Saturday, December 27, 2014

Health and Diet Friendly Restaurants In London

For those of you living in London, or planning on visiting London, the has a list of 10 diet and health oriented restaurants, including some vegan, vegetarian, and veggie-friendly ones.

Wish I lived there, or was planning a visit.  Maybe some day.

You can find the list along with a description of the food here.

It includes:

Amico Bio
Bread Street Kitchen
Cassis Bistro
The River Cafe
SAF Kensington
Wright Brothers
Yalla Yalla
Yashin Sushi

Everything from Asian, to Lebanese, to Italian veggie.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hugs For Better Health

Hugs are wonderful. They make you feel warm and fuzzy and safe and loved, and a new research study has found that they may actually have the ability to boost the immune system, therefore helping prevent colds and viruses.

For the study, researchers at Carnegie Mellon surveyed 404 adults about their interpersonal relationships, including how frequently they gave and received hugs from people most important in their lives. The researchers followed the study subjects for 14 consecutive days.

Next, they intentionally exposed the study subjects to the common cold virus, quarantined them and monitored for symptoms of illness.

The researchers found that people who felt they had a higher level of social support were less likely to end up sick, and those who reported getting more hugs stayed healthiest of all. They also found this group had less severe symptoms when they did get sick than those who didn't give and receive as many hugs.

"The apparent protective effect of hugs may be attributable to the physical contact itself or to hugging being a behavioral indicator of support and intimacy," said Sheldon Cohen, a professor of Psychology at Carnegie Mellon University's Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and lead author on the study.
It also can help with heart and lung function, depression and fatigue.

The reason:

Scientists say hugs may act as a safeguard because they help trigger the body's production of oxytocin, a hormone that's linked to sexual function and people's ability to bond physically with loved ones. This is why oxytocin is often referred to as the "cuddle hormone." During physical contact levels of cortisol -- the stress hormone -- also drops.

But this isn't the first research done on the healing power of hugs. There was a research study back in 2006 regarding touch and hugging for the help with pain. And who can forget the amazing story published in the Worchester Telegram & Gazette in 1995, Life Magazine in 1996, and Reader's Digest in 1996, about the preemie twins Kyrie and Brielle Jackson.

One of the most moving examples of the healing power of touch is a story that made the rounds via email about Kyrie and Brielle Jackson, preemie twins (pictured above) born in 1995. In the neonatal intensive care unit at The Medical Center of Central Massachusetts in Worcester, Kyrie (the larger of the 2, at 2 pounds 3 ounces) began to thrive, while her sister Brielle was not doing so well, with breathing and heart rate troubles. Then one day Brielle started gasping for breath, turned bluish-gray, and started hiccoughing (an indication that her little body was overly stressed). With her heart rate dangerously high, the nurse (Gayle Kasparian) tried everything to stabilize the baby, to no avail. Remembering an unorthodox treatment, rarely used in the U.S. but common in Europe, Kasparian decided to bed Brielle with her sister. As soon as she was placed in Kyrie's incubator, Brielle snuggled against her sister and immediately stabilized. Kyrie then placed her arm around Brielle, and we have the picture above. Both children are doing well.

And how touch and hugs helped transform Edie The Scared Dog.

So get out there and give someone a hug.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Naomi Feil and Gladys Wilson- Love and Kindness Awakens Alzheimer Patient

With all the violence and hatred in this world, the race baiting, the religious intolerance, the following touching video was such a breath of fresh air.

Naomi Feil is the founder of Validation Therapy, which is a method of dealing with disoriented older adults, usually with Alzheimer's.  

In the video, we see a breakthrough moment of communication with Gladys Wilson, a woman who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2000 and is virtually non-verbal. Learn more at
It's not so much about the therapy itself, but the fact that Naomi, a Jewish woman, reaches across the boundaries of race and religion to validate late stage Alzheimer's patient Gladys Wilson by singing some Christian songs, and what happens next is miraculous.

If we reached out to each other with this kind of love and tenderness, the world would be a much better place.

Get your Kleenex out.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Omega 3s Can Help With Anger Management

Here's a fascinating study they're doing in an Australian prison: The effect of Omega 3 Fatty Acids on anger management. Apparently, the more you ingest (either through food or supplements) the less violent you will be.  Should be interesting how this unfolds.

There are a myriad of benefits from taking Omega 3's, but who knew about anger.

It can help the following:

can lower elevated Triglycerides
can lower inflammation
rheumatoid arthritis (I take this for my R.A. and every time I have stopped taking it, the stiffness and achiness return)

Certainly worth a try.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NYC Freedom Tower Being Built At Ground Zero- Time-Lapse Video

In honor of all those tragic lives lost on September 11, 2001, here's a time-lapse video of the Freedom Tower being built at Ground Zero.

