HAPPY HOURS-An evening routine that works for your schedule and your personal needs is vital for getting the recommended amount of sleep every night.
ALPERN AT LARGE--Human nature can be a funny and peculiar thing, in that it brings out both the goodness and stupidity in each and every one of us (myself included). California, particularly Southern California, is so overcrowded in large part because of the sunny weather and the presumed "beauty" that abounds with, and is associated with the sun.
People often say to me “wow you must work so hard to stay fit and keep your life balanced!” My answer is always the same; “actually I don’t really work hard but I AM consistent.”
There is a VERY big difference between working hard and being consistent.
When we work hard at anything, there will always come a time soon afterwards when we crash. Either we have reached our established goal, or we have finished the intended project and now it’s time to relax. After all, working hard for extended periods of time is exhausting! Nobody can keep up strenuous efforts forever.
When we work consistently however, it means that we put in regular, steady efforts over a long period of time. When it comes to our health, wellness, emotions, and overall lifestyle, consistency wins over hard work every time!
This is a great example of why diets don’t work. People go in with a specific goal; i.e. to lose 15 pounds. Once the weight is lost, the dieter eventually goes back to their old ways and the weight comes back quickly. This is because following a strict eating regimen is hard work and counting our calories or writing in a food journal is unnatural.
When my clients want to put on muscle mass, I let them know that it’s better to choose moderate workouts for the long term rather than big bursts of heavy weights for a couple of months. For one thing, the body appreciates a nice, consistent effort where it gets accustomed to regularity. Having short-term goals of putting on muscle is fine, but unless you can make exercise habitual, usually you will reach your goal and begin slacking afterwards.
Perhaps it’s time for all of us to re-think our health and wellness strategy. With the New Year approaching, why not choose a different path? Why not make consistency your number one priority? Try taking the word “work” out of your vocabulary altogether because it has negative connotations and denotes stress. Make 2016 about the commitment to small, yet consistent steps towards a total life makeover.
Instead of making gigantic and unreachable New Year’s resolutions, why not take baby steps? When it comes to your body, mind and spirit, here are some simple actions to follow for the upcoming year. I call it The Lucky 11.
1) Exercise – Get your body to a gym at least 3 days per week. Even if you are comatose and have no energy, commit. If all you do is some simple stretching, you will feel a sense of pride that at least you arrived. Just like brushing your teeth, you have made it a part of your day and for that, bravo. Getting yourself there is more than most people ever do. To take it further, make this year the one where you find a workout partner or hire a trainer so that you have somebody to be accountable to.
2) Drink more water – Buy yourself a 24 oz. stainless steel or non-BPA plastic water bottle and make it a plan to fill it with filtered water three times per day. DO NOT go to bed until you have consumed 3 bottles of fresh water. Do your best to drink it earlier in the day to avoid late night trips to the bathroom. By drinking more water, you’ll look and feel better from the inside out.
3) Take a Multivitamin – Go to your health food store and ask for a quality, potent antioxidant multivitamin with minerals. Commit and get into the habit of taking it daily NO MATTER WHAT. They will change your life! You may not always feel a major difference but the long-term benefits are countless. Choose a vitamin that is derived from whole foods and without fillers or additives. My favorite is Dr. Mercola multivitamin with minerals.
4) Take quiet time each day – Carve out at least 20 minutes per day where you take quiet time to reflect, journal, meditate, and pray. Putting yourself first inspires others to do the same and you will see dramatic changes in the way your day unfolds. Focus on your breathing and spend time reflecting on the life you dream of. Experience it in your mind and emotions as if it has already manifested and get ready for a miraculous year!
5) Conquer bad habits – Make this year the one where you finally lessen or even eliminate bad habits. We all have them. Addictions, depression, anger, and the list goes on. Do something about it. Join a self-help group. Go to therapy, hypnosis or an energy healer. Hire a coach or fitness trainer and trust that with the right intentions, you can and will get over anything that holds you back. Don’t let the past fool you into thinking that change is impossible.
6) Sleep – Sleep is the most important aspect of your life. Without it, we age faster and are less healthy, efficient, and productive. Look into changing your environment to create a peaceful sanctuary. Clear your bedroom of electronic devices and disturbances. Read about hormones, in particular melatonin, and good sleep habits. Let go of the guilt around taking a brief afternoon siesta. Feeling rested not only adds years to your life but also life to your years.
