Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Are You Thinking Yourself Sick?

Hopefully, if you are ill you will read this blogpost with an open mind. Lots of ill folks aren't ready to hear what I'm going to say and yes, I will most certainly make a percentage of these folks mad. However, for the people who are ready to hear what I'm going to say this is going to make a huge difference in their life. If I reach even just one person it's worth the rest of you getting mad at me.

Why do people settle for less than a happy and healthy life? Certainly, we would all say we desire to be happy and healthy. But are we all programmed with a mindset which allows us to live happy healthy lives. Obviously not.

As a holistic health coach I keep bumping into a wall. Many people say they want to be well but won't take the actions needed to improve their health. It perplexes me and I'll tell you why. In my own life I got very sick, in fact, my illness and subsequent remission is the reason I went back and earned a Masters in Holistic Nutrition. In my illness I followed my physicians recommendations (and I had an army of docs) but when I heard to many "I don't knows" and was on the verge of being forced to go on disability, I looked outside of my physicians for the answers to getting my life back. I wanted my life back and wasn't going to let the disease run my life. Nor do I believe God (the Universe,Higher Power etc) gives us sickness or intends for anyone to live a life of sickness.

What I have had a hard time understanding (till now) is why some people when diagnosed with a chronic illness will take a hard look at their lifestyle and make healthy changes or when their medical treatment isn't creating a hopeful result go seek answers on their own to get well and take the actions they need to to do so (like I did) while others don't. Most settle for their doctors answers (or lack thereof) and in many cases allow their disease to rule their lives.

I've worked in hospital healthcare for almost 30 years. Thru the years I have seen countless people with a variety of disorders; COPD, Diabetes, Arthritis, Cardiac disease, come in and out of the hospital over and over. I've seen more times than I want to think about; the sad, steady deterioration of these people as they go in and out of the hospital over a period of years. There are some common denominators with this group of people. The vast majority do nothing (or next to nothing) on their own to enhance their health. The overwhelming majority of these people did not live the healthiest of lifestyles before they got sick and did not change their diet to one nutritionally healthier with more physical activity after they got sick. They have spent a lifetime eating mostly processed foods,fast foods and junkfood snacks. They depend on their prescribed medications to regulate their disease (though I would be remiss if I didn't point out some don't even take their meds as prescribed). And when a new problem pops up they go back to their doctor for another medication. I've seen people with a list of 22 medications, who have NOT changed their nutrition or added exercise to their lifestyle.

In thinking about this I realized these people are no different from folks who work at a job their whole life which doesn't particularly give them much satisfaction. I won't address that topic here see this blogpost for that discussion How Are YOU Programmed?" But I will say people stay in situations because they believe they can't change them to something better. In my thinking I also realized the answer to my personal question; "Why did I get my life back from my illness?" I'll answer this in a minute.

Why do people settle for struggling with an illness?

The answer is simple. People settle for struggling with an illness because they believe they can't get well. Why did I get my life back from my illness? In their notes my doctors referred to me as "steroid dependent" and "unfortunate". My doctors basically told me I couldn't get well; that I would never get off of steroids and was doomed to live the painful life I was living. I refused to BELIEVE that.

If you truly believe you can't get well you aren't going to take the actions needed to get well. I'll go one step farther; your body and mind talk to each other; if you don't believe you can be well nothing you do will get you to a place of wellness. I didn't buy into my doctors negativity, therefore I was able and motivated to look outside of them for answers. I was fortunate to have people in my life who reinforced the belief I could be healthy and who alerted me to the body/mind connection and the power of nutrition.

Let's back up for a minute, how are you programmed to get sick to begin with?

Well, how much tv do you watch? News shows are filled with negativity. Many television shows and movies have negative story lines. Negativity affects you. Additionally, television commercials are designed to brainwash you to a certain way of thinking and to take certain actions. What do you commonly hear in television commercials? Eat this processed food, drink this soda, take this drug, eat this snack, slather on this skin cream, etc. Television commercials reinforce unhealthy habits. How many commercials are you inundated with during an evening of television? How many of those foods, drinks, snacks and skin creams do you use?

Seemingly insignificant remarks made to you in childhood by your parents and teachers may have reinforced a belief you "weren't strong". Children internalize the comments they hear. A comment that a child is "not strong" creates this belief in the mindset of the child. Children who grow up with a "sickly" mindset become sickly adults. (That was me.) Comments regarding a childs "sickliness" start a negative "I'm sickly" pattern of thinking in the childs thoughts. Thoughts repeated over and over become beliefs and finally manifest in your life.

Many people work so hard at their career health is put on the back burner. They are programmed with core beliefs about working hard which put them at risk of neglecting and thus, harming their health. (That was me too.) Balance in life is imperative to have a healthy body/mind.

Think about the people with which you spend the most time. Are they positive or negative? Do they uplift you? Hanging with negative people keeps a negative tape going in your thoughts. Negative people enable you to stay sick. Don't hang out with people who don't uplift you. It is hard to cut an old friend out of your life but for the sake of your health this may be what you need to do.

How do you begin to change your sickness situation?

1. If you have a negative doctor find a positive doctor. Do not allow a doctor to attach negative labels to you. Also understand your doctor is one person. One person can only have a limited view of the options open to you. Research your options. Keep your doctor apprised of what you learn and/or do to improve your situation. In the sixteen years my disorder was active not one of my physicians asked about or made any suggestions about my nutritional intake. Nutrition was paramount in my remission.

2. If you belong to a disease support group where the meetings are focused on each member discussing their lousy fate get away from these people. This kind of support group will keep you sick because it is illness-focused. I used to be a support group leader of a group just like this until I realized this was not the way to help people. Disease support groups which focus on the negatives happening in the participants lives enable the continuance of a victimhood thought pattern. Wellness is not created by focusing on illness.

3. Change your thoughts. Thoughts affect your beliefs. Beliefs affect your health. When a negative thought enters your mind replace it with a positive one. Keep an index card with you with positive health affirmations written on it. Review these affirmations often during the day.

4. Do something nice for someone else every day. Don't be focused just on yourself and your illness. What you give out comes back to you.

5. It is of paramount importance to give yourself whole foods. Unlike processed foods whole foods have the enzymes, vitamins, minerals your body needs to fight disease. Banish artificial sweeteners, processed foods (and their accompanying chemicals) and sugar from your life.

6. Socialize with positive people who uplift you. Cut negative folks out of your life. Get your health back. When you are stronger you may or may not decide to see those folks on a limited basis. (If you must have them in your life.) Who knows? Maybe your positive modeling will encourage them to change.

7. Concentrate on the positive. Start a gratitude journal. Each morning or nite write about what you are grateful about. Write about the good things in your life. You might also keep a log of the healthy whole foods you ate and your feelings about them.

People settle for the bad things in life because they don't believe they can change them. But many bad things start inside of you in your mind. You have thousands upon thousands of thoughts every day. If you tell yourself in your thoughts over and over that you are sick; you aren't giving yourself the possibility of being well. Your thoughts create beliefs. Give yourself permission to take the actions needed to rebuild your health. Give your body the chance to fight to get well. Make your thoughts positive. Determine to manifest a healthy happy life.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Supplements, Healthstyle and Change

Are supplements worth the money you pay for them?

A recent study,the Health Impact Study IV, commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance showed that:

In a five yr period, if all Americans who are enrolled in Medicare took calcium with vitamin D daily, it could result in 776,000 fewer hospitalizations for hip fractures. If everyone over the age of of 65 took 1800 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids daily, coronary heart disease would be reduced so that 374,000 hospitalizations would be avoided. If people with age-related macular degeneration took 6-10mg lutein with zeaxanthin daily 191000 sufferers could avoid needing skilled help at home or moving into nursing homes.

These are only a few of the supplements available to you. As you can see they do help. It is important to remember, however, supplements do not make-up for your nutritional sins. Their purpose is to SUPPLEMENT your nutrition. Note that in 2002 the Journal of the American Medical Association recommended everyone supplement their diet with a quality multi-nutrition product.

The body runs on vitamins and minerals. Give your body the "tools" it needs and amazing things happen.

Nutrition and supplements, supporting my immune system gave me back my life. Very few of us, me included, live a perfectly healthy life. Regularly look at your healthstyle and discern what you can do better. Do you eat to much food which is processed, manufactured, or fast foods? I've had clients who didn't think they did until I had them keep a journal. You might try keeping a journal for a while.

And it's not just nutrition which you should be aware of; how stressed are you? Do you schedule time to wind down? Do you get enough exercise?

