Simple Things

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 Getting, protecting, and recovering health should be simple, make sense, and be accessible to all.  Today I just want to share a few of my favorite, tried and true, simple remedies.  A remedy is something that helps healing.

Cool Showers:  Years ago I used to take cool showers, so in the winter I wouldn’t be so cold while riding my bike to work.  It worked.  Here are just some of the benefits of cool showers or baths [especially for those with MS]:

  1. They strengthen the body to resist feeling cold
  2. They stimulate the nerves
  3. Invigorate the mind and thinking
  4. Increase muscle tone [strength of muscles]
  5. Increase muscle flexibility
  6. Increase muscle endurance [can do more for longer periods].  *Drinking water will also help.

After a cool shower I always move better, and feel ready to conquer the world.  For those afraid of cold water, try what I do:  I start with warm water for a few minutes.  Then I gradually turn the water to cool or cold for 2-3 minutes.  Make sure the water hits the entire body.  After the warm water, the cold does not feel too bad.

Lemon Water: It is the juice of ½ or 1 fresh lemon added to a cup of warm water. Warm water gets into the bloodstream faster than cold.  I drink it in the morning before eating any food.  I also add a shake of cayenne pepper [it helps circulation and helps clean mucus from blood], and 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup [touch of sweetness, vitamins and minerals].

Lemon juice has lots of benefits, but here are just three:

    1. It helps the body resist bacterial and viral infections.  And if sick, it helps you heal.  *Germs cannot live in the presence of lemon juice.

    2. It strengthens the body’s immune system.

    3. And helps remove toxins from the blood.

I drink this to help clean my blood.  But if getting signs of a cold or the flu, I take it to reduce chances for getting sick.  But if sick, I drink it every few hours to speed my recovery.  It works.  I’ve had bronchitis twice, and both times, drinking lemon water every few hours helped me get better quickly.  Drink it during flu season.  Drink it before you get sick.  Give it to your family too.

Apples:  Called “the queen of fruit”, apples also have abundant benefits.  A few of them are:

    1. They reduce inflammation.   I’ve noticed that my MS symptoms are worse when inflammation is present.
    2. They remove toxins from the intestines by way of the feces.
    3. They help constipation.
    4. They help keep blood pressure low.

For me, being under the influence of apples is a good thing.  When I eat an apple [Red Delicious or Gala] my vision clears, my thinking becomes sharp, my balance and muscle strength improve, and my complexion looks clear and smooth.  And when I eat an apple before bedtime, I sleep well with few or no muscle spasms.

Activated CharcoalNot barbecue charcoal!!!  I recommend that a bottle of activated charcoal be in each home, and each camping first aid kit [along with a Bee Sting/Snake Bite extractor kit].  You can get it at pharmacies, health food stores, and online.  It comes in powder, tablet, and capsule forms. *I use Nature’s Way Activated charcoal capsules.

Charcoal has numerous benefits, but here are a few:

    1. It can adsorb [not absorb] many poisons, toxins, gases, chemicals, drugs, and venoms.  Adsorb means that the carbon in charcoal is quick to combine with these poisons and make them harmless.  Don’t neglect to call 911 for serious bites, but while waiting for the ambulance, do something to help.  Giving charcoal after bug and critter bites or stings, or for drug over-doses can be very useful.    **Never give charcoal to an unconscious person.  Call 911!

    2. Charcoal can help relieve and stop intestinal gas

    3. It can help stop diarrhea

    4. It can help treat infections.  I’ve used it successfully to treat infected bites from unknown insects on my foot [they ‘bit and ran’].  How?   By making charcoal poultices [see below].

To use charcoal internally, take the tablets or capsules with a tall glass of water, or stir the powder into a glass of water.  Take hours before or after any medications – since it will adsorb it.

To use charcoal externally, make a poultice with the charcoal alone, or mix it with ground flaxseed.  The charcoal powder is very light and can blow around easily.

*Poultices:  Do a search on the Internet for how to make a poultice.  There are several good sites.  **Drinking some charcoal and applying a poultice are very good for Brown Recluse Spider bites, while waiting for the ambulance.

    1. Basically, you will take some charcoal powder [or break open a few capsules] and add enough warm water to make a paste.  Only stir with a spoon.  Charcoal will stain skin, but will fade over time.

    2. Then, depending on the size of the bite or infected area, get a clean, damp cloth to cover that size.

    3. Put some paste on the damp cloth [must stay damp], and cover with ends of cloth – like making a sandwich.

    4. Apply to the skin snugly

    5. Cover with plastic wrap and secure with tape.  Keep it on and then change the poultice every few hours or the next day. 

That’s it for my simple remedies.  I hope they will help you too.

See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence


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How I Deal With Fatigue, Part 2

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"What was I going to do?"

“What was I going to do?”

Continued From Part 1 …

4.  For the past week I’ve been enjoying a boxed gluten-free, corn, breakfast cereal. However, it has 240mg of sodium in 1 cup.  And its freshness is preserved with BHT  [Butylated hydroxytolune].  I’m going for less salt, sugar, fat, and chemicals.  So I’m going to finish that box and go back to eating my energizing raw oatmeal for breakfast:  1 cup of old-fashioned oats; 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds; a handful raw almonds; 4 chopped dates.  Mix and soak with Soy Dream Classic Vanilla Soy beverage [my favorite], or pineapple juice.  Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning I add grapes, apple chunks, sliced banana, or pineapple chunks.  This is so tasty, energizing, and strengthening!

5.  Yesterday I went to Whole Foods Market and got some VegLife Vegan B-Complex tablets.  After lunch I took 1 tablet.  Up to lunch time I was exhausted and didn’t feel like doing anything but sitting and watching TV.  Within minutes of taking that one tablet, I felt my mind clear and my energy improve.  I was ready to cook and do all kinds of things!  For real.  B vitamins help nourish the nerves and help the body make energy. 

6.  For a quick burst of energy in the morning a cool/cold shower works well.  I start off with warm water, then slowly turn it cooler and cooler.  It increases the blood flow [circulation], energizes my mind and body without negative side effects, strengthens the immune system so I don’t get sick as easily, and makes my leg muscles more flexible.  Awesome!

7.  And last, but never the least – I’m determined to exercise regularly for 30 minutes.  There is no way my body can fight fatigue and weakness without me exercising regularly.  No pill can do what I can do [and you too].  This week I’m enjoying stretches [feel wonderful], squats, marching in place, and side-to-side stepping.  After I post this blog, I’ll go outside and walk, with my walker, up and down the driveway.  Exercise increases energy, oxygen in the blood, waste removal, strength, flexibility, and joy.

*I also keep my iron up by taking 1 tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses and eating some beets with dinner.  Low iron will make me feel tired, because the blood can’t carry enough oxygen.

*And I take the flaxseed oil.  The brain needs those essential fatty acids [EFAs] every day to function well.

*An energy smoothie:  blue berries, strawberries, peaches.

Well, that’s all for now.  Thank you all for helping me get back on track.  And I hope something here helps you too.  Take good care.  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

How I Deal with Fatigue, Part 1

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"What was I going to do?"

“What was I going to do?

 

Years ago I didn’t understand about fatigue.  Back then I just knew there were times I didn’t have any energy or interest in doing anything.  I Just felt so utterly blah.  At those times I’d just sit and watch TV [food channel and home and garden], and eat junk food.  I didn’t realize inactivity and poor food choices was simply adding more ‘wood’ to my fire.  

But I have you readers to thank for helping me deal better with fatigue.  How?  Ralph Waldo Emerson “[19th century poet] said it well: “It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”  Blogging to help others is helping me on so many levels!  Looking up information reminds me of things I forgot, stopped doing for one reason or another, or didn’t pay too much attention to. 

After doing last week’s post on fatigue, I was once again alerted to what I needed to get out of the thick fog of fatigue.  I was in it deep.  Last Monday, after accidentally eating several muffins that contained gluten [I’m gluten sensitive], I had 1 ½ sleepless nights and was exhausted.  My thinking and memory were off, and doing everything – including the blog, was hard and took so long.

So, as I wrote tips for you to help your fatigue, I committed to following some of them myself.  Here is my list to feel alert, snappy, full of zip, and so on:

  1. Watch what goes in my mouth, because, by way of the stomach, it will affect the brain nerves.  And the brain controls the whole body through those nerves.   Avoid or reduce white flour foods; sugars; refined foods; additives; preservatives; artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners; chemicals; caffeine; guarana [in energy drinks and has much caffeine];and more.  These items take from the body.  Anyone with nerve problems cannot afford to consume items that steal from what the body needs.

  2. I’m drinking more water to help keep my blood flowing smoothly and rinse out toxins and wastes.  Blood without enough water [dehydrated] runs slow and thick like motor oil, instead of like a fast-moving stream.  Thick blood can cause high blood pressure and make us feel sluggish, because oxygen, nourishment, and wastes are not getting where they need to go fast enough.  And well-watered [hydrated] muscles move better and faster.

