Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Food of the Week . . . Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Did you know that countries where people use olive oil regularly, especially in place of other fats, have much lower rates of heart disease, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and asthma? These countries enjoy a Mediterranean-style diet, which studies continue to uncover as being among the healthiest in the world. For example, one study, which followed participants for over six years, discovered that those most closely following a Mediterranean 'olive oil and salad' dietary pattern had a 50% reduced risk of overall mortality! Another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that the naturally high concentration of phenolic compounds with their antioxidant properties found in extra-virgin olive oil, (that is properly cold pressed and stored in opaque containers), may be one of the key reasons for the lower incidence of cancer and cardiovascular disease in the Mediterranean region. The monounsaturated fats in olive oil have also been found to be used by the body to produce substances which are relatively anti-inflammatory. By reducing inflammation, these fats can help reduce the severity of arthritis symptoms, and may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of asthma. And not least of all, let's not forget it's great flavor!

 Olive oil is made from the crushing and then subsequent pressing of olives. The fact that olives are rich in oil is reflected in the botanical name of the olive tree-Olea europea- since the word "oleum" means oil in Latin. Extra virgin olive oil is derived from the first pressing of the olives and has the most delicate flavor and most antioxidant benefits.

Health Benefits

Pure, extra virgin olive oil is not only a light and delicate addition to many wonderful dishes, it is one of the most health-promoting types of oils available. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that researchers are discovering has excellent health benefits

Practical Tips:

Instead of serving butter, fill a small condiment dish with extra virgin olive oil for use on bread, rolls, potatoes or other vegetables.

For even more flavor, try adding a few drops of balsamic vinegar or a sprinkling of your favorite spices to the olive oil.

To get the most health benefit and flavor from your olive oil, buy and store oil in opaque containers, and add olive oil to foods immediately after cooking.


A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Use extra virgin olive oil in your salad dressings.

Purée roasted garlic, cooked potatoes and extra virgin olive oil together to make exceptionally delicious garlic mashed potatoes. Season to taste.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over healthy sautéed vegetables before serving.
Purée extra virgin olive oil, garlic and your favorite beans together in a food processor. Season to taste and serve as a dip.

Instead of putting the butter dish out on the table, place a small cup of extra virgin olive oil out instead to use on your bread or rolls. For extra flavor, try adding a little Balsamic vinegar or any of your favorite spices to the extra virgin olive oil.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Popeye for President!!


Forget being your favorite sailor, he was right on the money when it comes to nutrition!
We all know that Popeye made himself super strong by eating spinach, but you may be surprised to learn that he may also have been protecting himself against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time.

Food of the week?  SPINACH!

Did you know that spinach is not only a rich source of vitamins and minerals, but researchers have identified carotenoids and at least 13 different flavonoid phytonutrients in spinach that act as powerful antioxidants? Antioxidants combat the free radicals that cause oxidative damage to our cells, including their DNA. When the researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service's Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University tested various fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant capabilities, spinach ranked second only to kale among the vegetables tested. The various flavonoids in spinach have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties, while its carotenoids, such as zeaxanthin and lutein, help fight prostate cancer and protect against eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Since carotenoids are fat-soluble, they are not well absorbed unless consumed with a little fat — one more good reason to add extra flavor and nutrition to spinach by dressing it with antioxidant and phenol-rich extra virgin olive oil. When looking at spinach's impressive nutritional profile, remember that it also contains many other health-promoting phytonutrients for which daily recommended intakes have not yet been provided, so they are not included in the chart.




This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Spinach provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Spinach can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Spinach, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.

HISTORY

Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (Iran). Spinach made its way to China in the 7th century when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift to this country. Spinach has a much more recent history in Europe than many other vegetables. It was only brought to that continent in the 11th century, when the Moors introduced it into Spain. In fact, for a while, spinach was known as "the Spanish vegetable" in England.
Spinach was the favorite vegetable of Catherine de Medici, a historical figure in the 16th century. When she left her home of Florence, Italy, to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks, who could prepare spinach the ways that she especially liked. Since this time, dishes prepared on a bed of spinach are referred to as "a la Florentine."
Spinach grows well in temperate climates. Today, the United States and the Netherlands are among the largest commercial producers of spinach.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted or bruised. Avoid those that have a slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.
Store fresh spinach loosely packed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper where it will keep fresh for about five days. Do not wash it before storing as the moisture will cause it to spoil. Avoid storing cooked spinach as it will not keep very well.


Tips for Preparing Spinach:

Spinach, whether bunched or prepackaged, should be washed very well since the leaves and stems tend to collect sand and soil. Before washing, trim off the roots and separate the leaves. Place the spinach in a large bowl of tepid water and swish the leaves around with your hands as this will allow any dirt to become dislodged. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water (usually two to three times will do the trick). Cut away any overly thick stems to ensure for more even cooking. If you are going to use the spinach in a salad, you can dry it in either a salad spinner or by shaking it in a colander. If you are going to cook it, you do not need to worry about drying it well as the remaining water will serve to help it cook. Spinach is one of the few vegetables we suggest quick boiling (for one minute). That's because boiling will help to reduce the amount of oxalic acids found in spinach, resulting in a sweeter taste.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Add layers of steamed spinach to your next lasagna recipe.

Toss steamed spinach with pressed garlic, fresh lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.

Pine nuts are a great addition to cooked spinach.

Spinach salads are a classic easy and delicious meal or side dish.









 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Ballad Of The Harp-Weaver

by, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

It is a poem about the love a mother has for her child.
It is sweet and sad and it is one of my all-time favorites.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I.
~~Melody

I dedicate this to all mothers everywhere.



"Son," said my mother,

When I was knee-high,

"you've need of clothes to cover you,

and not a rag have I.



"There's nothing in the house

To make a boy breeches,

Nor shears to cut a cloth with,

Nor thread to take stitches.



"There's nothing in the house

But a loaf-end of rye,

And a harp with a woman's head

Nobody will buy,"

And she began to cry.



That was in the early fall.

When came the late fall,

"Son," she said, "the sight of you

Makes your mother's blood crawl,—



"Little skinny shoulder-blades

Sticking through your clothes!

And where you'll get a jacket from

God above knows.



"It's lucky for me, lad,

Your daddy's in the ground,

And can't see the way I let

His son go around!"

And she made a queer sound.



That was in the late fall.

When the winter came,

I'd not a pair of breeches

Nor a shirt to my name.



I couldn't go to school,

Or out of doors to play.

And all the other little boys

Passed our way.



"Son," said my mother,

"Come, climb into my lap,

And I'll chafe your little bones

While you take a nap."



And, oh, but we were silly

For half and hour or more,

Me with my long legs,

Dragging on the floor,



A-rock-rock-rocking

To a mother-goose rhyme!

Oh, but we were happy

For half an hour's time!



But there was I, a great boy,

And what would folks say

To hear my mother singing me

To sleep all day,

In such a daft way?



Men say the winter

Was bad that year;

Fuel was scarce,

And food was dear.



A wind with a wolf's head

Howled about our door,

And we burned up the chairs

And sat upon the floor.



All that was left us

Was a chair we couldn't break,

And the harp with a woman's head

Nobody would take,

For song or pity's sake.



