General Health Category Blog entries categorized under General Health Fri, 19 Jan 2018 01:03:15 -0800 Joomla! 1.7 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Wine; Good vs Evil There are many reports on how red wine is supposed to be good for you.  But before you polish off a bottle a night.  Let's weigh the pros and cons.

There's no free lunch when it comes to wine. It's not really the sugar in wine that packs the calories, it's the alcohol. Furthermore, on a gram-for-gram basis, alcohol has more calories than sugar does. An eight-ounce glass of wine will always have about 120 calories — sorry! If you keep it to one glass a night and count the calories into your total daily caloric intake, yes, it can be good for you. Studies in the medical literature about women and alcohol show the correlation between women who consume the equivalent of one glass of wine per day and a lower rate of heart disease. However, women who consume more than this have an increased chance of developing high blood pressure, stroke, and breast cancer. While men can have two alcoholic drinks a day, two drinks for women starts to create harm.

One of the problems with drinking one glass of wine is that it lowers most people's willpower — leading to that second glass, along with an increased appetite — resulting in extra calories. While it is true that one glass of wine a day is associated with improved heart disease risk in women, there are other lifestyle behaviors that are also associated with improved health, such as eating lots of fruits and vegetables, exercise, and not smoking.

So, I don't recommend starting to drink wine just because it is supposed to be good for you Another factor to consider is that drinking wine can impair your intellectual ability, judgment, and reaction time. It can also affect your sleep in a detrimental way. I would not just drink wine every evening for a supposed health benefit that might not actually be there: What I mean by this is that the findings in the medical literature are associations. It has never been proven that a glass of wine per day actually prevents heart disease.

A more moderate way to introduce wine into your life is to allow yourself to sip a glass of red wine during a special dinner at a restaurant or at a party.  Or if you're going to have wine, then you have to offset those calories by burning them or decreasing your intake in other ways.  More importantly, I would recommend that you eat well and start an exercise program (if you aren't active).


Dean Shallberg


]]> (Dean Shallberg) General Health Tue, 12 Apr 2011 11:56:20 -0700
Why Soft Drinks Are Hazardous To Your Health, Scottsdale Acupuncture Specialist With everything that has been revealed in recent years about the alarming effects of soft drinks on your body, many health care providers, myself included, consider soft drinks to ne the four-letter word of beverages.

Yet so many people are still gulping down soft drinks as if they're water, some even instead of water!

According to a study conducted by the University of California-San Francisco, soft drinks have led to 6,000 more deaths, 14,000 more cases of heart disease and 130,000 new cases of diabetes in the past 10 years...helloooo?  Every time you buy that six pack of Dr. Pepper it's like purchasing your one-way ticket to Diabetes-ville!

In other words, drinking soda is a sure-fire way to make your body feel worse, break down and age faster.

Why?  For starters, soft drinks contain a HUGE amount of sugar, calories and harmful additives, and offer absolutely ZERO nutritional value to balance the equasion.

Recent studies have linked soft drinks to stroke, osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, cancer, heart disease and a laundry list of other ailments.  Despite the data, though, soda still accounts for more than one quarter of all drinks consumed in the United States- and people still wonder why they can’t lose weight and why they have persistent health problems!

Here’s a general, abbreviated list of what’s in most soft drinks:

Artificial Sweeteners- Aspartame/Neotame (in diet sodas):

The effects of Aspartame and it’s derivative Neotame, have been a hot topic in the news recently.  As it turns out, these artificial, chemical sweeteners, which have now been found to be neurotoxic, are commonly used as a sugar substitutes in diet sodas and almost all “sugar-free” products.  They're promoted as healthier alternatives to sugar, meanwhile, they set you up for over 92 different health problems.  These include headaches, memory problems, anxiety, brain fog, depression, skin irritations, menstrual problems, fibromyalgia, joint pain, brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, epilepsy/seizures, stroke…need I go on?

...For the FULL STORY on artificial sweeteners and the specific effects of DIET SODAS on your health, check out my recent article, Why Diet Sodas Are Not Necessarily Healthier Than Regular....

Phosphoric/Citric Acid:

These preservatives interfere with the pH balance of your blood.  The phosphate content of soft drinks is very high, and they contain virtually no calcium.  When phosphate levels in the blood are high and calcium levels are low, your body has no choice but to leach calcium out of your bones in order to restore the balance.  This leads to osteoporosis and weak tooth enamel/bones in general. Interestingly, the fastest growing group of people with osteoporosis in this country is now teenagers because of the huge amount of sodas they're drinking.

Sugar/High Fructose Corn Syrup:

It is a fact that high doses of sugar leads to a massive increases insulin levels, which can eventually screw up your body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels leading to diabetes and causing other problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, weight gain, premature aging and a laundry list of other negative side effects and diseases.

