the tired over extended parent to give way to the distraction and help of this super babysitter, but it is at a cost. 
 It is important for children to learn how to entertain themselves, to be constructive, active, productive, helpful to other family members and at school.  This does not happen when one is hypnotized in zombie like fashion in front of the "tube".  There needs to be a family meeting and negotiation about how many hours a week can be spent this way, what those days and hours will be and specifically watching what?  But even better yet, if there are other plans and activities involving physical movement, the time will be filled healthfully and constuctively. Instead of giving your child a video game for his birthday, give  a bicycle and show them how and where to ride it.
Engage your family in a lifestyle of fitness. Discourage and limit excessive television watching, computer use, or gaming, unless it is the active Wii games,  Also discourage snacking while watching television, doing homework, and other odd times. Instead encourage outside  playtime, family activities, and recreational programs.  How about ping pong, , tennis, dancing classes, martial arts, team sports. Try family walks, bike rides, and other outdoor sports. Plan hiking, skiing, swimming, and outings that will include physical activities. Encourage your children to do set chores that include activities like raking the lawn, picking up their items, vacuuming, or anything that will get them moving.
Did you know that 12 minutes daily of alternately intense exercise and rest can fully activate the body"s fat-burning capacity and help to build muscle?  This approach is backed by numerous scientific studies and is detailed in the new book,  PACE: The 12- Minute Fitness Revolution by Dr Al Sears.  Why not explore this and set up a PACE exercise program which will be helpful to both you and your children? This program provides considerable physical benefit in a short period of time daily.
If you can afford it, something like The Gruve, an omni-directional accelerometer would be helpful. It can also be fun and an objective measure of activity upon which to base a reward system for your child.  The Gruve  measures the intensity and duration of  activity.  You can use it to   measure the progress of  work on increasing physical activity. Basically, it keeps track of how much you move about in your daily life and how many calories you burn. Not only are you getting this information from your device, but you can synch it up with the Gruve website to view your daily calories burn records and track your progress.
You can use the Gruve to make the activity a contest between your children or you and your children, with a pre-decided reward given to the winner of the activity contest each week. 

Childhood Obesity Part 1 of 3

Numerous medical studies show that our youth are becoming less active, and fat as a result. The problem has become large enough that Michelle Obama has chosen this as a cause, and  launched an initiative to fight childhood obesity.  Medical experts are imploring parents and teachers to discourage their kids' inactive lifestyles and to encourage them to go outside and play. A recent study found that the prevalence of overweight children and adolescents has tripled since 1970 with one in every three children considered to be overweight. This sobering statistic can be partly attributed to overly couch-bound kids who are playing video games, surfing the web, texting and tweeting their free time away instead of spending it on active play, sports and other physical activities.
Many of these physically passive  children may  have complicit couch bound parents. Inactivity and obesity is also a major problem in adults. Helping children to avoid a lifelong struggle with obesity is a loving act.   Parents also might find their own motivation for being more physically active when engaged in stimulating their children to be more active. 
  Childhood obesity increases the later adult risk of high blood pressure, type II diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and multiple other physical vulnerabilities. Obesity can also contribute to social and emotional problems. Fat is not jolly.  Fat is often feeling uncomfortable  moving, walking, being, seeing oneself in the mirror.  Fat is often being unhappy with oneself, feeling inferior, being made fun of, being tired, not feeling energetic, developing poor self esteem.  Would you wish this on any child? In short, obese children are getting off to a poorer start in life.  Life can be difficult enough without beginning with potential health and social handicaps.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Oxytocin- The Cuddle, Love & Bonding Hormone

The subtle exquisite influences of nature never cease to amaze me. Do you know that the process of bonding in humans and in animals is orchestrated by a chemical in our bodies?  Without this chemical drive we might not even perpetuate ourselves? Without this chemical tie in humans and animals there might be more abandonment of the helpless newborn. The presence of the hormone, Oxytocin (OT), in our brain and body is among the vast number of daily miracles taking place in each of us. The proper amount and functioning of OT determines our ultimate sense of personal and interpersonal contentment and connectedness. Inadequate OT influence can lead people and animals to become withdrawn, alienated and isolated.

For more information on Oxytocin, please see Dr. Slagle’s 2 part newsletter at Part 1 & Part 2

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How Can You Build Healthy Bones and Prevent Osteoporosis?

