Day 307-Wednesday's Medical Minute-How Biotin Benefits a Body

Good morning and how are you today?

I thought I would make a case for Biotin, formerly known as Vitamin H, this morning as to how it helps strengthen and grow hair and nails, and why it is necessary for cell growth. It seems that being deficient in Biotin is rare, most people get it from eggs and butter, the rest get it from supplementation. Soybeans and beef liver are the best sources-does anybody really eat that stuff?

A few of the ways to determine if you are deficient can be:

  • Brittle thin nails
  • Hair loss
  • conjunctivitis
  • Dermatitis- a scaly red rash around the eyes, nose, mouth and genital area.

The last two only occur when the deficiency is severe.

The discovery of Biotin was made by biochemist Dean Burke, who found that it has an unusual structure and is necessary for the production of fats and amino acids.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

I take biotin daily as a supplement because although my nails grow like weeds, my hair is another story, not to mention, I do not eat soy-beans or otherwise, and I HATE liver! The jury is still out on whether it does me any good, yet I will continue to take it because one gets so little in a normal diet. However, I do eat sunflower seeds and lots of Kerrygold butter, which are ok sources, if not the best. Eggs are the lowest on the list at 18.9 mcg but I eat them pretty regularly. One only needs 30 micrograms a day to get 100% of their daily requirement.

How do you get your Biotin? Vitamin B supplements? Do you really like liver? If you have a great idea for food sources, I would love to hear it. Just comment below and let a girl know! I’ll be waiting on the patio for your suggestions. Have a great day!

 

 

Day 300-Wednesday's Medical Minute-7 Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

Alright, only 65 days to go before my year of daily blogging is up! You guys sick of me yet? lol! I have to say, it’s been fun, but it will be nice to take step back and have a little breather for a while. Maybe go to three days a week or something. 🙂

Today I thought I’d get into a discussion about my latest favorite essential oil: grapefruit

Photo credit: pixabay

It has so many uses and benefits and smells so wonderful, I can’t believe it’s taken so long for me to write about it. I have actually been using it for a while, it was in a blend that I used to use to maintain my weight (one of the many benefits), but now I use it alone or combined with lemon in my water every day.

If you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you may be unaware that grapefruit is one of the best foods to eat for weight loss and burning fat. Many folks jus don’t like grapefruit because it is bitter, or they can’t eat it because it reacts with their medications. Well, grapefruit essential oil is the answer! Of course, you should check with your doctor if you take certain medications for depression or blood pressure but it is considered safe.

Whether you choose to use it internally like me (only 100% organic ctpg brands please) or in a massage oil concoction, you will do your body a favor by adding this to your routine. Some studies show that even inhaling the aroma of this potent essential oil can naturally lower your blood pressure and help you relax! If using internally, only use the recommended amount (usually one drop per 16oz glass of liquid) because overconsumption can lead to gallstones and cause spasms. Also, if using topically, be sure to mix it with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut or jojoba oil if you have sensitive skin.

Some of grapefruit oil’s benefits are:

  • Disinfecting surfaces
  • Cleansing your body
  • Reducing depression
  • Stimulating your immune system
  • Decreasing fluid retention
  • Curbing sugar cravings
  • Aiding in weight loss

Grapefruit oil contains many antioxidants and phytochemicals which reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.  Limonene, which makes up between 88-95% of the oil is a tumor-fighting, cancer preventative phytochemical that protects cells from damage. It is just one of its several antioxidants including vitamin C, myrcene, terpinene, pinene, and citronellol.

Some of the many uses of grapefruit essential oil are as follows:

Natural Antibacterial-Because of its antimicrobial effects, grapefruit oil can kill bacteria internally or on the skin, prevent the growth of mold and fight strong bacterial strains responsible for food-born illnesses like salmonella and E-coli.

Air Freshener-Getting rid of odors can be accomplished by diffusing a blend of grapefruit, lemon, and orange essential oils, which clean and deodorize the air.

