Tag Archives: Physical exercise

Women Vitamins: The Low Down on High Blood Pressure


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Summer time should be the perfect time…but the stress of high temperatures, the strain of kids out of school, the extra expenses of vacations and the high cost of utility bills can put our happiness, our health, and our hearts at risk.

An estimated 60 million Americans have high blood pressure (or hypertension), an increase of 10 million over the last 10 years. Most people aren’t even aware that they have high blood pressure and it goes untreated. Yet, hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (heart diseases), and is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States.

It is estimated that high blood pressure  has or will affect 90% of Americans at one time or another. Main causes of this condition include lifestyle factors that are controllable: eating a high-grain, high-sugar diet and not exercising and factors and some factors that are out of our control: excessive stress.

Happily, most people can normalize their blood pressure by following a healthy nutrition plan, participating in exercise, and rebalancing emotions and stress responses.

One old standby to combat high blood pressure is vitamin C.  Studies of the effect of Vitamin C in relation to hypertension go back well over a decade.  It is a powerful antioxidant that has continually proven its efficacy against hypertension.

A study (published in the Lancet ,1999) of 45 people with hypertension, noted that blood pressure levels fell by 9.1% after taking 500 mg supplement of vitamin C daily for a month. Duffy SJ, Gokce N, Holbrook M, et al. Treatment of hypertension with ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, may lower blood pressure by protecting the body’s supply of nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels, contributing to healthy blood pressure levels. Studies have also shown that vitamin C may help protect against certain cancers and chest pain when consumed as part of a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Recently, 2 studies (Brazilian and Israeli) looked at the benefits of vitamin C on hypertension and blood sugar levels.

The Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, led by Erika E Nishi, focused on the results of specific testing on 32 male Wistar rats, and determined that vitamin C lessened the severity of hypertension and protected blood cells against hypertension-induced genotoxicity. (Genotoxicity is a property possessed by some substances that makes them harmful to the genetic information contained in organism).   Brain, liver and heart cells were all protected by vitamin C after hypertension-induced DNA damage.    Human & Experimental Toxicology

Israeli researchers gave 70 patients from their hypertension clinic either a placebo, or a combination of antioxidants: vitamin C (1,000 mg/day), vitamin E (400 iu/day), coenzyme Q10 (120 mg/day) and selenium (200 mcg/day).

Participants were tested at 3 and 6 months.  Both testings showed those who took the supplements had improved blood sugar control, lowered blood pressure, significantly higher levels of HDL cholesterol,  and healthier arteries.  Those who took the placebo showed no differences.

The bad news is high blood pressure is a silent threat to your health and the number of people suffering from high blood pressure is increasing.

The good news is that taking steps to provide yourself with a nutritious diet, simple exercises, proper supplementation, and practicing stress reduction techniques like EFT, can help guard you from something as potentially dangerous as hypertension.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM; Washington, DC) estimated that hypertension prevalence might be reduced by as much as 22% if Americans consumed less salt in their diet and ate more vegetables, fruit, and lean protein.  A recent study calculated that reducing salt intake from 3,400 milligrams to the currently advised maximum intake level of 2,300 milligrams per day could bring down the number of individuals with high blood pressure by about 11.1 million and result in approximately $17.8 billion in health care cost savings annually.  The committee also estimated that an initiative to help overweight and obese Americans each lose 10 pounds could reduce the prevalence of high blood pressure in the overall population by 7 to 8%.  An exercise program that gets physically inactive people more active could decrease prevalence by 4 to 6%.

Be safe, be healthy, take your Women Vitamins 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: 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
Image by Themis Chapsis via Flickr
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