Thursday, August 30, 2012

How Long is the Road to Real Health?

People with health issues or conditions that get sick a lot quite frequently want to know when they will find real health. This is a tricky question to answer, depending on how long the person has been ill, the strength of the person's will to recover, and any number of other factors. In other words, there is no single answer to this question. Instead, I have three answers to this question.

Three Factors That Affect Attaining Real Health
While every individual's situation is unique, in general I find there are three rules of thumb that govern the length of recovery time to true health. True health is achieved when ...

#1 ... The Years of Illness Equal the Months of Wellness
This rule of thumb applies particularly to people who suffer from chronic types of illness, such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and migraine headaches. For every year that you have been ill, give yourself at least one month for recovery. If you have had migraine headaches for five years, then give yourself at least five months to recover once you start on a program of wellness that improves your symptoms.

Notice that the clock that counts the months toward recovery only starts ticking when you find a wellness regimen that works for you. You can spend years experimenting with various remedies, but this rule of thumb doesn't kick in until you start a program that actually improves your health. And this leads us to the second rule of thumb.

#2 ... You Craft a Wellness Program That Works for You
Healthcare experts, doctors, and all manner of healers are great at suggesting possible solutions to restore you to wellness. However, you are your own best health advocate. You alone possess the native wisdom to know when a healthcare plan is working for you, and when it is working against you.

So while you can and should consult healthcare practitioners for advice, always consider the effects of any particular regimen from a very personal standpoint. Keep a journal, if necessary, to track the effectiveness of specific remedies or healthcare approaches. If a prescribed healthcare solution feels wrong to you, be a strong advocate for yourself and look for a solution that feels right. I find that people who actively participate in their own healing, or even spearhead their own healing efforts, are more likely to be restored to wellness.

#3 ... You Can Stick to a Regimen That Works for You
It is one thing to discover a healthcare regimen that produces good results, and entirely another thing to stick to that regimen consistently. I attend a yoga class in which the instructor once said, in a very frank manner: "If you only do yoga one or two days a week, you are wasting your time. If you do yoga three times a week, you will feel gradually better over a long period of time. But if you do yoga four or more times a week, you will feel healthier, stronger, and more vibrant in quantum leaps."

I agree wholeheartedly, having done yoga almost every day for over 50 years. Yoga, like any other healthcare practice, produces good results only if done consistently. Doing yoga only once a week can actually be more painful than doing it four times a week, because allowing 7 days to pass between sessions means your muscles contract, and you have to stretch them out all over again (rather painfully).

So one of my rules of thumb about how long it takes to achieve real health is that you will rarely achieve it unless you consistently practice a healthcare regimen that works for you.

The End Result: Real Health
Using these three simple rules, you can fairly easily craft a healthcare regimen that can restore you to health quite quickly. For instance, I counseled one woman who sought nutritional advice for her irritable bowel syndrome, which had troubled her for over a decade.

I recommended that she add the these packets of high quality supplements to her daily regimen. They include enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus, all of which soothe the digestive tract and aid digestion. These daily packs also include two forms of blue-green algae, which provide the necessary vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals the body needs to heal the digestive tract.

This woman, having suffered from IBS for so long, was deeply motivated. She stuck with the Essentials religiously, never missing a single day. Within nine months, she had almost fully recovered and had almost normal digestive function. That's pretty close to the rule of thumb that relates years of illness to months of recovery time.

I hope that this example also provides strong inspiration for people who have chronic illnesses and feel helpless. Recovery and real health are always possible ... hopefully these three rules of thumb help!


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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

5 Ways to Keep Fitness Simple

Getting fit always seems like a good idea, but when the rubber meets the road do you find that sticking with your fitness routine can be really difficult? Do you find it hard to make a plan that ensures your fitness but doesn't take up too much time?

