Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year To All!

Here's wishing you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year!

Resolve to evolve in 2008!

It doesn't take much!

Blessings to all!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Red Or White Grapefruit- Which Is Best?

Did you know that red grapefruit is healthier than white? And that other than being useful for certain weight reduction diets it's also great for cancer prevention and heart health protection?

I had no idea.

Personally, I never eat grapefruit because it's far too acidic, and I'm just not fond of the taste. But if you like the fruit, you might consider adding red grapefruit to your diet. Because the red variety has more lycopene than the white, it can help protect against heart disease and cancer. It's been found that prostate cancer is less likely to affect men with more lycopene in their system.

Lycopene is a very powerful compound that could be even more beneficial than beta- carotene (found in carrots) for cancer prevention.

So give those salivary glands a working out and cut open a grapefruit!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Eskimo Proverb- Happy Holidays

Wishing you all very Happy Holidays!!

"May you have warmth in your igloo, oil in your lamp and peace in your heart."

Eskimo Proverb

Saturday, December 22, 2007

ADHD and Iron Deficiency

Children with ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are usually pumped full of drugs (Ritalin and Concerta), often with no long-term benefits and potential negative side effects like stunted growth. Do you really want to subject your child to that, when there are natural alternatives that could help alleviate the problem?

The results of a French research study (published in the December 2004 Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) found that children without ADHD had normal serum ferritin (iron) levels, whereas the children with ADHD had about 50% lower levels than those without. They also discovered that the greater the iron deficiency the more severe the symptoms were, including oppositional behaviour and cognitive scores. Although none of the children were actually diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia (their hemoglobin and hematocrit tested normal), when they were treated with iron supplements their ADHD symptoms eventually improved.

However, before you start giving your child iron supplements, get a serum ferritin test to determine if the child is even deficient. And confer with your doctor. Although you can build up iron toxicity (in too great amounts) choosing an iron supplement specifically for children, or better yet, increasing iron-rich foods into your child's diet could only help. There are also liquid iron supplements like Floradix (that are safer) that you might want to consider, although for severe anemia it doesn't seem to help. When I was first diagnosed with anemia (when I got R.A.) I tried Floradix After 3 months or so and no improvement, I finally gave in and started taking an iron supplement. I still take it.

Remember, Iron should always be taken with Vitamin C to help with absorption. Check with your health professional for the appropriate amount.

As with any supplementation, the dosage for children will differ substantially from that of adults.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Calming Affects of Frankincense

I love the smell of Frankincense- it has always had a meditative, calming affect on me. I like to light up some Frankincense and Myrrh incense when I'm feeling tense or anxious, because that's precisely what Frankincense does- calms and eases tension.

According to Roberta Wilson's "Aromatherapy for Health and Beauty" (Avery Books):

"Frankincense oil can help to fortify a mind burdened with mental anxiety, nervous tension or stress. It revitalizes the body and mind... comforts and soothes the emotions and helps you sever ties with the past that are hampering your personal growth."

Frankincense has been used since the beginning of time. It comes from the Boswellia Tree found in Oman, Yemen and the parts of Somalia. The resin is "tapped" 2 to 3 times a year and the best quality resin is considered to be Omani.

You can purchase it in granules, essential oil or incense. You can use a diffuser for the oil, or add a drop to your bath.

Boswellia has other medicinal uses, but that's a different post.

NOTE: Not to be used during pregnancy, as with many different herbs etc.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Onion Takes The Sting And Itch Out of Bee and Mosquito Bites

So, you've been bitten by a pesky mosquito or stung by a bee and you're itching or stinging or both, what do you do? There are various home remedies which people swear by, but this one was the most interesting:

If you're at home, just grab an onion, cut off a slice and rub it on the bite! The pain and itch will diminish substantially.

