Monday, December 29, 2008

What's the Latest About Trans-Fats?

A high intake of trans fats has bee linked to precancerous colon growths, which may increase the risk of colon cancer, says a recent study from the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In a recent study, people hwo at the most (around 6.5 grams per day) had an 86% greater cahnce of developing colon polyps than those in the group that ate the least (around 3.6 grams per day).

So? Choose foods WITHOUT trans fats (also called hydrogenated oils)!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blueberries are anti-cancer, anti-aging?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Blueberries contain compounds that have been shown to reduce your cancer risk, have anti-aging properties, and help fight bacteria that can lead to urinary tract infections.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Walking or Running for Your Health?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To reduce the impact of walking and running on your hips and knees, select softer surfaces to walk and run on. Concrete is 10 times harder than asphalt and a smooth dirt trail, treadmill or rubber track are even better alternatives.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Only a LITTLE Overweight?

An article in Reuter's online newspaper tells of the heart attack risk of even a little extra weight:

A little bit of extra weight can raise the risk of heart failure, according to a U.S. study published on Monday that calculated the heart hazards of being pudgy but not obese.

See the complete article at:

Want to Keep Your Family Healthy This Winter?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Chronic sleep deprivation will increase your risk for developing viral infections, such as colds, flu and respiratory tract infections.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Are You Sleeping Enough

A recent article in Reuter's online newspaper links sleeping less than 5 hours or more than 9 hours to heart attack risk.

During sleep, the body does major repair work and this may be the reason for the link.

To read the entire article, go to:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sharp Brain?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To keep your mind sharp, learn something new on a regular basis. Your brain needs to be exercised by reading, taking a class, doing crossword puzzles or playing some other mind stimulating game.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green Smoothies

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Green smoothies are both nutritious and delicious. For an easy snack or meal:
combine 2 medium mangoes, 2 bananas and
1 cups spinach and blend well. Add pure water if smoothie is too thick.

If you add just 1 Tablespoon of Metagreens (see my website under the "health issues" tab for a description and how to order), you will be getting the same nutrient value as 5 plates of deep greens. This is a great way to get kids to eat their greens without them complaining about it!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Help For High Cholesterol?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who replaced half the fat in their diets with almonds and almond oil reduced total cholesterol by 4% and LDL cholesterol by 6% and triglycerides by 14%.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cruciferous? Sulforaphane? Huh?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, watercress, kale and collard greens contain sulforaphane. This is an antioxidant that has been shown to speed up the detoxification of many harmful chemicals from your body and is believed to suppress cancer and tumor growth.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is Your Liver Overloaded?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If your liver gets overloaded because of a poor diet or alcohol abuse it can lead to weight gain, cravings for sweets and starchy food, fatigue, constant hunger, diabetes, inflammation and premature aging.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What's the Big Deal About The Liver?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

The liver has many important functions. The liver metabolizes fats, proteins and carbohydrates. The liver also, produces hormones, makes cell membranes, facilitates with absorption of essential vitamins and filters and breaks down waste products from the body.

Your liver can become overloaded by having an unbalanced diet. A diet high in fat and sugar, low in protein, high in carbohydrates, low in fiber, low in fresh fruits and vegetables, excessive alcohol consumption and eating processed foods and fast food can overwhelm your liver.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why NOT Let Your Child Have Sweets?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Eating sweets or drinking sweet liquids will keep the pH in your mouth high. This high acid level will attack your teeth enamel and lead to tooth decay.

Boost Your Brain Power?

An interesting article about brains and computers. Here's a snippet and the URL:

The You Docs: Can your computer boost your brain?

What you don't know might make you smarter.

New research suggests that searching for information on the Internet may stimulate your mind and cause new spouts on your neurons (brain cells) -- even more than plain old reading does.

In fact, the brains of older people who were familiar with the Internet were twice as active during online searches as they were when reading from a book, according to a study to be published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Are Your Salads Healthy?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Most people consider salads a healthy meal.
Use caution when ordering your salad. Adding croutons, cheese, eggs, nuts, fried meat and high calorie dressing will transform a salad from a healthy meal to a high fat, high calorie unhealthy meal.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Aerobic Exercise Helps Depression!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Aerobic exercise has been shown to relieve depression. As you exercise your body releases endorphins which increase your sense of well-being.

Walking, The Least Expensive Aerobic Exercise!

Walking is one of the least expensive aerobic exercises. No special clothing needed. Just get a pair of shoes that fit and start off! Bend your elbows and swing your arms as you walk to increase the aerobic benefit to your heart.

Walk with increasing speed to add more aerobic benefits. Race walking is excellent for this.

Any cross lateral activity (opposite arm, opposite leg)also benefits the brain by building dendrites. This is especially important for your children.

Aerobic Excercise for Your Heart!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Aerobic exercise is a great way to condition your heart. As you exercise, your lungs take in more air and your heart grows stronger. Through this process your heart is able to pump more blood with fewer heart beats.

Helping your children become regular aerobic exercisers is one of your biggest challenges but can become one of their biggest health benefits!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Clean Without Unhealthy Chemicals!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To clean your countertops, toilets and
floor naturally: combine equal portions of distilled water with distilled white vinegar and add a little lemon juice, mix well and pour into spray bottle.

Five Foods That Take Years Off Your Skin!

Here's a list of 5 Foods that take years off your skin. To find out why, visit the full article in today's Seattle PI at

1. Legumes
2. Salmon
3. Green Tea
4. Pomegranates
5. Tomatoes

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Your Child Can't Sit Still?

This information is taken from a Good Housekeeping article, Sept 20008

"If your child just can't sit still, the cuplprit may be in your pantry. Although many factors play into hyperactivity, a British study recently showed a link between artifical food coloring and children's behaivor.

Kids under 10 displayed a significant increas in hyperactivity after sonsuming common food additives like FDA approved Red Dye

So, check the labels on the foods you buy to be sure there are no food additives!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Boost Your Zinc Levels!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Many people have low zinc levels. Zinc can be depleted by consuming wheat, soy and sugar products.
Eating 10-12 raw pumpkin seeds daily is a great source of zinc. Having adequate zinc will boost your energy level.

Some studies have also shown that zinc helps in reducing or eliminating colds.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eat Your Breakfast!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Researchers have found that people who eat breakfast think better and faster, remember more and react quicker, and are mentally more alert than people who skip breakfast.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Why Drink Water?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Water is essential for optimum health. Water helps flush toxins from your body and aids in proper digestion and elimination.

Drink at least 8 glasses of it a day.....more is even better.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Getting Your Trace Minerals & Nutrients?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Sprouts are a great source of trace minerals and nutrients. Sprouts are easy and inexpensive to grow. Add them to salad and sandwiches for great taste and potent nutrition.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Easy Way to Get Enough Fruits and Veggies!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you have one or two servings of fruit or vegetables with every meal and snack on vegetables in between meals, you will easily get in the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables per day.

This is especially important for your children!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Potassium Reduces Muscle Mass Loss!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Researchers have found that eating potassium rich fruits and vegetables may reduce muscle mass loss that occurs with aging.

So, what are potassium rich fruits, you may ask? Well, a simple snack of bananas fits the bill!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Obese Kids = Arteries Like 45 Year Olds?

Obese children as young as 10 had the arteries of 45-year-olds and other heart abnormalities that greatly raise their risk of heart disease, say doctors who used ultrasound tests to take a peek inside.

"As the old saying goes, you're as old as your arteries are," said Dr. Geetha Raghuveer of Children's Hospital in Kansas City, who led one of the studies. "This is a wake-up call."

The studies were reported Tuesday at an American Heart Association conference.

For the whole story, see below:

Worried About Your Memory?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that spikes in blood sugar can interfere with your short term memory.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Some Like It Hot---And That's Good for Them!

An article from Bastyr touts the benefits of chile peppers. Here's the URL for the entire article, a portion of the article is below the URL.

Think they are too hot for your children? Not so, the children in my childcare LOVED hot foods. Children can learn to love whatever foods your family introduce them to, just start slowly.

Natural Medicine: Feel the burn: Chiles and your health

Chile peppers have more to offer than just spice -- they're also full of a variety of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds.

Chiles are the fruit of the Capsicum annuum plant, and they are the most widely grown spice in the world.

Before the discovery of chiles, the only known "hot" spices in Europe and Asia were black pepper and horseradish.

Chile peppers are rich in ascorbic acid and vitamin E, which are strong antioxidants; potassium, which keeps the heart healthy; and carotenoids, which are good for the eyes.

They also contain flavonoids, which give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors, aromas and flavors.

Flavonoids are believed to explain many of the health benefits from eating fruits and vegetables, and chiles are full of them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Kids Need Sleep 2 Stay Slim!

A study published at the URL at the bottom of this page showed that:

Consistently getting a good night's sleep may help protect children from becoming obese as adults, a study published Monday suggests.

Researchers found that among more than 1,000 people followed from birth to age 32, those who got too little sleep as children were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to become obese adults.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

FIght Free Radicals!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Fresh fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants which are an essential component to your body's defense against free radicals. Free radicals are molecules in the body that can damage healthy cells.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Colorful Fruits & Veggies = More Nutrition!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

For optimum health, eat 5-9 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables per day. The more colorful the produce, the higher the nutritional value.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Flavor Without the Fat or Sugar?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you would like to add flavor to food, but not fat and sugar, experiment with spices such as cinnamon, ginger and salsa topping.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sugar More Addictive Than Cocaine!

Sugar Found to be More Addictive than Cocaine Posted Aug 27th 2007 by Marisa McClellan
We've known for years that sugar isn't good for us. It promotes tooth decay, provides quick highs and lows and offers nothing but empty, nutritionless calories that pack on the pounds. However, it appears that it is even worse than we previously thought. Researchers recently determined that refined sugar is actually more addictive than cocaine. In a recent study rats were given a choice between sugar water and cocaine, and 94% them chose sugar. Even the rats that had previously been addicted to cocaine switched to the sugar once it was a choice. No wonder it's so hard to give up that 3pm pack of M&M's, it's more addictive than illegal drugs.

So why would we give children lots of it for Halloween. I am passionate about reducing sugar and artificial sugar consumption in this world…will you join me?

Exercise Benefits!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Exercise has numerous benefits. One benefit is that as you exercise your body releases natural opiates, called endorphins, which block pain receptors and give you a feeling of euphoria.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sometimes "Dark" is Good!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

It is important to sleep in a dark room. Your biological clock is controlled by light and dark signals. If your sleep is disrupted by light, then your melatonin levels will decrease and you will not wake up well rested.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What Are You Craving?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you are having a craving for an unhealthy food, first do 10 pushups or jumping jacks and then decide if you still want that food. Often when you do something physical you can interrupt that craving pattern.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Let's Move!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A great way to motivate yourself to exercise first thing in the morning is to lay out your exercise clothes and prepare a water bottle the night before. When you wake up in the morning you will see your exercise clothes and be inspired to get moving.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

When to Exercise?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A study by the Southwestern Health Institute in Phoenix discovered that three out of 4 people who exercised in the morning were still exercising a year later. However, only half of those who waited until midday to exercise were still continuing their exercise habit a year later.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Don't hide from the sun early in the morning!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

According to a 3 year study at Harvard University, exposure to bright sunlight first thing will have a positive impact on the retina that leads to better focus and energy production in the brain. For many people, bright sunlight in the morning will improve their mood and increase their alertness.

This tip might be a little difficult in the rainy Northwest! But, it's valuable to know. Perhaps getting a lamp that is close to sunlight would help.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More Water Benefits!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Staying well hydrated offers many health benefits.
You are more likely to have smoother skin, regular bowel movements, have increased resistance to infections because of the moisturizing effect on the mucous lining of the respiratory tract and lower the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Water, or Lack of it, Affects Your Brain!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A deficiency of water can alter the concentration of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and chloride, water has a profound effect on brain function and energy level" Vernon Mark, M.D. at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Sweet Potatoes? YUM!

The following is a portion of an article I found in the paper today. Great info on the benefits of the sweet potato!

Last updated: October 15th, 2008 02:36 AM (PDT)

A sweet potato is not related to the potato. Nor is it related to a yam. It is its own, delicious thing and deserves admiration beyond the Thanksgiving meal.

After Columbus brought back sweet potatoes, which were called batatas by the Taino Indians in the Caribbean, the name morphed into patatas and then potatoes, writes Elizabeth Schneider in “Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini.”

For almost 50 years, sweets were the only “potatoes” in Europe, Schneider writes, because regular potatoes took much longer to be accepted. More than 90 percent of all sweets are now grown in Asia, many of them more starchy, light-colored versions of the tuber.

The rich flavor of the sweet potato needs little tweaking and certainly does not need garnishing with marshmallows.

Try them steamed, sliced and sprinkled with herbs and a touch of butter. Or roast them, split open and top with a teaspoon of sour cream or yogurt mixed with horseradish to taste. Other compatible flavors, suggested by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg in “The Flavor Bible,” include bacon, apples, onions, chilies, lemon and cilantro.

However you cook them, you are getting good amounts of vitamins A, B6 and E and very little fat. A serving of sweet potatoes is said to contain more fiber than a similar serving of oatmeal, and nutritionists consider sweet potatoes one of best nutrient-dense foods.

Dehydration Effects

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

According to Dr. Michael Colgan if you dehydrate a muscle by only 3%, you will lose 10% contractile strength and 8% of your speed. Staying hydrated is very important to both lifelong health and top physical performance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just One Little Nut?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

One Brazil nut contains 120 mcg of selenium, which is twice the recommended daily allowance.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that may damage your eyes.
This powerful trace mineral may help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

You Are Your Child's Model!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Children learn best by example instead of lecturing to them about healthy eating. As parents improve their diet and focus on physical activity, it will be easier to influence their children to live a healthier lifestyle.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why Are We Overweight?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Some causes of people becoming overweight at a more rapid pace than ever before are: eating out more frequently, too much snacking on high calorie and low nutrient snacks, little or no physical activity, fewer home-cooked meals and increased time in front of the TV and computer.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's Never Too Early to Begin!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

In North America 33% of children are overweight.
This is putting children at an increased risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.

It is never too early to teach your children how to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet.

Along with that, be sure that your children are doing plenty of cross lateal activity (like walking or running) to help build the dendrites in their brains.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What's the Trick to a More Shapely Body?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Proper nutrition is one of the key components to
creating a more shapely body. The foods you put
in your body will account for up to 80% of your physique.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Good News!

The book that has my chapter on children's nutrition is ready to be sent to you!

Just go to my website: and

click on the eshop tab to order it. I will send it to you as soon as I get the order.

Helping Kids to Get Involved With Their Health

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Growing your own vegetable garden is a fun activity for the whole family. To improve the health of your plants, add organic compost to your soil. Organic compost will add nutrients, improve drainage and boost your plants' immune systems.

Children who help with the gardening are also more likely to EAT those veggies!

And, gardening is good exercise!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Delicious & Healthier Than A Candy Bar!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A simple nutritious snack is to take one medjool date, slice it open and insert one pecan. Enjoy a few of these little treats instead of your afternoon candy bar.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Foods that make you younger?

It's that time of year when the leaves turn orange and the offerings on your dinner plate can turn even more vibrant, too. And that's a good thing, because yellow-orange veggies -- including carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash -- are great tasting and chockfull of carotenoids.

Why care about carotenoids? These good-for-you nutrients fight the DNA damage that can make your body old (or sick) before its time.

(quote from Seattle Times "You docs" column on 10-7-08)

My favorite dinner in the fall is baked acorn squash with just a bit of butter and salt and pepper. Delish!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Oat Bran.....YUM!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Oat bran and whole grain oats have been proven to lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Oats may also protect against heart disease and cancer.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

No time to exercise?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Exercise is a key to a healthy lifestyle. If you find it difficult to schedule dedicated time each day to exercise, find creative ways daily to incorporate it into your lifestyle.

Some ideas are:
actively play with your children,
break up an exercise routine into 10-minute segments throughout your day and
get up and move every hour while at work.

Other ideas are:
Never sit still while you talk on the phone. Get a cordless or a cell phone and walk, walk, walk while you talk, talk, talk.

Arrange your work station so you stand instead of sit at it. this not only uses more calories, it is better for your back. Be sure to set the keyboard so that your arms are not reaching up or down but are straight out from your elbows. This lessons carpal tunnel damage.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Baby Carrots a Carcinogen?

The following is information from a farmer who grows and packages
carrots for IGA, METRO, LOBLAWS, etc. The small cocktail (baby)
carrots you buy in small plastic bags are made using the larger crooked or deformed carrots which are put through a machine which cuts and shapes them into cocktail carrots. Most people probably know this already.

What you may not know and should know is the following: once the
carrots are cut and shaped into cocktail carrots they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine in order to preserve them (this is the same chlorine used in your pool) since they do not have their skin or natural protective covering, they give them a higher dose of chlorine. You will notice that once you keep these carrots in your refrigerator for a few days, a white covering will form on the carrots, this is the chlorine which resurfaces. At what cost do we put our health at risk to have esthetically pleasing vegetables which are practically plastic?

Chlorine is a very well known carcinogen (a cancer causing agent).

We do hope that this information can be passed on to as many people as possible in the hopes of informing them of where these carrots come from and how they are processed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Simple Shopping Tip!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you are interested in healthy eating, avoid shopping in the center aisles and end caps of grocery stores. The healthy choices are on the perimeter of the store.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Green Tea and its Antioxidant Benefits

Living Well: Green tea brims with benefits
Last updated September 28, 2008 11:37 a.m. PT


As a naturopathic physician and faculty member at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Paul Anderson has plenty of opportunity to practice what he prescribes. In the case of drinking green tea for health protection, Anderson says he is a regular -- but not daily -- drinker.

"Green tea has a significant amount of antioxidants," said Anderson the other day, taking a break from moving to a new office. "That helps with regulating cholesterol and burning fat."

For the rest of this very interesting story, go to this link from the Seattle PI on Sept 30, 2008:

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Researchers have found that people who eat breakfast think better and faster, remember more and react quicker, and are mentally more alert than people who skip breakfast.

My breakfast each day is "Ellouise's Super Duper Start to the Day". You can find the recipe in one of my previous blogs. It's a great start to the day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beans Benefits?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Increasing bean intake as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables might help prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and even lower blood pressure." Dr. Lydia Bazzano Harvard Clinical Fellow in Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What Can Help Your Blood Sugar?

Like going a couple of rounds with Tyson, high blood sugar can do a number on your vital organs. But eating this may give it a one-two punch right back: broccoli.