Sugar is also particularly destructive because in large amounts, like in a can of soda, it contributes to chronic inflammation and lowers your immune function by reducing the ability of white blood cells to ingest and destroy bacteria.

High Fructose Corn Syrup, now used in most sodas, is associated with poor development of collagen.  Since all fructose must be metabolized by the liver, high-fructose diets can lead to liver problems similar to those of alcoholics.


Caffeine over-stimulates the adrenal gland without providing nourishment. In large amounts, caffeine can lead to adrenal exhaustion, especially in children, and cause jitters, insomnia, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood cholesterol levels, breast lumps, birth defects, and perhaps some forms of cancer.  It is also a major dehydrator and leads to large scale depletion of vitamins and minerals in your body.

Artificial Colors/Flavors:

These may contain traces of MSG, a neurotoxin.  Also, they tend to drive cravings for more sweet and hyper-flavored foods ("more soda, please!") and reduce your ability to properly taste and appreciate the more subtle flavors of natural, healthy foods, perverting your palate and dissuading you from making other healthy changes to your diet because “nothing natural tastes as good!” Folks, that’s basically the same as a drug addiction.

In short, our health problems do not just begin on their own for no reason. We encourage the degradation of our body into illness and disease, little-by-little, by choosing unhealthy lifestyle and dietary choices and by NOT choosing preventative health care measures and a nourishing diet and lifestyle.

Kicking the soft drink habit is a critical step for achieving lasting health and weight loss.  Your choice to change this habit can literally transform your health and cause you to lose weight, reverse symptoms of diabetes, enhance bone density, support healthy brain function and even protect your body’s nervous system.

For information on how Acupuncture can help you lose weight naturally, assist you in overcoming your addictions to soft drinks, drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, your invited to visit my website and contact me today.

Melanie Miller, L.Ac., MAOM

Turning Point Wellness

Scottsdale, Az.

]]> (Melanie L Miller, L.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM) General Health Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:48:04 -0800
What Kind Of Transformation Is Dr. Oz Feeding You?

Here is the full blog! Thank you to the over 1000 of you who watched and shared our Dr. Oz video yesterday! We feel it is our responsibility to warn the millions of people around the world who are using Dr. Oz's 99 Diet Food Shopping List as a guide for healthy diet foods, that there are some potentially harmful and dangerous ingredients in some of his choices. If you haven't already, please watch our short video and share it with someone you love. It has already made a big impact and we have already gotten a strong response of support and thanks. As you watch the video and read the attached blog remember, this IS NOT an attack on Dr. Oz or the Jennie-O brand. It is our attempt to expose potentially harmful and dangerous ingredients in the foods Dr. Oz himself put on his Dr. Oz approved 99 Diet Food Shopping List. We hope you enjoy our video and the attached blog - we would love to hear your comments. 

The Caltons pull back the curtain on the Great and Powerful OZ!

            Over 1 million people have already signed up for Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation. It’s everywhere, he’s talking about it on The Dr. Oz Show, it was featured on the Today Show, Weight Watchers is involved and even the internet shoe giant, Zappos, is helping out by offering a measuring tape to aid in tracking your soon to be shrinking waistline. His goals to improve the health and reduce the weight of millions of people in this country are truly commendable. When we hear him talking about choosing foods based on their micronutrient content we couldn’t be more excited.  In fact, sometimes it even seems like Dr. Oz is taking excerpts right out of our book ;)            

However, after viewing the shopping list of the 99 diet foods Dr. Oz wants in your shopping cart we were less than enthusiastic. It left us asking, what is Dr. Oz trying to transform the nation into? His list, filled with processed foods with some less than desirable ingredients, left us completely baffled! It has been the over consumption of micronutrient-depleted, over-processed, chemical-filled foods that has contributed to the massive health crisis and obesity epidemic Americans are facing in the first place, and here we have a shopping list from a medical doctor that promotes these foods. Perhaps Dr. Oz was just trying to make it easy on busy people by offering them simple, fast solutions at mealtimes. But simple and fast doesn’t have to mean endangering our health? While not all the fast food options on Dr. Oz’s shopping list were poor food choices, in our opinion, there are too many that contained hidden ingredients that could be dangerous. Indicating to America that these are our best diet food choices is simply not healthy advice.