I've never tried it, but it's worth a try.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Keys to happiness: Quote by Robert Brault

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things"

Robert Brault

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Purple, Black & Blue Is In- For Foods That Is

Anthocyanins. They sound dangerous to me, but apparently they're actually very good for you. Pigments found in darkly-coloured produce (purple, black, blue and red) have the potential to prevent inflammation that can contribute to heart-disease and cancer. And according to research at Ohio State University, they can even
"appreciably slow the growth of colon cancer cells".
Sources of anthocyanin-rich foods include:

Mission Figs
Blue and Purple Corn
Dark carrots
Black Beans
Wild Rice

Not challenging to add some of those foods to your diet, and well worth the potential rewards.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hello God - by Dolly Parton

This is a beautiful, incredibly powerful song by Dolly Parton, posted on Youtube, that someone has added photos to! It sadly reflects where we are today, a world full of hatred and violence, so much of that in the name of religion. A world in which so many seem to have completely forsaken GOD. The lyrics say it all. Enjoy and prepare to be moved.

Hello God- by Dolly Parton

Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear me, are you listenin' any more?
Hello God, if we're still on speakin' terms
Can you help me like before?
I have questioned your existence,
My resistance leaves me cold
Can you help me go the distance?
Hello God, hello, hello

Verse 1:

This old world has gone to pieces
Can we fix it, is there time?
Hate and violence just increases
We're so selfish, cruel and blind
We fight and kill each other
In your name, defending you
Do you love some more than others?
We're so lost and confused


Hello God, are you out there?
Can you hear us, are you listenin' any more?
Hello God, if we're still on speakin' terms
Can you help us like before?
Oh, the free will you have given
We have made a mockery of
This is no way to be livin',
We're in great need of your love
Hello God Hello, Hello


Hello God, can you grant us
Love enough to make amends
(Hello God)
Is there still a chance
That we could start again
Hello God,we've learned our lesson
Dear God, don't let us go
Hello, Hello
More than ever
Hello God, hello, hello

Hello God, we really need you
We can't make it without you (Hello God)
We beseech you
In the name of all that's true
Hello God, please forgive us
For we know not what we do


Hello God, give us one more chance
to prove ourselves to you
Hello, God; hello, God
Hello God.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

ACTION ALERT: S.771, Support School Nutrition

Although I have no children, I think we can all agree that good, nutritious food is an integral part in helping our kids grow into healthy young adults. We all know that childhood obesity is a major problem in this country, and the unhealthy food served in schools these days simply exacerbates that problem. We also know that for most poor families school breakfasts and lunches are sometimes the only balanced meals those children get, so making those meals as healthful as possible would seem a no-brainer. Children need wholesome food for brain power, doesn't it make sense to ensure that they get all they need to grow up to be productive members of society?

So, step in S.771, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act, a bi-partisan bill which would change the definition of "food of minimal nutritional value", and update nutritional standards in U.S. Schools. The last time it was updated was in 1979! Almost 30 years ago, when we were far less aware of the importance of good nutrition on health.

The Natural Products Association has sent out the following information regarding the bill:

Child Nutrition Act Added to 2007 Farm Bill

The Natural Products Association has been a strong supporter of S. 771, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act. Introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), this act would updateout-of-date nutritional standards in U.S. schools, and re-define "food of minimal nutritional value." The definition was last updated in 1979. Since then, Americans' food options and knowledge about nutrition has changed dramatically. It's time that change was reflected in the definition.

Recently, Senator Harkin and Senator Murkowski (R-Alaska) worked together to add an amendment similar in language to S.771 to the 2007 Farm Bill under a series of provisions aimed at improving nutrition in the United States. Unfortunately, the Farm Bill is currently stalled in the Senate under the threat of filibuster. While Senators Harkin and Murkowski are doing everything they can to get this legislation off the ground, they need the support of their fellow senators to get this important amendment back on track.

If a senator has already sponsored S. 771, that is an indication that they would be supportive of the amendment in the Farm Bill. If they are not sponsors, that is all the more reason to ask for their support for this important amendment.