FIRST OF ALL, TAKING CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS ALONE IS NOT THE ANSWER AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED! This is a gross mistake widely perpetrated when addressing bone health.

Multiple nutrients and hormones work together to build bone and multiple nutrients need to be used to support bone. Environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors also make their contribution.

Bone is a composite of minerals, and structural proteins. The average adult has 1-1.5 kilograms of calcium in the skeleton as a complex with phosphorus which is called calcium hydroxyapatite. Other minerals found in the bones are magnesium, boron, chromium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese, strontium, silica, and sulfur. The proteins are fibrous proteins such as collagen, elastin, actin and tubulin. All body proteins are formed from dietary amino acids which compose dietary protein.

Bone health depends upon a whole range of nutrients. A prolonged deficiency or excess of any one or a combination of nutrients may contribute to loss of bone density. Dietary and supplemental calcium requires magnesium, vitamin D3, boron, manganese, strontium, and adequate stomach acid for proper absorption. Zinc, copper, silicon, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin A, and dietary protein are also important. To further complicate the picture, most nutrient absorption declines with age.

For more information please read my newsletter "BONE HEALTH"

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Benefits of Nuts

l Let’s face it nuts are high in both fats & calories and it is almost impossible to eat just a few.  But if you do not over indulge, nuts can definitely be part of a healthy diet. All nuts are rich in protein, antioxidant nutrients,  B vitamins ,magnesium, potassium, calcium , and most of the other minerals,  folic acid vitamin E, fiber, and  fatty acids, (the “good fats”). 

Almonds, walnuts and pistachio nuts have been the most studied for health benefits.  Walnuts contain the most omega -3 fatty acids. Chestnuts and soynuts are lowest in  calories.  Macadamia and Brazil nuts are highest in calories. Almonds are high in the amino acid tryptophan. Chestnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans have the least protein. Also try cashews,  pine nuts, hazelnuts, and peanuts. Peanuts need to be kept very fresh as they are subject to a fungus that generates poisons called aflatoxins which can also be allergenic. Peanuts and soy nuts are technically part of the legume, not nut family, but people include them when thinking of nuts, so we will too. 

On average, one ounce of nuts provides about 3-4  grams of protein, between 100-150 calories, and about 8-10 grams of fat.  
 Seeds are also very healthy such as sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame.  The whole nut or seed provides better health benefits and is less fattening than the oils.  Flax seeds and Flax seed oil are also a good source of the ALA Essentail Fatty Acids. Only oil from fish contains the longer chain fatty acids EPA & DHA.

Although the health benefits of nuts are numerous, here is just a small sample:

Cardiovascular benefits:   Most nuts are rich in heart-friendly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Research has shown people who consume a small handful of nuts at least 3-4 times a week reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke by half compared to those who consumed no nuts. 

In July 2003, the FDA approved the  heart health claim for almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans,  pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts as these nuts contain less than 4g of saturated fats per 50g.

Cholesterol-lowering benefits:   Nuts are rich in monounsaturated fats. This helps decrease the low-density lipoproteins (the bad cholesterol, or LDL) from the blood, without lowering the good HDL cholesterol levels. It is the oxidized LDL that causes plaque deposits to be formed on the inside of arterial walls, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening and blockage of arteries) and ultimately to cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

 Lowering blood pressure:   Nuts contain a large amount of l-arginine  an amino acid that enhances the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps relax the arteries making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots.

 Reducing the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes:   Eating nuts will make you less prone to diabetes.  Since nuts are very low on the glycemic index scale,  including them in your daily diet is helpful for your blood sugar. 

Research suggests the risk of developing type 2 diabetes appears to decrease as nut eating increases from less than once a week, to eating nuts once or more per day.

 A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto produced findings that nuts may be a vital way to manage diabetes. Results show that nuts may improve blood lipid levels and blood sugar levels in individuals with non-insulin dependent diabetes (type 2 diabetes).

 Researchers from Harvard studied more than 83,000 women for over 16 years and found that those who reported eating a handful of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter at least five times a week were more than 20% less likely to develop adult onset (type II) diabetes than those who rarely or never ate nuts.  This is due to the fiber and magnesium in nuts helping to maintain balanced insulin and glucose levels.  It is considered that the results apply to men as well as women.   Other research shows that cashews can help to reduce triglyceride levels in people with diabetes.

Weight control:   Studies have shown judicious nut eating is very helpful when it comes to losing weight.

