#Livingto100: Avoiding Asbestos and Mesothelioma

There are many bumps in the road to good health. Unfortunately, for many that “bump” is cancer. The many types of cancer can be overwhelming – most people have numerous friends and family members that have been impacted by the disease. Of the many types of cancer the spotlight is often shed on just a handful while others remain relatively unknown leaving Americans more vulnerable.

Mesothelioma is one of those rare diseases – there are 3,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States. September 26, on Mesothelioma Awareness Day, is the one day a year that mesothelioma is given the spotlight.

Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. When inhaled the asbestos dust is embedded in the lining of the organs developing into cancer. The toxin was used widely in construction and building materials into the 1970s. While there are now strict guidelines in the United States surrounding asbestos use it is still legal to use in the country.

The key to #Livingto100 – avoid asbestos and seek medical attention if you think you may have been exposed. Mesothelioma prognosis is so poor because the disease is often misdiagnosed multiple times before a correct diagnosis is given and treatment can be administered. The disease is most often diagnosed in the third or fourth stage – when patients are given 12 to 21 months to live.

There are four types of mesothelioma – pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular. The most common form of the disease in pleural mesothelioma, which occurs when asbestos imbeds in the lining of the lungs. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are often mistaken as the flu or pneumonia. Symptoms of the disease include difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats.

Asbestos is often found in buildings constructed up to the 1970s – if you live or work in such a building do not be afraid to ask about the presence of asbestos. Be your own health warrior and increase your chances of #Livingto100.

To learn more about the dangers of asbestos and mesotelioma join the Mesothelioma Awareness Day tweet chat on September 26 at 12 p.m. ET using the hashtag #EndMeso

#LivingTo100: Nut Butters, and Cereal and Crackers, Oh My!

Nut Butters:
Look for natural versions of nut butters which have no added sugar and no hydrogenated oil. Hydrogenated oil is the main source of unhealthy fat.

Read labels on peanut butter, nut butter, almond butter, and soynut butter. All are good protein sources but added ingredients may be added to enhance flavor and texture. The small amount of naturally occurring oils in peanut butter may be partially hydrogenated for spreadability, adding trans fats.

When choosing a cereal, look for at least 3 grams of fiber with no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving. Remember 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams of sugar! Whole-grain cereals typically have more fiber per serving. Also pay close attention to serving size. Serving size is usually a lot smaller than what you pour into your bowl.

Be aware of “natural” cereals or granolas. They may have more fat, sugar, and sodium than you think. Many contain high levels of solid fats from palm and coconut oils. Instead of natural cereals, try muesli, made with grains, nuts, and dried fruit with less fat and added sugars.

Whole grain, or whole wheat crackers are best. Look for these ingredients to be at the top of the list with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Many crackers are made with oil so be mindful of the type of oil they are made with. Those made with hydrogenated vegetables have more trans fat. Those with palm or coconut oil have more solid or saturated fats. For healthier fats, look for those made with non hydrogenated soy, canola, corn, and peanut oils, or with high-oleic sunflower or canola oil, or low-linolenic soybean oil.

#LivingTo100: Soothing the Tender Points of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by muscle pain near their attachments to bones. The most distinctive feature of fibromyalgia syndrome is the existence of ‘tender points’, eighteen specific spots where muscles are abnormally tender to the touch. The eighteen points tend to cluster around the neck, shoulders, chest, knees, elbows, hips and include the following:

  • Around the lower vertebrae of the neck
  • At the insertion of the second rib
  • Around the upper part of the thigh bone
  • In the middle of the knee joint
  • In muscles connected to the base of the skull
  • In muscles of the neck and upper back
  • In muscles of the mid-back
  • On the side of the elbow
  • In the upper and outer muscles of the buttocks

Alleviate pain and inflammation associated with fibromyalgia via nutrition. A well-balanced diet of 50% raw foods and “live juices” will help reduce inflammation and pain. Eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, raw nuts, and seeds. These types of foods are rich in nutrients, renew energy, and build immunity.

Aim to eat four to 5 small meals a day. This will ensure your body has a steady supply of protein and carbohydrates available for proper muscle function. If the body does not have enough fuel for energy, it will rob the muscles of essential nutrients, causing muscle wasting and pain. Portion control is important. If dining at a restaurant, choose appetizer-size portions. They are great sizes for mini meals. The appetizer size can also be used at home. If appetizers are not available, ask for the lunch size. Lunch portions are often smaller and less expensive than dinner portions. Another trick to control portion sizes is to serve meals on a lunch plate.

