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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More on Sugar

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For months I’ve gradually been cutting down on sugars.  I’m a “dessert queen”, but even those have decreased.  And it’s not as hard as I thought it would be.  Because I keep in mind several terrible experiences when I ate too much sugar.  But this past Monday I took some backward steps by asking my husband to bring home a McDonald’s chocolate shake. 

It looked wonderful and tasted very sweet.  But I finished it right down to the whip cream and cherry.  Then I felt sick to my stomach and started getting tingling in my fingertips.  Not good.

I wondered how much sugar was in that shake.  So I did a Yahoo search on sugar in McDonald’s chocolate shakes.  A medium chocolate shake contains 111 grams of sugar, which equals 27 ¾ teaspoons of sugar [111 divided by 4].  That’s a lot of sugar!  Who would sit down and eat all that? 

At my sister’s suggestion I put 27 ¾ teaspoons of brown sugar into a glass, just to see how it looked.  It’s almost ½ of a 19 ounce glass.  Yipes!  I took a picture of it and posted it on today’s blog.    *A McDonald’s shake can get worse: the large triple chocolate shake contains 168 grams of sugar, which equals 40 teaspoons sugar! 

Today, too many people are eating lots of sugar.  Some we add to our foods.  But much is already ‘hidden’ in the foods and beverages we buy.  When possible, and a food item has a label, we can check those for how much sugar is in them.  Take the grams of sugar in each serving and divide it by 4, then multiply it by the total number of servings.  That will give you the teaspoons of sugar in that product.

Sugar helps foods taste good, but it has some unpleasant properties that all of us could do without.  Such as: increases risks for diabetes and obesity; raises blood fat levels; cripples the immune system to fight against germs and cancer cells; causes inflammation [making my MS symptoms worse]; ages the skin; causes constipation; clouds thinking; steals vitamin B-1 which nourishes nerves [hence, tingling in fingertips]; can cause hardening of the arteries and heart disease; dehydrates us [sugar needs more water to be processed]; increases risks for cancer, and more.  *The more sugar and animal fat consumed, the greater the risks for several kinds of cancers [including breast, prostate, and colon].

I’m not saying not to eat anything sweet, just do it moderately.  A little sweetness is okay, but not too much.  And try to keep track of how many sweet items we put into our bodies every day.  And try to watch what your children and families are taking in. 

When I bake, I use Sucanat sugar to sweeten things.  To sweeten cereals or oatmeal and cornmeal porridge, I use chopped dates, organic maple syrup, or chopped fruits. 

But I especially want to emphasize the way sugar cripples the immune system.  Humans have always been exposed to an assortment of bacteria, viruses, pollutants, cancer cells, parasites, fungi, and other invaders.  But it seems to me, that today’s world is seeing an increase in all kinds of new, old, and even returning super-invaders.  Some are totally unresponsive to medications.  To help fight today’s germ warfare, a strong immune system is our best defense.  When in tip-top shape, the immune system can identify and kill invaders.  But when weak, it can’t do much.  And at times it can’t do anything.

The more sugar eaten [and animal fat], the less fighting and killing power our immune cells have.  So, to help stay well, cut down the sugar.  If sick and want to get better faster, cut out the sugar.  Other ways to help improve the immune system include good rest every night; decrease stress; drink more water; eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts; get moderate sunshine and exercise daily; help others, and decrease caffeine.

That’s all for now.  See you next time.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

My Sugar Blues, Part 2

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This sugar is mostly refined white sugar, made from sugar cane or sugar beets.  It has no vitamins, minerals, or fiber of its own.  But this also refers to other sweeteners too.  For example: high fructose corn syrup [man-made; cheap]; brown sugar [white sugar mixed with molasses]; molasses [has some vitamins and minerals]; honey [contains protein and enzymes]; and the many man-made artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, Saccharine, Sorbitol, and more.  Besides being chemicals, they can cause many negative side effects like seizures, increased appetite, and even weight gain.    *Sugar In The Raw is not raw sugar.  Raw Sugar is not legal in the USA because of contaminants.

NEWS FLASH:  The body reacts to all sugars the same way.  So even if natural and organic, don’t over-use sugar.  And avoid those artificial sweeteners.

We add some sugar to our foods, but sugar is also hidden in many items.  Read labels for how many grams of sugar is in something.  Then multiply it by the number of servings, then divide that number by 4.  This will give you the number of teaspoons of sugar in a food/beverage.  The numbers can be crazy [4 grams sugar = 1 teaspoon sugar].  Here are two examples:

Breyer’s 1.5 quart of butter Almond Ice Cream –

This 1.5 quart contains 12 grams sugar for each serving.

There are 12 servings per container.

12 grams x 12 servings = 144 grams sugar.

Divide 144 grams sugar by 4 teaspoons = 36 teaspoons sugar in container or 3 teaspoons per serving.

Or

One 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi Cola soda contains 69 grams sugar.

There is only one serving per bottle.

Divide 69 grams sugar by 4 = 17.25 teaspoons sugar in each 20 ounce bottle.  That’s massive!