 Because nuts are high in vitamins, minerals, nutritious calories, healthy fats, and protein, they help decrease your appetite providing a sense of satiation.  The fats in nuts take longer to digest, so you also feel full longer after eating them.  The  unsaturated fats found in nuts also contain the hormone adiponection which helps your body to break down fat cells.

 Helps with menopausal symptoms:   A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine 2007: 167: 1060-1067 reported ½ cup of soy nuts daily for 8 weeks significantly reduced menopausal symptoms and also reduced blood pressure in those who were hypertensive.

 Removes free radicals:   Nuts are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin E and selenium.  Selenium has been found to be beneficial in the fight against free radicals, which contributes to premature aging, among other things.  Ridding your body of free radicals also reduces the risk of cancer and all kinds of age-related degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, arthritis, etc.  Nuts also seem to prevent the formation of gallstones due to their high magnesium content.

 Hands down, nuts offer numerous benefits.   The best benefits are from raw nuts which have not been processed with oils. Organic is even better, when possible.  Oil processing also adds about 10% to the calories. You can purchase dry roasted nuts, which are preferable.  Cashews are always roasted, as they are toxic when raw.  The higher temperature of oil roasted processed nuts containing high levels of the amino acid asparagine  may increase acrylamides, a possible issue re cancer when in high levels…but this is still being researched by the FDA.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Many Benefits of Pure L- Proline


L-Proline is an often-overlooked secret to looking younger and healthier and has been shown to improve skin health. Proline is needed for the production of collagen and  helps reduce sagging and wrinkling that accompany UV exposure and normal aging of the skin.  

 L-proline is an amino acid produced by your liver that is involved in many of the processes that produce connective tissues.  Connective tissue (CT) is a kind of animal tissue that supports, connects, or separates different types of tissues and organs of the body & are what hold our bodies together and help our joints move freely and comfortably. Without which our bodies simply wouldn’t function properly.

 Decreases in proline levels have been noted in prolonged endurance runners and others following prolonged exercise. Serious athletes that subject their body to routine, rigorous workouts may want to take a supplement containing proline in order to avoid loosing muscle mass.

 "Proline is very important in the process of reversing atherosclerotic deposits. Cholesterol-carrying fat globules (lipoproteins) attach to the inside of the blood vessel wall via biological adhesive tapes. Proline is a formidable “Teflon” agent, which can neutralize the stickiness of these fat globules. The therapeutic effect is twofold. First, proline helps to prevent the further buildup of atherosclerotic deposits and second, proline helps to release already deposited fat globules from the blood vessel wall into the bloodstream. When many fat globules are released from the plaques in the artery walls, the deposit size decreases and leads to a reversal of cardiovascular disease."

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Benefits of Aloe

Nature has provided us with many healing even miraculous plants.  Aloe Vera is a succulent  and like all other succulents, is a self-healing plant.  I have always grown Aloe in my yard for use on cuts, burns, bites, etc. When a living aloe leaf is cut or torn, it immediately seals the "wound" preventing the loss of water and nutrients and protecting it against bacterial contamination.  It takes only minutes for the aloe gel to begin seeping out to the surface and forming a water-tight, rubber-like coating over the injured area. As the gel coating begins to dry it contracts, pulling the edges of the wound shut.  The wound heals completely within days & leaves no scarring.

Many researchers have suggested Aloe Vera is an important modality for fighting disease. Aloe Vera has been used in both alternative & traditional medicine to aid in the healing of a variety of conditions such as: Burns, Wounds, Skin irritations, Constipation, Diabetes, Asthma, Depression,  Epilepsy, Osteoarthritis, Slight to moderate psoriasis vulgaris, Alcohol-induced hepatic damage, Gastrointestinal problems.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Quick Energy Boosters

