The end of hiking

Gentle Reader,
Sciatica, sciatica, sciatica.  On every hand I hear people complaining about sciatic pain, drop foot, back difficulties and arthritis in general.  A vital member of my Wednesday hiking group is suffering terribly from sciatica these days so I decided to revisit a post I drafted several years ago when I was having the same problem. Thankfully, I have no sciatica pain at this time. When I first wrote this draft, I was suffering terrible and thought I might have to end my hiking. Here is what I wrote back then, before surgery and rehabilitation.

I have had more acute sciatic pain plus a long stretch of time at home ( so I decided to focus on discovering the cause.  What would a medically trained physician have to say about my condition?
I imagine most people begin in the doctor’s office.  You, who read my posts, may be among those who seek alternative care first.  I have done Feldenkrais, Deep tissue sports massage, private pilates, Myo Facial Release, Raiki, Alexander, Therapeutic Yoga, chiropractic, Physical Therapy—what am I forgetting?  Ah, yes, my wonderful team at the Xgym, half the time and twice the results.  Personal trainers who tailor my 25 minute workout to build upper body, leg and core strength while protecting my back.My first injury happened in 1989 with a major exacerbation in 1992.  Back then I did all the above and my doctor of choice was Stan Herring, a neurosurgeon who now limits his practice to the University of Washington Huskies and the Sea Hawks.  He’s the doctor who looked at my x-rays and a later MRI and asked if I’d come in a wheelchair.  “Get strong, Betsy.  Your bones are no good for surgery so get strong.”
If you know me and see me on Face book, you know that is exactly what I have been doing.  Weekly hiking, daily walking up and down the hills of West Seattle, long walks in exotic places in the off season, cross country skiing and snow shoeing when we have snow in our Cascades.
The sciatic has gotten progressively worse affecting my right leg and causing numbness and sometimes extreme pain.  I put myself under the care of Dr. Ren at the Polyclinic. She is a physical medicine doctor who specializes in keeping people moving who suffer from back related problems (among other things).  She confirmed that I have extreme spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis, two herniated disks at L4 and L5.  She sent me to physical therapy for eight session.  As has been true with previous visits to PT’s, I had fun with those young specialists and enjoyed their stretching, icing and exercises, but nothing beneficial came of it.  In fact, the gross motor activities prescribed may have made my condition worse.
Next step was to get the shot of cortisone in the L5 area where the narrowing is so small, it’s a wonder any nerve impulses get through at all.  I’ve been scheduled for this procedure three previous times and canceled each time.  I wasn’t ready.  Dr. Ren did a fabulous job.  Her needle found the spot producing an electric shock that sprung my leg all the way to my two middle toes to life with a jerk.  After I caught my breath, I congratulated her.
The first day I felt wonderful and so moved stuff around in the garage.  Stupid.  Without the pain, I realized my gait was completely cattywampus—right hip collapsing with each step, left leg struggling to hold me up.  Something whispered to me, “Go back to Becci Parsons and let her healing hands remind you how to stand and walk and sit and roll over.”  Becci is the Feldenkrais therapist who got me back on my feet after the herniation so many years ago.  She is a former dancer and has the same “keep moving” spirit I have.  She has suffered from a similar herniation and has ended up with surgery.  She can move fluidly with nearly equal strength on both sides (her right side has some weakness and lack of nerve response when her foot gets caught).
Becci, after three session, has me sitting on my sits bones with a natural curve in my lower spine, pressing one heal to the floor on the exhaling breath while lifting the right heal ever so slightly.  I am paying attention to the distance between my arm pit and my hips on both sides, keeping that distance equal.  I am paying attention to every muscle group that tries to help lift that right heal.  Tiny movements with laser focus to re-pattern the injured nerves and muscles.  She checked out my gait with the hiking sticks and said it was remarkable how my shoulders remained even, my right side did not collapse and my left hip didn’t swing out.  That decision on my part to walk everywhere with hiking sticks was the best self care for my condition.  It gets me a seat on a crowded bus, too.
I have further information from a new MRI although Dr. Ren’s assistant Diana and further narrowing has occurred since the pictures in 2014. I am now several weeks out from the cortisone shot and sadly report that the left leg is painful and weak as well as the right leg.

Monday morning I will have a surgery consultation with Becci’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Nora. I have some hope that he can help me.
The shot did lessen the pain, so much so that I stopped taking Shaklee’s Pain Relief Complex which inhibits the pain path without any side effects.  Low and behold, other arthritis pain showed up in my hands.  I’m back on the Pain Relief and have a prescription for a pain reliever that I have not tried yet.

The most difficult aspect of this saga is that I cannot hike for longer than a half hour without sitting down.  I am in deep mourning for the loss of this activity with my pals.  I can’t hold them back.  What a struggle to let go of something so dear to my heart and body.  I have tried walking in the swimming pool to get my heart rate up and feel those endorphins that come from exercise, but it didn’t do much for me to be indoors.
There is something about spending a day in the wilderness every week that kept my spirit soaring and my sense of well being strong.  I’ll keep you posted on this transition to something that satisfies without excruciating pain.
I share my pain, suffering and healing stories in case they resonate with something you are going through, or someone you know.  If you have any interest in connecting with any of the practitioners I have used, please follow the hot links to them.  If you are interested in trying the supplements and dietary changes that have been so helpful to me, please check out this post in particular.  If you have questions or comments from your own experience, I and my readers would love to hear from you.

Thanks for reading. Share  your sciatica stories with me and my readers. Feel free to contact any of the healthcare providers I mentioned (Becci Parsons, Feldenkrais: Cedron Sterling, Myo Fascial Release) in this post. Happy hiking (and whatever you do to stay active.)

Be well, Do well, and Keep moving.

Betsy Bell

Betsy Bell Enterprises LLC, 206 409 5940

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A Spiritual Journey (AS WELL AS pHYSICAL)

My trainer and developer of a unique “Time under Tension” program for increasing life-skills strength and stamina,, PJ Glassey, interviewed me after I came home from walking the Camino de Santiago. I had mentioned to him that my workouts with him and his cadre of trainers had made my 85+ mile walk possible. Enjoy our nineteen minutes conversation. I’d love to hear your reactions, so leave a comment.

Be Well, Do Well, and Keep Moving!

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85 Miles on El Camino

Eighty-five miles of walking on sections of El Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage across Spain. Seekers have been making this journey since the 9th century. I’ll turn 85 in a few days (August 2nd). I am full of gratitude for a body that functions, for family who joined and supported me, for the wherewithal to make such a trip, for my Ground of Being and how connected to the Universal Christ I felt as I put one foot in front of the other. 

And all this with the clothes I wore as I left Seattle plus a second set I bought to make the trip possible without my suitcase and all the carefully packed items in it, including my supplements.

 I believed I would die if I stopped taking my Shaklee. Turns out I didn’t.

I did go to a pharmacy for some immune support, some joint support, some energy support (ginseng), and some muscle support (magnesium). I also bought some pain relief. Apparently, it takes longer then three weeks to break down when you are at an optimal level of fitness!

What is the optimal level of fitness? It may come from supplementing your diet…

Most people today believe that taking supplements will fill nutritional gaps and optimize their health. The first step you should take in the quest to obtain an optimum nutritional level is to include a complete, high-quality multivitamin and multimineral product like Vita-Lea, Vitalizer or Life Strip in your daily regimen. Once you take steps to correct any nutritional shortfalls, you can expect these great results:

1) Improved body function. Your entire system will begin functioning more normally and you’ll feel better.

2) Your weight will start to normalize. Once your organs are functioning better, your metabolism will stabilize, you’ll feel more like exercising, and your weight will even out naturally.

3)  Stress will lessen. Good nutrition calms your nerve endings and enables you to handle stress more easily.

4) Your immunity will toughen. Your body will be able to ward off bacteria, viruses, parasites, and many diseases.

5) You’ll live longer. Especially if you take Vivix, damaged DNA will be repaired, slowing down aging.

6) And of course… you’ll look younger, healthier, and better because… your nutrition is showing!

Long days in the beating sun without Shaklee’s Sunblock SPF 30

I bought a tube of SPF 50 (and I wore a 36-inch span umbrella on my head!) Here I am with my daughter and son-in-law, the Atlantic Ocean behind us, Finesterre, Spain.

How did I decide the level of SPF protection I wanted? I knew these facts from Shaklee scientists.

Understanding SPF…

Florida dermatologist and American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) spokesman James M. Spencer, MD, says, “It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15, and so on, but that is not how it works.” According to Spencer, an SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays, an SPF 30 product blocks 97%, and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays. “After that, it just gets silly,” he says.

A big problem with the sun care industry is that in their attempt to provide higher SPF levels, they have had to increase the chemical compounds in sunscreen to allow prolonged safe exposure to the sun’s rays.

By combining safe UVA and UVB sunscreen agents with the patented antioxidant protection of Vital Repair+, Shaklee SPF 30 for the Body provides unique, non-irritating, and extremely effective sun protection. Designed for all skin types, including the most sensitive skin, this patented, water-resistant, oil-free sunscreen smoothes easily into your skin and absorbs quickly, without leaving a sticky residue. Soothing and moisturizing, it does not irritate the skin. Triple-patented Vital-Repair+ Complex contains antioxidant vitamins and botanicals. The formula offers broad spectrum protection and adds an extra defense against premature skin aging.

