Category Archives: Be Well health tips

Betsy’s Boosts for wellness

The last word on Consumer Report’s warning against Vitamins

Gentle Reader,

This week Dr. Chaney concludes his analysis of the article titled “10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements” in the September 2012 issue of Consumer Reports. The article consists of 10 warnings about the potential dangers of food supplements.

The first six of those were at least partially true, but they pertained to such a small portion of the food supplements in the market that they were almost meaningless.  See the blog for 9/13.

Last week I posted Dr. Chaney’s response to the seventh warning: that heart and cancer protection are not proven. It is, he tells us, very difficult to unambiguously prove that any intervention prevents heart disease or cancer in a primary prevention setting. “In fact, recent studies have shown that you can’t even prove that statin drugs reduce heart attack risk in a primary prevention setting.”

Dr. Chaney argued that the authors seemed to suggest “that supplements have been proven not to be effective in reducing heart disease and cancer risk – and that they might even increase the risk.” Check with last week’s blog to see how he refutes that insinuation.

#8  you could choke on supplements. “Really?” Dr. Chaney sounds indignant. “That’s true of anything you swallow. But let’s put it in perspective. The FDA says that has occurred a total of 900 times over the past five years – and only a few of the cases were serious enough to require a Heimlich maneuver. Most cases of choking on supplements were easily resolved by a second swallow or little extra water.” My poor husband, Chuck, choked on his vitamins more than once and they came up instead of going down.  It didn’t keep him from taking a hand full with the next meal.  A slurry of a protein smoothie helps when you have a hard time swallowing.  But to warn people away from supplements because they might choke?!  For heavens sake.

#9  Some natural products were anything but. Are you really surprised? In most cases you can figure that out just by reading the label.

#10 you may not need supplements at all. The authors state that “If you are already getting the recommended amount of nutrients by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, cereals, dairy, and protein, there’s little if any additional benefit from ingesting nutritional supplements”. Dr. Chaney agrees with this statement, as do I.  However, what the authors did not point out was that the USDA tells us that only 5% of the US population actually eats that way.

In conclusion, “Consumer Reports is very good when they are testing consumer products or surveying customers about their satisfaction with consumer products. They are less reliable when they start to venture into areas of health and nutrition. Because this is not an area of their expertise, they are easily misled by the urban myths that abound in the field of nutrition. They do not have the expertise to examine the literature
themselves and evaluate whether or not the urban myths are true. So just take their nutritional advice with a grain of salt.”

Perhaps when looking for supplements to help with managing arthritis pain, muscle soreness, the effects of osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, plantars faciatitis, Bell’s Palsey or the effects of menopause, you scour the web.  Be sure to take a look at the Shaklee website.  Nearly every product has a label and an article about its properties and benefits.

Next week, The Landmark Study, what the University of California School of Public Health concluded after looking at the health of people who had supplemented with Shaklee vitamins contrasted with those who took regular multivitamins and others who took none.

It’s your turn:  Comments, please. Do you rely on Consumer Report for major purchases?  How do you experience “Urban Myths”?  Do you fall for them?  Dig deeper?  Pass them on?  We’d love to hear from you.

Shop my page for the most reliable way to prevention along with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

Facebook Twitter Email

10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements Refuted

Gentle Reader,

In the September 2012 issue of Consumer Reports an article consists of 10 warnings about the potential dangers of food supplements. In my last post, I quoted Dr. Steven Chaney’s refutation of the first six of those warnings. As he pointed out, “all of those warnings were true, but they pertained to such a small portion of the food supplements in the market that they were almost meaningless.”

My hope for you as a consumer, is you might be more discerning and stay away from supplements that are worthless or dangerous or both.  When trying to prevent future disease and/or mediate arthritis pain, muscle soreness, osteoporosis and the effects of osteoarthritis, you want the supplements you take to do the job.  The news stories can discourage you from believing you are spending your money wisely and maybe those bottles of supplements gather dust in the back corner of your kitchen cupboard.

Let’s see what Dr. Chaney has to say about this statement by the Consumer Report authors:

# 7 heart and cancer protection of food supplements is not proven.

“While it is extremely difficult to definitively prove the efficacy of food supplements, the article is written in such a way that one might be led to believe that food supplements have definitely been proven not to be affected. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Quoting Dr. Chaney, who directs a cancer research lab at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “The truth is that some experts have an anti-supplement bias. They require multiple studies before they will admit that a supplement might be beneficial. However, they accept a single study suggesting that a supplement doesn’t work or that it might be harmful as the absolute truth. These reports are picked up by the media, and after they’ve been repeated often enough they take on a life of their own. They become “urban myths”, and become generally accepted as true.

