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

 

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Senator Dies From Sepsis After Flu Shot

Senator Dies From Sepsis, a Common Complication of Infection, Including Influenza

vaccine

There are big gaps in vaccine science research and a troubling lack of information about the overall benefit of annual influenza vaccinations. Mounting evidence suggests the administration of annual flu shots, especially to all infants and children starting in the first year of life, may be causing immune system dysfunction, which could become a significant problem for children as they grow up.

New York State Senator José Peralta — an outspoken proponent of annual flu vaccinations — died November 22, 2018, at the age of 47 from sudden septic shock.   Sepsis is a progressive disease process initiated by an aggressive, dysfunctional immune response to an infection in the bloodstream (which is why it’s sometimes referred to as blood poisoning).

Symptoms of sepsis are often overlooked, even by health professionals, and without prompt treatment, the condition can be deadly, as evidenced in Peralta’s case. He had reportedly complained of “pressure behind his ears and headaches for a week or more,” but had largely dismissed his condition thinking it was just side effects from a recent flu shot.

His condition took a sudden turn for the worse on November 20, when he developed a fever. The following day, he had trouble breathing and became disoriented, at which point he was admitted to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York.

Peralta died that evening, apparently from severe sepsis, a serious complication of infection for individuals whose immune systems are not functioning well, although the nature of Peralta’s infection and the precise cause of his death from sepsis apparently remains unclear.

While Peralta had recently received an influenza vaccination, research shows the flu vaccine often fails to work, and may actually weaken the immune system, making you more vulnerable to secondary infections and/or more severe disease. In one study, influenza vaccination more than quadrupled children’s risk of contracting an upper respiratory infection.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2017-2018 seasonal influenza vaccine’s effectiveness against “influenza A and influenza B virus infection associated with medically attended acute respiratory illness” was just 36 percent, meaning there was a 64 percent chance of contracting influenza even if you got the flu shot.

Sepsis is actually one of the leading causes of influenza-related deaths. When your immune system is weak, influenza can weaken it further, allowing a secondary infection to take hold. Sepsis is typically caused by this secondary infection, not the influenza infection itself.

According to researchers, “Severe sepsis is traditionally associated with bacterial diseases … However, viruses are becoming a growing cause of severe sepsis worldwide.” As noted in the video above, some sepsis symptoms also resemble influenza, which can lead to tragedy. The video offers guidelines on how to tell the difference between the two.

Sepsis, without doubt, requires immediate medical attention, whereas most people will successfully recover from influenza within a few days to a week with bedrest and fluids. Just how influenza can lead to sepsis is a somewhat complex affair, described as follows:

“Regardless of the etiologic agent, the inflammatory response is highly interconnected with infection. In the initial response to an infection, severe sepsis is characterized by a proinflammatory state, while a progression to an anti-inflammatory state develops and favors secondary infections …

In the predominant proinflammatory state, Th1 cells activated by microorganisms increase transcription of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), interferon-γ (INF-γ), and interleukin-2 (IL-2).

[C]ytokines … released from endothelial cells and subsequently from macrophages can induce lymphocyte activation and infiltration at the sites of infection and will exert direct antiviral effects. Subsequently, with the shift toward an anti-inflammatory state, activated Th2 cells secrete interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-10 (IL-10).

In certain situations, T cells can become anergic, failing to proliferate and produce cytokines. Type I IFN has a potent anti-influenza virus activity; it induces transcription of several interferon stimulated genes, which in turn restrict viral replication. However, influenza virus developed several mechanisms to evade IFN response …

Viral infections such as the influenza virus can also trigger deregulation of the innate immune system with excessive cytokines release and potential harmful consequences. An abnormal immune response to influenza can lead to endothelial damage … deregulation of coagulation, and the consequent alteration of microvascular permeability, tissue edema and shock.”

Unfortunately, even when properly diagnosed, conventional treatments for sepsis often fail, and most hospitals have yet to embrace the use of intravenous (IV) vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine, which have been shown to reduce sepsis mortality from 40 to a mere 8.5 percent.

Being aware of this treatment (see below), and insisting on it should you or someone you love be at risk, could be a real lifesaver. Knowing what sepsis looks like is also crucial, as early diagnosis and treatment is crucial.

Signs and Symptoms of Sepsis

Common signs and symptoms of sepsis after a flu shot to watch out for include:

  • A high fever
  • Inability to keep fluids down
  • Rapid heartbeat; rapid, shallow breathing and/or shortness of breath
  • Lethargy and/or confusion
  • Slurred speech, often resembling intoxication

Should a few or all of these be present, seek immediate medical attention to rule out sepsis. Also inform the medical staff that you suspect sepsis, as time is of the essence when it comes to treatment. As noted in the video above, hydration is of utmost importance, as damage caused by sepsis begins with fluid loss.

