Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's In Your Diet Wednesday - Eating More Vegetables

Like many people, I have struggled with eating healthier foods.  In my teens and twenties, I ate everything in sight without a care in the world as to the calorie, fat, or sugar content.  Now that I am halfway into my third decade, I've discovered that I can no longer eat what I wish or very much of it for that matter, without buying new clothes.  What the heck is up with that anyway?!?!

I can see all you lovely ladies rolling your eyes at me now..... You're saying "What in the world does Jason now about health, weight loss and body image???  Try being in OUR shoes!!"  I agree completely!!  I don't know why you ladies go through all of the plucking, shaving, waxing, dieting, make-up, blow drying, and the like.... To say nothing of high heels!!  Don't get me wrong, I think women are beautiful and love all of you but I wouldn't trade places with you for all of the money in the world.

Before I get off subject..:-)  I have made some minor changes in my diet recently taking small steps so that I don't fall of the healthy eating wagon in addition to making some more serious changes in the areas  relating to excercise / cardio.  I've found that not only do I have to change my diet pretty seriously, I also have to increase my excercise in a significant way to lose the weight that slowly creeps up on me over time. 

My goal is to lose 25 pounds and maintain my excercise program to keep it off.  Part of that is adding a lot more fruits and vegetables in my life.  I've always eaten a decent amount but as time progresses, I've started substituting my regular lunch for servings of fruits and veggies as the article below mentions.

Read this article from Mlive.com........
Here's what incorporating vegetables into your diet can do for you.
Published: Thursday, September 23, 2010, 7:00 AM
Monetta Harr
Jackson Citizen Patriot

Nick Dentamaro / Jackson Citizen Patriot
Ray Glessner of Parma picks out cherry tomatoes at Meijer on Airport Road.

"I learned how filling a whole can of vegetables can be," says Ray Glessner, who has dropped 25 pounds and 5 percent of his body fat.

"That's what helped me, a can of veggies a day, which is at least a cup, incorporated into my diet. I've taken a can of green beans and applesauce for lunch and it fills me up," he says.

Glessner, 43, learned about the importance of eating vegetables and fruits when Mandy Cook, a registered dietitian and health educator at Allegiance Prevention and Community Health, offered a 12-week series of weight-management classes at Michigan Automotive Compressor Inc., where Glessner is an engineering administrative assistant.

Meanwhile Lauri, 40, a technician in the psychiatric ward at Allegiance, started Weight Watchers in May as part of the hospital's push for employee wellness.

"I'm a huge vegetable fan. I'll bring a bag of carrot sticks, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and a mixture of fruit to work. I've lost 13 pounds, still have ways to go, but already I feel real good and have a lot more energy," she says.

The Glessners, who are also instilling good eating and exercise habits in their three children, are an example of couples who are learning the importance of what health educators have preached for a long time: Eat your fruits and vegetables.

While every vegetable and every fruit has its own list of nutrients, Cook says she prefers to talk about colors of vegetables and fruits, rather than specific ones.

"I explain that different colors have different nutrients and eating a variety of colors each day is very important," Cook says.

Cook recommends three to five servings of vegetables a day, which she says is easy to do because a serving is a half cup. Most people eat enough at one time to get two servings.

But getting people to eat vegetables and fruits isn't easy.

"I think it's more about planning. They are just not planning ahead or not going to the store or not packing them in their lunch," Cook says.

So in her classes, she talks about changing habits. For a habit to take hold, it takes at least six months.

"There are stages of change. When you are in the action phase of changing a goal, aim to eat vegetables twice a day," Cook says.

The thing she doesn't want to see happen is people following a healthy eating program and then "fall off the wagon."

"You have to anticipate things that might get in the way. Life happens. There are holidays, vacations, family events — your focus goes somewhere else for awhile. And if new habits aren't a priority, you forget about them. You have to have reminders to help you meet your goal of eating enough vegetables each day," she says.

Why you should eat these vegetables

Eating your vegetables means eating three to five servings of them a day. People who have high fruit and veggie intake have less chronic disease issues and keep their immune system up. Vegetables lead to good digestive health and less constipation.