“So I would like to take a little more time and discuss some of the claims that in this section of the Consumer Reports article.

Claim #1 calcium supplements inevitably increase the risk of heart attack. 

“The problem is likely one of calcium supplement design rather than a characteristic of all calcium supplements. Those calcium supplements designed solely to get calcium into the bloodstream quickly are problematic because all that excess calcium has to go somewhere – and calcification of our arteries is not a good thing.

“What you should look for is calcium supplements that are designed to maximize the incorporation of calcium into your bones. Not only is that likely to decrease the risk that the calcium ends up somewhere where it shouldn’t be, but it also increases the probability that the calcium ends up where it should be – in your bones.

Claim #2  omega-3 fatty acids don’t actually decrease the risk of heart attack or stroke. The authors of the Consumer Reports article did note that several previous studies had shown that omega-3 fatty acids decreased the risk of heart attack, but seemed to suggest that those studies were invalidated by a recent study showing no effect of omega-3 supplementation in people at high risk for heart attack and stroke.

“The problem with the most recent study was that the patients in the study were already on 3 to 5 drugs that lowered the risk of heart disease. All this study showed was that omega-3 fatty acids did not offer any incremental benefit for patients who were already maxed out on medications.

“This study was silent on the important question of whether omega-3 fatty acids by themselves might decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke. Thus, this most recent study does not invalidate the several previous studies showing a beneficial effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Claim #3 antioxidant supplements might actually increase the risk of cancer, especially prostate cancer.

“That claim is based on a single, flawed meta-analysis. That study excluded any studies showing beneficial effects of antioxidants. In addition, the increased cancer risk reported in the meta-analysis was almost entirely due to a single study in which vitamin E was combined with estrogen replacement therapy – which is known to increase the risk of cancer.

“The authors of the Consumer Reports article completely ignored a second publication that reanalyzed the data and pointed out the flaws in the previous study. They also ignored a recent study showing that antioxidants significantly decreased cancer risk.

Dr. Chaney challenged the study blaming Vitamin E for increased the risk of prostate cancer, saying that it “had several flaws, and was directly contradicted by two previous studies showing that vitamin E significantly decreases the risk of prostate cancer.

“In summary, I don’t mean to suggest that studies claiming that certain supplements could do some harm are completely baseless. In fact, I have long warned that high potency, high purity individual nutrients, such as pure alpha-tocopherol or pure beta-carotene, do have the potential to cause more harm than good. That is because they can interfere with the absorption of similar nutrients that have beneficial effects themselves. I have long advocated for a holistic approach to supplementation rather than relying on individual high potency, high purity supplements.

“Based on the recent research with calcium supplements I would add the warning that supplements that are solely designed on the basis of how fast the nutrients can get to the bloodstream, without any consideration of where they go once they get into the bloodstream, also may have the potential to do more harm than good.

“As a scientist I am appalled that single studies suggesting lack of efficacy or the potential for harm are given more weight than multiple studies suggesting the benefits of supplementation. I think much more research is needed before we start to tell people to avoid antioxidant supplements or that supplements don’t really provide any benefits. If we look at the total body of published literature, the evidence for the benefits of supplementation far outweighs the evidence for risk.”

Now it’s your turn:  Take action and keep this conversation going about the value of supplementation.  What is your actual experience?  Go to the comment section and leave me your remarks.

To shop for the most researched and proven bioavailable calcium product on the market, go here.

The same is true for Vitamin E, a supplement with all the tocopherols, balanced and enhanced with selenium and grape seed extract can be purchased here.

Stay tuned for the next blog when Dr. Chaney will make his concluding remarks in response to the Consumer Report article.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

Facebook Twitter Email

10 Reasons Vitamins aren’t dangerous Part 1

Gentle Reader,

I have been more direct in recent posts about the value of supplementing and specifically supplementing with Shaklee vitamins for alleviating arthritis pain, joint pain and muscle soreness.  I assume that you, like me do a lot of research on the internet before making a purchase, or when confronted with a problem symptom or diagnosis.  You are out there “googling” every aspect of a topic you care about.

In September one of the most revered journals we all turn to or have turned to in the past, Consumer’s Report, came out with an article titled:  “10 Surprising Dangers of Vitamins and Supplements“.

In this and the next 2 posts I will share with you the analysis of this report by Dr. Steven Chaney, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1992-present.  Dr. Chaney publishes an online “Tips from the Profession” blog in which he comments on the latest research in the health and wellness field.  These critiques in journals such as Consumer’s Report, often miss important nuances that people need when researching value in the supplements they are taking.

