All posts by betsyjbell

Hi Energy Grandma lives in Seattle, WA; Loves to write, hike, walk, garden and spend time with 15 grandchildren and their parents. Because of my Shaklee products and a healthy eating life style, I have excellent health at age 75. Because of my Shaklee business, I have the money I need to take trips to all the corners of the earth, spend my time as I wish.

Lower your blood pressure naturally

My friend called urgently asking for just one pill to take care of her increasing blood pressure. Her doctor had doubled her medication and she didn’t like that. She doesn’t like taking pills and only learned to swallow medication at age 75! She chews her Shaklee Vita Lea and  Calcium Magnesium. I shook my head. She could try Shaklee Blood Pressure tablets made from spinach, beet, quercitin and magnesium. I have successfully lowered my blood pressure (it was high normal). On the bottle it says “for people with healthy blood pressure”. In other words, it is an herbal recommendation for someone who is trending upward in blood pressure or has a family history of elevated blood pressure. Shaklee herbals and vitamins are not medication. They are prevention.

My next question was about her day. What was she doing in the evenings, watching the news? “oh, yes, we watch a couple hours of news every night and it’s driving me crazy.”

“Forget the news, why don’t you?”

“But I’ll miss something.”

“There is no emergency. Someone will tell you the important new thing. .. . Look outside into your garden. Beautiful, isn’t it? Spring blossoms and seedlings sprouting. All is well in your corner of the planet in this moment, right?”

I recommended meditation. It helps me. Perhaps it would help you, Dear Reader. My preferred meditation leader is Tara Brach, a Zen Bhuddist teacher in Bethesda, MD whose meditations and teachings are available wherever you get your pod casts. to sign up.

How low should blood pressure go? A recent article in the NY Times indicates that the number has changed over time: Successive guidelines have since decreased the recommended threshold for what constitutes high blood pressure, from 160/95 millimeters of mercury in 1973, to 140/90 in 1997, to 130/80 in 2017. The article urges caution about trying to get your blood pressure lower than 130/80. In fact, the author suggests that the diastolic blood pressure (the second number, which is the pressure as the heart relaxes) might be healthier at 85. Low blood pressure can have negative effects like dizziness: Lightheadedness, particularly lightheadedness that occurs upon standing, is the cardinal symptom of low blood pressure. At its extreme, lightheadedness may result in fainting. Fainting may be a sign that blood pressure is dangerously low and requires prompt medical attention. Other possible symptoms of low blood pressure include nausea, fatigue and blurry vision.

My friend had a blood pressure taking machine and was told to take her pressure every day. Now, I’m not a doctor, but wouldn’t worrying about your blood pressure so much that you went to your machine to test it drive it up?

Chill, everyone, chill.

Be well, Do Well and For Heaven’s sake, Keep Moving. It could be the best answer there is.


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Hand exercises for arthritis

For all you golfers, tennis players and key boarders whose fingers work hard on your devices all day long, here are some moves that will help strengthen your hands. You may even avoid carpal tunnel pain or alleviate arthritis in your thumbs as I have been able to do. My thanks to Viola Brumbaugh teacher at Tai Chi and Qi Gong studio for her helpful lessons. Let me know how this works for you. Feel free to share.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving, Betsy

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Eat organic, lower cancer risk 25%?

Eat Organic: Lower cancer risk by 25%        (From the heart and travel news below)

Items pictured must be organically raised to have desired anti-cancer effect.

Dear One,

Is it true? If it is, what would you do about it? Spend the money? Lobby for policy change to increase government support for organic food production? Or ignore the data?

Rachel and Charles Benbrook just published an article in the PCC March 2019 newsletter bringing the findings of a sophisticated, large-scale study of French citizens published in the prestigious scientific journal, JAMA Internal Medicine in late 2018. The study involved 68,000 people with the average age of 44, two-thirds were women. The demographics and controls for reporting accuracy, life style, family, physical activity and medical history were top quality. Nothing shoddy or questionable about this study. They followed the subjects from 2004 – 2014 and recorded first incidence of cancer in 1,340 of the subjects. Then the participants were divided into four groups or quartiles ranging from highest organic food sources to lowest. They applied standard methods to control for the impact of known cancer risk factors such as smoking, family history and income. They they looked at whether high organic food intake was associated with differences in cancer incidence, compared to low intakes of organic food.
The quartile with the highest organic food intake score had a 25% lower overall risk of developing cancer, compared to the low intake quartile. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma rate was a dramatic 86% lower and post menopausal breast cancer rate, 34% lower in the top organic eating group.


Given these findings, would you change your grocery spending to improve your chances of not developing cancer?

Is it worth it to buy organic?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1971 when I was thirty-four years old. There wasn’t much in the way of cancer prevention science available, but I did start to read that old Bible, Prevention Magazine first published in 1950 by J.I. Rodale. I read Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and learned about the harm of pesticides. Carson died before my diagnosis.

Carson’s ideas contrasted with the bulletins from the USDA. Department of Agriculture that guided my brothers and me in our 4-H chicken and dairy cow raising activities in the early 50s. Growth hormones for pullets, anti-biotics in the daily diet, de-worming and anti-biotics shots for the heifers were recommended. We did it all. My little brother, age 11, drained a vial of growth hormones himself, thinking if it would help the chickens get bigger faster, it might help him!

A diagnosis of cancer at such a young age sent me searching for an answer to Why? Rachel Carson, plus the little book, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappe, convinced me that my diet and lots of medication for sinus infections throughout my childhood contributed to a weakened immune system. Lappe’s book featured simple rules for a healthy diet and hundreds of meat-free recipes. Its mix of recipes and analysis inspired a radical faith in the ability to combine personal therapy with political activism. I was on a crusade to prevent further cancer in myself and others.

