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Wellness & Health
Kidneys. Not something you spend a lot of time thinking about, but these amazing bean shaped organs are essential for life! These vital organs are the sophisticated trash collectors of your body and process over 200 quarts of blood in a day to filter about 2 quarts of impurities, waste and extra water from your body.
Your kidneys also regulate and measure out proper amounts of substances like potassium and sodium to achieve the balance your body needs. Too much is harmful to health. Three important hormones are also released from your kidneys:
* Renin, which helps to regulate your blood pressure
*EPO, (Erythropoietin) which stimulates the blood to create red blood cells
*And the active form of Vitamin D, which maintains normal chemical balance in the body and helps your bones receive calcium.
March is National Kidney Month and March 10 is World Kidney Day, calling attention to the need to keep your kidneys healthy and avoid kidney disease. Those with cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity are at special risk for kidney failure and there are simple ways to keep your kidneys healthy and avoid kidney disease:
Leah talks about the shock of learning she has Kidney disease on her 16th birthday
Leah talks about being 16, and learning she has kidney disease
1.Control your blood pressure! Diet and sometimes medication are needed to do this.
2.Control your sugar and carbohydrate intake. High or spiked blood sugar overworks the kidneys, causing them to stop working properly.
3.Follow a low protein diet. Here is another high five for a plant based diet. Make the bulk of your meals in a day veggies, beans and fruits.
4.Maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Here again, a plant based diet, high in fiber, can help control most high cholesterol, while a diet of meat, fried foods, and over processed foods leads to a problem with cholesterol and triglycerides.
5.Stop smoking. So many reasons to,and here is another!
Maintain a good weight for your height. Obesity is a killer to your kidneys
6.Cut back on salt. Less than 1,500 milligrams a day.
7.Get 30 minutes of exercise daily. Walk, run, swim. Fit some form of brisk exercise into your daily habits.
Keep in mind, diabetes and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease. You can save some kidney function but damage cannot be reversed and small changes make big differences!
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr March 2013
Keeping your mind healthy is something we all need to consider, and there is mounting research showing that there are ways we can stave off some types of dementia; one way is through exercise, like walking!
UCLA’s Longevity Center’s director Gary Small MD, has spent the last two decades researching ways our lifestyle choices effect our memory. In his book, The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program, Small cites a study which shows moderate exercise, like a daily walk, can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s by a significant 45 %. Dr. Small’s states that, “During physical activity, your body secretes protective chemicals which are thought to spark neurons. There isn’t a guarantee exercise will prevent Alzheimer’s, but the hope is to delay the disease long enough so that you never experience symptoms in your lifetime. ”
What we now know is that prevention is significant. The conclusion with the UCLA study was that if every American adopted one single Alzheimer’s prevention lifestyle change, within 5 years we might expect one million fewer cases than anticipated. Dr. Small’s book outlines a tested 7 day Alzheimer’s prevention program which combines lifestyle strategy changes. You can document your own progress after the 7 day trail, and many people have reported significant benefits; weight loss, better sleep,and clearer and more focused thought processes.
Nutrition is also key; healthy proteins, grains, foods rich in antioxidants and omega 3,s, and the current trend toward a plant based, heart healthy diet, so think beans, veggies, nuts, fruits, oats, flax seed, etc and cutting out the usual culprits, fried foods, fatty foods, sugary foods and drinks and processed foods.
Try taking a 30 minute walk daily. If your at work, walk around the parking lot. At home, grab the family and walk the dog. It is time well spent on your health as a whole, and a step toward Alzheimer’s prevention.
Try these to train your brain:
Brush your teeth with the opposite hand
Take a different route to work or school
Puzzles Sudoku, KenKen, all help your thought processes
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr February 2013
Most of us know at least one person who has had a family member who has suffered with Alzheimer’s. This debilitating disease robs a person of their very essence. Most require long term care and the incidence is rising at an alarming rate.
Studies have looked at many causes;environmental,immunizations, exposure to a particular virus, etc. but only recently have we seen a correlation between diet and Alzheimer’s, and this is exciting!
Studies at George Washington University by nutrition researcher Dr. Neal Barnard, author of, “Power foods for the brain” have discovered a link between this disease and a plant based diet. It has become apparent that some foods promote this disease. Saturated fat is the culprit. What foods contain saturated fat or ‘bad’ fat?
Chicken (fried, with the skin on it)
Dairy (milk, ice cream)
Highly Processed foods (most breads, crackers, cookies, cereals,etc)
Foods fried in trans fats (donuts, nuggets)
Know anyone who eats like this? We do! As Americans this makes up more than 50% of our diet. What can you do to lower your risk and still have a varied, healthy diet? Here are a few ideas that can help you to avoid not only Alzheimer’s but cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
Trade eggs for oatmeal, or whole grain pancakes.
Try a vegan pizza. Top it with vegan cheese and loads of fresh veggies.
Replace milk with almond milk. Still delicious and full of nutrients.
Keep healthy fats in your diet, like olive oil and safflower oil, rather than the ‘bad’ fats, like stick margarine, lard and the highly processed foods fried in it.
Make a stir fry with loads of fresh veggies, brown rice and toss in some peanuts or almonds.
Start with two meals a week and build from there. A little planning goes a long way in helping you to avoid these diseases.
Use your crock pot! Many websites, like All Recipes.com [Link Removed] offer a vegetarian crock pot section that can help simplify your dietary changes.
If it helps your family to use the words ‘plant-based’ rather than vegetarian, do so!