A study in Psychological Science (2008), "The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature" showed the benefits of relaxation. It showed walking in a nature environment was more recuperative than taking a walk in a city environment. Nature is restorative, relaxing, allows our brains to not be as active, whereas city sights and sounds require attention and keeps our brain working. So when you can take a walk in a park! Get back to nature. Visit a zoo.

Very few, in fact only 8% of American adults, engage in all five major behaviors promoting health:

1. Maintaining a healthy weight
2. Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily
3. Exercising at least 12 times a month
4. Drinking alcohol only in moderation
5. Not smoking

Where do you need to focus?

What can you do better?
Add a salad everyday.
Schedule exercise time.
Get a personal trainer?
Add a couple fruits a day.
Get adequate rest.

Make one change at a time.

You can do it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Vitamin Depletion?

Are you aware most OTC and prescription drugs deplete/disable nutrients you need?

For instance:
Aspirin - inhibits the body's ability to absorb vitamin C. It also can reduce the levels of iron and folic acid.
Acid blockers - reduce levels of iron and zinc
Contraceptives - deplete the body of vitamins B6, B12, zinc and magnesium

You can view a prescription drug depletion chart here:

In June 2002 the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recommended everyone supplement their diet with a quality multi-nutrition supplement.

There were a few reasons for this:
1. Thanks to modern agriculture the vitamins/minerals in our produce is diminished
5-40% from what it used to be. This means you can't eat enough veggies/fruits to get the vitamins/minerals your body needs.
2. The degree of processed foods people are eating. Unfortunately 65% of the average Americans daily diet is comes from nutrient-poor processed foods.

One must definitely incorporate more whole foods and a quality multi-nutrition supplement to their daily nutrition. You might consider supplementing with VitaOne http://tinyurl.com/kuj58a

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Minivans and Lunchables: A Culture in Crisis

As many of you know I had a long battle with Lupus and am now in remission. Along my road to wellness I discovered the power of nutrition and the lack of nutrition in the standard american diet (S.A.D.). What I learned fueled my reasons for heading back to school to earn my Masters in Holistic Nutrition.

Let's look at it in a historical perspective .... we used to eat whole foods. We grew them in our gardens, bought them at the local market, prepared them in our kitchens.

Then the Industrial Revolution happened.... modern farming practices were introduced, the food industry changed...... produce was trucked from one area to another. In order to get produce from one area to another without going bad it was picked green thus leaving it nutrient poor. Eventually moms went to work outside the home. The era of minivans and lunchables was launched. Industry was all to happy to provide easy, convenient meals for mom to fix. I remember my own mothers gleeful buying of tv dinners. Read the ingredients list of those easy, convenient meals and you will find a laundry list of chemicals. Chemicals your body was not designed to assimilate. As industry grew so did the list of chronic illnesses and obesity. The worst thing industry did (in my humble opinion) is market frankenfoods to children. There's a place in hell reserved for those who market frankenfoods to children.

Today we have a cultural nutrition nightmare.

Families need real mealtimes and real food. Whole foods. Fresh veggies and fruits. What you and your children eat today impacts your/their future health.

The body runs on real nutrients. Nutrients you aren't getting if your diet is predominantly processed, manufactured or fast food. Every cell in the body is made from the nutrients you give it.

In 2002, it was recommended in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Assoc) everyone supplement their diet with a quality multi-nutrition product. The USDA food pyramid was changed to include more servings. Why? Because our produce contains 5-40% less minerals and vitamins than it used to. We can't eat enough to get the vitamins and minerals we need. The problem is magnified with the fact that many, if not most of us to begin with don't always eat the healthiest .

Consider that 85% of all disease can be directly attributed to lifestyle. 70% of all cancer can be PREVENTED thru good nutrition. 95% of office visits are due to symptoms arising from stress. Kids are showing up with Type 2 diabetes and obesity. The number one killer of kids is cancer. Chronic diseases are skyrocketing.

We MUST change.

We need to stop the insane busy-ness which feeds into our need for easy, convenient "foods". As a culture we need to set aside time for family connectedness and mealtimes of real food. True nutrition. Not a run thru a fast food place. Not microwaved processed food eaten in front of the tv. We need to sit down as family. Connect with each other and eat real food. Whole foods. Fresh veggies and fruits. Our lives depend on it.

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Healthy Hope and Change

Hope and change. We were promised hope and change. And yes, our healthcare system needs some hope and change. I think we all agree on the basics. We know what we want the end-product to look like. It's the "how to" which trips us up. We have world-class healthcare here in the great United States of America. That is why people from other countries (with universal care systems) come here for care.

Free market systems encourage innovation and our country leads in development of new technologies and treatments. We must not make thoughtless changes which stymie innovation. It would not only hurt our people, but people the world over.

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

As I read the various proposals for healthcare changes, seems to me folks are suggesting planting some very bad seeds. My heart sank as I read. The lack of reverence for life I see in these proposals is appalling. Every life is precious. One is not more precious than the other. Every life has a purpose. And every life is important to the world. It is a profound loss to the world to not value our elderly. Their wisdom is the worlds salvation. It makes me cry when I wonder how many scientists, poets, leaders and thinkers have been aborted. What a loss to the world.

Yes currently end of life care is costing us greatly. But why are we talking about mandated end of life discussions? Why are we planning lessening care? We should be stressing encouragement of healthy healthstyles! Providing nutrition education! Why aren't we talking about exercise? Why not provide exercise classes (not just for the elderly) for everyone? Exercise should be a lifelong daily activity. Why not stress the importance of exercise in schools? Mandate an hour of exercise every school day. And why do we allow processed foods with unhealthy ingredients to be marketed to our children?

As a 30 yr healthcare professional I have seen the difference between a 65 yr old who did not lead an active healthy healthstyle life and one who did. I've seen 90 yr olds spryer than folks in their 50's. Their spryness and bright mental acuity was due to their healthstyle and remarkable positive outlook on life. When exercise and good nutrition are lifelong partners ills are prevented. As a country our healthcare costs are greatly impacted by the healthstyle of our people. It's time to change the standard american diet and lifestyle.

As I read the various proposals for healthcare changes it occurred to me most want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We do not need to overturn our whole healthcare system in order to "fix" healthcare. Nor should we do anything which would lessen the quality of care. As a 30 yr health professional thats what I see in these proposals; a lessening of quality of care. Nor should there be pork and payoffs in the healthcare proposals. The betterment of healthcare should only be about healthcare. Time to overhaul congress way of doing things. We need politicians with backbones and honest values. I'm anxious to see who steps up to the plate.

Let's fix the problems with with the systems we have. Price gouging needs to stop. Stop the unfairness regarding pre-existing disorders. Put the decisions fully back into the hands of physicians. Reform liability laws. Put a cap on lawyers fees. Put a stop to frivolous lawsuits. And go after the fraud in the medicare system. Nor should the tax dollars of our people be used to reward those who enter our country illegally.

Let's fix what's wrong with what we have. Not enact a monstrosity which would create more government. We can provide healthcare to our people without doing that. Let's remember the tenets upon which America was founded and hold true to them while providing the best healthcare in the world.

But remember always healthcare starts with YOU. The government is not going to make you healthier. Not even your doctor can do that. YOUR healthstyle determines your quality of health. Take responsibility for it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Observations From a Wheelchair

Wow! For various reasons I won't go into I recently had occasion to spend some time in a wheelchair. Life is interesting from chair view.

Once I put my feelings about being in the wheelchair aside.... I observed some things. Lots of folks aren't happy. I've never seen so many scowls and wrinkled foreheads. Not to mention lots of folks are inconsiderate. And most everyone is stressed. Hey, I was at SeaWorld ... shouldn't be a place for scowls, frowns and wrinkled foreheads. Where were the smiles I should have seen at a fun place? Are folks so stressed they can't even relax when they are supposed to be having fun?

Do you realize that 90% of doctors office visits are related to symptoms arising from stress?

What does that tell you? It tells me maybe a lot of people need to make some changes in their lives. Do YOU? We all need to from time to time get off the merry-go-round and take stock of our life. IF we aren't happy and healthy we need to make changes.

Are you passionate about what you do for a living? Or is it just a job?
Do you get enough sleep?
Do you schedule fun? Yeah I said SCHEDULE. Stop being a work-aholic!
Do you give your body the nutrients it needs?
Do you put up with tolerations?
Are the people closest to you positive? Do they support your endeavors?
What is YOUR mental outlook? Are you positive? or do you engage in negative self-talk?

Answer those questions honestly. Your life depends on it.


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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Processed Danger

I have time and time again told folks the healthiest, most nutritious food is located around the perimeter of the grocery store. But I haven't talked much about the interior of the grocery store. What do you find in the interior aisles? Processed frankenfoods loaded with additives. "Foods" loaded with neurotoxins.