This French research study puts me back on my crusading horse, not that I ever got off. Since my own cancer diagnosis, my youngest daughter, now in her fifty-second year, has had two instances of cancer: melynoma at age thirty-four and breast at age forty-three. Kaiser, her medical care provider, did a genetic study and found that both she and I are missing a gene—P53—whose job in the body is to repair the damage caused by free radicals.

I am grateful I chose to supplement my diet with Shaklee’s organically sourced, additive free vitamins and protein powders. My daughter has chosen a radical vegetarian diet, eating mountains of fresh, mostly organic, vegetables, grains, and fruits to protect herself from further cancers. So far both of us remain cancer-free.

We are motivated to take serious care to prevent cancer. Neither one of us had to have chemotherapy as surgery took care of removing the cancer. Not so with my husbands. Consider the cost of having cancer when you hesitate to spend the money on organic foods. I had months of co-pay bills owed for my husband’s cancer treatment after he died. Those were hard checks to write.

The cost of cancer

What about you who have not been struck by this disease of malfunctioning cellular activity? Would data like that presented in the local Seattle food coop inspire you to change? Prevention, unless motivated by some bad health experience is hard to do for many. In a market economy, the only way to increase the production and availability of organic foods is by consumer consumption. Washington state is already No. 2 in the nation for organic farm gate sales. You can help remove pesticides from our foods by buying organic.

Share this information with your relatives and friends who live where there is less access to organic produce. Let’s not wait for the government to support a cancer reducing food production. Let the market speak for better health.

To read the original French study go to

Why supplement along with an organic diet?

Look back over your past weeks’ worth of food consumption. Did you prepare fresh, organic food at every meal or dine in a restaurant the serves organic foods? I certainly didn’t. I’m often rushing to the next event with a smoothie in my hand. That smoothie is made with organic fruit and vegetables and Shaklee’s organic protein powder. I also ate out a couple of times and have no idea the source of the food.

For anyone wanting a prevention insurance policy, choose a complete program of Shaklee’s supplements. Vitalizer or Life strip have a couple multivitamins (Vita Lea), a B/C blend that slow releases in your body, and fish oil and fat soluble anti-oxidants. Most people will add a probiotic (Optiflora is guaranteed to deliver live friendly bacteria to your gut.) It comes in the Vitalizer already.


Special Health Solutions:

There are several special solutions for eye health, bone and joint health, heart health, pain management, immune support all of which do the job of prevention. Look at the Shaklee product guide first before fillings your doctor’s prescription for supplements for these special needs. Sure, they might be more expensive and not covered by your health insurance, but we’re talking about guaranteed results here and a manufacturer you can trust to use organic sources and add nothing synthetic. If you are currently on a regimen to protect your eyes, check the Shaklee website or call me. I managed to put off cataract surgery for 5 years by using a double dose of Carotomax every day. A few of my customers do check in before they fill their prescription for supplements. Use me as a resource.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.  Read on for news from the heart and travel plans in March  my personal Shakee shopping website.

From the Heart….. 

I’ve been back in school since January and feel out of touch with you, my dear customer and friend. Open Borders, my first memoir, is getting a lot of play at libraries, book stores and small gatherings. People tell me they love the story and learn a lot about the Cold War. My next book is a novel and the class I’m taking is helping with character development. Please forgive me if you have wondered why I haven’t been in touch. My Shaklee business is a primary income source for me and teaching about prevention through lifestyle practices of good nutrition, exercise and nourishing relationship remains a top priority. Don’t be a stranger. Be in touch. I love to hear what your health concerns are and if my long-time study and practice can benefit you in any way.

I’ll be on vacation from March 15 – 29 so if you pick up product from my front porch, be sure to call me before the 15th so we can make delivery arrangements. I will be plugged in and online while I am away.

If you haven’t checked in at 8:30 on Thursdays, I have been demonstrating different Shaklee products at, a live stream video. So far, I’ve done all the YOUTH products, the Get Clean kitchen and laundry products and a demo of my favorite smoothie with kale, carrot, celery, beet, and blackberries plus soy milk (made from Shaklee’s Soy Protein Drink Mix) and Vanilla Life shake mix, soy. The shake mix comes in plant-based protein if you are not keen on soy.

Tune in, like my event and share with your friends and family. It’s amateur for sure, but lots of fun. See you there. You can always watch it later by looking for my facebook page.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving,


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The Cleanse: one person’s experience.

Seven day cleanse with Shaklee
Since I promoted the box with the seven packets and recommendations for the Shaklee detox cleanse, I thought I’d better do it myself. Wow! I lost 5 pounds! I wasn’t trying to lose weight and didn’t think I needed to, but the little “fluffy belly” is gone. 135 is a better weight for a 5’6” woman. Now to keep myself at this new baseline.

7-Day Healthy Cleanse

Was it a smooth ride, detox-ing my body on this program? No, it was not. I have not gone a day without Shaklee protein since beginning with the old Energizing Protein back in 1985. Eating soy protein for breakfast made such a difference in my energy level, my mood, my overall metabolism that I didn’t trust any other protein for breakfast. Every morning, no matter what. This was scary to me. There is no protein on the program.

I contacted my upline, Kathy Naef, who assured me there was enough protein in the vegetables. I put the question on “100 days to amazing”, the Shaklee facebook group. Some people responded that a reduced serving of the Shaklee shake was OK.

By the end of day two, I was getting fuzzy brained and weak. I snuck a half serving into a glass of water after my trainer worked me out to utter fatigue on day three. On day 4, I had a half serving of the 180 plant-based protein powder before going on our weekly hike. Days 5 – 7, I added a half serving of the protein powder twice a day.

You can do this.

