Did You Get Enough Sun This Summer?

Many people live in climates where the summer season is all year long.  These are the lucky one’s (some might say).  But for people in the northern or mountainous regions, we have to pack all of our summer fun into 1-3 months.  The warm sun not only give us a great natural energy source, but it also packs our bodies with Vitamin D which is essential for absorbing calcium into our bones. But can we get enough in just a couple of months to last all through the winter without direct sunlight?

It was fun for me to speak with people who reside in the Caribbean. My wife and I went at the end of September, which is well into the fall season where we live.  The dark tans that we had worked on all summer had faded, no more shorts and flip-flops, no more outdoor swimming pools or lakes.  It is usually in the 50’s (F) during the day, if we are lucky. Doti, a San Juan native, born and raised, says, “I love to sit in the middle of town selling my hand made jewelry and watch all the tourist who use to have white skin that now have red skin because they are not use to the hot sun this time of year.  They look like they’ve been jerked.”

The sun gives us so much to survive.  If it wasn’t for the sun plants, animals, and everything alive (except maybe cockroaches) would become extinct.   So what can we do to keep that energy producing, vitamin nourishing ray of light providing it’s natural powers throughout the whole year?

For the lucky few of us we can plan yearly vacations to tropical areas to “re energize” our bodies with that big glowing ball in the sky.  But for the majority of us who do not have that luxury, we go into a zone of “depression”.  Doctors have researched and studied many areas of the sun’s effects on the body and have designed their own rituals or inventions to help the body stay energized during the cloudy, cold, stale winters.  Vitamin D supplements are recommended by most doctors.  It is to your benefit to have blood test run to see your Vitamin D level before starting a Vitamin D regiment.  UV lights have also been known to restore the sun’s energy back into your body.  Check out my blog about UV lighting at “UV Lighting – Good, Bad?”

Still the best way to stay energetic, according to health officials, is to stay active and eat right.  There are still great indoor and outdoor activities to do during the winter.  Do your best to stay out of the proverbial fog winter can bring into your lives.

Feeling Stressed? Pet Your Pet!

A dog is “man’s best friend” for more reasons than one.  Not only does a man get a companion who is always there, but a pet is a great way to relieve stress.  Of course a goldfish is not the best pet to pet, but the serene ambiance and mood of fish can relieve stress as well.  Studies have shown that spending time with your pet is a more effective way to reduce stress than being with friends.

Now I use the word “stress” loosely.  We all know that there are many health risks to anxiety; High blood pressure, Obesity, Depression, etc.  Pets have know to reduce the risks of all anxiety and stress related health issues.  Studies have shown that pets can also encourage exercise. Especially dogs.  Dog owners walk more on average than people who do not own pets.

If you decide to get a pet for the first time, just remember that starting out with your first pet can be a bit stressful for both of you.  The animal needs to get use to you as much as you need to get use to him or her.  A bit of training is involved with some pets like dogs, cats, horses… you get the picture, but the training can be therapeutic for both you and your new pet.

Allergies Or The Common Cold?

Tis the season for runny noses.  Winter is over and spring is officially here.  With April Showers bringing May Flowers, many individuals are remembering how pollen effects their bodies.  1 out of every 4 Americans have seasonal allergies, but with the temperatures of a harsh, cold winter drastically turning into warmer rays of spring, you may develop a common cold.  The human body goes through changes to adapt to cold or hot climates and when spring comes around with fluctuating temperatures it can torture the immune system in the body causing sicknesses, mainly a common cold.  So during this time of year, how do you differentiate between allergies or a cold causing your sniffles?

Many symptoms of allergies and colds are very similar.  The main difference between the two is that allergies DO NOT give you fevers or aches.  A cold can be caused by bacteria or a virus which can produce infections and cause fevers and/or aches.  Colds usually last 14 days, whereas allergies can last for months.  Another determiner is that colds take a few days to develop into full-blown symptoms.  Symptoms of allergies begin immediately after exposure of allergens.

Allergies are caused by an overactive immune system.  Antihistamines can help calm the immune system and temporarily relieve allergy symptoms.  In the case of a cold, as mentioned before, it is caused by bacteria or viruses.  Colds, epically colds where an infection is involved, can be treated with antibiotics.  Vitamins & Supplements taken before the onset of a cold can help prevent or shorten the duration of symptoms.

If you have questions about allergies or cold & flus, consult your personal physician.  Your doctor can help determine whether it is allergies or a cold and prescribe the correct treatment.

UV Lighting – Good, Bad?

Feeling a little down and sluggish during the winter season?  If your answer is “No”, then you may be living in an environment with warm, sunny days year round.  If you live in areas that are cold and cloudy during the winter, you yearn for the sunny days of summer.  Why?  You may just enjoy warm over cold, or outdoor activities that require a warmer environment.  What you might not realize is that your body is craving the UV light from the sun.

UV light on your skin produces Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is great for calcium absorption.  Vitamin D promotes health bones, teeth, tendons, and ligaments.  It also helps the brain produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter critical to emotional health.  This is why you feel so good during a sunny day.  People in cold, cloudy climates can feel the difference in UV exposure between the transition from winter to spring.

UV Light Therapy is used in areas where there is little sunshine.  It is also a controversial topic of discussion.  Everyone is aware of UV rays causing melanoma (skin cancer).  Sun screen and covers are recommended if you are going to be exposed to the sun for long periods of time.  Tanning beds have also been known to not only be addictive, but can cause melanoma.  So why would we use a UV light to shine directly on us in the hopes that we will have a better sense of well being?

They UV lights used in Light Therapy are filtered.  “Most light therapy systems shield out (or substantially reduce) the ultraviolet light that causes tanning.” The UV light that causes tanning is the most dangerous to your skin.  Make sure you do your research to find the right light for you.

For complete information on causes and effects of UV Light Therapy, go to http://www.columbia.edu/~mt12/blt.htm.

Japan & Our Prayers

Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan and their families and friends. This has been devastating to thousands of individuals. You are in our prayers.

Your Vegetables Are Doing More Harm Than Good

Mom always said, “Eat your vegetables.”  Why? because they are good for you.  They are packed with vitamins and minerals your body craves.  Today vegetables are easily accessible.  Just visit your neighborhood grocery store and check out the produce section.  Displayed are an array of different fruits and veggies just waiting to be cut, prepared, and served.  But wait,  there is also a section in the produce department of vegetables already cut and prepared for you in little plastic bags.  How easy is that?  Just open and pour.  But is that all you really need to do for dinner?

Bags of precut vegetables and other fresh produce are sealed with mixes of inert gasses which help prevent their deterioration from oxygen. Inert gases are compound gases used during chemical synthesis, chemical analysis, or preservation of reactive materials.  These gases are harmful, but sometimes chemicals are used to prevent spoilage which some consider controversial.  Inert Gases can cause injury or death if they are present in sufficiently high concentrations.  My local produce manager said that the cheaper the bagged, ready to eat product is, the more likely a higher concentrate of inert gas was used.  They can sell the product for less money because it has a longer shelf life and the manufacture dose not have to go through as much product to make a profit.

FreedomYou.com states, “If you have eaten the standard North American Diet for years, without serious harm to your health, it is due to your body’s outstanding resistance.”  Cancer, kidney failure, liver failure, migraines, heart disease, etc.  are all on the rise per capita in the USA.  Granted, presertives are probably not the main cause of all these issues, but the human body consists of billions of microscopic living cells composed of perfectly balanced quantities of water and organic substances.  Toxins (chemicals, gases and anything unnatural) can interrupt that balance.  The biochemistry of the body will absorb toxins, but there is a breaking point for the cellular make-up of the human body against toxins.  This breaking point can cause illness or even death.

Now,  I am not saying to quit eating any processed fruits or vegetables.  Studies now show that even canned tomatoes have extra nutrients that are good for the body that fresh tomatoes do not have.  Just be moderate with the “quick fix” meals, vegetable or otherwise.  Use as many FRESH vegetables in you diet as possible.  Below are a few suggestions.

  1. WASH YOUR PRODUCE.  Even if you buy bag veggies.  Mold, e coli, and many other harmful substances have been found in packaged and non packaged vegetables.
  2. Buy Organic.  Organic means that the fruits or vegetables do not have any pesticides or other chemicals used during growth or harvest.  Yes, it is more expensive because no harmful chemicals are involved, but you can’t put a price on good health.
  3. Invest in a vegetable steamer.  This is a quick and easy way to cook your vegetables in a healthy way.
  4. Get to know your Produce Manager.  Your produce manager can tell you where your vegetables came from, how long they have been on the shelf, or even when a fresh shipment of certain products are arriving.

What Brings Your Life Happiness?

Vote on my poll and let me know what brings your life happiness. What do you think the secret to a happy life is. Be honest.

Which Multi-Vitamin Is Right For You?

There are hundreds if not thousands of multi-vitamins on the market today.  Most “over the counter” multi-vitamins contain a lot of the same ingredients, but there are also may different “specialty” multi-vitamins that contain extra vitamins and/or minerals specific to certain life styles or body make-up.  You can get vitamins for seniors, active individualsdiabetics and everything in between.  So which multi-vitamin is right for you?