            So instead of just going back and forth between ourselves with “I can’t believe Dr. Oz would recommend this,” or “If people only knew what was in that,” we here at Calton Nutrition, we have decided to take part in Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation and do a little transforming of our own. We have decided to do an assessment of Dr. Oz’s 99 Diet Foods Shopping List replacing poor food choices with foods that fits into our RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD philosophy. As discussed in our book Naked Calories, our RICH FOOD, POOR FOOD philosophy focuses less on the calorie, fat, or sodium content of a food and more on its micronutrient value (micronutrients are the essential vitamins, minerals and fatty acids like omega 3 that we all need to get enough of to prevent health conditions and disease). It is our contention that achieving micronutrient sufficiency by eating micronutrient rich foods and avoiding harmful chemicals and food additives is the first step towards achieving optimal health. We know that there is many definitions to the word DIET, including low carbohydrate, paleo, Mediterranean, vegetarian, low fat, vegan – the list goes on and on. So, our list is full of healthy, natural, micronutrient rich foods that will help you achieve micronutrient sufficiency no matter what dietary philosophy you are following. While we would prefer, of course, to see fewer packaged foods and more fresh, whole, real foods in the cart altogether, we will be offering up an apples-to-apples comparison to keep the shopping cart transformation fair. For instance, if Dr. Oz offers a frozen food option, we will also offer a frozen food option. Our goal in doing this is to show you what potentially hazardous and micronutrient depleting ingredients are lurking in the foods in Dr. Oz’s cart. We will first examining one of Dr. Oz’s 99 Diet Food recommendations and then we will replace it with one of our suggestions. We will continue to do this until all of the potentially hazardous and micronutrient-depleting ingredients have been exposed. As you will see, some of the ingredients in his foods are not so healthy. So, sit back and enjoy the Calton Nutrition’s version of “Transformation Nation” as we replace the Oz-approved poor food suggestions, with our Calton-approved, rich food options.


Introducing #5 on Dr. Oz’s 99 Diet Foods Shopping List: Jennie-O Breakfast Sausage Links.

            This is first food on Dr. Oz’s list that jumped out at us. We chose it for two reasons, first we sometimes eat a similar food for breakfast – we’ll get our rich food picks later; second, and more important, Dr. Oz recently alerted the public about the possible danger associated with one of this foods ingredients. In our opinion, Dr. Oz really blew it with this breakfast food. So we will make this the first food on Dr. Oz’s 99 diet foods shopping list we don’t want to see in your shopping cart. Now we want to be clear, we are not trying to pick up a fight with Dr. Oz or Jennie-O, Dr. Oz is the one that put their name down on his list, not us. Our obligation is to you, our readers, your welfare is our first priority and you deserve to know that there are ingredients in Dr. Oz’s food choices that can negatively affect your health. It is not Jennie-O or Dr. Oz that we appose, it is the ingredients in this Oz-approved diet food choice with which we find fault.


Here are the ingredients as they are listed on the label:

Turkey, Contains 2% or Less Turkey Fat, Seasoning (Salt, Dextrose, Spice, Spice Extractives, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Bha, Bht and Citric Acid), Natural Flavoring, Calcium Lactate, Made With Calcium Alginate Casing.

Let’s start by examining the ingredients list. 

Poor ingredients Numbers 1 and 2: BHA and BHT

            We will begin with two seemingly innocent ingredients BHA and BHT. Butylated hydroxyanisole(BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) are waxy solids that are used as food additives and come with European coding numbers E320 (BHA) and E321 (BHT). Manufactured from petroleum, they act aspreservatives to edible fats and fat-containing foods to prevent the food from becoming rancid and developing objectionable odors. The US National Institute of Health reports that BHA is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on evidence of carcinogenicity in rats. Additionally, the state of California lists this ingredient as a carcinogen.

In England these substances are banned as research found that they can form a carcinogenic substance when combined with other foods. Japan has also banned them after studies found they cause cancerous tumors in rat’s stomachs and have been linked to liver and kidney damage as well as breast and lymph node damage. Do these sound like ingredients you want in your breakfast sausage? Do they sound like ingredients that will transform your health in any positive way? We think NOT.


Poor ingredient Number 3: Hydrolyzed Corn Protein 

            So, what is hydrolyzed corn protein after all? It doesn’t sound so scary. Well, this ingredient is better known by another name – monosodium glutamate, or MSG. This poor food ingredient can cause extreme changes in blood pressure, joint pain, body aches, chest pains, loss of balance, slurred speech, diarrhea, stomach cramps, sneezing, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, blurred vision, irregular heartbeat, depression, dizziness, anxiety or panic attacks, migraines, mental confusion, stiffness, muscular swelling, lethargy, difficulty concentrating, and seizures. But the real problem, as if that list isn’t bad enough, is that MSG is an excitotoxin, a substance known to overexcites cells to the point of damage or death.