The other modification I made to the list of vegetables and fruits and the way I prepared them was to make soup. I have chicken stock in the freezer and I sauteed onion and garlic (not on the list) in olive oil and added a mountain of chopped vegetables. It’s cold up here in the Pacific Northwest. I needed heat. The soup was fabulous. Avocado (one a day) provided fat and olive oil on a giant salad added more fat, an essential part of the detox diet. I normally don’t eat bananas at all but added half a banana a day to give a little bulk.

To be completely transparent, my digestive system rebelled at so much raw food. Steaming beets, baking rutabaga, yams, sweet potato and winter squash, and eating with a pat of butter made them easier to digest. I built my evening meal around one of these root vegetables as the main food, adding salad.

Once when I couldn’t get home to fix anything (under normal circumstances, I carry Shaklee meal and snack bars with me for hunger emergencies, but they were not on the program), I went to the deli section of a local grocery market and picked up a container of sauteed green beans. This turned out to be a filling snack. I also made applesauce by quartering and pitting apples into a stainless steel pot with a tiny bit of water and nothing else. Warm applesauce was comforting.

I couldn’t believe my body had that much waste to get rid of! And I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got on the scale. It has been two weeks since the detox and I am still at 135. Oh, how cautiously I put back the oats, rye and millet hot cereal with walnuts and prunes for breakfast. How carefully I sauteed Alaskan cod with a little cornmeal coating. How tentatively I ate a few Christmas cookies at two parties yesterday and several over the weekend. Then I relaxed and ate the way I normally do, avoiding refined flour and sweets, with some exceptions, avoiding processed foods, dairy and salty things. All went well without any weight gain. Since there have been delicious holiday offerings at several gatherings I decided today will be the detox program for 24 hours. I now have a tool for balancing the indulgences of the holidays.

My good friend Bobbie has completed her first week of the detox cleanse and reports feeling light, clear-headed, energetic and wants to keep it up forever. She added legumes during her cleanse (beans and peas), and still achieved the results she wanted. I gently discouraged her from staying on it too long. The detox program, when followed to the letter is not meant to be a regular way of eating. We need whole grains and protein for balance.

Another friend has loved the results and plans to use the detox program periodically. She talked to me from Aliso Viejo about her experience.

One day packet 7-day healthy cleanse

Put your order in for the box of seven daily packets or get the four full bottles of products that constitute the cleanse: packet has Optiflora DI probiotic, Alfalfa Complex, Liver DTX Complex and Herb-Lax in the prescribed amount in little tear apart servings. #21318 for $39.95 MN. All four products in full bottles (many repeat cleanses or use daily for overall good digestive health) for $105.40 MN price plus tax and shipping.
Most people like taking an Herb Lax and a Liver DTX every night just to clear the toxins from their day. You might like the results of that daily cleanse.

Have a wonderful holiday. Eat, drink and be merry. Plan to cleanse your body after it’s all over, the wrapping and tinsil gone, the tree in the yard waste and the body eager for normalizing itself. Cleanse with confidence.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving, Betsy shopping personal website with Shaklee for information about Open Borders: A Personal Story of Love, Loss and Anti-war Activism, my first book.

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Youth skin care line

Dear One,

A little over 18 months ago, Shaklee introduced the YOUTH skin-care line, ideal for dull, dry skin or for anyone wanting to look younger longer. The previous line, Enfuselle, was loved by so many, including me. I wasn’t that excited about losing the familiar and embracing the new. Besides YOUTH products are more expensive, like the high-end department store brands. Was the increase in cost worth it? I wasn’t sure. Here’s my heart-to-heart take on the new line.

YOUTH skin care by Shaklee


Shaklee has moved forward over the 100 years since Dr. Shaklee first created Vitalized Minerals. The scientists at Shaklee’s laboratory have continued Dr. Shaklee’s legacy, pushing the envelope, putting their medical and science team to work solving new health problems.


Pro-Biotics and GLA

Two examples: I remember waiting for Shaklee’s pro and pre-biotics and their version of gamma linolenic acid —GLA—, an omega-6 fatty acid that our bodies use to form prostaglandins—potent, hormone-like substances that help the body to regulate many normal bodily processes. I was desperate for this hormone balancing stuff when menopause was taking me down.


When GLA came along, I stopped buying Evening Primrose Oil capsules and went for Shaklee’s Borage Oil based GLA and noticed the difference with my hot flashes right away. My body needed a little help to make the hormonal transition. GLA gave it to me.


The Optiflora pearl loaded with friendly micro-flora and the Optiflora power that fed them when they made it to the lower intestines made a dramatic change in my digestion and my immune system. It was worth waiting for the science department’s painstaking research and protective delivery system.




When Enfuselle came out, I did an ingredient search at the Environmental Working Group’s site ( and found every Enfuselle product to be safe on a scale of 1 – 5. Today the scale to measure harm goes from 1 – 10 as new research discovers more and more cosmetic and skin care ingredients contain potential carcinogens.

You don’t want to put stuff on your skin that could cause cancer, do you?

Shaklee scientists went back to the drawing board and created a skin care line without the 2500 ingredients that could be cancer causing and are frequently found in skin care products.

How’s that for taking the initiative toward something healthier when the current product line was selling extremely well?!

As a cancer survivor with a pre-disposition to melanoma (I’m missing a gene that heals free radical damage in the body), I jumped right on YOUTH and breathed a sigh of relief that Shaklee made something safe for me and for all of you, too.

I had to get used to a very different product line. An oil-based cleanser—Luminous Gel-Oil Cleanser—turns out to be luscious, gently exfoliating with green algae.


A toner —Perfecting Skin Toner—that lasted me from February to August, six months—and has all kinds of citrus to help balance the PH of your skin so the natural acidic balance is restored after rinsing with tap water.


