Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Joint lubrication exercise

Good morning, Dear Ones.

For the past several years I have been studying Tai Chi with Viola Brumbaugh, a gifted practitioner of martial arts. She offers weekly classes for Seniors and introduces every Tai Chi session with a Qi Gong joint lubrication. It is with deep humility that I offer my best version of this warm-up. Know that I am a beginner, an amateur, a practitioner of the lowest level. I offer this to you because so many of you worry about mobility, falling, being unsteady on your feet, having challenges with shoulders, wrists, hips, and knees. So here is my version of the classic Qi Gong. Enjoy. Here it is.



Be Well, Do Well, and Keep moving!  Betsy

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Triple Defense Boost Immune support

Triple Defense Boost is naturally berry flavored powder mix. Stir in hot or cold water to make a delicious immune support drink so you can power your immune system.

Triple Defense has vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, plant-based adaptogens, (yeast Beta-Glucan, Reishi Mushroom extract, Ginseng root extract) elderberry, echinacea and Quercetin, all of which support, boost and defend your immunity. These ingredients play a critical role in boosting the Natural Killer cell activity by 3x and increasing lymphocytes by 5.8x. Good news for your immune function.

As I write this, I am sipping a blend of Triple Defense Boost and Energy tea. Yummy.

The wonderful energy teas you rely on–Green tea, Pomegranate Green tea–have a new flavor added: Elderberry Energy tea. Delicious.

What if you could design a personal supplement plan? Now, you can.

Me+ology: Design a Daily dose of exactly what you need to thrive so you take the guess work out of your program for a healthier lifestyle. Use the assessment tool Shaklee scientists have developed to reveal what you need and why in the way of supplements. The tool considered over a 1,000+ factors including your age, gender and life stage, your health goals, your diet preferences and sensitivities, your health, your life-style, your medications, your family health history, what you eat, your nutrient needs and how everything mentioned affects each other, so your plan fits you.

Once you have a simple path forward and pick a plan essential to your needs, you order a month’s supply of the nutrients and they come pre-packaged in a little pouch with your name on it: Hi, Betsy, Your personalized supplements. I love it. My assessment was right on.

Go to my website and click on the Meology personal plan.

From the Heart…..

The smoke got to me, even put me to bed. My whole digestive system went haywire. I’m on the mend now, but not without the help of a Gastroenterologist at the Polyclinic and a NAET acupuncturist to help re-balance my system. I’m grateful for both conventional medical and alternative health care. I hope you all are fortunate to live where you can take advantage of both kinds of interventions when you suffer from dis-ease.

How are you doing with the virus and sheltering with your chosen pod of family and friends? What are you missing most? I miss going to music venues like the Opera, the Seattle Symphony, and the theater. The artists are doing what they can to bring entertainment to us, but Zoom can become tiresome, especially if you have many online meetings, appointments, social or work related events. There is nothing like dressing up, going out to dinner and to a show.

My garden has been my solace. Close friends have gathered around the fire pit for food and drink and conversation. Once we sat under individual umbrellas while the logs hissed. It will be harder as the weather drives us indoors. Be well, dear Ones.

If you would like to be in touch with me on a regular basis, please subscribe to my face book page. I do a less-than-ten-minute health tip every Thursday morning live at 8:30 Pacific Time. It can be watched any time after that. I would love to hear from you.

Betsy Bell

4455 51st Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116

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B Complex – Why supplement?

Facts about B-Complex

B vitamins are referred to as the “happy vitamins” – the “cope-ability vitamins.”

The most important thing to remember is that ALL 8 Essential B VITAMINS should be taken together in “COMPLEX” form and in the proper ratio. (You can throw your metabolism off by taking an isolated B vitamin…or ones that are out of balance.)

Research has shown that Folic Acid (a B Vitamin, and VERY important to health) is hard to break away from the tableting material….so they have coated the B Complex with Folic Acid so that it is the 1st to be released.

If a person is tired, irritable, nervous, depressed, or even suicidal expect a vitamin B deficiency.

B vitamins are destroyed by intense heat, slow cooking, light, baking soda and baking powder.

Extremely effective in alleviating PMS and Menopausal symptoms. (Calcium Magnesium will help with chocolate cravings during PMS, in addition to relieving muscle cramps, i.e., abdominal, leg, etc.)