7) Forgive - Make the upcoming year ALL about letting go and forgiving. If you hold any resentment or animosity towards another, let it go. Work on doing a forgiveness meditation. Investigate EFT (emotional freedom technique) or try writing a letter to the person you need to forgive and then burn it as a symbol of letting go. Holding onto unresolved, toxic emotions will only cause dis-ease within our body. Release it.
8) Laugh – Most of us take our life WAY too seriously. I for one have forgotten how to play. As adults, we have so many responsibilities and commitments that having fun takes less priority than paying our bills. Make plans each month to do something playful with a friend. Discover new activities or dust off an old one. Laughter literally raises our energetic vibration and transforms our body, mind, and spirit.
9) Change it up – While consistency is vital, it can be easy to fall into a boring, habitual routine. Make 2016 ALL about changing it up when things become monotonous. Stick with consistent actions but do something different within those tasks. Redecorate your favorite room, paint your wall bright orange, try a new workout routine, get a cool haircut or buy yourself some hip, fashionable clothes. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone a bit and do something out of the ordinary. Shaking things up energizes us and helps to spark new life within us.
10) Raw superfood powder – Most of us do our best to eat well but getting enough vitamins and nutrient-rich foods can be challenging. The best choice that you can make is to take one scoop of raw, superfood powder every single day. This is your insurance policy. It ensures that you are receiving live energy which will ignite your cells and super-charge your entire body. My favorite is called Perfect Food Raw by Garden of Life.
11) Put yourself first – Focus on loving yourself. Nothing is more vital than that we put ourselves first and work on nurturing, accepting, and forgiving ourselves. Many of us have done a pretty good job of beating ourselves up. Turn it around. Being your own best support system isn’t selfish; it’s just the opposite. By taking care of yourself and putting your needs first, you set a great example to those around you. When you begin doing this, you’ll see amazing shifts in ALL areas of your life!
The beginning of each New Year is always exciting. It is filled with infinite possibilities. Make 2016 your best year ever! Commit to making consistent efforts to shift and balance your body, mind, and spirit. Decide to put yourself first and eliminate the word “work” from your vocabulary. Not only will you look and feel better but you will also experience a sense of self-empowerment that nobody can take away!
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.
He is the author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!
WELLNESS--Fasting has been around since the beginning of time. Three meals a day is a modern day luxury, and before food was readily available humans fasted whether they wanted to or not. Finding food by hunting and gathering meant eating when they found nutrition, but very often they would skip a day or days on end.
New research is putting fasting back on the mainstream map. Before we go any further, it is important to note that fasting, whether it be intermittent or a longer episode should only be done under the guidance of a health care provider. It can be dangerous if not done right, and if you are on medications it is even more important to receive guidance by a professional.
Intermittent fasting is when people cut calories partially or completely on certain days of the week. Some people do one day a week where they only eat between 400 and 600 calories and others pick two days a week that are not consecutive. There are many options as to how to go about this and some people will eat no food at all for 1 to 3 non-consecutive days and others will simply cut calories to around 500 every other day a couple days a week until desired goals are reached. Another way to fast is to simply shift your eating schedule to an 8 hour period meaning you only eat during 8 hours a day. For example, someone might only eat food between 8am and 4pm each day and then not eat again until the next day. This can also be done every other day 2 or 3 days a week. There are many books available on the topic of fasting.
The body and brain benefits of fasting are becoming clearer through recent research. When we eat food the body has quick access to glycogen to use as energy. This glycogen is burned away relatively quickly in certain parts of the body, but it takes about 10 hours to deplete all the glycogen that is stored in the liver specifically. If someone exercises the glycogen stores can also be burned up faster in the liver. By depleting the glycogen stores in the liver, the body creates ketone bodies, which are proving to be very beneficial to the brain. Fasting can also increase the mitochondria in your cells that are used to give you energy, and repair DNA.
Research is showing that by fasting our brains are actually stimulated. This is due to the fact that the brain knows the body needs food and by not feeding the body, the brain becomes more alert and active. This process stimulates neuronal activity and ultimately leads to better brain health, lowering the risk of brain degenerative diseases in old age. Many people already know that the best way to stay in shape is to constantly change your workout. This idea of mixing it up and almost confusing the body to stay fit also works for the brain. The 3 meals a day every day over and over strategy allows the brain to expect nothing new and slowly start to weaken. Advocates of fasting or vigorous exercise speculate that brain death can be avoided.
