Eat A Rainbow

So much nutritional advice out there. Every health professional and magazine tells you about eating correctly, but who can remember which veggie or fruit is important for what?

A simple way to impact your health is to eat a combination of colors. Phytonutrients are specific for ‘jobs’ in the body ex. blueberries find there way to the brain for memory and learning. Phytonutrients are present in whole grains nuts, seeds and even spices/herbs.

I am blogging about overall health improvement; there are certain illnesses that necessitate specific rather than this general approach to diet. To get a diversity of phytonutrients think ‘RAINBOW’.Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 3.35.18 PM

Load up on produce, aim for 9-13 servings a day (a serving is half-cup). At each meal place colors on your plate; RED, YELLOW, ORANGE, GREEN, BLUE/PURPLE, WHITE/TAN. Make your meals interesting try a color from a new source each week. Combining to enhance has tremedous health value- pair olive oil herbs on your dandelion greens. You might ask how to eat so much, add greens to omelets, soups, pizza sandwich. Stop and think as you arrange a meal. You can do it! Start your children eating for a long life.

There is part of the new paradigm in medicine – ‘functional medicine‘ – approaching our body in totality not as medicine has been – disease focused treating isolated symptoms. I personally am glad medicine is going towards prevention and treating a person not the disease.


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Chewing Gum and Exercising – No!

Ever been told ‘get rid of the gum’? There are many good reasons not to be exerting while chewing.  You do not think you’d choke – but it is a hazard! Chewing and trying to breathe thru your mouth does not come naturally also it results in a lower respiratory rate and increase stress on your trapezius muscle (base skull to between shoulder blades, in humans first muscular reaction to stress).Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 8.27.34 AM

Chewing_gumEven sugar free gum creates a risk; Aspartame (one of common artificial sweeteners) studies have shown it can over stimulate nerve endings causing muscular stress.

Do not discount the ‘number’ all artificial sweeteners do on your digestive tract!

Do you chew for the taste? I suggest brush your teeth with a different product or use a new mouthwash.

If you believe chewing gum prevents a dry mouth – your body is saying drink more water when you exercise.

Please share your insights to share?


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Valentine Day Chocolate

A guiltless gift for your Valentine is chocolate. But first read this blog! Take a cocoa bean remove the natural fats (cocoa butter) and cocoa powder is left for making ‘chocolate’ goodies. Rich in flavanols, a strong antioxidants many of us indulge!

Several studies point to lowers rates of cardiovascular risk – lowers blood pressure, increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Research also suggests another benefit – memory improvement.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.12.33 AMDon’t forget chocolate products especially bars contain caffeine as much as 56mg in Ghirardelli’s Organic Green & Black 85%. A chocolate bar’s  ‘Supplemental Facts‘ do not list caffeineYou’ll be impressed how much iron is contained but it is poorly absorbed. However, when you add Vitamin C to a cocoa powder drink children were found to absorb more iron.

The dark side no pun intended is contamination with toxic heavy metal cadmium (probable carcinogen). Lead is also a toxin in cocoa bars. Like lead and other heavy metals it accumulates in your body throughout life.

Cocoa comes the ‘bar’ in powders, capsules supplements and nibs and my favorite – traditional bar. Read a recent blog that offers more detail on this site.

Happy Valentine’s Day!




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Go Red For Women – Learn CPR

National Wear Red Day is Feb. 6 so wear RED for heart disease awareness! Why? 1 in 3 women die of heart disease or stroke each year that is 1 every 30 minutes!! Information and science says 80% is preventable!

along with wearing red please read on and take a CPR class. If you have never decided to learn CPR the following facts might frighten you into taking a short class. Does a person around you at home work or play know what to do if you have an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA)?

The odds – what are they? American Heart Association – Sept. 2014


-Nearly 383,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and 88 percent of cardiac arrests occur at home.
- Many victims appear healthy with no known heart disease or other risk factors.
- Sudden cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack.
- Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when electrical impulses in the heart become rapid or chaotic, which causes the heart to suddenly stop beating.
- A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. A heart attack may cause cardiac arrest.

Other realities:

-Seventy-nine percent of the lay public are confident that they know what actions to take in a medical emergency; 60% are familiar with CPR.

-An estimated 83.6 million American adults (>1 in 3) have greater than or 1 type of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Of these, 42.2 million are estimated to be greater than 60 years of age.

-By 2030, 43.9% of the US population is projected to have some form of CVD.

Improvements in the rates of telephone- assisted bystander CPR (BCPR), in survival and good neurologic outcome after OHCA are real.

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Blood Pressure Screening

When and now where should you have your blood pressure checked?

Historically the diagnosis screening and monitoring of blood pressure (BP) was done in the office or a formal medical setting. New blood pressure standards of being drafted based on screening in the ambulatory setting. This is being done to avoid the office high blood pressure (HBP) reading or was ‘whitecoat’ hypertension. Anywhere from 5-65% of folks with normal BP have HBP in doctor’s offices. FYI ‘across the pond’, the Britts are already doing this!

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is calling for ambulatory blood pressure reading before the start of HBP medication.

Given the growth of smartphones and table top connected digital wrist and arm cuffs use of such devices in the outpatient setting is giving what your ‘numbers’ are credence. Plus you can show data to your healthcare provider.

Below are preliminary recommendations for screening & rescreening of blood pressure:

  • People ages 40 and older
  • People with blood pressure in the 130/85 to 139/89mmHg range on the initial screen
  • African Americans
  • Obese or overweight individuals

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Meditation Helps!

Ironic that the word ‘meditation’ comes from Latin for medicine- mederi which means to heal. Proven scientifically to help health and happiness, meditation helps retain balance. For example the body’s ‘fight & flight’ stress reflex results in hormones specifically cortisol and adrenalin (epinephrine) spiking causing negative effects throughout the body. There are more scientifically based reasons to meditate.MH900437561

The US Marine Corps is studying using meditation for combat stress and PSD. Many excellent resources exist online but you might want to start with Sharecare.

A daily meditation program can lead to a happier healthier life.



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Low Dose Aspirin A Help?

quiz11-14Q3A 5-year study of elderly Japanese (60 to 85 years of age ) showed that long-term daily taking of low-dose aspirin did not result in a significant improvement in cardiovascular outcomes. Good News – daily low dose aspirin appeared to decrease (47% reduction ) nonfatal heart attacks and a 43% reduction in the incidence of ‘mini-strokes’ (transient ischemic attacks – TIAs). Bad News – a 1.85-fold increase in serious extracranial hemorrhage occurred.

The American Heart Association paper presentation (2014 Scientific Session Nov.16 ) revealed the benefits of low dose aspirin (100mg enteric coated) in elederly patients with hypertension, dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol/trigylcerides) or diabetes mellitus are not there.

Bottom Line: folks at low risk of vascular events should not take aspirin even at low dose.


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Functional Medicine – The New Style of Medicine

Medical practice for too long has focused on treating the symptom(s)- ex. high blood pressure (HBP), rather then the underlying cause. It is better to deal with the chronic illness rather than its effects -enter FUNCTIONAL Medicine!

WE focus as Docs in the US on the end organ problem  of a disease – for high blood pressure – changes in heart, eyes and brain. Rather than a careful history (detailed diet, personal home and work life) genetics, physical exam and the person’s environmental situation. A cause or cluster of causes for the high blood pressure might be found and addressed rather than adding another drug to control the ‘number’.

Makes simple but profound sense to adjust diet, supplements, detoxify, exercise stress instead of hoping your HBP does not stroke or kill you.

ASK your medical professional do you practices FUNCTIONAL medicine?

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You CAN quit smoking!

MH900290958Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to quit smoking? Vape and electronic (e-cigarettes) are not healthy, please read a recent blog to learn why.

Naturally never starting is best but at any point it is healthier to be a non-smoker, never mind that insurance carriers and employers can discriminate against smokers. Consider not only the money outlay and difficulty finding a place to smoke but how about living longer?

Perhaps the insights below can help.

- If you are like other smokers and you have tried before to ‘kick the addiction’ – learn from your previous attempts. What went wrong/right?

- The ‘buddy’ approach works great. Let your ‘world’ know, recruiting their support for the effort.

- Medication can help – seven FDA-approved medications (like nicotine patches or gum) really do help smokers quit. Most folks incorrectly use drugs or don’t use them long enough, please be sure to follow the directions.

The American Lung Association is a great resource for tips and tools PLUS a free support service is available whenever and as often as you have the need. You can call: 1-800-LUNG-USA (586-4872) or chat online with a counselor 


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Dangers of Electronic Devices Use by Children?

The science is there technology (inc. cell phones, internet, iPads, TV) is BAD for children under 12!


60% of parents do not supervise their child’s technology usage, and

75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms (Kaiser Foundation 2010).

75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted (Boston College 2012).


Negative Effects:

- A developing brain overexposured to can develop attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums.

- Mental illness may be a factor in increasing child depression rate. Anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis, and problematic child behavior have been found to result from overuse of technology.

-Radiation exposure coming from devices in form of EMF emission is classified as a ‘possible carcinogen’. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013 requested review of EMF radiation emissions from technology devices, citing three reasons regarding impact on children.

- Games are fun but solo games commonly violent lead to aggression in children.

- Addiction and sleep deprivation are seen in many studies.

- Obesity results from lack of physical activity

- Neck problem while children are still developing along with eye muscle changes from looking up close for prolonged periods.

There is more have a read of this link

Sad future for children who overuse technology! Please it is in your power to prevent technology hurting your child.



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