NEWS FLASH:  Good health does not need sugar.  It’s best to get sugar from fruits, vegetables nuts, figs, dates, and other natural sources.  Get it the way nature made it, but don’t eat too much – even of good things.

But three incidents ‘knocked me in the head’ about the reality of sugar’s not-so-sweet-side.

1st Incident: February 17, 2011 my hubby and I were in the ER because I couldn’t take steps, walk, or bear weight on my legs.  Even my arms were weak.  The left knee was swollen and the pain was terrible.  What happened?  All that day I had been enjoying meals accompanied by pie, cake, ice cream, sodas, and even candies.  Ridiculous!  By 5pm I could barely walk.  After the exam and x-rays, the ER doctor said it was inflammation.  He gave me an Oxycodone tablet, and within minutes I could raise my legs, stand, and take steps!  I didn’t know inflammation could do that – but it was quickly reversed.  What’s the point?  For anyone, especially those with MS, too much sugar can greatly increase inflammation, which can increase MS symptoms.  Reduce the sugar eaten.  This takes time, but tastes can change.  And eventually you will not want too many sweets.

Years ago, when I told a lady in our MS support group about sugar, she replied, “I’d rather be in a wheelchair than give up sugar.” The next time I saw her she was in a wheelchair, and showed me her new lift to get it into her car.

2nd Incident: November 16, 2012 I came down with the flu just days after eating a slice of my homemade peanut butter pie [very sweet ingredients].  Right after I ate it my throat started scratching, then each day brought new and worse symptoms.

3rd  Incident:  Just 2 weeks ago, right after eating a Mr. Goodbar candy bar, my throat started scratching.  A bad cold followed and I took an over-the-counter medication to help.  On one hand it cleared up annoying symptoms.  But on the other hand, it left my brain like scrambled eggs.  Not a good way to be. 

What’s the point for  the 2nd and 3rd incident?  At any time our bloodstreams can contain germs, cancer cells, parasites, or other body invaders.  They cannot break into our cells unless our immune systems are weakened or deactivated.  Sugar does both.  So, when I ate that slice of pie and that candy bar, their sugar content weakened my immune system so that germs could break in and multiply.  Sickness quickly followed.  So, to help prevent sickness and cancer, eat much less sugar.

The more sugar eaten, the less germs the White Blood Cells can destroy.  And this deactivation of the body’s fighter cells lasts at least 5 hours [after eating the sugar] in a normal person.  See below:

 Teaspoons of Sugar Eaten                # of Bacteria Destroyed

    1. 0 teaspoons …………………………….  14 bacteria

    2. 6 teaspoons …………………………  10 bacteria

    3. 12 teaspoons ………………………..  5.5 bacteria

    4. 18 teaspoons ………………………..  2.0 bacteria

    5. 24 teaspoons ………………………..  1.0 bacteria!

Bottom line:  Sugar tastes sweet, but it’s really a bitter enemy.  To help the body fight off bacteria, viruses, cancer cells and other invaders, and to help resist inflammation, drastically cut back on sugars of all kinds. 

I hope this helped someone. That’s all for now.  See you next time.

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

My Sugar Blues, Part 1

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I have history with sugar.  My earliest memory was at age 4 while in nursery school.  Each afternoon the ice cream man would come by.  Kids would pass their money through the fence, and he would hand them the most delicious ice cream pops.  Mine was chocolate.  And then a few years later Mom got my sister and I an Easy Bake Oven.  Sometimes those little cakes actually got baked before we ate them.  But quite often we just ate the mix right from the package – the chocolate mix of course.

Mom told me that she ate a lot of chocolate when she was pregnant with me.  So perhaps I came into the world with a love of good chocolate.  I’m a chocoholic in recovery mode.  It used to be on Fridays that I would check and see if there was enough chocolate in the house for the weekend.  Now, I can go in and out the supermarket and pick up no chocolate!!!

Back to my history.  In 3rd grade [8 years old], while at lunch one day, a classmate asked if she could trade her Devil Dog for my apple.  I didn’t know what a Devil Dog was.  But looking at those two pieces of chocolate cake with cream filling in between, I figured it had to be good. It was.  And I fell in love with them and other snack cakes like Ring Dings, Yodels, and more. 

Also in 3rd grade was another classmate who played a role with me and sweet things.  She was taller and chubbier than the rest of us – and pushy too.  But even at that early age, she showed some budding business skills.  Regularly she went down to the candy store and bought bunches of candy.  Then she brought them back to school and had us other kids meet her at recess, on the playground, by the brook.  There we gave her our coins and she handed us our own little stashes of candy.  Did the teachers ever wonder what all us kids were doing down by the brook?  Who knows.

Cakes, candy, cookies, cotton candy, Halloween candy, holiday candy and other sugary yummies.  I ate a lot of sugar!  And since every action has a reaction, there had to be some sure results.  There were.  I wasn’t over weight – since I ran around, biked, and played a lot. But as one dentist told me early on, “You have more cavities than teeth!  Some of you are probably quite horrified at this.  They are all filled. 