During both fasting and exercise the brain produces proteins specific to promoting the growth of dendrites and strengthening synapses in the brain and ultimately helping to stave off or prevent degenerative brain disease all together.
Vol 13 Issue 103
Pub: Dec 22, 2015
WELLNESS-Dryer sheets seem to be at the bottom of our priority list when it comes to health and wellness. After all, how could such a bright colored pretty box contain anything unhealthy or dangerous, right?
The list of chemicals that are in the dryer sheets vary slightly from brand to brand, but if you’re not making efforts to purchase the less common and safer chemical free brands, the following chemicals are probably in your dryer sheets; 1.4 Dioxane, Alpha-Terpineol, Benzyl Alcohol, Camphor, Chloroform, Ethyl Acetate, Linalool, and Pentane.
These chemicals cause a variety of different issues in the human body including but not limited to central nervous system disorders, loss of muscular coordination, central nervous system depression, headache, vomiting, dizziness, depression, nausea and drowsiness, and of course cancer.
Part of the danger of these products is that when they are put in the dryer and warmed up some of that air is escaping the into the air we breathe. It is important to have your dryer properly vented so the air does not come back into the garage or home. The materials on the dryer sheets also get onto clothes and enter the body through the skin. The best way to avoid these dangerous chemicals is to buy laundry detergents and dryer sheets that are free of dangerous chemicals.
People will often say the natural products don’t work as well, but this is not always the case. We are so used to exaggerated sweet smells and over-sudsing of soaps due to chemicals that when we don’t see that reaction in our cleaning products we don’t think they are working. Companies like Melaleuca have been making “green” products since before “green” was all the rage.
Even more mainstream companies are being strong-armed into making their products safer. Take the “free and clear” line by Proctor & Gamble. It actually contained more cancer causing 1.4 dioxine than their regular formulation. It wasn’t until health advocacy group called As You Sow filed a lawsuit that the supreme court forced Proctor & Gamble to remove the carcinogenic compound from the misleading “free and clear” formulation.
These compounds can also be found in dishwashing detergent and most other cleaning supplies. It is no wonder 1 in 4 Americans are now ending up with some type of cancer in their lifetimes. With a little more effort on our parts as consumers, we can “vote” more carefully with the dollars we spend and buy products that are free of these dangerous chemicals forcing companies to stop filling household cleaners with unnecessary compounds.
Vol 13 Issue 99
Pub: Dec 8, 2015
WELLNESS--A recent salmonella scare has put raw milk back in the spotlight. Last week the New York farm Jerry Dell Farm Inc. was found to have salmonella in their raw milk. The milk affected no one, but it did send out a wave of worry for the raw milk community. This recent coverage in the news over the contested issue of raw milk brings the arguments and laws for and against back to the frontline.
At the moment there are 11 states where it is legal to sell raw milk on a retail level, and 17 where it is illegal. The other states fall into the licensed or unlicensed “on farm” sales meaning people can often buy directly from the farmers or have raw milk delivered to their homes directly from the farmers.
Those in favor of raw milk tout the benefits that the raw unpasteurized milk is healthier due to a variety of reasons. First, the cows that supply the raw milk are fed a grass only diet. Since cows are herbivores and were never meant to eat grain like they do in confinement dairy operations, the grass fed cows put out healthier more nutritious milk. Fans of unpasteurized raw milk tell us that the milk they drink has higher levels essential fatty acids and vitamins. Milk is a good source of thiamin, riboflavin and vitamin B12. Milk also contains small amounts of niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and folate, and fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
There are many thousands of people that claim that in drinking the raw milk and consuming dairy that has not been pasteurized, they no longer experience lactose intolerance. The evidence is unclear, but many people make note that it is much easier to digest than pasteurized milk and dairy. Others go as far as to say that they have experienced healing diseases from consuming raw milk and dairy.
Those against raw milk claim that there is a danger in not treating the milk with heat known as pasteurization. When Salmonella scares are introduced this seems to drive the point home even further. The statistics of just how dangerous raw milk is are hard to find, but most sources put the numbers of people hurt or made ill by raw milk very low.
The most likely reason more people are not usually made ill by raw milk is because the farms that put this milk out are very careful with what they feed their cows and how the milk is handled and packaged. In spite of that, the federal government reminds us that raw milk; cheeses and yogurts can cause serious infections, such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli.
There isn’t much more information about the dangers of raw milk and dairy on the governments food safety page, so if you’re thinking about switching to raw milk, your best bet is to dig deep and do your research. Talk to farmers at the farmers market and other people that have made the switch to raw milk.
Vol 13 Issue 97
Pub: Dec 1, 2015
WELLNESS--A recent study by East China Normal University in Shanghai has proven that there are micro-particulates of plastic occurring in table salt in more than 15 different salt brands sold in China. The salts contained different amounts of plastics with the highest rate being 275 plastic particles per pound. These particles, about .2 millimeters each, are small enough to go unnoticed in salt shakers; there would be no way of knowing if one is consuming them.
Most of this plastic is coming from common sources we use regularly such as plastic bottles, plastic wrap, and plastic bags. Reports show that the waters near china tend to be more polluted than in other areas of the world which may explain why these plastics are showing up there first.
One of the biggest culprits is the plastic bag. While there are those who say that, with proper reuse and recycling, plastic bags may still be an environmentally healthy way to transport goods, the evidence shows otherwise. For example, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch still exists. By some estimates, this area in the Pacific Ocean, where massive amounts of plastics contaminate the water and ocean wildlife, is larger than Texas.
The newest findings showing plastics in sea salt and shellfish means there is no question that plastics are rapidly encroaching on our food and water supply. It may be just a matter of time before researchers start finding clear evidence of plastics in the food supply in the Americas and Europe as well as in Asia.
What we do know is that these micro-plastics are already being consumed by ocean wildlife. If the fish are eating plastics and we are eating the fish, there is a good chance humans are already consuming plastics.
While we still don’t know just how dangerous eating plastics can be, we do know that plastic tends to absorb certain toxic chemicals like a sponge. It may not be only the plastics one is eating, but also the chemicals they have previously absorbed. Regardless of the severity of the health-damaging effects, it’s safe to assume that no one wants to consume plastic.
(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.
Vol 13 Issue 95
Pub: Nov 24, 2015
Is the world’s most popular beverage good or bad? With all of the conflicting studies, you may feel confused about whether or not coffee is beneficial or harmful. As a regular coffee drinker myself, I can relate. Some research speaks of its powerful disease-fighting properties while others suggest that it has negative effects on the body. One thing I know is that my 93-year old granny has been drinking coffee every day since she was a teenager. How bad can it be right?
Like all things, there are always two sides to each story. It really is up to each one of us to decide whether or not to down our morning java but I want to share recent positive findings about the advantages of coffee. I have good news for my coffee-drinking friends!
The latest research is showing promise that consuming coffee regularly does in fact, have numerous health-promoting benefits.
The coffee bean is known to be one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants fight disease-causing free radicals which can attack our healthy cells. Antioxidants have been well documented as one of the lead players in slowing the aging process and in promoting overall wellness.
Numerous recent studies and a growing body of research reveal that coffee drinkers, who drink two or more cups per day compared to non-drinkers:
1) Are less likely to have type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
2) Experience fewer cases of certain cancers including colon and liver.
3) Have less heart rhythm problems and strokes.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when you’re drinking coffee. It is important to choose organic beans whenever possible because coffee is known to be one of the most pesticide and chemical-laden plants on earth. By buying organic, you are guaranteed that it is free of harmful, chemical sprays.
If possible, drink coffee without milk or sweetener. Milk can slightly minimize the positive health benefits and too much sugar in our diet leads to inflammation and a myriad of other potential health challenges. If you must sweeten, then consider coconut sugar or stevia.
Like anything else, it is wise to drink coffee in moderation because too much caffeine can create an acid environment in your body which will offset the benefits. Excess caffeine can also cause irritability and palpitations and can put stress on your adrenal glands. Always pay close attention to how you feel. If you find yourself crashing within a few hours of drinking coffee, it may be a sign that you have adrenal exhaustion.
For athletes, caffeine also has energy boosting and fat burning effects and for those reasons, drinking coffee before workouts can be beneficial.