SUGAR, ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE and STRESS all destroy B vitamins.

People deficient in B vitamins quickly become anemic, are nervous, do not sleep well (insomnia), crave sweets, and have high cholesterol levels. A slight deficiency can cause abnormal heart action, constipation, and mental depression.

Acne or other skin problems indicate a lack of B vitamins.
B vitamins are necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system.
B-Complex is essential in calming hyperactivity in children with none of the side effects that medications produce.
B vitamins convert fats into energy.
Infection and stress increase need for B-Complex. Sulfa drugs, sleeping pills, and estrogen destroy B Vitamins.
B vitamins help boost the immune system.

Adequate amounts of B-Complex have been found to control migraine headaches and attacks of Meniere’s Syndrome. Massive dosages have been used to improve polio, cases of shingles, and postoperative nausea and vomiting (resulting from anesthesia).

  • B vitamins help with fatigue, skin disorders, cracks at the corner of the mouth and cracks in your cuticles, ridges in your nails, anemia, tender gums, hair loss, constipation, burning feet, burning and dry eyes.
  • B-Complex aids in digestion.
    B-Complex is chiefly responsible for the health of the digestive tract, the skin, mouth, tongue, eyes, nerves, arteries, and liver.
    B vitamins are water-soluble; thus, need to be taken through the day.

And of course, the Folic Acid in the Balanced Shaklee B Complex decreases the risk in pregnancy of neuro tube defects in the baby…that’s why prenatal vitamins are “prenatal”…so that the baby can have the Folic Acid in the very early pregnancy. Shaklee’s Vita-Lea Multivitamin and B Complex have been an excellent choice of prenatal vitamins for mothers for years!

In Summary…

B Vitamins are needed by the:
• Brain and Nervous System
• Immune System
• Skin
• Hormones

B Vitamins are used up:
• whenever we evoke the stress response
• anytime we eat…
1. white flour
2. sugar
3. caffeine
4. alcohol
just to metabolize these foods, we burn up B’s

  • B Vitamins are normalizers:
    if you are fatigued, they help to give you energy
    if you are hyperactive, they help to calm you down

B Vitamins are mostly used or lost in 2-4 hours and need to be replaced to keep the blood levels up.

Most of us who take enough B’s can tell the difference in our mood, energy and patience, by taking Shaklee B Complex, three times a day.

(The last 2 not close to bedtime…because they can give you energy and you’ll be vacuuming at midnight) However, when you become balanced, taking them right before bed can help to keep your blood sugar from being so low in the morning.

There are 8 essential B’s in Shaklee’s B Complex, balanced and complete.

Be well, Do well, and Keep Moving!


Betsy Bell’s Health4U
4455 51st Ave. SW
Seattle, WA 98116
206 409 5940 Personal Shaklee shopping page

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Sooth chapped hands

Hand sanitizer that moisturizes
Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer 99% effective against viruses.

Have your hands become raw, cracked, red? That hand sanitizer! There are so many on the market and the supply is pretty good now that the various supply chains and manufacturers have pulled themselves together. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a sanitizer that you know is effective? That you know will not hurt your skin with repeated use?
Shaklee to the rescue. The company has just introduced an Earth Friendly, Always Safe, Always Works, Always Pure Get Clean Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer that does everything you want:
Kills 99.99% of germs* [Effective at eliminating 99.99% of many common harmful germs and bacteria in as little as 30 seconds.]
An antibacterial hand gel with plant-based moisturizers so your skin stays soft and protected. This fragrance-free, alcohol-based gel kills germs and bacteria and sanitizes your hands without drying them out. Formulated with plant-based moisturizers so your skin stays soft and protected. No rinsing or drying with towels needed. Safe for the whole family.

Does Get Clean® Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer kill COVID-19?

It has not been tested on COVID-19. Get Clean® Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer has been shown to kill 99.99% of many harmful germs and bacteria including: E. Coli, Salmonella, Staph, Candida, A. Niger. It can help protect your health by eliminating germs and bacteria that are commonly found in public places.

Is Get Clean® Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer approved by the CDC?

No. Get Clean® Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer exceeds the CDC’s recommendations for percent alcohol content in hand sanitizer. It has not been directly approved by the CDC but aligns with or exceeds all agency recommendations for alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Germs are everywhere! They can get onto hands and items we touch during daily activities and make you sick. Cleaning hands at key times with soap and water or hand sanitizer is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to those around you.

There are important differences between washing hands with soap and water and cleaning them with hand sanitizer.
For example, alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t kill ALL types of germs, such as a stomach bug called norovirus, some parasites, and Clostridium difficile, which causes severe diarrhea. Hand sanitizers also may not remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and heavy metals like lead.

Handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs, pesticides, and metals on hands. Knowing when to clean your hands and which method to use will give you the best chance of preventing sickness.

Soap and Water

• Before, during, and preparing food
• Before eating food
• Before and after caring for someone who is sick
• Before and after treating a cut or wound
• After using the bathroom, changing diapers, or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
• After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages, or animal waste
• After touching garbage
• If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

• Before and after visiting a friend or a loved one in a hospital or nursing home, unless the person is sick with Clostridium difficile
(if so, use soap and water to wash hands).

• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.*

Do NOT use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy: for example, after gardening, playing outdoors, or after fishing or camping (unless a handwashing station is not available). Wash your hands with soap and water instead [Thanks to the CDC for this information.]

Buy up to three bottles of Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer today. Be sure to place your order at if you are a registered member. If you are not a member, please use my personal website:, typed into the URL bar at the top of your screen or on your phone. And thank you for taking good care of yourself and all the people you might meet during your day.


From the heart..

Last time I wrote to you, I was feeling grateful for “The Pause.” Today I am embarrassed by my privileged position in this difficult time of Pandemic. While I enjoy a spacious garden, the comfort of working from home, a steady income, excellent health and little damage to my personal well-being, countless others are at risk, getting sick and dying. Still others are unable to earn a living, losing their homes, going hungry. Three times as many people of color suffer than us white people. We, even those of us whose lives are peaceful, cannot deny our social contract is not working. I write to you as a Shaklee distributor whose business has increased because of the virus. I am grateful. I am also deeply saddened by the inequity. I hope and pray that we, as a nation, can find a new way forward that lifts all people. It is going to take some work. I pray that as you read this, you and your loved ones are healthy and able to pay your bills. Be well. Do well. Keep moving, Betsy

Betsy Bell’s Health4u, 4455 51st Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116        206 409 5940



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Staying home could weaken your immune system

In the words of my trainer, staying home can mess up your immune system. When we are ready to mingle again, how resistant will our systems be? PJ Glassey of Xgym asks if we remember when Quarantines were only for sick people? I was once quarantined because I had the mumps. I remember the dark front bedroom and my mother creeping in to take my temperature and feed me soup. I was six years old. We have seldom quarantined healthy people.

We could end up on the other side of this quarantine period claiming it saved us all and

had we not done this unprecedented lockdown, millions upon millions of people would have died, and the virus would have continued to wreak havoc on the world for decades to come.

The other extreme side will say the lockdown had absolutely no effect on the infection or death rates and, in fact, the countries and states who didn’t close down proved that point by fairing as well or better than those who did.

Then there will be lots of people in the middle, adjusting toward one side or the other, based on what they believe to be true and then repeating that narrative based on their ingrained biases and agendas.

The bottom line is no one will really know. No one will be able to prove anything because no one can see into the future or even guess what might have been if things were done differently. PJ Glassey

Either way the lockdown will have negative effects on our immune systems and may cause increased infection rates if we don’t recognize what is going on and do something about it.

Here are some ideas about how to strengthen your immune system so you don’t catch every little cold, flu, bacteria, and other bugs the minute we are all mingling again.

First, let’s be clear that everyone gets sick, and there’s no way to avoid every bug….

The strength of anyone’s immune system lies mostly in their gut flora balance and diversity. In fact, over 70% of you’re immune system strength is directly attributable to the health and status of your gut flora.

Those little internal buggers protect you from the outside buggers in a myriad of ways, ranging from killing off those bad bugs themselves to communicating with your other lines of defenses in your body to help kill them there.

The best way to have an optimized gut flora is to feed them with the right nutrients and tools to be as healthy, balanced, and diverse as possible. If you help them, they are able to help you.

When you eat real, organic food, your gut flora thrives on the fiber (soluble and insoluble), vitamins, and minerals. Real (and especially organic) food is the best source for all this.