Regardless of how it sounds, our home didn’t have sweet things in it all the time.  We usually got something once a week.  But ice cream was usually in the freezer.  Mom did get a 5 pound bag of white sugar each week or two.  Most of that went to making Kool-Aid fruit-flavored drinks.  We even had a green pitcher that looked like a Kool-Aid pitcher.

But we all had so much sugar.  And except for knowing it could make us fat and give us cavities, I don’t think many people had a clue of the dark and ugly side of this sweetener.  Many understand today.  We hear and read about it often.  There is even discussion that sugar should be labeled as a toxin; that sugar and some other sweeteners are poisons to the human body.

Here are just a few of sugar’s negative effects:

  1. Increases risks for diabetes [avoid this like the Black Plague];

  2. Increased risks for obesity – which brings its own negative side effects;

  3. Increases risks for several cancers [like breast, prostate, and colon]

  4. Increases bad cholesterol [LDL] – inviting clogged arteries;

  5. Increases risks for Fatty Liver Disease – which can lead to Cirrhosis of the liver.

  6. Increases poor nutrition – steals vitamin B-1 needed by the nerves, and calcium needed by bones;

  7. Weakens the immune system’s White Blood Cells from being able to destroy bacteria and other enemies;

  8. Increases inflammation in body;

  9. Dulls thinking;

  10. Ages the skin.

 

To Be Continued In Part 2 …

 

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

Tips On Detox, Part 2

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This is Digby-George. Met him in Wales, UK.  Looks like he has something to say

This is Digby-George. Met him in Wales. Looks like he has something to say on this topic.

 

Vegetables – continued

  •  Chlorophyll: is the green pigment in all plant foods [especially green leafy plants like kale, collards, parsley, etc.].  It’s needed for photosynthesis.  It helps detoxify the blood and body; helps red blood cell production; strengthens the immune system; decreases inflammation and pain; improves the skin; and promotes better bowel function.

  • Steam vegetables just long enough, so they keep their bright color and a little crispness.

  • Boil vegetables for short time until cooked.  Don’t boil them to death, or drown them in fat or oil.

  • Raw vegetables are very healing and energizing.  Their vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and enzymes have not been damaged or destroyed by cooking.  Some ‘raw’ foods are cooked, but not above 118 degrees [F], so their nutrients are not damaged.

  • Not all vegetables can be eaten raw.  Some must be cooked [like potatoes etc.].  I usually buy bags of frozen organic vegetables [like peas, corn, broccoli, etc.].  Then I thaw, rinse, drain, season, and eat them.  Or put them in boiled water [heat is off]  for 2-3 minutes, then drain, season, and eat.

  • A few of the foods that help the body detox: apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, dates, figs, raisins, prunes, ground flax-seed meal [put in water, in cereals, in salads, etc.], aloe vera juice, wheat bran, oats, beets, celery, carrots, lettuce, cucumbers, cabbage, potatoes, greens [kale, collards, turnip, etc.], and much more.

3rd Detox Method: Epsom Salt Scrub

Rubbing Epsom Salt on warmed, wet, skin helps pull toxins from the body through the skin’s open pores; it strengthens the body and its ability to fight germs; it improves slow circulation; removes dead skin, and more.

How To Do It?

-Into a basin put 2 pounds of Epsom Salt.

-Add enough cold water to the salt to make it slightly slushy, but not watery.

-Put basin close to the shower, where you can easily reach it.

-In the shower, run very warm water over your entire body – to open skin pores.

-Let the very warm water cover your feet, then plug the tub, so feet stay in warm water through the scrub.

-Then while standing or sitting on tub bench, take handfuls of wet salt and rub each body part, front and back – including your face. *If skin has sores or is sensitive, go around the sores and rub gently.

-When done, unplug tub, shower or bathe to wash off salt, then dry off, rubbing briskly.

MS TIP:  This scrub, followed by a cool shower, makes me feel great!

4th Detox Method: Alternating Hot and Cold Showers [or baths]

Alternating of hot and cold water, hitting the skin, increases circulation, energizes and strengthens the body, the mind, and the immune system; relaxes the muscles, and much more.  This shower puts the immune system into ‘high gear’ to heal, clean out toxins, repair damaged areas, and fight enemy intruders.  After this shower, lay down or sit down and be quiet [no phone, electronics, reading, etc.].  This lets the body use as much energy as possible for healing.

How to do it? 

-Sit on a tub bench or stand in the shower.

-Begin with as warm water as you can tolerate without stinging or burning.  Let water hit all parts of the body. 

-Stay there for 1 – 3 minutes, then quickly turn to the coolest water you can tolerate.  Stay there for 15 to 30 seconds.

-Repeat this hot then cold exchange 2 more times, and always finish with cold water.  Then get out tub, pat dry, and go sit or lie down for at least 30 minutes.

MS Tip: I usually do this shower before bed and it makes me fall asleep quickly, with few or no muscle spasms.  The next day I wake up feeling great!

I’m so sorry that this Post is late, but hope this material helps you.  Let me know if you have any questions.  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence