Women Vitamins: To Sleep, Perchance to Live Longer & Better


Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...
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Oh those blissful days of summer. We anticipate more sunshine, more vitamin D,  more pleasurable activities, and possibly less sleep.

We live away from the natural circadian rhythm of light and darkness that ruled our ancestors lives. We are sleeping less, at later times, thinking that we can make it up “some day.”

The truth is, we need sleep and  our body seems to work best with 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep…  We need to sleep during the darkest hours, and we need to sleep regularly.  Contrary to what you may tell yourself, there really is no making up lost sleep.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Americans slept an average of 9 hours, based on available light. Now  the average American sleeps 7.5 hours, a shortening mostly likely to accommodate more working hours or the pursuit of increased recreational and pleasure times.

6 or less hours of sleep falls under the label of sleep deprivation. Although we may get used to feeling fatigued or un-rested, the truth is that sleep deprivation aggravates and accelerates aging and ill-health. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss are common symptoms of an un-rested life.

16 studies involving more than 1.3 million participants who were followed for up to 20 years, has revealed that people who sleep for less than 6 hours each night are more likely to die prematurely.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, of the Sleep, Health, and Society Programme at the University of Warwick (UK) worked  with the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy. His research found that people who slept less than six hours each night were 12% more likely to die prematurely than those who got the recommended 6-8 hours of rest.

Researchers also found that adults under 40 who typically slept for 5 hours or less each night had a greater accumulation of belly fat, both the “superficial” fat layers just below the skin and the “visceral” fat that surrounds the abdominal organs.  Research suggests that sleep loss alters people’s levels of appetite-regulating hormones — which could  account for the urge to overeat and it’s subsequent obesity.  Cortisol, (a stress hormone that stimulates the storage of fat cells, particularly around the waist area), is also activated by the lack of consistent sleep.

Tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Get regular, daily exercise.  A study by Stanford University revealed that after 16 weeks of moderate exercise, participants fell asleep about 15 minutes earlier and slept about 45 minutes longer.
  • Stop eating after 7PM, and avoid before-bed snacks, particularly grains and sugars which raises blood sugar levels and inhibits sleep.
  • Eat a high-protein snack several hours before bed. Protein provides the L-tryptophan need to produce melatonin and serotonin, two components of good sleep.
  • Listen to relaxation cd’s, nature sounds, or white noises CD’s.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and most liquid drinks before bed.
  • Read something religious or spiritual, practice meditation and pray…all these ease the mind
  • Sleep in the dark, unplug electronics with LED red or blue lights, light interfers with the  pineal gland’s production of melatonin and seratonin…even a brief flash of light can disrupt this production.
  • Don’t watch TV before bed, and get your TV out of the bedroom. TV stimulates your brain and it will take longer to fall asleep.
  • During winter months, wear socks to bed. Cold feet affect the quality of your sleep. Wearing socks reduces night waking.
  • Get to bed fairly early.Your body does most of its repair and recovery between 11 PM and 1AM.
  • Keep your bedroom cool, somewhere around 70 – 74 degrees. Your sleep is disturbed if you are too hot.

Sleep well, sleep enough, stay healthy, take your women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: ALA/ALC- the Bobbsey Twins of Anti-Aging


Hill Street Farm CSA Week 4
Image by Wally Hartshorn via Flickr

We all are looking for ways to live healthier, longer, active lives.  We know that the process is not instantaneous, but rather like a journey…made one step at a time. Research on 2 enzymes has

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a key component in the body’s ability to create acetyl-choline, a neurotransmitter responsible for memory and learning functions. It also boosts cellular metabolism and increases mitochondrial activity.   ALC can “jump-start” the brain and appears to improve spatial learning, discriminatory learning, and long-term memory.  It also seems to increase communication between the hemispheres of the brain.

ALC carries fatty acids from the cytosol (the main body of the cell) into the mitochondria (the energy-producing furnaces within cells) to oxidize  these fats into energy.

ALC has a remarkable solubility in water, which enables it not only to diffuse easily across the inner wall of the mitochondria and into the cell cytosol, but also cross cell membranes. ALC easily reaches all parts of the body.

In addition to its role in mitochondrial activity, ALC is involved in the production of key brain neurotransmitters.

I notice the effects of ALC within two hours after taking a  500 mg pill; these effects are arousal and vigilance, along with mood improvement, and can last most of the day. (Mind Boosters, Dr. Ray Sahelia)

However, by itself, ALC increases mitochondrial activity which creates oxidative damage. But, when ALC combines with the powerful antioxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), the results in the lab are astonishing.

ALA is a sulphur-containing antioxidant, occurring naturally, in small amounts, in such foods as spinach, broccoli, beef, and yeast.  ALA is water and fat soluble, thus having antioxidant properties in almost any part of the body, including the brain. In the mitochondria, ALA can act both as an antioxidant, capable of recycling other antioxidant nutrients such as vitamin C and vitamin E, and as a coenzyme for key metabolic enzymes involved in energy production.

ALA also raises the level of glutathione within cells which is critical for neural function, and aids in glycolysis, the breaking down of carbohydrates for energy.

ALC/ALA supplementation on elderly (24-month-old) and lethargic rats showed an increase in energy,  an improvement  on memory tests, and increased mitochondria efficiency. Researchers likened this result to a group of 80-year-old humans acting 35 years younger.

Otolaryngologist, Michael Seidman, MD FACS conducted hearing tests on elderly, 2-year-old rats.  In his book, Save Your Hearing Now, Seidman relates that the ALC/ALA supplemented groups not only avoided hearing loss but their hearing actually improved. In other words, supplements didn’t just stop age-related hearing loss, they reversed it.

Human studies support these animal studies.   ALC/ALA, which eventually slows down and even reverses mitochondrial decline, is a long-term investment for  your health, and not a quick fix for age reversal.

I take GNC’s pre-blended mix of ALC (500 mg) and ALA (200 mg) and I’m in it for the long haul.

Be happy, be healthy, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: Soap, Soil, and Soul


Making Mud Pies
Image by ‘Playingwithbrushes’ via Flickr

After a long dreary winter, the sun shines bright and hearts are light, deep in the heart of Texas….. Spring is here with the jasmine and roses in bloom, the greening of oak and lawns…. I remember spring days as a child. The joy of being outdoors unfettered by snow suits and boots, mittens and scarves….oh the freedom and pleasure of spring in Dakota.

Making mud pies was an all time favorite sport. Normally, my fastidious mother discouraged gratuitous encounters with dirt. But making that perfect mud pie was an art. Patting that mud into a workable consistency, forming it into the pie shape, using the fore-finger to finesse the edges on that crust….mmmmm.. (I wonder if that is why I love working clay into sculptures and do all my own lawn work?)

I can’t remember the last time I saw a child playing in the mud…..I don’t count my intermediate students who purposefully stride thru mud as players.

I feel sort of sad for them….we are disconnected from our Earth and have lost the cycles of preparing soil and sowing  and reaping.

We don’t put our hands in the soil, we don’t connect with the microbes that support our healthy lives. In fact, we do our best to avoid any and all bacteria, to our own ultimate detriment.

In the art room, kids will ask to go to the restroom to wash their hands. I point at the sinks in our room and say “Ok, wash!” The look at the sink and then at me and say, “But there’s no soap.” I point to the soap bars by the sink, and they look bewildered. Can you believe 12 and 13 year olds are not recognizing soap if it is not in a foam or cream formate?

The most common forms of soap are now anti-bacterial, which sounds great– in theory. But the fact is, we need bacteria. Not all bacteria are bad. Bacteria are fundamental for our immune and digestive systems. We are anti-bacterializing our everyday world, we avoid the Earth; we are cleaning ourselves into poor health and possibly death.

Not only are we targeting bacteria, we are also doing it with a questionable substance. Look at the label on your anti-bacterial soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash,  some common home accessories (plastic dish mats and utensils), towels, and even clothing .  See if you can find a listed ingredient: TRICLOSAN.

Triclosan is a bacterial inhibitor  used since the 70’s. It really works great fighting staph infections. But when exposed to chlorinated water, triclosan converts to chloroform and dioxins.  Chloroform is a carcinogen and dioxins are documented endocrine disruptors. Triclosan is also impacts thyroid hormone concentrations. Triclosan is found in our water supplies.  It kills fish and disrupts hormones in the bullfrog .  It has been found in the urine of 75% of the population, and in 3 out of 5 samples of human milk.