Non-organic food often has pesticides, fertilizers, and genetically modified components that kill off your good gut microbes, throwing off the balance, and slashing the diversity. Additionally, some respected scientists are finding the Coronavirus mechanism involves an “unmasking” of environmental toxins such as glyphosate, found in many non-organic foods, drastically amplifying its toxic effects inside the body on a cellular level, exacerbating the complications related to Coronavirus.

There’s something even worse than non-organic food though. Guess what that is? Yep – processed food. If you are eating most of your food out of bags and boxes, you’re decimating your gut flora and your immune system.

It just so happens that’s what most people are eating now in this lockdown, so they are setting themselves up to catch lots of nasty bugs when they get back out of their homes.

Another huge way we get and maintain a strong immune system is through constant exposure to microbes. When we are consistently coming into contact with viruses and bacteria, we are building and strengthening our immune system. We do this by shaking hands (and sharing microbes), playing in the dirt, hugging people, kissing, talking and laughing within 6 feet of each other, etc. – everything we are avoiding right now – so that’s another way we are decimating our immune system and setting it up for failure.

We are also acting like OCD people with all the incessant handwashing, hand sanitizers, spraying, wiping, disinfecting every surface, masks, gloves, and more, all contributing to preventing the natural and healthy exposure of the TRILLIONS of microbes we need to be in contact with, in order to try to avoid the ONE bug we are so fearful of right now.

If that worked, then clean-freak OCD people wouldn’t get sick more frequently than their “dirtier” friends but they do. They get sick way more often, in fact, because they are so focused on staying clean and sterile, they don’t get the exposure necessary for proper immunity. This, of course, feeds their OCD, which makes them try to be even cleaner, which then perpetuates the problem, sometimes resulting in the “Howard Huges syndrome,” along with Munchausen, and more.

When we are cooped up inside and out of the sunshine, we rapidly become deficient in Vitamin D, which drastically weakens our immune system. Some health and medical experts even believe Vitamin D should be reclassified as a hormone because it’s so much more powerful than other vitamins – especially with its effect on our immune health.

Since we are inside, out of the sun, and moving much less than we usually do, our hydration habits are also most likely suffering, as our thirst mechanisms are sending us fewer signals. Viruses and bacteria LOVE a dry host and HATE hydrated hosts because those people are stronger, more energetic, have healthier organs, happier gut flora, and the list goes on and on. PJ Glassey

During the lockdown, we are doing the exact opposite of what we should be doing to build and maintain a healthy immune system to be ready to come out of this and resume our lives.

Here are PJ’s top 7 suggestions, based on what he has learned about the human body as a biohacker and health researcher over the last 34 years:

1.) Drink 2-4 quarts of clean, filtered water per day. Here’s a “ballpark” way to figure out how much you should have: Take your body weight in pounds, divide that by two, and drink that many ounces each day, spread throughout the day as much as possible. This general formula works great for people who weigh between 100 and 250 lbs. but some may need a bit more or less depending on climate, habits, activity, sweating rate, etc.

2.) Eat organic real food, prepared in your own kitchen, with your own hands.

3.) Stay away from processed food, artificial ingredients, and especially sugar because that can really hurt your internal buggers. If your food has a label on it, treat that as a warning label, and the longer it is, the more urgent the warning!

4.) Exercise! This can be through the X Gym online training, the X Gym app, running, biking, hiking, dancing (learn a new move on TicTok), or anything else that gets you breathing hard. [Join Free Form Dance Dance on Saturday morning 10:30 – 12. zoom to a curated set list virtually dancing with several dozen people. It’s a hoot.]

5.) Get out in the sun and/or take a vitamin D3 supplement.

6.) Eat fermented foods like kimchi, or sauerkraut, or kefir, or all of those, as I do. These foods are packed with probiotics – another word for the “good buggers” I’m been talking about and will help balance and populate your gut flora. [Shaklee’s Optiflora does a great job.]

7.) Get outside and roll in the grass, plant some stuff with your bare hands, play with some earthworms, walk on the beach in your bare feet, dig in the sand with your hands, etc., and then rub your face with those grimy hands!

How is your score on doing these 7 things? Begin adding one after the other over the next few days/weeks to get ready. Hopefully, you have not put on 19 covid pounds during this stay-at-home order. Shaklee can help you there with a 7-Day cleanse to kick start better eating anytime you are ready.

