Sunday, December 21, 2014

Giving Your Child Wings and A Great Life

Birds have a great system for teaching their offspring how to fly: they push them onto the ledge and then out of the nest.  While it is inevitable that some do not make it to adulthood for various reasons, i.e. predators, disease, or premature flight, most young chicks do learn how to fly with this method to become parents themselves someday.  Humans can learn a lot from birds' parenting style.
After observing some parenting methods, I have noticed that many parents hold their children back from making it to the nest's ledge, often impeding them from making any headway towards independence.  What these parents don't understand is children's habits slowly turn into adolescent's habits, and eventually adult's habits.  It is healthy as a parent to slowly push their children onto the ledge of the nest in preparation for their eventual flight out of the nest.  The alternative is a 40 year old virgin living in their parents' basement, or even worse, the 40 year old child with their hodgepodge family living in their parents' basement.  Don't laugh, I have known several people who still live under their parents' or significant-other's parents' roof until their mid 40's.
Here's an eye opener, an underdeveloped child is less likely to succeed in life.  They are less likely to make a sufficient income to live on their own, less likely to make necessary social connections needed for interpersonal relationship health, and less likely to learn life-skills, i.e. budgeting, job interviews, driving, shopping, meal preparation, etc.  If your children lack the ability to succeed in life, then they are more apt to fail once their primary caretaker, you, are unable to take care of them.
Another possible outcome of holding children back is an absolute rebellion during adolescence.  In this case, the child takes everything for granted, simply because life is too easy and everything has been handed to them/done for them.  Therefore, they acquire an unhealthy sense of self-entitlement that real life can't satiate.  In other words, this child has become a spoiled teenager with an attitude!  These children often become familiar with the law around the age of 16, possibly younger, become sexually promiscuous, and develop an "I don't care/you owe me" attitude.  At this age, the child is hard to deal with and will need intervention which can be quite emotional to all parties involved.
Knowing how detrimental holding children back can be, it is now time to analyze your parenting style and if it needs to be modified.  Answer the following questions:

Do you do your child's homework if it is too hard for them?
Do you tie your child's (age 5 and older) shoes for them?
Do you dress your child (age 4 and older), zipping and buttoning clothing for them?
Do you give your child money when they ask for it?
Do you sell or "get rid of" their pets they promised to take care of only to get another one shortly after?
Do you cook separate meals for your child/children so they will at least eat?
Do you lead your child (age 4 and older) to go play with other children?
Does your child (age 5 and older) still wet the bed without any medical reasoning?
Does your child refuse to try new things?
Does your child need you to help them with their daily hygiene routine?
Does your child need you to micromanage their routine?

This list might get some parents' feathers ruffled, and it should!  If you said "Yes" to more than two of these questions, you are what's been dubbed by psychologists as a helicopter parent and are impeding proper growth and development of your child.  If you said "Yes, but.." to more than one of these questions, then you are fearful of letting your child approach the ledge of the nest and you need help with the process of letting go.
It is very important to self-actualize where the helicopter behavior is coming from and then start the process of pushing your child slowly to the ledge.  You don't have to push them out of the nest until both of you are ready, but pushing them to the ledge helps them learn the life skills they will need as an adult.  It is your job to raise your child/children to become responsible, independent, self-sufficient, respectful, and capable members of society.  What you don't want is to see your child struggle as an adult because you didn't allow them to struggle as a child.  The behaviors you see now are the behaviors they will have as an adult if you continue to enable them.  Your goal is simple; continually push your child/children onto the ledge of the nest and give them wings when they are ready to fly.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Little Shaky