Your skin needs to be just a little acidic as an immune system protection against pathogens. Most cleansers strip the acid mantel. Rinsing adds minerals from the water to the skin. We need the toner to balance PH and protect. 

The toner is expensive at $47 retail and $40-member price. Still, Shaklee’s toner has the same muscadine grape and A, C and E vitamins that all the YOUTH products contain. I wanted that protection. Six months before I ran out? I’m OK with that expense.

The moisturizer—Age Defense Moisturizer—has zinc oxide and goes on thick. It took some getting used to, but what a difference it makes to the luminous, healthy glow my face developed over time. No sun. Period. 30 SPF. No scent, either, so the moisturizer is good for men and women alike.

The special products—Activating Serum and Radiance C & E—are treatments for the skin, renewing the health of deep facial cells. My deep wrinkles reddened a bit with initial use, but the burning sensation subsided after a few weeks and the grooves seemed to get shallower. These two products are $95 retail and $80 member. Again, they last several months.


The Radiance C & E contains 60 little golden pillows containing the 20% pure Vitamin C. I alternate using one pillow every other day and the Activating Serum mornings and at night on alternate evenings. I opened new containers of the Activating Serum last March and again in August. Good value.


I always end with the Advanced Renewal Night Cream to boost collagen and elastin production while sleeping. I feel I’ve been to the day spa every night. It’s quite the luxurious experience.


If an anti-aging program isn’t for you at your age, the products to use for your four-step day time program for keeping your skin youthful and hydrated are Luminous Gel-Oil Cleanser, Perfecting Skin Toner, Moisture Activating Serum and Moisture LOCK Day Cream. Get the Sun Protection Factor on your skin with the Beauty Balm foundation. Each color (there are four) glides on with 30 SPF.


Shaklee has two masks, one dark and rich Purifying  Clay Mask to detox and clarify your skin; the other a golden hydrating Gel Mask to deeply sooth and moisturize.


For the eyes—those pesky bags and droops—Restoring Eye Treatment reduces appearance of puffiness and dark circles. I love that I can still read comfortably after applying this treatment at night.


To get a feel for these products and how to use them, watch my Facebook live demonstration on most Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. Pacific Time. In less than ten minutes I show you how to use the various products. It’s been fun to learn a new technology. I removed the first couple attempts and the quality of my presentation is getting better all the time. It’ll give you a chuckle to watch.  Go to my YouTube channel on the YOUTH products where you can watch a beautifully done professional demonstration. I commend that to you if you have questions and watch to understand how to use these products. When you get to my Facebook channel on YOUTH, please like it and share so it will go up in the list. There are a lot of Betsy Bell you tube channels. I’d appreciate it.

The Shaklee website ( my personal website with Shaklee) offers special deals on YOUTH products, so be sure to check out that web site if you are thinking about trying YOUTH for yourself, or as a gift this Christmas for someone special. The man in your life might just love some of these rejuvenating products. Take a look.

Be well, do well and Keep moving.

Have a delicious, love-filled Thanksgiving.

There is so much to be thankful for, in spite of the national and global chaos. Just look around you and appreciate your life, all the goodness and beauty.  Betsy

Please leave a comment.

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Back to School snacks

Gentle Reader,

I was out with my granddaughter the other day—she’s twenty and was driving me in her car—when she confessed she hadn’t eaten in a while. She reached in her purse for a bar, pulled off the wrapper and started munching on the dense, dark thing, clearly loaded with protein. She suffers from low blood sugar. Now that she is twenty, she understands that she has to carry protein with her or her brain scrambles. I’m just like that. Are you? Any of your kids have meltdowns because they need protein? It takes a long time for a young woman like my granddaughter to figure out how to fix her problem before it is one. Her mother and I harped a lot. We also carried protein bars with us and handed her one when we saw the signs. May I suggest a solution if this is a thing in your household?

Here follows an unabashed promotion of Shaklee protein bars as the best, most balanced—protein, fat, carbs—to steady your metabolism and get your brain working again. Read on….

Grab a snack–Make it healthy

What are some filling, easy-to-grab snack foods to get you through after-school sports events? Or that quick minute in the kitchen between things when there is no time for a proper sit-down meal? Even lunch when you don’t have time to make one?

Are you open to looking at some alternatives made by Shaklee, the No. 1 natural vitamin company in the US? The company that distinguishes itself by making sure every product is pure, safe, organically sourced and effective?

Sure, Costco is full of inexpensive, tasty bulk purchases for just these moments in your family’s busy schedule. And there is probably some fairly good nutrition along with the taste and calories. But what if Shaklee makes a healthier, tastier alternative?

Like the convenience of bars? Shaklee makes whole nutritious meals in a bar. They were designed as part of a weight management program. For anyone, they provide a well-balanced complete meal without the over-the-top sugars and fats of your average bar. More expensive than Cliff bars, but consider the benefit.

White Chocolate Cinnamon 270 cal.:

My personal favorite.
• 18 -20 grams of hunger-fighting non-GMO soy protein
• 6 –7 grams of fiber
• Leucine to build muscle
• 23 vitamins and minerals
• Low glycemic. GI Value:25
• No artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives added
• Gluten free

Blueberry & Almond Crisp 260 calories
Same balanced ingredients, different yummy flavor. My personal favorite.

Peanut Butter& Chocolate Chip has 270 calories and has the same values as both Blueberry& Almond and Chocolate Cinnamon
Take note of the GI Value in Blueberry Almond Crisp is 25 while the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip has a GI of 29.

They are delicious.