Finding the time to get through your insanely long to-do list is one thing, but finding the energy is another challenge altogether. If we had a fraction of the energy required to get done all that we needed and wanted to do, then we probably wouldn’t be human. We have to do the best we can with what energy we’ve got. There are some quick ways, however, to boost our existing cache of energy in hopes of checking a few more items off that never-ending list.
Don’t skip meals. 40% of your blood sugar is used for brain function, so if you’re not eating enough, you won’t be thinking clearly. Start your day with a balanced breakfast of fruit, whole grains and protein, and then eat a little something every 3 hours or so.  Supplement with a minimum of a good multivitamin mineral product daily with breakfast and dinner.
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration slows everything down. If you must have caffeine, try to limit your intake to a cup of coffee in the morning and a glass of iced tea in the afternoon. Drink water in between.  Be aware that alcohol is also dehydrating.
Pack in the protein. Snacking on things like nuts, yogurt, or cottage cheese throughout the day will elevate your metabolism, stabilize your blood sugar, and stave off fatigue. A Creatine Whey Protein Powder combined with a heaping teaspoon of D-Ribose can be a quick and lasting energizer, as well as assuaging the appetite.   It tastes good, so can be mixed with water if you don’t want the extra calories of mixing with rice milk, soy milk, etc. 
Lower your expectations. Make compromises instead of setting unrealistic goals. You are not Mary Poppins, and striving for such perfectionism will only result in feeling guilty when you fall short. Take things one step at a time and let yourself know that it’s okay if you don’t get everything done (and perfectly). Make lists and prioritize.  You will find that some lower priority items will fall away from being important.
Organize your environment. Bins, hooks and cubbyholes designated for items that would typically clutter chairs and counter tops will not only make your home/work space neater, it will also improve your mental energy. When your eyes are taking in items strewn all over the place, your brain becomes overwhelmed by all that visual stimulation and suddenly your to-do list gets longer.
Try some quick Chinese medicine. Rub your ears gently from lobes to tips. This will awaken your organs and redirect energy upward toward your head when you’re beginning to feel it all drag downward.
Take five. Isolate yourself, even if you have to go sit in your car, and just be quiet and take deep breaths for a few minutes. Make sure your cell phone is turned off.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Detox with Chlorella, Modified Citrus Pectins & Ultra Clear Plus

It’s amazing any of us are healthy since we are so bombarded by toxins. But many do struggle & suffer the health consequences caused by a body burden of multiple environmental toxins.

We may think of toxic pollution as smog, polluted rivers or landfills. However, the worst toxins are found in ordinary objects we use in everyday life.

Forty two billion pounds of chemicals are manufactured or brought into the United States each day. That’s enough to fill 623,000 tanker trucks in a line that could straddle the globe three times. These toxic chemicals gradually seep into our bodies and can interfere with cellular function, even leading to cell death. Our brains are particularly vulnerable.

Even unborn children are bombarded by these toxic chemicals. In 2004, the environmental working group did a study of umbilical cord blood in 10 fetuses in the United States. They tested for 413 toxins, found 287 & there were 200 chemicals per fetus.

Researchers have also found 168 toxic ingredients in 12 personal care products used daily by women & 85 toxic ingredients in 6 personal care products regularly used by men.   Europe has banned more than 1000 chemicals for use in cosmetics but only 8 of these have been banned in the United States.

Research shows that by the time the average American reaches adulthood, their body is polluted with approximately 700 synthetic chemicals plus heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic. I am regularly surprised by the high mercury & lead levels I find in my patients.   Be sure to see my previous newsletter on Mercury ToxicityThere are many known adverse effects of mercury as listed in my newsletter. Now a new study has reported that higher levels of mercury exposure in young adults increased their risk for Type 2 diabetes by 65% in later life.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Appleberry Crumble

You don't have to completely lose dessert when you are trying to lose weight.  A delicious treat now and then helps keep you on track by preventing the feeling of being deprived. Don't waste your dessert with empty calories though. This dessert is packed with fiberous fruit and healthy oats! Yum!

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 tablespoons butter
5 cups cored, peeled, chopped apples
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 2 quart baking dish. Melt the butter separately. Mix brown sugar, flour, and oats with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a bowl. Mix sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Pour melted butter over mixture and stir with fork, forming large chunks. In a separate bowl, toss apples and blueberries together with granulated sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

The Cause of High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is, simply put, excess fat in the body. There are two kinds of fat that we humans consume: HDL and LDL. HDL fat is good for our body, while LDL is not. Cholesterol is produced by the body's attempt to process the LDL fats, which can then build up on the walls of blood vessels, leading to strokes and heart attacks. 

Eating foods high in saturated fats is one of the most obvious ways in which LDL cholesterol can build up in the body, as is a lack of exercise to help the body burn off fat. However, cholesterol can also be a genetic issue. Diabetes is another factor, due to high triglyceride levels that are to be found in diabetics' bloodstream. Untreated thyroid conditions can raise cholesterol levels as well.