What are neurotoxins? A substance that causes damage to nerves or nerve tissue. What neurotoxins may you find in processed foods? Here's a whopper list of neurotoxic food additives:

autolyzed anything
barley malt
beef base
beef flavoring
beef stock
broth of any kind
calcium caseinate
chicken base
chicken broth
chicken flavoring
chicken stock
disodium anything
dough conditioner
gelatinized anything
gaur gum
hydrolyzed anything
kombu extract
malt anything
malted anything
milk solids
monosodium glutamate
natural flavor
pork base
pork flavoring
protein concentrate
protein extract
seasoned salt
smoke flavoring
sodium caseinate
solids of any kind
soup base
soy extract
soy protein anything
soy sauce
textured protein
textured vegetable protein
vegetable gum
whey anything
yeast extract

This list is from http://tinyurl.com/o8bqu9 (a terrific article)
For more info google "neurotoxins food".

What can you do? Become an ingredients reader! Note that many of the foods marketed to YOUR CHILDREN contain neurotoxic additives.

Better yet eat whole foods and know that you are giving yourself the best in nutrition. Remember the food/drink you imbibe/eat is what your body uses to make cells. Your health starts at the cell level. If your body has less than healthy ingredients to make new cells it's going to make cells which are not healthy. This is where disease starts.

Healthy cells = healthy organs = healthy systems = healthy body

Want to clean-up your healthstyle? Subscribe to the "8 Weeks to a Healthier Lifestyle" E-Course at http://optimizetoheal.com

Monday, May 11, 2009

Belief and Survival

There was a time in my journey with Lupus (from which I am in remission) when one of my physicians referred to me as "unfortunate" and "steroid-dependent". There was a time when my cardiologist didn't think I should ever come of the heart drug he had put me on to manage paroxysmal tachycardia. At one time I needed three inhalers around the clock.

Today I am off all pharmaceuticals except for an inhaler I use maybe once or twice a year if one of my asthma triggers sneaks up on me. I'm not "unfortunate" or "steroid-dependent" but I would have continued to be had I only listened my physicians.

Interestingly in the sixteen years my lupus was active and I was struggling to stay off disability; not even one of my physicians ever inquired about my nutrition.

Why am I in remission? Why do I have my life back? How come today I lead a normal life and indeed workout four times a week? (I was exercise intolerant during the time my lupus was active).

It wasn't just that I met an RN who introduced me to nutrition and supplements. Yes, it's important to give your body the nutrients it needs so the immune system has the "tools" to work like it's designed too. Doing that certainly played a part in my regaining my life.

But it's also cos I refused to buy into my physicians negativity. They aren't gods and they don't have crystal balls to see into the future. I believed I could be well again.

A big part of the reason I am in remission is because I believed I could be.

Over the years I've met many people with Lupus. So many have bought into their disease. They become their disease. As they listen to the negativity of western medicine the option to get well disappears. They don't believe they can get well.

This scenario is played out in every major chronic illness.

I will suggest this to you. Believe you can get well. Give your body a chance to get well by giving it optimal nutrition and with your doctors permission exercise. You may be so sick you can't do much exercise. I myself was exercise intolerant when my Lupus was active. Do what you can. Don't push. There are exercise CD's with chair exercises. You might try those.

Just Believe. The only unfortunate people are the ones who accept the label.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Salad - A Quick Complete Meal

I hear from my clients over and over one of their biggest obstacles to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is the nutrition part. What do you eat? Folks who have partaken of the standard american diet their whole lives are not equipped to eat healthy. So my mission is to give them the "tools" to change their eating healthstyle.

Let's start with salads because usually my first advice to someone transitioning to a healthier healthstyle (after advising the addition of a quality multi-nutrition supplement) is to add a salad everyday. Why? Because a salad can be a complete meal! It's easy, quick and nutritious.

Let's start with the salad dressing. The dressing is where lots of people go wrong! Opt for a dressing without preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, or chemicals like "stabilizers," or "emulsifiers." Read the ingredients before you buy any commercial salad dressing! Choose for health! I like several versions of Annie's salad dressings. Also, you can use fresh-squeezed orange juice or lemon juice as a dressing. Olive oil and vinegar makes a good dressing for your salad. You can even get vinegars which are flavored! Try Honey-Mustard dressing: mix together a little honey and your favorite mustard and a dash of your favorite balsamic vinegar. Or make a cucumber dressing: Blend in your blender 1 1/2 cups nonfat cottage cheese 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped , 1 cucumber, chopped with or without skin, a dash of Salt and pepper to taste.

The Salad

Greens - I steer clear of iceberg lettuce for more nutrient-dense leafy veggies. Try field greens, a little kale, baby spinach, escarole, romaine. Stick with the darker lettuces which offer more vitamins and phytochemicals. Though cabbage isn't green, it's a good choice!

Vegetables - Think colorful! Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, green beans, snap peas, carrots, radishes, avocado, bell pepper, beets and cucumber. When possible use organic veggies! There are studies which conclude organic foods contain about one-third higher amount of antioxidants than non-organically grown veggies.

Fruit - Raisins, apple slices, blueberries, orange slices, raspberries, blackberries give a salad some zip! Fruit also adds an explosion of health-enriching antioxidants to your salad!

Protein - Your salad can be a complete meal by adding a form of protein to it. Turkey, chicken, tuna, tofu, nuts, cheese, beans and/or eggs. Go easy on the cheese!

Grains - You can add a little bit of pasta to your salad. Stick with the whole wheat or multi-grain variety of pastas.

Here's a great recipe from Dr Ben Kim (drbenkim.com):

Sweet Potato and Lentil Salad Recipe
Makes about 8 small portions
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into half-inch pieces 2 cups green lentils, rinsed and drained 1 yellow onion, finely chopped 2 large carrots, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely minced Extra-virgin olive oil Sea salt and pepper 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (optional) Small handful torn parsley leaves (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. Give the sweet potatoes a good stir about halfway through.
3. While sweet potatoes are roasting, use a large pot to cook onions, carrots, garlic, and oregano in olive oil over medium heat. Stir frequently and cook for about 10 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly tender. Season with black pepper.
4. Add green lentils and four cups of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, then set heat to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are nice and tender.
5. Allow lentils to cool to room temperature. Gently fold lentils and other vegetables in with roasted sweet potatoes.
6. Give sweet potatoes and lentils a good drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and parsley, and enjoy.

Try this healthy and filling salad with a crisp green salad and a slice of a crusty baguette.
Many thanks to Gwyneth Paltrow for sharing this recipe. Be sure to check out her newsletter at Goop.com.

Bon Appetit!

As you transition to a healthier healthstyle I would strongly suggest (as recommended in the 2002June issue of JAMA) you supplement your nutrition with a quality multi-nutrition product. Consider VitaOne -Super Nutrition Made Easy

Here's what one of my clients says about VitaOne:
"I have to admit VitaOne is the best vitamins I have ever taken. I have fibromyalgia and possible lupus. These vitamins have helped me so much to feel better. I have more energy, and now can run after my 1-year-old Grandson. I could tell a difference after only one week of taking them. I HIGHLY recommend these brand of vitamins!! Eat healthy, exercise, and take your VitaOne's and you'll be amazed at the difference you'll see. I have even lost 42 lbs, and I contribute part of that to the VitaOne's cause of the increased energy, I coud move again, and get in exercise. Thanks Pam for telling me about these. I think I've been taking these 7 months now...don't remember lol....but so glad I started them :)"

To Your Health!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Forget The Scale

Obsessing over your scale is probably the worst thing you can do.

In the big scheme of things it's not about weight.
It's about health.

Eat for health.
Move your muscles.
Manage stress.

There are hundreds of "diet" books with so-called "secrets" to losing weight. There are a lot of ways to lose weight... which don't enhance your health. But if you aim for health.... you get the best of both...

Make healthy eating a fact of life.
Aim for health and the rest follows.

I like the Shrink It Weight Loss System because it encourages a sane healthy eating regimen, exercise and supplementation. Since our produce has been found to have 5-40% less vitamins and minerals supplementation is a must.
Shrink It supports GOOD HEALTH HABITS.

I offer free health coaching (30 min via phone per wk and unlimited email contact) to anyone who purchases the shrink it system.

Small Changes Big Benefits

What with the continual onslaught of food industry advertising of processed foods... convenience foods,... drive up windows at fast food places (for the latest greatest upsized combo) etc. No wonder we have an obesity epidemic. And no wonder our medical system is in the shape it is in.