            Tests preformed in the 1950s showed that when rats were given a single dose of MSG, it destroyed the neurons in the inner layer of their retinas. The hypothalamus of the brain was also severely damaged in the process. Here is the kicker, studies show that humans are up to six times more sensitive to the effects of MSG than rats!

            Even if you are going to overlook the possible brain damage and the host of other side effects listed above, we still have another reason to avoid MSG. It turns out, if you are trying to lose weight, which by the way is the main goal of Dr. Oz’s Transformation Nation, than you’ll most certainly want to steer clear of this ingredient. In a study of more than 10,000 individuals, researchers found that participants with the highest MSG intake (median of 5g/day) were about 30% more likely to be overweight at the end of the study, compared to those with the least intake (less than 0.5g/day). This is because individuals who consumed MSG had higher than normal leptin secretion levels (the hormone that normally tells you when you are full.) Normal leptin secretion typically signals the brain that a person is full. But the MSG eater’s leptin levels in the study were so out of whack that their bodies could no longer recognize the leptin’s messages. The over secretion had the opposite effect and made it so that they never felt full. Is this an ingredient you want in your food? Will this ingredient help you on your weight loss journey? Again Dr. Oz… No.

Poor ingredient Number 4: Dextrose 

            Do we really need to add sugar to the sausage? Dextrose is just another name for sugar. Aside from sugar being an Everyday Micronutrient Depleter (EMD) – see Naked Calories pages 104 & 122 - thispoor food ingredient spikes insulin – a fat storage hormone - and has been unnecessarily added to the sausage to simply appeal to the American taste bud. Additionally, sugar is addictive. Studies out of the University of Bordeaux, France, found refined sugar to be far more addictive than cocaine! So the more we add it to our foods, the more we will crave it. To add insult to injury, dextrose rates a 100 on the glycemic index (the highest possible rating). This means that it enters our system extremely fast and thus stimulates a high insulin response very quickly. Remember, insulin is a fat storage hormone so suggesting a sugar-laden sausage as a diet food is completely bizarre unless your goal is to transform our nation into overweight, sugar-addicted diabetics.

            Poor ingredient Number 5: Non-organic, non-pastured turkey 

            If there is any ingredient on this list where we can give a little wiggle room to, it might be this one. We know that the richest food option would be organic, pasture raised turkey meat. Turkeys, like chickens, are far more micronutrient rich when they have been pasture raised, allowing them to absorb sunlight (vitamin D), and allowed to peck around in the dirt and grass for their insects (omega 3). So, for that reason choosing a sausage that is made from organic pastured turkey would be the healthiest.  But, we are realists and know that pasture raised ingredients are hard to find and can be costly. Until we as consumers demand pasture-raised ingredients, the supply will stay low, and the cost high.

            However, we do want to at least stress the organic portion of this health recipe. Why should the turkey be organic? Well, the answer is based on a topic that is near and dear to Dr. Oz’s heart – one we just heard him talking about on “Today” this past week. It’s all about the arsenic.

            There he was on “Today” remarking on how brown rice syrup has been shown to have unsafe arsenic levels. Dr. Oz cautioned against giving it to our children in baby food formulas.  Well, we’re sorry to be the ones to break the news, but turkeys (and chickens) commonly contain arsenic too. So, while Dr. Oz cautions us on television no to consume it, he recommends foods known to have it on his shopping list. Huh?

            According to the FDA, poultry farmers feed arsenic, a recognized carcinogen to the birds, for "growth promotion, feed efficiency and improved pigmentation." The arsenic affects the blood vessels in the chicken and turkey, causing them to appear pinker and therefore fresher. Doesn’t that just sound delicious?

            Now, we are NOT saying that we have tested Jennie-O Breakfast Sausage Links for arsenic. We haven’t!  However, when conventional poultry was tested by a Minnesota-based advocacy group, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, it found the poison (arsenic) in 55% of chicken parts (breast, thighs and livers) tested, with the highest amount, 21.2 parts per million, occurring in generic brands. If you want to know how safe that is, you should know that the EPA considers 10 parts per billion (with a B) in drinking water to be high enough to pose a cancer risk. The chickens tested had more than 2,000 times the cancer causing arsenic levels!

            So, you can see how important choosing an organic turkey would be in avoiding this known carcinogen.  The European Union has outlawed this feed since 1999. If we can’t get it outlawed here in the US, shouldn’t it at least be our obligation to warn against it, or at the very least to NOT suggest products that contain turkey that may have been fed the arsenic?

Five Strikes… The Jennie-O Breakfast Sausage Link is OUT!

            Well, we have been very thorough in pointing out what ingredients we don’t want to be in your foods. Based on the above-mentioned ingredients we don’t want the Jennie-O Breakfast Sausage Links in our shopping cart. But, how difficult is it to find a better product?  It’s not!  In fact, we found three products in our fridge/freezer just now that we feel are better choices.