  3. I ordered 2 quarts of Aloe Vera Juice from [online] Forever Living Products, plus a tube of their Aloe Vera Gelly [under Skin Care – Body].  When they come, I’ll add the aloe juice to some orange juice and drink several times a day.  Aloe is very healing for internal problems, plus it cleanses the blood and the liver, and is very energizing [take small samples to make sure you are not allergic].  The Gelly is used for minor rashes, bites, and burns.  It’s good to keep in every medicine cabinet and first aid kit.  *I used to drink this juice regularly from 1984 to 1993.  And for a while I made my own juice from the gelly in the aloe leaves.

To Be continued …

Copyright© 2013 Regina Spence

What I’ve Learned

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What I’ve Learned

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I’ve been living with MS for almost 29 years and have learned a lot. For this Post I’ll be sharing a few of those things. Hopefully they will help someone else.

  • Disease is not normal, but the body’s attempt to clean out toxins, and repair and rebuild damaged areas. We need to help it do its healing work by giving it rest, water, fresh air, natural fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, and more.   **See Cells Matter and The Body Can Heal Itself for more details on helping the body heal.

  • Every day our choices are moving us closer to improved health, or toward sickness and disease.

  • Everything matters.  Every action has a reaction.  Like what we choose to eat and drink; how much sleep we get; our thoughts and attitudes; how we treat other people; and even how we treat animals and nature. They all affect body chemistry and move us toward good health or sickness.

  • MS brings losses. But in every sadness or loss there are lessons and blessings. Look for the lessons and learn them. Search for the blessings and embrace them.

  • The mind and body are closely connected. Our thoughts, feelings, words, and attitudes all have incredible effects on body chemistry, and our ability to get and stay well.

  • Hippocrates, called the father of Western Medicine, said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. I use healthy foods to control my MS issues* – except when symptoms get bad.   Then I will ask the doctor for whatever drug will help fix the problem. But for preventing illness and improving energy and health, foods work for me. And their side effects are not harmful.  *I do take 5mg of Baclofen at bedtime to reduce muscle spasms.

  • What we eat and drink not only affects how we feel, but our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviours.

  • I sleep better [with fewer muscle spasms] when I eat more vegetables with dinner. Like kale, collard greens, carrots, tomato-basil pasta sauce, and more.

  • Supplements may be needed at times. But it’s better to get vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other beneficial elements in their natural food form – the way nature made them. This way you get the right amounts that your body needs.

  • For improved energy I drink more water; have a big breakfast; get more exercise and fresh air; eat more fresh fruits [especially blue and strawberries], vegetables, and nuts [like almonds, walnuts, pecans, Brazil Nuts]; and use less sugar, white flour products, and caffeine.

  • Avoid chemicals in foods and beverages as much as possible. Man-made chemicals cannot help the body. Eat whole, natural foods. Prepare them simply, but make sure they also look and taste good. They contain elements that protect our bodies from disease, and if needed, help them heal.

  • Avoid artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners when possible. Artificial means not real; it’s made by man. Our bodies have real live cells that need real food. When I eat any of these by accident, I get muscle spasms.

  • My left pointer finger bends over at times and won’t straighten up, and I also get pins and needles sensation in my fingertips. I get both after eating foods with too much sugar or made from white or enriched flour [like biscuits, bagels, crackers, cookies, donuts, and more]. But when I eat some fresh fruits or vegetables – especially apples, greens, sweet potatoes, and more, that finger straightens up and the pins and needles go away.

  • Having something useful to do each day is critical to our mind and body. It gives us purpose and takes our attention off of poor me or why me.

  • Helping others is powerful!  When we go to help someone else, without looking for anything in return, we will always be helped and receive a blessing!  And the endorphins that are released give great joy, help improve our health, and help us to heal.

  • It used to bother me when people or kids stared at me. But one day I started smiling and waving at them. Some still stared, but I always felt better. And the kids usually waved back.

  • Exercise is an absolute must for anyone, but especially for those with MS.  What we don’t use, we will lose.

  • Cool or cold water hitting the skin [in bath or shower], helps spastic muscles to relax and be more flexible; strengthens the immune system; improves circulation; calms the nerves, and energizes mind and body.  Start out with warm water and gradually go to cooler water.  It feels great!

That’s all for now.  Let me know if you have any questions?  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence