Wednesday, December 31, 2008

With Wishes For Peace In The New Year!

The fireworks, last night, sounded like the crackle of gunfire and it saddened me to think that in so many parts of our world, this disturbing sound is probably a daily occurrence, and I wondered what it must be like to live in constant fear.

2008 was a turbulent and troubling year with violence erupting throughout most regions of the world; from the Middle East to India to our own back yard. I'm not just referring to the bloodshed that's perpetrated in the name of religion or politics, but also to the violence that occurs in our cities, inner cities, suburbs or rural areas because of drugs or family disputes or whatever pathetic reason that drives someone to harm another. In today's society people (like possessions) have become disposable and it seems, for many, that the easier option is to kill rather than deal with whatever negative situation they happen to be in, or think they might be in. So mothers suffocate their babies and dump their newborns in canals, rather than give them up for adoption; husbands kill wives because it's simpler than a divorce; daughters kill parents because the parents disapprove of their boyfriends; brothers kill sisters because of disputes over their inheritance; criminals and drug dealers kill for an easy buck (or revenge), because they're too lazy to work, pedophiles give in to their sick lust, rather than seek help. People choose the easy way out (whether through lack of conscience or ignorance or both) regardless of the consequences, and as a result, the innocent suffer.

But, in spite of the daily barrage of bad tidings we call 'news', I still harbor hope! Hope for a world in which people can live in harmony and peace. Where freedom (our greatest gift from GOD) is something that is cherished and encouraged and allowed to flourish.

Every New Year brings, with its birth, the possibility for transformation and renewal and evolution. We start each year with a clean slate, and it is up to us, as individuals, to make the necessary changes within ourselves to move forward as enlightened beings. If we purge our hearts and minds of hatred and all negativity and replace those feelings with Love we can make a difference, because Love does truly conquer all.

God bless this country and all those in the world who embrace freedom, and God bless our troops and allied troops, who make that possible!!

Happy 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Different Kinds of Calcium Supplements

It's always a challenge to figure out which supplements to take and calcium is no different.

There are 3 different types of calcium (Citrate, Carbonate and Phosphate) that are usually prescribed by your health practitioner when you are in need of calcium, and the amount often differs depending on your needs. I was told by my Rheumatologist, after a bone density test, that I should take between 1,500 and 2,000 mg per day, max, although 1,000 is recommended for those under 50 and, 1,200 for over 50. He suggested calcium citrate (in the form of Citracal) but you do have other choices.

CALCIUM CITRATE: (Citracal, Solgar etc) 21% calcium. This is the most easily absorbed calcium, and the most expensive of the 3. Apparently does not contain much elemental calcium

CALCIUM PHOSPHATE: (Posture) 39% calcium. Also easily absorbed, and does not cause gas or constipation. Costs more than calcium carbonate.

CALCIUM CARBONATE: ( Rolaids, Caltrate, Tums) 40% calcium. Contains elemental calcium, but can cause gas or constipation, and must be consumed with food or a glass of orange juice (or any other acidic juice). It is the least expensive of the 3.

You should make sure that you subtract the calcium you get in certain foods like dark green veggies, dairy products and calcium-enriched foods and juices from your total RDA, so you don't take too much.

Although it's always preferable to get your vitamins and minerals from foods etc, for those of us who are vegetarians or who don't or can't do dairy, a supplement is necessary.

Because the body only absorbs elemental calcium, check how much your supplement actually contains. It's also best to use Calcium with Vitamin D and C, so that fortified Orange Juice is a great way of getting all 3.

There are other types of calcium- gluconate and lactate, but they're not worth taking because they contain very small amount of elemental calcium. There has been a huge hype about coral and oyster shell calcium, but neither is recommended because they could contain high levels of lead or mercury.

DOSAGE: Because the body only absorbs a certain amount of calcium, it is best to take several doses per day.

For more information on how to choose a calcium supplement and which foods are calcium-rich, please click here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmakwanzukkah To All!

I have been rather slack with blogging these days, but will start back at it shortly.

In the meantime, I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa!

With Love,

Monday, December 22, 2008

All You Ever Want To Know About Leptospirosis

Lepto what, you ask? I wondered the same thing as I watched an impressive PowerPoint presentation that put the fear of God in me.

This post initially started off as a warning to wash all canned goods before using them. Originally inspired by an email floating around the Internet regarding the dangers of tin cans infected with Leptospirosis (from rat urine), it morphed into something else when I discovered the information was totally bogus. Not unusual for the many emails flooding our inboxes that get forwarded without checking the validity of the information on the various net lore websites. I guess there are far too many people with far too much time on their hands that find it amusing to send mis-information out into the universe. Although it probably is a good idea to wash your tins before opening them, or putting that soda to your mouth, it's not because you could get sick and die from Leptospirosis, as the presentation implies.

Don't get me wrong, Leptospirosis does exist! Commonly known as swamp fever, mud fever, sugar cane fever, rice field fever, Stuttgart Disease, and Fort Bragg fever, it's a disease caused by the bacteria Leptospira and can affect both humans and animals. Humans usually become sickened after coming into direct contact with urine from infected animals, or water, plants or soil contaminated with urine. It can be symptomless and mild or severe, and in some cases can lead to death.

Predominately found in warmer climates, it occurs worldwide and is both an occupational and recreational hazard for those who come in contact with contaminated water and soil.

Although farmers, veterinarians, soldiers, sanitation/sewer workers and fishermen are more likely to come in contact with Leptospirosis, all those who love to camp and play in the great outdoors (think whitewater rafting, canoeing etc) are also susceptible.

TREATMENT: Antibiotics.

PREVENTION: If you want to protect yourself, stay away from contaminated water, or wear protective clothing or footwear.

Click here for more information.