            The first is Jones, All Natural Pork Sausage Patties. We dub this a rich food breakfast option because of its simple ingredient list. Pork, water, salt and spices. Now, we don’t have to translate any of those for you do we? While this product is not organic, it is a great, easy-to-find, inexpensive option to transforming your health. Especially if you’re following a low carbohydrate, paleo, or Mediterranean style diet.

            Next, we also like The Original Brat Hans Organic Sweet Italian chicken sausage.  These links tick off all the boxes – no MSG, no sugar, and no nasty carcinogenic preservatives. They even add veggies for an extra bonus in the morning. They may be a little harder to find, maybe that is why the Dr Oz people didn’t find them, but they are so good, and so much better for you! This organic breakfast sausage delivers the micronutrients you need with none of the potentially harmful ingredients you don’t want.

            Finally, our third choice is by Applegate Organics Fire Roasted Red Pepper chicken and turkey sausage. This is a rich food option for certain. There is nothing about this food that’s not to love. Remember, because these are organic, the birds will not have been fed the arsenic. These tasty organic links will transform your morning by supplying you with a satisfying, delicious, and healthy meal.

            Well, our job is done here…for today. But don’t fret. We will continue to transform the Transformation Nation’s shopping cart, item by item, into one that is filled with Calton-approved rich foodsthat are safe and healthy for you and your family. Remember, you are what you eat. As Dr. Oz says, yourgrocery store is your pharmacy. We agree, and believe following our guidelines and choosing our rich foods, with the safest ingredients will be the right prescription for you to achieve micronutrient sufficiency and eventually optimal health.

If you haven’t yet make sure you watch and share the attached video – we need to get the message out, before millions of people unknowingly ingest these potentially harmful ingredients. Thank you for doing your part!

~Mira and Jayson Calton

]]> (Mira Calton) General Health Thu, 23 Feb 2012 04:31:31 -0800
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]]> (Jeff Behar) General Health Wed, 18 Nov 2009 10:53:31 -0800
Weight Loss Secrets that Work weight-loss-tips_book to lose the weight or keep the weight off? For many people diets continually fail to deliver results. Why? Because they are either based on the wrong principles or because they do not address important underlying principles or address needed lifestyle changes.

]]> (Jeff Behar) General Health Mon, 27 Jun 2011 01:00:00 -0700
Tinnitus Mari Quigley Milleri Speaking at Otolaryngology Convention at the Disneyland Hotel,  Anaheim, Ca on Sunday, Feb 7th at 7pm.... Patient prospective on Tinnitus.. ]]> (Mari Quigley Miller) General Health Sat, 06 Feb 2010 16:14:43 -0800 The Problem of Obesity in America

There is a growing dilemma in this country and it needs to be stopped immediately. I am talking about obesity. Obesity in America is on the rise. It needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped now. Obesity is growing to become the number one killer in this country.

There are a number of reasons why obesity is happening. Whatever it may be let's take aobesitylook at some reasons this may be happenning and somethings we can fight obesity with.

Sedentary Lifestyle

The are some instances that  obesity is caused from a medical condition. I am not going to talk about those conditions here.  What I do know is how dangerous living a sedetary lifestyle is. Having a sedetary lifestyle is a recipe for disater. I feel this is one of the most dangerous causes of obesity, as not being active will open a door of many health problems.

What is causing this lifestyle that has led to obesity. Is it laziness, is it depression, or is there another reason for being sedetary. Spending hours upon hours watching TV or on the computer can all lead to inactivity that can eventually lead to obesity. The important thing is you need to identify what is causing the inactivity that has led to obesity, and change it immediately!

If your body becomes used to a non-active way, then trying to do something about it will be even more difficult. The longer you wait to do something about your obesity problem the harder it is going to be to try and correct it. Get up and get moving!

Exercise To Fight Obesity

Exercise is so important especially in the fight against obesity. I know it can be intimidating to start, but it is something that is a must to fight obesity. Your best route would be to hire a professional trainer so the guess work of what to do is taking out of the equation. There are many situations when I see someone, who is overweight, come into the gym and immediately head for the ab machine. That is such the wrong approach and will lead to failure! Get a plan and put it to work. You do not have to train with a trainer every session if it is to costly. Use a trainer a couple times a week and ask what you should do when you are not training with them. Most trainers should be respectful enough to understand a financial situation and offer advice on the days you are not with them. Exercise is a must to fight obesity.

