Tag Archives: paleo diet

Blue Christmas

Gentle Reader,

Does the over whelming need to be cheerful this season get you down?  Perhaps you are like me and Christmas brings memories, and some of them are not go wonderful.  It feels like an emergency.  I have to figure something out or I will go down in a wash of self pity.

The first session with my personal trainer, daughter Priscilla Bell was a positive step and the floor exercises for strengthening the abs feel as though they are making my back less vulnerable.  Arthritis pain is less and less.  There were some tweaks as the exercises took their measure of my joints.

Christmas still felt blue.  I am digging through old papers and came across the Christmas letter from 1993, the first communication to my friends since my first husband, Don Bell died the previous November.  The letter begins “Who’s going to dry my tears?  Who’s going to listen to my day?  Who’s going to plot the future with me now that Don Bell is dead?”  What misery!

The letter ends with gratitude for you, my friends who are there for me to dry my tears and hear about my day.

Five years later, I married our good friend Chuck Finney, widowed the same time I was.  Now it is five years since our last Christmas together.  He died Epiphany 2008.  Hard to realize I’ve been alone this long.  Most of the time it is good.  I have you, my family and my community at Saint Mark’s to sustain me.   But.  Christmas feels blue.

I went back to Priscilla for more training.  Action, in my world, leads to mental health as well as physical health.  This week she gave me weight bearing exercises with 5 pound weights.  OMG.  Much harder than the ones I was already doing on my own.  She noticed, rightly, that my shoulders are getting rounded from sitting too much and not standing tall.  This happens with age and if we want to keep going into our 90’s, we have to work on building those larger upper back muscles.  When strengthened they will open the chest and hold us tall.  The added benefit for the person with osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, or any joint pain, is that a stronger upper back relieves the stress on the lower back.  She told me I was working my lower back way too much.

Two close and dear friends are suffering from terrible arthritis pain these days.  One visited her naturopath who recommended the Paleo Diet:  all vegetables and protein.  No grains or dairy (including cheese.  Yep, you got that right.)  You can read my post http://nowheelchair.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/it-comes-down-to-what-we-eat/ and watch the TED talk there by the amazing woman who was in a wheelchair when she changed her diet to this Paleo thing and is now healthy.

Does that plunge you into another low Blue Christmas?  Thinking about that kind of diet when you just went out and bought those beautiful cheeses and crackers, cream and butter for the feasts you are preparing?  Yes.

Be of good cheer.  January 2nd is coming.  Make a resolution to try the diet thing to rid yourself of pain.  If you want help with extra pounds, I’m your girl: the expert Turnaround Specialist.  Give yourself 90 days to get the new regimen into your system, watching the inches melt away and the joints behave themselves.  Then keep it up for another 90 days to cement the new eating and exercise habits.  This is the 180 turnaround we want for 2013.  Shaklee has a new program called 180 Turnaround.  Join me. I’m going to do it and will be glad to lead the way.


For now, be of good cheer without denying that this season can be tough.  Put on your rain gear and go outdoors.  The low lying hills are calling and the roads are clear.


Merry Christmas!  And keep moving.

Before you go, post a comment about your Blue Christmas.  Ask for kindness back to you.


Fondly, Betsy

Be Well, Do Well and Keep Moving

BetsyBell’s Health4u


206 933 1889  1 888 283 2077





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It comes down to what we eat

Gentle Reader,

A friend sent me a TED talk by Dr.Terry Wahls  on MS this past week.  In the 5 minute screening she recounts her productive life as a research scientist up to the debilitating onset of MS.  Seeking the best care medical professionals had to offer, her condition worsened.  Driven by her inquiring mind to know as much as she could about her disease, she began to experiment with different foods and supplements.  As her condition improved, she increased her dependence on whole plant foods, greens, reds, yellows, blues, purples and lessened or stopped eating altogether all refined foods, meats, dairy, sugars, grains.  Exercise became possible.  Brain function and mobility returned to better than normal.  All drug intake stopped.  Take a minute to watch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc

Arthritis caused by spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis is not Multiple Sclerosis.  I realize this. I would challenge anyone suffering from the pain and loss of mobility caused by arthritis to eat the diet Dr. Wahls describes and discover how much this pain lessens and mobility increases.  Every other system in the body improves with this diet.

Now, most people will not be able to eat this way day in and day out.  I don’t. For instance, yesterday I ate 1 meal on the run, getting off for choir practice with a protein shake in my car.  The next two meals I ate in the company of church members, lunch with a homeless community meal; dinner with the group of people I traveled with to Nicaragua in February.  My defense is supplementation.  The Carotanoids, Flavonoids, the Liver Cleanse, the pre and pro biotic do their best to take the place of the diet Dr. Wahls recommends.  When I am home, like today, I will eat this way.

You may have decided this blog is becoming too much of a harangue about diet and lose interest in following my Monday posts.  Before you go, just think outside the box, if you will, and consider the value to your health of a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, natural oils and proteins from plant sources.  Think of the future you dream of with your children and grandchildren, of travel and gardening, of skiing and hiking, of knitting and sewing without pain well into your 80’s and even your 90’s.  What is the price you are willing to pay for a pain free future?  We pay for our health sooner or later.  A wholesome diet and supplementation put the money up front and could lessen the cost of healthcare in our later years.  Think about it.

I am too harsh and unforgiving.  I love you just the way you are and would gladly listen to your stories about ways you have found to alleviate your arthritis pain.  If you do experiment with the Dr. Wahls diet, let me know how it goes.  If you want to fill in the gaps with “foodlet” supplements that are guaranteed to make you feel better or your money back, let me know that, too.

Be well, Do Well and Keep Moving.


BetsyBell’s Health4U

206 933-1889

Seattle, WA 98116


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