Ultimately, the best things to do are monitor cholesterol and live a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy meals with lots of fruits and vegetables and very few servings of red meat is key, as is getting plenty of exercise. For those whose cholesterol levels are genetic or severe, there are also treatments available to help lower cholesterol.

There is also evidence that the HDL/LDL balance in the body is important, and that increasing the amount of HDL in your diet can effectively help balance out your LDL levels.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Natural Sunburn Remedies

When it comes to sunburn, prevention really is your best. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been out in the sun a bit too long, it’s time to go inside and see what you can do to ease the pain. The following are natural remedies that can be very helpful in easing the pain and/or aiding the healing process of sunburns: 

Take a bath. Soaking in a tub of warm water will actually help a great deal. Avoid using any soap as they can irritate the burn. Carefully pat burns dry, do not rub them with a towel. You can also add vinegar or baking soda to the bath. 

Apply soothing salves. Aloe gel straight from the plant is a very popular choice. Milk of Magnesia also makes a nice lotion to protect the skin and soothe burns. Alternately, you can make a paste of baking soda and water to apply to skin as often as needed.

Avoid sun exposure as much as possible while sunburned. If a layer of clothing between you and the sun isn’t possible, apply sunscreen generously and often.

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Friday, February 6, 2015


Melatonin is a hormone which is secreted by the pineal gland at the base of your brain. Maximum secretion is around 2AM & stops at sunrise. Since melatonin is only secreted while you are sleeping, yet melatonin is needed for sleep, you can see how insomnia begets more insomnia. Normal nighttime production is 5-25 mcg. Secretion of melatonin declines with aging & is thought to be decreased by up to 75% by age 70. This decline is one of the many changes & depletions furthering the aging process.

Most people only think of melatonin in relation to sleep, but its effects & benefits are far-reaching. One of melatonin’s most important effects on other hormones is to enhance the production of youth promoting growth hormone (GH). The aging process is associated with declining growth hormone. A study showed melatonin administration doubled (GH) production in men. With a decline in growth hormone we start to lose muscle mass, strength, energy, skin tone, hair, hearing, etc. & disease risk increases.

Melatonin has wide-spectrum antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, hypotensive, cell communication enhancing, cancer suppressing, brown fat-activating, and blood-lipid-lowering effects, and thereby protects tissues from a variety of insults.  Melatonin is so important to your immune system that depleted levels cause atrophy of the thymus gland, an important part of your immune system.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

At Work Toning Moves

Adding some exercise into your workday has been shown to help you think more clearly, focus better, and do your job well. By learning how to add a few body toning exercises to your work time, you will get ahead both in your career and in your fitness goals.

For most of us, a cubicle or an office is plenty of room. Convenience is the key to this particular workout.

To begin, get warmed up a little, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long period of time. Roll your neck around a little and then move your arms in circles. This will help get the blood moving and ready for a few simple strength training movements.

Here is a simple routine to start you off:

Upper body push aways – Place your hands on your desk when you’re sitting close to your desk and then push your body away. Admittedly, this works much better if you have a rolling chair. If you have a stationary chair, you can lean into your desk and away from it when you’re pushing.
Sitting crunches – Move your chair away from your desk and stretch your legs out from under your chair away from your body. Try to bring your knees into your stomach and then back down without touching the ground. If you have wheels on your chair, be sure you’re holding onto something so you don’t roll away.
Stand ups – Moving your chair even farther from your desk, try getting up from your chair, but only slightly. You want to raise yourself up just a few inches and then move back down if you have. Support your hands on the edges of your chair to make this easier.

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Friday, January 9, 2015

Breaking Out of Runners Rut

To break through a runner’s rut, you need to change your routine. The longer you stick with one routine, the harder it will be to break out. Make sure you keep a warm up and a cool down in your routine regardless of the changes made. Start adding intervals into your training. Alternate fast bursts with slower running. Five minutes on, five minutes off is a good way to start, repeating for two miles in the beginning. You can also increase distance; don’t increase this every time you run. If you add two miles to your run, stick with that for two weeks until adding another few miles.

Another way to break out of a rut is to do cross-training and strength training. You can build muscle, gain flexibility, increase your stamina, and improve cardiovascular health, all of which will carry over into your running. Best of all, you’ll expand your horizons, hopefully find more activities that you enjoy, and prevent workout boredom.

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