Ideally, your fitness routine should include physical activity four to five days a week, but sometimes that just isn't possible. If you add work or school to the daily activities of life, sticking to a fitness plan can be a real chore. But don't despair. There are ways you can keep your fitness plan very simple. Here are five ways to make fitness an easy and effective part of your life:

1. Plan for Convenience
If you want to work out at a gym, then choose one that is on the way to or from work or school. This makes it easy to stop by and work out either in the morning or evening. Don't make yourself drive a long way. Make working out a convenient stop. If you don't want to join a gym, you can still stick to your fitness routine by parking your car far enough away from school or work that you get a regular brisk walk twice daily.

2. Fuel Your Body Right
If your body feels sore or tired for any reason (usually from stress) then naturally you will feel reluctant to exercise. To help you stick to your fitness program, be sure you fuel your body with the right nutrition. Add vitamin and mineral-dense foods to your diet. Drink plenty of water, especially during the winter. Antioxidants will also keep your body limber and flexible. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries, garlic, carrots, soy, and whole grains. If you can't get antioxidants on a regular basis in your diet, you can take pill-based supplements such vitamins E, C, and A (in the form of beta-carotene). Blue-green algae and spirulina also offer strong natural sources of antioxidant nutrition.

3. Plan Ahead
You can ensure that you stick to your fitness routine if you actually schedule it into your weekly calendar. Instead of getting up in the morning hoping that your day goes well and that you will "feel like" dropping by the gym on the way home from work, make a plan. You might even schedule your workouts with a buddy so you will have a definite incentive to exercise as planned.

4. Distract Yourself
Not that you don't want to concentrate during your workouts but if "feeling the burn" tends to discourage you from your fitness regimen, then by all means distract yourself. Try listening to an mp3 player while you workout. If you plan to exercise by walking from a distant parking spot to and from work, try calling up a buddy on your cell phone as you walk. If you workout at a gym, tune into the TV set to keep your mind off your exertion.

5. Reward Yourself
Be sure that your fitness plan isn't all about "no pain, no gain"! Plan some ways to reward yourself when you have stuck to your fitness plan. Whether you go in for a relaxing pedicure or simply stop by the local yogurt store for some guilt-free non-fat frozen yogurt, make sure that you get a reward for your fitness efforts!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Avoid Being a Vegetable in Old Age: Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Do you know the two main factors that lead to loss of brain function?

Stress and inflammation.

Experts now believe that stress and inflammation in our bodies contribute significantly to cognitive impairment. At the same time, studies show that eating more foods rich in flavonoids can slow the loss of brain function as we age. Flavonoids are natural nutrients that occur in our bodies and are also found in a variety of foods. Because flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, these nutrients can combat stress and inflammation, both of which contribute to the decline of brain function.

The Research
A number of studies support the fact that flavanoids are good for your brain. For instance, the "Nurse's Health Study" showed that in more than 120,000 women, increased consumption of strawberries and blueberries (both rich in flavanoids) slowed cognitive decline in older women. In other words, these women ate more flavanoid-rich foods and their brains stayed sharper as they aged.

Another study, published in the the journal "Nutrition and Cancer," indicated that flavanoids also support the body's immune system against cancer. In this 20-year study, the people with the highest intake of flavanoids had a 44% lower risk of oral cancer plus 40% less occurrence of laryngeal cancer. A diet high in flavanoids, according to the same study, also decreased a person's risk for other types of cancer, such as colon, breast, ovarian, and kidney cancer.

These are just two of the many studies that indicate the healthy benefits of eating more flavanoids.

Foods High in Flavanoids
We already know that eating more flavanoids is good for you, and that berries are high in flavanoids. What other foods are high in flavanoids?