Our current “quarantine quandary,” as PJ calls it, is more than just weight gain. It’s going to get way worse if people don’t become aware of the current immune-depressing world we are moving around in. Personally I know a lot of people who are gardening and walking and getting up close and personal with their “quarantine pod” of friends and family and so are not overly depressing their immune system. If you see yourself in the situation PJ describes, take steps. You’ll be glad you did.

Be well, do well, and keep moving!



Betsy Bell’s Health4U

206 409 5940  my Shaklee shopping page




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Prove it once and for all

Seriously, Dear One, If you’ve been reading my posts for a while, or this is the first one you are seeing AND if you want better health for the long haul but just can’t seem to get the program under way OR keep the current program going more than a few weeks, READ ON…

You are invited to take the Challenge and Prove to yourself that switching to the Shaklee basic program can re-set your body on a health-giving path.  Thirty days to feeling better or your money back.

What is the Prove It Challenge?

A box with 2 canisters of protein powder (your choice) and Vitalizer strips. Strip and Shake.

Get ready by taking a week to cleanse with the 7-Day Cleanse,

and then begin the simple Strip and Shake 7 day cleansefor thirty days.

If you don’t feel better at the end of those 30 days, you get your money back.

Just $159. The Prove-it Challenge box comes with a shaker.

Our scientists have proven this works by taking blood from long term Shaklee users of multiple supplements and compared their health with the health of others who took a multivitamin for twenty to fourty years or a third group who took no supplements at all. The study was conducted by the University of California’s School of Public Health in Berkeley, no strings attached. The researchers were astounded. They’s never seen such healthy blood on all measures of health from lower triclyerides and incidents of diabetes and homocystine levels to an attitude of “I feel great.” Unusual from a group of people ranging in age from 50 on up. Not typical.

Our Prove-It plan represents those products taken over 20 – 40 years by these older adults. You can have the same results.

Order today and join me in a major re-set.

Order # 85926 Free shipping, free membership if you are new. $159

Ready, Set, GO

Be well, Do well and Keeping Moving!


PS I’ll support you every step of the way with recipes, pep talks and milestone markings.

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Keto Diet: Healthy or not?

Dear Ones,

From the Heart….

I’ve been eating lots of rhubarb, some from my own garden, but most from the healthiest patch of rhubarb I have ever seen in the garden of a woman who doesn’t eat it because she is on a keto diet. I decided to see what a keto diet is since my trainer at the Xgym promotes this diet, too. We’re told not to eat carbs even as they show up in vegetables and fruit except for the ones very low on the “sugar” scale or glycemic scale.

I add sugar to my cut-up rhubarb and put it in the microwave for about 6 minutes. Out comes a sauce with rhubarb pieces still intact, soft and delicious, tart spring in every mouthful. Have I ruined a Keto diet? Let’s take a look at what my most reliable doctor/scientist, Dr. Stephen Chaney, has to say.

Personally, I think people gravitate to the keto diet because they need rules about refined carbohydrates, which are altogether different from fruits and vegetables and a little added pure cane sugar. When a person craves sweets, a teaspoon of sugar does not satisfy. It’s the refining and additives, fat and salt, that make carbohydrate foods fattening. A small serving of rhubarb crisp a couple times during the spring growing season will not induce diabetes or cause your low-carb diet to fail.

The ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s when doctors realized it helps control epilepsy. Today the ketogenic diet is mainstream. Proponents claim:

Hunger and food cravings will disappear. The pounds will melt away effortlessly and rapidly.

You will feel great. You’ll have greater mental focus and increased energy.

Physical endurance will increase. You’ll become superhuman.

Type 2 diabetes will disappear.

Your blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels will improve, reducing your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

This sounds like the perfect diet. But, is this diet safe?

What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a natural metabolic adaptation to starvation.

Metabolism 101:

The Fed State fed (absorptive) state of metabolism ie. while your food is being digested. Here’s what happens to the carbohydrate, protein & fat when we eat in a meal.