God Bless them all.

Let us never forget!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Natural Ways To Help With Stomach Problems has a great list of things you can do to help with tummy issues, and they're all natural. From gas, to diarrhea, to heartburn, to the other myriad of digestive troubles people can get, including those of us with Ulcerative Colitis, there are natural, preferably food derived ways, to deal with them. So before you pick up that Tums or Prilosec, why not try one of these things.


Aloe vera juice is a wonderful product to use with stomach issues, including Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Though you need to make sure it's pure, and try and stay away from ones that have preservatives.  I used to use George's Roadrunner during some past Ulcerative colitis flares, it was expensive, but it was distilled, pure and tasted like water.

2. The BRAT Diet:  

Short for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast- so it's easy to remember- this diet is great for those who are having problems with indigestion, stomach upset, and diarrhea.


A nice cup of  Chamomile tea can help with nausea, GERD/Acid reflux, sometimes gas, and definitely helps calm your nerves.


This I had never heard of, but according to Daily Meal, Dandelion greens are great for heartburn and upset stomach. They have recipes for great side dishes. Who would have thought.


Ginger is an amazing herb. Not only is it wonderful to cook with, it's a powerful anti-inflammatory (for arthritic conditions), but is also wonderful to combat gas, indigestion and nausea. You can use it fresh to make a tea, just peel, chop and boil, or you can eat some candied ginger or buy some ginger tea. People on blood thinners, like Coumadin, should stay away from it.

6. MINT:

Any kind of mint will do. Peppermint, spearmint will both help with digestion, nausea and gas. It relaxes the muscles.  It is also said to help curb one's appetite. Steep fresh cut leaves or dried peppermint leaves in a cup of boiling water from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how strong you want your tea.  Although some say it is good for Acid Reflux, and heartburn.


Papaya is a great fruit, not only is it yummy in smoothies in salads, it's wonderful for digestion, upset stomachs and gas. The papain in papaya, can also be taken as a supplement as a digestive enzyme.


Probiotics aka good bacteria are a must for stomach health, especially after a dose of antibiotics. The best are the refrigerated ones. You can try yogurt or kefir, but I doubt they are that helpful. Do your research, though, because every probiotic strain is different, and depending on your tummy issue some will be better than others.


Prebiotics help the good bacteria grow. Try asparagus, garlic, onions and Jerusalem artichokes, though those foods will cause gas.

Besides these, I'd like to add another one of my own:


Fennel seed is great for digestion and bad breath. If you've ever been to an Indian restaurant, you might have noticed a bowl of fennel seed, sometimes candied. The candy part is probably not so great, considering they're usually brightly colored, which means they are chockfull of food dyes, but they make them tastier.  Grab a very small teaspoon of these little seeds and chew on them after a meal. IMPORTANT NOTE. Do not eat these by the handful, like candy. My sister ate almost a whole bag and became very dehydrated. Just a tiny spoonful is enough to help with digesting your meal.

In case you decide to buy George's Road Runner juice, I get a pittance from Amazon.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Video: Pee Wee Football Team Stands Up For Bullied Kid

From last year, a video that will warm your heart.  We hear so many horror stories about kids these days,  it's wonderful to see that there are plenty of good ones out there still.

Danny Keefe is the cutest kid ever.  He's only six, but ever since his parents bought him a black velvet jacket and tie for Christmas, he started wearing one every day to school, along with a very cool hat. Unfortunately, his penchant for dressing dapper, and his speech disorder (childhood Apraxia), Danny was often the target of bullies, so much so, he no longer wanted to go to school. That is, until his football buddies (he's water coach for the Bridgewater Badgers) decided to come to his defense by wearing suits to school one day.

What Danimal's Army have to say about their friend and bullying is truly inspirational, as is Danny himself.

Danny was a preemie and the medical community did not have much hope for him.  He has proved them wrong.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July, 2014

Happy Birthday America!

Enjoy "America The Beautiful" with some pretty photography.

With all its faults, this country still is one of the best places to live.

God Bless everyone.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Herbs That Can Damage Your Liver

One might think that herbs are a safe alternative to western meds, but some can actually be harmful or toxic to your system. Oftentimes it's simply a misuse of some herbal product that leads to major medical issues, though that's not always the case. If the directions tell you to drink no more than three cups a day of some herbal weight loss tea that doesn't mean you should drink a gallon of it. You wouldn't take more than the prescribed dosage of a prescription drug, so why would you think it okay to do that with an herbal remedy? Granted, some alternatives like homeopathy are pretty safe, but not all herbs are. Do your research before you take an herbal remedy, make sure the manufacturer is trustworthy, and stick to the recommended dosage. 