Weight Loss Booster-Some of grapefruit oil’s active ingredients are beneficial to boost metabolism, reduce hunger cravings and appetite. This makes it a great tool for losing weight in a fast and healthy way. Diffused around the home or office, it can help curb those cravings when they strike. If you can, add a drop to your water and sip throughout the day or rub a drop on your wrist to drive hunger pangs away. Direct Inhalation of the oil can kick sugar cravings as well. 

Digestive Booster-Grapefruit oil can help detox the liver and kidneyshelp with fluid retention and fight gut bacteria. Combined with lemon essential oil, it can help flush toxins out of your system and may even help cure a hangover by stimulating the gallbladder and liver.

Helps Clean Hair, Fight Acne and Save Skin-Not only is grapefruit a great cellulite fighter, its antibacterial properties make it great for cleansing skin, and strengthening immunity against pollutants. It can help heal wounds, cuts, bits and prevent skin infections. Adding a few drops to your shampoo can reduce grease and sweat while adding volume and shine.

So you see, it is a very versatile oil and I’m only using it for half of it’s benefits myself! I like the fresh citrusy taste it gives beverages and when added to the diffuser, it makes the whole room smell fresh and clean. Now, I am not a certified aromatherapist, and you should always check with your healthcare provider before trying anything new. I learned what I know through my own research and trusted sources like Dr Axe, Dr Mercola and Roxy over at The Oily Guru. I don’t get anything to talk about them, nor am I currently affilitated with any particular brand. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now I use a brand that I can get locally that is ctpg (certified theraputic pure grade)  and it has been working fine for me.

Give grapefruit essential oil a try and let me know what you think. If you have a question or comment, leave it below and I’ll try to address it to the best of my ability. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you tomorrow, on the patio.

 

*I also have to include the medical disclaimer-these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 294-WMM-Do Your Knees Do This?

The first time it happened to me, I was 13 years old. We had been playing baseball with our next door neighbors in the alley behind our house. I was having the best run of my life, had almost made it to first base when…in mid-air mind you, my kneecap seemed to slip to the left of where it was supposed to be, which is called dislocation, and I brought out all the neighbors with my screams. They thought I was being murdered, but that was the worst pain I have ever felt, to this day, I still have anxiety attacks if I think about the pain I feel every time that happens. Unfortunately for me, it happened a lot.

Not my knee, but I had many that looked just like this

My Dad took me to the doctor who was an excellent physician with no bedside manner at all. He looked at my leg as I lay writhing in pain and said, “You dislocated your knee, you knew that didn’t you?” I was so angry, what did he mean ‘I knew that’? Turns out that was just his way of joking around, but this was no laughing matter. My knee had swelled to the size of a grapefruit and he had to first drain off all that fluid before he stabilized, then cast my leg. (that’s how they did it in the old days) This was after trying to walk on it FOR A WEEK after the injury. My parents didn’t know any better, it was only because I was not improving that they took me in. When I came home from the doctor in a cast and on crutches, my mother burst into tears.

I guess God made me a little crooked, one leg is a few centimeters shorter than the other or something- that is what the next doctor I had to go to told us. He also said I already had arthritis in my knees, a fact I chose to ignore all my life. I was young. I couldn’t let that stop me from walking, marching, and dancing! I had things to do! Anyway, for whatever reason, my knees (both of them) would dislocate from time to time, the left one way more than the right. They say it is more common in women. They also say it occurs when the leg is planted wrong, that causes the patella to slide out of place. well, the first time it happened to me I was in mid air! The cause for my left knee anyway was the fact that the tendon was pulling too tight, causing my kneecap to go out if I even turned my leg the wrong way. Once it happened after I was married, I finally had the mini-surgery to correct it. They did a lateral tendon release and (knock on wood) I never dislocated it again.

So why am I now having trouble with my right knee? Apparently, it had more arthritis in it, all of the injuries wore down the cartilage and now I have not much cushion left and I’m hoping they can do those injections that make your cartilage grow back. I hate having surgery because then there are months of physical therapy blah, blah, blah. I still have things to do, you know, it’s just never a good time. Thing is, I didn’t have as many dislocations in that one, so why is it now so messed up?

When I was young I called it twisting my knee, because, really that is what’s happening, but the correct term is subluxation or dislocation. If you talk to most healthcare professionals, they say it is more common in kids who play sports and that the normal age for this to occur is between 16-20. After it happened to me that first time, I didn’t need to be playing sports, I could get up out of a chair wrong and BOOM! That happened once, and it was horrific because the kneecap locked to the side, I couldn’t get it back in position and whoever came to my rescue managed it and then I passed out from the pain. I just read that patellar subluxation is more common than dislocation and just as disabling…no kidding? Welcome to my life. They call it that because it is caused by a physical deformity of the knee, causing the knee to buckle and no longer support your weight. (And all the other symptoms I’ve already discussed here) Treatment usually in multimodal, involving education, physical therapy, braces, weight reduction and medication. If you need to lose weight, they make you do that first too, because every pound you gain puts and extra 3 pounds of pressure on your knees. That is not my issue though and never has been.

What I’m wishing now is that I would have had the real deal surgery when I was younger, now I don’t want to have to go through it. I have an appointment scheduled for June 12 with a new ortho doc, I’m hoping he agrees that I can wait awhile. Has this happened to any of you? What did they do for it? Have you had knee surgery? I want to hear all about it, just tell me in the comments. Sorry if I made any of you squirm, just talking about this had me squirming as I wrote it. I’m telling you, I’d rather have a baby than go through that pain again! Anyway, I’ll be here with my brace on and only one more day of steroids left, yea!! Write me back so I can hear your answers, and I’ll be resting on the patio.

Day 287-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Have I Got A Deal For You!

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure.

What a deal!!

As a user and self-taught knowledgeable person on the subject of essential oils and herbs as alternative medicine, I am so excited to have found this deal waiting in my in-box this morning! It’s so good, I just felt the need to share it with all of you! In fact, I was so impressed, that I decided to become an affiliate for the Ultimate Bundles on the spot!!

Here’s what happened. Katie, over at Kitchen Stewardship has been a blogger that I follow for quite some time. She is an authority on natural living and cooking real food for her family. She also knows that I am interested in essential oils and herbs and therefore decided to offer me this fantastic bundle that I’m about to share with you.

But first, let me ask you if you think you would benefit from the products and information located in this bundle. Have you ever dealt with sickness, allergies, dry skin, eczema, lack of sleep, or just need more energy? Maybe you could benefit from this bundle. As you may, or may not (but should, cause I talk about it all the time) know, I ingest certain essential oils and part of this bundle includes a resource explaining everything you would need to know about that. Plus so much more!! If you click on the link to her website, she explains everything you get in the bundle and also by clicking on her site, you get access to the $50 worth of bonuses once you’ve purchased the bundle.

She makes everything easy to read and understand, if you are at all interested in natural remedies, learning how to prevent colds and flu, or simply saving money on a great deal, then this bundle is for you. I can tell you that it is for 6 days only and it’s a  nearly $900 value!! It’s called the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle and for the next 6 days, it is only $29.97!! Just go visit her site and see all the goodies she has to offer. I’m purchasing the bundle myself, because as smart as I think I am about everything alternative health, there is so much more I can learn…and I think we all know I’m addicted to learning!!

Please go check it out and let me know if you thought this was as good a deal as I did! I can’t wait to hear your comments!

I will definitely be talking about this over at Products From the Patio, most likely tonite, so check that out as well.

 

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust.

**This content not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Information provided is for informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or another medical professional. You should not use the information or products contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease or prescribing any medication. Information and statements regarding our alternative health products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Day 281-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Time to Gear Up For Walk PKD

Well folks, I got my first email today from the PKD Foundation letting me know that it’s once again time to start thinking about the PKD Walk for a cure. Last year some of you were so sweet and helped me raise some money for this potentially fatal disease. I appreciate it and I want to do something this year to encourage you to help out again, whether that be a giveaway, a coupon or some other goodie I can dream up. Good thing is, I have until October to figure it out! Maybe some of you creative geniuses can even give me some ideas on the subject…you know, help me help you!

