Question: What do you need in your life?
February 18th marked the end of Health Coach Week. It's was founded for awareness and advocacy of what Health Coaches do and why you probably need one in your life. So with this being said, I want to provide you with a cautionary tale.
2017 provided me with many health advocacy opportunities. On a personal level, I spent the night at a long time friend's apartment while visiting Illinois. Besides the fact that I still enjoyed the company of this person, that night, I gathered that he needed to have a sleep study completed and probably needed to sleep with a C-pap. In the weeks and months to follow, the study was not done. It was issues with scheduling, a shady conversation with the doctor's nurse, and so on and so on. Granted, all those reason may have been legitimate, but from my Health Warrior mind, I was not trying to hear anything except the study was complete. So after several months, I got this message. "Baby, I want to thank you. Thank you for staying on my case about that test. I really did not know how important it was. I just got my results and the doctor said that had I not gotten the test done, I could have died, I mean, I have really bad sleep apnea and it could have killed me. So again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you and will call you again tomorrow." When tomorrow came, I got that call and immediately went into Warrior mode again. I have a long mental list of questions about sleep studies and subsequent results. What did the test results show? How many times in an hour had he stop breathing? How long did it take from him to enter rim? And so on. Of course he did not have those answers, so I went to a question I though would be simpler. "When are you scheduled to get your C-pap set up? He said he was waiting for the nurse. I said to do what. Call him, he said. "Oh to tell you when and where to go get your mask fitted, and by the way, what type of mask is the doctor recommending". At the point, I think I heard crickets. He had no idea. Of course, I provided him with my mini, "you gotta advocate for yourself", speech.
Meditation has gone main stream. Today, 18 million Americans practice some form of meditation. And with contemporary medical experts claiming that regular practice of this ancient activity improves well-being and health, the trend well continue. But what is meditation; why has it increased in popularity and credibility; and can it be a partner to a physical fitness program? Let’s look at the roots of meditation, some common misconceptions about its purpose, a few examples of meditation techniques, and the benefits of practice.
The Roots of Meditation
East Asian philosophers have studied the science of mind, consciousness and emotions for thousands of years. Hindu texts dating back more than 4,000 years describe meditation. Buddhist monks formalized ritual meditation about 2,500 years ago. And by 200 AD, Christian monks were meditating to draw closer to God.
In Buddhist philosophy, the ultimate purpose of meditation is to liberate the mind from attachment to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances or strong internal emotions. The liberated, or “enlightened,” practitioner no longer needlessly follows desires or clings to experiences, but instead maintains a calmness of mind and sense of inner balance. This mental discipline is honed through years of practice and is challenged daily by life’s experiences.
Some will be celebrating Thanksgiving in a few weeks. Yet, if you like the flavors, but choose to not participate in all that cooking and cleaning, here is a meal that will satisfy your fall taste bids.
Thanks to the U. S. Apple Association for this tasty Apple Salsa recipe. Top this concoction of seasonal goodies atop a turkey burger and enjoy new tradition twist. Check out this easy recipe.
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 sweet apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 cup whole cranberry sauce
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 pound ground turkey
1 large apple, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 (2-ounce) hamburger buns, toasted or broad leaf lettuce.
I thank Dr. Westin Childs for this great article on leaky gut.
By now there's no doubt you've at least heard of leaky gut.
But what is leaky gut and why does it matter to your health?
In simple terms leaky gut is defined as damage that occurs to your intestinal lining which allows bad things to enter into your blood stream and prevents good things from being absorbed.
This is obviously an oversimplification, but it gives you an idea of why leaky gut is so important.
Damage to the intestinal lining results in the absorption of pro-inflammatory cytokines which can interact with your brain and skin causing all sorts of problems for your immune system and thyroid function.
If you suspect or know you have thyroid problems there is a HUGE probability that you also have some degree of intestinal damage.
You can identify the presence of leaky gut using the symptom list below:
Symptoms of leaky gut include:
Because thyroid function alters intestinal function and vice versa.
The relationship between your thyroid and your gut is similar to the adrenal/thyroid connection we discussed previously.
And just like that connection, fixing this problem requires treatments for each individual system.
But before we talk about treatment let's talk about WHY it's so important to fix your gut.
What leaky gut does to your thyroid:
Step #1. Add/Remove foods from your diet.
The first step you want to take is to change or alter your diet. Certain foods can be very damaging to your intestinal tract just like some foods can be very nourishing.
The goal here is that you want to REMOVE the bad foods and ADD in the good foods.
One final thought:
You don't necessarily need to consume the good foods forever, once you heal your intestinal lining you should be able to reduce the frequency of these foods (because some are not necessarily easy to consume/make).
REMOVE the following foods:
ADD the following foods:
Step #2. Take probiotics and prebiotics.
Next on the list is the addition of both probiotics and prebiotics.
Probiotics can help rapidly heal the intestinal lining and reverse the symptoms of leaky gut.
Probiotics help by increasing the growth of healthy and beneficial bacteria while limiting the growth of negative bacteria.