For the first time in years, I came home from a sunny locale tanned. I’ll be seeing my dermatologist soon as he just removed a melanoma a couple of months ago.

Why not try the Shaklee version of sunblock? It is Water resistant (80 minutes), Designed not to clog pores, 100% fragrance and paraben free, Allergy tested, Clinically formulated, Dermatologist tested, Patented sensitive-skin formula, Not tested on animals. A little goes a long way. Worth the price!

Oh, my aching knees! And no Pain Relief Complex.

I found some liquid pain relief that worked pretty well. In fact, I only needed one or two servings a day to keep all the joints quiet and functional. Normally, I take a Pain Relief Complex every morning and every evening and occasionally during the day. I carry a couple of tablets with me when I hike. It was important to find something that would allow pain-free hiking, if possible, and not do too much stomach damage. I was glad to get home to my Pain Relief so I didn’t have to rely on medication. Here’s what I was missing:

When joint pain hits, crippling your ability to continue daily activities, try Shaklee Pain Relief Complex… a natural botanical solution that is effective, fast-acting, and works synergistically with Joint & Muscle Pain Cream. Pain Relief contains glucosamine, plant based, glucosamine hydrochloride, Boswellia, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamin C.

Boswellia serrate tree provides a botanical extract that contains boswellic acids that inhibit chemicals produced by the body that attack joint tissue and contribute to joint discomfort. It relieves pain and discomfort in joints caused by overexertion and promotes flexibility and overall comfortable movement.

I didn’t take Pain Cream either.

I do like to use it when soreness is acute.

The pain we are talking about results from over-exertion. If I’d had some rub-in Pain Cream, I would have had the benefit of a fast-absorbing, menthol-rich formula that targets muscle and joint discomfort to provide quick, long-lasting relief. In addition to the natural anesthetic properties of menthol (derived from peppermint oil), Joint & Muscle Pain Cream contains a proprietary blend of clinically proven natural ingredients, including sweet almonds and aloe vera. Joint & Muscle Pain Cream utilizes a unique patented liposome delivery system that ensures that the ingredients penetrate the skin quickly for prolonged release action and optimum dosage. I would have used it for joint pain in my wrist, ankle, knee, elbow, and hip; my back, neck, and shoulders. This is not to say that I was having pain in all these places. But perhaps you have experienced pain in these joints.

Joint & Muscle Pain Cream | Daily Care | Beauty | Shaklee US site

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a tube of Muscle and Joint Pain Cream on hand? Order some today.

We made it to the End of the World.

The last day (July 12th), the full moon rose over the most western edge of Spain, once thought to be the end of the known world. Beyond the horizon, sea monsters pulled a wayward ship into the deep. What a thrill to complete this walk, not all 500 miles, but a goodly number.

Be well, Do well, and Keep Moving, Betsy

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Should Cancer Patients Take supplements?

Does Supplementation Interfere With Cancer Treatment?

Author: Dr. Stephen Chaney

Supplementation for cancer patients is a controversial topic. 

  • Dr. Strangelove and his friends promote a variety of herbal ingredients, vitamins, and minerals as a cure for various kinds of cancer. 
  • Unscrupulous supplement companies hype their cancer “cures”. 
  • Doctors often tell their patients to avoid all supplements while they are being treated for cancer. 
  • Nutrition experts and some doctors tell us that a good diet and basic supplementation help normal cells recover from cancer treatment and improve patient outcomes. 

Where is the truth?

For this article I will break it down into three questions:

1)    Does supplementation improve outcomes for cancer patients? That is the topic of the study (AL Shaver et al, Cancers, 13: 6276, 2021) I will review today.

2)    Does supplementation interfere with cancer treatment? I will provide a perspective and practical advice on this question based on my 40 years of cancer research.

3)    Does supplementation prevent (reduce the risk of) cancer? I have covered this topic in previous issues of “Health Tips From the Professor”. Just put cancer or breast cancer in the search box to find the relevant articles.

But before I answer these questions, I should cover my favorite topic as a Biochemist, “Metabolism 101”. Specifically, “Does Stress Increase Our Need For Supplementation?”

Metabolism 101: Does Stress Increase Our Need For Supplementation?

Let me start out by saying that there are two kinds of stress. 

  • Psychological stress is our body’s response to a hectic day or a stressful work environment. 
  • Metabolic stress is our body’s response to trauma or a major disease. 