As you may or may not know, my mother passed away from complications of PKD after being on dialysis for 18+ years and I also have it. I discovered I had it when going in for testing to see if I could donate a kidney for her. Later on I found out that the disease is genetic and children of mothers with PKD have a 50% chance of inheriting the disease. You can check out my posts from last year to find out more, but basically, PKD is short for polycystic kidney disease. In my case, I have too many cysts to count, but they aren’t impeding my kidney function so far. I am monitored by a nephrologist (who I LOVE) and I try to eat healthy and take care of myself so the disease doesn’t progress any faster than normal.

Since you will be hearing more about this in future posts this year, I’ll cut it short and just tell you that I am already registered and can start raising money immediately. I myself will again be donating a personal pledge for myself and also in my mother’s memory. You can feel good knowing that 100% of the money raised goes to research! Go to walkforpkd.org to donate, whether you do it for my team or not is totally up to you, I do want to surpass last year’s goal however-I’m shooting for $500 this year. If you are a company, or know if one who would like to sponsor the walk, get sponsor info at: julier@pkdcure.org or call 816-268-8462, or go to the sponsorship tab at PKD Foundation page.

 

Day 274-WMM-Why I'm Trying CBD Products

For years I have struggled with several medical issues ranging from arthritis to depression, fibromyalgia to anxiety. I have tried many different methods to combat these issues, going Paleo, using essential oils,  and it has helped, but not completely alleviated my symptoms. I was able to get off my anti-depressant and that is a good thing.

Then I started hearing more and more about CBD oil and did some research. Between other blogs sharing information, like Roxy over at The Oily Guru, and product info from CBD websites, to reading about the legislation and how it’s changing and becoming more positive toward the use of hemp and cannabis products, I felt educated enough to make an informed decision to finally try a product for myself.

The product I was most interested in was the CBD oil for vaping, so I checked out three different sources and finally chose the one that was local to me. Turns out one of the shops I normally purchase my “juice” from carries CBD oil and once I learned that, it influenced my decision to buy local. I purchased an oil from Blue Moon brand, it is flan flavored and delicious! If you click on the link, it will take you to the website and you can check out products they sell, quality and testing info and frequently asked questions so you can make an informed decision of your own.

Getting ready to load my tank

The fellow that assisted me at the vapor shop told me I would feel the effect in fifteen minutes. Well, he was off a bit, I felt it immediately! Now, don’t freak out or think it makes you high…all it does is produce a relaxing feeling, no euphoria or psychoactive effect. Just a nice relaxation of my shoulders, like the tension just left me. I call it “taking the edge off” and was pleasantly surprised that I felt something so quickly. Wine may do something similar, but does not provide the same benefit as CBD oil may.

For anyone that has not been following myself or anyone else’s blog that explains what CBD oil is, there are many resources out there that do a great job of it-Leafly, for example, can tell you anything you want to know. Their website mostly concentrates on the CBD from different strains of medicinal marijuana, which is not what I purchased.

CBD stands for cannabinoid and in the case of the product I purchased, it comes from the seeds and stalks of industrial hemp plants specially bred to contain high concentrations of naturally occurring Cannabinoid-Cannabidiol. (CBDa) It contains over 400 phytonutrients and enhances our own endocannabinoid system.

I could have ordered straight from the website but wanted to save money by driving straight to the source. They also had tinctures with CBD oil, which I’m considering purchasing in the future…not only for myself but for my pets. It is totally safe and very beneficial to them, relieves certain skin problems like itching, and provides the same phytonutrients.

Another company I looked into also has a shop in my area, about thirty minutes away. They carry CBD oil products like soap, massage oil and infused coconut oil. I would love to go check out their store next time. For myself, I have decided to use the vapor 50% of the time and the CBD oil the other 50%. I think using it mainly at night will help me sleep by relaxing me from the stresses of the day. There is 100mg of CBD in the whole bottle, so I’m getting a very small amount with each puff, maybe 5mg.