Snack bars. I never leave home without one in my purse. I keep one in the glove box of my car. If you are a low blood sugar basket case, you know why. Don’t let the weight management talk steer you away from giving these snack bars to your kids. There is nothing fake or hyper in any Shaklee product. Just good nutrition that a scrawny growing kid wouldn’t benefit from. Keep the sugars down, get the fiber to keep their tummies functional and pack in the energy with good protein.

Shaklee 180 Snack Bars flavors: Toffee Chocolate Crunch, Chocolate and Coconut, Crunchy Peanut Butter, & Cherry Almond are the perfect solution to mid-afternoon hunger.
Whichever flavor you choose, they are a great-tasting way to eat a satisfying, healthy, decadent snack without a lot of calories. Snack Bars are Powered by Leucine™, an amino acid that signals muscle protein building, which can offset the muscle loss that can occur with other diets. Leucine lets you keep muscle while you lose weight from fat. And remember Muscle = Metabolism.
Shaklee also packs 9-10 grams of protein into each bar. And that’s important. Why? Because protein is used to build muscle, and muscle burns more calories than body fat. Protein-rich foods also promote feelings of fullness, keeping hunger at bay. And that’s what you want. But when you’re eating a Snack Bar, all you’ll think about is how good it tastes.

Prefer savory snacks? Do you reach for chips when you’re starving? We all love them. Throw a bag in the lunch, or purse. But how is the nutritional balance? Any protein? Too much fat for good balance? How about Shaklee’s Crisps. I love them. Take them hiking. They come in a box of 10 for $20.95 member price or $2 each. Probable half again as much as the Costco offering. But look what you get for your money.

Shaklee 180™ Sea Salt Snack Crisps and Barbecue Snack Crisps and now it’s Crunch time!

Our snack crisps are baked to golden perfection with a hint of salt and if you like barbeque flavor, you will find a tangy goodness in every satisfying bite. Plenty of protein per serving to keep hunger away and cravings under control. Both options offer:
• 100 calories
• 6 grams of non-GMO soy protein
• Low glycemic
• No artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives added
• Gluten free

Two flavors, Sea Salt and Barbeque.

Psst: If you’re trying to lose weight or keep it off, these crisps are a perfect snack whether you are doing Weight Watchers or any other program.

After School Snack: Meal Shakes: I’ve had several grandchildren love these milk-based protein shakes. They can mix them without supervision at a pretty young age. Take a look at the ingredients and see if this would be a good after-school snack for the children in your house.

Unlike similar meal replacement products found in grocery stores, Meal Shakes contain no artificial colors, sweeteners or flavorings. A creamy, delicious shake that children love. Bavarian Cocoa and French Vanilla. #20321 French Vanilla, #20322 Bavarian Chocolate $24.10 member price. 16 servings. SHOP at, my personal Shaklee website. Click on the picture of any product included in this post and it will take you to the shopping page where you can read everything about it and purchase!

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving.

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Awful Cancer

From the Heart…..

A great sadness fills my heart as I write to you at the beginning of July. The father of my first grandchild died this morning. Tom Killorin was Grace’s first husband, groom at the first wedding in our family of four daughters and the only one presided over by my daughters’ father, Don Bell. Tom was 62 a couple weeks before his death from Multiple myeloma. Don died a couple weeks after his 62nd birthday from leukemia. Two cancers of the blood. These two men, a generation apart, leave a legacy of courage in the face of overwhelming illness, an aborted life time of excellence in their field, and strong, loving direction for their children.

 Tom loved music and was a walking library of the pop songs of every decade from 1950s on. He had his own radio show at S.P.A.C.E

Terrible Cancer – What can be done?


What is it to die young from cancer? What can one do to avoid it? Is there anything that one can do to prevent this terrible disease? What part can we shape and what part is shaped by our parents?


How many articles, books, TED talks, blog posts, medical journal articles have been written presenting rules for a healthy life? And yet, cancer, a disease in which abnormal cells divide without control, happens in all kinds of people, including the healthiest.


What triggers the abnormality? This is, of course, what cancer research is trying to discover. Meanwhile, we humans go along doing the best we can. Some of us are struck by the abnormal switch while many of us carry on living, every cell doing its job miraculously according to its design. One might ask instead why more of us don’t succumb to a cellular mistake.


When I first began sharing the supplements I was taken in 1986, I encouraged people to not be afraid of their genetics; that our genetic makeup was responsible for no more than 10% of the cause of disease. We have known for a long time that common diseases like heart disease, asthma, cancer, and diabetes can run in families. I frequently asked a prospect what their parents died of and how their life-style was the same or different. A non-smoker was not necessarily going to develop lung cancer which may have been their pack-a-day father’s cause of death.


My own experience after taking these supplements for a few months created a strong belief that I would not suffer from some of the health problems my mother had such as hair loss and breaking fingernails, aching joints around age fifty, or heart disease. It was true that taking supplements strengthened my nails and thickened my hair. So, I must have been getting something from the supplements that my mother didn’t have in her body, right?


The science of genetics and illness has advanced by leaps and bounds since 1986. It can be said today from our study of the human genome (the complete set of human genes), that nearly all diseases have a genetic component. Some diseases are caused by mutations that are inherited from the parents and are present in an individual at birth, like sickle cell disease. Other diseases are caused by acquired mutations in a gene or group of genes that occur during a person’s life. Such mutations are not inherited from a parent but occur either randomly or due to some environmental exposure (such as cigarette smoke). These include many cancers, as well as some forms of neurofibromatosis (not sure what this is, to tell the truth).


Something else we know about our bodies is that there is an elaborate immune response to the damage the DNA suffers every day, multiple times. A constant repair mechanism is at work 24/7 fixing abnormalities, getting cells back to normal.


I made up my own causal story when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 34: situational stress. By the same analysis, I decided Don’s cancer of the blood was caused by situational stress. Tom Killorin? I have no idea. What, if any stress, did he suffer that caused his immune function to fail to repair an abnormality?