A Nutritional Approach

If you are fighting obesity and are telling yourself "I don't eat that bad", you are fooling yourself. If this is true then you probably wouldn't be obese. There may be some small changes when added with exercise that may help, but chances are there is a larger problem leading to obesity with your nutrition program.

When it comes to nutrition you must remember we are all different. Why do you think there are so many diets out. Some may work for one and not the other. Here is my approach to nutrition. When you need your car to be serviced, you do not take it to a carpenter to fix do you? You take it to someone who knows about cars. The same goes here about nutrition. If you want to fight obesity, then you should see a registered dietician. There are so many issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and others , that you just need a professional to go over your nutrition. Proper nutrition is a major tool to fight obesity.

There also can be emotional issues that cause you to eat bad. Emotional eating has ruined many people's weight loss programs. If you use food to cope you need to learn how to change that and find other ways to deal with these issues. If you do not deal with issues differently, then your obesity problem will never go away.

Today's Tools To Fight Obesity

Being a trainer for close to 20 years I am biased to exercise to fight obesity. That doesn't mean I am against the surgery methods used today. Gastric Bypass and Lap Band are the two major surgeries used today. When all else fails then these methods, even though it won't be easy, have proven results.  I am all about a person feeling better about themselves and being healthier, as we only have one life to live. If it takes surgery to get you healthy and fight obesity, than even though it isn't my favorite method, how can I not support someone.

My Final Thoughts

Whatever has caused your obesity, if it isn't a medical issue, than it is up to you to change. Obesity in America is growing at an alarming rate. You need to begin the fight, the fight for your life. Stop finding reasons not to do it and start finding reasons to fight obesity. Just because a person is obese does not mean they are any different than anyone else. Join support groups for obesity, join my facebook fan page and contact me, get a workout buddy with similar goals, whatever you like. Obesity needs to be stopped. The good thing is there are many tools to fight obesity, so put the past in the past and start to fight obesity today!

Exercise and Nutrition Tips

]]> (mike) General Health Tue, 28 Jun 2011 18:46:00 -0700
The Paleo Prescription The lyrics everything old is new again applies to the “Paleolithic Diet” as our ancient diet now in vogue. In Paleolithic times, the notion of “diet” didn’t exist.  Paleo folks ate as nature provided.  So, why should we look so far back to find our way forward?  The answer is simple and profound.


If real space-agers and stone-agers ever met, the time travelers would surely marvel at the differences between 21st century folk and our Pale ancestors. We rely on technological conveniences; 0 they relied on stone tools. Did evolution favor us, with so few of us hunting wild animals and gathering plants? Is it enough for us to use our primal instincts when hunting for barcode bargains and gathering our social networking friends?


From their cave art and goddess sculptures, we know of our Paleolithic ancestors’ creativity and spirituality.  And if a human of 40,000 years ago saw our battles of the bulge and lifestyle-caused ills, they may think we’d lost our minds with our health.  Experts say that our Paleo ancestors’ genetic codes are less than .02% apart from ours; thus we require the same nutrition as they did 40,000 years ago. 


In Paleo times, unwrapping food required peeling, skinning or cracking a shell.  So much of what we eat has been chemically preserved for long shelf lives in cans, boxes and cellophane packaging.  Our Paleo ancestors, adept at fishing, may have discovered salt as a preservative but they would not recognize much of what their descendents – that’s us -- consider food. 


What did Paleos eat?  Nuts, seeds, plants, vegetables and fruits that they found, and meat and fish caught with their family and friends.  It was simple and nutritious.


Take away electricity and cell towers, and how different are we from our Paleo kin? They built houses with walls, and fireplaces; were industrious with tools, and practiced spiritual beliefs that included burial traditions. Not too different from us after all!


Proponents of our Stone Age ancestors’ evolutionary diet say we can reverse obesity and disease caused by our processed man-made foods (frozen meals, fast food, corn syrup, refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavorings and colors) in our diets. Eliminate even some of those culprits, and you’ve won half the battle.


A health-focused attitude is the key to building health-sustaining habits, but no need to be extreme to go Paleo; give yourself some leeway on grains, starches and dairy. Listen to what your body tells you in that regard. If you are sedentary and prone toward metabolic syndrome, limit starches and grains. The best rule of thumb – Paleo and otherwise – is to forgo processed and refined foods.  Eat foods closest to their natural forms in every category -- proteins, fats and carbs.


One can argue that if the Paleolithic lifestyle was sustainable, their descendents wouldn’t have invented agriculture 10,000 or so years later. So, does it really violate our genetic engineering to consume foods cultivated through modern agricultural means?


A little logic goes a long way. For those whose physical activity level is Paleo-like, with a lean body, there is no need to abstain from wholesome crops like brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, legumes, etc, as part of healthy carb-loading. Even Paleo diets surely varied based on climate and availability, so let’s not get caught in a diet trap here either -- no pun intended!