CBD oil from hemp is legal because it contains no THC and will not cause you to fail a drug test. It does not require a permit or a prescription so you can feel safe and confident purchasing those products. (By the way, clicking on the links does not help me in any way, it just takes you to the sites so you can read more information.)

I will keep you informed on how this product helps me and if my pain is alleviated with consistent use. The word is, that using CBD helps with the pain and inflammation of arthritis, but that is not an endorsement from the FDA, nor has it been evaluated by them. Always check with your own doctor before trying a new supplement, I’m providing this information as a service and not telling you to diagnose or treat your symptoms with this product.

Would you be willing to check out something that has been used for centuries to help with your symptoms and/or conditions? Let’s start the conversation, I’d like to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Meanwhile, I will be relaxing on the patio and waiting to hear back from you. See you tomorrow!

Day 267-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Which Is Better, Lemon vs Lemongrass Essential Oil

Let’s talk about the glaring difference first-obviously, one is a fruit and the other is a plant.

Lemon-citrus fruit
Lemongrass the plant

Before I dive into the properties, uses, and benefits of each, let me just say that I believe that God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves, we just need to educate ourselves about them and use them properly. Maybe we could then reduce our dependency on pharmaceuticals and trips to the doctor. I  have to admit since I’ve been using essential oils, which is going on three years now, I’m almost never sick. When I started though, I did my own research and always use quality oils in the manner they were intended. Secondly, when I started, I bought my oils from one of the big companies so popular on the internet, yet over time, I discovered that there are local sources that cost less and worked the same. Again, I did my research, consulted my physician and I now know which are safe for ingestion and which I only use in the diffuser or topically.

Lemon essential oil is made from the peel, which most of us do not consume on a regular basis. I assume most of us use lemon frequently if not daily, whether in our diets or as a cleaner. Lemon has many fantastic benefits including the ability to rejuvenate dull, sluggish skin (when ingested, since it supports a healthy digestive system which then results in clear skin). Here are some other benefits:

Clears and supports the respiratory system-rub on the chest or soles of the feet to clear lungs and nasal passages

Bug repellant-fleas hate lemon

Food flavoring-add to the end of the cooking process due to the fact that heating sometimes destroys the beneficial properties

Has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most essential of all essential oils.

Freshens and cleans the air when diffused, freshens laundry, can be used in mop water to freshen and clean

Can be added to coconut oil for daily oil pulling routine-brightens teeth and freshens breath

Lemon mixed with vinegar and water (and a drop of dish soap to keep the oils from staying on top of the water) makes a great all-purpose kitchen/bathroom cleaner

Just breathing in the scent of lemon can improve the neurological activity responsible for promoting the breakdown of body fat! Hang on, why is my diffuser not running right now? 

Ok, now that I’m back, let’s see how lemongrass can improve our health as well.

First off, lemongrass is steam distilled from the plant. The plant itself is nice, ornamental, and helps repel mosquitos-good enough reason to have it around.

Its flavor is sweeter and milder than lemon and can be used as a substitute when lemons are scarce. (like that would ever happen in my house anyway) Besides its many culinary uses, it has many medicinal properties as well.

  • As an analgesic-relieves pain and inflammation in muscles and joints
  •  As an antidepressant- boosts self-esteem, uplifts spirits and inspires confidence
  • It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties- inhibits bacterial growth in and outside the body, cures wounds, supports the respiratory system, helps cure infections like typhoid and malaria
  • As an astringent- promotes contraction of gums, hair follicles, muscles, skin and blood vessels, thereby reducing blood loss and falling out of hair and teeth
  • Carminative- helps remove gas from forming in the abdomen and relaxes the muscles providing safe downward passage of excess gas
  • Deodorant- can be used to replace current commercial deodorant, which has an environmental impact. Safe for skin when diluted and no harmful side effects like synthetic deodorants
  • Diuretic- aids in fat loss by removing fats and excess urine from the body
  • Febrifuge- reduces fever by fighting infection and also aids in toxin removal through perspiration
  • Galactogogue- increases and enhances breast milk which indirectly keeps your baby infection free
  • Insecticide- popular insect repellant probably due to such constituents as citronellal, and limonene
  • Nervine- acts as a tonic for the nervous system in general and may help with nervous disorders such as shaking hands, vertigo, convulsions, and sluggishness
  • Sedative- soothing, calming for the mind and relieves tension and anxiety