For myself, I’m glad I decided my body couldn’t heal itself without the help of supplements. I’ve been taking hands-full every day since 1985. This supplement habit may have kept me from developing an un-fixable abnormality again. It turns out I have an inherited genetic problem that may lead to cancer: the absence of one of those many immune repair system genes, P53. I’ve written about this before.

My youngest daughter is missing the same gene. She is not taking supplements. She has chosen her own path to cancer prevention.

Let’s review the anti-cancer lifestyle. My daughter follows it now.

  • Loving, peaceful relationships
  • Work that energizes and challenges her and makes a difference in the world
  • Regular exercise outdoors in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, including daily biking, walking, running and/or yoga.
  • A home relatively free of toxins.
  • Vegetarian diet full of raw and cooked green and red fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, tofu, combinations of grains to give healthy protein.
  • Some coffee, chocolate (dark), wine, and spirits.
  • Optimism, laughter, and hope for a better world

There are no guarantees. Nearly everyone knows what to do to have better health. Perhaps those of us who have knowledge of genetic disturbances are lucky. That knowledge makes us a little more vigilant and unbending in our adherence to good health practices. What would you do differently if you knew your genetic markers?

Why not do those things now?

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving.



to check out my upcoming publication of Open Borders: A personal story of love, loss and anti-war activism, click here.

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heart attack

Dear One,

How can you help yourself avoid a heart attack? Your water drinking habits influence your overall health, and maybe the health of your heart. Can drinking more water help prevent a heart attack? When I gave a health talk at a retirement home not long ago, I was surprised at the answer I got to a question: what is the most frequent health problem among the residents?

Dehydration. Which may lead to a heart attack.

This information will help you avoid this yourself.

Your heart is constantly working, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood a day. By staying hydrated – i.e. drinking more water than you are losing – you are helping your heart do its job. A hydrated heart is able to pump blood more easily, allowing the muscles in your body to work even better.

I dedided to write this post because a friend sent me an email that is circulating on the web about water, aspirin and heart attacks. the article references Dr. Somers of the Mayo Clinic. To verify statements attributed to him, I found on the Mayo Clinic web site a disclaimer. Their cardiac specialist had never drawn the dehydration=heart attack conclusion.

Nontheless, I found resonance with much that the email had to say about drinking water and so I did a little research of my own. The University of Pittsburg Medical Clinic has an informative piece on heart health and water.

“Dehydration causes strain on your heart. The amount of blood circulating through your body, or blood volume, decreases when you are dehydrated. To compensate, your heart beats faster, increasing your heart rate and causing you to feel palpitations. Also your blood retains more sodium, making it tougher for it to circulate through your body.

“So how much water should you drink to stay hydrated? It really depends on how much your body needs. Some situations where you should drink more water include:

  • If you are exercising or doing other physical activities.
  • If you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
  • If you are showing signs of dehydration, such as dizziness or weakness.

Please also keep in mind that certain medical conditions (such as heart failure, diabetes, heart disease) may require varying hydration strategies and consult with your physician as required.”

Everyone’s need for water is different, so take this with a grain of salt and use what seems helpful. I for one begin my day with 2 glasses of water, one of which is warm and has the juice of half a lemon squeezed into it.

Water is Almost Free, and the Advice is Free.

The circulating email lists several points about when to drink water that resonant with me. If they resonate with you, why not change a few habits to incorporate these suggestions. It can’t hurt. We don’t have to wait for scientific proof for everything we do. Dr. Shaklee was clear about that. Common sense is a good guide.

How many folks do you know who say they don’t want to drink anything before going to bed because they’ll have to get up during the night? Consider this:

Heart Attack and Water – Drinking one glass of water before going to bed may help avoid stroke or heart attack.

Why do we need to urinate so much at night? Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you are upright (legs swell). When you lie down and the lower body (legs and etc.) is level with the kidneys, it is then that the kidneys remove the water because it is easier. You need water to help flush the toxins out of your body. Apparently the work of flushing happens at night. Ever take a nap and wake up needing to rush to the bathroom? Perhaps the same thing is happening during the day.

Are there better times to drink water?

Drinking water at a certain time may maximize its effectiveness on the body:

  • 2 glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
  • 1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
  • 1 glass of water before taking a bath – may help lower blood pressure
  • 1 glass of water before going to bed – may avoid stroke or heart attack

Water at bed time may help prevent night time leg cramps. Leg muscles are seeking hydration when they cramp and wake you up with a Charlie Horse.

People tell me they don’t like the taste of water, so they drink tea, bottled drinks of all kinds and think that is enough. Pure water can’t be beat, so why not use a Shaklee Best Water pitcher to make your water tasty. You’ll save money. You’ll keep all those bottles out of the recycling/landfill. A new pitcher with its filter and a pack of three refills costs $105 member price. Every filter cleans 80 pitchers full of water. A dial on the top lets you know when to replace the filter. So easy. In my house, we go through a filter in about three months. One filter costs $19. That’s 800 8oz. bottles of water which would cost you $.13 each from Amazon in their 24 pack flat. The Shaklee price per 8 oz. is $.24, ten cents more.

Is it worth it to you to care for the environment by make your own clean water at home and filling your own portable water bottle? Think about it.

And keep your heart healthy while you are at it.





I hope this information is helpful to you. If it is, pass it on.

Be well, Do well and Keep moving!


206 933 1889 24/7 VM

206 409 5940 cell blog Open Borders: A Personal story of love, loss and anti-war activism, coming out in Sept.