The night before Christmas

I cried with cold,

I cried myself to sleep

Like a two-year old.



And in the deep night

I felt my mother rise,

And stare down upon me

With love in her eyes.



I saw my mother sitting

On the one good chair,

A light falling on her

From I couldn't tell where.



Looking nineteen,

And not a day older,

And the harp with a woman's head

Leaned against her shoulder.



Her thin fingers, moving

In the thin, tall strings,

Were weav-weav-weaving

Wonderful things.



Many bright threads,

From where I couldn't see,

Were running through the harp-strings

Rapidly,



And gold threads whistling

Through my mother's hand.

I saw the web grow,

And the pattern expand.



She wove a child's jacket,

And when it was done

She laid it on the floor

And wove another one.



She wove a red cloak

So regal to see,

"She's made it for a king's son,"

I said, "and not for me."

But I knew it was for me.



She wove a pair of breeches

Quicker than that!

She wove a pair of boots

And a little cocked hat.



She wove a pair of mittens,

Shw wove a little blouse,

She wove all night

In the still, cold house.



She sang as she worked,

And the harp-strings spoke;

Her voice never faltered,

And the thread never broke,

And when I awoke,—



There sat my mother

With the harp against her shoulder,

Looking nineteeen,

And not a day older,



A smile about her lips,

And a light about her head,

And her hands in the harp-strings

Frozen dead.



And piled beside her

And toppling to the skies,

Were the clothes of a king's son,

Just my size.



Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jeanie Hill Has a Pretty Mouth.







Well, she does.
                                                                                                                      
And what is wrong for saying this?

I am ashamed of myself right now at this moment. 1st > I am procrastinating from creating web content which my brother, Ross, is waiting for (and quite patiently, too).
Instead I am skipping around Facebook, ya know, seeing what's up. S'uuup?

And I see Jeanie's post and it kinda just hit me. Her mouth is pretty.
But there is more to her than that, Jeanie has a pretty soul. She is petite and bubbly. I can honestly say I have never seen her get angry even when she was at her limit. I wanted to compliment her, so I did.

Everyone should go out of their way to compliment a different person every day. And not an "obvious" compliment. I am talking about a compliment that the person is not aware of or maybe has not heard in a while. When was the last time someone told you that they like your mouth? Weird, right? Oh well, I also like to tell people when their butts look good in a pair of pants. I always tell the person to put a star on that pant's hanger. Makes 'em smile. I like making people smile. It is like a drug to me.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Speech! Speech!

Good evening,
Please allow me to extend a warm Thank you to family, friends and faculty who have come here tonight to celebrate the Graduating Class of 2010.

It has been quite a journey that has spanned almost ¾’s of a year. A year of juggling family’s schedules, kid’s soccer games, finances, missed dinners, long days at work or school followed by longer nights at work or school. And everyone that is here that has felt the brunt of this journey, again I say ‘Thank You.”

When I found out I was named Salutatorian, I was honored. And when I was told I was required to make a speech, well…
I thought to myself, now that’s not going to be easy. I mean you all know I am certainly not one to stand at the center of attention and speak my mind… Ahem, But since I must….

Dr. Drew explained to me that a Salutatorian’s speech is meant to Welcome Everyone to the new life for which they have spent these long months preparing. It is my honor to do so right now. Feel free to give yourselves a round of applause. And let me say, Welcome Therapists! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your new life!

Tonight I would like to speak out on what I feel is the most valuable element that will become the foundation for success within this new life, and that element is PERSEVERANCE.

The great Madame Curie once said,

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”

So, our “Thing” is massage therapy.

But I don’t like the word “Thing”, I prefer the term “Super Power.”

For example, think of John Smith sitting at his computer suffering from headaches and sharp pains in his shoulders. He makes an appointment to go to the doctor where he is shuffled about before obtaining his prescription. Then he must fill out the prescription (hopefully not at Wal-Mart or this speech may never end), at last he takes the prescribed pain pill, and once again, he must wait…. wait for the pain to go away. Whereas you or I can place our hands where the pain begins, and faster than a flexoril the pain subsides.

And what about Sally Brown, the typical single mother struggling to make ends meet, feeling frustrated and weary. Within the hour, we can ease that stress with smooth therapeutic strokes until she begins to feel lighter, less burdened, and centered. I think that is an amazing power, a power that each and every one of us now possess, a power that requires knowledge and skill, and luckily for us, we were able to learn and hone our skills at one of the top schools in Texas… Parker. Let’s hear it for Parker!

So, we have a Super Power. Now what?

Now we must use this power. We must persevere in our quest for clients, job opportunities and furthering our education in a specific field. Do not procrastinate. Do not let this power sit dusty upon a shelf only to be taken down between shifts of other jobs. We have been struggling for 8 long months. What are a few months more? Do not fall back on the easier means. We are no longer a cog in the corporate wheel. No more cubicles and fluorescent lighting for us. No more long shifts filled with “What can I get ya?” and 10% tips.
So tonight I ask that you take this excited energy and enthusiasm and channel it as the fuel to your own perseverance. Network, stay in touch with each other, pass along opportunities that for you may not work, but for a fellow classmate could be the job of a lifetime. Create a social circle and stay current within it.

I learned perseverance from my Grandfather. He started as a shoe salesman at JC Penney. He retired as a Vice President; I wish he could be here. But I know he would agree with me when I say:
Submerge yourself within this new life and it will blossom before you.

I will leave you with a final quote from our former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, that reads,

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. “

Thank you everyone,

and goodnight.










                                                                            

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tax Day Cometh!

Tax Law Was Cited in Software Engineer’s Suicide Note





By DAVID CAY JOHNSTON

Published: February 18, 2010

In his suicide note, the computer software engineer who flew a small plane into a building with Internal Revenue Service offices in Texas on Thursday cited a 1986 tax law as a major motivation for his action.
The law, known as Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, made it extremely difficult for information technology professionals to work as self-employed individuals, forcing most to become company employees.

Many software engineers and other such professionals say that the law denies them the opportunity to become wealthy entrepreneurs and that it makes it harder to increase and refine their skills, eventually diminishing their income.

Harvey J. Shulman, a Washington lawyer who represented companies that supported the desires of software engineers to be independent contractors, estimated that the law currently affects at least 100,000 such people.

“This law has ruined many people’s lives, hurt the technology industry, and discouraged the creation of small, independent businesses critical to a thriving domestic economy,” Mr. Shulman said in an interview Thursday. “That the law still exists — even after its original sponsors called for its repeal and unbiased studies proved it unfairly targeted a tax-compliant industry — shows just how dysfunctional and unresponsive Democratic and Republican Congresses and our political system have been, even on relatively simple issues.”



The law was sponsored by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Democrat of New York, as a favor to I.B.M., which wanted a $60 million tax break on its overseas business.

Under budget rules in effect at the time, any tax breaks had to be paid for with new revenues. By requiring software engineers to be employees, a Congressional report estimated, income and payroll taxes would rise by $60 million a year because employees had few opportunities to cheat on their taxes.