It has been awhile since I posted and, quite frankly, blogging has been the last thing on my mind.  I have had a difficult couple of months and I might have to file for bankruptcy.  The rental property I own has not been maintenance by HOA since 2006 and the wear and tear is finally starting to show.  The whole complex is literally sinking and collapsing, forcing the city to condemn it unless it is fixed.  A few other HOAs have stepped in and left throwing up a white flag.  Finally the decision that the complex's repairs will have to financially fall onto the owners, a sum of $7,000,000 divided amongst the owners. An amount I cannot afford.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I offered some "friends" a temporary place to live so they could get back on their feet.  I was doing a good turn.  At first I figured it would be a few weeks, which turned into months, and even more months than I anticipated.  Before long, however, it was evident that they grew roots and planted themselves firmly into the carpet.  It wouldn't have been so terrible if it weren't for the fact that they were the opposite of healthy.  The female was addicted to pop and cigarettes, and her husband was addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, painkillers, and marijuana. He tried passing the marijuana off as a medical need, which I could understand being in the Holistic Health field.  But shortly after he "moved" in it was clear to me that his marijuana addiction was merely for recreational purposes.  The difference being that he often lit up before work and during work and driving back to my house blitzed completely out of his mind (true marijuana medication for pain should be ingested); I had asked him on several occasions to "medicate" elsewhere and he still lit up while lying in bed watching TV.  The addiction became obvious when things in my household started disappearing, first little stuff and then the bigger items like my snow tires and power tools. 
Along with all of that mess, both ate the most disgusting, unhealthiest foods you could possibly imagine.  They bought the manager special meat, 8 cases of pop per month, processed foods, kids' cereal, Koolade  crap, and boxed meals were their staples.  In their eyes, food was just something to stop the tummy from grumbling, nothing more.  But here was the kicker, they would help themselves to whatever was in the fridge or pantry, as long as it wasn't healthy of course, so I found myself buying more food than what I should have.  I began eating the unhealthy foods too, eventually gaining 15lbs which I am still trying to burn off.  The electric bill, the water bill, and the other costs in the household went up substantially.  On top of that, they used my consumable items as well (as long as it wasn't my natural cleaners because they didn't know how to clean.  They didn't even wash their hands after using the bathroom!).  And since I don't allow nasty chemicals into my house, I used my sol-u-products and natural cleaners to clean up after them, which they scoffed at (apparently only bleach is an acceptable cleaner to them).  I began to notice their messy habits getting worse and worse until they wouldn't even pick up the dishes laying on the floor in their room.  They were so inconsiderate and so lazy that any dishes he took to work never made it back home with him.  At the end, we had no more forks or Tupperware left, and I was down to my last blender bottle and spoon: almost every eating utensil and dish was missing.  It finally dawned on me that my home was a free bed & breakfast for them and I became their maid.  They fully took advantage of me and my generosity.  Never again will I let anyone stay in my house.  If a person is hard up, they got themselves there because of bad decisions they made and I have learned the hard way that it is not my problem. 
I normally do not splatter my personal life all over the web but I have been dealing with humility and feelings of despair for a bit now.  As a Holistic Health professional, I am almost embarrassed that I let my lack of personal and financial health consume every facet of my well-being.  I am trying to hold it together as best I can, and hopefully pull myself together with help; which if I can do it, anyone can.
So here are a few things I have learned over the past year:
1) Do not amalgamate your lifestyle with unhealthy people.  Unhealthy people have bad habits which are easily incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.  Letting unhealthy people into your life without boundaries is allowing for their influences to change your good habits which will be detrimental for your safety and well-being.  This goes for friends, family, and even lovers.  Unhealthy people have a way of infiltrating a healthy person's lifestyle.  Stick to your guns and don't veer off course.
2) Stick to the mantra, "it is not my problem."  I am the type of person who cares a lot for people.  I listen to people's problems and try to help, often times taking the shirt off my back to give to them, no matter the weather I have to face.  But I finally learned that when you give and give and give, people take the free handouts as an opportunity to get free stuff.  Believe it or not, there are people out there who look for these nice people to take advantage of. Other people do the bare minimum to get by in life and take free handouts as they come because they don't have to lift a hand to get something free. I look back to a boyfriend I had given just about all I had to, even my last couple of dollars one day so that he could get himself lunch, but we had our falling out because of his infidelity; ungratefully, to this day he blames me for becoming homeless.  In most cases, as I learned, putting other people first is not healthy.  If I had realized that a year ago, I would have said no to the squatters and I wouldn't be recovering from the expensive catastrophe which ensued.
3)  A healthy lifestyle stems from a healthy environment.  Before I let those unhealthy people into my life, my home environment was very organized, clean, and healthy.  I don't allow toxic chemicals like bleach or Lysol into my house and my fridge and pantry was stocked full of healthy food.  When that all changed, so did my health.  Slowly the house began to get filthy and disorganized while bacteria (like e. coli and salmonella) swarmed on every surface imaginable.  Just a few little changes within  my environment had devastating affects on my overall health and well-being.   To become healthy, a person must have a healthy environment.