Probiotics also bind to toxins and cytokines that cause autoimmune disease, depression and changes to your appetite.
One of the best things about using probiotics for leaky gut is that they work fairly rapidly (most people notice a difference within 1 week).
The trick here is getting the best and most high quality probiotics. What this means for you is the following:
- Probiotics that are multi strain and multi species.
- High dose probiotics (greater than 100 billion CFU per serving).
- Climate/temperature controlled probiotics.
- Probiotics that contain both bifidobacteria and lactobacilli species.
You will want to use probiotics frequently (daily to every other day) for at least 2-3 months. Once you achieve intestinal repair you can reduce your dose down to a maintenance dose of 1-2x per week.
For leaky gut I recommend using bifidobacteria + lactobacilli species with at least 100 billion CFU/serving.
Step #3. Use supplements to nourish and repair your intestinal lining.
In addition to using probiotics there are also several other supplements that can be used to increase healing and reduce the symptoms of leaky gut.
Other supplements that can help heal leaky gut include:
- L-glutamine --> Directly helps heal the intestinal lining and nourishes the GI tract.
- Digestive enzymes --> Helps increase nutrient absorption and reduces the burden of the pancreas on breaking down foods (makes digestion easier for your body).
- DGL --> Helps sooth intestinal lining and improves stomach acid and reduces intestinal symptoms.
- Quercetin --> Very powerful anti-inflammatory agent that also helps boost immune function (helpful for people with autoimmune diseases).
You don't necessarily need to use all of these supplements but I do recommend that at the minimum you combine both probiotics WITH L-glutamine.
Other supplements can be added as necessary.
Step #4. Test and treat other intestinal issues if present.
Lastly, you will need to be assessed (and treated) for conditions that tend to accompany leaky gut.
These conditions CAUSE leaky gut, but are not treated by the standard treatment recommendations above.
They are mentioned here because they are commonly missed by providers and patients and may be the cause of longstanding or treatment resistant leaky gut in many patients.
The following conditions can potentiate and make leaky gut difficult to treat:
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Small intestinal fungal overgrowth (yeast overgrowth)
- Intestinal dysbiosis
At the beginning of the year, I had a gluten poisoning. For a Celiac, this can be very serious, depending on a persons individual intolerance level. Watch Dr. Davis explain why.
10 things known about Traumatic Brain Injury, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, who killed JR and the NFL.
It’s not as if I believe that my personal rants on the NFL or other body contact sports will change the perception of the diehard fan, but there is at least the need to give phase to the parents that get up early on Saturday mornings, to allow their young children to be tackled or repeatedly punched in the head. Traumatic Brain Injury and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy are real and not only life affecting, but potentially deadly. The conversation is again in the forefront with the autopsy finding of deceased, 27 year old, New England Patriot tight end, Aaron Hernandez.
I remember football and professional boxing on television in my home as a child, but I was never particularly interested. As an adult, now residing in Bronco Nation, I am of the rare few that just don’t give a rats’ ass about the sport, BUT as a stroke survivor, I do care about TBI and on-going conversations around CTE. Understanding that what researchers have discovered for sure is that:
All praises to the One that created us all. Although I live in MST, I was born in the Midwest on CST at 12:10 am, so at this moment, I am officially a year older. Thank you Jesus! I made it to another year. So, a part of my celebration is to give something to all of you. Keeping my ear to the wall, I hear a lot of chatter about people using apple cider vinegar. Surprise, as my present to you on my birthday, I am giving away an ebook on the subject. Just fill in the field's below and assist me with a bit of market research and you will get a link to your free ebook. So, congratulations. We made it another year and HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
BTY, next month is my Strokeiversary! I am already thinking about that gift.
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So many times when you hear talk about Preppers or see shows on the subject, the conversation is about Doomsday and bunkers. There tends to be a social stigma with some people about prepping for a disaster. As we have seen in the last few weeks and from the history of my lifetime, this should be further from the truth.
I can remember where I was and what I was doing when the news reports came on regarding 9-11. I lived in Chicago at the time and reached out to love ones as they went about their daily activities. People where going everywhere. Traffic was congested. Phone lines where busy. It was very chaotic. Then, following years later, came the reports and news of Katrina, Sandy and Ike. Fast forward to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and possibly Irma on its way toward north America. Whether you or your family members live in coastal regions or not, life is full of uncertainty, which ironically, is our only certainty. I remember being in DeKalb, IL in June of 1987, standing in the living room of a friend's apartment and experienced an earthquake. It was quick and uneventful, but yet very real.
So how ready are you for the uncertainty of life? We do so many things to prepare for the "what if" of life. We buy insurance for our health and property. We buy homes to house things and provide shelter and safety from people and the elements. We educate ourselves and our children in hopes of a prosperous future. Even with all we do, there is still a magnitude of uncertainty in life. Yet, being prepared can effect the "what if".