One year later, convinced that the law was not bringing in the expected revenue, Senator Moynihan proposed that it be repealed, but his bill died. Over the next eight years or so, Congress held at least six hearings on the law. In 1996, the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, which prepares official tax revenue estimates for Congress, calculated that repeal of the law would cause an insignificant revenue loss. Mr. Shulman testified at the time that it would actually increase revenues as engineers, job brokers and others built successful businesses.


Seventy senators, ranging from Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, to Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, then signed a letter calling for repeal.


In 1998 Senator William V. Roth Jr., the Delaware Republican who was chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said through an aide that he believed the law should be repealed, but that he would not take any action because it would “open a Pandora’s box of other independent contractor issues.”



On Wednesday, the day before Andrew Joseph Stack III left his suicide note and crashed the plane into the building in Austin, the Obama administration proposed a widespread crackdown on all types of independent contractors in an effort to raise $7 billion in tax revenue over 10 years

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dearest Onion, I love you so much it brings a tear to my eye.

Diabetics... Calling ALL Diabetics....                                                  

                                      

This week we celebrate onions while they are in the peak of their season. Onions not only add extra flavor to your dish but are also a source of many health-promoting nutrients, including their unique sulfur-containing compounds, which help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.

Health Benefits

Onions, like garlic, are members of the Allium family, and both are rich in powerful sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects. Onions contain allyl propyl disulphide, while garlic is rich in allicin, diallyl disulphide, diallyl trisulfide and others. In addition, onions are very rich in chromium, a trace mineral that helps cells respond to insulin, plus vitamin C, and numerous flavonoids, most notably, quercitin.

Blood Sugar-Lowering Effects

The higher the intake of onion, the lower the level of glucose found during oral or intravenous glucose tolerance tests. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that allyl propyl disulfide is responsible for this effect and lowers blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of free insulin available. Allyl propyl disulfide does this by competing with insulin, which is also a disulphide, to occupy the sites in the liver where insulin is inactivated. This results is an increase in the amount of insulin available to usher glucose into cells causing a lowering of blood sugar.

In addition, onions are a very good source of chromium, the mineral component in glucose tolerance factor, a molecule that helps cells respond appropriately to insulin. Clinical studies of diabetics have shown that chromium can decrease fasting blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels, and decrease total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while increasing good HDL-cholesterol levels. Marginal chromium deficiency is common in the United States, not surprising since chromium levels are depleted by the consumption refined sugars and white flour products as well as the lack of exercise. One cup of raw onion contains over 20% of the Daily Value for this important trace mineral.


Source:
http://whfoods.org/

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A DAY of SADNESS...

IRVING, Texas (AP) — More than 20,000 people gathered at tailgate parties and other spots Sunday to watch fireworks go off one last time over Texas Stadium before a ton of dynamite lit up the Dallas Cowboys' longtime home and brought it to the ground.


The building known for the giant hole in its roof — "so God can watch his team," according to local lore — was demolished in a planned implosion set off by the 11-year-old winner of an essay contest.

The Cowboys played 38 seasons in Texas Stadium, winning five Super Bowls during that time. The local landmark also was home for the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
"It was much more emotional than I expected," said Pam Seal, a cheerleader in 1975. She decided only Saturday to drive from the suburb of North Mesquite to watch. "I'm so glad that I had my family out there to hold my hand through it. I didn't think I would be that much of a basket case about it. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend."

Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys and the stadium lease for $160 million in 1989. The night he agreed to the deal, he went to the stadium, laid on the 50-yard-line and looked up through the roof. Driving by before dawn Sunday, he said he got a lump in his throat. The blast itself turned out to be emotional, "more so than I thought it would be."
His daughter and granddaughter both cried.

Hundreds of people arrived Saturday and stayed up all night for "final tailgate" parties before the implosion scheduled for 7 a.m. Along with the more than 20,000 assembled at official locations, people watched from hotels and office buildings as far as 10 miles away in downtown Dallas. Many former Cowboys players were among those taking a last look.

The event was surrounded by hoopla befitting the glitzy image of a club that bills itself as "America's Team." Local television stations carried the implosion live, and ESPN's Chris Berman served as the master of ceremonies.

When Casey Rogers pushed the button, white light flashed in the stadium's interior and there was a rumbling that sounded like a drumbeat. Then the ground shook and a cloud of smoke went up as the building dropped within seconds.
"Awesome!" said Casey, who was still wearing his blue construction helmet a few minutes later. "It was better than I thought it would be."

The only glitch created a cool image: Three buttressing pillars leaned but didn't fall.

"Now we've got Stonehenge," joked Irving mayor Herbert Gears.


The Cowboys moved to the new $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium in nearby Arlington after the 2008 season. With the new stadium and others in the area — including the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, where the Cowboys played from 1960 to October 1971 — Irving officials decided they needed the land more than the building and opted to demolish the stadium.The state already has a 10-year lease to use the property as a staging area for a highway construction project.

Over 38 seasons, the Cowboys won 213 of the 313 regular-season and postseason games they played at Texas Stadium. Many Americans can't remember a Thanksgiving that didn't include watching the Cowboys play there. Hall of Famers Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman played there, and Emmitt Smith (FSY) established himself as the NFL's career rushing leader. Coach Tom Landry set such a high standard a statue of him was erected outside the building.

The stadium also played a role in popular culture. It was the setting for "Mean" Joe Greene's memorable commercial in which he throws his Pittsburgh Steelers jersey to a fan who gives him a Coke ("Hey kid, catch") and the movie "Any Given Sunday." Billy Graham opened the place with a 10-day Crusade, and country music star Garth Brooks held three nights of sold-out shows during which he flew over the crowd. There also were wrestling events, monster truck shows and motocross races.

The Cowboys and their stadium also led changes in the business side of sports, introducing personal seat licenses and making luxury suites popular. In the 1990s, Jones exploited an NFL revenue-sharing loophole by signing sponsorships for the stadium instead of the team.

Still, the enduring image of Texas Stadium will be an overhead image of a Cowboys game, shot through the hole in the roof and showing the men in the shiny silver helmets with the blue star cheered on by beautiful cheerleaders.

"Texas Stadium will never become tarnished, neglected or dishonored, but always remembered, revered and respected, a memory that will be cherished, a place forever honored by all of us who were there," said Alicia Landry, the coach's widow, at a Friday farewell event. "It was a special time and a special place, for the team and for the fans, to be part of our memories forever."

Friday, April 9, 2010

Strong Evidence on the Vaccine-Autism Link Shows Up in Survey of West Coast Children

Good parents who are having their children vaccinated are being misled, thinking that vaccinations are safe and effective, when in fact, no such assurances can be given. We have to ask if the small size of our infants is being taken into account when we inject their systems with large doses of foreign materials, including live attenuated viruses.
The vaccine industry likes to maintain that people are living longer because of vaccines. Yet, the real reason that people are living longer and healthier lives has little to do with vaccines. Sanitation, the development of antibiotics, pasteurization, and the understanding of the role that bacteria plays in disease causation have all played major roles in the reduction of illness in the 20th century.