Dr. Strangelove and his buddies will tell you that psychological stress increases your nutritional needs. And they just happen to have the perfect blend of vitamins and minerals for you. However, this is a myth.

Psychological stress has relatively little effect on your nutritional needs. If you have a nutritional deficiency, supplementation can help you cope with psychological stress, but psychological stress doesn’t create nutritional deficiencies.

Metabolic stress, on the other hand, has a major effect on your nutritional needs. 

  • Trauma and major diseases put you in a catabolic state. Catabolism literally means “breaking down”. You are breaking down your body tissues at an alarming rate. This affects every aspect of your health, including your immune system. 
  • Trauma and major disease also increase your need for certain micronutrients. Plus, there are often loss of appetite and mobility issues that prevent you from getting the nutrients you need. 
  • Research in the 60s and 70s showed that providing hospitalized patients with protein, energy in the form of healthy fats and carbohydrates, and micronutrients significantly shortened hospital stays and improved outcomes. Today, nutritional support is the standard of care for severely ill hospital patients. 

Cancer is the poster child for metabolic stress. 

  • It forces the body into a catabolic state to provide nutrients the cancer needs to grow. 
  • That is why cancer patients often experience dramatic weight loss and weakness from muscle loss. 
  • Catabolism also weakens the immune system, which is one of the most important tools in our fight against cancer. 
  • To make matters worse: 
  • Cancer treatment destroys normal cells as well as tumor cells. Because of this cancer patients sometimes die from the treatment, not the cancer. 
  • Cancer treatment often causes nausea and/or suppresses appetite, which makes it even harder for cancer patients to get the nutrients they need from their diet. 

Because of this, you would think that nutritional support would be the standard of care for cancer patients, but it isn’t. Because of fears that nutritional support might “feed cancer cells” or interfere with chemotherapy, there have been very few studies of supplementation in cancer patients. That is what makes this study so important.

How Was This Study Done?

This study took advantage of the fact that supplementation is prevalent among cancer patients even though their doctors may not have recommended it.

This study drew on data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is a yearly survey that monitors the health and nutritional status of non-institutionalized adults in the US population.

NHANES participants were asked to respond to a medical condition questionnaire in their homes by a trained interviewer. In one portion of the interview, they were asked if they had ever been told they had cancer, arthritis, diabetes, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or hypertension. The participants were also asked if they had been hospitalized with one of those diseases.

The study consisted of 14 million people who answered ‘yes’ to the question, “Have you ever been told you had a cancer or malignancy?” The participants were selected to give an equal number of supplement users and non-users who were closely matched for age, sex, race, and other demographics.

All NHANES participants were asked to fill in two 24-hour dietary recalls separated by 3-10 days. The dietary recalls included supplement use but did not identify the kind of supplements used.

Finally, participants in the NHANES survey were asked to rate their physical and mental health on a scale from 1 (excellent health) to 5 (poor health). Participants were also asked to indicate on how many days in the past 30 days their physical or mental health was not good. A quality-of-life score was calculated from these data.

Does Supplementation Improve Outcomes For Cancer Patients?

The study found that for cancer patients: 

  • Hospitalization rates were 12% for supplement users versus 21% for non-users. 
  • This is important because: 
  • Cancer patients who have been hospitalized have 6-fold higher odds of all-cause mortality than those who do not require hospitalization. 
  • Health care costs the first year after cancer diagnosis average $60,000 versus an estimated $350-$3,500 yearly cost of supplementation. 
  • The self-reported quality of life score was significantly higher for supplement users versus non-users. 

This study strongly supports the idea that supplementation significantly improves quality of life and health outcomes in cancer patients. 

  • This finding is consistent with previous studies showing that nutrition support significantly improves health outcomes for hospitalized patients admitted with trauma or other major diseases. 
  • A major strength of the study is the large sample size (> 14 million US adults). 
  • A major limitation of this study is that the NHANES survey does not record which supplements people were using. 

The authors concluded, “Adequate nutrition provides a cost-effective strategy to achieving potentially optimal health [for cancer patients]. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of specific nutrient doses and supplementation on long-term outcomes for different kinds of cancer…Given the overall cost-effectiveness of dietary supplementation, there is a need for better provider education about how to talk with cancer survivors about their nutrient status and filling nutrient gaps through both food and supplements. Immune-supportive supplementation may prove to be a clinically effective and important tool that is accessible via telemedicine.”

Does Supplementation Interfere With Cancer Treatment?

The reason that supplementation is not more widely recommended for cancer patients is two-fold.

1)    There is a fear among many doctors that improved nutrition will feed the cancer cells and promote tumor growth. 