Many people consume decaffeinated coffee to avoid excess caffeine. Unfortunately, most decaf coffees are highly processed with chemicals so make sure to choose a Swiss water processed decaf. Keep in mind that decaffeinated coffee has significantly less caffeine but it is not completely caffeine free.
If you look closely, Starbuck’s now have signs warning of the possible health dangers of acrylamide. Acrylamide is released from coffee and pretty much every food that is heated at a high temperature. Acrylamide has been shown to have cancer-causing properties. The verdict is still out regarding acrylamide in coffee and many doctors believe that the antioxidant benefits of coffee far outweigh the dangers of acrylamide. You may want to consider a light to medium roast. They contain less acrylamide than the darker ones. For this reason and because I like the taste of medium roasts, I often choose an organic breakfast blend as my top pick.
In spiritual terms, many healers believe that in order to connect deeper during meditation and spiritual practice, we must eliminate all stimulants from our system. While coffee has numerous positives, caffeine does act as a stimulant. I always recommend that my clients take breaks from coffee for 2 or 3-week periods throughout the year. It’s also wise to eliminate caffeine during a body cleanse. Caffeine can be addictive. Giving your body a rest from any addiction is also a good decision but keep in mind that withdrawal isn’t pretty. Most people will experience short-term headaches, fatigue and irritability during this time.
As mentioned earlier, always listen to your body. If you feel jittery or have an upset stomach this is a sure sign that you will need to reduce your java intake. Otherwise, enjoy your morning coffee ritual knowing that it may just be helping you to live longer. Just ask my sweet, 93-year old granny.
Jay Bradley is an Anti-Aging, Wellness, and Lifestyle Expert living in Los Angeles.
We all want to look great! We all want to feel amazing! The great news is that no matter what your chronological age, you CAN make a difference. For those in their 20s, making positive changes early on, can positively affect the way you look and feel throughout your life. For those over 50, accessing anti-aging regimens WILL turn back the clock!
Everybody ages differently based upon numerous factors including genetics and lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and smoking habits, but EVERYBODY can look and feel better by making some positive choices along the way.
Here is a general guide for people of every age. You may decide to adopt more aggressive anti-aging regimens earlier on and the choice is always yours. The best decision when it comes to staying youthful is consistent effort over an extended period of time.
1) Good Skincare - Start with a simple, yet effective skincare regimen in your 20s. Find products that fit your skin type. If you’re oily or have acne, make sure to properly cleanse the skin twice per day and consider salicylic acid pads to thoroughly clean your pores. Be gentle with your skin and do your best not to pick as this can cause damage.
2) Sunscreen - By committing to protecting your skin at a young age, the benefits will show for the rest of your life. Find a face and body SPF of 30-50 without retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone and one that is preservative free. Apply it everyday to any exposed areas even during the winter months and on cloudy days.
3) Drink water - By getting into the habit of drinking 8-10 glasses of quality, filtered water every single day your skin will THANK YOU plus your body will get to work rinsing out toxins from your system.
4) Exercise - The earlier that one starts an exercise regimen, the better their chances of continuing throughout life. Make strength training, and cardiovascular exercise a habit and commit to 4-5 days per week.
5) Soul Search - By beginning to take time every day to reflect, meditate, go inward, and even talking with a good therapist, this will help you to eliminate toxic emotions from a young age allowing you more freedom to enjoy your life fully as the years go on. You will learn the art of self-love and self-acceptance.
1) Supplements - This is the time of your life when you want to begin taking supplements such as an extensive multivitamin plus minerals, krill oil, and a quality probiotic.
2) Botox- In your 30s you may begin noticing fine lines, and furrows starting between your eyebrows. Consider starting a regimen of Botox Cosmetic or Dysport to gently reduce the muscle movement thus softening or eliminating future wrinkles.
3) Lasers - To improve your skin tone and texture, the IPL laser or Photofacial is a wonderful, relatively non-invasive way of giving your skin a renewed and fresh look.
4) Interval Cardio - Consider pumping up your cardio training now by shifting into interval cardio sessions which push your body harder for shorter periods of time. This will assist the release of HGH (the anti-aging hormone) and help to improve your overall body and skin.
5) Self Help - This is a time in your life to take your personal growth, and spirituality more seriously. Really commit to finding a spiritual practice for yourself and explore healing modalities such as acupuncture, massage, or hypnosis. Dig deep and release any further blocks that you may be carrying.
1) Serious Skincare - Your 40s is the time to explore serious skincare that truly packs a punch! My favorite and one that is getting rave reviews by doctors all around the world. It is called TNS Essential Serum by SkinMedica. Human Fibroblasts help to renew your skin cells and work hard to reduce the signs of aging, revealing youthful skin that will make people take notice.
2) Additional Herbs - Along with a regular vitamin regimen, introducing herbs that assist with inflammation, adrenal support, and stress reduction will be beneficial. Research herbs such as Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, and Turmeric, and make sure to take psyllium husk daily to support proper digestive and colon health.
3) Fillers - Hyaluronic fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane work to temporarily plump the skin. They are amazing as reducing deep smile lines and other areas of your face that are beginning to show signs of aging.
4) Hormones - In your 30s and 40s, your hormones levels may begin to fluctuate which can accelerate the aging process. Find a qualified anti-aging specialist to discuss Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)
5) Deep Cleaning - At this stage in your life, make regular body cleanses a seasonal practice. Try a juice cleanse or get regular colonics to assist your body in reducing toxins and chemicals.
1) Sculptra - Often people in their late 40s or 50s begin to show signs of sagging or facial drooping due to fat loss. Sculptra is a wonderful cosmetic injectable that helps to stimulate your own collagen to bring back the fullness you had in your 20s and 30s. It is done over a series of sessions in order to achieve a natural effect. You may also consider natural fat injections as an alternative.
2) Ultherapy - This is a great time to consider Ultherapy which uses ultra sound technology to stimulate collagen. It works deeply to lift, and tone your skin. It is a great alternative to the more invasive facelift and full results will be seen over a period of 3-6 months.
3) Cosmetic Surgery - Some people may have surgery earlier in their life but the 50s is a great time to consider a lift. Having a neck, face, or eyelift can completely change how you feel about yourself and take years off of your appearance. Always choose a doctor who has the most natural looking clients.
4) Eyes - The eyes say it all! Pay extra attention to the eye area using quality skincare and also consider hyaluronic fillers to assist with smoothing puffiness and under eye bags.
5) Make Peace - This is a wonderful time to make peace with your past and fully forgive others and yourself. You’re perfect the way you are, and now is the time to FULLY enjoy life and find a wonderful balance between work and recreation.
60s and Beyond
1) Makeover - People at this age may consider more extensive cosmetic surgery and more aggressive lasers to fully rejuvenate their appearance. Men who haven’t already, may choose to have hair transplants to regain the full head of hair they had earlier in life.
2) Give Back - There is nothing more cathartic than giving back to others. At this stage in your life, think about what gifts you have to share with the world and really focus on getting them out there in order to change the lives of others. This helps you to reduce your own stress by putting your focus on other people.
3) Retreats - Take time to attend spas and retreats regularly to rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul. Treat yourself. This is the time!
4) Experiment - Research the latest anti-aging, and health trends and experiment on yourself. This is an exciting time and you don’t need to age the way your parents and grandparents did. This is your prime! Set a new example of how HOT your 60s and beyond can be.
5) Get Creative - Tune into your inner artist and truly explore all of those creative endeavors that may not have been fully realized. What did you love to do when you were a child? What is your inner voice telling you would be fun? By getting creative, you stay young!
*Always consult your doctor before beginning any nutrition or exercise regimen. Do your research to ensure that you are working with professionals who have a proven track record.
WELLNESS-Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease that starts slowly and gets worse over time and affects over 5 million Americans and 35 million people worldwide. In the United States Alzheimer’s is considered the 3rd leading cause of death.
The most common symptom when the disease starts is having difficulty remembering recent events. Once the disease takes hold symptoms can include mood swings, getting lost due to disorientation, depression and challenges with language. As the disease progresses it can lead to loss of bodily functions and ultimately death. This can take anywhere from 3 to 9 years.
Alzheimer’s accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases and usually begins in people 65 or older. There are exceptions to this as up to 5 percent of cases are considered early onset and begin when one is in their 40’s and 50’s.
There is a new experimental drug being researched to help battle Alzheimer’s disease and it is showing a lot of promise. The drug is called J147, and researchers are finding that it has unexpected anti-aging effects on mice.
What’s important to note here is this drug is a derivative of turmeric curcumin, and healers across the globe including myself have been yelling about the positive brain effects of turmeric for years.
