Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Three-Cheese Spinach Casserole With a Twist

Three-Cheese Spinach Casserole With a Twist

 

This spinach casserole is easy to make and cheesy, yet light. This recipe can replace your traditional spinach dip appetizer. Using cottage cheese and feta instead of cream cheese and cheddar cheese in this recipe saves fat and calories, but gives a similar taste and texture. Bake this in the oven, or use a slow cooker to make ahead. Enjoy as an entree, appetizer or snack.

 

Spinach Casserole with Cheese

 

Ingredients

  • 2 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach
  • ¼ chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 8-ounce package cottage cheese, low-fat 2%
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup Monterrey jack cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt or other spice mixture to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, hard (not the dried kind in a can)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Defrost spinach in the boxes or in a 2-quart casserole dish.

3. Fry chopped onions in oil until they are translucent and begin to soften.

4. Mix all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese in the casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan on top.

5. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean and cheese on top begins to brown. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Serve warm with crudites or chips of your choice.

Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

This recipe is easy to adapt, so if you have certain spice mixtures or salad dressing seasonings that you like, feel free to add them. For example, you can add ½ teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder or another spice mix to give the spinach casserole some depth. It’s not unusual to add dried ranch dressing mix or dried vegetable soup mix to the recipe to give your spinach casserole a distinct flavor.

Speaking of spice, you can make this spinach dip spicy too. Add some kick to this spinach dish by adding jalapeno peppers, red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Simply add these when preparing the onion.

Spinach is full of iron, folate, and fiber, but who says you can’t add more. Add shredded artichoke hearts, broccoli, carrots or zucchini to boost the nutritional value of the dish. Instead of crackers, corn chips, or bread, serve with cucumbers, jicama, cauliflower florets or bell pepper strips.

Kale can be substituted for spinach if you want to try different greens with this recipe. Another excellent addition is fresh garlic for extra flavor. A cup of cooked quinoa or chopped chicken breast can also be added to this recipe to boost protein, although the Greek yogurt addition in this recipe provides plenty of it.

 

 

We can turn an Illness into Wellness

Health and Wellness Asssociates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Way To Healthy Hair – 5 Foods: Healthy Resolution Series

A Way To Healthy Hair – 5 Foods: Healthy Resolution Series

 

Whole foods rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc and biotin may help promote a healthy scalp and hair. Add these foods to your grocery cart – think of them as ingredients in a healthy hair recipe!

Bronze Highlights for Brown Hair

  1. Dark leafy greens. Kale, Swiss chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamins A and C, which the body needs to produce the oily substance sebum, a natural conditioner for your hair.
  2. Salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids, of which wild-caught salmon is a top source, are important to a healthy scalp. Salmon (always look for wild Alaskan or sockeye salmon) is also a good source of protein. If you don’t like the taste of fish, be sure to get omega-3 in other ways like a high-quality fish oil supplement.
  3. Beans and legumes. They are a good source of protein which helps promote hair growth, as well as iron, biotin and zinc. (Biotin deficiencies can occasionally result in brittle hair.) Another good source of zinc is raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas. Add a small handful per day like you would use nuts.
  4. Nuts. Specific varieties of nuts contain vitamins and minerals that can help promote the health of your scalp. Brazil nuts are a good source of selenium (limit yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day). Walnuts provide the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, which may help condition your hair, as well as zinc, which can minimize hair shedding. Cashews, almonds and pecans are other hair-healthy choices. Aim for raw varieties as often as you can, or lightly toast it yourself if an added crunch is preferred.
  5. Eggs. A good source of protein, which helps prevent dry, weak and brittle hair. Choose organic, omega-3 fortified eggs from cage-free hens.

 

Dr Anne Sullivan

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The One Grocery Store Item To Avoid In 2019

The One Grocery Store Item To Avoid In 2019

When You Drink Soda For The First Time

The food product we suggests you avoid entirely this year (and every year) is soda. Whether regular or diet, it is essentially liquid candy, and studies indicate that drinking it can lead to:

 

  1. Obesity. Drinking a single sugar-containing soda per day is linked to weight gain. Drinking diet soda doesn’t seem to do your weight much good either – over the course of nine years, one study found a 70 percent greater increase in waist circumference among participants in a study who drank diet soda compared to those who didn’t.
  2. Diabetes. A daily sugar-containing soda habit increases a woman’s risk of developing diabetes by 83 percent compared to women who have less than one sweetened drink per month. And another study showed that artificial sweeteners altered the collection of bacteria (known as the microbiome) in the digestive tract in a way that caused blood glucose levels to rise higher than expected and to fall more slowly than they otherwise would. This suggests that the use of artificial sweeteners contributes directly to rising rates of type 2 diabetes.

****** Sometimes Diabetics have no choice.  But when you do, dont!   Shasta has a diet pop in good flavors that is alright to drink.  It has no aspartame in it at all.

3. Heart disease. One study found a 43 percent increase in the risk of heart attack and stroke among individuals who habitually consumed a daily diet soda compared to those who do not.

4. Kidney issues. Drinking two or more diet sodas daily is associated with a decline in a measure of kidney function in women.

5. Premature birth. One study found that the risk of giving birth prematurely increased by 38 percent among women who drank diet soda daily and by 78 percent among those who drank four or more diet sodas per day.

Bottom line: Forget cutting back on soda (diet or regular) – this is one to eliminate altogether. Opt instead for filtered water, unsweetened tea (the sweetened version would be no better) or sparkling water mixed with a splash of natural fruit juice. After a week or two you will feel better and may be less likely to go back.

 

Contact us at healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Dr Gail Bohannon

Health and Wellness Associates

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Do You Have High Blood Pressure? Eat more of this!

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?

Eat more of this!

  • get nourished with nitrates
  • In the modern diet, nitrates can be found both in nitrate-rich plant foods and in processed meats. However, while nitrates from plant foods promote nitric oxide production, processed meats trigger conversion of nitrates into carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds
  • Nitrites from plants turn into beneficial nitric oxide due to the presence of antioxidants such as vitamin C and polyphenols
  • Nitric oxide is a soluble gas, and while it’s a free radical, it’s also an important biological signaling molecule that supports normal endothelial function, lowers blood pressure, protects your mitochondria and more
  • Plant foods high in nitrates include arugula, rhubarb, cilantro, butter leaf lettuce, spring greens, basil, beet greens, oak leaf lettuce, Swiss chard and red beets, especially fermented beets
  • To further augment nitric oxide production, combine nitrate-rich plant food with probiotics

Do you need help with your high blood pressure.  Do you want to try to get off your medications.  Then contact us at healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr J Jaranson

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Liver is the Genius!

 

If you’re thinking you probably don’t have a fatty liver, you might be surprised. The majority of people in this country have at least some degree of pre-fatty liver, if not a fatty liver. The liver may be in a condition that’s too early to diagnose, but it’s not too early for it to start having a negative effect on your health. When the liver starts getting fatty, it allows pathogens to prosper and prevents toxins from successfully leaving the body; fatty liver is a big problem that plays a role in a lot of health issues. The health of your liver is that central to your quality of life and health now and in the future.

Over the years, once your liver starts becoming fatty, everything else starts going slowly down the drain. Your liver has a critical function in keeping you well. This incredible organ grabs toxins and then works to neutralize them and send them out of the body, completing it’s detoxification role. Or, the liver snags the toxins and buries them deep within itself to keep them from floating around in the bloodstream where they can damage other parts of the body—in particular your heart and brain. 

However, when the liver starts to become fatty and can’t function as well against the barrage of toxins and pathogens we’re exposed to in modern life, your liver can’t properly protect you anymore. And that’s the beginning of all kinds of health problems. People start to have skin issues later in life, or they’re told something’s out of balance with their hormones, or they begin to have neurological disorders, or they’re diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. People find themselves going from doctor to doctor with all kinds of symptoms and diagnoses—or not—but without any real answers.

I want to help you heal and get out of this misinformation merry-go-round. You don’t have to wait decades for the answers—you can work on healing now.

Working to reverse fatty liver is a fundamental place to start so you can learn how to free yourself and your loved ones from chronic illness and symptoms or help prevent them in the future.

It’s all about knowing how the body works, how your blood works and how your liver works (and what’s really inside all three of them).

“Liver Troublemakers,” which are the hundreds of toxins, pathogens and pollutants we are up against. Science and research are decades away from discovering all of this, but my information is the same as it was decades ago—because my source is the same and the way the body truly works remains the same.

Creating Thicker, Fattier Blood

Part of the reason so many of us have at least a pre-fatty liver is because as we go through life, we eat to survive. We’re under stress. We run into challenging circumstances. Pressure mounts up around us, and all of it keeps us from eating healthier foods. When we have a chronic illness on top of all that, sometimes the best we can do is just get through the day. So people end up eating a doughnut or grabbing a slice of pizza or buying a hot dog from the food truck or eating half a jar of peanut butter. We eat to survive. 

We eat to comfort ourselves. We eat to satisfy cravings. And over time, it all adds up. Your blood gets full of more and more fat.

What you need to know is that the more fat you have in your blood on a daily basis, whether it comes from animal foods or plant foods, the more likely you are to develop a fatty liver. When the blood has more fat in it, the blood becomes thicker. The thicker the blood, the less oxygen there is for the liver. And when the liver doesn’t have enough oxygen, it suffers and can’t do its job well.  

Blood thickness is the liver’s deal breaker. It would be a miracle if you could get a blood fat test at the doctor, just like people can do a quick blood sugar test. It could take medicine forward in leaps and bounds. Because that information about the ratio of fat in the blood has everything to do with the health of the liver, and the health of the liver sets the stage for just about every chronic illness and disease, including cancer. 

Not only are high blood fat levels bad for your liver, but they are also bad for the rest of your body too. When blood fat is high, anything can prosper, including pathogens like bacteria and viruses. These pathogens are the true cause of most chronic illness, including so-called autoimmune disease.

The short story is your body does not attack itself and you can heal these illnesses by clearing out what’s really behind these conditions: pathogens, toxins heavy metals, radiation, and all kinds of chemicals and toxins. The real causes of chronic illnesses and symptoms are a mystery to medical communities, so it has never been more important to empower yourself with the truth and take healing into your own hands with this information.

Lately sugar has been under heat as the cause of so much illness. But what people don’t think about when they point the finger at sugar for everything, is that fat and sugar are almost always eaten together. There’s the coffee with milk and sugar. There’s the BBQ sauce with sugar that goes on the fatty pulled pork. There’s the cheese sandwich with the high fat content of the cheese and butter. And there are the cookies and pastries and cakes, all of which have fat and sugar. Or there’s the straight sugar, like a candy cane, that you eat at the end of a festive meal that had a lot of fat.

Certainly people who cut down on added and refined sugars (I’m not talking about the natural sugars in fruit—which are incredible for you) will find their health improves. However, if they don’t also start to lower the fats, they’re unfortunately still going to have health issues down the road. 

The Problem with Fat

Right now a lot of people are promoting a high-fat, high-protein diet, but this is a harmful trend. Whether the fat is plant-based and comes from foods like nuts, soy and oils or whether it’s animal-based and comes from eggs, milk, cheese, or chicken—too much fat thickens the blood, ages the body, and is hard on the body and liver.

What’s happening when people are doing these diets that are high-fat, high-protein, no carbohydrate and no fruit is they’re losing a lot of water. If they’re losing weight, that’s what it is—largely water. So people think they’re losing weight effectively, but they’re really just dehydrating themselves, thickening the fat in their blood and starving the brain of the glucose it needs from fruit and carbohydrate-rich vegetables to function well. 

As I mentioned earlier, the liver needs oxygen to do its job well (and the thicker the blood, the less oxygen is present). The liver also needs water. So when people do these high-fat, high-protein diets and lose water, it’s another strike against the liver. Your liver needs water to cleanse it and perform the detoxification process. It needs oxygen and water to sort out and deal with the harmful elements: viruses, bacteria, toxic heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and other toxins and chemicals. 

The liver also needs oxygen and water to sort through the blood, especially thick blood, and take in the beneficial nutrients: vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants (if you eat lots of fruit, you’ll have lots of healthy antioxidants). Your liver helps direct the beneficial nutrients and send the glucose and glycogen to your heart and your brain. You see, your brain and central nervous system run on glucose and glycogen, not fat. These natural sugars keep the brain cool and keep it running well for the long haul. On the other hand, chronic high fat diets atrophy and shrink the brain with time. 

Even someone who exercises all the time and doesn’t have a scrap of fat on their body can have thick, fatty blood and can be on their way to a fatty liver. This seemingly healthy person can have a different story going on internally, and with time it can catch up with them. That’s what’s happening with some of these athletes we hear about who are having strokes and heart attacks in their 40s and 50s. Their blood fat levels are so high that the heart has to strain far more than it should to try to pump blood and this thick blood constricts their blood vessels.

Since a majority of the country has fatty liver to some degree, we need to dive into the solutions. When the liver is cared for and treated right you can heal just about any kind of illness.

Stomach = Not So Smart, Liver = Genius 

Your stomach is actually the least intelligent organ in the body. But that’s part of how our bodies are brilliantly designed. You see, if the stomach wasn’t stupid, we’d be in trouble. That’s because throughout human history we’ve needed to be able to eat what we need to eat to survive. We don’t always have a lot of resources, but we need to be able to eat to stay alive. Our stomach is essentially just a pouch that gets marching orders from the brain. If it were an intricate tool that provided guidance or forewarning about what to eat, people might not get the calories they needed to stay alive. The stomach’s dull role gives us a better chance at surviving life on this planet. Don’t mistake this for meaning that the functions the stomach performs are stupid. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The stomach and everything that happens inside it is miraculous and still mostly unknown to science and research.

The liver, on the other hand, is truly genius. It is so smart, it knows if you eat a cheeseburger followed by chocolate cake every year on your birthday. It will document and record that so it can be ready every 365 days to process that meal. Your liver knows if you do Friday night pizza every week, and it tries to get ready and produce the bile needed to digest that cheese and fat and oil. 

This is actually one reason people get confused and sometimes think that vegetables bother them. If your liver is preparing bile to process the Friday night pizza and then you switch one week to a big salad with lots of fresh vegetables, it’s a surprise to your liver so the digestion can be a little off. Over time, of course, as you switch to a healthier diet, your liver adjusts accordingly and becomes even healthier and more effective in all its jobs.

Time for Healing

The bottom line is we’ve got to take care of our liver. When we treat our livers right, they can protect us from pretty much every health issue out there. So dig into Liver Rescue, and follow these tips to get started right away:

  • Lower your fat intake. Whether it’s paleo, vegan or anything in between, it’s important to lower the fats. You may even want to try eating fat-free for a while if you want to turn your health around quickly. I’ve seen people with Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis (MS) get out of bed by cutting fat and eatings lots of leafy greens and fruits.
  • If you’re eating animal products, reduce your intake to once every other day at most. If you’re eating lots of nuts, oils, seeds, or avocados, try reducing them by at least 50% and omitting oil altogether.
  • Eat more fruit. Fruit is bursting with antioxidants, which prevent damage from oxidation and harmful elements we take in. The antioxidants in fruit will help clean out the toxins from your blood and increase the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream and in your liver. The natural sugars in fruit will also help your brain and central nervous system run well. But fruit does a lot more than just provide antioxidants. In truth, it is the number one most essential food for health and healing. 
  • Stay hydrated. Eating fruit and drinking herbal tea, water with lemon or lime and coconut water will give your liver the water it needs to do its job.
  • Drink celery juice. Every morning on an empty stomach, drink 16 ounces of straight celery juice. Then wait 15 minutes before eating breakfast. Celery juice is an incredible medicinal tonic that will do wonders for your liver and your health.

I know there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and it’s confusing and difficult to know what’s right. But please know that you don’t have to suffer anymore. I’m sharing this information with you to help you and your loved ones turn your health around and finally heal from the symptoms and conditions that you may be experiencing. It’s your birthright to feel well and live the life you deserve.

If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment to talk about this please write to us at healthwellnessassociates.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr. Patricia Carruthers

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Brain Fog!

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Brain Fog!

Brain fog is currently a mystery to medical science and research. Its true cause is not known and in many cases it is often misdiagnosed, leaving patients without the information they need to heal.

Even alternative health communities tend to blame brain fog on the wrong cause. They often believe it’s caused by yeast or fungus in the gut, but this isn’t true. A friend of mine told me about the electrician at his office who is suffering from terrible intestinal issues, but has no brain fog. On the other hand, there are people who eat incredibly clean diets and don’t have noticeable digestive issues, and yet they do suffer from terrible brain fog. I’ve known countless people and heard many stories of people who have experienced the very same thing over the years. The gut is not what causes brain fog. It’s also not caused by the thyroid, which is another common belief in medical communities. Nor is it a condition to be taken lightly.

Sadly, this condition can be so extreme that it causes people to lose their jobs, drop out of school, or spend days in bed when they need to be looking after their family or other responsibilities. Brain fog is not just the result of anxiety or a late night out. Fatigue, anxiety, and depression can accompany brain fog, but they are not the cause. It is so much more than that and it is time to uncover what is really going on.

Dirty Neurotransmitters

The root causes of brain fog can be traced to both the liver and the brain. There are many different “Liver Troublemakers” that sit in our livers. This is the name I have given to hundreds of toxins, chemicals, pollutants, pathogens, foods and more.  Some of these troublemakers include viruses like Epstein-Barr, excess adrenaline from being in the almost constant fight or flight mode most of us experience every day with our busy lifestyles, and toxic heavy metals such as copper, mercury, aluminum, and more.

When viruses like Epstein-Barr are present in the liver they need to sustain themselves to survive. They do this by eating substances that they like. Medical science and research have yet to discover this truth that all viruses feed. They cannot exist on their own, and what they enjoy most are certain foods we eat and toxins we often have inside us, such as toxic heavy metals, pesticides, petrochemicals, and fungicides, to name just a few. And, just like us, when a virus feeds, it also has to eliminate. When viruses eat toxins and problematic foods, they will then excrete even more toxins into your body. I call these toxins excreted by viruses dermatoxins and neurotoxins.Again, medical science and research also aren’t aware of either of these yet. If you’ve heard of the word dermatoxin before, the world understand it as an external chemical or irritant to the skin. But these dermatoxins that com from viruses are internal dermatoxins. The neurotoxins leave the liver after viruses excrete them and travel the hepatic portal vein to the heart and up to the brain. Their next stop is neurons in the brain, where they can cloud up, interfere with, and short-circuit neurotransmitters.

In order for our brain to function properly, and for thinking to happen naturally, we need clean neurotransmitter chemicals that can pick up neuroelectrical impulses sent out through the brain. But when the neurotoxins that came from viruses in the liver reach the brain, they can sit on neurons and burn out neurotransmitter chemicals, making the neurotransmitters dirty. And when an electrical impulse travels to a dirty neurotransmitter, it dampens it and shorts it out. Neurotransmitter chemicals dirtied by neurotoxins are a recipe for brain fog. This will take at least 50 years to uncover by medical science and research. These shorted-out neurotransmitter chemicals can also trigger anxiety, depression, and other symptoms and conditions. 

Additionally, there’s another cause of brain fog. When toxic heavy metals like mercury and aluminum are already present in the brain, which is the case for almost everyone to some degree, they can oxidize and create a metallic run-off that saturates your brain tissue. Again, your electrical impulses are short circuited by dirty neurotransmitters. The important thing, though, is not to worry about which type of brain fog you might be suffering from, because the truth is, most people are suffering from both types. The best thing you can do is focus on the healing foods and supplements for brain fog .

Detoxing Your Liver

Now that you have some of the answers for what’s really behind brain fog, you can move forward with healing. By eating a diet that consists of a abundance of fresh fruits, leafy greens and vegetables, along with eliminating the correct foods for you, as a good healthcare provider should be able to do.   Healthwellnessassociares@gmail.com

There are problematic foods—like eggs and dairy products—that feed viruses and other pathogens in the liver. That includes even grass-fed milk, cheese, and butter. Gluten is another offender. Gluten is a favored food of the Epstein-Barr virus and other viruses and bacteria. And remember that the more a virus eats, the more toxins it will eliminate, which will only worsen brain fog and other symptoms.

Leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables, on the other hand, will support the liver in ridding viruses and toxic heavy metals from the body.

It is incredibly effective at cleaning out heavy metals from the liver and brain and other toxins and chemicals too. Kale, red lettuce, butter lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, peaches, plums, melons, papaya, berries, mango, and a little avocado—these are some of the foods to incorporate into your diet if you suffer with brain fog or wish to help avoid it in the future. These food helps to kill off viruses like Epstein-Barr, remove toxins from the body, detoxify and support and liver and brain, and so much more.

Straight celery juice on an empty stomach every day not only repairs neurotransmitter chemicals with its mineral salts, but also helps build new neurotransmitters in the brain.

Next Steps

If you are one of the millions of people experiencing brain fog, you now have the answers you need in your hands so you can finally move forward with understanding and heal. People with brain fog often get called lazy or stupid or dispassionate—you are none of these things. Brain fog is a very real physical symptom that can be debilitating. 

Write to us for help putting together a plan for your healthcare.

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health Wellness Associates

 

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

New Male Contraceptive?

New Male Contraceptive?

 

The Myths (And Truths) About What Two People In Love Looks Like | Mercury #romanticdatingtipsforguys

I’ve heard there’s a new male contraceptive in the works. Can you tell me when it is likely to become available?
A number of male contraceptive methods are under development, but the one that has gotten the most attention lately is a birth control pill that appears to be safe when taken daily. Called DMAU (short for dimethandrolone undecanoate), it is being developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health at the University of Washington in Seattle and the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA.

The pill already has been tested in 83 men ages 18 to 50 in three doses: 100, 200 and 400 milligrams in two different formulations. The men who participated received either DMAU or a placebo, which they took once a day with food. The researchers reported that the 400 mg dose led to “marked suppression” of testosterone and reduced levels of two other hormones required for sperm production. Study leader Stephanie Page, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, reported that very few of the men participating described symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess, and none of them developed serious side effects. Dr. Page noted that the men taking DMAU gained some weight and that their HDL (“good”) cholesterol declined, although she described both these changes as “mild.”

Dr. Page wrote that many men say they would prefer a daily pill as a reversible contraceptive, instead of long-acting injections or topical gels, which are also in development. She added that longer-term studies of DMAU are underway to confirm that taken daily, the drug blocks sperm production.

Development of a reliable birth control pill for men hasn’t been easy. Earlier studies found that some forms of oral testosterone delivered in a single pill can damage the liver or that the pills clear the body too quickly to be useful. DMAU contains a long-chain fatty acid that helps keep the contraceptive in the body longer.

In the works elsewhere is a gel called Nestorone-Testosterone that must be applied to the arms and shoulders daily. The hormone progestin in the gel shuts down hormones that stimulate testosterone production. An international study with 420 couples reportedly is testing whether the gel is safe and effective at preventing conception.

Another approach being investigated in India is temporary, nonsurgical vasectomy. It involves injecting a gel into sperm-carrying tubes in the scrotum. The gel damages sperm, leading to infertility. This treatment, called RISUG for “reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance,” can be undone with a second shot that breaks down the gel. I’ve read that some 540 men in India have received the treatment and that it has continued to prevent pregnancy in their partners for more than 13 years.

Despite these developments, it’s unlikely that a male contraceptive in pill or gel form will become available any time soon. For now, men should continue to use condoms, undergo vasectomy, or rely on women’s contraceptive use to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Health and Wellness Associates

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Cope with Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Health and Wellness Associates

How to Cope with Loneliness During the Holiday Season

loneliness2

Tips to make your holidays brighter when you feel alone

Christmas evokes images of green and red for many. But for those suffering from loneliness, the holiday blues are also a very real thing.

Loneliness is common during the holidays. When we feel there is an expectation is to experience extreme joy or happiness, feelings of sadness and loneliness can strike even harder.

Whether you’re feeling alone or you want to be there for those around you, understanding what causes loneliness, as well as how to minimize it, can make your holidays much more joyful.

Understanding loneliness

Feeling lonely doesn’t mean you don’t have friends, family or loved ones who care. In fact, it’s very possible to feel lonely while having a loving support system in tow.

Some studies have called loneliness a disease, and others have called it a “hidden killer” of the elderly. While there are many studies on loneliness, there is no exact definition.

Loneliness is a subjective feeling. It can refer to a state of solitude, as well as the perception of feeling alone. While loneliness is a universal human emotion, it amplifies is different ways. Lonely people often dread the holidays, because of the perception that everyone around them is experiencing human connection in a way that they are not.

Examples of groups that tend to experience this more than others include those who are recently single, divorced or widowed, those who live far from family, and those who stay emotionally distant from others. Studies have shown that adults under age 30 tend to experience significantly higher levels of loneliness than other age groups, though those ages 80 and older can experience high levels as well.

How to beat loneliness during the holidays

One thing that is agreed upon is that there are ways to overcome loneliness. However, because these ways tend to involve emotional risk, many are slow to adopt them. Whether you’re feeling alone or you are in solitude, here are some tips to use this holiday season:

Tips to overcome loneliness when you feel alone

  • Practice self-care. While you may be thinking about giving gifts to others this season, don’t hesitate to give yourself the gift of a spa treatment, invest in a hobby, or other activities that will get you to socialize and enjoy the season. Taking your focus off feeling alone can help curb the feeling.
  • Choose the right people to surround yourself with. When you’re lonely, it may be tempting to call up your friend who loves to co-commiserate. But because loneliness is contagious, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Choose to surround yourself with positive people.
  • Pursue gratitude. Whether you prefer journaling, meditation or prayer, taking the time to write or say what you’re thankful for can shift your attention away from what you don’t have, and spotlight what you do have. Always remember that thankfulness is a choice.

Tips to overcome loneliness when you are alone

  • Be vulnerable. If you’re waiting for your neighbor to be the first to say hello, take the risk and say hi first. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, or learn more about that person you always take a fitness class next to. Remembering that we’re all seeking human connection can take the pressure off the situation.
  • Give back. Helping others who have less than we do often reminds us of all we have to be thankful for. Bonus: you may meet some volunteers who have similar interests to you, and are open to helping others.
  • Release your expectations. In the age of social media, it’s easy to think the holidays are supposed to look as perfect as a Christmas card. Rethinking your expectations can stop you from playing the comparison game, at which point you may realize you have plenty to be thankful for.

 

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never convenient or easy, but it may be just the thing you need this holiday season.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Mark Williams

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

 

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

AHA: New Report Emphasizes Safety of Statins

AHA: New Report

Emphasizes Safety of Statins

(American Heart Association) — The benefits of the cholesterol-lowering medicines called statins far outweigh any risk of side effects, according to a new analysis of decades of scientific research.

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In fact, side effects of statins are rare, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement published Dec. 10 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Lynne Braun, a heart disease and stroke prevention expert who co-authored the statement, said she hopes the results put to rest any misconceptions patients or health care providers have about what she calls a lifesaving medication.

“This is a category of medications where it is clear, very clear, what the benefits are,” said Braun, a nurse practitioner and a professor of nursing and medicine at Rush University in Chicago.

Statins are used primarily to reduce low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol, a waxy, fat-like substance that builds up in arteries. Research shows statins may lower heart attack risk by at least 25 percent and may also help patients with heart disease avoid cardiac procedures such as coronary stents.

The statement comes 16 years after a clinical advisory issued by the AHA, the American College of Cardiology and the U.S. National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute reported similar findings. The authors of the new report reviewed dozens of studies dating back at least 20 years. Most were clinical trials, which are considered the most scientifically sound type of study.

The scientific statement addresses muscle pain, muscle weakness and type 2 diabetes, the most commonly reported side effects of statins, among others.

Muscle pain and weakness were rare complaints in statin clinical trials. When muscle symptoms do occur, they often are linked to the drug’s dosage, the study authors said.

Statins may slightly increase the risk for type 2 diabetes, a condition that can lead to heart disease or stroke. But most people on the drugs already had a high risk for diabetes. Overall, people with diabetes who are on statins see an insignificant increase in blood sugar levels, the study authors said.

The authors suggested health care providers keep a close eye on certain patients who need or take statins, especially older adults who take multiple medications for chronic illnesses.

For example, some studies suggest that people who’ve had a brain hemorrhage and are on a statin are at risk of a second brain attack or hemorrhage. People living with HIV may suffer muscle weakness and muscle pain, in part because of statins’ chemical interplay with HIV drugs. Studies show people of East Asian heritage may be more susceptible to statin-related side effects, especially muscle pain and muscle weakness.

Dr. Roger S. Blumenthal, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Baltimore, said the AHA’s report is a comprehensive review of the pros and cons of taking statins.

“The main takeaway is that statin therapy is much safer — even more effective — than most of the general public has been led to believe,” said Blumenthal, who was not involved in writing the report.

Braun encourages patients who are concerned about taking statins to talk to their health care providers about finding the best medication for them. Patients shouldn’t stop taking statins without consulting their doctor because that could be dangerous, she said.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

Dr P Carrothers

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Peanut Butter Oat Bites : Flourless and No Bake

Peanut Butter Oat Bites

Flourless and No Bake

 

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Want a nutritious snack that can also pass as dessert? These gluten-free peanut butter oat bites contain the delicious combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter, making for a satisfying snack, and the rolled oats add a bit of soluble fiber. What I love most about these bites is the secret ingredient of matcha green tea powder, which packs in more antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup natural, creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons coconut creamer (or coconut milk)

Preparation

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, matcha powder, and cinnamon. Stir the mixture to combine well.
  2. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir again until mixture is thoroughly combined. Place oat mixture into the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
  3. Take the oat mixture out of the refrigerator and roll them into balls, using a heaping tablespoon. This will make about 12 balls. Place back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes to harden before dipping into chocolate.
  1. In a small sauce pot, add the chocolate chips, vanilla, and coconut creamer or milk. Turn heat to low and slowly melt the chocolate, stirring often. Cook on low until mixture is completely smooth. Be careful not to burn the mixture—keep an eye on it and don’t walk away!
  2. Take the oat bites out of the refrigerator and carefully dip each one into the melted chocolate on one side. Lie them flat on a baking sheet lined with foil after they have been dipped in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.
  3. Keep them in the refrigerator and enjoy when wanted. You can also keep them stored in the freezer if you want to enjoy them at a later time.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

These balls are scrumptious with peanut butter, but any nut butter would be equally as delicious. If you have a nut allergy, consider using sunflower seed butter instead. You can also feel free to use chunky instead of creamy peanut butter for an additional crunch.

Although dark chocolate slightly increases the nutritional value of these bites, you can melt your personal favorite chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a good choice since it is not too sweet, given you already have ample sweetness from the maple syrup in the mixture.

To make these naturally sweetened, swap out the maple syrup and use mashed up dates.

To sweeten with dates, pour hot water over the dates in a small bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes so they can soften. Drain excess water and mash up the dates with a fork until a smooth paste is formed. Add this paste into the oat mixture. You can also try using mashed ripe banana as an alternative natural sweetener. Alternatively, to cut down on sugar, use half the amount of maple syrup and add in unsweetened applesauce.

The matcha powder flavor is almost undetectable but if you would like a stronger presence, simply add in another half teaspoon or so. If you have trouble finding matcha powder, omit altogether.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe is very simple and requires no baking. It is especially great in the summer time.

To minimize the number of dishes used, mix all the ingredients for the oat mixture in one bowl. You can also save time by using chocolate chips—they are convenient to melt instead of having to chop up chocolate.

The oat bites do not need to be refrigerated for any food safety reasons, but the chocolate will melt otherwise.

Plus, it keeps the balls intact. Store them in the freezer, as you may not always finish the whole batch within a few days. This way, you can take one or two out as needed and they are as delicious frozen as they are thawed out. Enjoy these as a snack mid-day or for a light dessert in the evening.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

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