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


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

Foggy Brain, Part 2

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Help! I can’t think.

What Causes It, Continued From Part 1 …

7.  Not enough daily exercise [especially while eating fatty foods] makes blood move sluggishly and decreases circulation.  This decreases the oxygen brought to the brain, muscles, and all body parts.  It also slows down the removal of wastes from brain cells.  If able, do 20 to 30 minutes of non-stop  exercise of something within your abilities, and that you enjoy.

8.  Not enough deep breathing of fresh air.  Fresh air has negatively charged oxygen, and has many benefits to health, moods, and brain function.  Fresh air  energizes the blood; increases oxygen in the blood and brain; and increases mental performance.  Recirculated indoor air has a positive charge and doesn’t offer many benefits.  So, air out your home or get outside in nature and breathe deeply – especially by a lake, stream or beach; near evergreen trees; or after a rainfall

9.  Too much sugar dulls the brain in adults and kids [especially milk and sugar combinations].  Eat fresh fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth.

10.  Too much fat causes red blood cells to stick together.  This slows down their ability to carry oxygen to the brain and body.  The brain can’t operate at peak with limited oxygen.

11.  Too much meat weakens the brain’s ability to think, know, and reason.

12.  Over-eating, or eating too many types of foods at a meal, causes indigestion [choose 3 dishes].  This causes a drain on the brain’s vital force [energy].  The brain and stomach have a very close relationship.

13.  Not enough sleep over time is very damaging.  Most adults need 7 to 8 hours.  Less than 7 or more than 8 hours will hurt the mind and body.  To have healthy bodies, clear minds, and balanced emotions we need good sleep – regularly.  Going to sleep 2 hours before midnight is superior to 4 hours of sleep after.  In the hours before 12am the body makes more of the hormones melatonin and growth hormone [needed to repair and build up body] than it does in the hours after 12.  But to benefit, we must be asleep.

What helps it?

  • Correcting any of the negative items listed above.

  • Avoid sleeping pills – they have many negative side effects, don’t give you a refreshing sleep, and can become addictive.

  • Eating a variety of plant-based foods like fresh fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, beans, and seeds.  They give strength and energy to the brain.

  • Eating apples, strawberries, and blueberries helps memory and balance.

  • Daily eat a big breakfast.  It is the fuel to get your motor [the brain] started and running efficiently.  The best combination is a few  fruit, a handful of nuts [like walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.], and whole grain cereal like shredded wheat, oatmeal, whole wheat cream of wheat, or cooked brown  rice with fruits. and yogurt.  Or whole grain bread/toast with peanut or almond butter on it, and top it off with applesauce or strawberry applesauce [blend applesauce with a few strawberries].  Without a good breakfast, a person will quickly get hungry, snack, feel irritable, and over-eat at lunch and dinner.

  • Drinking fresh fruit or vegetable juices helps reduce inflammation.  My favorites are fresh wheatgrass juice [buy from health store], aloe vera juice, and soy bean milk.  Occasionally I make my own soy milk, but machines are available to make it – like Soyajoy.

  • Exercise regularly – especially outside when possible.  It helps every body part get better and stronger, increases blood flow, pulls in oxygen [which germs and cancer cells don’t like], and decreases inflammation.

That’s all for now.  And forgive me for not posting this on Saturday evening as I had promised.  This topic was more involved than I anticipated.  But I hope it helps.  Take good care and see you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

What Did You Do?

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I Wasn't A Good Girl

I Wasn’t A Good Girl

This post was supposed to be on Principle of Health #3, but I wanted to share an experience with you.  Perhaps my folly can help someone else.

This all began last Thursday [6/13/13] when I cooked dinner for the weekend.  I didn’t have much time, so I needed something fast, easy, and delicious.   On the menu was brown rice , organic sweet corn kernels, organic leaf spinach,* and a vegetarian dinner roast [a local health food store carries numerous non-meat, meat-like products].   *I don’t buy all organic.  It’s costly.  But I will usually splurge on organic vegetables and blueberries.

This dinner roast is delicious especially when I add onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme, then bake it.  It’s made from wheat gluten, wheat flour, artificial flavors, MSG, and a lot more stuff.  My husband likes it, and sadly, so do I.  But I am gluten and wheat sensitive – they make me weak, and MSG [a flavor enhancer] gives me horrible leg spasms.  I should never touch that roast.  But I did.  I ate a slice Friday evening.  Saturday morning my legs were so weak.  But dumb got dumber when I had two slices on Saturday.  The muscles got weaker.  Then dumber got dumbest (?) when I ate two slices on Sunday.  Company was over and they ate a lot of it too.

Not only was this roast devastating my nerves and muscles, but so was the gravy – cream of mushroom soup [contains enriched wheat flour and more MSG].   I had added onion powder, garlic powder, and some cayenne pepper [for a kick]; blended it and poured it over the roast slices.  It was good!  But I was barely able to take steps, and my right knee was painful and collapsing.  I was relying on my faithful scooter to get around.  I also had horrible spasms in my neck and behind my ears.  They felt like hot piercing knives.  These spasms usually let me know my body is full of inflammation or in relapse.  I was a mess and knew help was needed.  I planned to call my neurologist and see if he would call in to my pharmacy a short – term dose of Prednisone [steroid].  That would usually perk me up.

But before calling the doctor I wanted to see if juicing would help things.  I juiced pineapple and strawberries in the morning and carrots and celery in the evening.  My skin looked great, I had more energy, and the leg spasms were a lot less.  But I was still barely able to take steps, and  Tuesday night I fell three times.    

On Wednesday morning my sister in-law had heard about me falling and wanted to know if she could do anything to help.  I told her my plan to ask the doctor for steroids.  I didn’t like their bad side effects,* but wanted quick relief from my symptoms.  Then, wise woman that she is, she asked,  “Is there anything else you can take to help?” I thought for a moment and told her, “Flaxseed oil – it goes into the body faster than the ground seeds, and helps reduce inflammation.”  Because of her question, I asked my husband to bring home a bottle of Spectrum  Organic Flaxseed Oil Enriched with Ligans.    *Some of my good side effects from Prednisone: wonderful strength and energy, great complexion, and clear thinking; and the bad ones – increased blood sugar, sweating, swelling, and being crabby at the end.

I took some oil Wednesday evening and had more energy, clearer thinking, and the neck spasms stopped.  I took more on Thursday and continued to feel better.  And today I can take steps without my right leg hurting or collapsing.  I’m going to keep  taking this oil. 

What’s the point of me sharing this?

1.  Know your body and study what makes it feel better or worse.  Then avoid the hurtful things.  Keep a food diary.

2.  What helps or hurts the body, helps or hurts the brain.   We need sharp brains.

3.  Avoid processed foods whose list of ingredients are several inches long.  Use more foods close to how nature made them.

4.  Feeling, moving, and thinking poorly are not good or fun.  Don’t be dumb like I was – chasing after something that tastes good, but beat the mess out of my body and brain.  Take care of the only body you or I will ever have.

Take good care.  See you next time.