Familiarize Yourself With This Life-Saving Sepsis Protocol

If you or a loved one develops sepsis, whether caused by influenza or some other infection, please remember that a protocol of IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and thiamine (vitamin B1) can be lifesaving.  Tell your doctor and suggest it be part of the treatment — chances are, he or she might not even be aware of it.

This lifesaving sepsis treatment protocol was developed Dr. Paul Marik, a critical care doctor at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in East Virginia, and clinical use has proven it to be remarkably effective for the treatment of sepsis, reducing mortality nearly fivefold.

Marik’s retrospective before-after clinical study showed that giving patients IV vitamin C with hydrocortisone and vitamin B1 for two days reduced mortality from 40 percent down to 8.5 percent.

Importantly, the treatment has no side effects and is inexpensive, readily available and simple to administer. There is nothing to lose by trying it unless the person with sepsis has a specific genetic disorder: Use of the sepsis treatment protocol is contraindicated if a person is glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient (a genetic disorder).  G6PD is an enzyme your red blood cells need to maintain membrane integrity.

High-dose IV vitamin C is a strong pro-oxidant, and giving a pro-oxidant to a G6PD-deficient individual can cause their red blood cells to rupture, which could have disastrous, even fatal, consequences.

Fortunately, G6PC deficiency is relatively uncommon, and can be tested for. People of Mediterranean and African decent are at greater risk of being G6PC deficient. Worldwide, G6PD deficiency is thought to affect 400 million individuals, and in the U.S., an estimated 1 in 10 African-American males have it.

How Does the Treatment Work?

Vitamin C is well-known for its ability to prevent and treat infectious diseases. Previous research has shown it effectively lowers proinflammatory cytokines and C-reactive protein.  Influenza, encephalitis and measles have all been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.

To investigate the mechanism of action for sepsis, Marik reached out to John Catravas, Ph.D., a pharmacology researcher at Old Dominion University. At Marik’s request, Catravas performed an independent lab study, which confirmed the effectiveness of the treatment. Catravas cultured endothelial cells from lung tissue and then exposed them to endotoxins found in patients with sepsis.

Interestingly, vitamin C acts like the steroid hydrocortisone, yet when either vitamin C or the steroid were administered in isolation, nothing happened. When administered together, however, the infection was successfully eradicated and the cells were restored to normal.

The addition of thiamine is also important. Not only is thiamine required for metabolism of some of the metabolites of vitamin C, research has also shown many patients with sepsis are vitamin deficient, and when thiamine is given, it reduces the risk of renal failure and mortality.

Studies have also shown thiamine can be helpful for a long list of diseases and disorders, including mitochondrial disorders, heart failure, delirium, thyroid fatigue and Hashimoto’s (a thyroid autoimmune disorder). These and other health effects may help explain why thiamine works so well in conjunction with vitamin C and hydrocortisone for sepsis. In short, the key Marik intuitively stumbled upon was the right combination of ingredients.

Dr. Craig Coopersmith, a leading sepsis researcher at Emory University School of Medicine, is currently conducting a multicenter trial to put Marik’s vitamin C protocol to the test. The projected completion date for this study is May 30, 2019.

Strong Immune Function Minimizes Your Risk of All Sorts of Infections

It’s important to remember that your immune system is your first-line defense against all types of infections, be they bacterial or viral, so the most effective way to make it through flu season unscathed and avoid other infections that may turn deadly is to bolster your immune function.

While conventional health authorities claim getting an annual flu shot is the best way to ward off influenza, the medical literature suggests vitamin D optimization is a very effective strategy in helping to prevent respiratory infections of all kinds during the flu season. A number of studies have confirmed that people with higher vitamin D levels report fewer bouts of cold or flu.

A scientific review published 2017 concluded that people with significant vitamin D deficiency (blood levels below 10 ng/mL) can cut their risk of respiratory infection by 50 percent simply by taking a vitamin D supplement. People with higher vitamin D levels also benefited but to a lesser degree. Overall, they reduced their risk by about 10 percent, which the researchers stated was about equal to the effect of flu vaccines.

Aside from vitamin D, loading up on vitamins B1 and C may also go a long way toward keeping you healthy through the flu season and beyond. (Influenza has also been successfully treated with high-dose vitamin C.

Taking zinc lozenges at the first sign of a cold or flu can also be helpful, as zinc boosts immune function and plays a vital role in activating your body’s T cells (white blood cells tasked with destroying infected cells).

 

** Dont get a flu shot if you have a youngster or infant in the house who has just received their vaccines.

**  Stock up on fresh oranges, not orange juice.

** Please do not start taking B1 or any D vitamin until you talk to a healthcare worker or one of our staff.  These can be very dangerous if taken alone, or incorrectly,

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Richard Jaranson

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.

AHA1210182

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

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Caramel Apple Rings: Liver Cleansing

Caramel Apple Rings

Coming up with fun, easy ideas for families can feel hard sometimes, and that’s when you can turn to these caramel apple rings. They’re a perfect breakfast idea for kids and adults alike. Try setting out all the different toppings “build your own” style and let everyone decorate the caramel apple rings with their own favorite choices!

 

Apples: Provide living water to support the liver’s hydration capabilities, so it can store the water and then release it back into the bloodstream when dehydration or dirty blood syndrome occurs. The fruit acids in apples help cleanse the liver by dispersing toxic films that build up inside its storage banks. Apples starve out bacteria, yeast, mold, other funguses, and viruses from the intestinal tract and liver. Great for dissolving gallstones.

Dates: The intestinal tract builds up mucus due to low hydrochloric acid and bile production, and that can slow down absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream. Dates expel and eliminate mucus, especially that produced by pathogens such as bacteria and fungus, from the colon. The sugars in dates feed the liver; they’re a great source of glucose for recovery and restoration that allows the liver to maximize its over 2,000 chemical functions.

applecaramelringsdThese are the ones we made and we used coconut in them.  Putting them on a stick is the best!

 

This recipe is a lot of fun with a lot of variations.

 

 

Caramel Apple Rings

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 lemon, juiced, divided
3 red apples
1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
1 inch vanilla bean (optional)
½ cup water

Optional Toppings:
1 cup raspberries
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried mulberries
¼ cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons raw honey

Directions:
Fill a large bowl with cold water and pour half of the lemon juice into it. Turn each apple sideways and carefully cut it into slices about ¼ inch thick. Use a small cookie cutter or bottle cap to punch the core out of the center of each apple slice. Place the finished rings immediately into the bowl of lemon water to prevent browning.

Blend the dates, vanilla bean, ½ cup water, and remaining lemon juice together until a thick, smooth “caramel” forms.

Remove the apple rings from the water. Spread caramel along the top of each ring and add any desired toppings!

Tip:
If the dates you’re using are dry, try soaking them in warm water for a few minutes prior to blending.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Gail Bohannan Gray

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Pumpkin and a Pumpkin Smoothie!

It’s PUMPKIN time again!!

 

shutterstock_pumpkin-smoothie.jpg

 

Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin potato chips and more!

While pumpkins are chock full of beta-carotene (the pre-cursor to vitamin A), and fiber, they are also low glycemic, meaning that pumpkin does not cause blood sugar levels to rise, helping you lose weight. Pumpkin is also great for your eyesight, beautiful smooth skin and has powerful disease-fighting capabilities.

However, keep in mind we are talking about pure pumpkin, not that pumpkin spice muffin you’re eating or your pumpkin spice mocha latte frappe! The sugar and refined flours cancel out the benefits of the pumpkin.

That beautiful bright orange color of pumpkins comes from the antioxidant, beta carotene, which not only turns to vitamin A in the body, but is a powerful antioxidant that protects against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. In fact, a recent study from Brazil showed that diabetic rats fed beta carotene reduced oxidation stress that helped prevent heart disease and disease processes caused by diabetes.

Beta-carotene is not the only diabetes-fighting nutrient in pumpkins. Two other compounds found in both pumpkins and fenugreek, trigonelline and nicotine acid, have been shown in studies to be effective in lowering blood sugar levels by improving insulin resistance, according to researchers in Japan.

Pumpkin’s high fiber helps you feel full longer, which is a great aid in weight loss. And it’s low glycemic properties also help to keep your body in fat-burning mode—not fat-storing mode. Pumpkin’s powerful antioxidants also help fight off cancer and boost the immune system. A pumpkin-protein smoothie can be the perfect post-workout recovery food—since pumpkin is also full of potassium, along with its vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

Pumpkin can be eaten roasted, baked or steamed, similar to sweet potatoes or squash. It is a delicious addition to curries and soups as well. Don’t  forget to eat the pumpkin seeds, too, which are best lightly roasted. Pumpkin seeds are known to boost levels of serotonin, the ‘feel-good’ brain chemical.

Try this amazing pumpkin smoothie!

Ingredients

1/2 cup (approximate) organic pumpkin, canned or fresh baked
1 small or 1/2 regular/large tart apple
Protein powder of choice (vanilla works best with this recipe)
1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Handful of greens if you wish—baby kale, spinach, chard, etc.
Your milk of choice: real raw milk, coconut milk, almond milk, etc.
1 Tbsp of coconut oil

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth, add milk until desired consistency. Add a few ice cubes if you like it cold.

