Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin passed away on March 7, 2013 at age 94
*Her name, information, and pictures are used with her son’s permission.
I’d like to tell you about a very special person: Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin. She was one of my professors, a mentor, role model, and dear friend. We knew each other about 30 years. And it’s quite interesting, that, although I do not remember too many birthdays, I never forgot hers. And I must have really admired her, because I’ve adopted her distinctive laugh!
It was in Nursing School, in our Community Health class, that I first met her. She was the professor and a very striking personality. First of all, she was a senior citizen. Then, she was happy and full of life; had beautiful, silky, white hair, twinkles in her eyes, and her posture was straight and strong; she was quick and light in her movements; and she filled the classroom with her enthusiasm for the subject we were all there to learn.
She was about 67 years old at that time. And her words and actions were not what I was used to in older folks. Some of my classmates even felt that she was a bit nutty. Because as she shared about her life, we learned that she ran and won medals in Senior Olympics, rode a bike, and swam in the lake in front of her house [the one with the snakes]. Back in 1980 I don’t think any of us students knew seniors who did things like that. Today many seniors are quite health-minded and active.
Mrs. Hamlin described herself like this:
“I have been a vegetarian for 50 years, take no supplements or medicine, have high bone density [and no osteoporosis], and have never had any major surgery.” From her book, Ride With the Wind, P. 29
She was definitely different, but no nutty professor. As I observed and listened to her, I concluded that she was ‘sharp as a tack’ [very intelligent], had more energy than most of us students, and was onto something that I’d better pay attention to!
Why was this lady like this when so many of her age group [and even younger] were full of aches, pains, and medications? Here is how: she not only taught us students about the laws of health, but she lived them every day! She was a walking advertisement that using these simple principles really worked.
And she didn’t keep this ‘good news’ to herself. Three ways she shared it were:
1. Her “Prevent the 3 Cs” Classes – which were a continuing education series teaching folks how to help avoid Coronary [heart attacks], Cancer, and CVA [strokes]. Community members, and university faculty, staff, and students were all invited to attend. To start, everyone got blood tests to see what their risks were. Then there were classes to learn about each of the 3Cs, and how to put into practice the laws of health. At the program’s end, blood was tested to check improvements. Many were helped. I was also helped.
It was in her 3Cs class that I first learned that women who eat the most animal fats are inclined to have the highest risks for breast cancer. Before then I’d never heard of any connection between diet and cancer. Today we are hearing much more about this relationship. **[Eating much animal protein and sugar also increases risks for breast and other cancers as well].
To Be Continued In Part 2 …
Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence
PS: The GEEK Squad, at Best Buy, helped me find out why I could not copy and paste on Friday. It was so simple. They fixed it and I’m back in business! Thanks for your patience.
This month makes 29 years that I am living with Multiple Sclerosis. I’m happy to still be fairly independent, even though I do use a walker and a scooter, and my husband helps me a lot. I’ve seen how much this disease can take from people, and I could be worse. But I’m so absolutely grateful for what I can still do.
I owe these blessings to God – Who strengthens me; my Mom – for a fighting attitude; my hubby who is so kind and helpful;-family and friends for their support, encouragement ,and laughter; and eating a healthy diet [sometimes I mess-up]; and exercising regularly . For me [and you too], a healthy diet is tremendous in helping to prevent and deal with the symptoms and complications of this disease!
My body [yours too] is like a nice car or truck. The fuel that goes in the tank matters a lot. Apple juice and soda are cheaper than gas, but I wouldn’t dare pour those beverages in my tank. But the years before I got MS I was dumping into my ‘tank’ [body] junk foods, Pepsi, frozen dinners, sugar-loaded foods, and fast foods. And even though I was doing aerobics twice a day, jogging, swimming, and bike riding, I see where that ‘fuel’ got me. But thankfully some kind people shared what they had learned.
Over the years I was blessed to meet people who showed me the value of right food choices; that what I put in my body would lead to wellness or sickness. It would also affect how I felt, thought, and moved. And I’m forever grateful to the lady who introduced me to gluten-free eating [I’m sensitive].