The FDA, aware of triclosan related concerns for almost 40 years, has evaluated triclosan since 2008, and in April 2010, released a recommendation of continued investigation.

A comprehensive analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health indicated that plain soaps are just as effective as consumer-grade antibacterial soaps with triclosan in preventing illness and removing bacteria from the hands.

Alternative cleansing ingredients shown effective include herbs (thyme, oregano), silver and copper ions, and nano-particles.

I say: let’s introduce our children to the fine art of making mud pies.  Let’s put our hands back into the soil,plant our own plants,  and keep our houses clean with Grandma’s organic cleaning methods.

Be happy, be healthy, take the best women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

Soil for the Soul

Reconnecting With Earth

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Women Vitamins: Soda and the Sobering Truth


VINTAGE SODAS 4
Image by woody1778a via Flickr

I wrote a blog not too long ago about the sodas we drink in America and the terrible impact they are having on the health of our children.  I remember when I was growing up, my mom made a big deal out of a bottle of pop.  Not only did we not get our own, personal container (the liquid was carefully split between the my sisters and myself), but also we only got this rare treat every once in a while.  Not lying, maybe once a month if we were REALLY good….

I heard the  news a few weeks ago, that this generation, (the tweens, and pre-teens and early teens), are the first generation in almost forever, that will not live as long nor as well as their parents.  Whoa!  That was a sobering thought indeed.

What is causing this to happen?  Is it poor health care?  Poor quality food choices?  Too much daily caloric intake? Potentially hazardous vaccines and shots?  Not enough exercise?  Not enough quality sleep?  Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes….

The obesity epidemic is running rampant. Take a good look at the children around you and really analyze their body’s condition.  Every day,  I watch kids at school pile out of their cars with sodas, power drinks, and high end coffee-based, sugar laden drinks in hand.  They feast predictably on pizza and chocolate chip cookies.  And wash it all down with slushies, chocolate milk, and fruit juices.

Simple carbohydrates are  digested quickly because the individual sugars are ready to be absorbed immediately.  This rapid absorption increases the chances of sugar converting to fat but only if there is an abundance of energy absorbed. Foods like cake, pastry, biscuits, chocolate and too much table sugar contain lots of  “empty” calories.
Because our cells usually do not require that amount of energy at that time, the sugar  converts to glycogen (sugar stored within cells ) or it is converted into fat.  Since cells can only store a limited amount of glycogen, simple carbohydrate loaded foods may contribute to body fat stores.

Sugar consumption, in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup, has sky-rocketed, and high consumption of that leads to obesity, insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, pancreatic cancer, bone density loss, heart, kidney and liver issues, and all other sorts of peripheral diseases.  Heavy intakes of carbohydrates do the same thing

Soda consumption acidifies the pH of our blood, erodes tooth enamel, packs on extra pounds.

What does our body really require?

We need water (hydration), green tea (antioxidant), some milk(calcium), a little coffee (antioxidant).  We need mental, spiritual, and physical exercises.

We need to care for ourselves and care for those in our care….from parents to schools to restaurants to extended families and churches….we ALL need to start modeling good behaviors and expecting good behaviors, whether we are at the dinner table or the mall.

Today while going through some of my health site emails, I saw this graphic and knew I had to use it …It presents amazing facts, so take the time to read it thoroughly.

The Stats on Soft Drinks
Via: Online Schools

Be safe, be healthy, take your Vitamins for Women, and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: Turmeric vs the Tumor


A while back, I wrote a blog about turmeric, an ancient spice with a lot of modern applications.  You’d be amazed by the vast and varied benefits that turmeric offers.

Turmeric

Image via Wikipedia

Turmeric gets its rich yellow color from the natural pigment, curcumin.  Curcumin has the potential of lowering cholesterol levels, improving cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, and fighting certain cancers, particularly pancreatic and breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, almost 195,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year, and over 40,000 will die from the disease.

Pancreatic cancer is the 9th most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Pancreatic cancer is initially difficult to detect and it is estimated that roughly 29,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year.

Both breast and pancreatic cancers present in forms of tumors.

Compounds found in spices may reduce the risk of breast cancer formation by stopping the growth of the stem cells that spawn the tumors.

Researchers from the University of Michigan released a study: “Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine” in which they report that curcumin, found in turmeric, and piperine, found in black peppers, decreased the number of stem cells while having no effect on normal differentiated cells.

“If we can limit the number of stem cells, we can limit the number of cells with potential to form tumors,”  Madhuri Kakarala.

The results of the study suggest these dietary compounds could reduce the risk of cancer by targeting stem cells.  While the amount of curcumin and piperine ingested were at doses 20x’s more than would be consumed in a meal, supplements afford a reasonable vehicle for higher dosages.

”The concept that dietary compounds can help is attractive, and curcumin and piperine appear to have very low toxicity.”  Kakarala

Another small study, published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s Clinical Cancer Research, was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Curcumin was given to patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.  Although the amount of curcumin found in the blood serum was low, indicating low level bioavailability, several patients did see a decrease in pancreatic tumors.

A 2009 study in German involving the Wilms’ Tumor Gene1, (WT1), showed astounding results.  When curcumin was given with siRNA (silencing RNA that interferes with the gene expression) almost 90% of the WT1 was downgraded. They concluded:

“Targeting WT1 gene expression with siRNA may enhance the efficacy of curcumin to inhibit cell proliferation.”

Turmeric an essential ingredient in curry powder, can also be purchased as a “stand alone” spice.  The rhizome (root) of turmeric has been used for ages in the east (Asia/India) as traditional medicine to help with gastrointestinal upset, arthritic pain, and “low energy”.

I am going to add 2 recipes for turmeric….turmeric tea and golden milk….both are soothing beverages that can calm the mind and the stomach.  Both taste pleasant and you can add honey to sweeten the flavor, if you so choose.

Turmeric Tea

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • lemon (optional)
  • honey (optional)

Bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and add ground turmeric. Simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a mug using a mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Add honey and/or lemon to taste.

Golden Milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil (organic)
  • honey (optional)

-Boil  Turmeric in about 1/4 cup water for 7-10 minutes – this forms a thick paste, add water as needed, keep stirring

-While this mixture is boiling, bring 1 cup milk & 2 tablespoons almond oil up to a gentle boil

-As soon as it starts to boil, TAKE IT OFF THE STOVE!  (don’t let it scorch)

-Combine the milk with the turmeric mixture

-Add honey (optional) to taste


Stay healthy, take your Women Vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten

Turmeric powder 薑黃粉

Image via Wikipedia

This article is purely informational.  As with any new diet or change in health or lifestyle routine, please consult with your physician or health care provider first.
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Women Vitamins- Smile and the World Smiles with You…Longer


Don't give me a fake smile
Image by Jen SFO-BCN via Flickr

I try to smile… a lot…every day…for several reasons:

  1. I like smiling, it reminds me to be happy and to share that happiness
  2. I like being smiled at in return
  3. I think it makes my face look more youthful…I kid you not, go to a mirror smile…look….frown, looked bored or stern…look…smile…reevaluate.  Don’t you look younger?  More interesting?  More like the REAL you?
  4. It alters my reactions….I take things less personally.  I have the, “I grant you my happiness”, nobles-noblige  outlook.

I’ve noticed that as I smile, I am content.  I find myself dwelling on the blessings of my life.  I have a job I love, students spanning the last 20 years who genuinely care about me and seek me out…a nice house, great health….good friends…

Sure, I could make a list as long as my arm about the stuff I don’t have or the things that have been done to me, the wrongs and slights I have endured, the loneliness of being single in a couples world, the pits of aging…on and on… ad nauseum….but why?

When you are truly happy, these negative things are sort of reminders to enjoy the good.

A smile and a kind word can change the day for others as well.  Just greet a teen with a smile and a hug or high-5 and watch the difference in their eyes, in their body posture, and in the rest of their day.

SO-  I was intrigued by a study done and recently released, that hypothesized that a sincere smile, named a Duchenne smile,  reaching not just the lips but also involving the eyes, actually indicates the potential for a longer life.  A Duchenne smile requires the raising of  both cheeks, the corners of the mouth rising (demonstrating contraction of the zygomatic major muscle), and crow’s-feet wrinkles observed around the eyes.  (SEE there is a GOOD reason to love those crow’s-feet!)

Duchenne smilers were half as likely to die in any year compared with non-smilers

Keep that thought in mind when you are frustrated in snarled traffic, in a long line, on hold forever, with your child or your spouse…

Further, 70% of Duchenne smilers lived to age 80, as compared to 50% of non-smilers who survived to that age.

In 2000 the Mayo Clinic released data from a 30 year study of optimists and pessimists, which found that pessimistic patients had a 19% increased risk of mortality over optimists.

On-going research shows that basic emotional conditions, such as happiness and sadness, generate differentially patterned autonomic responses, which then influence physical and mental well-being and longevity.

Emotions affect personalities and life outcomes by influencing how people think, behave, and interact with others. People with positive emotions are happier and have more stable personalities, more stable marriages, and better cognitive and interpersonal skills than those with negative emotions, throughout their life span.

So start smiling…really smiling, ‘cuz that half-hearted smile doesn’t really count.  As that old adage states: Smile and the world smiles with you…and it will– for a longer time…

Be healthy, be safe, take your Women Vitamins and be blessed, Kersten

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Women Vitamins: Listening to that Still, Small Voice


About 10 years ago, while my loving father was dying of cancer, I wondered if Dad had heard any messages from his body about the cancer…and I realized that I no longer heard messages from my body.

I know that I “heard” my body as a child.  I remembered that  if I didn’t get meat for dinner, I had a tummy ache that night,  if I didn’t get outdoors to play, I felt grumpy and anti-social.  If I had not forgiven or been forgiven, I felt awful and achy all over.  Then I sort of forgot to listen, for too many years.  And I knew I had to start listening again.

I was lucky, I was ready, and the Universe supplied me with wonderful teachers who taught me to be still and listen again.

You may not find a teacher as quickly as I did, but I know that we can teach ourselves to hear:  Be still and listen…hear your heart, your joints, your breath, your muscles and the alignment of your bones.  Listen to your organs, the stomach telling you  it is satisfied before the plate is empty, the joy of your heart when you forgive or are forgiven, the blessing of the sun upon your face in early morn.

Listening to your body is not something we are taught.  We run ourselves ragged thinking we can always rest later, eat later, resolve issues later, be healthy later…and then when our system breaks down, we run to a doctor and hope for a prescribed pill to put us immediately to rights….and we are off again, never having taken time to deal with the real issues.

We are delicate machines, meant be maintained by the  healthy equilibrium of body, mind and spirit…  We have lost the ability to hear our body’s thirst, pain, and hunger.  We filter the  “I’m out of balance” cry…it’s too inconvenient and maybe too uncomfortable to acknowledge that voice.

7chakra
7 chakras for balanced health

In yoga, we learn there are 7 chakras, each a portal for a particular energy center:

The Root Chakra affects the health, structure and safety of your body. This chakra, symbolized by the color red,  is associated with how one’s body links to the material world.

The orange-colored, Naval Chakra is associated with the feelings of love, passion, sexuality and pleasure.

The Solar Plexus Chakra is found just above the navel and below the chest. This yellow chakra is the point at which

self-control, will power, authority and discipline are focused.

The Heart Chakra, green in color,  is found in the middle of the chest. Love and understanding are the focused in this chakra.

Located in the throat area  is the sky blue Throat Chakra that is linked to communication and understanding.

The Brow Chakra sometimes called the Third Eye Chakra is indigo in color, and is associated with sensitivity outside the physical sphere as a clairvoyance-related focus point.

The Crown Chakra dwells at the center point on top of the head, and is concerned with the spirit and the mind. One’s consciousness and items related to the High Self are dictated by the violet-coloured Crown Chakra.

My shamanic teachers often mentioned that unresolved issues manifested as disease in specific areas…..throat problems when you didn’t speak your truth, leg cramps and foot problems when you weren’t on the path you should be on, heart issues with unresolved emotional wounds and abandonment, stomach issues over dealing with authority, anger and the inability to forgive, eye problems when you refused to see the truth….

Some of this may be over simplified…perhaps…some is just uncomfortable truth…

So what am I saying?

Take time to listen to your deepest, inner-most self….It wants to start a conversation with you.

Learn to bless the  foods you prepare that satisfy your deeper needs… instead of filling up on hollow-calorie junk foods. Relearn the sweetness of fruits instead of grabbing those sugary processed foods.  Enjoy the exhilaration of a brisk walk, a run around the block, take a bike ride to the local park instead of playing on the computer or watching TV for hours.  Gather your friends and family members around you and bless them for the richness they add to your life.

Listen to that still, small voice.  Be healthy, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

Apple pear banana
Image by DeusXFlorida via Flickr
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Women Vitamins: Tweaks to Tune Up Your Health


Surreal Machine
Image by tk-link via Flickr

Compare your body to a delicate, finely balanced machine…marvel at its complexities and the wonders of its interconnectedness and sense of innate balance…

Then remember that just like a well crafted machine, your body needs routine maintenance and some preventative ‘tune ups’ along the way to keep it in good running condition.

Tune-ups help ward off disease, aches, and pains, while boosting your energy, and promoting anti-aging.

So, let’s look at the tweaks you can do, to tune-up your health for the long haul.

Mind

Meditate, pray, forgive, and breathe.  Clarity and calmness are perks of meditation and prayer.  People who meditate/pray are typically happier and live longer. People who hold in hostility breathe in less oxygen which lessens your energy and also creates an oxygen deprived environment in which diseases thrive.   Many cancers cannot exist in oxygenated environments: oxygenated cells are healthy cells.

Eyes

Exercising 3 or more times a week reduces the risk of vision loss.  Physical activity decreases the inflammation in blood vessel walls that leads to age-related macular degeneration.  Even a 15 minute daily walk can help.

Ears

Lose the ‘earbuds’, or at least moderate the volume levels of your phone or mp3…the earbud shape increases sound pressure on your ear canal and damages hearing.

Mouth

Take care of your dental health; periodontal issues related to chronic low-grade infections can adversely affect the health of your heart.

Smile

Happiness is the lynch pin of health.  Happy people get sick less often and live longer.

Taste

Watch out for sugar, especially high fructose corn syrups….these unnecessary calories pack on the pounds and can make your body insulin resistant…which can place you at risk of developing diabetes.

Heart

Stop drinking sodas.  Even 1 soda/day can cause heart problems.

Blood Pressure

High blood pressure not only leads to strokes and heart attacks, research is also linking high blood pressure to dementia.

Spine

My yoga teachers say, “You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”  Flexibility keeps you limber and in balance. Standing up straight sends signals to slow down heart beats and decrease blood pressure.

Lungs

Stop smoking and stay away from second-hand cigarette smoke. Being in second-hand smoke for a couple of hours is the same as smoking 4 cigarettes…

Waist

Studies show that increased waist lines are precursors for problems with diabetes and the heart.  Belly fat is largely a product of cortisol, the hormone released under stress…once in place, it’s hard to lose.

Stomach

Feed yourself high quality proteins, along with  vitamins for women, and fibers.  Protein assists with lean muscle mass and fiber keeps the digestive system happy.  Taking a daily multivitamin has also been determined to promote overall, long-term, good health.

Skin

Don’t be afraid of the sun.  Short, daily exposure to the sun promotes the natural production of Vitamin D that is necessary for overall health and emotional ease.  Give thought to  preventing or minimizing wrinkles and use a retinal based moisturizer. Retinol improves skin’s moisture and elasticity, as well as increases collagen production.

Feet

Take care of your hardworking feet and toes….massaging acupressure points not only keep feet in good shape, but also help positively stimulate organs and energy meridians.

Just like a classic car, with a little bit of preventative maintenance, you can keep your body, motor, and major parts in peak performance for years to come.  Don’t forget to take your women vitamins and be blessed, Kersten
Machine /// Red Vector Thoughts
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Vitamins for Women: The Sweetness of a Kiss


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…what a beautiful holiday: dedicated to love, joy, appreciation, and peace.  We think of candy and cards and flowers and kissing….just makes you feel better thinking about it, doesn’t it?

Out of those 4, let’s examine my fave: KISSING!  Nothing beats a good kiss, a sweet kiss, a kiss of atonement, a kiss of forgiveness, a kiss that wipes away despair and loneliness.  There are kisses of passion and kisses of tenderness, kisses of joy and kisses of promise.

The kiss is universal; it expresses affection and needs no translation.

Kissing is also good for you.  In fact, some of the health benefits of kissing are just amazing!  Consider these facts:

  • Kissing your partner good morning and goodbye can add 5 years to your life
  • Kissing improves your self esteem…you feel appreciated and it boosts your state of mind
  • Kissing releases stress, tension, lessens negative energy and produces a sense of well-being
  • Kissing burns up calories…about 3 calories a minute and your metabolic rate rises
  • Kissing passionately at least 3 times a day (minimum lip locking time of 20 seconds) can cause you to lose a pound a year…Can you say “I’m on a kissing diet?”
  • Kissing utilizes 30 facial muscles and can actually tighten facial features, prevent baggy cheeks, smooths the skin and increases circulation
  • Kissing frequently seems to make you less likely to suffer from bladder, blood, and stomach infections
  • Kissing stimulates  secretion of natural antibodies in the saliva and a type of anesthetic that helps alleviate pain
  • Kissing lowers the stress hormone cortisol
  • Kissing increases adrenaline that pumps up the heart, causing better circulation
  • Kissing frequently has been proven to stabilize cardiovascular activities, improving your heart’s health
  • Kissing decreases blood pressure and lowers cholesterol
  • Kissing reduces anxiety
  • Kissing stops the “negative noise/talk” in your mind
  • Kissing increases oxytocin levels which in turn calms you and produces peaceful feelings
  • Kissing produces endorphins that are 200 times more powerful than morphine.

Whew!

So I say, pucker up baby and start kissing!pucker up for womens health

Happy Valentine’s Day, take your vitamins for women, and be blessed, Kersten

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Vitamins for Women: Down for the Count: the 5 Second Rule


I dropped a piece of steak on the kitchen floor the other night. Didn’t mean to, it just sort of slipped right off the plate.

Being a pragmatist who has lived on a Dakota farm, raised commercial Polypay sheep and Arabian horses, camped in the wilderness, cooked on a wood stove, tanned my own buckskin, as well as having visited the interior of Mexico and eaten dog with indigenous peoples, I picked it up, rinsed it off, and proceeded to grill it (medium please, no pink for me).

Polypay Ewes

My 24-year-old daughter was aghast.  She paled, backed away, shook her head, and made sure her steak was on the opposite side of the grill.  “Gross, Mom, how can you?” was her response.  Notice that she did not offer me her steak…

I think we live in a world that is obsessed with diseases and germs and the avoidance of casual physical contact.   Can’t touch or hug students in school any more, never talk to strangers, please don’t kiss the baby….everywhere you look are anti-bacterial soaps and wipes that kill bacteria indiscriminately, the good along with the bad and the ugly.  Not that cleanliness isn’t good…and please do wash your hands with soap, but…

God forbid that our kids get dirty.  Can you remember the last time you saw a muddy child?  We don’t put our hands in the soil; we pay to have our petunias planted and our lawns mown.  We spurn and avoid the microbes and bacteria we need to survive…..that should live in harmonic co-existence.

Anyway, I digress, so let’s get back to the dropped steak…..

I looked online for references to spilled food, and found a great article written in 2007 about the 5 Second Rule.  A couple of students from the University of Connecticut experimented with dropped foods, and came up with a flow chart to help you decide if you should or shouldn’t eat dropped foodstuffs.  Interestingly enough they expanded the 5 Second Rule, and determined it could be more properly called the 30 Second Rule.

You can study the image of their flow chart for yourself and feel free to use if you ever find yourself faced with the choice, “Do I eat this or not?”

Flow Chart 5 Second Rule: I

Now, according to the National Center for Disease Control, food borne illnesses are not serious for most of the 76 million Americans who contract them every year. Although 300,000 of those 76M  are hospitalized and of those, 5,000 do die, the CDC points out that most of the deaths are the very young, people with compromised immune systems, and the elderly.

Foodstuffs dropped on dry floors are the best bets for safe eating if they are first  rinsed/washed and then thoroughly cooked.

Don’t mess around with food dropped on moist or sticky floors, or areas of public traffic.

Oh, and by the way, my steak was delicious, and no…I have not suffered any illness from it.

Be safe, take your women vitamins,  and be blessed, Kersten

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