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Turning 80 and FitBit

Turning 80 and FitBit

Turning 80 gives me a new take on aging. Eighty is Old Age. Make no mistake. Eighty is old. Arriving here has been a contest against genetics and the hurdles life tossed in my path. I decided to get some assistance with the contest: a FitBit. The idea was to measure steps and sleep. The hospice nurse in my family suggested sleep quality is a key to better aging. Lots of people measure their steps trying for 10,000 a day. I have blogged about the value of this step-counting for your health.

Wearing a FitBit through one night made each of three trips to the bathroom a crisis of failure. Normally I slip right back into bed and sleep again. The FitBit made this nightly parade a gauntlet with a row of judges pondering their score cards, lifting a 5, one after the other. After forty-eight hours, I decided not to keep score.

As for making sure I walk at least 8000 steps daily, I discovered in the two days I wore the FitBit that my ordinary day with no specific exercise period produces 2000 steps or a mile. And just one walk in my neighborhood to the bank, the grocery store, the UPS or post office or bus stop and home again is another two miles plus, plus. I’m happy with three plus miles a day. I don’t need a FitBit to remind me. I’m like the family dog. I need to walk everyday.

The FitBit goes back to the store. The contest against Old Age is over. Did I win? By what measures shall we judge the conclusion of this race?

Physical ability? OK there. But greatly changed. Smaller goals. Getting up and going to bed. Walking. Taking care of my personal needs like bathing, shopping, cooking, feeding the chickens and the cat and myself. I don’t move as fast. Slipping on the ice has moved from possible to probable. Bending over to brush teeth or tie my shoes is accompanied by creaks and occasionally sharp catching of the breath. Six miles is my max and fewer than 2000ft. elevation gain. About four hours is plenty on the trail. I will cross country ski, but not drive to the summit if road conditions could require chains. I’m perfectly able to put on chains, but think better of such an effort.

Considering the falling probability, I decided to try an ADT Health monitor. When the bulky pendant arrived in the mail (with a dresser top base that glows in the night), I knew I would never wear the thing or tolerate another LED eye surveillance in my bedroom. The thing is Ugly. I have no heavy boobs for it to hang between. Un-hideable. The two men who rent space in my house took one look at the gizmo and at me and said, “Premature.” When ADT called to activate the system, I was in Mexico swimming in the ocean and walking the beach and couldn’t be reached. Even though I’d signed a three year contract, ADT took it back. Not ready yet. Maybe in five more years.

Eye sight? Still driving at night. I doubled my carotenoids and the little halos of light around each beam of the oncoming motorists disappeared. Click to see what I’m using for carotenoids, those fat soluable anti-oxidants that help with eye health.

Hearing? Not so good. Costco hearing aides work marvels, but I have had mine adjusted three times in three years. And the quality of musical sound is tinny which is a great disappointment to me. To sing in the choir, I have to adjust them so my own voice mixes well with the other singers and then crank the volume up for the readings and the sermon. (I suppose there are those hearing aide wearers in the pews who turn theirs down during the sermon.) I understand there is an effort to calibrate the algorithms for music to help the partially deaf’s enjoyment of same. All the work in the past has been with speech. May I live long enough to experience this more inclusive approach to amplifying sound.

Forgetfulness? Not too bad. Names elude me as much as ever. In fact I may be a bit better at names because I am paying more attention, or more of me is paying attention to you. MindWorks has made a difference. When I head for the basement to get something, I usually remember what I went there to get. That’s a change for the better. MindWorks is a new-ish supplement.

Incontinence? Sometimes but not enough to wear protection.

Flatulence? Frequently, which causes much hilarity in my family: “barking spiders” “Squeaky floors,” “Jet propelled.” Accepting one’s Creatureliness is surely a sign of accepting aging.

Skin, hair and nails? Now here is a measure of aging that I watched in my mother and made a big effort to delay by taking anti-aging tonic called Vivix  and plenty of supplements that support healthy skin, hair and nails. About a year ago as if a switch were thrown, my finger nails started splitting and tearing. I have resorted to organic false nails done at great expense once a month at Nail Time in West Seattle. At least they have come up with something that is not acrylic and therefore not cancer causing. At the same time, I lost nearly all my pubic hair and, as my granddaughter observed while giving me a head rub on Christmas day, “Grandma, your hair is not as thick as it used to be.” I’d always had a thick bush and was distressed to see it gather at the shower drain. Oh, well. Who besides me will notice? As far as skin goes, my cat punctures it regularly with his nails and teeth. The slightest brush against the chicken coop fence or tossing my back pack over my shoulder produces a sub-cutaneous bleed, little reddish brown patches on my hands and lower arms. Less emotionally thin-skinned and far more physically thin-skinned is not a tragedy. Which brings me to

Quality of personal relations? Is this a qualifying bench mark in the aging process? It is by my bench marks. I have pursued authentic honest relations with boundaries all my adult life. “Can I be in relation with you without hurting you or losing myself?” I still make mistakes, am rude, insensitive and critical at times, but I recognize these deviations from the course more quickly. I can meet you from my heart more often.

Eighty just means I am old. My condition is whatever it is on a given morning. I’ve thrown out the markers and given up the contest, content to observe and embrace however it is, rejoicing in the new day.

Love, Betsy

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving. for shopping to read about my new book

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Awareness Through Movement

Dear one,

What appeared in today’s New York Times in Jean Brody’s Health post is a must share with you and all your friends. She talks about Feldenkrais, a technique and practice I discovered many, many years ago when what I needed most was Awareness Through Movement. Becci Parsons in my local Feldenkrais guru. She has saved me from debilitating arthritic pain in the past. In the present, she guided my mind and body through the process of a spine fusion by Dr. Peter Nora and the subsequent repatterning of my nerve damaged legs. Jean Brody wasn’t and isn’t about to require surgery for her pain. She just wanted a better quality “every day”. Please read on for her remarks. When you have read her post, go to Becci Parson’s website and find a class. She teaches all the time in convenient locations north of the ship canal in Seattle. Living somewhere else? Do a search and find a practitioner.