Let’s look with Dr. Chaney at the warnings the authors have made one by one and put them in perspective.  Dr. Chaney’s comments are in quotes.

#1  supplements are not risk-free.

“That is true up to a point. There are some bad players in the industry but they produce a very small minority
of the supplements in the marketplace – probably less than 2%.

“To understand just how small a problem this really is, we really need to put the warning into perspective. The
authors said that there were 6,300 reports of serious adverse effects and 115 deaths associated with dietary
supplements between 2007 and 2012. That corresponds to 1,260 serious adverse effects and 23 deaths per year.

“In contrast, there are over 2.2 million adverse drug reactions and over 125,000 deaths per year from medications taken as properly prescribed.  [Does this make the press and head line our magazines and newspapers?]

“So which is more dangerous – food supplements or prescription drugs?

#2  some supplements are really prescription drugs.

“Again that is a true statement, but it represents only a few bad apples in the industry – it’s not the industry norm.

“The worst offenders are among supplements marketed for bodybuilding, weight loss, and sexual enhancement -especially those that promise instant or effortless results. These supplements often contain stimulants or synthetic steroids. As I have said in the past “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. So just avoid those supplements that advertise that they will make the pounds just melt away or enable you to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

# 3   you can overdose on vitamins and minerals.

“That’s kind of a no-brainer. You can overdose on almost anything – even water.

“Now I do not want to minimize the possibility of overdosing on vitamins and minerals. It can happen.
Most of those 1,260 serious adverse effects reported each year are probably due to overdosing – although
some of them may represent drug – nutrient interactions.

“If you are taking high levels of vitamins and minerals, I do recommend that you familiarize yourself with the
safe upper limits set by the Institute of Medicine and the Office of Dietary Supplements. You can find that at
www.ods.od.nih.gov.  [When I first starting using Shaklee, I worried about this.  A person who had been taking Shaklee for 20 years told me the only way Shaklee vitamins could hurt you was by dropping a case of them on your foot.]

#4 you can’t depend on warning labels.

“Again, that is true with a small minority of the supplements out there. In fact, it is a good way to
distinguish between the fly-by-night companies and the reputable companies.

“My advice to you is to do your due diligence. Look for responsible, reputable companies that put warning
labels on their supplements.

#5  no supplements have been proven to cure major diseases.

“As the authors point out the FDA does not allow claims that supplements can diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat,
or prevent diseases. These claims are only allowed for FDA approved drugs.

“If you see claims that a supplement can cure or treat a disease, run the other way. Reputable companies would not make such a claim.

#6  buy with caution from botanicas.

“The authors are referring to stores that sell traditional medicinal plants for physical or spiritual healings.  [We have a number of these in Seattle with Asian herbalists selling products traditional to their culture.  I have safely used several items on the recommendation of my acupuncturist.]  The botanica type stores are completely unregulated, so you have no idea what you’re actually getting.  [This caution has] very little to do with the supplements that you and I are likely to be purchasing on a regular basis.”

I am grateful to Dr. Chaney for his thoughtful reading of the article’s findings.  It helps us put the headliner in perspective.  Don’t let those warnings scare you away from supplementation. Instead let Consumer Report’s 10 points  help you choose high quality supplements from reputable manufacturers, and hopefully help keep you from falling for hype and deceptive advertising used by a very small segment of supplement manufacturers.  In my next posting, I’ll bring Dr. Cheney on again to comment on the other 3 heralded causes for concern.

Now, take action:  Leave a comment about your fears and concerns about supplements. Let’s get a conversation going about safety and supplementation.

If you thought this information worth reading, pass it on to your friends by re-posting and putting the quick link ( http://wp.me/p2AJkQ-3R )on your facebook page.

For the top of the line supplements sold through me by the number 1 Natural Nutrition Company in the US, hop over to my shopping page.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

Facebook Twitter Email

How to Keep Your Hand Moving–Without Pain

Gentle Reader,

A good friend is suffering from arthritis in her hand causing discomfort playing tennis and gripping the handles of her hiking pole. Her pain, like the arthritis pain in many aging hands, is the gradual deterioration of the joints because of continued use and abuse over a long, productive life.

In 1980 when I was cross country skiing with one of my daughters and a couple other mother/daughter teams up in whistler, BC, I hit an early morning patch of shade at the bottom of a long sun-warmed downhill.  The sudden change threw me off balance.  Gripping the pole twisted my thumb right out of its socket.  The big bone at the base that creates our opposing pincher strength thrust up over the back of the hand.  Luckily my companion had an extra ski tip, a sandwich bag with ice and an ace bandage in her pack.  I skied the 3 – 4 miles back to the Whistler plaza area.  But I didn’t take care of the problem right away.  Knowing how foggy minded I am without food, I had a sandwich, chatting in the sun with the others before going to the emergency doctor.  He, of course, scolded me for not getting to him immediately, pulled the dislocated thumb joint into place and made a temporary splint.  My daughter, a newly minted licensed driver, got us home safely to Seattle.

At the University Hospital, the orthopedist crafted a form fitting splint and sent me on my way.  There was little to no physical therapy afterwards.

Today this thumb joint is disfigured, but never hurts.  In the late 80’s it throbbed and ached frequently and I doubted I would be able to continue to play the flute.

Who do you know whose livelihood depends on fully functioning hands?  Musicians, typists, writers, doctors, and carpenters just to name a few.

Read on for a scientific discussion of the hand and arthritis in its joints.  But before you do, I want you to take action based on this blog post.

Go to the comment section and tell us how your hands are doing and what it would mean to you to lose their dexterity and strength.

Go to my Shaklee shopping page and read about the products that turn this advancing arthritis pain around, keeping the joints healthy and mobile.

Share this article with someone you know who is suffering from joint inflammation, joint pain in the hands whether from an injury or wear and tear of age so they can chose an alternative to the treatments described in the medical information to follow.

What is the cause of arthritis pain in the hand? When arthritis is due to trauma, the cartilage is damaged.

A doctor can diagnose arthritis of the hand by examining the hand and by taking X-rays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m giving you a link to a thorough and detailed article published by the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons.  Because of the copyright law, I will not include the whole text in this post.  http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00224

What I will point out is that there is never a mention of nutrition as a possible abatement, intervention or even treatment for a painful, swollen arthritic joint.  What I can tell you from personal experience and the experience of thousands of others is that a nutritionally supported joint will remain functional, will heal itself and will serve you for many years without the surgeries described.  It is wonderful the medical profession has developed these treatments, but why not avoid them as long as we possibly can?

When I am talking nutrition, I am not limiting that to food intake or a couple multi-vitamins a day.  Some of us need to supplement far more as well as eating a diet of green leafy vegetables, brightly colors fruits, lean protein, little or no dairy, processed sugar or wheat.  For my thumb to stay supple and allow me to write for 45 minutes, keeping the pen moving across the page, or weeding for 45 minute without pain, I must have at least 3000 mg. of vitamin C a day.  I add the oils to that:  3 servings of the omega oils, 3 servings of GLA, 3 servings of Lecithin.  If that seems like a lot, maybe your body would get all the help it needs from a highly absorbable and effective Joint Health supplement with glucosamine hydrochloride and Boswellia that penetrates and increases mobility. I noticed additional comfort when I added this to my diet.  Take a look at this video.  If your current supplement program isn’t bringing you the relief you want, may I suggest 90 days with the Shaklee equivalents and Joint Health Complex?  Changing brands could change your life.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

 

Facebook Twitter Email

My Hands Don’t hurt

Gentle Reader,

Today I sat with a group of women doing writing practice.  One lovely person a few years younger than I read aloud when it was her turn and shared her wistful memories of back packing.  Having all she needed in the world for simple shelter, nourishing and simple food, everything necessary in her pack was her idea of the best possible situation.

I feel this way, too, and eagerly asked her afterwards if she is still back packing.  She said, no, her husband was leaving soon but she would have to stay behind.  She had no energy and was taking many medications for various problems.  Still walking along the beach most every day, she takes solace in that pleasure, but has mourned her loss of this most freeing experience, setting off for a wilderness place with all her necessities in her pack.

This story came across my desk last week.  As I heard my new friend’s story of medications and energy loss, I wondered if this could be her story, too.

Hands No Longer Hurt

“As you know, Shaklee vitamins  and Liver DTX have put my hepatitis C into remission. After adding the soy protein I now have energy and the doctor says my liver is again soft and no longer swollen.

The new news is that I finished up the Cal/Mag and now have been using the OsteoMatrix for about a week. My hands no longer hurt! It was becoming a daily heartache to endure this additional pain. I have hope that my hip pain will also stop as it has already been reduced.

Years ago I was on 4 different interferon programs, 8 – 10 months each, and the medicine had me bedridden without any medical benefits and plenty of side effects. Today I am a new person! I thank God for you and Shaklee.” Fran Shaughnessy

I was recently sitting with another woman who is riddled with arthritis and has had most of her joints operated on.  She has had gold shots and takes morphine for pain. Of course, her doctors are monitoring her liver and they claim she is tolerating the 8 – 10 prescriptions she is taking.  She is also taking many different vitamins and other supplements.  She has decided to turn to Shaklee to see if the products from the #1 Natural Nutrition Company will make a difference.  I can’t tell you yet how this is going as she only began yesterday. She will continue taking all prescription meds and specific supplements.  Together we will monitor how she feels and let her doctors decided through blood tests whether her arthritis symptoms, fibromyalgia and other conditions are improving enough over time to reduce any of the medications.

I have recommended Liver DTX, Optiflora, Fiber Plan and Herb Lax, all signature Shaklee products designed to help the digestive system function optimally, eliminate toxins and repair the bruised and over worked lower intestine and liver so that the medications will actually serve the body as the doctor hopes.  She will also use Vitalizer and Energizing Soy Protein to help boost her overall health.

Now, dear reader, go to your pill drawer and take count of the prescriptions and over the counter drugs, the vitamins and other supplements you have either been prescribed or are taking because you think they might help.  May I suggest that by simply changing brands to Shaklee for the vitamins alone, you might improve your situation dramatically?

Do you know how the various pills interact? Are you flying solo making your choices, or are you consulting with a nutritionist/Naturopath/Physician about all the many things you take (or the few things). Here is an excellent web site that will help sort this out.  Then come back and spread the word.

Do you have a friend or family member who might benefit from thinking about their medications and supplements from a new point of view? If so, pass this post along to someone you know and care about.

And finally, like my BetsyBells Health4u Face book page.  Friend me at www.facebook.com/betsyjbell.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Knee Pain: an early warning sign of Osteoarthritis

Gentle Reader,

This is just in from the Johns Hopkins:

Knee Pain: An Early
Warning Sign of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, affecting an estimated 27 million people in the United States. By age 40, approximately 90 percent of us have at least some signs of osteoarthritis that can be seen on X-rays of the weight-bearing joints (the hips and knees, for example), but symptoms of pain and stiffness usually don’t start until later in life. 

Now, researchers from Canada report that knee pain may be an early warning sign of osteoarthritis (OA). Their study was published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research(Volume 62, page 1691).

The researchers obtained X-ray and MRI scans of 255 people with knee pain who were 40 to 79 years old. Pre-radiographic osteoarthritis (signs of cartilage damage seen on MRI but not yet evident on X-ray) was identified in 49 percent, and radiographic osteoarthritis (signs of cartilage damage on X-ray) was identified in 38 percent. Only 13 percent had a normal X-ray and MRI.

Factors linked to a higher chance of having radiographic osteoarthritis or pre-radiographic osteoarthritis included abnormal gait (nearly 11 times higher risk), older age (nearly three times higher risk for each 10-year increase), playing sports regularly after age 20 (35 percent higher risk for each 10 years), knee swelling and difficulty fully stretching the knee joint.

The bottom line: If you have knee pain, don’t ignore it. Early identification of osteoarthritis can lead to early treatment and relief. 

Duh!  This is a no brainer, isn’t it?  My question to you and to them, what are we supposed to do about it?  We have the early warning signs. Now what?

In these blog posts, I have explored various modalities of care and presented strategies for alleviating pain and slowing down the onset of severe osteoarthritis.  If you are a new reader, I suggest you explore back posts for suggestions.

The bottom line is two fold:

1.  Get to your ideal weight and stay there.  Even 15 pounds off your current weight (if you are over weight) will make a difference in your joints.

2.  Keep moving.  Find something to do that is pleasurable and that you will look forward to each day and DO IT.  Do NOT, under any and all circumstances, stop moving.

I have a great friend who was in a wheel chair with her osteoarthritis and on multiple medications to manage the pain.  A friend persuaded her to seek the counsel of a chiropractor who specializes in blood work and supplementation (primarily by Shaklee).  He analyzes the blood and makes recommendations about diet and supplements.  The most important advice to Luanne was find something to do that she loved.  She didn’t like walking, hiking, dancing, skiing, roller blading, mountain climbing.  Nothing pleased her.  Nothing made her want it more than the pain she had to endure to try out the activity.

One day she was walking near a dock where people were stepping in to sculls, single and double.  She was invited to take a turn and fell in love with sitting in the slim, fast boat down low in the water.  As she became more proficient, she got off her medications and ate the better diet along with the prescribed supplements.  She became pain free.  Luanne went on to win national championships in single scull racing.  Today she is slim, beautiful and healthy.

Find the movement of your choice.  Maybe it’s turning on the TV or radio to your favorite jazz or Latin music station.  There’s someplace in your house where you can dance to your favorite music.  Maybe you’d enjoy a little trampoline.  It takes up a tiny space and is reputed to help increase bone density.  Whatever it is, Go for it.

The doctor’s name is Dr. Richard Brouse.  I send him my blood for diagnosis and suggestions for diet and supplements.  Having his analysis and prescription for supplements makes my vitamin purchases tax deductible.  (I am not giving tax advice.  I am not qualified to do so.  This is just what I do and have done for 25 years.) It is expensive but worth it.  After all, you are going to pay for your health one way or another.  Why not pay now and avoid the steep costs looming ahead of you, not to mention the loss of work and play time.

Dr. Brouse will suggest food supplements by Shaklee. In another post, I recommend the ones that are most effective at restoring your body to good health and alleviating arthritis pain.  (You can browse the Product Guide here.)

When you take your knee pain to the doctor, they will most likely tell you to expect arthritis in the near future and predict knee replacement therapy down the road.  I had these predictions in 1989.  I have no knee pain and have never had knee replacement.  I take a lot of supplements.  People who watch me swallow a handful of them, think I’m nuts.  All I can say is that I love being able to hike to Mt. Rainier pain free, to be able to dance the salsa, and run fast across the street, to scramble down the bank at Shark’s Reef on Lopez Island, to last physically in the art museum longer than my brain can take all that stimulation.

I wish the same for you.

Now, tell me in the comment section, what your thoughts are about your early warning signs, if you have any.  And by all means let us all know what supplements you have found that help.  Did you sign up to get the notification of the next posting?

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

 

Facebook Twitter Email

But I don’t know how to cook greens!

I keep advising you to eat lots of Swiss chard, collard greens, kale, mustard greens and you say, but I don’t like greens.  Greens are one of the best foods for arthritic joints and arthritis in general.  They provide minerals and help with inflammation. It is possible to cook them so they are delicious.

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.  All of these nutrients help with reducing pain, especially joint pain.

Perhaps the star of these nutrients is Vitamin K. A cup of most cooked greens provides at least nine times the minimum recommended intake of Vitamin K, and even a couple of cups of dark salad greens usually provide the minimum all on their own. Recent research has provided evidence that this vitamin may be even more important than we once thought (the current minimum may not be optimal), and many people do not get enough of it.

Our ancestors ate a grocery bag full of green leaves every day.  We won’t do that, but I can tell you that I buy a bunch of any of these greens from my health food grocery store and eat the whole bunch in one sitting, or divide it in two meals if I have other vegetables on the menu.  Once you develop a taste for greens, you’ll want them 5 days a week.

Here’s a quick and easy way to prepare a delicious one dish meal with collards.

1. put the skillet on the stove with 2 tbls olive oil

2. slice half an onion into the oil (use a spatter lid)

3. slice a lean sausage into the oil (this is unnecessary if you have a meat/fish item for the meal.) I like to use sausage because it makes it a one dish.  I buy lean organic chicken, lamb or turkey sausage and have them in the freezer for just such an occasion.  No need to defrost.  Just slice with your strongest knife and put in the skillet with the onions.

4.  take 3 large collard leaves and pull the green away from the stems.

5. slice a zucchini or summer squash into ½ inch rounds (if you have them)

6. Place green and zucchini on top of onions, and sausage, add a sprinkle of salt, put a tight fitting lid on and turn the burner down to medium low for 5 minutes.

7. serve. 

Before you rush to the store, take a minute to tell us what your favorite way of preparing and eating greens is.  Go ahead, help us out.  We want less arthritis pain, fewer medications and greater mobility, so share you’re “greens” story.

You say you will never get enough of this stuff to help your aching body?  Then click right over to the Shaklee shopping page and browse for Alfalfa tablets, Carotomax, Flavomax, Omega Guard, B Complex, Vita – C.  The foundation product is Vitalizer which contains all these nutritents. For people who don’t have time to cook and want to eat like our ancestors.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

Facebook Twitter Email

How I find time on my “to-do” list for exercise

Gentle Reader,

You’re too busy, you say, to exercise.  Here I am at the Shaklee convention in Las Vegas where it is too hot to breath outside and too stale to breath inside the air conditioning.  I’m one of those Northwesterners who lives and breathes in and out nothing but fresh air.

We are sitting in large auditoriums all day long.  What’s a person to do?

1. Get up 20 minutes earlier than you need to and spend that extra time stretching.

2. Walk up all the stair cases that present themselves.

3. Take breaks to stand where you are sitting.  You’ll be surprised how often it is possible to stand up in a meeting or conference.  Watch for those moments.

4.  Adjust your posture, pull your shoulders back; breath deeply into your belly.  It’s all about the oxygen.

Here is a blog post I came across that you might enjoy written by a former personal trainer.

Right now, take a minute to tell us what strategies you use to pack in 30 minutes of cardio a day by posting a comment below.

Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

Put exercise on your “A” to-do list February 24, 2010

Posted by jscolwell in Uncategorized.
Tags: 
add a comment

One of the most common problems people have with exercising is finding time, or rather making time, to do it. Granted life is chuck full for most of us, especially those who are working full time and raising kids. But for people over 50 especially who intend to live long, healthy, happy years and being present in person, not just in spirit, at their grandchild’s wedding, regular exercise is not optional in my opinion. In fact it may be literally a life or death matter. The single most important thing we can do for healthy longevity is physical activity which strengthens, stretches and moves the entire body. And if health clubs aren’t involved it’s basically free. Studies have shown that simply walking briskly for 30 minutes five times a week is vital to preventing diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, stroke and heart problems. If you realize the importance of this and have the desire to do it but are time-challenged here are a few tips.

1. Plan your exercise routine at the beginning of each week. Write it into your schedule with bold, red ink with specific notes as to what exercise you’ll do. Make it as important as a hair appointment and don’t let anything, rain or snow, keep you from it.

2. Realize that you can divide up your exercise into segments. For example, a 30-minute walk can be broken into two 15-minute or three 10-minute segments.

3. Often it all comes down to choices. It may mean 30 minutes less TV time, or exercising on a treadmill or lifting weights while your watching.

4. If you are employed use part of your lunch hour to get some of your exercise in.

5. Always look for ways to move your body — playing with your kids or grandkids, vacuuming, gardening — all help, especially if regular planned exercise is hard to come by some days. Move, move, move.

6. Save time by doing exercising in and around your home and not driving to a fitness club.

6. Check out my new book, “The No Nonsense Guide To Fitness” for more ideas.

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Steps you can take to stop Plantar Fasciitis pain.

Gentle Reader,

Has this happened to you?

You make a goal to step up your fitness training to prepare for a back packing trip.  Maybe, like me, you have a big hike in your future and your friends are suggesting that you need to train harder for it.  After all, the Alps are high mountains.  You start at 5000 ft and go up from there.  You say you’re just going to be in the North Cascades.  Maybe you just want to do the 3 day walk for the Cure next time it comes to town.

You double your effort.  Instead of walking 3 – 4 miles 3 times a week, I increased to daily walks of that length.

Within 10 days of the increase, I felt a twinge in my heel and a shooting pain up my calf.  I recognized this sensation right away because years ago I had a similar experience, ignored it for 6 months.  Major interventions were necessary.  I had to abandon my favorite form of exercise, running.   Not good.

To save you the trouble, I have condensed information from excellent resources.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.

You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:

  • Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches)
  • Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
  • Sudden weight gain or obesity
  • Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  • Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles

Plantar fasciitis is the most common orthopedic complaint relating to the foot that affects people over 40, men and women alike.

Check out the reference for symptoms and description of the pain.

I will cut to the chase and give you those tricks to moving past this problem quickly:

1. Stop doing what hurts.  I cancelled out of a training hike to Pratt Lake, an elevation gain of 2300 ft in 8 ½ miles along a beautifully maintained trail in old growth cedar, hemlock and fir in the Snoqualmie pass area, already snow free while many high places still have snow on the trail.  Perhaps you are like me and have a really hard time cancelling activities like this.  Do it anyway.  Be proud of yourself for listening to your body.  Stop doing what hurts.

2. Ice the heel.  15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.

3. Take an anti-inflammatory if needed.  Personally, I only hurt when I am walking a couple of miles, about 20 – 30 minutes into the walk.  I can manage the pain with Shaklee’s Pain Relief tablets, but this isn’t about managing pain, this is about calming the irritation, reducing swelling, getting back to healthy facia.

4. Stretch the Achilles tendon and heel.  I use a strap, lie on my back and push into the strap with my foot perpendicular to the floor.  It actually hurts like hell so I know I need to do this more than I do.  Peggy Cappy’s yoga for back pain relief gets me stretching longer with greater benefit. Here’s an excellent 1 minute video for healing Achilles tendon injuries.

5. Cross train to keep up your fitness level.  I dusted off my bike and filled the tires and sailed down to the beach on Alki from the top of Genesee Hill.  The challenge was coming back up and I made it without having to walk by going around the long, slow, gradual way.  You can swim, too.  Anything that takes the pressure off the arch.

6.  Be patient with your body.  Perhaps this is the hardest of all.  On the plus side, when you are on a bike, you can cover more ground, see more of the beautiful area you live in.  The lake or river near you is pleasant this time of year.  Go for it.  No thumb sucking, pity me.  I’m talking to myself here.  I love the efficiency of walking for exercise.  It takes more planning to bike or swim, a bigger chunk out of the day.  Just do it or you might lose all that ground you’ve been gaining with your walking program.

7.  Prevent this happening to you in the first place.

a. Don’t suddenly change your routine without stretching more as well.

b. Keep the Achilles tendon and heel flexible.

c. Wear good supportive firm-heeled shoes whenever you walk or run.

d. Get a pair of orthotic inserts for great arch support.

Take action!  Begin these exercises today.

Like this information?  Sign up to get more tips of how to Be Well and Keep Moving each week.

Please, take a minute to let me know what you have done about Achilles tendon troubles. You know, your best orthotic, your most effective exercise, the way you handled a temporary set back.  We’ll all benefit from your experience.

Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u

www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077

betsy@hihohealth.com

 

 

Facebook Twitter Email

Eat to eliminate inflammation

Eat to Defeat Inflammation

Gentle Reader,

At a picnic last night there was a lot of talk about pomegranate for lowering pain and inflammation in joints affected by arthritis.  I have posted about this before, and wanted to bring this post to you from the health sciences department of Shaklee.  The Shaklee corporation scientists and medical staff work to develop products that get into the blood stream and deliver results.  They engage leaders in the medical world to help focus their research and often join in a research project.  They have developed several products that help with inflammation which you can explore on my Shaklee shopping site on Joint Health.  I’ll also give you this link to the anti-oxidants which we try to get from our healthy diets, but might not get enough to do the job.  Posted by  on Jul 17, 2012 in Natural Nutrition

Eat to Defeat Inflammation

The first nutrition course I ever took in college changed my life. I was absolutely fascinated to learn what vitamins and minerals were and how important they are for good health. It was also about that time I finally understood what Hippocrates meant when he said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Today, that saying is even more important as nutrition science has come a long way since I took that first nutrition course.  Just think about inflammation, your body’s natural protective response to illness or injury. In fact, a little inflammation under normal circumstances can be a good thing. When you cut yourself, you want your immune system to respond quickly by sending white blood cells to your wound to fight off infection. But a low-grade persistent state of chronic inflammation is not a good thing. In this circumstance, white blood cells inappropriately move into tissues and cause destruction. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to a whole host of health conditions from type 2 diabetes and arthritis to heart disease, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory effects of certain foods, a healthful diet can help you fight off inflammation, (Regular exercise, not smoking, and losing weight are powerful tools, too.) Start by eating less of the “bad stuff”— fast food burgers, French fries, and sodas, as well as sweets such as cookies, cakes, and pies. These highly processed foods loaded with fat, sugar, and salt promote inflammation, while eating more of the “good stuff”—yes, more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts—inhibits and protects against inflammation. Here are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods:

Fish and walnuts. Salmon and tuna are great sources of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, as are walnuts. These foods help offset the pro-inflammatory effects of omega-6 fatty acids, which are pervasive in our diet. Omega-6 fats are found in eggs, corn, soy, and safflower oils.

Olive oil. Studies suggest consuming a Mediterranean-style diet—a diet high in plant foods and olive oil—helps decrease joint tenderness in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Red wine and dark chocolate. Resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine, has been shown to inhibit inflammation, while the consumption of dark chocolate, something I do almost daily, has been linked to lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of inflammation in the body.

Turmeric. Spice up your life. Turmeric, also known as curry, is a traditional spice of Indian cuisine. In a recent pilot study, supplemental turmeric helped reduce joint tenderness and swelling in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Tart cherries. It’s cherry season and according to the latest researchtart cherries may have the highest anti-inflammatory content of any food. In a recent study, women with osteoarthritis who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for several weeks experienced a significant reduction in important markers of inflammation.

Eating to fight inflammation could be one of the best things you do for yourself. For your next meal, how about some salmon curry and a glass of red wine, followed by some tart cherries covered in dark chocolate for dessert?    Sounds good, doesn’t it?  That’s is for now.  Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving.  Betsy   206-933-1889  www.GrandmaBetsyBell.com

Facebook Twitter Email