- Tree fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas
- Nuts and beans like black and kidney beans plus cashews and pistachios
- Red and green vegetables such peppers, eggplants, and red onions plus celery, artichokes and okra
- Micro-algae, especially AFA blue-green algae, which is high not just in flavanoids but also has a wide variety of antioxidants,

The Take Away
The take away lesson here is simple: to keep your brain sharp throughout your life, eat a flavanoid rich diet or supplement your regular diet with whole food supplements such as AFA blue-green algae. By doing so, you will counteract the effects of stress and inflammation, thus preventing damage to your brain!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stroke Risk Factors: Look at Your Hands and Feet

If you are in middle age and are concerned about stroke risk factors (or dementia risk factors), then a good place to start looking is at your hands and your feet! No kidding!

According to study results presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting, a person's grip strength and walking speed are good predictors of future stroke or dementia later in life. The study included 2,400 adults, who were measured for hand grip strength and walking speed. These 2,400 adults were followed for 11 years, and 34 of them developed dementia while 70 had a stroke.

Stroke Risk Factors: Study Results
The study concluded that people that walked more slowly were one-and-a-half times more likely to develop dementia compared to people who had faster walking speeds. At the same time, stronger hand grip strength meant a 42% lower risk of stoke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) as compared to people with weaker hand grip strength.

At the same time, researchers reported that slower walking speeds were also associated with poorer performance in memory later in life, along with lower total cerebral total brain volume.

So what does this study data mean to you? Nothing different than what you probably already know: Don't be a couch potato, stay fit, and keep an active lifestyle. If you are going to walk from your car to the store, don't shuffle or amble, but walk with energy and a brightness to your step! If you keep an active lifestyle, whether through gardening or workouts at a gym or even just cooking, chances are that you will maintain or even increase your hand strength. And with all of that, you have a decreased propensity for dementia and stroke risk factors!

Other Options for Optimal Brain Function Later in Life
In addition to walking with purpose in your life and keeping your hands strong and healthy, you can also take further steps to keep your brain in good working order now and later in life. You have probably seen the various commercials about online sites where you can "exercise" your brain to keep it active and alert. In addition, there are fun mobile Apps like online Scrabble and other math/verbal apps that challenge your brain.

In terms of supplements, you can also try adding brain foods such as:
  • oysters (they do other wonders for your body too!)
  • whole grains
  • AFA blue-green algae
  • black tea
  • eggs
  • curry
  • berries
  • chocolate
Wow, I vote for chocolate (the good dark organic kind, of course!) for taste. For pure simplicity and results, I love the AFA blue-green algae (this form with the cell wall removed) which I have seen do wonders for brain support for people who need it. Whether these people are facing brain damage or trauma, aging, or senility, the type of algae with the cell wall removed definitely has a supportive effect. Part of the reason is because  this type of algae contains tiny molecules that are at the heart of the algae, and these molecules are small enough to pass through the blood-brain barrier, directly nourishing the brain.

For instance, consider this study (from "Edible Microalgae by Jefrey Bruno, Ph.D.)
"Researchers at Erasmus University Medical School in the Netherlands conducted a three-year study of 5,100 people between 55 and 95 years of age and found that beta-carotene molecules acted as 'tiny molecular shields' and may provide dramatic protection against the ravages of aging, memory impairment, and general brain damage."

The good news is that AFA blue-green algae contains abundant sources of the beta-carotenes discussed in the study, not to mention plenty of antioxidants. The beauty is that AFA blue green algae is a simple natural solution that is convenient to add to your daily regimen. It literally takes just a few seconds to swallow a couple capsules of the algae, right?

So ... walk with a good stride, keep up you hand strength, eat good chocolate (or whatever strikes your fancy on the list above), add AFA blue-green algae to you diet and you will be doing a lot for your brain and body, not to mention dementia and stroke risk factors! Very cool!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Gain Muscle Lose Fat: A Simple Tip

Unless you are an Olympic athlete, chances are that you, like most of us, want to gain muscle and lose fat, right?

Granted, there is a certain youthful population that doesn't need to worry about this, but as we age the desire to gain muscle and lose fat becomes more important. Did you know that after age 40 women lose muscle mass at half a pound per year? Yikes! That's not good news, since muscles burn many more calories than fat. Plus, we tend to pack on fat around the belly as we age ... and doctors claim that is the most unhealthy place to gain fat.