If your system can’t process gluten and lactose, the sooner you accept it and eliminate it from your diet, the better. And if you can tolerate gluten and dairy, moderation is still advisable.


No matter how you feel about dietary theories, we all need more fresh, raw fruits and vegetables as foundational to health. This is especially so given our un-Paleo Western refined grains, sugar-and-fat temptations, assaulting our senses at every turn, plus all the toxic assaults on our bodies in unnatural environments that our Paleo ancestors couldn’t imagine. 


We needn’t abandon cooked food but it helps to understand that “life begets life” when it comes to health as well as procreation, so ingesting more living foods is a true recipe for longevity.


Want a good way to get in touch with your roots, literally and figuratively? If you’ve got a patch of earth, great rewards can be found in tilling the soil, planting seeds, tending your garden, and harvesting vine-ripened treasures.  Besides the extra nutritional density to nourish your body, you’ll get naturally high absorbing the sun’s Vitamin D, along with your plants.  As a gardener for 30 years with my family, spring is when we commune with the earthworms that will nourish the soil for the foods we grow. A simple guide to use to decide if something belongs in you: ask if it wasn’t “fed” by a worm, how well will it pass through me?


Here’s to enjoying technology’s marvels and advances of modern science, while remembering to honor our Paleolithic roots! To learn about a modern marvel that is helping people bridge their Paleo-food gaps, click on my “Powered by Juice Plus” banner! 

By Amy Shapiro, M. Ed.


]]> (Amy Shapiro) General Health Mon, 12 Apr 2010 08:47:45 -0700
The Incredible Power of Cacao and Dark Chocolate  


As far back as 1500 B.C. advanced early civilizations in the Mesoamerica regions of Central America and Mexico recognized the health benefits of chocolate. Some of the earliest to discover these benefits were the Mayans who looked upon the cacao tree and it's pods and beans as a sacred medicinal plant. These ancient people regularly consumed a nutritionally dense drink of cacao mixed with chiles, cinnamon and other spices. This was truly known as the Nectar of the Gods and was called Xocalatl.

As Spanish explorers discovered these new worlds and the treasures they held, they began to take these new discoveries back to the masses in Europe. As cacao and it's antioxidant rich beans and this newly discovered Xocalatl drink were introduced to the Europeans, chocolate became very popular and as such it did not take very long for it's original healthy form to be diluted, distorted and adulterated to make it more appealing to the masses, a far cry from the healthy Mayan drink Xocalatl. It became what we know today as something completely different . . . unhealthy and nutrient deficient candy.

In the same way that cacao has been transformed and degraded, so too has our once healthy lifestyle. One of society's largest problems is our poor diets and our lack of exercise. We live in an environment that exposes us to all kinds of toxins and pollutants from the daily lives we lead. All of this exposure leads to the build up of free radicals and the damage they cause to our bodies, internal organs and tissues.

Modern science and medical research has put cacao and chocolate back under the microscope. We have discovered that one of the worlds favorite foods actually holds some very incredible health properties that really can't be found in hardly any other medicinal type of plant.

There have been more than 2000 studies from many very respected institutions like Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Purdue Universities. These have even been peer reviewed studies published in many major medical journals including the Journal of American Medicine that resoundingly confirm that properly processed cacao and dark chocolate could help with a broad spectrum of human health benefits. The studies have documented:


  • 200 studies on antixidant benefits
  • 170 on cardiovascular health
  • 60 on brain and mental function
  • 20 on weight control
  • 20 on mood
  • many, many more!

The key to this research is knowing that all chocolate is not created equally. You can't just run to the local store and buy a bunch of your favorite chocolate bars. You may have even seen those so-called dark chocolate bars that whose labels may show they contain as much as 70% pure cacao. Be careful though, even those high cacao content bars are considerably closer to a candy bar than they are to the original source the Mayans discovered centuries ago...the all natural and nutrient rich cacao bean.


More in the next blog post......... 















]]> (Keith Allen) General Health Sat, 07 May 2011 16:32:35 -0700
Stress Relief With Acupuncture

Got stress?  The answer is probably yes to some degree or another.  Finally, the modern medical community is even recognizing the massive impact that long-term stress can have on our physical health.

To understand what stress is doing to your body, try to imagine life as it was thousands of years ago, at a time when being eaten by a rather large, hungry animal was a realistic threat.  Back then, it was critical that your ancestors had to be able to react instantly, either by fighting for their lives or by running for their lives.

As a result, we humans evolved a sophisticated Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) to automatically control our muscles and internal organ systems during varying circumstances.