So for all these 29 years I’ve not taken any of the MS drugs – I didn’t want any more problems from side-effects of those drugs. And I treat my symptoms mostly with right lifestyle choices like a vegetarian diet [working on vegan], regular exercise, drinking more water, getting fresh air and moderate sunlight, getting good rest at night [to bed before 12am], avoiding the bad things my body’ doesn’t need [still struggling with that], and trusting God for help and strength. *These choices are all part of the 8 Laws of Health. We will go over each one in detail at Principle of Health #7.
I do take 5mg of Baclofen at bedtime for muscle spasms. And won’t hesitate to ask my neurologist for Prednisone [steroid] if my symptoms get too bad, or I feel a relapse coming on. It helps perk me up.
Now, for a few more MS tips:
Some things are outside of our control. But even with MS, there are things we can do to help reduce our symptoms and complications, and improve our quality of living. Like healthier choices.
It’s not enough to take drugs for MS or its complications. We must deal with the cause of the problem. Take a good look at how we lived pre-MS. Some things were not done right. We need to correct them, or we will never improve.
I don’t think a wrong diet is the only thing that leads to MS. But it is critical. Good food choices feed the cells, helping them to function properly. Wrong food choices don’t nourish cells, which leads to their malfunctioning and disease.
There are wonderful benefits for making better choices to live with MS. But those choices will also help reduce risks for getting cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, and more. Not bad.
And when we are working at improving our health, we can gently help our loved ones adopt some of those choices. It will help improve their health and prevent other diseases too.
Not helpful to us are saturated fats [from animal products], dairy, foods made from white flour [weakens hands and muscles], sugar, high fructose corn syrup, flavor enhancers like monosodium glutamate [MSG], artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, chemicals, preservatives, and other man-made things.
Helpful to us are fresh vegetable or fruit juices and eating simply prepared plant-based foods. They feed the cells so they can function properly.
Eat a few dates each day for a sweet boost of energy. They are also full of vitamins and minerals that feed the body [especially B vitamins for nerves ]. *Diabetics don’t eat too many. And watch out for pits.
I get foggy brain a lot, but listening to classical music helps me focus, concentrate, and get many things done. Researchers believe that this music does not disrupt natural body rhythms [some music does], but works in-tune with them. This increases the body’s ability to function. I listen online at www.allclassical.org, in Portland, Oregon.
Never neglect exercise. Do what is possible. Exercise strengthens everything inside and outside the body. I’m getting another Rebounder. Yeah! They give a great workout.
That’s all for now. Take care and see you next time.
Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence
“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:
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.
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.
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
A principle is a truth, rule, or law that never changes. This is principle #2 of 7. It is important to our understanding of the body and improving our health, even though it doesn’t get much attention.
The force is not with you. Actually it’s in you – the vital force. It’s also called vital energy, life energy, life force, and physical energy. All these names describe a force of energy necessary to life that is in each human being, and stored by each body.
Vital force is needed for a healthy body, mind, and spirit, and to keep life going. It helps the body avoid disease, and many other functions.
We are all born with a certain amount of vital force [females have less than males]. But our daily lifestyle choices [how we eat, drink, sleep, and live] can either conserve it, or burn it up too quickly. If we burn it up too fast, the nervous system has to borrow energy for its present needs from the reserve storage. Then one day, when the body needs extra energy for a crisis, there won’t be enough. That could lead to weakness and disease.
Also, as we grow older the vital force decreases. This makes me wonder if this is the reason why some elderly people die after having pneumonia or a hip fracture. Do their aging cells and organs lack the vital force to fight back, heal, and recover? What do you think?
Although we all get a certain amount of this life force, here are a few ways we can use it up too fast, or preserve and even improve it.
Ways to Decrease Vital Force
*The body operates on a cycle of work, then rest. Every organ and structure needs time to rest. But stimulants and other choices make it possible for us to by-pass what the body really needs [like rest], and do what a person wants. Doing this over time will cause the body to rebel against the abuse. Sickness or disease will result.
Using caffeine [in coffee, teas, chocolate, etc.], nicotine, alcohol, and drugs [legal and illegal]. These all irritate the nerves, wear out the energy going to the body and mind. *Caffeine is a stimulant. It doesn’t give energy, but stimulates the body to use its own energy from the strength of the nerves and vital force reserves.