  • Most carbohydrates are converted to blood sugar (glucose), which is utilized in three ways:
    • Most tissues use glucose as their primary energy source in the fed state.
    • Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in muscle and liver.
    • Glycogen stores are limited, so much of the excess glucose is stored as fat.
  • A few tissues such as heart muscle use fat as an energy source. Excess fat is stored.
  • Protein is also used in three ways:
    • Some of it is used to replace and repair the protein components in muscle and other tissues.
    • In conjunction with exercise, protein can be used to increase muscle mass.
    • Excess protein is converted to fat and stored.

The Fasting State: Between meals:

  • Most tissues switch to fats as their primary energy source. Fat stores are utilized to fuel the cells that can use fat.
  • Brain, red blood cells, and a few other tissues still rely solely on glucose as their energy source.
    • Liver glycogen stores are broken down to keep blood glucose levels constant and provide energy for these tissues. (Muscle glycogen stores are reserved for high intensity exercise).
    • As liver glycogen stores are depleted, the body starts breaking down protein and converting it to glucose.

Starvation – The Problem: If the fasting state were to continue for more than a few days, we enter what is called starvation. At this point we have a serious problem. Fat stores and carbohydrate stores (liver glycogen) exist for the sole purpose of providing fuel during the fasting state. Protein, however, is unique. There are no separate protein stores in the body. All protein in our body is serving essential functions.

To make matters worse, our brain is metabolically very active. It consumes glucose at an alarming rate. Thus, large amounts of glucose are needed even in the fasting state. If protein continued to be converted to glucose at the same rate as during an overnight fast, our essential protein reserves would rapidly be depleted. Irreversible damage to heart muscle and other essential organs would occur. We would be dead in a few weeks.

Starvation – The Solution: Fortunately, at this point a miraculous adaptation occurs. Our bodies start to convert some of the fat to ketones.

All tissues that use fat as an energy source during fasting can also use ketones as an energy source, sometimes with greater efficiency.

Over a period of several days, the brain adapts to ketones as its primary energy source. This greatly reduces the depletion of cellular protein to supply blood glucose.

However, red blood cells and a few other cells still require glucose as an energy source. Essential protein reserves are still being depleted, but at a far slower pace.

With these adaptations, humans can survive months without food if necessary.

There are a few other adaptations that make sense if we think about the dilemma of going long periods without food.

Appetite decreases.

Metabolic rate decreases, which helps preserve both protein & fat stores.

What Is The Ketogenic Diet?

Proponents of the ketogenic diet advocate achieving a permanent state of ketosis without starving yourself. That is achievable because the real trigger for ketosis is low blood sugar, not starvation.

The starting point for the ketogenic diet is low-carb, high-fat diets like Atkins. However, ketogenic diets go beyond traditional low-carb, high-fat diets. They restrict carbohydrates even further to <10% of calories so that a permanent state of ketosis can be achieved. Basically, the ketogenic diet:

Eliminates grains and sugars.

Eliminates most fruits.

Eliminates starchy vegetables (root vegetables like beets, corn, peas, beans, squash & yams).

Reduces protein intake. That’s because dietary protein will be converted to glucose when blood glucose levels are low.

You are left with a highly restrictive diet that allows unlimited amounts of fats & some vegetables and moderate amounts of meats, eggs, and cheeses.

The Ketogenic Diet Is Not For Wimps

#1: You have to be committed. You will have great difficulty following it when you eat out and you will have to give up many of your favorite foods.

#2: The transition is rough. Physiological adaptation to the ketogenic diet will take anywhere from a couple of days to a week or two. During that time, you will have to endure some of the following:

  • Headaches, confusion & “brain fog”
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Lightheadedness and shakiness
  • Leg cramps
  • Constipation
  • Bad breath
  • Heart palpitations

#3: There are no “cheat days”. On most diets, you can have occasional “cheat days” or sneak in some of your favorite foods from time to time. A single “cheat day” will take you out of ketosis. You will need to go through the transition period once again.

Is The Ketogenic Diet Effective?

Mostly True Claims:

Reduced hunger.

Improved mental focus and increased energy. Contrast to the “brain fog” and fatigue of the transition phase. You have also eliminated all foods that can cause blood sugar swings from your diet. Blood sugar swings can affect both mental focus and energy levels.

Rapid weight loss. If we focus on short term weight loss, this is true because:

A lot of the initial weight loss is water. Glycogen stores retain water. As glycogen stores are depleted, the water is lost along with them.