Watching the news reports of Hurricane Harvey and seeing people get fed, I was concerned about all the people with food intolerance. Having Celiac Disease, I considered what I would do if my only option was to eat whatever food was placed before me. Seventy-two hours is the time estimated it takes relief organizations to mobilize and begin to provide services when a disaster hits. Lucky for me, I have a Prepper food kit in an air tight, water tight mobile container that is gluten sensitive and will feed 4 people for 72 hours with and expiration date, well over a decade. With food intolerance, I can't rely on anyone having food that would not make me sick. Some say...if that is all you have, you will eat it. For me, that is just not true. The pain and suffering would be too unbearable to do that to myself, especially under already stressful circumstances.
I came across a web post entitled, "Are You Prepared to be Gluten Free in an Emergency" by Dr. Osborn on the Gluten Free Society website. Check out his 12 tip for prepping. Many of them are good regardless of the need for gluten free or not. Make a plan for yourself and your family for communication, to shelter in place or evacuation. We never really know when the "what if" will come.
The "2017 Great American Solar Eclipse" has come and gone. Now what? There are people who planned for years just to be apart of one event on August 21, 2017. Whole families traveled for hours and even days to view the eclipse for mere minutes. So what is next? Does the solar eclipse affect a person's physical or mental health? NASA has reportedly said there is no effect on people during the 2017 eclipse when the Earth, Mood and Sun were in complete alignment. In the spiritual astrological world, it is considered the Holy Trinity of vibration and frequency of the energies of all living things on earth. In my own home, the wireless doorbell rang repeatedly own its own. Was this happenstance, a battery that needed to be changed or the change in radio frequency that has been studied since 1912 during such times? So, even if you are not much of a scientist, it must be concluded that change in vibrational frequencies has to have some effect on at least some people.
Let's go back to the original question...now what? To answer that question, let me take you back a few weeks. Hang with me on this. I promise to bring you full circle...
From August 13 to September 5, the planet Mercury, Messenger of the Gods in ancient mythology, has been in retrograde. This means it appears to be moving backwards because it is moving slower than the Earth. In the Zodiac, Mercury, is the Ruler of Gemini and Virgo and commands over communication, expression, awareness and intellect. With this being the case, during retrograde, the Gemini may experience lost communication or misunderstandings or the complete total opposite. They may hear from old friends seemingly out of the blue sky, literally. For the Virgo, the detailed nature of the sign's characteristic may cause crankiness and annoyance. Double check your facts before reacting negatively, especially during this retrograde.
So are you still with me? Let's go back to the solar eclipse. When the Sun is completely blocked out by the Moon, with the Earth being in complete alignment and Mercury being the closest planet to the Sun, and energy frequencies change on the planets, and all living things being energy, there is bound to be an effect in the well-being of some people whom are more sensitive to these sorts of events, especially, Geminis and Virgos. (sorry for the run-on sentence) Some will and have felt more tired or even sleepy, but this may not be a totally bad thing though. This can be a time to reboot. This combination of the planetary actions can help a person lift their vibrational frequency. Begin or increase a meditation practice. Many spiritual believers equate this time to the awakening of the 6th and 7th Chakras. When these two connect, the Third Eye between the Soul and the Universe increases intuition and consciousness.
Lastly, psychologists have documented an increase in suicide after a solar eclipse. This is equated to the so-called Doomsdayers that view the event as a negative sign of the end of the Universe. Other research concluded that the hunt, chase and social interaction surrounding an eclipse event created a temporary positive mood for some already depressed and contemplating their own demise, but once the event was done and their mood changed back, the act was carried out.
I know this may have gone off the rails for some, but know that the end result is that the #2017GreatAmericanSolarEclipse, may affect some people more than the sarcasm received from looking through a cardboard box instead of the solar 3D looking glasses. Keep on eye on your love ones, including the furry ones. As for the phenomena of volcanoes, earthquake, tsunamis and hurricanes as a result of the solar eclipse, we will have to wait and see.
Now that you know causes of stroke and that stroke is leading in Millennials and Generation X, lets look at the signs of stroke. If you are aware of the stroke acronyms FAST and BEFAST, you be wondering what this infographic is a about.
FAST is for;
I prefer the posted infographic, because, like me, many stroke victims did not have the FAS part of FAST. In fact, I did not have any of those signs, so I did not do the T and yet drove myself to the ER. As with many, I had numbness on one side of my body and a severe headache. I was also very anxious and my heart was racing. So, don't get stuck on FAST or BEFAST. I have heard from some people that they became unconscious, even waking up days and weeks later having been in a coma, remembering nothing or very little.
The one thing that can't be agreed on is that when a stroke occurs, TIME is of the ESSENCES. There are interventions that can reduce or even reverse the outcome of stroke if treated within less than 3 hours of first onset. Since stroke signs can be from standard to obscure, most people don't realize they are having a stroke nor do they get conformation within that time frame. I always say...if in doubt, check it out.
I hope you will pass this on to the people you know and those you love. There is no one whom has had a stroke whose life is not changed forever, in one way or another. Help me spread the word about stroke.
Having the stresses of caring for a child with health concerns and going through the termination of a failed marriage, I developed my own chronic health issues. and survived a stroke. My personal experience and research of stroke and autoimmune diseases, lead me to help myself and others.