As you can see, both oils have many unique and beneficial qualities and can be interchanged depending on the way you want to use it. I sometimes switch out which oils I use in my water daily just so I get different benefits. I can attest to the diuretic properties of lemongrass as well as the boost of energy I get from lemon. They can also be used to help reduce cellulite, ladies you can agree that is a great benefit, right?

Oh, and while I’m at it, let me tell you three different sources I used in my own research, e-books I consult frequently to remind myself how to use the different oils. Some, I have memorized-others I need some reminding. Remember, my memory is not the best. I used to keep a handy chart within site at all times, but got away from that practice…it’s time to make myself a new one. Please read The King’s Medicine Cabinet by Josh Axe- The Essential Homestead by Jill Winger and Using God’s Medicine by Eric Zielinski- all great sources for info and proper use of essential oils. (all free too!)

I also consulted Organic Facts for some of this article. I hope it has been a help to you and you will consider adding one or both to your medicine cabinet, kitchen or laundry room- they both help in so many ways!

While I could go on and on, I do have other things to get to before I go visit Dad today- I will surely be encouraging he start using lemongrass oil to aid with his tremors (none of the doctors we’ve taken him to know why he shakes) maybe it will finally be the answer to his prayers. I will admit, that was news to me in my limited knowledge of lemongrass’s many benefits. (I am not an expert, just an avid user and lover of essential oils.) Join me back here tomorrow…ssshhh, it’s a surprise-even I don’t know yet. 😉

 

 

 

 

Day 261-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Rethinking Your Sweeteners

*This post might include affiliate links, or reward codes.

Good morning everyone! Today I want to revamp one of my earlier posts (I believe it was Day 30-What’s Your Sweetener) and explain again some of the finer points about sweeteners and which ones are best for your health.

I said in that long ago post that sugar feeds cancer and that even though I am cancer free (that I know of) why encourage the growth of it, if indeed it is there? The very thought scares me to death, maybe because I used to work for a cancer treatment center for almost 15 years. Not to mention, my own husband and his cancer experience.

I rely on different natural sweeteners like stevia, agave, and 100% pure maple syrup-in small quantities of course. I even switched the brand of stevia I’m using to Pyure sweetener because it’s certified organic, with 0 calories and sugar, 1 carb and 1 fiber per serving, and has nothing added like dextrose or erythritol. I’m guilty of sometimes sharing my home made goodies with my pets, so I cannot use erythritol in my baked goods or they will get sick…and possibly die! Pyure brand sweetener only has organic stevia extract blended with organic agave.

This is how I buy my sweetener, bagged for making tea and cooking, pkts for my daily coffee.

Right now, if you buy it from iHerb you will save 28%. Just saying. Now, I have to add this statement if I’m being completely honest. Ordering from there is best for people who can’t get to a local Walmart or other retailer because iHerb will add significant shipping unless your order totals $35 or more. (Then it’s free) So it is up to you if you want to purchase there. If you do, we will both save, so it’s a win, win! If I run out, I go into panic mode, that’s when I order it online.

Most store bought sweets are chock full of sugar, and I’ve talked about how sugar is the devil before. Honestly, I do not buy store bought sweets, I make my own, that way I control the sweetness by added trusted, organic natural sweeteners. I try not to eat anything processed, if it is in a box or a bag, it usually has artificial ingredients. Here are several reasons why sugar is so bad for you.