Now western medicine is finally harnessing these benefits in pill form, but there is no need to wait for this drug to start benefitting from turmeric curcumin, which is available in powder or capsules at most health food stores.
The drug they are creating will use this compound but make it more available for the brain. In it’s natural form it is degraded relatively quickly making it difficult to reach the brain. Scientists have noted however, that the rate of Alzheimer’s in India is lower than anywhere else in the world, and this may be due to their high dietary intake of turmeric curcumin.
Most Alzheimer’s drugs up until now have focused on the plaque that settles into the brain, which is a major symptom and cause of brain degeneration in Alzheimer’s patients. J147 focuses more on keeping the brain young by increasing the health of brain blood vessels in mice boosting memory and cognitive skills. It battles aging by ridding the brain of toxicities and healing up blood vessels and stopping bleeding in the brains of the mice being infused with the drug.
The next step will be to test this on human subjects and it looks like that will start next year. Abrexa Pharmaceuticals has a patent on the drug and they have been issued license by the Salk institute to produce J147. Abrexa is in the process of raising 10 million dollars to start clinical trials in early 2016 and hopefully take huge steps toward eradicating this life destroying disease.
Vol 13 Issue 93
Pub: Nov 17, 2015
WELLNESS--Most people think that if there is pollution in the air they need to protect their lungs. A new study has found that when it comes to certain toxic chemicals, the skin is proving to be the organ absorbing them and sending them into the blood stream. The skin is the bodies largest organ and environmental engineer John Kissel of the University of Washington in Seattle has been quoted as saying the skin may serve as “big sponges for certain chemicals.”
Some of the most damaging compounds absorbed by the skin are called Phthalates. Phthalates are a family of chemicals used widely as solvents and added to plastics to increase their flexibility. In past studies, this chemical has been linked to changes in reproductive organs, and mental instability especially in newborn infants.
Phthalates are used in the equipment that babies are exposed to in the hospital, and studies have shown the negative effects of these chemicals on a newborns system including changes in reproductive organs and mental activity.
Depending on a couple different variables, the study showed that there are varying degrees of absorption of these chemicals. Phthalates pass through the skin easily, and the more skin exposed to phthalate-laden air, the more the chemicals are absorbed into the blood stream.
The study exposed 6 men to two different phthalates for two sessions of 6 hours each. There were two different types of phthalates used in the study, diethyl phthalate (DEP) and dinbutyl (DnBP). The first is a common chemical used in personal-care products including perfumes, cosmetics, and shampoos. The second is more commonly used as a solvent and occurs in plastics, adhesives, and lubricants.
They started by exposing the men to high levels of this compound in the air and then testing their blood to see how much of the chemicals got into their blood streams. They wore technical hoods that brought in oxygen to ensure that any increase of these chemicals in the blood level was brought on by skin absorption and not from breathing.
They also put the men in shorts to ensure their entire bodies were exposed to the chemicals. The results showed that for one of the chemicals the exposure to the skin increased that chemical in the blood equally to breathing it in. For the second chemical the absorption rate was 80% compared to lung exposure.
They did not want to put the subjects in great danger, so they limited the exposure to 6 hours, but the scientists agreed that if they were to double the exposure or more, the amount of chemicals entering the blood would have most likely quadrupled in their blood streams.
These chemicals have been tied to studies in the past showing slight feminization of newborn males and low birth weights, and this study may prove why. Neonatal ICU’s have phthalate-based tubing and plastics exposing newborn babies when they are most susceptible. It is not only babies that are at risk. We are all exposed to these dangerous chemicals regularly, but there is a way to avoid or at least reduce your exposure to these chemicals.
Vol 13 Issue 91
Pub: Nov 10, 2015
WELLNESS-On June 29th of this year, a study published in the journal Circulation discovered that 184,000 deaths occur worldwide each year attributed to the consumption of sugary drinks. The study went on to say that the while the US doesn’t lead in sugar related deaths, there are an estimated 25,000 per year. Of the 184,000 deaths, 133,00 deaths occur from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease, and 6,450 from cancer.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian was quoted in the study as saying “Many countries in the world have a significant number of deaths occurring from a single dietary factor, sugar-sweetened beverages. It should be a global priority to substantially reduce or eliminate sugar-sweetened beverages from the diet.”