Be well and Keep Moving, Betsy

(To read about supplements that help with pain, go to this post.)

Trying the Feldenkrais Method for Chronic Pain
Personal Health
By JANE E. BRODY OCT. 30, 2017

After two hourlong sessions focused first on body awareness and then on movement retraining at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York, I understood what it meant to experience an incredible lightness of being. Having, temporarily at least, released the muscle tension that aggravates my back and hip pain, I felt like I was walking on air.

Thanks to Paul Rogers  for this cartoon from the NYTimes.

I had long refrained from writing about this method of countering pain because I thought it was some sort of New Age gobbledygook with no scientific basis. Boy, was I wrong!
The Feldenkrais method is one of several increasingly popular movement techniques, similar to the Alexander technique, that attempt to better integrate the connections between mind and body. By becoming aware of how one’s body interacts with its surroundings and learning how to behave in less stressful ways, it becomes possible to relinquish habitual movement patterns that cause or contribute to chronic pain.

The method was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist, mechanical engineer and expert in martial arts, after a knee injury threatened to leave him unable to walk. Relying on his expert knowledge of gravity and the mechanics of motion, he developed exercises to help teach the body easier, more efficient ways to move.

I went to the institute at the urging of Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of the recently published book “Crooked” that details the nature and results of virtually every current approach to treating back pain, a problem that has plagued me on and off (now mostly on) for decades. Having benefited from Feldenkrais lessons herself, Ms. Ramin had good reason to believe they would help me.

In her book, she recounts the experience of Courtney King, who first experienced crippling back spasms in her late 20s. Ms. King was taking several dance classes a week and practicing yoga, and she thought the stress of these activities might be causing the pain in her tight, inflexible back. But after a number of Feldenkrais sessions, she told Ms. Ramin, “I realized that the pain had more to do with the way I carried myself every day.”

Even after just one session, I understood what she meant. When I make a point of walking upright and fluid, sitting straight, even cooking relaxed and unhurried, I have no pain. The slow, gentle, repetitive movements I practiced in a Feldenkrais group class helped foster an awareness of how I use my body in relation to my environment, and awareness is the first step to changing one’s behavior.

One common problem of which I’m often guilty is using small muscles to accomplish tasks meant for large, heavy-duty ones, resulting in undue fatigue and pain.

The group class, called Awareness Through Movement, was followed by an individual session called Functional Integration with a therapist that helped to free tight muscles and joints that were limiting my motion and increasing my discomfort. Using gentle manipulation and passive movements, the therapist individualized his approach to my particular needs.

The ultimate goal of both sessions is, in effect, to retrain the brain – to establish new neural pathways that result in easy, simple movements that are physiologically effective and comfortable. Although the Feldenkrais method was developed in the mid-20th century, neurophysiologists have since demonstrated the plasticity of the brain, its ability to form new cells, reorganize itself and, in effect, learn new ways to do things.


The beauty of Feldenkrais lessons is that they are both relatively low-cost (group classes average $15 to $25, individual sessions $100 to $200) and potentially accessible to nearly everyone. There are more than 7,000 teachers and practitioners working in 18 countries, including large numbers in the United States. You can be any age, strength, fitness level and state of well-being to participate. The exercises are slow, gentle and adjustable to whatever might ail you. Their calming effect counters the stress that results in contracted muscles, tightness and pain.
Feldenkrais practitioners like Marek Wyszynski, director of the New York center, typically start professional life as physical therapists. They then undergo three years of training to become certified in the Feldenkrais method.

Mr. Wyszynski explained that he starts by observing how patients are using their skeletons – how they sit, stand and walk in ways that may cause or contribute to their pathology, be it spinal disc disease, arthritis, shoulder pain or damaged knee joints. In accordance with Dr. Feldenkrais’s astute observation, “If you don’t know what you are doing, you can’t do what you want,” patients are then given a clear sensory experience of how their posture and behavior contribute to their pain and physical limitations.

For example, some people may use excessive force, clench their teeth, hold their breath or rush, causing undue muscle tension and skeletal stress. Years ago, I realized that my frequent headaches resulted from an unconscious habit of clenching my jaw when I concentrated intently on a task like sewing or cooking. Feldenkrais teachers do not give formulas for a proper way of behaving; rather, they rely on their patients’ ability to self-discover and self-correct.
Once aware of their counterproductive habits, students are given the opportunity to experience alternative movements, postures and behaviors and, through practice, create new habits that are less likely to cause pain.

Mr. Wyszynski told me that there are more than 1,000 distinct Feldenkrais lessons currently available, most of which involve everyday actions like reaching, getting up from a chair, turning, bending and walking.

As a mechanical engineer and physicist, Dr. Feldenkrais understood that the job of the human skeleton was to accommodate the effects of gravity in order to remain upright. And he wanted people to achieve this in the most efficient way possible.

Using two tall foam cylinders, one perched on top of the other, Mr. Wyszynski demonstrated a guiding principle of the Feldenkrais method. When the top cylinder was centered on the bottom one, it stood in place without assistance. But when it was off center, perched near the edge of the bottom cylinder, it tipped over. If instead of cylinders these were someone’s skeletal parts that were askew, tightened muscles would have to keep the patient from falling over.
As Mr. Wyszynski explained, “Good posture allows the skeleton to hold up and support the body without expending unnecessary energy despite the pull of gravity. However, with poor posture, the muscles are doing part of the job of the bones, and with poor skeletal support, the muscles have to remain contracted to prevent the body from falling.”

I wish you the best of health. Betsy

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