The tasty green florets are ripped with sulforaphane, a compound that seems to help keep high blood sugar goons on their best behavior, so they do less damage.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Two For One Day!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A Harvard School of Public Health Study discovered that on days people eat fast food they consume an average of 187 extra calories. These extra calories can lead to a six pound weight gain in one year.

A Harvard School of Public Health Study found that women who ate fast food more than twice per week had an 86% increase risk of being overweight.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

How's Your Brain?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Omega 3 fatty acids found in flax and hemp seeds have been shown to make positive changes in the brain. Researchers discovered that people with increased levels of these essential fats had more gray matter in the parts of their brain that regulates moods and emotions.

I put flax seeds into the healthy blender drink I make for breakfast each morning. For my blender drink recipe, just email me and I'll send it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Are You Stressed?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Research has shown that being out in nature relieves mental stress and fatigue and creates a positive mood.
If you are feeling stressed go for a walk in the park instead of grabbing a candy bar.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Decrease Housework? I'm For It!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Cleaning experts have found that eliminating your home of clutter will decrease your housework by 40%. This allows you to have more time to do the things you enjoy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Healthy Popsicles? YUM!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To create a nutritious, delicious homemade popsicle:
blend 2 cups of berries and 4 oranges until smooth, then pour into an ice cube tray with popsicle stick and freeze.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Where's Your Focus?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

When changing your lifestyle habits from unhealthy habits to healthy habits, focus on progress not perfection.

I have found that if you take a baby step in the right direction, and keep taking those baby steps, you will make it to your goal...whatever that might be.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Great Exercise Tip!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Gardening can be a great form of exercise. It builds stamina, strength and flexibility - the three keys to overall fitness.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Stressed? Here's a quick fix!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Deep breathing is an excellent stress management technique. A simple breathing technique to reduce stress and bring you into the present moment is to breathe in deeply to the count of 6, hold your breath for a moment and listen to the sounds in your environment, then exhale to the count of 6.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Yea! Popeye Was Right!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Spinach is loaded with nutrients such as iron, magnesium, manganese, folate, vitamin A, C and K and is rich in carotenoids. It strengthens bones, protects your heart, boosts your immune system and combats cancer.

Note: the slimy, canned kind isn't well liked by kids. Just eat it raw in a salad instead of iceberg for a delicious taste and more nutrition.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The hypo.....what?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Physical activity is believed to influence the hypothalamus. This part of the brain helps regulate body weight. Exercise has been shown to lower the body's set point weight, which helps keep the body from fighting to return to its original weight.

Helping your children increase their activity level will help them maintain a normal weight. Be sure to include cross lateral activities to help build the dendrites in the brain (cross lateral activities include walking and running).

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Are You Concerned About Alzheimer's?

Many people are concerned about the debilitating effects of Alzheimer's disease. The disease takes away portions of the brain and leaves a shell, with the person eventually unable to do the simplest things. But, before that end time, the person loses him/herself and the families are devastated.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could STOP this diseas?

An article in today's Seattle Times states that:

"Adding even a small amount of exercise to a person's daily routine can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association."

You can read the entire article at

Ginger Can Do All That?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Ginger is a tasty spice with several health benefits.
Studies have shown that ginger lowers LDL cholesterol, keeps your blood from clotting by reducing the stickiness of your platelets, and is a powerful antioxidant.

But, don't diminish the positive effects of ginger by eating it with tons of sugar as in ginger cookies! Take the natural soda idea and just put in ginger instead of the other and you have a natural ginger ale. YUM!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Soda Pop Substitute

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A healthy substitute for soda pop is to combine some fresh squeezed juice with sparkling natural mineral water.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Healthy Colon

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Many people suffer from chronic constipation. To keep your colon clean, eat a diet high in fiber, drink plenty of fresh water, and ensure your diet contains plenty of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Important but not socially acceptable to talk about

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Your colon is one of the primary channels of
elimination of toxic waste in your body. If
your colon is functioning properly you should
have a bowel movement after every primary meal.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bring Health Into Your Life

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To bring health into your life focus on what you
want. Make a contract with yourself of your health
goals and action steps to accomplish your goals.
Share this contract with a friend for support and

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Have them ready!

Another tip: be sure to ONLY have healthy items in your house and have them ready to eat. When you come home from the grocery store with those incredibly delicious fruits and veggies, wash them with fruit and vegetable rinse, dry them and put them into the fridge so they are ready when you get the munchies. By taking a little time to have them ready, you will eat more of them, thus helping you to be healthier!

Vision for Health!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A way to motivate you to focus on health is to create
a vision board for health. Make a collage of pictures, affirmations, and things that represent health, vitality,
and the way you want to look and feel. Look at this vision
board daily for inspiration.

How to Have a Healthy Brain!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To help keep your arteries clean and blood flowing to
your brain, eat a diet rich in plant-based foods, fresh
vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruits, seeds and nuts.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's Never Too Late!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

It is never too late to change from a sedentary
lifestyle to an active lifestyle, nor to benefit
from the change. Dr. Ralph Paffenbarger

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Simple Solution to a Healthier Life!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you are interested in achieving optimal health,
pay attention to the quality of food you eat. The
closer the food is to its natural state, the better
it will be for your body.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Benefits of Omega 3's (Essential Fatty Acids)

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to boost immune
function, improve mental health, promote healthy skin,
fight degenerative disease and reverse heart disease.

Where to get those elusive Omega 3's?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Flaxseeds are a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
To regularly consume flax seeds, sprinkle them on your
cereal, salads, and sandwiches or put in soups and stews.

Although they are very tasty, some children balk at trying new things. To hide them in a smoothie, just get a VitaMix blender and it will chop them up so fine that you can't even taste them. Or, chop them in a coffee grinder.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Kings, Queens and Kingdoms

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Those who begin to exercise regularly and replace
white flour, sugar and devitalized foods with live,
organic natural foods begin to feel better immediately.
Exercise is king, nutrition is queen -- put them together
and you've got a kingdom. Jack LaLanne

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Skip the Sugar and High Fructose Corn Syrup!

Want to help your child be healthier? One solution is very simple although not easy for some people. Just eliminate sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Both are addictive so the more you eat, the more you want.

Excess sugar in the diet has been linked to many diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cavities and more.

Remember to read the labels of every single item you purchase because both of these ingredients are found in everything from catsup to bread.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dry Skin Brushing

In "Surviving the American High Tech Diet", available on my website, there is an enlightening section on dry skin brushing. Here's a simple health tip about it:

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Over the course of a day your skin will eliminate
more than one pound of waste through your sweat glands.
To keep your skin looking smooth and fresh and improve
your skin circulation, do dry skin brushing with a natural
fiber brush for 5-10 minutes daily before you shower.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Interesting Article on Chemicals being Banned in Baby Products

Here's the link for an interesting article about chemicals in baby products:

The Secret is in the Fiber!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A study in the International Journal of Obesity found
that people reduced their calorie intake by 20% when
they substituted a piece of fresh fruit for fruit juice.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What Are EFA's?

Essential Fatty Acids are just that....essential to your health. Omega 3's and Omega 6's come from various sources. Below you will find some Omega 3 sources:

Omega 3 fatty acids can balance blood sugar and reduce inflammation. They also help regulate your metabolism.
Some good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are fish oil,
flaxseed oil and walnuts.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Benefits of Strength Training

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

According to Dr. Gary Hunter, strength training twice
a week will reverse 50% of metabolism slow down that
occurs with age.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Happy Meals....or NOT so happy?

Today's Seattle Times has a wonderful article about happy meals. Here's the beginning, check it out at



Cox News Service

WASHINGTON — Happy Meals make sorry nutrition, and most kids would be better off brown-bagging it than reaching for a bucket of the colonel's fried chicken, a study released Monday asserts.

Fat-laden children's meals that pack up to 1,000 calories at a sitting are contributing to obesity and the long-term onset of heart disease and diabetes, warned Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit health advocacy group based here.

The group surveyed 13 popular chain restaurants that offer children's menus and provide nutritional data.

Clutter Cutting!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Cleaning experts have found that getting rid of clutter
in your home will cut down your housework by 40%. The
time you save on cleaning can be spent on doing something
for yourself or family.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Be Fit as a Family!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Make getting fit a family activity. Sign up for a 1
or 3.1 mile fun run and train as a family. This will
get everyone motivated to exercise and have a fun event
to look forward to doing together.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Simple Dieting Tip

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you are interested in losing weight, always serve
your food on a plate or bowl so you can see how much
you are eating. Studies have shown that people who eat
from a bag, box or bucket eat 40-50% more than if they
put their food on a dish.

And, if you choose only healthy items on that plate, you will be even farther ahead!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Salsa! Yummy & Nutritious!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Fresh salsa is easy to make, nutritious and very versatile.
To make fresh salsa simply chop 1½ cups fresh tomato, mix
in 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 2 cloves of minced garlic,
1 tsp. sea salt, ½ cup chopped cilantro and minced peppers
of your choice to taste.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

How to Help You and Your Child Sleep Better

Some people think sleeping is a waste of time but this is the time that your body repairs itself (don't you wish your car or house could repair itself?) So, check out this tip about getting better sleep:

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To ensure a good night's rest, it is best to sleep in
a completely dark room. Even a small amount of light
will interfere with your body's circadian rhythm and
your pineal gland's production of melatonin and serotonin.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clean up your home--really clean it up!

Remember the blog on cleaning up your environment that I did a while back? Well, here's an excellent article about how a fresh scent in your home can actually be toxic.