Over-eating or eating meals too close together don’t give digestive organs a chance to rest. And since the stomach and the brain have a close relationship, if the stomach is abused or diseased, the brain sends its vital force energy to help it. This leaves the mind weak. *Allow 5 hours between meals: 4 hours for digestion and 1 hour for rest.
Over-working. Don’t keep going when it’s time to stop and rest. At first you may not feel any damage, but gradually the vital force is being drained.
Using very hot or very cold foods and beverages. Before they can be absorbed or digested, they must come to the temperature of the stomach – about 100º F. The vital force of the stomach is used to cool them down or warm them up.
Not enough sleep affects productivity, moods, and health. Everyone has different needs for sleep. But it’s been said that, generally, death rates go up when people get less than 7 or more than 8 hours each night. The best sleep is between 9pm and 12am. Go to bed early and sleep 7 to 8 hours.
Ways to Improve and Even Increase Vital Force
Eat a diet rich in high fiber foods – fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and beans. Plant foods help the vital force.
Go to bed by 9 or 10pm. During sleep the body repairs, heals, re-energizes, and prepares itself for the next day. It also builds hormones and makes new proteins – especially before midnight.
Exercise regularly – 20 to 30 minutes 3 times or more each week. It will strengthen muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, the brain, and more. And it will also slow down the aging process, and help you live a longer and stronger life!
Being grateful. Because mind and body are closely related, an attitude of gratitude improves health and vital force, and helps extend life. Life is not always good, but there are always blessings – even in the “muck and the yuck”. Look for them, embrace them, and count them.
Hope this helps you. Any questions? Let me know. See you next time.
Copyright 2013 Regina Spence
Here are a few more things I’ve learned in almost 29 years of living with MS.
Inflammation: makes my MS symptoms worse [and probably yours too].
Reduce things that can cause it [like sugar; meats; foods made with white or enriched flour; sodas; artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners; milk, and more].
Use more natural foods that reduce it [like apples, flaxseed oil, celery, pineapple, aloe vera juice, strawberries, blueberries, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, and more].
Dehydration [not drinking enough water] reduces energy. It also makes the blood thick so it runs like motor oil instead of a fast-moving stream. There is a saying for how many glasses of water to drink each day: “Drink 5 to stay alive, and 8 to feel great.”
Too many toxins [poisons] in the body make me feel sluggish [and will do that for you too]. I start my mornings by drinking 2 glasses of distilled water. This adds water back to the blood and helps rinse out toxins. Adding 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to this water helps get rid of toxins, and kills bacteria and viruses in the blood. **If anyone is constipated, your blood has toxins in it. Drink more water, fresh juices, or eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercise to help remove them.
Exercising increases circulation and energy.
Drink fresh fruit or vegetable juices; or eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables each day to increase energy and help clean out toxins.
Reduce sugar. It steals vitamin B1 which is needed for the production of energy.
Red kidney beans, brown rice, and sweet potatoes give me good energy and strength.
Help clean the liver of toxins by drinking lemon juice in your morning water, drinking aloe vera juice, drinking carrot and beet juice, or eating apples, beets, artichoke hearts, and celery. ** The liver filters harmful substances from the body. The more drugs, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and artificial and junk foods that are used, the more the liver needs help with cleansing.
**My Opinion: apples are the most wonderful fruit for helping my health [and maybe yours too]. I eat 1 or 2 a day – Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, and more. They clean the blood and the skin, reduce inflammation, absorb toxins in the intestines , clean my teeth, give me strength, clean out toxins from the liver, and more!
Refined, processed, and fast foods can lack nutrients our bodies need. Eating too many of these foods can cause depression. Eat more fresh, whole, plant foods.
Let fresh air into your home. Breathing stale or recycled indoor air does not contain a good supply of oxygen, and can give us headaches, and make us feel sleepy, sad, and irritable.
Get outside in the fresh air and sunshine, breathe deeply, and do some exercise. Oxygen in fresh air energizes mind and body [and cleans the blood]. The sunlight gives strength to the mind, calms the nerves, and prevents and helps lessen depression.
Reduce sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and white flour products. They injure our moods. and memory, and for those with MS – our nerve function.