Powerful lobbying interests represent vaccine manufacturers, and they give money to both parties in congress. The vaccine regulatory committees at the CDC and the FDA are stacked heavily with ‘experts’ who have strong ties to the vaccine industry, and have had or will have employment in that industry.
Children receive upwards of 20 vaccinations by the time they turn 18. The question then becomes, with all the learning disabilities, autism, and other problems due to vaccines, “Who is protecting our children?”

The answer is no one. Vaccination is just another way of sacrificing public health for the profitability of a powerful special interest group. Here, it is the well-financed and deeply entrenched vaccine industry that has everything to gain from vaccinating your children. America is at a crossroads: we have to decide whether the politics, economic incentives, and conflicts of interest of a few are worth the health and lives of the many, in this case our children. Our very future is at stake. Listen carefully to this original, investigative report, and you will learn that vaccines are neither as safe nor effective as you were once led to believe. To the contrary, they are often ineffective, plagued with side effects, and simply not worth the risk to either public or private health.

The battle has been raging back and forth for decades: Is there or isn’t there a link between childhood vaccines and autism? If you ask a parent who has a child who developed autism directly after a vaccination, you get one story. But if you ask a pharmaceutical representative for one of the companies that make vaccines, you get the opposite story. Where’s the truth?

There’s been plenty of research and many authorities – some with suspect ties to pharmaceutical companies – have weighed in on the matter. But whether the reason is incomplete research or something more sinister, there is not yet a consensus in the healthcare field as to the connection.

Now a survey of children in Oregon and California provides a strong piece of evidence to support the connection. The group Generation Rescue surveyed more than 9,000 boys between the ages of 4 and 17 in 9 counties in Oregon and California to find out how many were vaccinated and how many suffered from conditions such as autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or another neurological condition.
The Results: Those who had received their childhood vaccinations were two and a half times more likely to suffer from neurological disorders compared to their vaccinated peers. Vaccinated boys were also 224 percent more likely to have ADHD and 61 percent more likely to have autism than the unvaccinated group.

Just looking at older boys, the results were even more pronounced. It turned out that vaccinated boys experienced neurological disorders at a rate 158 percent higher than the unvaccinated group. Taking autism and ADHD alone, they were 317 percent more likely to have ADHD and 112 percent more likely to experience autism.

Generation Rescue notes that over time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have massively increased their recommendations for vaccinations. In 1983, they recommended only 10 vaccinations. Now, the vaccination schedule is up to 36 doses. And while thimerosal, the mercury-containing preservative, has been removed from pediatric vaccines, there are other additives that are highly suspect, such as aluminum. Plus, some other vaccinations a child may receive, such as some flu shots, still do contain thimerosal. It is noted that between 1983 and 2007, autism rates climbed from 1 in 10,000 children to 1 in 150 children, a growth rate of 6,000 percent.

While this kind of survey may not be the last word in research, it clearly points out the need to make a national study without bias or vested interest involvement – for the health of all our children. Such a study was proposed by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Maurice Hinchley and Rep. Ron Paul. The bill, H.R. 2832, was introduced on June 22, 2007. The bill failed to be enacted as law at that time and was re-introduced in 2009.

If you would like to read the complete survey results, you can go to http://www.generationrescue.org/.



Source: Generation Rescue Press Release, Vaccinated Children Two and a Half Times More Likely to Have Neurological Disorders Like ADHD and Autism, September 25, 2007, http://www.generationrescue.org/survey_pr.html



Source: GovTrack.us index of Congressional Actions, H.R. 3069: Comprehensive Comparative Study of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Populations Act of 2009, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-3069



Source: Gary Null, Ph.D., is a New York Times best-selling author, the host of the talk radio program,
“The Gary Null Show,” and a producer of documentary films, PBS television programs, and health and personal development videos

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BUMBLEBEES CAN’T FLY

Earlier in this century, a scientific researcher “proved” that bumblebees could not fly and they were a freak of nature. Then thirty or forty years later, another scientific researcher proved that bumblebees could fly. Most individuals with common sense have long since agreed that bumblebees fly.



Some foods, such as garlic and ginseng cause an enhanced feeling of physical well-being in many individuals and have been used for hundreds of years. But because researchers cannot find how or why garlic and ginseng cause an enhanced feeling of physical well-being, the “Bumblebees Can’t Fly” mentality overrules reason and logic.

The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter reports in two studies that garlic has no effect on people with elevated cholesterol levels. The test lasted 12 weeks. The Berkeley Letter goes on to report that “There’s no clear evidence that garlic supplements have any health benefits.”

Of course, there is another reason to try to downplay or dismiss the benefits of a natural food. A study done on a cholesterol drug (funded by the drug–maker) concluded that hundreds of thousands of deaths and repeat heart attacks could be avoided if patients with normal cholesterol levels were given the drug “Pravachol.”

Researchers admitted it would take at least two years of treatment to experience any benefit. Treatment with Pravachol costs an estimated $750-900 annually. Treatment of 200,000 people would mean an estimated annual revenue of about $165 million for the drug company, Bristol-Myers Squibb.



Now, notice that the test with garlic lasted 12 weeks. Users of the drug Pravachol would not notice any benefit for at least two years. Simply another case of “Bumblebees can’t fly.”



SOURCE: Cholesterol 2, Garlic 0. UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, September 1998. Rondberg, D.C. Terry A. Under the Influence of Modern Medicine, p. 140

Sunday, March 14, 2010

In Honor of...

The Daily Rub is on an ELEVEN day hiatus in honor of the ELEVEN Siberian Tigers starved to death in Shenyang Forest Wild Life Zoo, a private enterprise in northeast China's Liaoning province. Once the ELEVEN dead Tigers have been honored, The Daily Rub will resume with an article on this tragedy.
I have included ELEVEN Tigers to this post in memory of this majestic creature. I know they are in a better place.

Until then, I wish peace, love and harmony to you and your pets.

Melody
                                                                                       
                      








Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oprah Winfrey = RACISM

*** Warning ***


This Blog is based on a tough subject and may or may not offend. If it is the former rather than latter, allow me to apologize now and remind everyone that it is my own opinion. An opinion I am not afraid to voice...



So, I am sitting in my chair trying to relax after a long day of eradicating stress from the masses as the dogs are yipping and cats curl around my feet, when I hear that voice. Apparently the channel last viewed from the previous evening is now hosting the Oprah Winfrey Show. Quickly, I grab the remote with full intent to change the channel. But, I hesitated. And have since been kicking myself for not following my first impulse.

My interest was provoked because one of my favorite actresses, Lisa Kudrow, was seated in the guest chair next to the Wicked Witch and introducing her newest production, a Reality TV program (insert slap to forehead here and don't forget the inevitable groan/sigh) that traces featured celebrities' geneaolgies back until something noteworthy is found.... well, Ms. Kudrow's family history was truly sad. I admit I was teary as she discovered how her Great Grandmother and all of the people within her village were executed 2 & 3 people at a time by gunfire over a large pit. Will we ever be free of these horrific visions? I was hooked, UNTIL...

Oprah (not surprisingly) turned the program from what might have been interesting and thought provoking into a slave chase. Her next guest was Hall of Famer and ex-Dallas Cowboy (woot woot!) Emmit Smith. Apparently, he was descended from a slave by the name of Mariah Peryear. She was bred with the intention of increasing the slave quotas of her Master, Samuel Peryear, and then passed on to his son Alexander along with a horse and bridle. I am so proud of the way Mr. Smith handled all of this information. He is so much more proud of his journey in life as a result of finding his humbled origins. But Oprah went on to brush this aside as she "one-upped" him by confessing she keeps actual historic documents framed in her main living room that shows her ancestors listed as "personal property".

I felt sick at this point.... Here is one of the world's most powerful women harboring documents of slavery, displaying them as daily reminders instead of promoting the end of racism. I find this to be so wrong and against everything she supported during the "Change" campaign for the current President that I had to come here and speak out! I am not supporting slavery. I am not saying we should forget. I am saying that if those documents were a drug and the addiction is Racism, then keeping them on full display is like walking an alcoholic into a bar and placing a bottle within reach. And then the show got worse and I was eventually so offended I did change the channel. Allow me to explain. But first, listen to some of the racial slurs Ms. Winfrey has shared previously:




Well, we are back from commercial and the next guest is none other than Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Oprah considers him a close friend) You may remember him as the Harvard Professor that was arrested for breaking into his own house then refusing to answer questions from a "honky" officer of the law.  And as if that wasn't enough, he then tried to crucify a Police Officers career by pulling the Racism card, stating that there would never have been a problem had he been "white". But it didn't end there, even though he refused to cooperate with a man simply trying to uphold the law and oath "to serve and protect" , and because he felt as a black man that he was above the very law and order meant to provide protection, this ultimately led to a "Beer Summit" with President Obama. I get so angry when I think of this. I am tired of hearing  people of color scream racism when they are being confronted on acts of lawlessness. Since when was blaming and accusing people of racism an act of defense? Crime has no color, no gender, no social class. I got arrested for PI once and I never thought to blame the officer for racism againt drunk Irishwomen. If this line of thinking is correct, then I should have the right as Irishmen and Irishwomen have been slaves to British Landlords for as far back as history annotates, right?

Sorry to point out the elephant in the room, but the color of your skin no longer makes excuses nor condones your actions. Whoever you are. I will further mention that History Months based on Race is also wrong, and perpetuates the one thing it is supposed to defeat...Racism. We are living in an era where people are connected no matter what their color, social class or gender indicates is the "norm". Frankly, the fact that you may have darker skin than mine, or you had ancestors that were once slaves bores me. Everyone has suffered. EVERYONE. I refuse to accept this as a reason to excuse, promote, condone, or condemn any action that falls outside moral, ethical or lawful doctrines.
Get over yourself ...already.

OK, I am jumping off the SoapBox and getting back to pointing out the Racist in the room, AKA Oprah Winfrey. So, Oprah and her cronie, Henry, start talking about new DNA testing that allows everyone to see how we are all interrelated. Jews & Muslims, Blacks & Whites all share ancestry. I started to think, Hmmm this sounds more positive...and once again I was terribly disappointed. They began to make reference to the Book of Genesis and how, I am quoting Mr. Gates "if there was a Garden of Eden it was in East Africa."  to which Oprah blurts out "some Southeners may have a hard time believing that".  I am going to refrain from typing the word that jumps to mind, I can't even use blanks.
I am so pissed! Racist Female Dog!

I am Southern. I am a lover of all life. I embrace the human race no matter what color, race, religion, or creed. I love you. All of you. And as far as I am concerned, Oprah can go take a long walk off a short pier.

OK, I feel better. Thanks for letting me share.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Grab Your Piece of Freedom.




Scott Weaver knows whats up, So he decided to lay it down. His current status on Facebook reads:

" woke up this morning and saw that it was raining and decided Gillian and he should skip work and school to just hang out around the house and listen to it rain...it's a great day!!!"


Smart smart man, Scott Weaver.

In my life-long pursuit of stress-free days, I am thinking this is the best proclamation ever written. Why not take a day off to listen to the rain? Why is it we only take time off when its for stressful obligations? I don't want a life where I only have time for work, school, appointments, or errands. That gives me stress just thinking of it. Yet that is how our society functions. People get pissed when you are not at your desk or theirs doing some mind-numbing, predictable, repetitive action every working day. Well, I say SCREW THAT.

I feel I am entitled to one whole day in a month in the middle of the week for activities that I normally have to squeeze time in order to accomplish. After all, the majority of us work Monday thru Friday (or even Saturday) and what little time on the weekend that isn't chewed up by familial obligations or chores is usually spent rushed or forgotten all together. That SUCKS. So, what is one little day? Why can't I steal a Wednesday for myself. I know exactly what I would do. Gym, Sauna, Whirlpool, Massage, Breakfast, Mani/Pedi, Movie, shopping at a local Half Price Books (love that place Woot!) and then I would get spontaneous.... see, if I can plan it out SO CAN YOU!

Or don't plan a thing, be Scott, and just wake up and concentrate on the rain.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dark Star Orchestra

Unbelievable. Amazing. Spectacular. Excellent. Fantastic. The list can go on and on....

I consider my self truly lucky to have been a part of the Grateful Dead world-wide fan base. An active member, some of my best memories are travelling to the shows, meeting and greeting people from all over the USA and communing with people who not only enjoyed the music but shared the love and respect that was created because of the experience in and of itself.

excerpt from Wikipedia said the following:

Many of the Dead Heads would go on tour with the band. As a group, the Dead Heads were considered very mellow. "I'd rather work nine Grateful Dead concerts than one Oregon football game," Police Det. Rick Raynor said. "They don't get belligerent like they do at the games."

Like a band of Gypsies we rolled on toward the horizon after each show always looking forward to the next shake down, the next concert, the next camp.... I will never forget the  night I heard it, August 9th 1995, our Beloved Jerry gone.... R.I.P. 

Thanks Jerry, for sending me Dark Star Orchestra! They are keeping you alive!




Dark Star Orchestra plays The Dead like composers play Bach or Beethoven. They are the closest thing I have heard to The Dead in my experience. Listen for yourself...



Not bad. Not bad at all. Am I Right?
or am i left?




We love you Jerry!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ticklish equals Tension

It is unknown why certain people find areas of the body to be more ticklish than others; additionally, studies have shown that there is no significant difference in ticklishness between the genders. In 1924 J.C. Gregory proposed that the most ticklish places on the body were also those areas that were the most vulnerable during hand-to-hand combat. He proposed that ticklishness might confer an evolutionary advantage by enticing the individual to protect these areas. Consistent with this idea, University of Iowa psychiatrist, Donald W. Black observed that most ticklish spots are found in the same places as the protective reflexes. That being said, If I were to come up behind you and run my fingers over your ribcage, would you squeal? Or would you swing? Either way it spells T-E-N-S-I-O-N. So, lets talk about Intercostal Massage. Huh? What? Intercostal?
Ribs, silly. I am talkin' about RIBS.

Your body is always tense. Some areas are more tense than others due to stress, fatigue, or general over-use. But as a whole, the deeper muscles are always in a state of contraction in order to balance you, keep you upright, or to protect the vulnerable areas such as the internal organs. Think about the muscles that lie between the ribs. They allow the ribcage to expand as you inhale and retract in order to push the diaphragm down as you exhale. I would say they are pretty important. So? Why not give them a little relief?

Releasing the tension of the Intercostals is not always pleasant. Tenderness, burning and itching may ensue. But once the massage has been completed, the relaxation and facility of deeper inhalation is worth the procedure. It is rather simple. The Therapist will lie you on your side and as you breath deeply in & out, he/she will slowly slide a finger between the spaces of your ribs from the back to the front, triggering the muscles to relax and expand. You have no idea how much tension and stress hide within these muscles. I urge you to find a therapist and release that tension today. You will be amazed at how much better you feel. Allowing your ribcage greater expansion means more oxygen can fill the lungs which means more oxygen to the brain and surrounding cells, tissues and organs. This in turn creates a domino effect which can release congestion and aid in lowering blood pressure. Clarity of mind. Emotional well-being.

" One way to break up any kind of tension is good deep breathing."
Byron Nelson



Need I say more?

Coo Coo for Coconuts!

Super Food Alert!!!Super Food Alert!!!Super Food Alert!!!

You see them all the time at the grocery store, hanging out behind the onions or bummin' a space next to the pineapple. Stuck in a spot easily passed. Those darn apples get all the attention! And the price -outrage! Insult added to injury, coconuts get no respect. And yet nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy.

Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called "The Tree of Life." So next time you are looking for something at the grocery store, pick up a coconut, take it home, and after 2-3 good whacks with a hammer, enjoy the mineral, vitamin rich meat and sweet nutty milk.

I was speaking to Rick Merriam, Therapeutic LMT, Instructor of Kinesiology @ Parker Chiropractic College, and a Bio-Mechanics GENIUS about my new love for Mustard Oil when he mentioned Coconut Oil....well. Now I have 2 favorites! After researching this at the Coconut Research Center, I decided to just cut and paste all of the benefits because I was astounded at the list. So from the CRC, here are some of the reasons to include fresh raw coconut and/or coconut oil to your daily diet:

Coconut In Modern Medicine

Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:


Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.

Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.

Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.

Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.

Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.

Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.

Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.

Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.

Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.

Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.

Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.

Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.

Helps protect against osteoporosis.

Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.

Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.

Improves digestion and bowel function.

Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.

Reduces inflammation.

Supports tissue healing and repair.

Supports and aids immune system function.

Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.

Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.

Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.

Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.

Functions as a protective antioxidant.

Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.

Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.

Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.

Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).

Reduces epileptic seizures.

Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.

Dissolves kidney stones.

Helps prevent liver disease.

Is lower in calories than all other fats.

Supports thyroid function.

Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.

Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.

Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.

Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.

Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.

Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.

Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.

Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.

Provides protection form damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.

Helps control dandruff.

Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.

Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.

Is completely non-toxic to humans.

See Research to read some of the published studies regarding the above mentioned uses of coconut products.

Coconut Oil

While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.

Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.

Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." That's quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?

The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first you are probably familiar with, is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.

The size of the fatty acid is extremely important. Why? Because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. So the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil are distinctly different from those of LCFA more commonly found in our foods. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are predominately medium-chain fatty acids. Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.

MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.

There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.

Copyright © 2004 Coconut Research Center

This website is for educational purposes only. The information supplied here comes from a variety of sources and authors and not every statement made has been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Move Over Hot Dog, the Mustard is Movin' on Up!

I am in love with Mustard Oil. I am now offering massages with Mustard Oil that I purchased from a little Indian mart in my neighborhood, and I couldn't be more excited. Sounds a little nuts I know, but I am telling you this stuff is practically magic.

Mustard Oil has contrary reputations in different parts of the world. It is a very popular oil in the Indian Subcontinent (more precisely in the Eastern parts of India and in Bangladesh) as edible oil and is considered very healthy. It is also sold as massage oil for external application.

It has a lovely pungent aroma that is similar to but not as strong as horseradish. As you apply the oil to the body the scent dissipates and leaves no odor on the body, but before it does it has a sweet smell almost like dried hay. The density is quite heavy and glides smoothly over the skin with enough tackiness to allow for deeper work on trigger points and adhesions. It is also a fabulous stimulant to the circulatory system, as well as the following:

Stimulant: Mustard Oil is a very strong stimulant. It is particularly effective in stimulating circulation, digestion and excretion. This oil, if used externally for massage, stimulates circulation very well. The effects are even visible. It stimulates digestion by stimulating secretion of gastric juices and bile from spleen and liver. The excretory system is also stimulated by this oil since the peristaltic motion of the intestines is stimulated.

Irritant: Although being an irritant is not viewed upon as beneficial, yet it can be beneficial in some cases too. Irritation is nothing but a way of reaction of an organ to an external agent. It also shows that the organ is responding to external stimuli. This property is also used to pump up muscles.

Anti Bacterial: This essential oil has bactericidal or anti bacterial properties. Internally it fights bacterial infections in the colon, digestive system, excretory system, urinary tract etc. Externally applied, it can treat bacterial infections on skin.

Anti Fungal: This oil serves as an anti fungal agent, due to presence of Allyl Isothiocyanate. It does not allow fungal growth and also inhibits if there is any.

Insect Repellant: Insects and even some smaller animals avoid this oil and keep away from it. That is why Mustard Essential Oil acts as an insect repellant too. It can be used in fumigants and vaporizers to drive away insects. **For more info on vaporizers and other modus operandi, see The Nose Knows ~part 2~ **

Hair Vitalizer: The stimulating effects and the presence of certain fatty acids such as oleic acid and linoleic acid, when combined together, make Mustard Oil an efficient hair vitalizer. Its stimulating effects increase blood circulation in the scalp while the fatty acids nourish the hair roots. It has been seen that prolonged use of this oil on hair may give it a brown tint but strengthens it and prevents hair fall effectively.

Diaphoretic: It promotes sweating both when consumed and applied externally. It stimulates sweat glands to produce more sweat as well as enlarges the openings of the pores on skin. This property is helpful in lowering body temperature as well as removing toxins and excess salts and water from the body.

Anti Rheumatic & Anti Arthritic: It gives good relief in rheumatism and arthritis and for long has been in use as a rub in such cases.

Other Benefits: It is beneficial in treating cold & cough, headache, congestion resulting from cold, aches and body-pain and for muscular growth. It is also used to rub on gums for strengthening them. This also protects teeth from germs. This oil also contains good percentage of OmegAlpha3 and OmegAlpha6 fatty acids, anti oxidants and vitamin-E which have their own benefits.


So what do you say? Next time someone asks if you want ketchup or mustard on your hot dog, take the Mustard!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

What a Beautifil Vitamin D - A - Y !

This weather is why the people of the Lone Star state are so dang friendly. How can you be upset or sad on a day like today? Its almost Blue Bell Bonnet (this is an edit. Ice cream never leaves my mind. It is truly a sickness.) season....

The euphoria I feel is certainly stemming from the fabulous onslaught of Vitamin D sinking into my pores. The sunny flashes of kaleidoscopic color behind my eyelids, making me drowsy in the clean spring air...

The background buzz of "happy traffic" complete with the sounds of motorcycle exhaust, girly laughter, and the latest hip-hop song whirring by, the beat getting fainter...