#LivingTo100: Helping someone who is having a seizure

Seeing someone having a seizure can be disturbing and frightening and most people are unaware of what to do. If you witness someone having a seizure, do the following:

  • Do not restrain the person.
  • Do not try to put anything in the person’s mouth. A person having a seizure may bite his or her tongue, but this is not life-threatening.
  • Try to restrain a fall so that the person does not hit something as he or she collapses. Often, the person knows he or she is about to have a seizure. If you are able to, ask them to sit on the floor or help them sit down, before a fall.
  • Leave the person lying flat on a safe surface. Do not put anything under the person’s head. If possible, turn the person on their side, propping them in that position with cushions at the back during the seizure. This way, saliva or blood from a bitten tongue will be able to flow freely out of the mouth.
  • In case of loss of bladder or bowel control, if possible loosely cover the person with a blanket to protect his or her privacy.
  • Do not panic. Loosen any tight clothing to make the person more comfortable. Stay with the person until the seizure has stopped. They may be confused and tired immediately after the seizure.
  • Seek medical assistance. With a baby or child, medical help should be sought immediately.

Seizures may occur for no apparent reason or may be triggered by a wide range of things, including exposure to an allergen; drug or alcohol withdrawal; fever; flashing lights; hunger; hypoglycemia; infection; lack of sleep; metabolic or nutritional imbalances; or trauma especially head injury.

#LivingTo100: Sleep for beautiful skin

In addition to a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, adequate sleep can be a great tool to rejuvenate your skin. The skin repairs itself during sleep and lack of sleep will show up immediately on your face with dark circles, bags under your eyes, and dull skin. Seven to eight uninterruted hours are optimal. If seven hours of sleep is unattainable, try taking naps.

If you are receiving enough sleep, you should wake up naturally without an alarm. If you need an alarm clock to wake up on time, consider an earlier bed time.

Having trouble falling asleep?

Keep your bedroom dark. As our bodies get older, the brain experiences less delta-wave activity during sleep. This leads to a great sensitivity to light. Light from any source: moonlight, streetlight, early dawns and late sunsets can cause disrupt sleep patterns. Use heavy shades or curtains, charge electronics in another room, and turn the alarm clock towards the wall. Also, consider using a sleep mask.

Feed your skin well

Antioxidants, healthy fats, green tea, and fiber promotes healthy, beautiful skin. Antioxidant-rich foods such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables help protect against damage from free radicals in the environment and shield your cells from premature aging. Healthy fats found in salmon, nuts, olive oil, and flaxseed improve the quality of the skin barrier and increase the water-retaining capacity of skin, making it appear plumper and younger. Green tea contains a powerhouse of catechins which boost immunity. Fiber promotes healthy skin cells and may protect skin from sun damage and reduce skin cancer risk.

What does the skin do?

The skin is the largest organ in the body. One of its functions is to eliminate a portion of the body’s toxic wast products through sweating. If the body contains more toxins that the kidneys and liver can effectively discharge, the skin takes over.As toxins escape through the skin, the skin’s healthy integrity is disrupted. This is a key factor behind many skin disorders, including acne.

The skin also “breathes”. If the pores become clogged, the microbes that are involved in causing acne flourish because they are protected agains the bacteriostats action of sunshine. Dirt, dust, oils, and grime from pollution clog the pores. This can be eliminated by cleansing the skin properly, and with the proper products.

#LivingTo100: Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis Nourish and Protect

Bee pollen and bee propolis are two substances made by bees that have tremendous nutritional value. Bee pollen is a powder-like material that is produced by the anthers of flowering plants and gathered by bees. It is composed of 10 to 15 percent protein and also contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, essential fatty acids, enzymes, carotene, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, sodium, plant sterols, and simple sugars.  This rich supply of nutrients is extremely beneficial to humans, offering protection of the liver from toxins, combating physical fatigue, depression, cancer, and colon disorders. Bee pollen from local sources is helpful for people with allergies because it strengthens the immune system.

Bee propolis is a resinous substance collected from various plants by bees. Bees use propolis along with beeswax in the construction of hives. It is used to seal cracks in hives and act as a protective layer against invading microprobes and other organisms.  As a supplement bee propolis an excellent aid against bacterial infections. Bee propolis is believed to stimulate phagocytosis, the process by which some white blood cells destroy bacteria.  Propolis also contains terpenoids that process antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal, and anti protozoan agents. Like some prescription antibiotics, propolis prevents bacterial cell division and breaks down the invading organism’s cell walls and cytoplasm. Propolis is available in capsules or in propolis-enriched honey.

Did you know the average lifespan of a Western honey bee is 122-152 days? The time frame is different during the winter and summer months, and also depends upon mating patterns. Queen bees live longer, averaging about 3-5 years.

Just a spoonful of sugar…

1 teaspoon of honey = 21 calories
1 teaspoon jelly = 16 calories
1 teaspoon brown sugar = 17 calories
1 teaspoon table sugar = 16 calories
1 teaspoon maple syrup = 17 calories
1 teaspoon corn syrup, light or dark = 19 calories

#LivingTo100: Let Nature Help You Stop Smoking

Unfortunately, once a smoking habit has been acquired, it is difficult to break. Research shows that addiction to tobacco may be harder to overcome than addiction to heroin or cocaine. This is because smoking creates both physical and psychological dependency. For some, it is easier to overcome the physical addiction that the psychological dependency. Acute physical withdrawal, while unpleasant lasts for al limited period of time, usually no more than several weeks. Long-term cravings are more likely a matter of psychological dependency and require an ongoing effort to control.

Your first step on the path to living a smoke-free life be to examine each impulse to reach for a cigarette. Is it habit? Do you smoke while drinking your morning coffee? Is smoking related to stress? Smoking is sometimes used as an excuse for taking a momentary break during times of stress and to help smooth over awkward moments. Is smoking a result of a physical craving? Some people can’t imagine engaging in specific types of activities without a cigarette in hand. Meditation is often helpful to determine the origins of the urge for a cigarette. Our favorite meditation guide is the Headspace app.

When your resolve is strong, cleanse your body of nicotine using a combination of herbal aids that help to rebalance your body chemistry. Gardenia, gotu kola, sarsaparilla, gentian, and licorice root are a few of nature’s botanical supports for your efforts. Herbal blends are available in most health food stores.

Smoking and weight gain?

Have you ever wondered why some people gain weight when they stop smoking? This happens partially because when smokers quit, they often feel hungrier. However, this feeling of hunger lasts only for a few weeks. Another cause of weight gain is an increased desire to snack or consume alcohol. Also, nonsmokers may burn slightly less calories during the day. Smoking makes the body temporarily burn calories faster. For those who do gain weight, the average gain is about 10 pounds. To help keep those 10 pounds off, take a walk instead of a cigarette.

Did you know?

Every time a person smokes, they inhale more than 4,000 different chemicals. Several of these chemicals are carcinogens.

#LivingTo100: Acupuncture. Yea or nay?

Acupuncture is a treatment in which an expert examines your tongue, smells your skin and tries to unblock the flow of life force (Qi) running through your body with needles.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture works to balance the body and mind while releasing natural pain fighting endorphins. Acupuncture works to restore the flow of Qi, which is vital to good health. Qi (also called Chi) is thought to move through the body along pathways called meridians, each of which is linked to a specific organ. If the flow of energy is balanced, the individual enjoys good health. If something interrupts the flow of energy, health problems, including pain can occur.

Acupuncture stimulates healing and improves the functioning of the immune system. It also increases the flow of oxygen to all tissues in the body. An increased flow of oxygen promotes healing and helps keep the body resistant to and free from disease. Much like physical therapies, acupuncture helps injuries heal and relieves muscle tension caused by them.

When most people think of acupuncture, they picture someone laying down with lots of thin needles sticking inside of them. Acupuncture involves an entire body experience. Needles are just one aspect of the experience and just part of the story. To support the acupuncture therapy, the practitioner will likely recommend taking herbs in the form of teas and capsules. A traditional acupuncturist should inspect the face and body, and check the condition of the tongue. The tongue is a roadmap to health. Different parts of the tongue are linked to different organs. Acupuncturists listen for wheezing and unusual breathing sounds. They sniff for peculiar odors and check the patient’s pulse for clues about the heart, flow of Qi and state of the organs. Relief may be experienced after only one treatment or after a series of treatments.

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