Many people have literally grown up with "THAT" kind of advertising inundating them and that kind of eating being a natural, "normal" type of eating for them which isn't healthy at all. Walk down the cereal aisle and see what kids are being inundated with today. It's horrendous. Kids are now turning up with Type 2 diabetes which is an adult disease... and the number one killer of kids is now cancer. Look at what they are eating!

Every time we turn on the tv we are lied to about the "healthiness" of processed foods. For folks who have grown up with this inundation to move to a healthier way of living is a huge shift in thinking and doing.

But we must do a paradigm shift in thinking. Well first we have to START THINKING and stop allowing the advertising agencies to program our buying habits and appetites.

First, understand that eating processed food is NOT normal. We've been conditioned to eat processed foods. They are nutrient-poor. We must get back to eating whole foods.

Once had a client , a young mother of three, say to me "But Pam how do you not eat processed foods they are all around you?" ...... Well, it would be easy if we could all have a veg chef move in with us ... I've wished for that myself.

You have to remember two things:

1. It's a choice - what you eat becomes a part of your body. What you eat determines a lot not just about your health now but also in the future.Think heart disease,diabetes, cancer, arthritis, etc. Those are largely preventable!

Dr Dean Ornish did a study which showed that what you eat can turn on or keep from turning on the bad genes in your body. It showed we have an amazing amount of control over our health that most of us aren't taking advantage of. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/dean_ornish_says_your_genes_are_not_your_fate.html

You can choose what is good for you and the more you do so the more of a habit it becomes. You don't have to deprive yourself. Just make better choices and use portion control. (Not to forget exercise!)

Lots of people have problems with the exercise... I tell them (after they get the ok from their doctor to start an exercise program) to start out with 10 minutes in the morning. Give yourself, your future health, your stress level.... just 10 minutes in the morning. No 10 minutes isn't enough but it's a start. You have to start somewhere.

What can you do in those 10 minutes? You can work out with free weights or a Leslie Sansone walking dvd, get on your elliptical or treadmill, etc. There's a lot of things you can do with that 10 minutes. But, of course, check with your physician first to make sure there's no reason to not start an exercise program... especially if you've been sedentary for a long time.

I guarantee when that 10 minutes becomes a habit..... you'll be seeing and feeling the results and want to do more than 10 minutes.

2.The healthiest foods are located around the perimeter of your grocery store (i.e. whole foods). Another way to look at this is if its in a box or a can or you need a chemistry book to understand the ingredients then you don't want to eat it. You really don't hardly need to step into the center of the store. This revelation I know takes the biggest paradigm shift in thought and do. Most people need to learn how to plan their meals and cook much differently. I have found it's easiest to gradually add the "whole foods" mindset a little at a time. Jumping in with both feet is a sure disaster.

Make small changes. Make one good new health habit a week. In a short time you'll feel like a new you!

Would love to support you in your transition to a healthier healthstyle! Subscribe to Empowering Wellness newsletter at http://optimizetoheal.com the free ebook will help you get started!

Eat For Health

This is what I tell my clients..... Look at it this way .... if you love your life, (you DO don't you?) ....... you will want to take care of your body. If you were diagnosed with a life threatening disease you would change your unhealthy eating habits .... you might even exercise more (if you could) ... but you wouldn't be doing those things because of what the scale said or how you feel about how you look. You'd be doing those things because you love your life and didn't want it cut short.

Why wait till you get sick? And as you answer that question keep in mind the most dangerous answer is "it won't happen to me". Health is not something you can be lackadaisical about. There's a time factor. You may be seemingly healthy now...... but unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise will catch up with you....

Instead of waiting and REACTING to illness:
Why not do all you can now to support your immune system and optimal wellness?
Why not do all you can now to PREVENT illness?
Why not adopt a healthy life routine and healthy eating habits now?

Doing anything less is playing russian roulette with your life. It honestly is. And if you follow a healthy life routine with attention to MOVING and eat a healthy diet based on whole foods .... you will lose weight without obsessing over what your scale says.

If you’re not feeling and looking your best, well, let me say..... you are better than that. It’s time to be relentlessly who you really are! Get some gumption ... enough is enough ..... no more excuses .... fight fat right back!Force your fat to sweat.... build muscle. Get ENERGIZED.

Freedom blossoms as fat dissipates and your true physique emerges! It's empowering when people start to notice.... empowering when you get complimented... empowering when you notice you have the energy you used to have! Your self esteem will be boosted off the map when you have to buy smaller, better fitting clothes, even a new bathing suit. You'll find health is the new wealth!! The real you is empowered to be the best you..

MY TOP TIPS.......

READ labels....banish artificial sweeteners from your life.
READ labels ... banish high fructose corn syrup from your life.
READ labels.... know that MSG is hidden behind ingredient terms such as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed soy protein,citric acid,Calcium caseinate,Sodium caseinate,Gelatin. Those who eat more monosodium glutamate weigh more.

See study: http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v16/n8/full/oby2008274a.html

Eat a percentage of your food raw... your body needs the enzymes. Drink water. MOVE!!!!! Your muscles were meant to be used..... using your muscles helps your body to work right. And last but not least muscle burns more calories than fat.

Consider the Shrink It Weight Loss System. It encourages healthy eating, exercise and supplementation. The June 2002 issue of JAMA recommended supplementation due to variance in peoples eating habits and the decreased nutrients in our produce. Vitamins/minerals in our produce has been found to be 5 -40% decreased.

Lastly, know that health is freedom. Illness lessens your choices in life. Don't take your health for granted. Eat for health!

Fad Diets --- UGH

There are tons of fad diets out there.....
Follow the money... that's what they are about.
You can throw out most of the fad diets/books.

The way to lose/manage weight is to eat for health and get off your couch and MOVE your muscles. Period. There are no magic secrets or easy ways.

Think about this. Do you see any fat animals in the wild?
They eat what God gave them to eat.

Isn't that what you should be doing?

Think NUTRITION. Eat for health. Move your muscles regularly.
And your weight will normalize.

Don't know where to start?

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Weight Problems and Common Sense

I believe folks simply need to use their common sense and follow a common sense nutrition plan. God gave us what we needed. Whole foods. Have you seen any wild animals with a weight problem?

We have an obesity epidemic..... and incidence of chronic disease is climbing. Why? Because we don't eat nutritionally well, our diets are predominantly made up of processed foods and we don't move our muscles enough.

I like the shrink it weight loss system It encourages both healthy eating and exercise. I especially like that it gets folks in the habit of supplementing their nutrition (as was recommended in June 2002 JAMA issue). Its a healthy sane system. (and I'm giving free health coaching support with the purchase of the system).

What did YOU eat yesterday? Any fresh veggies? It astounds me when I go to the grocery store and I see carts piled high with processed foods and not one fresh veggie or fruit in the cart.

Isn't it time you stopped the madness?

Subscribe to Empowering Wellness newsletter at http://optimizetoheal.com Get the free ebook which will help you get started on your transition to a healthier healthstyle.

Why Is Belly Fat So Bad?

Besides the obvious negative asthetics of belly fat; it indicates a real health problem in the making.

There are two types of fat in your abdominal area.... the first is subcutaneous fat. It covers up your abdominal muscles from being visible and lies directly under the skin.

The second type of fat lies deeper beneath your muscles and around your organs. This is called visceral fat and studies have shown it is the more dangerous. It releases more inflammatory molecules into your body on a consistent basis.

Inflammation in your body is the basis for many health problems. However, both kinds of fat contribute to the development of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, and various forms of cancer.

Would love to support you in your transition to a healthier healthstyle. Subscribe to my Empowering Wellness newsletter at http://optimizetoheal.com (and get a free ebook to get you started!)

Diets Don't Work

Have you ever perused the diet book section at your local bookstore?
There you will find a zillion different diets all promising you the same thing.
Which one do you choose?

I say none of them.

I say you already have all you need. You just need to use your common sense.

What's making you fat?

You have an unhealthy diet. You never think about nutrition. Your diet consists mostly of processed foods and you imbibe soda and expensive coffee drinks daily.

And you rarely get off your butt and get any exercise.

I'm sooooo hoping you don't smoke too. UGH.
OR spend a lot of time in an environment filled with second-hand smoke.

Considering that 85% of all disease can be directly attributed to lifestyle don't you think it's time to get your act together. As hard as it is to change bad habits it's still MUCH easier to stay well than to get well. You NEVER want to be in the position of having to try to get well.

So, ready to clean up your healthstyle?
Where oh where do you start?

You start between your ears.
Yes, between your ears.
Your biggest obstacle to transitioning to a healthier healthstyle is what you're telling yourself.

What have you been telling yourself?
Geeze, I hate myself. I'll eat better tomorrow. I'll start exercising tomorrow. I'll never look that good. Be real. You've never heard anyone say: "I look wonderful I think I'll start a diet today."

In transitioning to a healthier healthstyle your first task is to stop talking negatively to yourself. When you have a negative thought replace it with something positive. Always.

Next realize diets don't work.

"Diets" have become in our culture synonymous with a temporary way to eat.
In transitioning to a healthier healthstyle you must resolve to eat healthy and partake in regular exercise for your lifetime. You don't want to be healthier or lose weight on a temporary basis. You want to be healthier and maintain a normal weight for your lifetime. So think of it that way as you exchange your bad habits for good ones.

So how do you transition to eating healthy?

Well, start out in small ways.

Add a salad every day.
Start eating breakfast everyday.
Eat two fruits everyday.
Once a week eat a vegetable you've never eaten.
Three meals a week have a totally veggie meal.
Clean your kitchen pantry out. Dump anything that lists high fructose corn syrup or any kind of artificial sweetener or anything hydrolyzed in the ingredients.

Not an all inclusive list.... but it'll get you started.

Oh yeah and one more thing......

Subscribe to my Empowering Wellness newsletter at http://optimizetoheal.com
Read the free Ebook you get with the subscription .....

To Your Health,

Pam Murphy,M.S.,RRT

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Politics, Profits and Pandemic Fear Mongering

I don't often use my blog for other peoples articles/thoughts. However, the article below by Barbara Loe Fisher is immensely important. What she says about the questionable safety of a "hurried" vaccine is something we all need to consider. Do YOU want to gamble on that? Some of us are old enough to remember the last swine flu debacle.

She's right on the money (no pun intended) ...... wash your hands diligently, eat well THINK NUTRITION, get plenty of rest, manage stress. I would add (because you should be all the time as suggested in the June 2002 Journal of the American Medical Association) take a quality multi-nutrition supplement..... because vitamins/minerals in our produce has decreased 5-40%. Consider VitaOne http://tinyurl.com/dz5vth or Primalux http://tinyurl.com/c72yhg and for the kids http://tinyurl.com/ctouqu Are you getting the recommended servings of veggies/fruits? (i.e. Women 7 Men 9 Children 5). Note a serving is 1/2 cup.

Ok, I'll shut up and let you read the article:

Politics, Profits & Pandemic Fear Mongering
by Barbara Loe Fisher


Are you grabbing your face mask, stocking up on food and Tamiflu, locking your doors and keeping your TV tuned to the news to find out just how bad the "swine flu pandemic" really is going to get? While Americans are being scared to death, few are noticing how much of their tax money politicians are giving to drug companies and government health officials to grease the skids to create more experimental flu vaccines and drugs and more effective ways to quarantine or force their mass use whenever a "public health emergency" is declared in the future.

Call me cynical but not clueless. The bird's eye view I have had for the past 27 years at the National Vaccine Information Center has taught me one thing: the global alliance between Big Pharma and Big Public Health is a prescription for disaster that could extend far beyond a bout with the flu.

The international drama playing out right now before our eyes is an example of how citizens around the world can be easily manipulated by doctors and politicians engaging in fear mongering in the name of disease control to forward agendas that have more to do with ideology, power and corporate profits than health. When the U.S. Director of Homeland Security is the government official doing the talking rather than the U.S. Director of the Centers for Disease Control, put a copy of the U.S. Constitution in your pocket and take a look at federal and state legislation passed since September 11, 2001 to understand which civil rights you don't have anymore when government health officials declare a "public health emergency."

But before we take a look at the threat to civil liberties that pandemic fear mongering poses, let's take a look at how creation of a global human market for influenza vaccines works. It is a blueprint for Successful Marketing 101 (or perhaps it is all just a coincidence).

In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued an international call for all nations to do whatever it takes to increase public appetite and demand for annual influenza shots as the main strategy to prepare for an influenza pandemic. In April 2007, the WHO used money donated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to fund the creation of influenza vaccine manufacturing plants in Mexico and other countries one week after the FDA gave Sanofi Pasteur a license to produce an experimental bird flu (H5N1) vaccine. Sanofi Pasteur is just one of many drug companies the U.S. government has given millions of dollars to for the creation of bird flu vaccines.

On February 19, 2009, the FDA's Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) discussed whether to give approval for the testing of experimental bird flu vaccine on American infants. VRBPAC consumer member, also NVIC's Director of Patient Safety Vicky Debold,PhD, warned that testing of an experimental pandemic bird flu vaccine on infants in the absence of a real epidemic and without assurances that unapproved novel oil based (squalene) adjuvants (AS03, MF59) are safe, could pose unacceptable risks in terms of inducing severe immune dysfunction.

On February 27, 2009 it was confirmed that an influenza vaccine maker, Baxter International, had released a mixture of seasonal influenza viruses mixed with unlabeled live bird flu viruses to facilities in Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Slovenia. Baxter, which is waiting for a license to manufacturer bird flu vaccine, explained it was an "accident" and that no harm was done.

On April 23, 2009, the world heard the first news reports about a mysterious pig (H1N1) and bird (H5N1)and human hybrid influenza virus that was making people sick near a Mexican pig farm. By April 30, the WHO had issued a Phase 5 "Alert" warning that the world was facing an imminent pandemic influenza epidemic on the strength of several hundred cases of "swine" flu and less than 10 confirmed deaths.

The pandemic flu panic that has an especially strong grip on people living in Mexico and the U.S., thanks to the governments of both countries declaring a "public health emergency," has been a good thing for pharmaceutical companies in the pandemic flu business. Wall Street revealed that the pandemic scare sent stock prices soaring for drug companies making anti-viral drugs, rapid flu diagnosis tests and influenza vaccines. Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Novavax, Baxter, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, BioCryst, and Vical are among the drug companies likely to benefit from the world pandemic panic.

In all the chaos that has Americans running to drug stores to buy face masks, closing schools to wipe desks down with rubbing alcohol and avoiding public transportation, there is action being taken behind the scenes by politicians and government health officials to prepare the way for implementation of future quarantine and mass vaccination of citizens with experimental vaccines and drugs that have by- passed normal FDA regulations for demonstrating purity and potency of pharmaceutical products. A "public health emergency" has become an excuse to grease the skids and rush to market experimental drugs and vaccines that are not subject to product liability in the civil courts.

The creation of this pharmaceutical company stockholder dream scenario and simultaneous erosion of civil liberties in the name of disease control began in earnest in 21st century America after the tragic events on September 11, 2001. In a time defined by shock, fear, anger and deep sadness, Congress reacted quickly and passed the Homeland Security Act while CDC officials pulled out model state legislation (Model State Emergency Health Powers Act) that gave sweeping new powers to public health officials to use the militia, if necessary, to quarantine citizens and force them to use experimental drugs and vaccines after the U.S. Secretary of Health declares a "public health emergency."

The stampede in 2001/2002 to re-write long standing public health laws in this country was fueled by reports that terrorists were in possession of weaponized smallpox and anthrax, a fear that was fostered by U.S. government officials and New York Times journalists reporting Iraq had secret stockpiles of weaponized smallpox and anthrax. This myth played a role in public support for the U.S.-Iraq War and persuaded Congress to pass Bioshield and pandemic influenza vaccine legislation that gave billions of dollars to vaccine manufacturers, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to create experimental bioeterrorism and pandemic flu vaccines while protecting drug companies and doctors from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths that will occur.

The mandated, mass use of multiple vaccines has become big business in the last quarter century since the U.S. Congress passed a law in 1986 shielding vaccine makers and doctors from liability for vaccine injuries and deaths and the numbers of vaccines recommended by the federal health officials for American children multiplied from 23 doses of 7 vaccines to 48 doses of 14 vaccines from birth to age six. For older children and adults, there are several dozen more federally recommended or state mandated vaccinations.

All of this liability protection and government vaccine mandating has been a boon for vaccine profit- making and public health agency empire building. In 1986, four drug companies made and sold vaccines in America and, by 2007, after corporate mergers and acquisitions there were six drug company giants making and selling vaccines in the U.S. Today, there are more drug companies seeking to enter the lucrative multi- billion dollar U.S. vaccine market as financial predictions for global profits from the worldwide vaccine business by 2010 have climbed to more than $20B.

A true global influenza pandemic that could take out projected millions of people is something all nations should prepare for using reasonable strategies to ensure the public health and safety. However, it is a matter of legitimate debate as to whether the primary strategy being urged by the WHO, pharmaceutical companies and government health agencies around the world - ramping up production and use of seasonal influenza vaccine and fast tracking the creation and human testing of influenza vaccines using novel but potentially risky adjuvants and cell substrates - is the way to effectively deal with public health or a future influenza pandemic.

Certainly, the loss of the human right to bodily integrity and informed consent to taking pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines that may pose serious health risks is not justified in the name of controlling pandemic influenza or any other infectious disease outbreak. Politicians should not bow to additional pressure from vaccine manufacturers and public health officials to by-pass normal FDA standards in proving safety and efficacy of pandemic flu vaccines and their components for the purpose of rushing them to market in response to the pandemic panic that has been created. The swine flu debacle of 1976 should have taught Congress that lesson.

A rational perspective that reduces pandemic fear and includes common sense advice for staying healthy in every season is being offered by holistic health doctors, such as Joseph Mercola, D.O. and physician Congressman Ron Paul, M.D. The next time you turn on the TV or the radio or search the internet for the latest news on the flu pandemic, take a deep breath and consider all the natural ways to stay healthy and resist influenza or any illness : washing your hands; eating nutritious food; drinking plenty of water; getting enough exercise, rest and sunshine, and lowering stress - which includes not walking around filled with fear, anxiety and dread.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Green Tea and the FDA

Some of the conclusions the FDA reaches just amaze me. Here’s what the “public health protectors” said about green tea and prostate cancer:

"One weak and limited study does not show that drinking green tea reduces the risk of prostate cancer, but another weak and limited study suggests that drinking green tea may reduce this risk." ( http://tinyurl.com/d9mypy )

Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that green tea reduces the risk of prostate cancer.”If indeed these two studies are “weak and limited”, how can the FDA conclude anything from them?

Heaven forbid the FDA might have to pronounce any alternative actually helpful. Perhaps, they missed these studies:

In 2003, an Australian study found that regularly drinking green tea can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by two-thirds. http://tinyurl.com/dndr7k

In 2004, American Association for Cancer Research published the results of a study that concluded that “Green Tea Polyphenols Thwart Prostate Cancer Development at Multiple Levels.” http://tinyurl.com/cctngb

And in 2005 at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the results of a clinical study were announced that showed 90 percent efficacy of green tea in men with pre-malignant prostate lesions. http://tinyurl.com/coh4b3

So when the FDA pronounces something “highly unlikely” to be helpful, perhaps, you better do some research on your own.

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The Answer Between Your Ears

One of the most misleading protocols of conventional medicine is having people pop a pill to "treat" high blood pressure as though it were a disease. When their blood pressure drops they conclude they have solved their problem. Many doctors are happy at this point also. Hmmm blood pressure is high .... pop a pill .... blood pressure comes down ... everybody is happy. If your doctor is happy at this point......RUN! That doctor is into SICKCARE not HEALTHCARE.

Masking a symptom does not address the cause and does NOT create wellness. The blood pressure was not high due to a deficiency of blood pressure medication.

What if the person:
excessively consumes salt? doesn't manage stress well? has a deficiency of magnesium? has a below normal vitamin D level? doesn't drink an adequate amount of water? lives a primarily sedentary lifestyle and is overweight?

Blood pressure medicine doesn't fix any of those situations. Yes, high blood pressure is dangerous and a person may need medication to get them out of a danger zone. But along with medication they should receive instruction in lifestyle changes. Most of the time people are placed on a pharmaceutical and left there.

Now tell me. Does it really make sense to you to take a drug and NOT address the REASON the blood pressure is high?

Pharmaceuticals are not panaceas. They have side effects which can themselves negatively impact your life. We have become spoiled by convenience and convenience is killing us. It would be nice if we could just pop a pill for any ill that shows up. The sales of pharmaceuticals illustrate a large part of our population buys into the myth of "wellness"-by-pharmaceutical". But though they are life-saving in acute situations pharmaceuticals rarely if ever are the whole answer to a chronic problem.

85% of all disease can be directly attributed to lifestyle. Many cases of hypertension can be solved with lifestyle changes. The answer is between your ears. It's being consciously aware of the choices you make. The healthful choice is rarely the convenient one.

Real wellness is created by addressing the cause of the symptom. High blood pressure is NOT a disease, it is a symptom of a deeper problem. It often signifies lax healthstyle habits. Symptoms are the way your body tells you something is wrong. It is your body crying out for something it needs. (Think nutrients, water, exercise!)

Don't be satisfied with popping a pill. Strive in partnership with your physician to make healthful healthstyle changes. You may just find you don't need that pill.

Would love to support you in your transition to a healthy healthstyle! Subscribe to Empowering Wellness Newsletter at http://optimizetoheal.com/ and get a free Ebook to get you started!

Super Nutrition Made Easy!

Life Is Not A Race

Been thinking a lot about my remission from Lupus. It's been six years. I was diagnosed in 1987. It was an amazing thing to get my life back after fighting with lupus for 16 years. I feel blessed and thank God every morning for my remission and second chance at life. Lupus took a lot away from me.....but it also gave me a lot...it gave me a perspective on life I wish I could bottle and gift to people.

For a long time I've been searching for the right words to express what Lupus taught me. Was reading a newsletter I subscribe too and found some words which come close to what I need to express.

"Life is not a race. It’s an experience. It’s a miracle."

We all need to exhale and slow down at least 10%. Don't wait till an illness comes along and forces you to slow down......the anxiety and stress in modern life is not necessary....it's something we do to ourselves by the choices we make.

Consider this. For a time I ran a pulmonary patient education program at the hospital where I work. Every morning the computer system would generate a list for me of folks who were admitted the previous day. Not long after I began receiving the admissions list I noticed something. Most days the vast majority of the admissions were due to health problems that were preventable! Do you realize 85% of diseases are lifestyle-related?

In wellness coaching with folks (especially folks coping with chronic illnesses) I always tell them two things:

1. Don't let western medicine tell you wellness is not an option. Doctors are not gods with crystal balls. There was a time when my life consisted of either being at work or being in bed resting so I could go to work. That was my life. Most days were, quite frankly, miserable. My docs referred to me as "unfortunate" and "steroid dependent". I am neither of those things today. You don't have to be a statistic either.

2. Take responsibility for your health ....Change the things in your life which do not promote health. I can guarantee you this; if you don't get serious about your wellness (and specifically about your nutrition) you will at some time be forced to get serious about your illness. Cos that is what you will be: ill.

All good things take effort. If you are serious about wellness you will change the things in your life you can change to positively affect your wellness. Nope, it's not easy to change your habits. It's not easy to change your diet. It's not easy to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. All good habits take effort and discipline. And yes you need to spend some money on supplements. Even prescription-pushing physicians are realizing the need for supplementation. There has even been an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) regarding the need for supplementation.

I will say this; taking care of yourself does reduce the anxiety in your life. When you are truly taking care of yourself; you make better choices and your priorities change. It's so easy to be sucked up into the whirlwind of busy-ness....but what is really important? You are. What are your priorities?

What stands between your health and possible illness? Your choices.

There is freedom in health. Wellness allows you to partake fully in the miracle called life. Don't take your health for granted. Illness decreases the choices available to you. Be proactive!

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How Will You Feel In 90 Days?

I'm sure you've heard the old adage if you keep doing the same thing you'll keep getting the same results. Unfortunately, most of us aren't listening when it comes to our health.

How many times have you thought to yourself you need to eat better or exercise more? Do you find yourself out of breath after a flight of stairs? Are you tired much of the time? Are you "out of shape"? If you don't change anything in your lifestyle 90 days from now you will feel the same as you do right now ...... or maybe worse.

Do you realize five of the leading ten causes of illness and death (coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and atherosclerosis) are associated with diet ? Not to mention high blood pressure, obesity, dental diseases, osteoporosis, and gastrointestinal diseases are also related to dietary causes. 85% of all disease can be directly attributed to lifestyle. YOU have control over your diet. And what you eat MATTERS!

Everything you eat eventually makes up every cell in your body. I'll say it again.

What you eat matters. Nutrient-poor junk food makes unhealthy cells which may not function correctly. Nutrient-dense food makes healthy cells!

Consider this:

Researchers with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China have discovered a possible link between a diet rich in certain vegetables and a decreased risk for breast cancer. The study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The World Health Organisation feels 70% of ALL cancer could be prevented with nutrition.

The Lewin Group http://www.lewin.com/ has done a study showing sickness and chronic disease can be dramatically reduced by supplementing with nutritional supplements.

In 2002 the AMA in their Journal of the American Medical Association recommended everyone supplement their diet with a multi-nutrition product.

A Harvard study of more than 87,000 female nurses ages 34 to 59 found a 41% reduction in heart disease risk among those who took vitamin E supplements for at least two years.

A study of almost 40,000 male health professionals ages 40 to 75 found a 37% lower risk of heart disease among those who took daily vitamin E supplements of at least 100 IU for more than two years.

A National Institute of Aging study of 11,000 elderly people found those who used vitamins C and E supplements had a 53% reduction in mortality from heart disease and a 42% reduction in death from all causes, compared with non-users.

And most of all consider this:

An important video lecture by Dr Dean Ornish --- very short but very important! ... it's well worth the few minutes. http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/252 This was life-changing research! Surely what Dr Ornish had to say made you do a double take! Poor lifestyle choices can turn on bad genes. By proactively choosing a healthy lifestyle you may keep bad genes from turning on. Wow! it's all about your choices.

Are you aware the Journal of the American Medical Association and the United States Department of Agriculture have admitted that today's produce no longer has enough nutrients to keep us healthy? That's why it's been recommended everyone supplement their diet with a multi-nutrition product.

So what are you going to do? How are you going to feel 90 days from now?

I'm hoping you choose to live your BEST life!

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Check out VitaOne - Super Nutrition Made Easy

Top Of The Food Chain?

It's amazing we are egotistical enough to regard ourselves as top of the food chain...... cos we do the dumbest things.

You know it's true. Just think about it. The only species on this planet who goes out of its way to feed their children nutrient poor junk food is the human species. That is exceedingly dumb. The human body to work in the way it was designed needs nutrients. Children especially need a nutritious diet.

Take a walk down the cereal aisle of any grocery store and you will see brightly colored super heroes and animal mascots jumping out at you from cereal boxes. The cereal aisle is a wonderland for children. Read the fine print of the ingredients on those boxes and you will wish you’d paid attention in chemistry class.

In the meat section you will see a big name brand of boxed lunches made for and advertised to children by the use of cute names and colorful characters on the boxes. Read the ingredient list fine print of these and you will find some have MSG in them, as much as 46g of sugar and high sodium counts. Let’s not talk about the preservatives found in these meals. It gives me a headache thinking about children eating this. Read the ingredients list and again you’ll wish you’d paid attention in chemistry class. Let’s not forget the rows of candy at the checkout most usually placed at the right height for children to peruse.

Nor does the marketing of unhealthy foods stop with the grocery store and television. Fast food restaurants feature play areas, clowns and toys. But nutrition? Not much. Though there is a growing revolt against it; unhealthy foods are even marketed to our children in our schools! Children who aren't allowed soda at home can buy it at school. Nobody needs soda. Why do we allow it in our schools?

And we wonder why we have an epidemic of childhood obesity, diabetes, and ADHD. Do you know what the #1 killer of children is? It's cancer.

Do you think the reason might be found in what we are feeding them?

The overwhelming marketing of poor food choices to our children has resulted in a childhood obesity epidemic. Some children are even exhibiting formerly adult health problems; diabetes, high blood pressure, hormone disorders and skeletal diseases. What are we to do? How can we protect our children? How can we encourage a healthy lifestyle?

Very simply we must model the behavior ourselves in our choices both for our health and theirs.

Would love to support your transition to a healthier healthstyle! Subscribe to the Empowering Wellness Newsletter at http://optimizetoheal.com

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Avoiding The Flu Shot - Staying Well

Oh myyyyy there's a swine flu threat. Quick make a vaccine. HUH? Not so quick. There are a lot of reasons to avoid the flu shot. I worry about folks thinking a flu shot is the end all be all to protection. There is such a push for folks to get flu shots and not near enough talk about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for wellness. There is a lot YOU can do for YOUR HEALTH. And YOU should be doing it!

Flu shots aren't a guarantee of protection. We all remember in 2004 when the flu vaccine didn't cover the prevalent strain. There was also a study published in the Lancet which revealed there was no correlation between the flu shot and reduced risk of pneumonia. Other studies have come to the conclusion the flu vaccine is no more effective than a placebo. Hmmmm, the "experts" don't talk much about that do they?

One of the most important parts of personal responsibility for wellness is to not just follow advice. Let me explain. Some people have what I call the "Lemming Syndrome". If docs say it it must be true and they don't feel the need to find out the facts for themselves. Don't be a Lemming! Get the facts for yourself. It's YOUR LIFE we're talking about here. Who cares the most about YOU? YOU DO.

Have you ever wondered about what is in a flu shot? You really should. Read This and Read This TOO Draw your own conclusions. Note that vaccines contain mercury. In fact, there is 250 times the mercury than what is legally classified as hazardous waste in a multi-dose flu shot. Does it make sense to you to inject that in people? There are antibiotics in vaccines -- to kill off STRAY BACTERIA -- in the cocktail. Don't ya think it's a little scary to know there are stray bacteria in there? Google why those stray bacteria are in there and where they come from. (Well, I'm not gonna do all your research for you.)

Some vaccines contain Polysorbate 80. Look it up on PubMed While your looking things up; look up the connections being made about the combination of mercury, formaldehye and aluminum causing Alzheimer's.

Finally, consider that there is no evidence that flu shots actually work. You can find studies which say just that on Pub Med.

So what do you do?

1. Make sure your body has an adequate level of Vitamin D. (You can test for this in the lab - ask your doc.)Also google "Vitamin D".
2. Cut out sugar! Sugar depresses the immune system.
3. Manage your stress! Stress depresses the immune system.
4. Eat for health. Think nutrition. Eat whole fruits and veggies. Add garlic (a natural antibiotic) to your favorite recipes. Drink healthy green drinks (i.e. juice together broccoli, kale, cucumber and celery and add an apple).
5. Get sleep. Lack of adequate sleeptime depresses the immune system.
6. As recommended in the June 2002 issue of JAMA add a quality nutrition supplement to your health regimen. I recommend VitaOne and Limu Plus .
7. Get into the habit of daily exercise. It helps strengthen the immune system and relieves stress.

One thing good about the swine flu threat is it gets people thinking about how NOT to get sick. Health is so often taken for granted. Start today to take more personal responsibility for your wellness. Wellness is freedom and illness is a prison with a lot less choices.

Would LOVE to support you in your transition to a healthier lifestyle. Subscribe to my wellness newsletter "Empowering Wellness" at http://optimizetoheal.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pandemic Pandemonium

Well good morning folks! Had an interesting (and very tiring) shift at the hospital last nite. Our ER was on diversion. (Meaning not accepting any more people - diverting to other hospitals). Why? not because of weather or trauma cases... but because the ER was crammed full of people freaked out by the swine flu.

And guess what, not even one of them had swine flu.

Let's calm our jitters. Folks who cram ER's for no good reason could possibly delay services to folks who REALLY need help. We are not at the moment having a pandemic. In fact, at this point we shouldn't even use the word. I believe the media and various government agencies have used this word very irresponsibly. At this point we don't even have an epidemic, much less a pandemic.

Yes, we should be concerned. Caution is called for here but not craziness. I can't imagine why our government leaders haven't CLOSED OUR BORDER with Mexico. (Boggles the mind doesn't it?) Maybe we should ask our leaders why our border has not been closed? Ask the senate and congress and our president

What should YOU DO?

Take personal responsibility for YOUR HEALTH. Wash your hands, support/strengthen your immune system by eating recommended servings of veggies/fruits, take a quality multi-nutrition product (I recommend VitaOne and Limu Plus and get plenty of rest.

I will go on record saying I don't believe in flu shots (nor is there one for swine flu). I believe (and I'm not alone in believing) immunizations weaken your immune system. Do YOUR due diligence and come to your own conclusions about that. Especially google the ingredients of immunizations before you take the step of getting a flu shot. If you think it makes sense to inject that cocktail in your one and only precious body.... well, what can I say? Ouch. Read here: http://tinyurl.com/c5jf9v and http://tinyurl.com/djh64w .

The people who survive epidemics have strong immune systems.
Isn't that just common sense?
How do you have a strong immune system?

Get plenty of rest.
Get Moderate amount of physical exercise .
Manage stress.
.....and as recommended in the June 2002 issue of JAMA supplement your diet with a quality multi-nutrition supplement.

So don't let the media whip your emotions up! Use your common sense. Take CARE of yourself. Every cell in your body is made from the nutrition you take in. Take in nutritionally-poor junk foods and your body will build cells which may not function normally. Help your body to help you. Take in nutritionally dense veggies and fruits and build cells which are strong. Give your body the nutrients it thrives on!

Healthy cells make healthy systems make a healthy body!

Make sense to you! Yes! Good! Now calm down and take good care of you!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Eight Weeks To A Healthier Lifestyle Continued

Considering the span of your lifetime in which you probably indulged in the standard American diet and lifestyle; eight weeks is a short period of time in which to reverse your unhealthy habits and create new healthy habits. No doubt you probably experienced both successes and failures during the 8 weeks. Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle is a work in progress and you are taking positive actions so don`t beat yourself up over your failures. Concentrate on your successes and continue to build on them. In this article we will explore the essential components of optimal health. Before continuing you may review the previous blogpost!

In this post we will cover more in depth four essential components of optimal health:

1. Managing Stress
2. Exercise
3. Diet
4. Mind, Body, Spirit and Self-talk

Optimal health isn't just about "eating right". Your health is affected by how you (do or don't) manage stress in your life, how sedentary you are, what you say to yourself and your beliefs. Optimal health encompasses your whole lifestyle.


Stress is the most common cause of ill health, probably resulting in as many as 70-90% of all visits to the family physician. Stress in our lives comes from many areas; workplace and/or school, financial, relationship problems being the three top situations where stress arises.

Chronic stress may lead to such chronic illnesses as: depression, cardiac disease, ulcers, obesity, anxiety disorder, sexual dysfunction, decreased immune system health and even possibly cancer. It is imperative you learn to manage the stress in your life because it is a very real danger to your health.

So how do you manage stress? Many people use food, alcoholic drink or cigarettes to give them a short term relief from stress. However, in the end this will only result in greater stress due to their long term negative effects on health. A better way to manage stress is to examine your life and determine what is creating stress in your life. Actually write down what you feel your sources of stress are on paper. If you started a journal during the 8 weeks use your journal for this. (If not why didn't you?) Now would be a good time to start a journal. You may find you have a list of stress sources. After you have determined your stress sources write down three positive actions you might take to relieve the stress of each of these sources.

Sometimes the actions needed to resolve stress are not "quick fixes". For example you may need to see a financial expert to set up a program for reducing your debt or a relationship counselor to heal your relationships or perhaps, you may need to find a new job more in line with your passions. Those things take time.

For a temporary relief from stress you may:

1. Stretch your arms above your head. Reach for the ceiling!
2. Move your hands in a circle to relieve stress in your wrists.
3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths in thru your nose and
slowly out thru your mouth. Count to ten slowly as you inhale and again as you exhale.
4. Take a walk around your desk, down the hall or even better, outside where you can appreciate the beauty of nature, benefit from the sunlight and breathe fresh air.
5. Have a bite of dark chocolate. I DO mean just a bite! Some chocolates are
healthier than others. Be choosy!
6. Try Rescue Remedy: A Bach Flower remedy you can find in most health stores.

Keep in mind those who indulge in a daily routine of exercise and eat optimally nutritious meals find dealing with stress much easier.


A regular routine of exercise is imperative for optimal health and longevity. Exercise helps relieve stress, combats depression, increases your energy level, helps prevent osteoporosis and high blood pressure, boosts good "HDL" cholesterol, helps to maintain a normal weight, promotes better sleep and improves your sex life. Exercise is one of the keys to optimal health.

It is said the average person watches four hours of television a week. We all have time to exercise. It's a choice. There are many kinds of exercise. You can find something you enjoy doing! Take a class in ballroom dancing, or square dancing, join a gym, start walking everyday, hire a personal trainer to develop an exercise routine which accommodates your needs, the possibilities are endless! There is a form of exercise you can do no matter your age or physical ability. But check with your doctor first if you have been sedentary and/or have health issues.

If we can watch television for four hours a day we can certainly find the time to exercise for 30 minutes. Your health and quality of life depend on it!


Probably the biggest stumbling block one encounters in their journey to transitioning to a healthier lifestyle centers around food. Most people have a hard time deciding what to eat because they aren`t accustomed to having to think about what they eat. In our culture we are so used to reaching for convenience foods. It's hard to stop pulling into the local drive-up junk food place or nuking your dinner. But if you have the desire to live a life of quality with optimal health you must stop eating junk food. You will need to develop a repertoire of nutritious recipes you enjoy. In the first eight weeks you have made an attempt at eating a salad every day and increasing your vegetable intake. That wasn't easy but it was a good first step. Hopefully, you have at least decreased your intake of junk food, if you haven't totally cut it out yet.

Your next step with food is to consider eating 75% of the vegetables and fruits you eat raw. Women should eat 7 servings and men should eat 9 servings per day. Remember a serving is ½ cup. Now why would you want to eat 75% raw? Because food in it's natural state contains enzymes that are destroyed when you cook food at high temperatures. Your body needs those enzymes. Every function in the body is run by enzymes. One of the chief reasons processed food is not good for you is because enzymes are destroyed in cooking/food processing. Many illnesses can be traced to enzyme deficiencies.

Lest you think your only option for eating raw is eating salads let me tell you that is far from true! Considering you have probably spent your lifetime eating predominately cooked food this is going to take some work on your part. Obviously, you aren't just going to dive in and start eating this way. Eating 75% raw is something you work up to. The good news is you've already started! You can learn more about eating raw and how to transition to eating 75% raw by reading any of these books:

1."12 Steps to Raw Foods: How to End Your Dependency on Cooked Food" by Victoria Boutenko and Gabriel Cousens
2."Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life" by Juliano, Erika Lenkert,and Juliano Brotman
3."Living on Live Food" by Alissa Cohen
4. "Eat To Live" by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
5. "Lupus Recovery Diet" by Jill Harrington

Food in it`s natural state supports our immune system. We have taken food in its natural state, and adulterated it with additives, processing, coloring etc. As a result we have many chronic diseases and acutely severe diseases such as cancer. We must return to eating foods in their natural state. Every cell in your body is created from what you eat. If you assist your immune system by giving it the nutrients it needs your immune system will assist you in combating, recovering from and even preventing chronic illness.

Mind, Body, Spirit

We are not just physical beings. We are also mental and spiritual beings and the balance between mind, body and spirit contributes to our degree of optimal health. There is so much busy-ness in life we frequently forget to care for the deeper inner us when, in fact, the spirit facet of us needs care just as our mind and body do. Whether one explores spirituality by engaging in one of the worlds many faith traditions or embarks on an independent path it is a journey vitally important to optimal health.

Our connection with spirit paves the foundation for our understanding and experience of the concepts of forgiveness and gratitude, the importance of service and compassion and the equal importance of giving and receiving. Connection with spirit helps us to choose love, make positive choices, have meaningful relationships and connect to the joy of being. These are all integral to managing stress, feeling happiness and creating optimal health in our life. In optimal health spirit uplifts the body and mind. It is important to take some time to give some thought as to what part spirituality plays in your life.

You may further explore spirituality in these books:
1. "Finding Joy: A Practical Spiritual Guide to Happiness" by Dannel Schwartz and Mark Hass
2. "There`s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem" by Wayne Dyer
3. "The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation" by Dan Millman

Self Talk

What is it you say to yourself when you're alone? Self-talk is key to mind/body interaction. What it is you say to yourself over and over colors your attitude, raises or lowers both your energy and stress levels, it may affect your relationships or finances, your emotional state and even the degree of success you have in life. Your self-talk has very real effects upon your health and life.

Negative self-talk such as "I can't", "I'm dumb", or "I'm fat" demoralizes you,lessens your self-esteem and creates a setting for depression to take hold and your immune system to be weakened. On the other hand positive self-talk such as "I'm good", "I can do it" or "I'm a beautiful person" raises self-esteem, combats depression and motivates you to take positive action. It gives you a sense of well-being,less stress and a stronger immune system.

Are you in a negative rut with your self-talk? Sometimes people fall into a habit of negative self-talk which becomes very hard to overcome and change. But you can! When you find yourself thinking something negative immediately replace the thought with a positive one. Take some time in your journal writing to make a list of your good qualities and the things and people in your life for which you feel gratitude. Focus on solutions instead of problems. Be your own best friend.

So what are your next plans in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle? Consider these suggestions:

1. If you haven't completely stopped eating fast and/or processed food resolve to do so. It's a hard habit to break, but as you incorporate more fresh vegetables and fruits into your daily nutrition regimen you will find it will become easier to say no to less healthier options.
2. Go to the library or bookstore and get a raw food book(s) and discover the amazing array of healthy gourmet options open to you. You will be pleasantly surprised! Gradually incorporate recipes and ideas from these books into your daily nutrition regimen. This will also help you to stop eating unhealthy foods.
3. Continue to journal about your successes and thoughts and feelings regarding transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. It makes a difference to write it down!
4. Plan your meals a week at a time so that less healthier options aren't inviting.
5. Don't forget about your stress list positive actions. Go to work resolving your stress issues.

Lastly, be proud of yourself for taking responsibility for your health. Continue to make small changes in your day to day life which enhance your new healthy lifestyle. A balanced life with optimal health is a great joy. One in which you can experience the complete fullness of life. Don't settle for anything less!