The smell of grilling meat - y'all know this... 'The Nose Knows ~Part 1~'

I am so content right now. So happy for what I have and not concerned at all of how it compares to anyone else...

Did you know that If you want to lower your blood pressure, vitamin D may be just what the doctor ordered. If you're trying to reduce your risk of diabetes, or lower your chances of heart attacks, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis, then vitamin D should be at the front of the line in your daily supplement regimen.

And did you also know that there is recent evidence that links low levels of vitamin D to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, muscle and bone pain, and, perhaps more serious, cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, ovaries, esophagus, and lymphatic system.

And guess what!?! Best souce of Vitamin D?? Is SUNSHINE!! So, I am hitting the outdoors...don't look for me in the house till the moon is risen and dinner's on the table...Thanks, M

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I am Sick & Tired!

Ms. Manners is rolling in her grave! I am here to tell you why.
(I must warn you. I may be blunt at times)

So, to set the scene, let me tell you that I had a fabulous time (despite the two women of BOVINE persuasion, wait, I will get to them)at the Keb Mo concert last night at the Granada Theater in Dallas on Lower Greenville. The music was hot, Keb's voice was clear, and the sound was pure Blues. Not one butt in the audience was sitting still. He had us dancing in the aisles! He played for almost 2 hours...amazing! The only thing I could have complained about was the afore mentioned cows standing next to me in the theater.

I don't want to complain, but as I am always in search of a day without stress, I feel it is my duty to appeal to the masses that are constantly texting and / or talking on cell phones during public venues. However before I jump up on my soapbox, I want everyone to know that I am aware there may be times these calls consist of emergencies, nervous mothers, and the occasional collect call after a free photo session in Lew Sterret's House O' Blues from the best friend being held downtown... but I digress. I remember the first moment I realized the annoying buzz in my ear, distracting me from the lyrics to "Suitcase". I look over and there they are, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, yammering away on the cells and speaking so loudly they were causing people to stare. But that wasn't enough! Then it was all about texting and cackling wildly at whatever was read. {{{{SIGH}}}} I had to force myself to remain calm and aloof. I was not alone. Looking around, I caught the hot stares in their direction, hissing whispers, and spluttered coughs covering the occasional bad word lobbied in their direction.

I want to announce that I Am Sick and Tired, Tired and Sick of teenagers and adults alike that continue to disregard me and you and anyone else that can relate to this article: GET OFF THE DAMN PHONE! I am a student living in a one income household, I rescue dogs all the time and need all my extra cash for their care, I am not high maintenance and do not purchase personal items unless absolutely necessary. SO. When I manage to scrape enough money together to go see a concert or a movie I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't text or talk on the phone. Sitting behind someone texting in a dark theater is like having a flashlight directly in your face. And be warned, if I see it and I can reach your chair, I will kick the back of it to let you know I mean business.
Here is a valid question, why would someone like the female hounds last night purchase a ticket and then NEVER pay attention? What a waste of money. But, it is their money and I am not one to judge. But I must ask again, Can you, noisy talker texter guy, please put away your phone for just an hour of two so that I and others like me may enjoy the movie or concert or play or whatever it is we paid hard-earned $$ to enjoy?
Thanks.


"If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten."
~~George Carlin

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Turn That Frown Upside Down, Julie Ann Brown!

When you look up Julie Ann Brown McIntosh on FaceBook, this is how she describes herself:

I'm silly, outgoing, "annoyingly effervescent", sarcastic, enthusiastic, and as southern as a collard green. I'm a loyal friend, I'm a sucker for animals, and I've got a bunch of great recipes. I love to cook, I love to decorate, and I love to entertain! I love my sterling silver, bone china, and crystal wine goblets, but I can throw a nice BBQ on paper plates just as easily as a fancy feast! I refuse to clean bathrooms because I have a wonderful lady who comes to do that sort of stuff for me! I've got a lot of fun "sayins" like "if brains were dynamite, the explosion wouldn't ruffle his hair on a windy day..." I'm a proud Texan! I don't care what people think of me unless they're my friends or my family!

I still cook with butter, dammit! I don't use margarine, skim milk, or fat-free cheese. I believe in eating rich, eating well, and then working it off! I love real butter, extra virgin olive oil, Madagascan vanilla, and Williams-Sonoma kitchen gadgets. I think "Kid Cuisines" should be outlawed as child abuse and that frozen lasagna is heresy!

How can you not love her? She bubbles over the page like fine champagne and can really make you think with her quick wit and intelligent observations. So why, you ask, is Miss Julie frowning? The very idea is an antithesis to her very nature. So, Why? Because like many economically stressed Moms throughout the USA, Julie has been forced back into the daily grind to help the household stay afloat. She misses her kids. She has a dangerous commute - snow, ice and salt, YUK! And above all, she lives in Michigan. I am here to tell you, as a native Texan like Julie, living in Michigan is like putting a lizard in the freezer. The weather can get down right cold, and we are warm weathered folk. But Julie handles all of those things with her ever-present charm and grace. What is really making Julie frown is what I call 'office-itis'.

She sits at the computer all day, staring at the computer screen under flourescent lights that tires her eyes, rounds her shoulders, elongates her back muscles, and numbs her butt. Yep. Office-itis. She posted today that she didn't understand how a such a sedentary position at her desk could make her so tired??? She isn't running around, climbing stairs, or lifting heavy objects. So? Whats the deal? As I sit and type this I know many of you are in the same situation as Miss Julie. I am going to give you a few helpful tips to combat this exhaustion; this life-sucking enigma called Office-itis.

First, lets talk water, H2O, libation of life, the true thirst quencher, I could go on...
Scientific studies have been up-dated. 64oz of water a day is still okay, if you weigh 128lbs or less. These days reports show the optimal amount of water that should be consumed by the average person is their weight in pounds divided by 2 and that number converted to ounces. And that is if you lead the life of a Root-Warrior, where you lay a daily seige upon your sofa. So John/Jane Doe weighs in at 200lbs. Their daily intake of water should be around 100oz of water. Now, consider the workout in the morning? They could actually drink more of than the 100oz and that is perfectly fine. If they drink the water instead of snacking, exercise regularly, and take care of their body, the weight goes down as well as the amount of water. "But I don't like water!" Then sustitute the water for sugar-free decaffeinated tea. This is a hard habit to develop for some people, but it is a crucial one. Your body needs that water to move waste from the muscles, combat fatigue within cellular walls, and keep the most important disease fighting barrier, the skin, hydrated and functioning properly.
SO DRINK WATER! Got it? Good.

Have you ever noticed how some employees within your office go on frequent smoke breaks? And since you are not a smoker, you don't feel you have an excuse to leave your desk for a break unless it is lunch time. Well, here is your excuse: Take a 5 minute stretch break. Now, I am not talking about straddling your legs between the cubicles. I am saying take a minute to go outside (weather permitting) or an empty conference room and do a few squats, stretch your pec muscles, swing your arms, and bring some blood back into the legs. Try something for me right now >> Take the first 2 fingers of your right hand, place them on the sternum and press the muscles found there. Hurts doesn't it? Thats because you are tight! Massaging the sternum is something I do for anyone that works at a desk. Now keep pressing out toward the shoulder. Still painful? Think about the position you maintain as you sit typing at the computer ALLLL DAAAYYY LLLOOONNGGGGG..... now multiply this by 5. UGH! My pecs and back burn just thinking (and typing) about it. I can see it now: your hands are in front of you poised above the keyboard, your shoulders are therefore rolled forward, this elongates the muscles in the back, and at the same time it causes your pec muscles to stay contracted. BAD BAD BAD! So, get off your rear, tell the smokers you're taking a "stretch break" and let them be jealous for once.