  • Sugar has no nutrients and is bad for your teeth- cause tooth decay by feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth
  • Sugar contains fructose, one of the two simple sugars that enter the bloodstream from the digestive tract. Yes, you get fructose from eating fruit, that’s ok. Large amounts of sugar overload the liver with fructose, which leads to fatty liver and other serious problems.
  • Sugar can cause insulin resistance, possibly leading to metabolic syndrome and diabetes
  • Sugar can contribute to cancer-scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels from sugar consumption has this effect.
  • Sugar is highly addictive-this is because it releases a massive amount of dopamine in the reward center of the brain
  • Sugar…not fat, raises your cholesterol and leads to heart disease-large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, LDL levels and blood glucose levels (and insulin levels) and cause abdominal obesity in as little as 10 weeks!
  • Continued sugar consumption makes losing weight nearly impossible
Sugar is highly addictive

I also detest the use of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Many people have reported experiencing bad side effects like migraines and painful joints after years of consuming products with these sweeteners.

The bottom line is-natural sweeteners are better for your health, ween yourself off of sugar before it can cause devastating effects on your body.

I hope I have set the record straight on why sugar is so bad for you, please leave your comments and suggestions in the box and join me tomorrow for another Throwback Thursday or a product review…you’ll have to come back to find out!

Day 254-Medical Minute- Is Green Tea Better For Your Body?

Morning everyone, whatcha drinking this morning? I’m drinking my bulletproof coffee as usual, but I have to tell you about my latest passion…green tea. I know, I’m late to the party, lots of people have been on this kick way longer than me. What I discovered was a new, fresh flavor that I am enjoying in Ice Tea and I like it so much, I’m ready to make a permanent switch from black tea. I did a little research (surprise, surprise), and what I found out is nothing that most people don’t already know, but was good news to me.

Here is my new flavor, (I’m gonna need a bigger box!)-Orange Passionfruit Jasmine (made by Lipton) and I make it by the pitcher and sweeten it with my Pyure brand stevia. It’s fresh and citrusy, light and delicious taste make it an instant favorite, although I’m sure I will want to try other flavors that are available. So sit back, grab a cup of something tasty, and a bowl of that delicious oatmeal you hopefully made yesterday, and let me tell you what I discovered about this ancient tea.

My new favorite!

So you know, all tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), the difference is in the processing. Green tea has been steamed to stop the oxidation process that occurs naturally in black tea when dried.

Tea fields in Portugal

Green tea is naturally lower in caffeine: 15-25mg compared to black tea: 40-70mg and oolong tea: 18-33. Oolong tea leaves are partially fermented, making it the middle on the processed scale.

Green tea has higher amounts of catechins and vitamin C than black tea because of the fermentation process. Catechins are a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidants and are responsible for a reduction in body fat, according to some studies. Green tea also has more polyphenols-40% compared to black tea which has about 10%. These compounds help protect you from free radicals-potentially damaging chemicals. They can also be found in apples. (maybe that’s where the old saying came from)

Steeping whole leaves

Green tea was first discovered in China and there are many varieties, but it’s production has spread to other countries as well. Gyokuro is from Japan and is one of the highest grades of Japanese tea. It is grown in the shade which makes it a higher quality green tea.

Gunpowder tea, or “Pearl tea” dates back to the Tang Dynasty and is named that because it looks like tiny pellets until brewed and then it explodes into a leaf form. It also has a smoky flavor and one of my favorite bloggers (MSGT3227) loves the stuff! There are several varieties, each with their own distinctive flavors ranging from honey to smoky to grassy, minty or peppery.