While these tips seem like no-brainers to most, I realized how easy it is to become a total mess when boundaries are allowed to be trampled over. My life is not the way it was last year due to some poor decisions I had made trying to help those in need. I have been told on many occasions that I am too nice, and finally, after putting myself into a situation I cannot recover from, I know exactly what that means.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Amazing Cranberry

Cranberries are a tart fruit popularly consumed in North America, especially during the winter months in a sauce form, and in the summer months in juice form.  However, the berry, being so tart, is difficult to eat without the accompaniment of something very sweet.  And with the fruit being so good for the body, it is such a shame to see it so adulterated with sugar and other sweeteners. 
But the cranberry is still a wonderful fruit with so many healing properties that even processed forms offer benefits.  As everyone knows, for example, women find comfort in knowing drinking cranberry juice will stave off a urinary tract infection (UTI), and even can dissolve kidney and bladder stones.  But taking cranberry extract regularly can also prevent UTI's, kidney and bladder stones, and reduce incidence of kidney infections.
Overwhelming evidence has indicated that taking cranberry extract can also aid in immune function while decreasing inflammation.  The powerful antioxidant compound responsible for all of this is oligomeric proanthocyanidine which works to remove bacteria, such as E-coli, out of the ureter and urethra.  What's more, the same compound acts as a kind of lubricant so bacteria cannot cling to the walls of the bladder, urethra, and ureter so re-population of any bacteria is virtually impossible.
The last great quality about the little berry is that fact that it reduces inflammation naturally while increasing immunity.  Not only does the berry contain high amounts of polyphenols, and proanthocianidines, but it also contains vitamins A, B-complex, C, E and K which helps with eyes, heart, blood, central nervous system, lymph glands, and skin health as well.  People who take a regular cranberry supplement have noticed a number of health benefits on top of urinary health and even some  people swear by it touting it as a super fruit.  Super fruit or not, the cranberry is an amazing little berry. 
As always, it is important to consult your physician before taking a daily supplement.  But also note that doing your own research is paramount when deciding to include something in your diet.   As I always say, health begins at the mouth; a decision we often take for granted until intervention is needed.  Nevertheless, adding the cranberry on salads, yogurt, or into desserts is a great way to boost your immune system while giving your meal that extra zing!

Howell, A. B; (2002) Cranberry proanthocyanidins and The Maintenance of Urinary Tract Health.  Critical reviews in food science and nutrition.

Kessler, T; Jansen, B; Hesse A; (2002) Effect of Blackcurrant-,Cranberry and Plum Juice Consumption on Risk Factors Associated With Kidney Stone Formation. European journal of clinical nutrition.

Ofek, I; Goldhar, J; Zafriri, D; Lis, H; Adar R. (1991).  Anti-Escherichia Coli Adhesin Activity of Cranberry and Blueberry Juices. New England Journal of Medicine.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Why You Don't Buy Vitamins From Walmart

If you are looking for a bargain, there are various places to shop to buy good items for less.  Flea Markets, 99 Cent Stores, Family General, thrift stores and even garage sales can be the greatest things since sliced bread.  Then there are the more pricier items you would find at WalMart, KayMart, and Target, with the added benefit that the item you purchase is unused (albeit for those of us that have worked there, that statement is questionable) and you can always take it back if you don't like it.  That said, now is the time to take your multivitamin back and get a refund.  What?  Well you can tell the associate that they don't absorb into your body, rather they pass right through the intestine and oxidize while doing so.  Don't feel bad for doing this because that associate makes about $9 per hour and really doesn't care about anything except going home at the end of the day.

Why should you care.  Most multivitamins are packed with fumerates, sulfates, gluconates, and dangerous forms of various oxides.  These compounds are cheap ingredients but work well to encapsulate the vitamins and minerals in powder form.  However, these ingredients pose problems during digestion and absorption.  Dimethyl fumerate, for example, is very reactive and is subsequently banned in Europe because it has been known to cause severe reactions such as eczema.  Cupric oxide is not a bioavailable source of copper, and magnesium oxide has been known to trigger mood changes or cause dizziness, tiredness, weakness, or allergic reactions in some people.

Then there is the concern of contaminants within multivitamins.  Trace amounts of lead, mercury, nickel, arsenic, and other heavy metals or chemicals can make an individual sick.  The amounts may be too small to notice right away, however changes in memory, sleep, hunger patterns and overall feeling can be a clear indication that the supplement contains unwanted contaminants.

There are a few sources of vitamins on the market which are superior, are safe, do not oxidize or contain harmful ingredients, and have a high bioavailability.  First on the list is Melaleuca's Oligo which does not oxidize in the digestion process and is over 80% more soluble than Centrum.  Next on the list is a tie between Karuna Maxxum 4  and Mountain Naturals Superior Care which are both made from top quality ingredients.  Last on the list is Universal Nutrition Animal Pak, however this multivitamin is strictly made for athletes and is not suitable for children or pregnant women.

Bright yellow urine is actually a good sign that your multivitamin is working, however it is an indication more water is needed throughout the day.  Green or orange urine is not a good sign and could indicate artificial dyes or synthetic ingredients.  When a multivitamin fully absorbs at the cellular level, excess minerals are absorbed by the nephrons in the kidneys to regulate water/mineral concentration levels.  A well hydrated body can withhold more nutrients than a dehydrated body.  When the body's cells absorb the nutrients it needs, cells function better and organs, tissues, and muscles begin to work better.  The right dosage of vitamins and minerals allow for proper disbursement of the necessary nutrients.  Simple noticeable changes to the body can occur within weeks of starting a good multivitamin regimen.  Hair will grow thicker and stronger, nails will grow faster and thicker, eyesight will become sharper, skin will be tougher and more radiant, and in some cases, even the signs of aging will reverse (gray hair will slow down and facial skin will tighten again).  When your urine is a light, bright yellow, you know that your multivitamin is absorbing correctly because the excess riboflavin (what makes your urine naturally bright yellow) is being excreted along with the other excess nutrients your body doesn't need for the moment.  It is also important to remember that your body naturally knows what it needs so making a judgement call based on a whim usually isn't the most efficient way of giving your body the right dosage.

Lastly, vitamins need fat soluble lipids and carbohydrates as a transport vessel into the intestine.  Some people feel nauseated or sick to their stomach after taking a multivitamin on an empty stomach.  This is because the vitamin is dissolving and there's nothing to take it to the intestine.  Vitamins and minerals rely on lipids and carbohydrates to act as guides for better absorption.  Eat a little snack or even a meal before taking your multivitamin and drink plenty of water with it.  These small changes will have big impacts on your body. 

 Baker, David. "Cupric Oxide Should Not Be Used For A Copper Supplement For Either Animals or Humans" The Journal of Nutrition

McEntee, Joanne. "Fumaderm: What is the Evidence for its Efficacy and Safety" North West Medicines Information Center.

O'Brien, Jacqueline Sc.D., Council for Responsible Nutrition, Annals of Internal Medicine

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Revisiting The Lipolysis Diet for Rapid Fat Loss

 It is a new year and new old resolutions to uphold.  Let us Revisit an old tested diet to aid in your success of a very important resolution-your weight loss.
 First, let me start out by saying that diet is not a bad word.  Replace it with "lifestyle change," "eating regimen," or any other description if you wish.  A diet is simply a pattern of food types eaten regularly.  A panda has a diet of bamboo, a koala of eucalyptus, a tiger of meat.  Humans are naturally omnivores. Our diet consists of plants and animals (most vegetarians/vegans are surprised to find that most processed foods contain animal byproducts such as candy, desserts, and flavored drinks).  An American diet is different than that of an Indonesian diet, different than a Russian diet, still different than a Tibetan diet.  Ethnocultural, environmental, and economical differences in food preferences are just a few examples of why diets vary drastically around the world.  Human diet, nonetheless, is still an omnivoric one.

Now, let's talk about your diet.  What have you been eating over the past three months?  Spend a few minutes and reflect on some of the things in your diet which serve as a staple.  Notice that your diet is influenced by a number of factors such as familial and cultural influences, as well as economic factors.  Are you willing to add changes to this normal diet of yours to drop weight?  If so, read on:

First, a person’s metabolism is slowest after they first wake up.  It doesn’t matter if they wake up at 4am or 4pm, the metabolism naturally drops during sleep.  Both the hormones and the metabolism activate about 15 to 20 minutes after awakening.  It is alright to awaken slowly, and in many medicinal traditions, it is important to wake up slowly.  The height of the metabolism should be around mid-day, increasing in the summer months and waning in the winter months.  The metabolism starts to slow down again during the evening time; this is why eating large, late-night dinners can help pack on the pounds.   Metabolism also slows down with age, with a rapid decline in the early 30’s and again in the mid-50’s.  Purposely reducing calories can make this process worse, mucking up hormone levels and wreaking havoc on the metabolic process. 
Hormones are the most important component to fat loss.  Hormones tell the body what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.  There are over two and a half dozen hormones involved in the accepting and processing of energy.  Each hormone has a specific function and works most efficiently when the body is properly nourished and rested.  This is why it is paramount that the body receives 7 – 9 hours of sleep (or 3 – 4 uninterrupted REM cycles) per twenty-four hour period.  It is also very important to take a good multivitamin, one which absorbs completely and does not oxidize during its breakdown; and a similarly dependable calcium supplement should be taken as well.   Another important supplement to always take is Omega-3 fatty acids with a minimum of 70% from DHA.  Omega-3 fatty acids aid in heart and brain health, among other important functions.

 It is very important to find time each day to both stretch and exercise.  Altogether, strength training and cardio are essential to increasing your metabolism.  Exercising could be done all at once, in intervals, or intermittently throughout the day.  Little movements add up in the long run.  Keep moving throughout the day and stretch in the evenings before bed.   Simply by doing this, you should see results in less than a week.
The lipolysis diet is simple and based in heavy science.  Consuming the right foods at the right times according to individual rhythms can lead to rapid fat loss.  Since there is a huge difference between fat loss and weight loss, it is important to base success on measurements instead of the scale.  Either measurements by caliper skin-fold test, electronic body fat analyzer, or good ol’ fashioned tape measure will indicate fat loss.  The best way to measure success is to wait until the moment you need a belt, and then need new pants.
Upon rising out of bed, drink a glass of slightly cooler-than-room-temperature water. A bowel movement should follow shortly; eat or drink more fiber throughout the day if this is not the case.  Before breakfast, drink a cup of straight black coffee or warm tea to increase your metabolism; add cinnamon to stabilize your blood sugar and add flavor.  Try hibiscus tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, black tea, fruit tea, and other herbal teas.  Make tea a habit.   
  • For breakfast, have your fill of complex carbohydrates, fruit, and a 1:1 mix of animal protein and plant protein (lentils or legumes).  Oatmeal, eggs, beans with cheese, whole-grain toast, apple and peanut butter, would be a perfect breakfast.  But whole grain pancakes or waffles, bacon, ham, sausage, omelets, and other substitutes can be made.   Limit biscuits and other simple-carbohydrate bombs, these items prohibit your body from using its fat stores; yet worse, add to your fat stores. 
  • Eat a piece of fruit, some nuts, and a little bit of something “bad” for snack.  You should still be full from breakfast so don’t stuff yourself.   Something “bad” should be more gourmet-status and less junk but have whatever you are craving.
  • Lunch should follow just an hour and a half or so after snack.  Adjust your schedule to fit lunch in.  Skipping lunch can devastate your metabolism again.   Lunch should be 20% animal protein, 30% plant protein, 45% vegetables and 5% everything else.  Open-faced sandwiches stacked high with vegetables is a great choice.  Cobb salad with vinaigrette is another option.  Fajitas, wraps, and pizza can also fit the bill if vegetables are the main ingredient.  It is very hard to follow this regimen when eating at fast food joints because their food is about 70% carbohydrates, 20% animal parts (parts of what is left to be determined), and 10% preservatives.  But if you are stuck in a fast food joint and have to order something, be sure to get a salad or a bun-less burger with extra vegetables.  Be creative.
  • Eating a snack in-between lunch and dinner is optional but it should be almost entirely protein.  Protein shake, piece of chicken, or hard-boiled eggs are some good examples. Drink more tea.  
  • Dinner should come early.  In fact, it should be completely eaten before dusk.  The body naturally slows down its metabolism in the evening so eating early reduces fat storage.  This meal should be the lightest meal of the day, consisting of 30% animal protein, 40% plant protein, 25% green vegetables, and 5% of everything else.  Light spices make for a pleasant taste and can mix things up.  Meals such as homemade soup or meatloaf with a light salad on the side can be a perfect ending to the day.
You may experience an increase in your metabolism.  This is good but with it comes increased hunger.  If you find yourself in need of a snack late at night, do not succumb to junk food.  Save the craving for morning snack.  Instead, drink a glass of water or a cup of hot tea and eat a hard-boiled egg, tuna, or even an organic hotdog.  The protein will satisfy you until morning. 

You should notice fat loss in a couple of days.  It is common to feel drained for the first several weeks.  If this persists, switch to a better multivitamin and increase Omega-3 dosage.  Sugar cravings will persist for at least a week, but should subside in 10-15 days.  Sweets will become too sweet after this point and you will notice that less of it is needed to satisfy your cravings.  This is one of the breaking points you will need to motivate you through your fat loss success.  One of the biggest motivators, however, is needing to buy a new outfit every other month.  And you should spoil yourself because you deserve it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Improve Memory With Phosphatidylserine & DHA

Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring phospholipid found in both plants and animals and can drastically improve memory function when added to a daily regimen of DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. Only 500mg Phosphatidylserine taken orally every day can improve neurotransmitter functioning between synapses of the brain and has been shown to significantly improve memory and cognitive functioning.  One study conducted by Dr. Satoru Suzuki and colleagues at the Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research, showed that phosphatidylserine aided in the improvement of memory in aging rats which drastically improved their ability to navigate through a water maze escape test.  Other testing in vivo (on mice and rats) proved to be successful when enhancing their memory and cognitive functioning against age-related oxidation and density loss.
Moreover, when phosphatidylserine is paired with DHA Omega-3 fatty acids, short-term and long-term memory retention and focusing ability are improved, as well as an increased brain (more exact, the hippocampus and amygdala) phospholipid retention. This phospholipid retention in the hippocampus allows for better computation, comprehension and recalling of both short-term and long-term memories.  The hippocampus is also responsible for spatial navigation, which also shows improvement when phosphatidylserine and DHA are consumed. The amygdala is not only responsible for sensory reception and projection, but it also controls memory organization and storage of emotions; phospholipid retention enhances its ability to function properly.

Because phosphatidylserine and DHA work so well hand-in-hand in improving memory and spatial navigation, a wide range of people can benefit from the combination: 
  • Children or adults with learning disabilities
  • Competitive athletes
  • College students
  • Children with poor dietary habits
  • People who have suffered from a brain injury
  • People in high-stress occupations
  • People showing signs of age-related memory loss
  • People with a genetic predisposition to dementia

The correct dosage of phosphatidylserine and DHA varies with age, weight, diet, and specific needs.  While a grown, healthy male may need 500mg of phosphatidylserine and 2,500 mg of DHA per day, a child may only need half that amount.  While there are no known side effects or toxicity levels of phosphatidylserine, the sources from which it is derived should be considered.  DHA Omega-3 fatty acids should be derived from cold-water sources.         

Enzymotec Ltd. (2010)  Sub-Chronic Toxicity Evaluation of Phosphatidylserine in Elderly Rat Model. Enzymotec Delivering Lipids. Retrieved from

Petursdottir, A., et al (2008) Effect of Dietary n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids on Brain Lipid Fatty Acid Composition, Learning Ability, and Memory of Senescene-Accelerated Mouse. The Journals of Gerontology. Retrieved from
Suzuki, S., et al. (2001) Oral Administration of Soybean Lecithin Transphosphatidylated Phosphatidylserine Improves Memory Impairment in Aged Rats. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences. Retrieved from

Thorne Research, Inc. (2008) Phosphatidylserine. Alternative Medicine Review. Retrieved from