Okay, one last thing and I will shut up, stay away from refined sugars, heavy starches and fried foods. All they do is lift you up Up UP! Then send you spiraling down into crash mode. Stick to raw nuts, fruits, and veggies for a snack. No more trips to the candy machines, soda dispensers and coffee shops. Don't fill up at lunch. It just makes you sleepy. I follow a simple rule: Eat like a King in the morning, a Prince at noon, and a Pauper at night. If you try it, you will never go back to the old habits. (Hopefully)

So Julie, this Blog is for you sweetheart. Try and keep your chin up. We are all rooting for you and support you in your new adventure. There are many people out there like you and could benefit from your leading example. Good luck... and send me that recipe for skillet corn? Thanks!

Love to you and yours,
M

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Nose Knows ~ ~ Part 2 ~ ~

In part 1 of 'The Nose Knows' we discussed how the power of Aromatherapy can help you to control the stress in your environment whether it be the need to concentrate, relax or attract. Now lets discuss what essential oils can do for you in a domestic capacity. First you must understand that the term 'essential oil' is a misnomer. Pure essential oils when dropped on blotting paper will impregnate it, then evaporate and disperse, leaving no oily patch. There are some exceptions to this rule, but the oils I am going to discuss typically follow the rules I just described. Instead of stores selling fragrances or beauty products, look for pure E/O's in shops concerned with natural health such as Whole Foods, Sprouts,etc. I will also list at the bottom of this Blog some reputable suppliers in E/O's that deal with mail orders. This is ideal for the beginner as you get to know what the real thing smells like and, as you become more sure of your nose's ability to discern the good from the bad, seek a more conventional retail outlet.
Other clues to buying pure E/O's is price and strength. It is often the case that synthetic aromas will smell more pungently of the raw material than the real thing. Do not then be influenced by strength, but rather by price, supplier reputation and, in time, your own experience and instinct. Also, realize that E/O's are varied in price due to growing conditions, production costs, and transportation. That being said it is not uncommon that you will find Jasmine at 92x the price of Grapefruit and Sandalwood 4x the price of Lime on a wholesalers list. The reason being it takes 8,000,000 hand-picked Jasmine blossoms (picking time is before sun is at its hottest on day of first bloom)to make 2.2 pounds of Jasmine oil. And Sandalwood isn't harvested until the tree is 30 years old and at least 30 feet high. No reputable supplier sells E/O's all at the same price. Your E/O should arrive in a brown or dark bottle and be kept out of light , heat and dampness. Tops should be closed tightly when not in use. The shelf life of an E/O is approximately 2 years, although some would argue that it may be longer, and when the aromatic principles are the main action (IE: air fresheners, kitchen surface wipes, perfumes, etc) then certainly this may be true. Unfortunately, E/O's are not yet dated when sold, so it is impossible to tell how old they are when you buy them – another reason to purchase through a reputable supplier. So let's look at some domestic uses, shall we?

{{{ HALLWAYS}}}

Because all doors of a house open onto a hallway, this where the aromas from every single room mingle to form the aromatic fingerprint unique to your home. Since hallways are often windowless, the odors that linger tend to hang about like a smog. We light candles and place potpourri in our rooms, but hallways are often neglected. Hallways need something pleasant and fresh, rather than the spice / herbal scents of the kitchen or more heavily scented oils we might use elsewhere.
Some pure oils that provide this refreshment are as follows:

Spring/ Summer

Lime
Lemon
Grapefruit
Geranium
Lavender
Bergamot

Autumn/ Winter

Orange
Nutmeg
Frankincense
Cypress
Benzoin

A synergistic blend that are just as refreshing are:

Spring/ Summer

Lemon 10 drops
Geranium 4 drops
Pettigraine 3 drops
Sandalwood 2 drops

Autumn/ Winter

Orange 8 drops
Frankincense 3 drops
Benzoin 3 drops
Geranium 4 drops

Methods using pure oils or blends are:

Diffusers >> 1 – 6 drops ** non porous only **

Light Bulbs >> 1-2 drops
*** Do Not place oils on hot bulbs. Place on cool bulbs then switch lamp on***

Humidifiers >> 1-9 drops ** add to water **

Radiators >> 1-9 drops ** place on cotton / wool ball and lodge between pipes **

Room Sprays >> 4 or more drops per 1 cup of water
** Spray where necessary being cautious with certain woods **

Water Bowls >> 1-9 drops
** Put boiling water in a bowl, add drops of E/O and seal room for 5 minutes **

Wood Fires >> 1 drop per log
** allow oil to set for 30 minutes prior to fire **


{{{BACTERIA BUSTERS}}}

The majority of E/O's are antiseptics and bactericides, which means they inhibit growth of bacteria, clearly a concern within the home. The following oils are chosen for price and power:

Cinnamon
Clove
Lemon
Lavender
Eucalyptus
Cypress
Palma Rosa
Pine
Niaouli
Thyme
Grapefruit
Lime
Lemongrass

We talked about the 2 year shelf life, but as it turns out, the disinfectant qualities of Eucalyptus actually improve with age. If you have oils too old to incorporate in skin or body care, keep them next to the kitchen / bathroom sink and use 4 drops per cup of water, then spray on a cloth to wipe down surfaces.

{{{ UNWANTED VISITORS }}}

To deter insects from coming in through the windows, cut strips of paper or ribbon and add one drop of whichever E/O you prefer listed here:

Lavender
Citronella
Peppermint
Basil
Cinnamon
Thyme
Lemongrass

Flies and moths particularly dislike Lavender oil, while Peppermint keeps mosquitoes and ants away. Moths have an aversion to the citrus oils too. Either one of the following blends will do a good job at keeping insects on their side of the window frame:

Blend 1

Citronella 10 drops
Peppermint 3 drops

Blend 2

Lavender 5 drops
Citronella 5 drops

These blends and other E/O's can also be placed on cotton / wool balls and placed in nooks & crannies or sprayed around the room. Better than chemicals, you are on your way to being environmentally safe as well as saving $$

Well, I hope this has been an interesting article to read as it was to write. Aromatherapy can become quite the hobby as well as a necessity. In part 3 of The Nose Knows, we will go on to discuss some first aid basics. Please do not hesitate to comment if there is a particular condition or remedy of which you are interested. I will be happy to respond with up to date research and helpful tips.

Please read on for the list of suppliers to purchase your Essential Oils.
For a catalog and pricing lists, be sure to send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Essentially Yours North America
PO Box 81866
Bakersfield, CA 93380

and


Aroma Vera Inc.
PO Box 3609
Culver City, CA 90231


or


Original Swiss Aromatics
PO Box 606
San Rafael, CA 94915