Health Is Vital

Health is taken for granted, until you can't any more. In this blog I hope to put down on paper some of the articles I come across and want to remember, about health. I will be personalizing these articles to apply to me. I am diabetic, over weight, have high blood pressure and tinnitus, so these are the things you will find here. I will include nutrition, exercise, and holistic health, and many other ideas. I work in the health profession, particularly mental health, and have an interest in suicide prevention; so these topics will also be covered in this blog. Please, if you are suffering reach out. Our county health and crisis line is 1-855-278-4204.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

**10 Aqua Smart: Water Safety

I found this pamphlet at one of the health fairs.  I am not sure why it is in Spanish, but I will translate.  It gives ten rules for water safety:
1. Learn to swim.
2. Wear a life jacket.
3. Learn to float.  This is referring to safety measures for if you fall in a river or body of water.  Float towards the shore.
4. Reach, throw, row.  This rule deals with how to help someone needing assistance.  Always reach first, then throw a flotation device to them, and finally row to them.
5.  Look before you jump.  Always be sure you swim in an safe area.
6. Don't overfill your boat.  This also deals with balancing your boat.
7.  Stay with you boat.  If your boat should tip over, the safest place to be is with your boat until someone comes to rescue you.
8. Learn the rules for boat safety.
9. Alcohol, drugs and driving a boat don't mix.
10. Be careful to not litter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

**Book Review: Body Battles

Body Battles by Rita Golden Gelman illustrated by Elroy Freem, Scholastic Press, New York, 1992.  This is a children's book, but gives a very good description of things that protect our bodies starting with skin.  Other body defenders are cilia and mucus, earwax.  These substances help keep stuff out and from getting in either through our noses or ears.  Stomach acid helps kill stuff that gets in through our mouths.  Of course our immune system also helps when stuff gets through our defenses.  The use of poisons or drugs makes it so these systems don't work properly.  Therefore we have our brains to assist us in making good choices about what we take into our bodies.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

**Positive Thinking Book: Ask...(LIfe's Most Important Answers Are Found in Asking the Right Questions)

This little book has a long title.  It goes on to ask 244 questions for an individual to make sure their thinking is on the right track.  It divides the questions into three sections:  Looking Inward, Looking Outward and Looking Upward.  Looking inward explores our self talk.  DO we ask ourselves the right questions so as to be ready to step out when opportunity comes.  Looking outward concerns our relationships with others.  Looking upward concerns our relationship with God.  Is prayer a regular habit? Are we Grateful?  Do we do what God asks?  Are we willing to ask, How can I help you God?
A very good book and can be reread to seek further inspiration.  It is written by John L. Mason.

**Are Bananas Good for You

I have seen a lot of advertisements that imply bananas are not good for you.  They have a picture of a banana saying what are the worse foods for you.  When you click on them they want to play a movie, and then don't want you to leave their website.  So I don't know what they actually say.  However this article from "Eat This, Not That!" definitely says bananas are good for you.  Now as a diabetic, I know bananas have lots of carbohydrates, two servings worth in a medium size banana--or in other words half of your carb allowance for a meal.  This article admits this, but focuses on the strengths of the banana:
1. Magnesium in bananas helps you become leaner and have more muscle mass.
2. Potassium in bananas helps your muscles recover faster from exercise.
3. Folate from bananas helps with mood control so you are likely to be happier.
4. Tryptophan from  bananas helps with serotonin usage in the body.  Serotonin is a natural antidepressant which also helps with anxiety,  irritability, agitation, anger and aggression.
5. Tryptophan also help melatonin which is a natural sleep aid.
6. Bananas help fight bloating by supplying bloat-fighting bacteria in the stomach and also supply potassium which reduces fluid retention.
7. Because a banana has 12 mg of choline they help to fight fat and encourage flat burning.
8. Bananas can encourage sugar control.  However they should be eaten with proteins and helathy fat to slow the absorption of the sugar from a banana into your blood stream.
9. By eating a banana for a snack between meals will result in less cravings.
10. Underripe bananas can make you feel fuller because they contain resistant starch.  Because the banana is underripe it may be a bit bitter, but great to add to a smoothie.
11. Phytosterols in bananas can lower cholesterol.
12. Prebiotics in bananas act as good bacteria for easier digestion.  Also the fructose molecules help with digestion.
13. High fiber in bananas helps you be more regular.
14. The prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (number 12) help with calcium absorption.
15. Bananas provide lots of energy with glucose.
16. Although they do not contain vitamin A they help with vitamin A absorption.
17. Delphinidin in bananas is an antioxidant that helps to fight cancer.
18. Bananas are low in sodium and high in potassium which lowers blood pressure.
19. Bananas contain iron which helps with blood.
20. Bananas can help with eye sight with antioxidants as well as vitamin A support and vitamin C.
21. Pectin in bananas is a natural way to detoxify.  They can help clean many unwanted chemicals from our bodies.
I must admit, I do not care for bananas when they are underripe, but I do love bananas for the most part.  I have been worried about eating them, but this article explains their helpful benefits.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

**Article: Holiday Stress

The article below is taken from the Santa Clara County Wellness website.  As we enter the Holiday season it seems appropriate to share it.

Surveys taken on the average American indicate that more than 8 in 10 Americans expect their season to be stressful.

Many factors contribute to the stress. We often operate on a busy schedule that gets even busier during the holiday season. More travel, more expenses, more things on your to do list; but coping isn’t beyond your reach.

There are things you can do to make this busy time of year easier.

  1. Set a budget – Track your spending and keep to it. The holiday season is about family and friends not excess spending or overwhelming debt.
  2. Set your priorities - You can't do it all. It's ok to say "no" so you can focus more energy on the people and activities that are important to you.
  3. Have realistic expectations Keep things as simple as possible so you can enjoy this special time of the year. Focus on the experiences with your loved ones and not on the perfect decor, table setting or holiday dinner!
  4. Make memories with your loved ones. They will remember the love, support and cheer long after they’ve forgotten about a purchased gift. Try alternative gifts, maybe a family photograph, a homemade treat or special one-on-one time with that best friend where you do something fun together.  
  5. Try volunteering or giving to those less fortunate. You might find personal gratification that lasts beyond the holidays.
  6. Rest and relax -  Take time off from having a hectic holiday party season. Instead, allow yourself to kick up your feet, take a meditation class, go to a museum, or work on craft projects.
  7. Maintain your daily routine. Keep sleep hours, physical activity minutes and eating times as normal as possible. Stepping too far out of your routine sets you and/or family members up to be more frazzled and stressed by the hectic season.   
  8. Seek out help if you do feel blue or anxious. Talk to someone that you trust. 
My take: A budget is easier talked about than actually done.  Setting priorities is a little easier to.  I love to write things down and then make check marks.  Realistic expectations comes down to accepting yourself as your are and others as they are, rather than comparing to some idealistic illusion.  Making memories is important.  It is not about how much money you can spend.  Volunteering and giving to others is a great way to make the holiday season memorable.  Resting and relaxing is something I don't do enough of during the holidays.  I do try to maintain my daily routine.