Because the article is so long, I'm just including the address:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Do Calories Count?

Yes, as a matter of fact, they do. And the amount one consumes, as opposed to the amount of exercise one does, determines whether one is losing or gaining weight. Just for fun, look at the calories in the list below and think of how much exercise you would have to do to get rid of them!
By the numbers
New York City now requires chain restaurants to post calorie information on their menus. Here are the counts for a few popular fast foods:
Food Calories
McDonald's Big Mac 1,130
Burger King Whopper with cheese 770
McDonald's Big Mac 540
Medium Coke Classic (21 ounces) 210
Taco Bell beef soft taco supreme 250
Dunkin' Donuts sausage, egg
and cheese croissant 630
Starbucks blueberry muffin 320
Domino's Pizza slice, with cheese & pepperoni 210

Friday, July 18, 2008

Why Avoid Junk Food?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Dyes and chemicals used to flavor and preserve junk
food, require a lot of extra vitamins and minerals
from the body just to metabolize and detoxify them.
Because junk food has no nutrients in it, the body
must use its precious stores of nutrients to digest
junk food.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More About Raw Fruits and Veggies

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A great way to be healthier, recover from illness faster,
have more energy and slow the aging process is to eat more
fresh, raw vegetables and fruit and avoid junk food.

That being the case, doesn't it make sense that someone who only eats raw fruits and veggies is the healthiest?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Raw Fruits & Veggies Better?

I have read much information about the benefits of raw fruits and veggies. Below is one more reason to add more to your diet and your children's diet:

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Enzymes and vitamins are produced in plant tissues.
When we consume live food, we bathe the trillions of
cells in our bodies with these plant derived nutrients.
Cherie Calbom

Monday, July 14, 2008

Daisies to Clean Up Your Environment?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

The Gerbera Daisy can clean the air in your office or
home. These plants help eliminate toxic pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene, which are found in many household products.


Each day, in my morning blender drink, I have 2 bananas. I just don't feel as well when I don't have them. Below is a health tip that explains why.

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Bananas are loaded with nutrition and are a great source
of healthy energy. Bananas contain B complex vitamins,
Vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fibers and are a good
source of potassium and magnesium.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Increase Your Mitochondria!

Eating a diet high in nutrients and phytonutrients is one way to increase the mitochondria. Having that diet be mostly unprocessed and raw is an excellent choice.

Check my website for information on Univera products, which are high in nutrients and phytonutirents. One tablespoon of Metagreens, for instance, has the nutrition of 5 plates of dark greens from land and sea!

Monday, July 7, 2008


One way to increase the number of mitochondria
in your body is to exercise. Through exercise you
increase muscle mass and increase your oxygen intake.
The faster your metabolic rate, the easier it is to
burn calories and increase your energy.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Mitochondria are the parts of your cells that combine
the calories you consume with oxygen and turn this
combination into energy which runs everything in your

Need more energy....real energy, not caffeine stimulating your adrenals? I have a product that can help you! Just call me and I'll tell you about it. It increases the mitochondria action in your body.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Nix the Refined Sugar for You and Your Child!

For years, I've been preaching the dangers of refined sugar which includes table sugar, high fructose corn syrup and the many other names it hides under.

Now, I have been validated by research! New studies have shown that refined sugar can upset the mineral relationships in your body; causing chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

So what, you may ask. The problem with imbalance is that your body is like a fine tuned engine and any imbalance does harmful things to it.

Try these substitutes to refined sugar:

Stevia - 300 times sweeter than sugar, no calories, and helps keep the yeast in your gut down. But, because it kills yeast, you can't use it when you want something to rise (like cake or bread).

Blue agave - you can use 25% less for the same sweetness as sugar. If you get an organic brand that is not chemically treated, like Volcanic Nectar, it will help your blood sugar levels at the same time it gives you sweetness.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Whole Foods vs Juices

Choosing whole apples over apple juice may provide extra health benefits.

Why? Few people consistently meet the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables. But, substituting fruit juice instead of the whole fruit is not a good plan! Juices have no fiber, which helps to cleanse your colon. They are also very high in simple sugars and calories, this does NOT help you with weight control.

Research suggests apples with the peels help inhibit LDL oxidation more consistently than juice does. Minimizing LDL oxidation may help deter the development of arterial plaques.

However, much of the fiber and phytochemicals resides in the peels so juices aren't the best source. In fact, studies suggest apple peels contain two to six times more phenolic compounds than apple flesh and its juices.

And in a recent study, whole apples inhibited LDL oxidation by 34 percent, but the degree to which apple juice inhibited LDL oxidation varied from 9 percent to 34 percent, depending on the brand.

Whole apples, as opposed to juices, are high in phytochemicals that may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CAD). As mentioned, they also are a good source of fiber.

So, get most of your fruit servings from whole fruits rather than fruit juices.

References: Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Boyer, J., Liu, R. H., Nutrition Journal 2004 May 12;3(1):5.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eat Your Greens!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Green vegetables are very low in calories and high
in nutrients. For example, 10 ounces of broccoli
contains 100 calories, whereas less than one ounce
of ground sirloin contains 100 calories. Animal
products are high in calories
and low in nutrients.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hydrogenated fats are a no no!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Avoid hydrogenated oil; this is a man-made oil that
contains Trans fats. These fats bind to a spot on
your cells that will block your metabolism, slows fat
burning, increases cholesterol and leads to insulin
resistance or trouble regulating blood sugar.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Nix the High Fructose Corn Syrup!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

If you are interested in being healthy, read labels
and avoid products containing high fructose corn syrup.

This is a man-made sugar that enters your blood stream
quickly and triggers hormonal and chemical changes that
make you feel hungrier and provides no nutritional value.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Are You Eating Refined Carbs?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Refined carbohydrates can raise your risk of macular degeneration by 49%. According to a study at Tufts
University, when your sugar load exceeds your cells'
ability to use it, protein in the eyes may become

Monday, June 16, 2008

Healthy Pasta Salad with Veggies

Now that the sun is finally out (yea!), it's time for a pasta salad that is very cool in every way.


1/2 cup Nayonaise
1/2 cup Tofu or soy sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces whole-wheat organic elbow macaroni (or other small shape)
1 cup grated organic carrots
1 cup thinly sliced organic celery
1 cup small organic grape tomatoes, halved or whole, whichever you like
1 medium organic red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup chopped organic broccoli (for extra cancer fighting benefits).
1/2 cup chopped organic scallions

To make the dressing, in a medium bowl, whisk together the Nayonnaise, Tofu sour cream, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, then rinse under cold water and drain thoroughly.
Transfer the pasta to a large bowl and add the carrots, celery, tomatoes, bell pepper and scallions. Add the reserved dressing and mix thoroughly to coat.
Chill and serve.

Serves 8

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dr. Ellouise Speaks to Parents

1. See a change in your lifestyle as your way of caring for your children, not as your way of controlling them or depriving them. Here are some facts to help you with understanding how important a change is:
a. Your children’s potential cannot be met if they are sitting on the couch playing video games. Cross lateral activity is required in order to build the dendrites in the brain necessary for higher level thinking.
b. Are your children tired? Actually, more exercise is the answer for that too. Amazingly enough, more exercise creates more energy.
c. Food has become way more than “fuel for your body”. Because of the advertising children are bombarded with, it is implied that eating certain foods can make them desirable and beautiful. Rarely are truly healthy foods advertised. Some time ago, there were ads for Broccoli Woccli; but, other than that, not much of a healthy nature is advertised and those ads ended a while back.
d. Obesity, and other lifestyle results, are at an all time high in America
e. Old age diseases are now youngsters’ diseases (gall bladder, type II diabetes, etc.)
f. This is the first generation that will die before their parents because of the poor lifestyle choices being made.
g. There are loads of other facts but these few will suffice for now
2. Food is fuel for the body. To put food back in the “fuel” category, some changes in your own lifestyle may need to be made. You are your children’s most important role model for eating! If you want them to eat healthier, you will, necessarily, have to eat healthier. It cannot feel to your children that you are two faced or that they are being punished somehow!
3. Remember, imposing strict control may or may not work in the short term but the long term results you are looking for won’t be accomplished by you being in control of your children’s eating (unless they are very young). Your children are away from you in increasing amounts of time as they grow and what choices will they make when you aren’t standing over them with your baseball bat?
4. Instead, as you begin, it’s best to sit down with your children and discuss their relationship with food. How do they feel about food and eating in a healthy manner? Why would it be good to change the way they eat, and how can that be done? What are the long term results if they continue eating in the current way?
5. You need to be a bit of a psychologist here and help your children to develop some intrinsic motivation about making the change to a healthier lifestyle. Your enthusiasm (developed from the information you found out) will help their intrinsic motivation.
6. One thing to mention while talking with your children is the fact that the media has done an incredible job of confusing us about what “healthy eating” looks like! And, also remember that anything seen on any type of media is “advertising”. That means it’s designed to SELL something, the perpetrator (that’s not a mistake in words!) is not interested in anyone’s health, they are SELLING something!
7. Be discerning as you discuss the advertisements you see on the media with your children. Be aware of words in the advertisements designed to make you think the product is healthy (because that seems to be popular right now).
8. Or, words to make you think that “studies” means the same thing as “scientific studies”. Many studies are funded by the very people who have the product for sale…..can you trust a study like that?
9. Set goals for the month, week and day. Your children need to be very involved in this part of the process.
10. Going backwards (month to day), instead of forwards helps your children to break down the big goals into manageable pieces.
11. Then plan, with your children, what baby steps will help them reach those goals. By starting with baby steps, the chance for failure lessens and the chance for success increases.
12. Don’t give in to the whining for unhealthy foods, even once, or you start at below zero, not just back at zero.
13. Think of some concrete ways to help your children become invested in their health. Rewards are just fine (don’t listen to your mother’s voice about bribery being wrong, we are all “bribed” by being paid for our jobs, is that wrong?)
14. However, NEVER reward with food! This is counter productive to a healthy choice lifestyle. Depending on your children’s personalities, rewards can be as subtle as “you made a good choice!” to as concrete as “you can choose…(whatever might motivate them)….as soon as you have lost 5 pounds”.
15. A healthy lifestyle is about choices, it isn’t about deprivation
16. How do you change “what you know” to “what you do”? One step at a time.
17. I do a “kitchen frenzy” to help people clean out their cupboards of the processed foods. It takes about an hour and I charge $100. I go through all your cupboards and put into garbage bags anything that is processed or contains such things as high fructose corn syrup (it’s in most breads and catsups), hydrogenated oils (in most crackers) and preservatives (in most everything processed).
18. If you aren’t ready to get rid of it in an hour, how about “one step at a time”?
19. This is my philosophy: Every step in the right direction is a step in the right direction. And, even baby steps count.
20. After the kitchen frenzy, have only healthy choices in your house. Have a fruit bowl on your table or counter. Make sure that the fruits are beautiful and varied and encourage your children to eat freely.
21. And, have the veggies cut up and in the fridge or in a Chilzane platter on the table.
22. I slice and dice every weekend so that it’s easy and convenient to make healthy choices during the week.
23. Never limit their choices of the healthy items! Eventually, they will eat less because their bodies will begin to adjust to eating healthier. At that point, your food bill will go down. Processed foods actually cost more because of the long term effects!
24. Organic is best but whether or not the foods are organic, always be sure to wash them with a fruit and vegetable rinse before putting them out so that your children can “grab and go”. I have a saying: “if it’s in the fridge, it’s been washed so it’s ready to eat.” Your health is worth the little extra time to wash the fruits and vegetables so that they are ready.
25. I have small amounts of diced carrots, sliced red bell peppers, grape tomatoes, cauliflower, etc. in little containers. Then I have a larger container of spinach and in the morning I put it all into my lunch pail. Remember “Bread and Jam for Francis”? Remember all the little containers the other one had? There’s something about taking all those containers and making the salad that is very satisfying. As I put it together at lunch time, people always tell me “That looks so good”.
26. I have a cookbook that has some healthy recipes in it. You can order the cookbook from me and I’ll mail it to you. Because it was done as a fund raiser for my school, parents contributed recipes and some of them had a fuzzy idea about “healthy” but all of the ones that have my name on them are healthy.

If you would be interested in my help with your children, just give me a call or email me!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Hardworking Plant!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

The Gerbera Daisy can clean the air in your office or
home. These plants help eliminate toxic pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene, which are found in many household products.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Are you taxing your adrenals?

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Studies have shown that consuming a lot of sugar,
caffeine and other stimulants can create a constant
sense of anxiety in many people and also overload your
adrenal glands.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Do you know how to brush your teeth?

Yesterday's blog told you to brush your teeth properly. Today's tip tells you how to do that. Also, remember to floss at least once a day to remove those plaque building germs. I find that using a SoniCare is very helpful in keeping my teeth clean. At my last checkup, the dentist was very pleased with the results of my flossing and brushing.

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

To effectively brush your teeth, buy a toothbrush with
a small head to easily reach all parts of your mouth,
teeth and gums. It is best to brush your teeth twice
a day for two minutes each brushing.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Your Mom was right---brush your teeth!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

According to a University of Minnesota study, proper
teeth brushing can help prevent blood clots, heart
attacks and strokes. The study revealed that bacterial
deposits accumulated in the teeth due to lack of regular brushing can find their way into the blood stream and help form clots.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flip flops

Did you know that studies show more leg and foot injuries and more back pain for those wearing flip flops?

Is it a good idea, then, to allow your children to wear them as they run and play? And, is it a good idea for adults to wear them?

Just wondering.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fiber helps blood sugars

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Eating fiber early in the day has many health
benefits.It will prevent spikes in blood sugar
and lead to greater satiety, so you are less likely
to snack or get excess calories later in the day.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chipotle Hummus

I love hummus and have just made up a new recipe by adding chipotle to it. YUM! And, you know, jalapenos are actually good for you! Thank heavens because I eat a lot of them. :)

Chipotle Hummus

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
5 level Tablespoons tahini paste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15 oz) of chick peas (garbanzos) strained-reserve the juice
(if you want to you can cook up dried garbanzos in filtered water and then put in 2 cups of them instead of the can)
2 heaping Tablespoons of chipotle in adobe sauce
1 Tablespoon of the adobe sauce

Put a little of the garbanzo juice in the bottom of a VitaMix and then the rest of the ingredients.

Blend until smooth, use extra juice if it is too dry. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Eating late at night?

I've read that one should not eat later than 6PM (which is fairly impossible for most of us). The reasons for this are many but one is that it helps with weight control.

I try to eat before 8PM, my compromise. But, sometimes I get really hungry and I've discovered a way to stop the hunger.

Let me back up and say that I used to have very bad acid reflux. I became a Univera distributor and began using Aloe Gold from our product line. I take 2 ounces every night just before bed and have never had another acid reflux episode. Wow!

Well, last night I was extremely hungry but it was 9PM and I didn't want to eat that late. So, I took 2 ounces of Aloe Gold and the hunger left.

I was able to not eat, which is better for my body.

Now I'm wondering: is this a new weight control tip? Could be!

If you would like some Aloe Gold, just contact me and I can help you with that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Trans Fat Danger

Yet another reason to avoid those French Fries (or anything fried, for that matter).

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Did you know consuming 4 grams of trans fat per day will significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease?
One serving of French fries has 5 grams of trans fat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mangoes? YUM!

Mangoes taste so good but don't eat them just for the taste!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Mangoes contain vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
No other tropical fruit contains all three of these powerful antioxidants.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another tip for Summer colds

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

According to a recent study, researchers found people
who consistently engage in moderate exercise five times
a week improve their immune function and keep colds away.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Trying to get "greener" with your child's environment?

Here's a helpful article by Dr. Leila Masson that I found on regarding cleaning up your child's environment. I have bolded some points so that it's easier to read in the blog format. As usual, I have Dr. Masson's OK to reprint her article.

Clean Up Your Kids' Environment
by Leila Masson, M.D., MPH, DTMH, IBCLC
PaediatricianLactation Consultant
PoBox 25930
St. Heliers

Use natural, biodegradable and perfume free detergents and cleaning agents. Ecostore products are a good substitute and available at many supermarkets. They work out cost effective as you use much less of them. You can also contact them directly and ask for a catalogue. There are also new cleaning cloths for which you do not need to use any detergents – for example the ENJO system (quite expensive, but cheaper versions are available).

Do not use fragrant or anti-mosquito sprays in the home.

Avoid chlorine: use water filters, limit pool and spa pools. The ocean is a great place to spend time, as the minerals are very detoxing. There are some products suitable for spa pool treatments. Consider installing a shower filter, as a lot of chlorine is inhaled when showering and bathing.

Wear 100% cotton clothes where possible. Avoid flame retardant materials (antimony).

Most personal care product contains many chemicals and can be avoided and replaced with safer alternatives. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is another thing to watch for, this is carcinogenic.

Use fluoride-free toothpaste, (tin, titanium). Weleda do good toothpaste. This needs to be SLS free too.

Use natural shampoos, soaps etc. (Ecostore and Living Nature are good alternative).

Avoid playing on pressure treated wood (arsenic).This applies to many of the play grounds with a woodchip base. and decking.

Eliminate exposure to mercury and thimerosal products.

Do not allow amalgam (grey) fillings, use composite instead.

Use an air purifier especially in the bedroom if any concerns over air quality in the home e.g. close to busy road, mouldy

Ventilate your house. Many synthetic products in the home emit gasses and your house can be a toxic place. Open windows, and air bedding in the sun.

When purchasing new furniture, and carpet allow for time to off-gass (At least 24 hours). Many carpets are full of pesticides as well as solvents.

Encourage a habit of removing shoes when entering your home especially if you have carpets. You end up tramping in lead, pesticides and other nasties.

Delay redecorating till you are sure everyone is well prepared to deal with the toxic effects or source alternative eco-friendly products.

Avoid prolonged handling of batteries.

No plastic furniture (polyvinyl chloride).

Use aluminum-free baking powder and deodorant.

Do not cook in aluminum foil or drink from aluminum cans or foil–lined cardboard juice containers.

Cooking should be done in stainless steel, glass or enamel pots.

Avoid Teflon.

Avoid use of herbicides or pesticides, on lawns, garden, or home.

Do not dry clean clothes.

Do not reuse the plastic pump drink bottles. They degrade quickly, so you drink a portion of plastic. Use polycarbonate drink bottles. These can be obtained at I.E. Produce or Katmandu (great when they have their 50% off sale).

Avoid wrapping food in gladwrap/plastic bags, use greaseproof paper where possible.

Avoid heating food in plastic such as take away containers.

Microwaves are best avoided.

Consider how you heat your house. Radiant heat is the healthiest. Gas is a moist heat, and should be avoided. It not only gives off fumes, but is a great breeding ground for mould.

Dust your house with a damp cloth.

Nasty Additives

102 tartrazine
104 quinoline yellow
107 yellow 2G
110 sunset yellow
122 azorubine, carmoisine
123 amaranth
124 ponceau, brilliant scarlet
127 erythrosine
128 red 2G
129 allura red
132 indigotine, indigo carmine
133 brilliant blue
142 green S, food green, acid brilliant green
151 brilliant black
155 brown, chocolate brownNatural
160b annatto, bixin, norbixin

200-203 sorbic acid, potassium & calcium sorbates
210-213 benzoic acid, sodium, potassium & calcium benzoates
220-228 sulphur dioxide, all sulphites, bisulphites, metabisulphites
249-252 all nitrates & nitrites
280-283 propionic acid, sodium, potassium & calcium propionatesAntioxidants
310-312 all gallates
319-321 TBHQ, BHA butylated hydroxyanisole, BHT butylated hydroxytoluene

620-625 glutamic acid and all glutamates,
MSG monosodium glutamate
627 disodium guanylate
631 disodium inosinate
635 ribonucleotidesYeast extract, HVP HPP hydrolysed vegetable or plant protein

951 aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal)

To learn more about Dr. Masson and read other articles, visit her

Friday, May 9, 2008

From Dr. McDougall about bypass surgery

Here's an article with some little known facts about by-pass surgery, written by Dr. McDougall. I found this on I have added some bolding to make it more readable in the blog format. As is usual, I have Dr. McDougall's permission to reprint his article.

McDougall Breaking News
Bill Clinton’s Madness: A Consequence of Heart-Bypass Surgery Brain Damage

We Need to Understand and Show Some Compassion
One of the savviest politicians of our generation, known for his wit, charm, and calm under extreme pressure, Bill Clinton appears out of character in the speeches and interviews televised since his bypass surgery September 6, 2004—and his mental deterioration may be accelerating.

Remember, this is the president who withstood public impeachment before the entire world for his relationship with Monica Lewinski without once losing control. Now, he is easily angered by hecklers, and makes factual mistakes and racial slurs while aggressively defending his wife’s campaign for presidency.

Everyone sees his mental and emotional decline, yet to date, no medical professionals have spoken out about the cause or offered help.

Not a single one—not one bypass surgeon, cardiologist or psychiatrist—has stepped forward in his defense; even though all of them are trained to recognize “post bypass surgery cognitive dysfunction.”

One of the best-kept secrets in medicine is the brain damage caused during bypass surgery. During my 40 years of medical practice I have never heard a doctor warn a patient before bypass surgery that an expected complication is memory loss.

After surgery when the family complains of dad’s fits of anger, I have never heard a doctor admit that personality change is a common consequence of surgery. Yet these well-recognized side effects have been reported in medical journals since 1969.1

Brain damage during bypass surgery is so common that hospital personnel refer to it as “pump head.” The primary cause is emboli produced during surgery from clamping the aorta and from the “heart-lung machine.” This machine pumps blood to keep the patient alive while the heart is stopped during the operation.

Unfortunately, this pump also introduces toxic gases, fat globules, and bits of plastic debris into the bloodstream of the patient under anesthesia. Once they are in the bloodstream, these particles migrate to the brain where they can clog capillaries and prevent adequate amounts of blood and oxygen from flowing to the brain. Essentially, all patients experience brain emboli during surgery and for many the damage is permanent.

In 2001, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 5-years after bypass surgery 42% of patients showed decline in mental function of approximately 20 percent or more.2 A study published this year (2008) in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery using MRI testing just after bypass surgery found brain damage in 51% of patients.3

Three years after their time on the bypass pump, significant permanent reduction in mental capacity was identified in 31% of patients.

I am not talking major stroke here; but these patients can't remember names or numbers as they once did, experience sleep disturbances (including nightmares), suffer mood swings, and lose intellectual acuity. Approximately 30 percent of people suffer persistent depression and some even contemplate suicide.

Our former president needs our understanding and support. A simple explanation by his doctors of the cause of his recent aberrant behaviors should bring peace of mind to Hillary and her campaign staff.

If Mr. Clinton better understood his current limitations, he and his staff could take precautionary steps to avoid embarrassments. A long-overdue explanation would help his adoring public more easily accept his mistakes and readily forgive him. It is not your fault, Mr. Clinton.

As importantly, public recognition of the harm done to Bill Clinton by the heart surgery business would help the patients who undergo bypass surgery, and their families, to better understand similar changes they have experienced.

A little attention from the media could also shine some light on the lack of survival benefits from this $90,000 procedure performed nearly half-a-million times annually in the US, and the superior benefits coming from diet and lifestyle changes.

I am saddened to see our former president suffer from public humiliation, but I am disgraced that my profession has thus far failed to come forward with a long over-due explanation and an apology to the Clintons and our nation for the harm they have done and the secrets they have kept.

John McDougall, MD

1) Hill JD, Aguilar MJ, Baranco A, de Lanerolle P, Gerbode F. Neuropathological manifestations of cardiac surgery. Ann Thorac Surg. 1969 May;7(5):409-19.
2) Newman MF, Kirchner JL, Phillips-Bute B, Gaver V, Grocott H, Jones RH, Mark DB, Reves JG, Blumenthal JA; Longitudinal assessment of neurocognitive function after coronary-artery bypass surgery. N Engl J Med. 2001 Feb 8;344(6):395-402. 9Link:
3) Knipp SC, Matatko N, Wilhelm H, Schlamann M, Thielmann M, Lösch C, Diener HC, Jakob H. Cognitive outcomes three years after coronary artery bypass surgery: relation to diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging. Ann Thorac Surg. 2008 Mar;85(3):872-9.

Does Your Child have a Spring Cold?

Here's some information on colds, whether it's Spring or any other time of the year. This info was given to me when I owned my school and it talks a bit about caregivers. But, you can apply it to any situation with children.

By Childcare Resource and Referral

Colds are NOT the result of going outside in bad weather and getting a chill. Colds are caused by viruses which are spread through the air when someone with a cold coughs or sneezes, or by direct contact when someone with a cold touches their respiratory secretions and spreads them to others by touching or sharing objects.

Most colds are contagious 2-4 days before signs and symptoms appear. Excluding a child from your child care who has a cold will not prevent colds from spreading. The consistent practice of good handwashing and environmental cleanliness are your best prevention measures.

Colds will not be cured by antibiotics.

Most cold viruses cause coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. Some cold viruses cause more serious symptoms than others; high fever, lack of energy, loss of appetite and the overall appearance of being very ill.

Colds sometimes lead to complications that need medical treatment and may require antibiotics. A few of these are: bronchitis symptoms: coughing, noisy breathing, fever), ear infections (symptoms: pain, fussiness, pulling at ear, and fever), or pneumonia (symptoms: coughing, difficult breathing, fever).

Having a cold should not prevent a child from playing outdoors. Include outdoor play and air out the rooms where children play and sleep with fresh air each day.

Young children have not developed immunity against most cold viruses. They may develop more immunity each time they have a cold, but there are more than 100 cold viruses!

To reduce the spread of colds, teach the children thorough handwashing techniques and make sure all the children and adult caregivers wash often. Have a good supply of Kleenex to keep little noses wiped and keep the environment clean and sanitized. Teaching children to cough or sneeze INTO THEIR ELBOW instead of into their hands will also help (sneezing into the hand provides an opportunity for that hand, and the germs, to touch something and spread the germs).

Try to prevent little ones from putting toys other children have been playing with into their mouths. Disinfect toys at least daily during the cold season and keep an extra supply of clean toys to trade for ones which have been used by a child with a cold.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fresh Ground Whole Wheat Basil Onion Bread

I have developed many bread recipes but this one is my favorite to smell while it's cooking! In my cookbook, Yummy 4 the Tummy, it is labeled "the best smelling bread in town!" Making bread in a breadmaker is like a science project so be sure to follow the directions exactly.

2 tsp SAF yeast
2 cups Whole wheat kernels (makes approximately 3 cups of flour after grinding).
1 tsp sea salt or Celtic salt
1 Tablespoon Tofu White Drink Mix (available at Fred Meyer nutrition section)
3 Tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten (also at Fred Meyer)
1 heaping Tablespoon Shirley J's All Purpose Onion Seasoning
1 heaping Tablespoon dried basil
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespon honey or pur maple syrup
Filtered Water

Place the yeast into the Zozirushi bread pan (a Zo is the very best breadmaker). Grind the wheat kernels into flour and place 3 cups of flour into the bread pan. Add the sea salt, Tofu White Drink Mix, gluten, basil and Shirley J's. Measure oil first and put into bread pan and then honey and put into the bread pan (by putting in the oil first, the honey will slide out easily). Add 1 Cup plus 5 Tablespooons filtered water and put into bread maker. Put onto full cycle (on a Zo, it's called the white bread cycle). Watch and listen to be sure there is enough wter in the mix. The mix should look soft and not jerk around in the bread pan. If it's jerking or looks lumpy, add more filtered water, a tablespoon at a time and watch it while it mixes. The dough should never just sit on the bottom in a mushy mass, that means you've added too much water. Adding flour at this point can make it better but then the loaf isn't exactly the same consistency. So, just add the water a little bit at a time.

This is truly the very best smelling bread as it bakes! When I had my school, I made about 8 loaves of bread a day (I ran three Zo's at all times) and absolutely everyone commented on how wonderful our school smelled when the bread was baking.

If you are interested, I have an article on why fresh ground whole wheat is so much better for you and I will be glad to send it to you by email. Just email me and I'll send it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Autism on the rise?

An alarming study has shown that:

Today, as many as one in 150 children are diagnosed with autism, up from three to four out of 10,000 a decade ago.

Although the study says it's hard to differentiate between better diagnostic tools and an actual rise, it seems to me that a rise of that magnitude, in only 10 years, is a truly alarming statistic. It's hard to really believe that it's just better diagnostics!

And, Seattle may be a leading center for autism research and treatment, but its therapists and the medical community can't handle the growing number of families dealing with the disorder (thus says the article in today's Seattle Times).

What can we do to help these families?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Organic truly IS better!

I've been a fan of organic fruits and veggies for a long time. I have felt that it must be better to eat our foods without the pesticides, etc. that are on the regular ones. Now a scientific study proves me right......again!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"
According to a four-year European-Union study, organic
fruits and vegetables contain 40% more antioxidants than conventionally grown produce.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I have been walking, or race walking, for a very long time. I can remember walking to the mall when my first son was just about 1 year old many years ago.

I just moved from a house which was across the street from the Chambers Bay Golf Course. I walked around the golf course every day, 3.2 miles and a very steep hill at the end!

I always knew I felt better afterwards and now there is proof!

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

A study at Duke University Medical Center found
that walking increases brain chemicals serotonin
and norepinephrine. These chemicals have been found
to make you feel happy and lead to greater mental clarity.

Wow! Get out there and walk!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Small Changes make BIG changes!

In your effort to be healthier, remember that little things mean a lot.

Health Tip of the Day
"Getting Fit. . . One Step at a Time"

Clutter and chaos in a house appears to be linked
with emotional eating. There is a connection between organizing clutter and losing weight.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A blender drink to help your blood sugar

RealAge Tip
A Smoothie Path to Better Blood Sugar
Tart apple and spicy cinnamon can sure get your taste buds tapping. But help control your blood sugar, too? It very well might.

Turns out that a daily dose of cinnamon may help improve insulin receptivity -- an important part of blood sugar control. Slip a little more cinnamon into your day with a Double Apple Cinnamon Smoothie (recipe below).

A Little Does a Lot
You may need only a little bit of cinnamon -- as little as a quarter teaspoon a day -- to reap blood sugar rewards. Just don't overdo it -- highly unlikely with a typical diet, but loading up via supplements could be toxic.

Another cinnamon bonus:
When you add it to high-glycemic-index foods, it can help lessen their impact on your blood sugar.

Double Apple Cinnamon Smoothie
This cinnamon-inspired smoothie recipe is brought to you compliments of the YOU docs -- Mehmet Oz, MD, and Michael Roizen, MD -- and their newly updated and expanded YOU: The Owner's Manual.

To be sure you get enough cinnamon -- this recipe serves two -- we suggest topping your drink with a generous sprinkling of the fragrant spice.

1/4 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, not thawed
1/2 cup cinnamon applesauce
3/4 cup vanilla or plain fat-free or light soymilk
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt
1/8 teaspoon apple pie spice

PreparationCombine all ingredients in a blender container.
Cover; blend at high speed for 1 minute.
Pour into frosty mugs, if desired, and top with powdered cinnamon.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information (per serving):
204 calories; 3.4 grams fat (1.3 grams aging fats);
5.6 milligrams cholesterol;
34.9 grams carbohydrate;
9.1 grams protein;
2.7 grams fiber;
266 milligrams sodium;
566 milligrams potassium.

Find more than 75 pages of new material and over 50 pages of healthy-meets-tasty recipes in the updated and expanded YOU: The Owner's Manual.

RealAge Benefit: Reducing your risk of diabetes by losing excess weight can make your RealAge half a year younger for each year you have tight control of blood sugar and blood pressure.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Take a nap or watch TV after meals?

Here's a health tip for you:

Lying down after a meal tends to turn off or reduce the
rate of digestion. Walking or light-exercise after meals
keep the blood circulating and organs active.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Today is National Start! Walking Day

Today is national Start! Walking Day so it's the perfect time to start a walking program! The goal is to log a million miles today and YOU can be a part of that goal. Just take your walk and then log it on

I normally walk at least 3.2 miles a day around the outside of the golf course across the street and many days I do it twice.

See if you can go farther than me!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

This Week's Favorite Sandwich

I have a new favorite sandwich this week and it is below.

2 slices 100% fresh ground whole wheat bread
Emerald Valley Organic Hummus (Smoked Jalapeno and Garlic Flavor)
Almond Jalapeno Jack style cheese (non-dairy)

Lightly toast the bread. Spread the hummus on both pieces (I like it very thick). Thinly slice the Almond Jalapeno and put between the bread.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Brain Rules - a new book about the brain

Here's a very interesting review of the book "Brain Rules". I have received permisson from Richard Seven to reprint it here.

Monday, March 31, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo, other than personal use, must be obtained from The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-3113 or e-mail with your request.

John Medina is a molecular biologist and an author. In his seventh book, "Brain Rules," he writes about how the brain works and how we can use ours better.

Author appearance
Developmental molecular biologist John Medina will discuss his "brain rules" April 10 at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave. The talk, part of Town Hall's Seattle Science Lecture Series, is sponsored by Seattle Pacific University, UW School of Medicine and University Book Store. It begins at 7:30 p.m.. Tickets are $5, sold at the door only.
For more information about the talk, For more information about Medina's book, "Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School," see

"Brain Rules"
HERE ARE A FEW of John Medina's "Brain Rules":
The human brain evolved, too. Our ability to solve problems, learn from mistakes and create alliances has been the key to our survival and how we took over the world.

Every brain is wired differently. And what you do and what happens to you actually rewires it.

Remember to repeat. Students should repeat and review what they learned 90 minutes to two hours later — and during school, not just at home.

Sleep well, think well. Taking a nap midafternoon can help make you more productive. One NASA study found pilots improved performance by a third after a nap of about 20 minutes.

Stressed brains don't learn the same way. The brain is designed to combat short bouts of stress — getting chased by a sabertooth tiger — not long-term stress that comes from an unreasonable boss or a chaotic home life.

We are powerful and natural explorers. Medina says the basis of his book is curiosity. Watch how babies learn. They are hands-on as they explore, theorize, test and conclude. Some parts of adult brains are just as malleable as the infants', so we can continue to create neurons and learn new things.
12 rules to boost your brainpower

By Richard Seven
Seattle Times staff reporter
Developmental molecular biologist John Medina admits we don't know much about how our brains work. "In fact, if we ever figured out exactly how it did this," he says, picking up a soda can and sipping from it, "that would be a major achievement."

But the Seattle scientist, in his new book, "Brain Rules" ($29.95, Pear Press), lays out 12 overarching principles — or rules — that he believes can be applied to our daily lives to help us to better teach, learn, conduct business and parent.

"What we know is that it was designed to solve problems related to surviving in an unstable outdoor setting and do so while we were in near-constant motion," says Medina, who is on the faculty of the University of Washington Medical School's bioengineering department and directs the Brain Center for Applied Learning at Seattle Pacific University.

"If you wanted to design a learning environment that was directly opposed to what the brain is good at doing, you'd settle on a traditional American classroom or one of those cubicles people have to work in."

In fact, his rule No. 2 is, "Exercise boosts brain power." While the terrain has been paved and the daily threats are more subtle these days, studies show that our brains still thrive on movement and that exercise boosts concentration and problem-solving. So why are physical-education classes disappearing from schools, and why don't more employers encourage walking meetings?

Medina himself chugs along on a treadmill in his SPU office, sometimes while doing computer work. The center tests the correlation between retaining information and exercise with students in a local school district, and the Harvard Business Review named his concepts for incorporating treadmills into the workplace as one of its "Breakthrough Ideas for 2008."

In fact, he argues, the paradigm might change if brain scientists started rubbing shoulders more with educators and executives.

"Brain Rules" also states that we should respect sleep, during which the brain does valuable processing; recognize the damage done by long-term stress (listen up, cruel managers); and acknowledge that correctly timed repetition is key to lasting memory. And effective multitasking? A myth, he says. It robs focus, promotes inefficiency and causes mistakes. Talking on the cellphone while driving has caused tragedies by sapping focus and delaying reaction time.

Another of his key rules is: "The brain does not like boring things." While all his rules are based on studies that have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals and then duplicated, he writes for a layperson's ear.

Because he believes the brain responds best to moving pictures and emotional content, his book comes with a humorous, sometimes poignant DVD and in tandem with an interactive Web site ( also plans an April 10 Seattle lecture.

Medina has spent most of his career as a consultant — "a troubleshooter, really" — but teaches bioengineering at the University of Washington and has won two national teaching awards. He is energetic, downright excitable when sharing the wonders of the brain.

He believes the brain pays sharp attention for only about 10 minutes at a time unless it is engaged on an emotional level. So after nine minutes of lecturing, he will introduce something, often a story — like about a woman who couldn't see vowels — that jolts listeners. It is his way to reboot attention spans and inject meaning before details.

"Students don't recall a teacher for being so organized," he says. "They remember the inspiring teachers. When you get that relational connection with a student, curiosity runs its natural course. The reason we can send people to the moon is that we can understand each other's motivations. That's emotional, not cognitive."