The amazing news with this 20 year study is that we can beat these diseases! Even if you have genetic markers that predispose you, change it! Make it a family effort and see what a difference it makes! Be well!
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr February 2013
Diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. What do the three have in common? Inflammation! The same inflammation that is attributed to obesity, arthritis, fibromyalgia and gastrointestinal issues all have this factor in common. The big news is that your eating habits can play a huge roll in these diseases.
Research shows that two enzymes, cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) are a major causes of joint inflammation. Some are prescribed NSAIDS to block these inflammatory enzymes and reduce pain and inflammation. Recent research has shown that COX-2 enzymes become more active and cause more joint inflammation when you take in more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. It is interesting to note that omega-6 fats are found in foods that are not healthy for you on a regular basis; meats, fried foods, margarine, snack foods, egg yolks, etc., while omega-3’s are found in healthier foods;cold water fish like salmon and tuna, small amount’s of dark chocolate, nuts, veggies, fruits, etc.
This reinforces the crusade by many well known nutritionists and physicians who have become extremely vocal about fighting these diseases with a plant based diet. If you are over-weight, losing just one pound takes off 4 pounds of pressure on your knees and the discs in your spine. Imagine, 10 pounds would be 40 pounds off your knees and spine!
An easy way to start this type of anti-inflammatory eating would be to have ‘Meatless Monday‘, which has been hugely advocated and is gaining in popularity. From there you can go to 3 days per week with healthy eating choices. When you start seeing the incredible difference in the way you feel, you will want to stick with these dietary changes. They can be life changing for many people!
Talk with your nutritionist and do some research on your own. A good place to start is The American Institute for Cancer Research, and my favorite, Happy, Healthy Long Life: Dr. Oz’s Vegan Challenge, which shows a volunteers blood work numbers before and 12 weeks after, a plant based diet is introduced. [Link Removed]
Our way of eating needs to be challenged. Diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are increasing at an alarming rate. We need to wake up and spread the good news; plant based diets save lives and make the life your living much more quality. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr February 2013
The link between hearing loss and dementia has been firmly established. Studies are proving that there is a distinct link between loss of cognitive memory, hearing loss and dementia.
In a 2011 study, Dr. Frank Lin, an otolaryngologist and epidemiologist at John Hopkins University did a paper in the The Archives of Neurology and found that when hearing loss is present, the brain spends an inordinate amount of time and energy translating sounds, causing the hearer to have no processing power left to search for words, a phenomena he calls, “cognitive overload.”
This is of special concern as we see increasing noise pollution in our society, as well as a generation of children who have grown up with perpetual ear buds in their ears blasting music. Studies in the American Journal of Pediatrics show more than 5 million kids now suffer hearing loss. This is a significant thing to discuss with your children and grandchildren. These studies show an accelerated level of hearing loss as adults when damage occurs at a young age.
Discuss with your kid the amount of time spent with headphones or ear buds on. This includes any device from mp3’s to gaming systems. Try some of the following suggestions:
Explain how loud noises and sounds can damage and even kill sensitive cells in the cochlea, the inner-ear chamber were hearing happens.
If you hear ringing in your ears, damage is already occurring.
If someone sitting next to you can hear sound emitting from your ear buds,“earphone leakage“, it is too loud.
If you feel a ‘fullness’ in your ears or have a hard time hearing when you take out your ear buds, it’s too loud.
Limit using your ear buds to an hour a day.
Keep your setting on a 5-6 range if it goes up to 10.
Go through this checklist [Link Removed] to see if your child is at potential danger for hearing loss.
Practice listening to sounds around you, from nature sounds to traffic noise. Help your child identify what noise pollution is.
Protect your hearing now, for your future!
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr Feb 2013
Have you considered going meatless once or twice a week? There are so many reasons to do so! Consider some of the following:
Less expensive! The price of hay has skyrocketed and is now the highest it has been since 1953, due to 2012’s disastrous drought. Lack of grass and dry conditions have forced cattle owners to purchase more hay than normal, and the price of hay has more than doubled in the last two years, from $111 in 2010 to $195 in 2012. Meat prices have been driven up due to this increase. Beef prices are up 6.7% compared with last July, and pork is up 6%. Chicken is up 1%. Going meatless once a week, whether on Monday or some other night, can save a family of four hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
Healthier! A plant based diet is healthier for your heart, lowers your cholesterol, decreases your diabetes risk, and helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
Greener! Meat requires more land, water and energy to produce, and releases more greenhouse gases.
You can still make simple, delicious and easy meals that are meatless. Many have gone to “Meatless Mondays’ as a way of promoting a healthier, plant-based diet. Some dishes cost as little as .59 cents per serving, have all the nutrients your body needs, including protein, and are much healthier for you and the environment. Here is an example:
Spiced Veggie Burgers
Cost: $2.35, or $0.59 per serving
"This recipe is a favorite of my kids and is so simple to make that they love to join in," says globe-trotting writer G.L. Troubridge. Boil a cup of white rice with water and half a vegetable stock cube. Chop half of a large onion very fine, and mix with the cooked rice, a crushed clove of garlic, half a package of stuffing mix, and your choice of cooked vegetables. (Troubridge likes peas and sweetcorn.) Add salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. Form into patties. If desired, place a cube of cheese in the middle and close the patty over it. Bake, grill or shallow fry.
Serve with sliced tomatoes and lettuce on a roll, and a simple green salad, and you'll barely break the $1 mark per serving.1
Treat yourself to a meatless meal one day a week, for yourself, your health, and your planet.
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr January 2013