Most people inadvertently reduce their caloric intake on a highly restrictive diet like this. For example, fats are often consumed along with carbohydrate-rich foods (butter with toast, sour cream with potatoes, cream cheese with bagels). Less fat intake.

The weight loss with the ketogenic diet is because you are burning fat stores. You burn fat stores when fat intake is not sufficient to meet your energy needs. “Calories in” are less than “calories out” as in all diets.

Reversal of type 2 diabetes. Because carbohydrates are restricted in this diet, blood sugar and insulin levels will be low.

Half true claims:

Improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Some studies show an improvement. Other studies show them getting worse.

Increased physical endurance. This is only true for low-intensity endurance exercise. It is not true for any exercise or event that requires spurts of high intensity exercise. Because:

The muscle fibers used for low intensity endurance exercise utilize ketone bodies with high efficiency. You can run for miles as long as you don’t care how fast you get there.

The muscle fibers used for high-intensity, short-duration exercise cannot adapt to use of ketone bodies because they lack sufficient mitochondria. They require glycogen stores, which are depleted on a ketogenic diet. Even in events like marathons most people want to sprint to the finish line. They won’t be able to if they are on a ketogenic diet.

Mostly False Claims:

Long term weight loss. Some long-term success has been claimed in a highly controlled clinical setting. However, most studies show:

People regain some or most of the weight after 6 months to a year.

After 1 or 2 years, there is no difference in weight loss between high-fat/low-carb diets and low-fat/high-carb diets.

The reduction in metabolic rate and the reduction in muscle mass associated with the ketogenic diet make it difficult to keep the weight off long term.

It is a healthy diet. To a point……

This is a healthy diet only from the point of view that it eliminates most fast foods and processed foods.

However, any diet that eliminates 2 and a half food groups (grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables) is setting you up for long term nutritional deficiencies. It is possible to cover some of those deficiencies with supplementation, but supplements can never provide all the nutrients found in real food.

Is the Ketogenic Diet Safe?

For most people the ketogenic diet is likely to be safe for short periods, maybe even a few months. However, I have grave concerns if the diet is continued long term.

This diet is likely to create nutritional deficiencies which could have severe health consequences.

Long term reduction of protein intake will result in a gradual depletion of essential cellular protein reserves which can weaken heart muscle, compromise the immune system, and damage essential organs.

Ketones can damage the kidneys.

The problem is the ketones, not the protein.

Long term ketosis has the potential to cause osteoporosis.

Try the Mediterranean Diet for a healthier way to achieve your goal weight and stay there.

If you disagree with Dr. Chaney’s analysis and conclusions, I recommend you go to his web post and read the thoughtful objections and criticisms people posted and his responses. Some number of people have had excellent results with the Keto diet.

Be well, Do well and Keep Moving, Betsy

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Protein and Muscle Mass

From the heart….
There seems to be a gulf between elderly people with good, strong muscles and those whose muscles have wasted away, even when they are visiting the gym and working out several times a week. A friend who is in his nineties called to see if I could suggest something to help him rebuild muscle mass as his gym workouts don’t seem to be enough. In the same week, I received an email from my trainer, PJ Glassey, which rather embarrassed me. I’ve decided to reproduce our exchange for you because I have such a heart-felt passion for what PJ has helped me achieve in my old age.

The idea of building muscle strength is not new for me. When my oldest daughter became pregnant for my first grandchild, I was fifty-seven. I wanted to be able to carry an eight pound baby around without hurting my back, shoulders or arms. I began lifting weights. For me, weight training has always been about daily living functions and the ability to keep doing them.

After a recent workout session: I had a hard workout over Skype today [4/28/2019] with trainer and owner of the Xgym method, PJ Glassey. After we were done, he sent me this email:

Hi Betsy,
I just gotta say how proud I am of you and the incredible strength you’ve produced. Your lunge switch squats are better than 70% of the X Gymers -regardless of age! Your mental strength is better than probably 90% of the X Gymers because you never offload.
You totally rock and even border on superhuman. You should do the wall sit contest at your [60th college] reunion, but have someone else suggest it (and judge form) because when you win, it would make you look like you conned everyone. Hahaha! 😂
PJ Glassey, CSCS
Founder, X Gym

My response: Ah, shucks. I’m embarrassed by your comments. I just love being able to carry a full basket of wet laundry up the basement stairs and hang it out to dry, to haul the lawn mower around the yard, to lift my set of stainless steel pots from a lower cupboard to the counter, and to twist the frozen lid off my Ninja food processor, plus go for a 6 mile hike with my 50 year old daughters and not cause them to slow their pace too much. Xgym makes all that possible. I’m grateful, and not necessarily superhuman, just a lover of an active life. my brand and motto: Be well, Do well and Keep Moving. Love ya and all your fabulous trainers. You and Shaklee! Betsy








PJ took these pictures of me during a recent training. Pushups and bicep curls. I’ve still got skin that sags just like every other 80 year old!

So, what is going on here?


You can’t generalize from a sample of two people, both over 80 and both working out, but I will offer some macro observations.

Protein is a major factor in retaining and building muscle mass at any age, but particularly in our older years. Most older adults do not eat as much protein as they did when they were younger. We don’t have the appetite for it; it’s harder to digest; lean organic meat, poultry, and line caught fish are expensive grocery items and we may not include them in our budget.

Nothing happens in the body without protein. We have to have it every day for growth, repair, and maintenance of all body tissues. Protein makes enzymes – the stuff we have to have for every single thing that happens in the body. Protein keeps our fluid and electrolyte balance where it needs to be.

Without protein, we have no Energy. Protein fights off disease and heals wounds.

Our body makes protein’s amino acids, except for nine essential ones. These nine are not stored in the body. No new body tissue can be built without it.

Protein Sources

Not all protein is equal: fish, lean meat, poultry and soy have all nine of the essential amino acids and do all the things I mentioned.

If you rely on a low meat/poultry/fish diet or are vegetarian by eating nuts, grains, beans for your protein sources (none of these sources have all nine essential amino acids), you would be wise to study up on the combinations you need in a 24 hour period to get those 9 essential amino acids into your body. It can be tricky. Incomplete balance of the missing 9 could leave you depleted in certain important ways. We all know the classic beans and rice protein diet, a combination that creates a synergistic balance of  all nine of the needed amino acids.

To prove my point, I will share a study conducted by Dr. Richard Brouse at his clinic in Clackamas, Oregon.
January 2003
Re: Shaklee Physique and the Elderly

As you know, the nutritional needs of mature individuals is unique. Digestion, muscle mass and hormonal regulation tends to decrease. Body fat and blood cholesterol levels tend to increase. Cardiovascular efficiency, blood sugar regulation and energy levels tend to decrease.
This observation seems to be related to the aging process and made us ask the question “What factor seems to have the greatest effect on aging?”

After several years of recommending Physique to 210 elderly patients (men and women between 65 and 84) at this clinic we noticed some amazing results that we would like to share with you.

*1) 72% of people over 65 years of age who began using Physique daily had an increase in energy and
* more muscle mass after 6 months.
*2) Sugar regulation in those who had been hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic returned to normal in 56% of the cases within 3 months after starting daily use of Physique.
*3) 60% of all elderly patients following our recommended exercises had less muscle and joint symptoms within 3 months after daily use of Physique.

These findings can only suggest that Shaklee Physique is a very useful addition to the nutritional program of the elderly population who are physically active and taking positive steps to maintain their health. When maximizing the diet and regularly supplementing, significant benefits can be gained by the elderly using Physique. We are very excited about these findings and hope that mature people and not just young people will take advantage of this outstanding product.

Richard Brouse, M.A., D.C, DACBN, CCN

Physique is a whey protein based product. Since this study, Shaklee has a line of soy and other plant protein with and without added sugars (the protein powders without sugar are sweetened with stevia). These protein powders when mixed as smoothies have the same result as Physique.

I personally get most of my protein from plant based powders made by Shaklee, often having more than one serving a day, completing my meal with a huge bowl of salad or steamed vegetables. I believe my highly digestible 60 grams of protein per day (1/2 gram for every pound of body weight) is the cause of my well-developed muscles.

Be sure to pass this information along either in this form or via my facebook video at

. Your friend will thank you. And if you’d like to get the monthly posts from, fill in the form below.

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving,  Betsy

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Betsy Bell’s Health4U

4455 51st Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98116

206 933 1889 12/7 Voice mail






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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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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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