You should also know that this recipe is an almost perfect low-glycemic snack for Diabetics, due to it’s blend of fiber, healthy fats, antioxidants, and a reasonably low amount of sugars and carbs that impact blood sugar.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Exercise to Lower Your Blood Pressure

 hbp

In the U.S., an estimated 1 in 3 has high blood pressure (hypertension); another 1 in 3 has prehypertension.1 A blood pressure reading of 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) is considered healthy.

High blood pressure is typically considered anything over 140/90 mmHg, although updated guidelines2 from the American Heart Association now have 130/80 mmHg as the cutoff for a diagnosis of hypertension. Elevated systolic pressure (the top or high number) is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia.3

While drugs are typically the first-line treatment for hypertension, they’re associated with a number of problematic side effects. For example, research4 published in 2017 found hydrochlorothiazide — one of the most popular drugs used worldwide to treat high blood pressure — raises the risk of skin cancer sevenfold.

Diuretics, also commonly prescribed for high blood pressure, have the side effect of leaching both sodium and potassium out of your body, and maintaining a healthy sodium-to-potassium ratio is really important for the normalization of your blood pressure.5

Potassium is also needed for proper muscle movement, including the contractions of your heart, and if your level gets depleted it can trigger muscle cramps and heart problems. So, what can you do beside popping a daily pill? The good news is exercise can go a long way toward normalizing your blood pressure.6,7,8

Increasing Insulin Sensitivity Is the First Line of Treatment for High Blood Pressure

Over 80 percent of the U.S. population are insulin resistant and this metabolic dysfunction causes a boatload of problems, such as an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. There are many well-reported links between obesity and high blood pressure.9 Most, but certainly not all, those with hypertension are overweight, and in those circumstances losing weight is associated with lowering of their blood pressure.

So, if you have high blood pressure your first strategy is to regain your metabolic flexibility and be able to burn fat as a primary fuel once again. This will not only decrease your insulin resistance and help optimize your weight, but also radically decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.10

Exercise Is Another Potent Therapy for High Blood Pressure

Inactivity and blood pressure are also closely related — so closely that exercise is actually considered a first line of treatment by several health authorities, including the World Health Organization, the International Society of Hypertension and the U.S. Joint National Committee on Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure, just to name a few.11

Research shows inactive individuals have a 30 to 50 percent greater risk for high blood pressure than their active counterparts.12 As noted in a literature review13 on exercise and hypertension, published in Australian Family Physician:

“An evidence based literature analysis by the American College of Sports Medicine indicates that an isolated exercise session (acute effect) lowers BP [blood pressure] an average of 5 to 7 mmHg … [T]he average BP reduction with regular endurance exercise for hypertensives not normalized by drug therapy in the literature review is 7.4/5.8mmHg …

Depending upon the degree the patient’s BP has been normalized by drug therapy, regular aerobic exercise significantly reduces BP the equivalent of 1 class of antihypertensive medication (chronic effect) … Overall, resistance training has a favorable chronic effect on resting BP, but the magnitude of the BP reductions are less than those reported for an aerobic based exercise program …

For most hypertensive patients, exercise is quite safe. Caution is required for those over 50 years of age, and those with established cardiovascular disease (CVD) (or at high CVD risk) and in these patients, the advice of a clinical exercise physiologist is recommended.”

Try These Exercises to Lower Your Blood Pressure

The key to affect your blood pressure is to do physical activity that raises your heart rate, making your heart beat faster and increase blood flow. This is also known as cardiovascular or aerobic exercise.

As you might guess, just about any physical movement can achieve this, depending on your current state of fitness. Even yard work can be a cardiovascular exercise. Raking and mulching, for example, takes some effort and will get your heart pumping. Other aerobic exercises include:

Brisk walking and/or running — Research14 published in 2013 found moderate-intensity brisk walking produced similar reductions in blood pressure as vigorous-intensity running.
Swimming and/or water aerobics — In one study,15 adults aged 50 and over who swam three to four times a week for 12 weeks improved their vascular function and reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of nine points.
Bicycling — A 2016 study16 showed that people in their 40s through 60s who bicycled to and from work were less likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or prediabetes. After 10 years of follow-up, bicycle commuters had an 11 percent lower risk for hypertension than nonbikers.
Weightlifting and/or body weight exercises — A small 2012 study,17 which included middle-aged men diagnosed with high blood pressure who had previously exercised less than two hours a week and were not using antihypertensive medication, showed that after weight training for 45 to 60 minutes (three sets of 12 repetitions for each of seven exercises), systolic blood pressure was reduced by an average of 22 mmHg and diastolic pressure by an average of 8 mmHg.
Skiing
Skating
Rowing
Dancing
Sports such as tennis, soccer and ultimate Frisbee

Isometric Handgrip Training Lowers Blood Pressure in Older Adults

Isometric handgrip exercises have also been shown to have a positive impact on blood pressure in older adults.

Interestingly, a 2013 systematic review18 concluded improving your handgrip strength was even more effective for lowering systolic blood pressure than conventional endurance and strength training programs.

Other studies19,20 have also confirmed the benefit of both handgrip and leg extension exercises on blood pressure. As noted in one of them:21

“Isometric resistance training lowers [systolic blood pressure], [diastolic blood pressure], and mean arterial pressure. The magnitude of effect is larger than that previously reported in dynamic aerobic or resistance training. Our data suggest that this form of training has the potential to produce significant and clinically meaningful blood pressure reductions and could serve as an adjunctive exercise modality.”

Boosting Your Nitric Oxide Level Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Another excellent exercise is the Nitric Oxide Dump. This and other high-intensity exercises help normalize your blood pressure by triggering production of nitric oxide in your body. It involves just four movements — squats, alternating arm raises, nonjumping jacks and shoulder presses — which are done in repetitions of 10, with four sets each. In total, it takes just three to four minutes. Ideally, you’d do these exercises three times a day, a few hours apart.

Nitric oxide is a soluble gas stored in your endothelium (the lining of your blood vessels) and acts as an important signaling molecule throughout your body. Along with promoting healthy endothelial function, nitric oxide also supports heart health by helping your veins and arteries dilate, which promotes healthy blood flow.

Nitric oxide also plays a protective role in your mitochondrial health, the energy storehouse of your cells, responsible for the utilization of energy for all metabolic functions. Even your skeletal muscle, which is made up of only about 1 percent to 2 percent mitochondria, depend on these energy powerhouses to fuel your daily movements.

When you exercise and your muscles ache, it’s because you’ve run out of oxygen, which your body compensates for by releasing nitric oxide. But here’s the secret that’s not widely known: When you exercise, it takes only about 90 seconds for your blood vessels to run out of stored nitric oxide and begin the process of making more.

This is why working major muscle groups for as little as 90 seconds can be so effective.22 You can also take advantage of the nitric oxide-boosting power of vegetable nitrates, which serve as precursors for nitric oxide. Arugula is the highest source but fermented beet powder can have up to 500 percent greater concentration of nitrates.

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Help Normalize Your Blood Pressure?

As a general recommendation, aim for moderate-intensity activity 30 minutes a day, at least five days a week.23 The higher the intensity of your exercise, the lower the frequency needs to be, so if you’re doing more vigorous aerobic activity, you can get away with doing just three days a week. In addition to that, it’s recommended to perform some sort of muscle strengthening exercise two days a week.

If you have high blood pressure, chances are you’re not exercising enough at present. If that’s the case, start slow and build your way up. For example, start taking a walk a few times a week, and increase the frequency as you start feeling more able. Over time, also step up the intensity, and be sure to add some form of strength training — especially if you’re insulin resistant — as well as isometric handgrip exercises, which can easily be done while watching TV or otherwise relaxing.

I also recommend training yourself to breathe through your nose when exercising, as mouth breathing during exercise can raise your heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes resulting in fatigue and dizziness.

Source: American Heart Association

Other Lifestyle Strategies for Lowering Your Blood Pressure

Aside from exercise, here are several additional suggestions that can help lower your blood pressure naturally.

Optimize your vitamin D level — Vitamin D deficiency is associated with both arterial stiffness and hypertension.24 For optimal health, maintain a vitamin D level between 60 and 80 nanograms per milliliter year-round.
Mind your sodium to potassium ratio — According to Dr. Lawrence Appel, lead researcher on the DASH diet and director of the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins, your diet as a whole is the key to controlling hypertension — not salt reduction alone.

He believes a major part of the equation is this balance of minerals — i.e., most people need less sodium and more potassium, calcium and magnesium. According to Appel,25 “Higher levels of potassium blunt the effects of sodium. If you can’t reduce or won’t reduce sodium, adding potassium may help. But doing both is better.”

Indeed, maintaining a proper potassium to sodium ratio in your diet is very important, and hypertension is but one of many side effects of an imbalance. A processed food diet virtually guarantees you’ll have a lopsided ratio of too much sodium to potassium. Making the switch from processed foods to whole foods will automatically improve your ratios.

Intermittent and partial fasting — Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective ways I’ve found to normalize your insulin/leptin sensitivity, which is a root cause of hypertension. My new book, Keto Fasting which goes into great detail about partial fasting comes out next spring.
Walk barefoot — Going barefoot will help you ground to the earth. Experiments show that walking barefoot outside (also referred to as Earthing or grounding) improves blood viscosity and blood flow, which help regulate blood pressure. So, do yourself a favor and ditch your shoes now and then.

Grounding also calms your sympathetic nervous system, which supports your heart rate variability. This in turn promotes homeostatis, or balance, in your autonomic nervous system. In essence, anytime you improve heart rate variability, you’re improving your entire body and all of its functions.

Address your stress — The connection between stress and hypertension is well documented, yet still does not receive the emphasis it deserves. In fact, it has been shown that people with heart dis­ease can lower their risk of subsequent cardiac events by over 70 percent simply by learning to manage their stress.

Suppressed negative emotions such as fear, anger and sadness can severely limit your ability to cope with the unavoidable every day stresses of life. It’s not the stressful events themselves that are harmful, but your lack of ability to cope.

The good news is strategies exist to quickly and effectively transform your suppressed, negative emotions and relieve stress. My preferred method is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), an easy to learn, easy to use technique for releasing negative emotions. EFT combines visualization with calm, relaxed breathing, while employing gentle tapping to “reprogram” deeply seated emotional patterns.

Essential oils — A number of essential oils can also be helpful, including lavender, ylang-ylang, marjoram, bergamot, rose, frankincense, rosemary, lemon balm and clary sage. In one study,26scientists found exposure to essential oil for one hour effectively reduced stress as measured by a reduction in the participants’ heart rate and blood pressure.

The effect was only temporary, however. In another, similar study,27 inhalation of a blend of lavender, ylang-ylang, neroli and marjoram essential oils was associated with a reduction in blood pressure and cortisol secretion, which is often elevated during stress.

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Raspberry and Lime Chia Pudding Parfait

Health and WEllness Associates
EHS – Telehealth

 

Raspberry and Lime Chia Pudding Parfait

Raspberry and Lime Chia Pudding Parfait

This recipe is as much of a delight to the eyes as it is to the taste buds. Abundant in antioxidants, it is a wonderful option for a snack, meal, or dessert anytime of day. Feel free to vary this recipe with any fruits you wish. Witness a new colorful creation emerging every time you make it!

Raspberries are a great full-body detoxifying food, rich in antioxidants that specifically help remove byproduct and toxic debris created by the invader that causes thyroid problems. Raspberries also tend to bind onto and remove impurities delivered to the intestinal tract by a liver burdened by this invader.

Maple syrup holds dozens of trace minerals that fortify the brain and the rest of the nervous system, protecting them from oxidation due to heavy metal damage and EBV neurotoxins. Helps to build glycogen storage banks in the liver and brain to help balance blood sugar, which keeps the adrenals strong and stable so they can support the thyroid.

Raw honey is saturated with more than 200,000 undiscovered phytochemical compounds and agents, including pathogen-killers, phytochemicals that protect you from radiation damage, and anti cancerous phytochemicals. When drawn into cancerous tumors and cysts, this last class of phytochemicals shut down the cancerous growth process—meaning that raw honey can stop cancer in its tracks.

Limes (and lemons) improve digestion by raising levels of hydrochloric acid (good acid) in the gut. They tone the intestinal lining, cleanse the liver, and offer replenishing calcium to prevent osteoporosis when EBV prompts nodule formation throughout the body, which uses up calcium stores. Lemons and limes also balance sodium levels in the blood, which allows for electrolytes to become active and improves the neurotransmitter activity that has been hampered by EBV neurotoxins causing brain fog and other neurological symptoms.

Chia seeds are a great “brain food” and they are known to help improve memory, sharpen focus and concentration skills, and reduce brain fog and forgetfulness. Chia seeds are incredibly high in antioxidants and can help to prevent certain health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. They also contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties which makes them a good food for those who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiomyopathy, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic nerve pain.

Bananas are a powerful antiviral food—so powerful that they have the capacity to repel growth of the retrovirus HIV. High in tryptophan, bananas can help soothe sleep disorders, create calm, reduce anxiety, and alleviate depression. And those who worry about Candida have no need to fear bananas. They are the ultimate fungus destroyers, removing unproductive bacteria while feeding beneficial microorganisms in the intestinal tract.

Wild blueberries help restore the central nervous system and flush viral neurotoxins out of the liver. They contain exceptionally powerful antioxidants that help repair your thyroid’s tissue and reduce the growth of nodules. They also help remove toxic heavy metals from the brain and liver. Ultimately, this all means that wild blueberries stop a shrinking brain and a shrinking thyroid. Not to be confused with their larger, cultivated cousins, wild blueberries can be found in the freezer section of many grocery stores.

Raspberry and Lime Chia Pudding Parfait Recipe

Cook time: 5 minutes + 2 hours in the fridge

For the chia pudding:

1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
2 tbsp maple syrup or raw honey
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lime juice
3 tbsp chia seeds

For topping:

1/2 banana, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup fresh or defrosted wild blueberries or regular blueberries

1. Place the raspberries in a bowl and mash very well with a fork. Stir in the almond or coconut milk, maple syrup or raw honey, lime zest and juice and chia seeds.

2. Set aside to soak for 2-3 hours, until thick and jelly-like.

3. Divide the chia pudding between two jars or bowls and serve with bananas, raspberries and blueberries.

Serves 2

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Restorative and Preventative Medicine

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Foods, Uncategorized

Foods For Better Sex

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Foods For Better Sex

 

Eating nutritious foods with lots of nutrients and antioxidants can help you feel (and look) more vibrant by keeping your skin and hair healthy. And eating a healthy diet -helps keep your body strong and fit.

Start with the basics — eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, ​lean protein sources, low-fat dairy, whole grains and a few beneficial fats. And it doesn’t hurt to know how many calories you need every day.

Then nibble on these ten sexy superfoods, which are extra high in nutrients needed for sexual health.

 

 

  1. Non-fat Yogurts

yogurt

Dairy products are rich in vitamin A that’s essential for beautiful skin and calcium for strong bones and healthy hair. Plus people who consume dairy products every day seem to have less difficulty maintaining a healthy weight. Non-fat yogurt has all the benefits of milk plus the friendly bacteria found in yogurt are probiotics that help keep your digestive system working normally.

Tip: Enjoy some plain non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with fresh blueberries, chopped nuts, and a little honey for additional protein and vitamins.

 

2. Citrus Fruit

citrusfruit

 

Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamin C. Eating an orange gives you all the vitamin C your body needs for a day, plus it helps to increase absorption of iron from vegetables and legumes that your body needs for energy. Vitamin C also helps keep your skin beautiful by keeping the connective tissue under the skin strong, slowing down the formation of wrinkles.

Tip: Eat an orange every day as a healthy snack

 

3. Berries

berries

 

The beautiful pigments that give berries their colors also contain phytochemicals that work as antioxidants to protect your skin, which may help you age more gracefully. Blueberries and cranberry juice may also help prevent bladder infections. Berries are also low in calories and rich in vitamin C and potassium.

Tip: Make a fruit smoothie with a banana, plain yogurt, frozen blueberries, sliced strawberries and a splash of cranberry juice. Or dip a few fresh strawberries in dark chocolate for a romantic treat.

 

4.  Salmon

Tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Tarick Foteh/Getty Images

Salmon contains essential fats and protein that are essential for healthy skin and hair. Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc protect your skin from getting dry by keeping moisture in the skin cells. The beneficial fats in salmon may also be good for muscle and nerve function.

Tip: Go out for salmon sashimi at a romantic sushi restaurant or grill a salmon steak at home. Not into salmon? Tuna is an excellent choice as well.

5.  Black Beans

Black beans are high in biotin.
Mitch Hrdlicka/Getty Images

Legumes contain protein, iron, and zinc. Black beans are also a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that’s important for healthy skin and hair. They’re also rich in fiber, which can help you stay slim and keep your digestive system functioning properly.

Tip: Serve black beans as a side dish with dinner.

6.  Walnuts

Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Vanillaechoes/Getty Images

Walnuts contain polyunsaturated fats, and they’re also rich in alpha-linolenic acid, the plant version of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also an excellent source of protein and eating just a few walnuts helps to keep you feeling satisfied between meals. Some research studies have suggested that the phytochemicals in walnuts help keep prostates healthy in older men.

Tip: Eat a handful of walnuts with a fresh piece of fruit for an afternoon snack.

7.  Tomatoes

Tomatoes are high in lycopene.
Daniel Aniszewski/Getty Images

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and a phytochemical called lycopene, a relative of vitamin A that helps keep a man’s prostate healthy. Lycopene is thought to protect skin from sun damage and getting adequate amounts of lycopene may keep your skin smooth and supple.

Tip: Eat fresh raw tomatoes or make tomato bisque and serve it with a fresh salad and crusty whole grain bread.

8.  Dark Chocoloate

Dark chocolate contains antioxidants.
Stepan Popov/Getty Images

You may believe that eating chocolate improves your mood. Research isn’t clear on that, but dark chocolate may have a little ​superpower. The phytochemicals in dark chocolate could possibly improve blood flow to all the parts of your body, including the brain and the sex organs, which is an important component of arousal.

Tip: Enjoy one ounce of dark chocolate (not Dutch-processed) every night.

9.  Water

Water is good for healthy skin.
Martin Barraud/Getty Images

Although water isn’t really a nutrient, it’s necessary for your health — your body contains a lot of water. Not only is water good for your insides, it’s also essential for smooth healthy skin. Plus water has no calories, so it’s perfect for watching your weight.

Tip: Drink water with a slice of lemon or lime instead of sugary soft drinks.

1o.  Oysters

Oysters are good for your health.
Dapan Photography / Moment / Getty Images

 Legendary as aphrodisiacs, oysters may live up to their sexy reputation. They’re rich in zinc, a mineral that’s important for male sexual health, testosterone levels and sperm production. Zinc is also important for healthy hair and for your senses of taste and smell.

Tip: Enjoy raw or cooked oysters as an appetizer. If you don’t like oysters, you can get your zinc from beef, pork or lamb.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

fastfood

With roughly 40 percent of Americans now obese, new research finds that one strategy may be helping Americans stay slim: calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, chain restaurants with 20 or more franchises must now list a meal’s calorie count on their menus and order boards.

And some cities and states — including New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle, and all of California, Massachusetts and Oregon — have gone a step further, imposing broad calorie label mandates in full-service restaurants.

Now, a snapshot of the ordering habits in two full-service, sit-down restaurants suggests the legislative moves are having an impact.

“We conducted an experiment with over 5,500 diners in real-world restaurants and found that calorie labels led customers to order 3 percent fewer calories,” said study author John Cawley. The drop amounted to about 45 fewer calories consumed per meal.

“This was due to reductions in calories ordered as appetizers and entrees,” he added, with little change seen in the calorie count of either drinks or desserts.

That second finding struck Cawley, a professor in the departments of policy analysis and management, and economics at Cornell University, as surprising.

“Before we started, I expected that people would reduce calories in desserts, but they didn’t,” he said.

Why?

“In interpreting that, it’s important to remember that people will change their behavior when the information is new or surprising,” he explained. “People may have already known that desserts are high-calorie and not cut back, but been surprised by the number of calories in appetizers and entrees, and so reduced calories there.”

Cawley calculated that over a three-year period, the calorie cut would lead to weight loss in the range of one pound.

“Not large,” he acknowledged, “but it’s also a cheap policy, and philosophically it’s attractive to allow people to make informed decisions.”

What’s more, “the vast majority of people support having calorie labels on menus, and those who were exposed to them expressed even higher support,” he added.

The findings were published recently as a report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research organization.

Both restaurants in the study were located on a university campus.

Dining parties were randomly given a menu with or without calorie-count labels. About 43 percent of the study participants were men. The average age was 34, and about two-thirds were white.

Appetizers contained between 200 to 910 calories, entrees contained 580 to 1,840 calories, and desserts contained 420 to 1,150 calories. Drinks ranged from 100 to 370 calories.

Beyond the 3 percent calorie drop linked to the labeling, the researchers also found that consumer support for labeling went up by almost 10 percent among patrons who were given labeled menus.

And restaurant revenue did not seem to be affected by the type of menu offered, despite long-voiced industry concerns that calorie counts might undermine a food establishment’s bottom line.

Lona Sandon is an associate professor in the department of clinical nutrition with the school of health professions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She said the study makes it “apparent that some people at least pay attention” to labels.

But the move is just “one piece in the big puzzle of addressing the public health problem of obesity,” she said.

“I do not see a drastic change in overweight and obesity rates anytime soon as a result of the menu labeling,” Sandon added.

“On the positive side, it is making people more aware. It may also be making restaurant owners and chefs more aware, which could lead to them putting more healthier options on the menu,” she said. “Between the labeling and changes in recipes, we could get more impact.”

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Foods, Uncategorized

Creamy Southwest Chicken

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Creamy Southwest Chicken : Low Carb

southwestshicken-56d5d9be3df78cfb37da4765

 

Low carb chicken recipes are a must-have for many on low carb diets. This creamy chicken skillet dish is one you can have on the table in 20 minutes, from prep time to finished product, using canned green chilies and shredded cheese for enhanced flavor. This is also one of those dishes you can still serve to family members who may not be on the low carb diet you’re on. Just add their desired side dish, with your low carb options at the same time. The chilies are mild, so this isn’t a spicy dish, but it is a tasty one. Serve with refried beans and/or a salad and sliced avocado. To give it some heat and spice things up, add red pepper flakes or sriracha.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/4 cup onion (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4.5 ounce can green chiles (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup cheddar (shredded, or jack cheese)

Preparation

1) Heat large skillet with oil over medium heat.

2) Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Saute until brown on both sides, adding onions about ​halfway through.

3) Add garlic and cook for another minute.

4) If needed, deglaze the pan with a little water.

5) Add green chilies and cream, and simmer until chicken is done on both sides and the sauce is thickened.

6) Top with shredded cheddar or jack cheese, and serve when cheese melts.

Optional garnish: avocado slices or cilantro.

Suggested Additions: Add low carb veggies such as chopped broccoli or cauliflower to boost fiber; use feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes instead of cheddar or jack.

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