  • This thinking is like the famous quote from a general during the Vietnamese war that, “It was necessary to destroy the village in order to save it [from the Viet Cong]”. 
  • We need healthy normal cells to fight the cancer and for good quality of life while we are fighting the cancer. We need to protect these cells while we are destroying the cancer cells. We cannot afford to destroy the whole “village”. 
  • For example, both cancer treatment and the catabolism associated with the cancer weaken the immune system, and a strong immune system is essential to successfully fight the cancer. 

2)    There is also a fear that supplementation will interfere with cancer treatment. This is a more legitimate fear and deserves a more in-depth analysis. 

  • There are some instances where supplementation can clearly interfere with treatment. For example, 
    • Radiation treatment relies on the production of free radicals. High-dose antioxidants have been shown to interfere with radiation treatment. 
    • Some drugs act by suppressing folate levels in cells. High-dose B complex or folic acid supplements would clearly interfere with these drugs. However, high-dose folic acid supplementation is often used before and after drug treatment to “rescue” normal cells. 
  • There are other cases where supplementation is likely to interfere with treatment. 
    • A few drugs depend in part on free radical formation. High-dose antioxidants have the potential to interfere with these drugs. 
    • Some herbal supplements activate enzymes involved in the metabolism of certain anti-cancer drugs. While these interactions are rare, they could interfere with the effectiveness of these drugs. [Note: This concern only applies to certain herbal supplements. It does not apply to vitamin-mineral supplements.] 
  • Most other fears about supplement-drug interactions are theoretical. There are neither potential mechanisms nor evidence to support those fears. 

However, there is a strategy for minimizing the potential for supplement-drug interactions based on the science of pharmacokinetics. Simply put: 

  • Most cases of supplement-drug interactions can be avoided by assuring that high doses of anti-cancer drugs and nutrients that might interfere with those drugs are not present in the bloodstream at the same time. 
  • Pharmocokinetic studies tell us that most anticancer drugs and nutrients are cleared from the bloodstream in 24-48 hours. 
  • So, my standard recommendation is to avoid supplementation for a day or two prior to cancer treatment and wait to resume supplementation for a day or two after cancer treatment. This recommendation does not apply to radiation treatment since it is done on a daily basis. 

However, there are a few drugs that are cleared from the bloodstream more slowly, so it is always best to check with your pharmacist or doctor before deciding on the appropriate window to avoid supplementation. The goal is always to protect normal cells without interfering with the drug’s ability to kill cancer cells.

Should Cancer Patients Take Supplements?

With the information I have shared above in mind, I am now ready to answer the question I posed at the beginning of this article, “Should cancer patients take supplements?” The answer is a qualified, “Yes”.

Let me start with the yes, and then talk about the qualifications. 

  • This study makes clear that cancer is like every other major disease that can land you in the hospital. Nutritional support, including protein supplements, vitamins, and minerals, can reduce your risk of hospitalization, get you out of the hospital quicker, and improve your quality of life. 
  • A strong immune system is important for fighting cancer, so immune-supporting supplements may also be important for cancer patients. 
  • Note I did not say that supplementation can cure cancer. There is little evidence to support that claim. 
  • The role of supplementation in preventing cancer is complex. I have covered this in previous issues of “Health Tips From the Professor”. Let me summarize by saying that supplementation can play a role in preventing cancer when nutrient levels are suboptimal. However, the evidence that megadoses of nutrients can prevent cancer is scant. 

The qualifications mostly revolve around taking supplements while undergoing cancer treatment. To summarize what I said above: 

  • There are a few cases in which supplements clearly interfere with cancer treatment. 
  • There are other cases in which supplements are likely to interfere with cancer treatment. 
  • However, in most cases supplement-treatment interactions are only theoretical. 
  • In most cases any interaction between supplements and anti-cancer drugs can be minimized by avoiding supplementation for a day or two prior to cancer treatment and waiting to resume supplementation for a day or two after cancer treatment. 
  • However, there are exceptions to this rule, so it is always best to consult your pharmacist or doctor if in doubt.

The Bottom Line

A recent study looked at the effect of supplementation for patients with cancer. The study found that for cancer patients: 

  • Hospitalization rates were 12% for supplement users versus 21% for non-users. 
  • This is important because: 
  • Cancer patients who have been hospitalized have 6-fold higher odds of all-cause mortality than those who do not require hospitalization. 
  • Health care costs the first year after cancer diagnosis average $60,000 versus an estimated $350-$3,500 yearly cost of supplementation. 
  • The self-reported quality of life was significantly higher for supplement users versus non-users. 

This study strongly supports the idea that supplementation significantly improves quality of life and health outcomes in cancer patients. 