Gunpowder tea
Ready for steeping

 

Much has been made of the benefits of drinking green tea over black tea, but all tea is good for you and each have different redeeming qualities because of the fermentation process. Tea is preferred over sugary soda, for instance and that is the reason I drink water and ice tea all day long. (after my coffee of course) The effects of green tea have been studies for years, but science has concluded that the touted benefits are only found in vitro and not in humans. Darn! Many claims have been made that it can:

  • Help you lose weight
  • lower blood cholesterol
  • lower blood sugar
  • lower blood pressure
  • Treats or kills cancer

However, science has concluded that there is no conclusive evidence that any of these claims are true. If you were to drink up to three cups a day, and were an Asian or a woman, you might have a 4% longer mortality rate than everyone else. Ok, I can live with that…see what I did there? 😉

I reviewed several sources for this article and found no one could promise that green tea is better than black tea, but that both were beneficial. Just being honest here. For me, the taste makes it the clear winner in my book, and for that reason I will make the switch…now, I did see that adding things like lemon juice may boost some of the added fat burning abilities it has but also that adding milk totally negates any good that would come from drinking it. So, for me, I will continue to drink it iced, thank you very much. 🙂

I hope I have given you a better idea of whether green tea is beneficial to you, give it a try and let me know what you think! For now, I’m off to get a glass and start working on my next installment in Friday’s series Angels of Arvada. I don’t want it to sneak up on me and then have no idea what to write. See you tomorrow when I either review a new product I’m using or Throwback to a younger, nostalgic time. See you then!

 

 

 

Day 240-Wednesday's Medical Minute-How Stress Affects Us

*This post may contain affiliate links, please check my disclosure.

Source: Pixabay

In light of yesterday’s post about how stress maybe because of my ear issues, I decided to do today is medical minute on stress and how it can affect us.

While I don’t know yet why or how stress can cause my ears to be hypersensitive, stress is a killer and it affects us in many negative ways. My stress is likely due to a number of factors, guilty conscience (because I was allowed to stop working in the 9 to 5 work world) and David bears the brunt of the responsibility, pressure I put on myself to be there for everyone who matters to me, (Just like any mom, wife, daughter or friend),  pressure I put on myself to become a freelance writer and earn a living from it. Some of the risk factors of stress are:

  • Social and financial problems
  • Physical or mental illness
  • Lack of social support networks
  • Family discord or family history of stress

Signs and symptoms of stress are:

  • Anxiousness
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive worry
  • Distraction
  • Internal pressure
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Good lord I have all of this!!

PS: I am talk texting this post to reduce my stress this morning. 🙂

  • These emotional states began to affect a persons outward appearance:
  •  Unusually anxious or nervous
  • Distracted
  • Self absorbed and/or
  • Irritable or angry

(Guilty of all charges 😉 )

*If it increases or lasts over a long period of time, a person may experience more emotional or physical symptoms such as:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide, or harming others
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heart
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperventilating
  • Shortness of breath

I will admit to 2-4 of these symptoms myself, but don’t worry-I would never harm myself or others!

What can we do to manage stress ourselves you might ask?

According to my research there are several ways to accomplish this, some I need to implement myself.

  • Set realistic goals and limits for yourself
  • Put things into perspective and try to get upset about insignificant or an important matters
  • Take stress management, Time management, or anger management classes
  • Find activities that you enjoy and set aside time to participate in them on a regular basis
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Participate in regular physical exercise
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Maintain a positive outlook
  • Set goals and break them into easily achievable tasks
  • Reward yourself for the good things that you do each day

*Source-Emedicinehealth

I found a quote by Victor Frank that says, ” When we are no longer able to change a situation we’re challenged to change ourselves.”  I think that’s pretty fitting for me anyway.

For more information on stress visit the American Institute of Stress and also emedicinehealth. 

I realized that one of the things that stressed me out this week was losing my post on SiteGround that I did on my website Products from the Patio. Somehow while trying to insert a picture on that post, that was pin-worthy, I erased the whole post!! Now I have to start all over- or, back up and regroup and relaunch my website later.

Other stressors for me are time limits, which I suppose falls under the category of setting unrealistic goals for myself, since I try to get so much done in one day. Then when I don’t achieve those goals I feel guilty and lose my motivation. Just being honest here, but I can see I have a lot of work to do on myself. Maybe my doctor’s right and part of the problem with my ears is stress related.

What are your stressors? How do you deal with them? Any comments are welcome and or suggestions too.

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust.