Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

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Sticktoitiveness

January 4, 2015

I have goals. I make lists. I have several New Year resolutions, my OneWord for the year, a couple of DoOvers, and a 30 day Hustle. I have lists, calendars, journals, post-it notes, and smart phone apps. I have friends, accountability partners, a great online network and all the physical things I need to start and maintain my goals (established blog sites, awesome new running shoes, P90 on order, and more time than l had last year).

Awesome new running shoes.

Awesome new running shoes.

But I wonder, will I do this? Will I carry out even one of my realistic, needed, HAVE-TO goals?

I ask myself, because I’m not the best at follow-through. I’ve practically perfected the art of procrastination, hate early mornings, and find LOTS of reasons to put a thing off. I start strong and peter out when it doesn’t FEEL good, or gets boring, or something else more attractive catches my time and attention. My mom used to say that I have no “sticktoitiveness.” She’s right.

This year is different, though, and here is why:

  1. I found an awesome group of motivating friends online, including a new workout coach and fellow writers who are challenging me to keep going.
  2. I believe my goals are God-centered, realistic, achievable and much-needed.
  3. I am changing the way I think about goals, not as an end but as systematic. (Check out this article for a good explanation of systems vs. goals.)

So if you are like me and have awesome and important goals but “sticktoitiveness” issues, get connected with motivating folks who will hold you accountable and put a system in place that will maximize your success.

Go for it and don’t quit!

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What is a GMO?

July 4, 2013

Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face

Here is a good and brief overview of genetic modification (GM), also known as genetic engineering (GE) and why it’s not such a good idea when it comes to the foods we consume. I found this very interesting:

What combinations have been tried?

It is now possible for plants to be engineered with genes taken from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Scientists have worked on some interesting combinations:

  • Spider genes were inserted into goat DNA, in hopes that the goat milk would contain spider web protein for use in bulletproof vests.
  • Cow genes turned pigskins into cowhides.
  • Jellyfish genes lit up pigs’ noses in the dark.
  • Arctic fish genes gave tomatoes and strawberries tolerance to frost.

Field trials have included:

  • Corn engineered with human genes (Dow)
  • Sugarcane engineered with human genes (Hawaii Agriculture Research Center)
  • Corn engineered with jellyfish genes (Stanford University)
  • Tobacco engineered with lettuce genes (University of Hawaii)
  • Rice engineered with human genes (Applied Phytologics)
  • Corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes (Prodigene)
  • Potatoes that glowed in the dark when they needed watering.
  • Human genes were inserted into corn to produce spermicide.

Here is the full article:  http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process

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Do as I Say, Not as I Do

January 19, 2013

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Your government does not respect you. This much is clear just at passing glance:

I could go on. (Harold Estes said it best. Worth the read.)

So, what’s the answer? For many of us it is concerted prayer. We need to keep that up–it could take a miracle to turn this country around. But we need to do more. We are on the road to a crisis and it doesn’t do us good to sit on our backsides or stick our heads in the sand. I recently read an older piece by retired journalist, Charlie Reece, in his final column in the Orlando Sentinel. Here it is:

545 vs. 300,000,000 People

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private,central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan …

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Amen.

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Good Pigs, Bad Government

January 12, 2013

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Do you know how bad big industry pork is for you (and the pig)?

If not, view this:  Food, Inc.

Do you know how hard it is to find free-range pork? 

If not, read this:  Is it Safe to Eat Bacon?

Did you know the government is illegally squeezing out local pig farmers?

If not, go here:  Baker’s Green Acres Farm (I could barely believe this is actually happening within our borders!)

Do you realize how unsustainable concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are? 

Then check this out:  CAFO – The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories

We can say the same for cows and chickens. More and more, unconstitutional government action is forcing everyday Americans from their livelihoods, their rights, their convictions. And all the while Americans are getting fatter and sicker.

Big Pharm, Industrial Food, Big Government.

I see a day coming when the millions stand up against the few making the “new rules” and stomping on our constitution.

Pray.

What else can we do now? Here are a few things:

  1. Support local farms and farmers.
  2. Grow our own food.
  3. Buy a few chickens for the back yard.
  4. Boycott big industry food products.
  5. Do yourself a favor: Eat organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meats and lots of purified (non-bottled!) water.
  6. Take our collective head out of the sand and be mindful of ever-increasing government encroachment.
  7. Be prepared.

Here’s to your health.

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Curcumin: Wonder Spice?

December 15, 2012

I’ve been reading a lot about curcumin (tumeric) lately after my new doctor told me about its benefits. Curcumin (not to be confused with cumin — a very different beneficial spice) is an active ingredient in the spice known as turmeric and has been regarded as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. It has been used in Chinese medicine to treat wounds, skin conditions and digestive problems. This potent antioxidant has also been suggested as a possible anti-cancer agent. I’m adding it to my daily supplements. Here’s why:

  • Several studies have reported that curcumin is beneficial in lowering LDL and raising HDL or good cholesterol while reducing the lipid peroxidation.
  • Researchers in India found treatment with curcumin prevented the kidney injury and restored kidney function in rats with artificially induced kidney disease. Treatment with curcumin significantly protected against the rats from proteinuria, albuminuria, hypoalbuminaemia and hyperlipidaemia.
  • Research is ongoing, but there is evidence that curcumin could offer significant protection against neurotoxic and genotoxic agents. One research team concluded that “In view of its efficacy and apparent low toxicity, this Indian spice component shows promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.”
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the AIDS virus) appears to respond somewhat to curcumin treatment. Curcumin interferes with the replication cycle of HIV.
  • Other scientific studies have shown possible benefits in:
    • Treatment for indigestion and upper abdominal pain due to functional disorders of the biliary system
    • Treatment for cataracts
    • As a contraceptive
    • Possible treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
    • Arthritis treatment
    • A possible weapon in the growing arsenal of cancer-fighting substances

As healthy as a daily dose of curcumin is, it is important to note that it has a number of side effects which may develop when consumed in excess. These side effects include heartburn, stomach ulcers, and excess bile production that is unsafe for those with gallstones. Turmeric curcumin has blood thinning properties, which means that while it may be suitable for those with heart conditions, it may not help those who already have a problem of excess bleeding due to poor blood clotting. It may interact with drugs that you may have been prescribed for other health conditions and cause certain side effects. Lastly, curcumin present in turmeric is known to generate a lot of heat in the body, which makes it unsafe for pregnant women. Even women who are lactating should avoid the intake of curcumin.

Curcumin may be consumed in its natural form, via turmeric, or via the variety of supplements that are available in the market. Health experts suggest that supplements may be necessary because only curcumin derived from food may not be enough to provide all the aforementioned health benefits. There is no minimum daily requirement for curcumin but practitioners recommend capsules that provide 400 to 600 mg of curcumin 3 times daily.

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References

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Spicy Broccoli Beef (Gluten-free!)

November 21, 2012

Made this for dinner this week and my “discriminating eater” of a husband immediately proclaimed it a “make again”! Here you go:

Spicy Broccoli Beef

  • 1/3 cup organic, gluten-free Shitake stir-fry sauce (can substitute Oyster Sauce)
  • 1/3 cup Sherry
  • 2 tsp. Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. Tamari (or gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 lb. very thinly sliced* steak
  • 1 lb. broccoli cut into small florets
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil (can sub. olive or peanut oil)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 6-8 dried red chili peppers
  • ~1/2 cup organic beef broth (as needed)

In a small bowl, whisk together the stir-fry sauce, sherry, sesame oil, tamari and corn starch. Place the steak pieces in a shallow bowl and pour the sauce mixture over the meat. Stir to coat well and place in the fridge to marinate for 20-30 minutes. (*Note: The trick to very thinly sliced beef is to use a very sharp knife and cut the meat when it is half frozen. If you have fresh meat, simply pop it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before slicing.)

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil and toss in the ginger, garlic and chili peppers (break the peppers in half for more heat). Once the peppers are sizzling, toss in the broccoli and stir fry for about 7-8 minutes until bright green and starting to tender. Remove the broccoli from the wok and set aside.

Pour a little more oil into the wok, if needed, and pour the bowl of beef and marinade into the oil. Stir fry until the sauce thickens and the beef is no longer thick, about 5 minutes. Add beef broth if the sauce becomes too thick.

Return the broccoli to the wok and toss with the beef until everything is heated through and evenly coated with the sauce, about 3-5 minutes. Use additional beef broth if needed.

Serve immediately over rice.

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Give Me Back My Hairs!

November 17, 2012

I’m not the type to get jazzed (or even remotely interested) in hyped-up, miracle supplements, so it’s not like me to even try something like that. However, when your hair is leaving your head like nobody’s business (except God, because He counts them) you might be tempted to break out of the skeptic box.

So I did. 18 months ago I was a little concerned. Two months ago I got to the point of downright freaked out. At nowhere near the age where non-chemo baldness is acceptable, I decided to try Hair Essentials from NaturalWellBeing.com.

And here is my simple testimonial: IT WORKS!

I don’t know how. It appears to contain all-natural ingredients. Which is good, of course. I guess it’s the combo. Whatever. I bought a 90 day supply and just at around 30 days there was a noticeable decrease in the hairs pasted to the shower wall at the end of my shampooing. And at the salon my friend, who’s been taking care of these hairs for many years, noticed it’s getting more volume and she noticed regrowth.

Hallelujah! I guess you’re really supposed to see big results more toward 90 days (I’m at about 40 days), but I’m just happy I’m going the other direction now.  So I thought I’d share in case anyone else concerned about the number of people randomly picking stray hairs of your shirt 42 times a day…