The ANS is divided into two parts: the Parasympathetic Nervous System, or “rest and digest” mode, which is where our bodies are supposed to be functioning from most of the time, and the Sympathetic Nervous System, or “fight or flight” mode, which is designed to help us survive a potentially life threatening situation.

Because of the nature of that Sympathetic, “fight or flight” mode, our bodies are able to instantly respond to stressful situations, giving us a burst of strength and endurance so that we don’t become a grizzly bear’s mid-day snack:

  • Your heart rate increases along with the force of your heart muscle’s contractions, increasing the blood flow to your brain and muscles by up to 400 percent
  • The pupils of your eyes dilate
  • Your digestion stops (so it doesn’t use up energy that’s needed elsewhere)
  • Your muscle tension increases
  • Your lungs dilate, making you breathe faster and harder to bring more oxygen to your muscles
  • Your Adrenal glands go into overdrive, creating a surge of adrenaline, cortisol and epinephrine

The Sympathetic reaction is designed to keep you alive in life-threatening situations.  It’s supposed to be balanced by a subsequent return to Parasympathetic, “rest and digest” mode, which is where your body is able to repair damage, relax, digest, rejuvenate and restore normal functioning, and it worked really really well back in the caveman days,

But these days, we’re not really running from bears much anymore.

Instead, our "bears" are our non-stop, fast-paced, high-stress modern lifestyles.  Bears have now become bosses, rush-hour traffic, performance reviews, tax time and in-laws.  And rather than showing up occasionally and briefly, these stressful influences are constant and our bodies are now becoming perpetually stuck in what is referred to as “sympathetic overdrive.”

The Sympathetic Nervous System is meant to be stimulated under emergency, alarm states only, but most of us spend our lives there.  The end result is that we experience the effects of long-term, continuous stress:

  • Anxiety, depression, panic attacks, mood disorders, etc.
  • Muscle tension, pain, jaw clenching and headaches/migraines
  • Insomnia/Sleep disorders
  • Adrenal fatigue with symptoms like lack of energy, depression, decreased ability to handle stress, a compromised immune system and memory lapses
  • Type 2 Diabetes, as a result of an inability of the overworked stress hormone, Cortisol, to continue to respond appropriately to blood sugar levels.
  • Digestive disorders
  • High stress reduces the number of white blood cells in your body, reducing your immune function, making you more likely to get colds, flu’s, allergies and other diseases.
  • Increase blood pressure and the risk for stroke, heart attacks, etc.
  • Stress can throw off a woman’s reproductive system, creating menstrual irregularities, pain, heavy bleeding, continuous spotting, PMS symptoms, and infertility.  It can also lead to male infertility, diminished sexual desire and an inability to achieve orgasm.
  • Stress triggers behaviors that contribute to disease, such as smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse, and overeating.

The physical stress of sympathetic overdrive can take its toll on the body, eventually leading to into a chronic disease state.  Fortunately, though, there’s help available in the form of Acupuncture.

Acupuncture is safe and effective and can restore your body’s ability to handle the mental and physical symptoms of high stress, anxiety and depression.

Acupuncture treatments guide your body back into the much needed Parasympathetic, “rest and digest” mode by releasing your body’s own natural “feel good” chemicals from the brain, called endorphins.

These endorphins relieve pain and increase your sense of relaxation and well-being and are drop for drop more powerful than morphine.  They can give you a “natural high” similar to the feeling we have at peak experiences in our lives and are the reason behind the phenomenon known as “runner’s high.”  This is one of the reasons that acupuncture is so useful in the treatment of depression and anxiety.

The calming nature of acupuncture decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and encourages relaxation by loosening tight muscles. You can leave a session feeling as if you had a really good deep-tissue massage.  In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals.

Acupuncture effectively helps to calm the Sympathetic Nervous System, taking you from “fight-or-flight” mode to “rest-and-relax” mode, often within minutes, and yes- even if you’re afraid of needles. Many first time, needle-phobic Acupuncture patients walk in nervous and tense, and walk out like purring kittens…happens aaaaaaaall the time.

Regular Acupuncture treatments serve to nurture and nourish the various systems of the body, which can greatly enhance the body’s ability to thrive in times of stress, aid in healing, prevent illness and increase vitality.

Originally posted on by Melanie Miller, L.Ac., MAOM, owner Turning Point Wellness, Scottsdale, Az., Visit Turning Point Wellness to contact Melanie directly and for more information about how Acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, and natural nutrition can help you achieve a greater level of wellness and vitality.

]]> (Melanie L Miller, L.Ac., MAOM, Dipl. OM) General Health Mon, 21 Mar 2011 20:37:17 -0700