Today Health has an interesting article on five herbs that in excess can actually damage your liver, and you might be surprised which ones.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology watch out for the following:

“Green tea is widely used. If you drink a few cups a day, it is unlikely you will suffer any adverse reaction." “But the extracts are concentrated formulations.”  The catechins in the tea " can deplete some of the protective molecules in cells such as glutathione that are there to protect us from injury. A high dose of green tea extract can lead in susceptible persons to actually quite severe or even fatal liver injury." 
“We don’t really fully understand the basis for the susceptibility, but it seems likely to be a combination of genetic factors…but also maybe related to their diets, to whether or not they have been drinking alcohol."

Comfrey contains has toxic substances called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that damage the liver, sometimes fatally. Comfrey is no longer sold in the U.S., except in creams or ointments, but even used this way the alkaloids can build up in the body.
Kava kava is made from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum, best known as the basis for a ceremonial drink in Oceania but also sold to treat anxiety and insomnia. It’s been documented to have cause liver damage in as many as 100 people, however, and its use is banned or restricted in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and Britain.  
Skullcap was traditionally used by Native Americans to treat anxiety, stress and insomnia. Chinese skullcap is a different species, but both are suspected of causing liver damage. Skullcap is often used in products containing multiple herbs, so it’s not entirely clear that skullcap is entirely to blame. But it’s something to keep an eye on.
Chaparral, an extract of a shrub known as creosote bush, is used by people believing it can benefit conditions ranging from skin rashes to cancer. The suspected liver-damaging compound is one called NDGA. It’s possible that people with liver injury from the herb are having a type of allergic or immune reaction to it. But it’s been severe enough in some cases to have forced an emergency liver transplant.  
Today health also talks about how you can tell if you are having liver problems. 

The rest here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lennon and Maisy- "That's What's Up"

I think this is a lovely song by two very talented young girls- Lennon and Maisy. The song is "That's What's Up" by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

"Love it is a shelter, love it is a cause, love goes on forever, yeah love will lead us all. Love it is our honour, love it is our all. Love goes on forever, yeah love it is our home."
Remember to tell your loved ones just how much you love them.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

When Love Becomes An Instinct- Video

Here's one of those videos that will bring tears to your eyes, on so many different levels.

Three years ago Melvyn Amrine was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he's forgotten many things, which has been very difficult for his wife Doris. But Doris had this to say: "..even though the mind doesn't remember everything, the heart remembers."

The day before mother's day, Melvyn went missing. He was found by a few Little Rock, Arkansas police officers 2 miles from his home, and he was 'on a mission'.  What happened next will bring tears to your eyes.  Not just what he did, but what one police officer did.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014- NASA promo video

NASA's contribution to Earth Day. We are the stewards of this earth. Please be mindful. Don't litter. Recycle.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Happiness Is A Choice

I was driving in my car today when the popular Pharrell Williams song "Happy" popped on the radio. I couldn't help smiling as I listened to the lyrics of this simple tune.

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

And the thought popped into my head: happiness is a choice. It's like seeing a glass half full or half empty. You might say, well my life is miserable, where can I find the joy in that? But you can.  I remember shooting a video for the charitable organization CARE, International. We flew to Nicaragua and the first location was in a garbage dump.  People were actually living in a garbage dump. They made their homes in primitive shacks, and the adults spent their days looking for salvageable items they could sell. One would think these people would be miserable, they certainly had every right to be, but they were all joyful. Their young ones laughing and playing in the piles of garbage. Sweet and loving, and grateful we were there to help with their plight.

There's a very humorous article "The 14 Habits of Highly Miserable People", which categorizes the ways we self-sabotage, and contribute to a miserable life.  I know people like that.  I choose not to be.

Find the joys in life.
Explore the little things that make you smile.
Count your blessings and be grateful for what you do have.
Watch a funny movie, or anything that makes you laugh.
Listen to uplifting music.
Read a spiritual book.
Surround yourself with happy people.
Refuse to let things get you down.
If a negative thought pops into your head, replace it with something positive.
Help someone who is less fortunate than you.
Dance to some happy music.
Smile. Laugh. Love.

It is a choice.

Pharrell recorded a 24 hour music video of people dancing to "Happy". Check it out, it's fun.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Giving For No Reason - Thai Commercial Shows How It's Done

A lovely Thai insurance company commercial, no less, touts the benefits of giving without expectations of return.  Giving because it feels good, not because we think we will benefit from that giving.  Inevitably we do, though. By giving and selflessly helping others, we actually enrich our own lives.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Duncan The Two-Legged Dog's Romp At The Beach Goes Viral

I love inspirational videos, but they're not always the humankind. This one has gone viral, but in case you missed it, it has to do with Duncan Lou Who, the carefree two-legged boxer pup who lets nothing get in his way.