The association is asking its members (and others) to help by taking Action! The link has much information on how to contact your senators and whether they have signed on or not.

Remember the youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow.

Crossposted at Confessions of a Closet Republican.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Feverfew For Fewer Migraines

I've never had migraines, although I used to suffer terribly from frequent headaches. I still get a whopper of a headache, once in a while, but certainly not as often as in the past. It's usually stress or pillow-related, and sometimes lasts throughout the day, finally dissipating the following morning. They're never fun, and I can empathize with migraine-sufferers who have to deal with much more than just a pounding head that they'd give anything to chop off their willing shoulders. I've had many a headache where I've felt very much like doing that, or at least paying someone to do it for me.

So, add to an agonizingly painful head: extreme sensitivity to light, nausea, and some vomiting for good measure, and you have the symptoms of a full blown migraine. I've had friends who get them, so I've seen how debilitating they can be.

If you get migraines you might want to consider:

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium):

It's a member of the sunflower family, and the dried leaves (along with the flowers and stems, sometimes) are used to combat not only migraines, but fevers, stomachaches, insect bites, toothaches and several other things.

A clinical study of patients taking a combination of Feverfew and White Willow (aspirin-like herb) taken twice daily for 12 weeks, reduced the frequency, intensity and duration of migraine attacks.

The Rodale Book "The Herbal Drugstore" recommends using a feverfew tincture or capsules that contain freeze-dried feverfew leaves, and NOT supplements made with dried leaves. Apparently, it won't work and could possibly worsen the migraines. They recommend taking the following daily:

15 drops of the tincture daily or
300-mg capsules per day

Though it might not work for everyone, I'd think it would be worth a try. However, as with all herbs, make sure you thoroughly research the potential side-effects etc. Further information and details of side effects etc. can be found on the above links. The following is taken from one of those websites,


The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and that can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine.
Side effects from feverfew can include abdominal pain, indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and nervousness. Mouth ulcers, loss of taste, and swelling of the lips, tongue, and mouth may occur in some individuals who chew raw feverfew leaves. Allergic reactions to feverfew, although rare, have also been reported. In fact, people with allergies to chamomile, ragweed, or yarrow will likely be allergic to feverfew and, therefore, should not take it.

Feverfew may increase the tendency to bleed, especially in individuals with bleeding disorders or taking blood-thinning medications, such as aspirin or warfarin. Do not use feverfew if you have bleeding disorders or are taking blood-thinning medications unless you are under the supervision of a doctor.
Pregnant and nursing women as well as children under 2 years of age should not take feverfew.

Do not abruptly stop taking feverfew if you have used it for more than 1 week. A withdrawal syndrome characterized by rebound headache, anxiety, fatigue, muscle stiffness, and joint pain may occur.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Water and Weight Loss

I think we all know that drinking more water can help cut down the amount of calories you ingest. Fill your stomach with liquid and you feel fuller. However, a recent Penn State University study has confirmed that eating low fat foods with a high water content can actually help with weight loss.

Fruits, veggies, beans and apparently low-fat dairy contain fewer calories and satisfy hunger more so you have a tendency to eat less.

They've also found that people who drink a bowl of veggie broth (of 100 to 150 calories per bowl) before a meal consume as much as 20 percent fewer calories.

Barbara J. Rolls, PhD at Penn State says "hunger is one reason people don't stick with diets." If you can feel fuller from less food, then you will obviously start losing some weight. I remember reading somewhere that we often misinterpret feelings of 'hunger' for feelings of thirst, so try drinking some water when you feel hungry and see if that doesn't actually curb your hunger pangs. Besides the more water you drink the more toxins are released from your body.

So start off with a clear, low-calorie soup, make a nice plate of veggies along with some beans and a little cheese, add some fruit for dessert and see what happens.

I think I'll go buy some miso soup and start off my meals with that.