In 2010 there was a similar study done proving the dangers of sugar-sweetened drinks and their effects on heart disease, cancers, and diabetes. In this more recent study the focus was specifically on disease caused by sugary drinks and how often it leads to death. The Unites States was the 4th most common country to lose people to sugar related deaths behind Mexico, South Africa, and Morocco.
“There’s definitely been progress, but there’s still a huge amount of soda consumption in the US and globally,” Mozaffarian said. There are economic implications as well with a younger segment of the population consuming greater amounts of sugary drinks compared to the older people of the same culture. This could lead to more deaths of younger working aged people causing a dip in the economy trending in unison with the loss of young life.
The other economic discovery in this study is that there is also a direct link between socio-economic class and sugar drink consumption. People of lesser means have a greater chance of consuming sugar drinks over a healthy green vegetable juice for example. In addition to this, there is also the addiction element. Studies show that sugar lights up the same parts of the brain lit up with hard drug use. With much less education around the dangers of sugar, lesse r-educated people are much more likely to consume great amounts of sugary drinks not realizing the dangers and the level of addiction.
As more of these studies are released and more health care providers are made aware of the great dangers of sugar, we will be more likely to stave off the abuse of sugar in the diets of Americans and people all over the world.
Vol 12 Issue 57
Pub: Jul 14, 2015
WELLNESS-In his essay Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson dives into the healing powers of the wilderness. "In the presence of nature," he wrote, "a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows."
It may be century-old wisdom, but his theory still holds true today. There's just something about losing yourself -- not to mention cell service -- in the woods. In fact, there are very real health benefits. We may not be able to transport ourselves back to Emerson's quaint cabin, but we can certainly head outdoors. Below are just a few reasons to ditch it all for a few days and go camping.
You're totally unplugged.
There's no such things as cell phone towers out in the middle of nowhere -- and that's honestly a beautiful thing. Ditching your screen can have a significant impact on your well-being. Research suggests too much tech may lead to increased feelings of anxiety and poor sleep. There's even some physical perks to going off the grid: Excessive screen use may lead to neck pain and some have even experienced neurological issues. Time to stash that phone. Your mind and body deserve it.
You may sleep better.
The woods may do wonders for your Z's. According to a 2013 study by the University of Colorado Boulder, the more you abide by the sun's schedule the more likely you are to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable time. Researchers examined campers for a week and found that sleeping away from artificial light helped reset their circadian rhythms and made them less groggy.
Being in nature is good for your mood.
The outdoors are crucial for your mental health, especially if you're a city dweller. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that just a few minutes walking in nature can reduce depressive symptoms, which is common in people who live in urban spaces. In a corroborating study, research out of Stanford University found that spending time outdoors can help reduce rumination -- the obsessive, negative thinking that could potentially lead to mental health issues.
It could inspire a sense of awe.
As human beings, we're wired for wonder; we feel compelled to stop and soak up the sunset or gaze up at the stars -- and there's no better place to do that than camping in the wilderness. Research even suggests that awe-inspiring moments can make us happier and more inventive. How's that for a remedy to your creative rut?
You'll burn some calories.
Hiking the grounds is all part of the experience -- and it's great for your health. Your trek has the potential to burn well over 500 calories. Not to mention, research suggests the activity can even boost your mental well-being. Talk about happy trails.
Did we mention the no screens thing?
Seriously, this is probably the most underrated perk of camping, so it's a point worth driving home. Sometimes you just need to shut off cyberspace and connect to some green space. Research shows that constantly checking your phone could be a sign of mental health problems.
As HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington explains, too much screen time could be burning you out and it's important to power down. "It's not easy to turn away from this kind of stimuli -- we're wired to connect," she wrote in a HuffPost blog. "But the connection that often comes from technology is not only an unfulfilling, ersatz version of connection, it's a siren call (or beep, or blinking light) that begins to crowd out the time we have for real connection. Even worse, it begins to rewire our brains to make us less adept at real connection."
Camping gives you the opportunity to re-establish that real connection -- away from your iPhone. You're able to think away from screen full of distractions so you can return to reality with a clear mind -- and that alone is priceless.
(Lindsay Holmes is Healthy Living Editor at Huffington Post … where this column was first posted.)
Vol 13 Issue 56
Pub: Jul 10, 2015