Brain science has come to the masses in recent years. Computer programs put us through tasks called "brain fitness." Blueberries and pomegranates are considered "brain food." New York Times crossword guru Will Shortz has teamed with an MIT neuroscientist to produce a book designed to keep your brain "young."

Medina decided to write his book, published this month, as a way to apply what he says is grounded neuroscience with real-world applications. He wanted to debunk unsupported claims that he calls "neuro astrology," by citing studies that have been tested and advance real-world thinking.
He wants to start a conversation into how we can change paradigms.

Richard Seven: 206-464-2241 or
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Detrimental Fat isn't just about your looks!

Big belly in middle age, bigger dementia risk?
By Seattle Times news services

FRESNO, Calif. — People who have big bellies in their 40s are much more likely to get Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in their 70s, according to new research that links the middle-age spread to fading minds for the first time.

The study of more than 6,000 people found the more fat they had in their guts in their early- to mid-40s, the greater their chances of becoming forgetful or confused or showing other signs of senility as they aged. Those who had the most impressive midsections faced more than twice the risk of the leanest.

The study also suggests that abdominal fat is a bigger risk factor for dementia than family history is.

Scientists have known a large belly is associated with an increased risk for diabetes, stroke and heart disease, but this is the first study to show a connection between midlife abdominal fat and dementia.
"A large belly independent of total weight is a potent predictor of dementia," said Rachel Whitmer, a scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., who led the study. "People need to be concerned not only about their weight, but where they carry their weight in midlife."

Dementia is an age-related condition that involves the loss of memory and other cognitive functions. It affects 5.7 million Americans, or about one in 10 people older than 65. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 percent to 80 percent of cases.

"This ought to be a wake-up call to baby boomers in terms of diet and exercise," said Dr. Sam Gandy, a spokesman for the Alzheimer's Association who was not involved in the study. "If they are not frightened enough about heart disease, maybe they will worry about losing their mental function."

Kaiser researchers studied 6,583 men and women in Northern California who had had their belly fat measured when they were 40 to 45. Some 36 years later, 16 percent had been diagnosed with dementia.

The Kaiser study found the risk for developing dementia was 2.3 times greater for men and women who were overweight and who had a large belly than for those with a normal weight and waist size.

The chance of developing dementia was 3.6 times greater for people who were obese and had large bellies than for people with normal weight and bellies.

By contrast, people who have parents or a sibling with Alzheimer's disease face twice the risk of developing the disease.

Even people of normal weight who had bulging waist lines were at greater risk — almost two times higher — than those of normal weight without abdominal fat.

To determine belly fat, researchers used an instrument called a caliper to measure the distance from the back to the upper abdomen, midway between the top of the pelvis and the bottom of the ribs.

The Kaiser study was published in Wednesday's online edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The research is the latest evidence that fat in the abdomen is the most dangerous kind. Previous studies linked the apple-shape physique to a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Researchers suspect that those fat cells are the worst because of their proximity to major organs. They ooze noxious chemicals, stoking inflammation, constricting blood vessels and triggering other processes that might also damage brain cells.

"There is a lot of work out there that suggests that the fat wrapped around your inner organs is much more metabolically active than other types of fat right under the skin," Whitmer said. "It's pumping out toxic substances. It's very potent toxic fat."

The study took into account high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, Whitmer said. But a large belly remained a risk for dementia.

More research needs to be done to determine if reducing waist size can lower the risk factor for dementia, Whitmer said. Researchers don't know if the study participants who had large bellies in their 40s lost the fat before developing dementia in their 70s, she said.

But other studies have found a positive effect on high cholesterol and glucose levels with a smaller belly, Whitmer said.

Some experts were skeptical, saying this kind of study cannot rule out the possibility that whatever is making people gain weight in their bellies in their 40s also puts them at risk for dementia in their 70s.

"There could be a connection. I'm not saying there couldn't be," said Barbara Corkery, director of Boston University's obesity research center.

"But it could be those two things are caused by the same root cause."
Material from The Fresno Bee, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times is included in this report.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Pleasing Purple Salad

Here's a recipe I made up today. I hope you like it!

Pleasing Purple Salad
1 wedge of purple cabbage, finely shredded
Salad sprinkles-however much you like
Newman's Own Cranberry or Raspberry Dressing

Salad Sprinkles
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins

Put the cabbage into a large salad bowl or salad plate. Sprinkle on however much salad sprinkles you like and top with the salad dressing. YUM!

The salad sprinkles are what I put on top of a lot of my salads. I keep them in the refrigerator in a container that is small enough to put into my lunch container for my spinach salads and my other salads.

Just a few of the benefits of this salad:

Cabbage has lots of fiber and is also a cancer fighter, pecans and walnuts feed the brain (have you heard of “signature”—sign of nature? That’s the idea that when a fruit or vegetable looks like a body part, it feeds that body part. So, walnuts and pecans feed the brain, carrots look like the iris and feed the eye, avocados look like the uterus and so they feed that part, etc.) Sunflower seeds have many nutrients in them, cranberries feed the bladder, and raisins have iron in them.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Naps Every 90 Minutes for Babies?

Here's an article I found about sleeping. In order for us to be as healthy as possible, sleeping is just as important as eating. Could it be, that the reason some of us have such a difficult time sleeping at night is that we didn't sleep every 90 minutes when we were babies?

SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER want to nap every 90 minutes

Doctor prescribes a lot more rest to grow happy kids
Last updated March 21, 2008 5:38 p.m. PT

The premise in Dr. Polly Moore's book -- "The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program: Follow Your Child's Natural Sleep Rhythms for Better Nights and Naps" -- may shock today's overachieving, overscheduled parents.
Moore, a neuroscientist and director of sleep research at California Clinical Trials in San Diego, says young babies need to nap after every 90 minutes of wakefulness. And that means spending more time at home in those first five or six months rather than being always on the go.

SEATTLE P-I: So, how big a problem is infant sleep?
Do we need another book on infant sleep? That's what I said when people said I should write a book. What I heard from people is this is the No. 1 concern of parents. ... I think sleep problems in infants are probably at an all-time high. I don't have numbers to back that up, but I don't think people protect sleep like they did in the 1950s.

Why is adequate baby sleep so important?
Babies that don't sleep well become toddlers that don't sleep well and schoolchildren that don't sleep well. And we know that they have higher rates of ADHD, mood disorders and more. ... Your baby can sleep all night long for eight hours and still need a nap 90 minutes later.

Are we over scheduling our infants? Or keeping them awake too much?
We're keeping them awake too much. We don't protect their sleep. We think it's OK if they take a 20-minute cat nap in the car. Part of it is that the parents don't want to give up anything in their lives. That's what I hear: "Well, I don't want to stay home. I want to go out and go to the mall."

What is your NAPS plan?
The NAPS plan is a way to start observing your baby's natural sleepiness and alertness cycles -- to recognize their signs of sleepiness and initiate sleep while they're sleepy. ... Somewhere around 90 minutes, you look for your baby's signs of sleepiness and put them down for a nap. (If you miss that window, after about 10 to 15 minutes, baby will go back to a state of alertness and won't be ready to sleep for another 90 minutes.)

So, why does it work? Why is a baby ready to sleep after 90 minutes of wakefulness?
There's this 90-minute clock that appears to be running in your brain all the time, that you're not aware of. ... This basic rest and activity cycle is seen in all mammals -- whether it's a horse or an elephant or a cat. So cats have about a 22-minute repeating pattern. Monkeys have a 72-minute pattern.
(Moore adds that we don't know why the 90-minute cycle is important in humans and that there haven't been large, systematic studies on baby sleep and the 90-minute cycle.)

It seems counterintuitive, so why does more daytime sleep beget more nighttime sleep?
If you want them to sleep through the night, you really have to focus on the daytime sleep first. People always ask me if I'm nuts. And I say, "It's not going to kill you to try this for a few days."
One of the things that gets tiring for babies is all that sensory noise that they can't sort out yet. Sleep helps reset that signal-to-noise ratio. Good sleep takes that noise level down so you can pick out the meaningful information from this barrage of stimulation. Not being able to do that puts their system out of balance or overloads it. Not being able to sleep enough during the day means their system has to work harder at night to be able to discharge that noise.

How do you feel about co-sleeping in bed with parents?
It is so wonderful and warm and snuggly. I can't say it's terrible and nobody should ever do it. What I will say is that people who co-sleep -- easy as it is when they're babies -- run into a problem when they're toddlers. It's very difficult to get your toddler to sleep on his own when he's been in your bed. I suggest co-sleeping in a limited way. Older children become dependent on your presence to fall asleep. ... Babies that know how to soothe themselves end up with better coping skills for all kinds of stressors later in life.

How do parents react when you ask them to slow down and increase their child's naps?
I don't think they're wild about it. But it's true. I say, "I want you to think about sleep, which is as important a biological drive as eating." And I say, "Would you ever say, 'It's not convenient to feed my child right now?' " You wouldn't. We'd never think of saying that.

Dr. Polly Moore created the NAPS plan to help parents clue into her 90-minute cycle theory. Here's how it works.

N: Note the time when your baby wakes up.

A: Add 90 minutes.

P: Play with your baby.

S: Soothe your baby to sleep as the 90 minutes wind down.

P-I reporter Kristin Dizon can be reached at 206-448-8118 or
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