  • This finding is consistent with previous studies showing that nutrition support significantly improves health outcomes for hospitalized patients admitted with trauma or other major diseases. 

The authors concluded, “Adequate nutrition provides a cost-effective strategy to achieving potentially optimal health [for cancer patients]. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of specific nutrient doses and supplementation on long-term outcomes for different kinds of cancer…Given the overall cost-effectiveness of dietary supplementation, there is a need for better provider education about how to talk with cancer survivors about their nutrient status and filling nutrient gaps through both food and supplements. Immune-supportive supplementation may prove to be a clinically effective and important tool that is accessible via telemedicine.”

For more details, a discussion on the effect of supplementation on cancer treatment, and a summary of what this study means for you, read the article above.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Dr. Steve Chaney
Health Tips From the Professor

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Gifts of health

It’s not too early to shop for your loved ones (and yourself) for the gift-giving holidays –Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza–fast approaching. Shaklee has some excellent suggestions and a special price incentive when you place your order. 15% off any three of these items. Promo Code is Goodhealth. Must shop by midnight on December 6th to take advantage of this special offer.

Total Wellness For the
Well Rounded

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    Boost Mental Sharpness*
  2. Stress Relief Complex* Nondrowsy Blend of Calming Herbs
    and Nutrients *
  3. Optiflora® DI Probiotic Clinically Proven for
    Digestive and Immune Health*

Energizers For the
Go Getters

  1. Shaklee 180® Energizing Tea A Natural Energy Lift
  2. Sustained Energy Boost* Energy Now. Energy Later. Naturally.
  3. B-Complex Perfect Balance of B Vitamins
    for Energy and Well-Being*

Daily Boosters For the

  1. Collagen-9™ The Most Complete Collagen Product
  2. Turmeric Boost Extra-Strength Formula Standardized
    to Contain 95% Curcuminoids
  3. Organic Greens Booster One cup of raw, Organic, Nutrient-Rich
    Green Vegetables in Every Scoop

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  1. YOUTH® Moisture Lock Day Cream Rehydrate, Revitalize, and Refresh
  2. YOUTH® Radiance C+E Restore Radiance in a Single Dose
  3. YOUTH® Hydrating Gel Mask Instant Facial – Revive and Glow
Youth Skin Care:

Immunity For the

Chewable Vita-C® Cellular Antioxidant and Immune

NutriFeron® Immune-Boosting Botanical Blend*

Vita-D3® 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3


Travel Essentials For the
Jet Setters

  1. Get Clean® Germ Off+ Wipes Disinfects in One Step‡
  2. Get Clean® Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Kills Germs While It Protects Your Hands
  3. Triple Defense Boost 3 Immune-Fueling Blends in 1 Tasty Drink*
Be safe as you go!

Here’s How it Works

Give wellness to everyone on your list.
Mix and match three or more items from the
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Be well, Do Well, and Keep Moving, Betsy

USE PROMO CODE: GOODHEALTH *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. †Receive 15% off when you purchase any 3 or more products from the Good Health Gift Guide and use the promo code GOODHEALTH. Offer Rules: This offer is available in the US and Canada from November 8, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. through December 6, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (PT). Open to all Guests, Members, and Distributors. Must purchase a minimum of 3 products (mix and match any combination) from the Gift Guide to be eligible for 15% off each Gift Guide product in your cart. The promo code GOODHEALTH must be entered at the time of checkout on the order to receive the 15% discount on Gift Guide products. Loyalty Orders (formerly Autoship orders) are included. Discounts can be combined. Loyalty Order must ship during the promotion period to qualify for the discount. Loyalty Point redemption is excluded on all Gift Guide products. Eligible orders must be placed online. This offer does not apply to orders placed through the Call Center. Shaklee reserves the right to change or cancel this offer at any time. Offer good while supplies last. ‡When used according to the directions for disinfection.

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More energy by day; better sleep by night

From the heart……

Recently I stopped by the drinks section of my favorite healthy grocery store, Puget Consumer Coop in West Seattle. I rarely buy any flavored drink preferring filtered water. I seldom leave home without a full water bottle in my purse. But that day, I was dragging and wanted a quick boost. Whatever it was that I bought and drank down on my long walk, it wired me with fantastic energy for the rest of the day and into the night. A bit too much.

There are two problems here:

1. Too much water is being pumped from the Earth and sent around the world with just a little added something-or-other. This is environmentally unsound. Flavor your local tap water yourself. Cut down on plastic bottles. Cut down on shipping which clogs the highways and adds C02 to the atmosphere.

2. What’s in all those drinks? Are they healthy? Artificial? If we need an energy boost—and apparently we do—are we doing damage to ourselves by drinking these concoctions?

Just as I was pondering these problems, Shaklee introduced a new powder, in serving-sized packets designed to make your filtered tap water into an energy drink. Read on to get the full story on this drink.

You and I have to do all we can to reduce the mining of water and the shipping of things we could make at home. Little shifts in our habits like making our own energy drink could help reverse global devastation. Every little act makes a difference, especially if we tell other people about it. Change the neighborhood, one household at a time.

Sustained Energy Boost you can mix at home.
Grapefruit or raspberry.

Sustained Energy Boost is an on-the-go stick pack available in two fruity flavors, Raspberry and Pink Grapefruit. It delivers a boost of energy powered by 100 mg caffeine from extracts of green coffee beans and green tea, plus chardonnay grape seed extract to promote healthy circulation, which helps deliver caffeine to the body and brain.

Why does it contain chardonnay seed extract?
Rich in polyphenols, chardonnay grape seed extract has been shown in a pilot study to rapidly enhance circulation within 1 hour. Healthy circulation is critical for the distribution of nutrients to the body and brain. Sustained Energy Boost contains chardonnay grape seed extract to promote healthy circulation to help deliver caffeine to the body and brain.
When is the best time to drink it?
Anytime you need a pick me up.
What’s the best way to drink it?
Mix 1 stick with 8–10 oz. of water or your favorite drink. Take a sip and get going!

MN $19.95 for 14 sticks. You will save so much money making your energy drink at home! Order some today.

More from the heart.

I’ve been having trouble sleeping through the night for years. Is it one of the conditions of growing old? Friends have talked to me about not sleeping well. Even with 3 tablets of Gentle Sleep Complex every night. Our body repairs as we sleep. We need a full night’s restful sleep, preferably uninterrupted. This seems to be a problem across the generations. So much stress in a chaotic world. Just as I was considering going to the health food store to see what might be available, Shaklee announced a new sleep aide. Read on for the details.

A restful night’s sleep is a precious thing. It can be yours.

Dream Serene ingredients

Melatonin, a hormone produced in the body that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin has been clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster.
Valerian, a plant that reduces the time necessary to fall asleep and improves sleep quality in individuals with sleep problems.
Lemon Balm extract is used in teas and traditional medicine to relieve headaches and treat sleeplessness. It is clinically shown to affect sleep and mood.
The synergistic blend of valerian & lemon balm promotes more restful sleep.
L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea leaves that helps alleviate stress.

Understanding How Sleep Affects Your Heart

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-third of adults get less than the minimum recommendation of 7 hours of sleep each night, adding to their risk for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. What does that mean for you?

Count your hours. Lack of sleep can disrupt your hormones and cause calcium buildup and other changes in your arteries. On the other hand, excessive sleep of more than 9 hours is associated with higher health risks too. Most adults need to aim for 7 to 8 hours nightly.

Watch your blood pressure. Your heart slows down, and your blood pressure drops while you sleep. This nocturnal dipping gives your body a chance to heal from daily stress. Without this time off, you’re more vulnerable to hypertension and other issues.

Manage diabetes. Elevated blood sugar can harm your blood vessels. Sleep helps to stabilize blood glucose, lowering your risk for prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

Lose weight. Do you crave fattening foods after a restless night? Studies show that lack of sleep may throw your hunger hormones out of balance, and make you want to overeat. Excess pounds increase inflammation and strain your heart, especially if they settle down around your midsection.

Reduce sleep apnea. If you snore and feel tired during the day, you may have sleep apnea. This disorder causes you to stop breathing intermittently while you’re asleep, putting you at greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and atrial fibrillation. Ask your doctor about CPAP therapy and other options.

Minimize disruptions. Even if you go to bed early, frequent interruptions can keep you from enjoying the four essential stages of sleep. The deeper stages of non-rapid eye movement sleep are especially beneficial for your heart. In addition, continuous sleep keeps your heart rate from spiking each time you wake up.

Be consistent. One study found that shift workers had almost 20% higher rates of coronary heart disease. If possible, go to bed and wake up at around the same time each day.

Change your diet. Eat more fiber, including vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Cut back on saturated fat and avoid trans fats.

Exercise regularly. Work your way up to doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. Cardio workouts like running and biking strengthen your heart and lower your blood pressure. Strength training conditions your heart and enhances your overall health too.

Learn to relax. It’s natural to feel anxious sometimes, especially in these chaotic times. Relaxation practices can help you to cope and enjoy more restful sleep. Take part each day in activities that help you relax.

Use natural sleep aids. A gentle, yet effective product like Shaklee Dream Serene, a patent-pending formula containing melatonin and a proprietary blend of valerian, lemon balm, and L-theanine can help you fall asleep, stay sleep and alleviate occasional sleeplessness.

Sufficient sleep and other heart-healthy habits can lower your risk for many serious medical conditions. Talk with your doctor, so you can figure out which factors are most important for helping you to lead a longer and more active life.

MN $21.25 for 30 capsules

Be well, Do well, and Keep Moving,


Youtube channel: You tube betsyjbell

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Collagen: the glue that holds us together


What is it and how do you know if you have all the collagen you need.

A few years ago, my hair thinned, my nails started splitting and tearing (they had been my screwdrivers), and my skin tore at the slightest brush with a blackberry vine. What was happening? I check out a few sources and realized that this aging body wasn’t making enough collagen. So, I went to the health food store and asked the clerk which collagen would help. There were many to choose from: big horse tables (4-6 a day), powders, liquids. I had no idea but took the tablets home and began to take them. My nails firmed up again. My hair stopped falling out–the bathtub drain was clear. My skin still tears easily. Oh well.

Shaklee never jumps on board the latest “thing”. Their scientists must study, test, source, and differentiate. At last, they came out with a Collagen product, different from many others on the market. Collagen itself contains detectable amounts of only eight essential amino acids, but all nine are required to support protein synthesis. So, Shaklee combined 10 grams of collagen plus 1 gram of pea protein to create Collagen-9. This blend of collagen and pea protein provides all nine essential amino acids, as well as vitamin C and biotin, to support the production of all proteins including collagen.

What is Collagen, anyway? …

The word “collagen” is derived from the Greek word kólla, which means glue.

Collagen is the most common protein in your body. In fact, about 30 percent of your body’s proteins are one type of collagen or another.

Collagen is a structural element of bones, muscles, tendon, and ligaments, and is a major component of your largest organ… the skin. Collagen is also found in blood vessels, teeth, cartilage, spinal discs, the digestive tract, and the corneas of your eyes.

The older you get, the less collagen your body makes… and it’s of a lower quality than when you were young.

Your body cannot make collagen without vitamin C.

While there are sixteen different types of collagen in your body, most of it is type I, II, III, or IV.

The structure of a type 1collagen protein is a triple helix… three chains twisting around each other… that gives collagen its unique strength. In fact, type I collagen is stronger than steel on a gram-for-gram basis because it’s made of fibers densely packed together.

And… it can stretch without breaking.

Collagen’s production and its ability to repair itself are diminished by too many refined carbohydrates (especially sugar), UV light exposure, nicotine, and nutrient deficiencies.

A recent study suggests that collagen may help build muscle mass and reduce fat stores when you engage in resistance training.

Weight Loss while you sleep

Our nightly repair process goes on while we sleep. The repairs work better if our stomach is not processing food—so don’t eat before you go to bed. Repair work takes energy which comes from fat while we sleep.

By using Shaklee’s collagen formula, in combination with an empty stomach before bedtime, you may experience better overall health, improved appearance, more restful sleep, help to maintain your mobility and flexibility, and natural weight loss.

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Remember, dear Ones, there is no guarantee that any product will work miracles for your health, but what if you did experience better health, as so many Shaklee customers have? Why not try it. Always a money-back guarantee. No questions asked.

They’re back & they’re better … Get Clean

Germ Off+ Wipes!

Now you can clean and disinfect household surfaces in just 5 minutes! Get Clean Germ Off+ Wipes are effective against bacteria and viruses, on hard, nonporous surfaces.

These wipes can be used without rinsing in kitchens and on food contact surfaces.

What are Germ Off+ Wipes?

They are disinfectant wipes effective against bacteria and viruses on hard, nonporous surfaces. No rinsing or wiping is required, even on food contact surfaces.

Are they effective against COVID-19?

The disinfectant in Germ Off+ Wipes kills the COVID-19 virus.

Do I need to use gloves while using Germ Off+ Wipes?


Are Germ Off+ Wipes safe in any room of the house?

Yes! Germ Off+ Wipes are safe to use without rinsing in kitchens, on food surfaces. They can be used on toys, car seats and other hard, nonporous surfaces. Discard used wipes in the trash. Do not flush.

What is the shelf life of Germ Off+ Wipes?

The shelf life for this product is 1 year.



Sale: Menopause Balance Complex.

While they last, from my inventory. $22 for 60 (retails at $31.45) + shipping. Helps calm down the effects of perimenopause, hot flashes, headaches, meanness. You know who you are. Call me: 206 409 5940

Be well, do well and keep moving, Betsy

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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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