World famous and inspirational Duncan Lou Who the two legged boxer puppy goes to the beach for the first time, along with Mane ( who was featured in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and The Shake Book ) , Rou, Ducky and Miso. Duncan was born with severely deformed rear legs that had to be removed. He has a wheel chair, but can't stand to use it. So we let him be free and just walk on his two legs. There is some slow motion in this video, but NONE of the video has been sped up, this gives you an idea of how fast Duncan really it. All footage taken with a GoPro Hero 3.
He's up for adoption, it seems.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus The Natural Way

If your toenails are yucky and discolored, odds are you have toenail fungus.  If you're a woman and you wear bright colored nail polish make sure, first, it isn't the polish that's discoloring the toenails. I used to paint my toenails a bright red color and found that when I removed the polish my nails were a yellowish color, particularly my big toe. Since I switched to a lighter nail varnish, and now use a clear polish as a base coat, my toenails are back to normal. However, it did take a very long time for that to happen.

If you've been diagnosed with nail fungus, doctors will prescribe a topical or oral medication to get rid of it. However, it can take up to a year or more to cure the fungus, and even then it doesn't always work.

If you're like me, I'd rather try a natural remedy before I put chemicals into or onto my body, especially if the end result is zippo difference. Thankfully, there are a bunch of home remedies that some people swear by, but those too can take a long time.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: In tablet form- take 2 per day, and apply ACV directly to the effected toes until it's gone.

CEYLON CINNAMON LEAF OIL:   Soak or spray your feet with a mixture of Cinnamon oil and water.  1-2% diluted ratio of oil to water. According to one person this worked within a month. They also recommend drinking tea made with cinnamon stick or cinnamon black tea. Drink a cup every day for 1 to 3 months, this apparently helps get rid of Candida, which can also be a cause of toenail fungus.

LISTERINE:  Soak with Listerine or apply with a cotton swab every day.

TEA TREE OIL:  With a cotton ball apply to the toe morning and night.

VICKS VAPO RUB: Rub it on your toenails every day.  Okay, so this isn't that natural, but it's cheap (as are all these remedies compared to the Western medications for fungus) and it worked for my sister. It took my sister a year before it finally was gone, but others have had it disappear within several weeks. I think the length of time depends on how quickly your toenails grow and whether you continue to use nail polish. Some people believe there might be a connection between nail polish and toe fungus with women.

WHITE MALT VINEGAR:  Use as a foot soak. In a small basin combine vinegar with water soak feet every day for about 30 minutes.

And some people use a combination of some of the above mentioned remedies.

LISTERINE/VINEGAR/SALT/VICKS:  Mix 1/4 cup Listerine, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup warm water and some salt. Soak foot for about 30 minutes every night, then apply Vicks to toenails.

LISTERINE/VINEGAR/TEA TREE OIL: Another person mixed half vinegar and half Listerine and applied this to the toenails every evening. In the morning, after showering, they would apply a drop of tea tree oil on the effected nails

For anything greasy like tea tree oil, or gunky like Vicks, most people apply at night and then use clean socks to prevent staining sheets.

I have read about some other more unorthodox treatments like applying Clorox Bleach, but I'd be very wary of using such a harsh product like that.

They are also working on treating nail fungus with laser light therapy, but it's relatively new and still in the process of clinical studies.

Bottom line, you have to have patience and be very diligent, but most people have been able to rid themselves of the nasty toe fungus with one or more of the above.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Subway Uses Dangerous Chemical In Its Bread

I used to love Subway sandwiches. Easiest, healthiest, quickest meal I could get in a pinch. At least so I thought.  But I just read an article claiming that in the United States Subway sandwiches use the following chemical in their bread: azodicarbonamide. That's the exact same chemical that manufacturers use to make the rubber soles for our shoes, yoga mats, etc. The same chemical that has been banned in Europe and Australia because it is known to cause asthma, allergies, other respiratory problems, and is also potentially carcinogenic. Singapore will levy a $450,000 fine, and jail you for 15 years if found using the chemical. In fact, the U.S. is the only country that allows Subway to use azodicarbonamide in its bread.

Not cool!

Thanks to Vani Hari of the blog, Subway says it plans on removing the chemical.  Of course they say they had it in the pipeline prior to Hari's petition hitting the Internet, but that seems doubtful.

Sign Hari's petition to get them to remove that chemical. And tell them what you think on their Facebook Page.

Shameful that they tout their food as healthy! Bye-bye Subway, at least for now.

Source: Buzz Feed