It all depends on your DNA and diet.  Most of Americans’ daily diets do not have the essential nutrients the body needs.  Vitamins and supplements are used to take care of any vitamin or mineral deficiency your body is experiencing, or to even increase a better sense of well being.

The best way to find out which vitamins you should be taking is to have a blood test completed by your physician.  A blood test will show any deficiency you have and your doctor can recommend a multi-vitamin specifically for you.

Keep The Bedroom Spicy

Romance between couples always starts out hot, but that flame can diminish over time if you don’t keep the fires burning.  That doesn’t mean you have to come up with 365 new moves every year, it just means you need to keep it interesting.  Granted, this is just a small blog so I won’t list all the great suggestions, but I will add links to sites where you can read more about adding spice to your love life.

So how do you keep the bedroom exciting even after years of being together with the same person?  The first thing is communication.  Everyone probably remembers “The Talk” your parents had with you before you became a teenager.  This is along those same lines.  Hopefully you and your partner are both adults and can discuss romantic likes and dislikes.  Discuss your sex life in detail.  If you don’t you might be missing out on some thrilling evenings, mornings or daytimes.

Sexual aids may be embarrassing to bring up or talk about, but if you both want to explore, there are great websites and/or boutiques in your area that are ready to answer any questions you may have.  You may be astonished by what you and your partner may find that adds zest to your endeavors.

Men, keep the romance alive.  Remember the reason your partner chose you after all those dates.  Be a gentleman.  Be witty, charming, thoughtful and keep it funny.  Not only is laughter the best medicine, it also keeps things upbeat and enjoyable.  Whether it is a good romantic comedy, a comedy club or whatever you do to make your sweetheart laugh, take time to do it.

Women, do things with your husband that he loves.  Know what his hobbies are and show an interest in them.  You might surprise yourself and start really enjoying some of his hobbies.

The biggest piece of advice anyone can give you is just make time for each other.  Even if you have to get your iPhones out and make a schedule.  Don’t play the excuse games like work, kids, time, headache, etc.  If you want to be happy with your partner you both will need to work hard on keeping that bond between you.

What Are The Most Common & Not So Common Sources Of Energy?

There are literally hundreds of products on the market today that promote All Natural Energy Boosts.  Dozens of energy drinks, hundreds of vitamins and supplements, even energy gum balls.

In one of my past posts, “What Is ‘All Natural’?”, I addressed the absence of integrity of “all natural” products.  But the majority of these energy products are all natural or get their base from a natural ingredient.  There are ways to synthesize chemicals to make ingredients that work like natural sources, so be sure to read the ingredient labels to see what you are really getting to boost your energy.

The most common boost of energy Americans use is Caffeine. Caffeine can be found in soda, chocolate, coffee and energy drinks, just to name a few products.  It is a quick boost, but it also gives you a “crash” when it wears off.

Most people know that B vitamins are a major source of natural energy.  Especially Vitamin B-12 which can be very effective in regular doses and with out the “crash”, but in high doses can case your body to crash after the effect wears off.

Guarana, found in most energy drinks, is a creeping shrub native to Venezuela and northern Brazil in the Amazon rain forest. The fruit are small, bright-red, and contains black seeds.  Guarana contains up to three times the caffeine in one bean than a cup of coffee.  Guarana can be dangerous if taken in large doses and does have hazardous drug interactions on prescription medication.

But some of the safest forms of energy boosters are available.  Bee Pollen is a great for increasing strength and vitality.  It is best when taken regularly so it can build-up in your body.  Another source of bees that is more effective and also has great youth enhancing, anti-aging qualities is Royal Jelly.  I recently discussed Royal Jelly in a past post called, “Have You Heard Of Royal Jelly?”.  Both Bee Pollen and Royal Jelly come from honey bees, so if you are allergic to bees or bee stings, these would not be a good source of energy for you.

Two great herbs, Gotu Kola and Ginseng, especially Korean Ginseng, are also a good sources of energy.   Gotu Kola lessens the effects of fatigue and depression wand has great healing powers for the body.  Ginseng helps restore libido and supply circulation and energy for better sexual function.  Ginseng also helps increase resistance to the effects of stress along with stimulating immune function.

There are many other sources of energy, but these are the most common, and not so common, but effective.  Be sure you consult your physician before taking any supplements for fatigue, and be sure to stick with the dose your physician gives you.  Overdosing on supplements like the ones I have listed can be dangerous and or addictive.

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