So what to do, what to do?

How to Gain Muscle, Lose Fat
You probably already know the simple tip that helps your body achieve this: eat more protein and fewer carbs. Duh!

But did you know that the KIND of protein that you eat can make a difference? For instance, one study published in the "Journal of Nutrition" had overweight pre-menopausal women consume diets with low, medium, or high amounts of DAIRY protein while participating in an aerobic and weight lifting program. The women who ate the highest amounts of dairy gained muscle and lost fat. The women in the medium dairy protein group stayed on an even keel, while the women in the low dairy protein group lost muscle.

What is even more important is that the women in the high dairy protein group lost belly fat almost exclusively while at the same time gaining muscle. So go dairy. right?

Gain Muscle Lose Fat for Vegans and the Lactose-Intolerant
But what if you are a vegan or lactose-intolerant? Obviously the high dairy protein diet isn't going to help you gain muscle, lose fat, and get happy! Luckily, there is another source of high quality protein that is just as good or even better than dairy protein: AFA blue green algae. It turns out that this form of microalgae has 75% usable high quality protein. Compare that with just 18% in red meat!

In addition, AFA blue green algae is a very rich source of essential fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. So, if you don't feeling like glugging down a glass of milk per day, consider taking a capsule of whole algae and a capsule of algae with the cell wall removed. The whole algae cell and gives your body access to proteins necessary for physical energy, while the type that is the heart of the algae does the same for mental energy.

Read more about this microalgae here: http://bit.ly/AFA-algae

Either way, take in more high-quality proteins and fewer carbs, and you'll gain muscle, lose fat (especially belly fat), and feel better all the way around!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ready to Get a Daily Energy Boost and Fight Fatigue?

Are you among the 14% to 27% of people who suffer from chronic fatigue? Or are you among the women who are 3 times as likely to have fatigue as men?

If so, then you'll be interested to know that a recent study in the "Canadian Medical Association Journal" showed that taking an oral iron supplement reduced fatigue in almost 50% of women who were low in iron but not anemic. In case you're wondering, if you have anemia it means you have a low level of red blood cells, which causes a lack of oxygen reaching your cells. Anemia can definitely cause a drop in your daily energy. Apparently, so can a deficiency of iron.

Boosting Daily Energy with Iron Supplements
In this study, women who were iron-deficient but not anemic took 80 milligrams of prolonged-release iron (ferrous sulfate) for 12 weeks. The study was double blind and placebo-controlled, which is among the highest quality types of studies. The fact that almost 50% of the women receiving the iron supplement felt decreased fatigue led researchers to conclude that iron-deficiency could cause fatigue in women. Thus taking an oral iron supplement or eating iron-rich foods can provide daily energy to women with fatigue due to low iron.

But ...
There's always a but to every supplement, right? The "but" in this case is that some people have difficulty absorbing iron, so taking iron supplements can lead to iron toxicity rather than providing the needed daily energy boost. The main way to discover whether you have a problem absorbing iron is with hair analysis. Hair analysis can reveal high levels of iron in the body, even toxic levels, which means your body isn't using the iron you take.

One other way to get a daily energy boost without the possible poor-absorption problem is to look at other sources of physical energy. CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the nutrients your body naturally makes that helps with steady daily energy. CoQ10 is used by every cell in your body, yet your body produces decreasing amounts of this enzyme around mid-life. Taking CoQ10 can help with your daily energy.

But even then your body can have a problem with making use of CoQ10, although less so than with iron. If you have poor digestion, absorption of any nutrients can be a problem. To get the most bang from your buck spent on supplemental nutrients, consider taking probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, both of which increase your body's ability to absorb nutrients, from both supplements and the food you eat.

Happy eating for good nutrition!

Photo Credit: http://classiccartoons.blogspot.com/2007/08/popeye-sailor-1933.html

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products at wholesale prices on our website.