Nonstarchy vegetables are low in calories, with 25 calories per cup being the average size with the exception of potatoes and corn. Also, all green, yellow and orange vegetables are low in calories.

A recent study of nearly 30 veggies richest in antioxidants put these three at the top of the list: broccoli, beets and bell peppers (the red kind). So that makes it easy to remember, they all start with “B.” They were particularly high in phenols — that category of disease-fighting plant compounds that does everything from bolstering artery function to inhibiting the kind of cell damage that might lead to cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here are some of the top vegetables and their nutritional qualities:

Broccoli:
A top source of the antioxidant vitamin C, vitamin A, protein, thiamin, fiber, vitamin K and vitamin B6.

Bell peppers: A top source
 of the antioxidant vitamin C (more than oranges), vitamin A and lycopene, which might lower the chance of developing prostate cancer.

Beets: Full of blood-pressure-friendly potassium, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron (higher than spinach), calcium and magnesium.

Kale: Contains protein, vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and calcium.

Spinach: Contains 
calcium, iron, folate and vitamin A.

Asparagus: It is one of the richest sources of rutin, a compound that strengthens capillary walls. Has potassium, fiber, folacin, thiamin and vitamin B6.

Green beans: Has folic acid, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A and dietary fiber.

Sweet potatoes: High in vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper, dietary fiber and beta-carotene, which is good for the skin and eyes.

— Sources: Mandy Cook, a registered dietitian and health educator at Allegiance Prevention and Community Health; www.whfoods.com; www.realage.com by Dr. Mehmet C. Oz and Dr.Michael F. Roizen.

What if any diet changes have you made in your life?  Did it help you?  More importantly did you stick with it?  Tell us your stories.........

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tasty Tuesday! Michael's Flourless Chocolate Gateau

Sadly.....I think summer is just about un-officially over here in Oklahoma.  The days are struggling to get into the mid 70's and the nights are dropping to the low 50's.  I've never bothered to look on the calendar for the beginning of fall, we may have already passed it for all I know....  You can always tell in Oklahoma when you break that cycle of blistering hot days.....it's time to find some long-sleeves because you will need them pretty quickly.

I have a LOT of Dutch oven recipes in the back of my mind for the coming weeks but as I was coming home from the kids soccer game, I had one of those chocolate covered granola bars....the first chocolate in I don't know how long.  I brought drinks and snacks for the boys after the game and had some of these left over.  It reminded me how much I LOVE chocolate and I just had to post this recipe of Michael's. 

Many of you are familiar with him from past blog posts but for those of you that are new, Michael is a family friend and 5 star chef and owner of Michael Fusco's Riverside Grill in Tulsa, OK.  Everytime I think he cannot possibly out-do himself, he proves me wrong.  When you eat at his restaurant....you WILL tell all your friends about it!!  It is better than you could imagine and it's also Gluten free!!

Let's get to the recipe!

Ingredients: Chocolate Mousse

8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (Callebaut Chocolate from Belgium is used here)

1 cup Heavy Cream

1 Whole Egg

2 Egg Whites

2 Egg Yolks

In a double boiler, melt chocolate.

Combine whole eggs with egg yolks.

Whip heavy cream to stiff peaks.  Whip egg whites to stiff peaks.  Whip whole egg mix into chocolate until smooth.  Fold whipped whites into chocolate two thirds of the way, then fold whipped cream into chocolate taking care not to over mix.  Place into cooler to set.

I don't know the proper name of this mold at the time of posting but it is a triangular mold that you can buy at most good restaurant supply vendors.
Ingredients: Chocolate Flourless Cake

1 3/4 LB Bittersweet Chocolate (Callebaut mentioned above)

1 LB Butter

1 LB Sugar

1 cup sugar

8 whole eggs

TT - Coffe Extract (To Taste - you can also use Amaretto or other flavoring)

In a double broiler, melt the chocolate and butter.  Combine sugar and coffe extract and bring to a boil.  Add the coffe and sugar mixture to the melted chocolate and whip until smooth.  Whip in whole eggs one at a time until smooth.  Line the bottom of a 10"X15" baking pan with wax paper and pour the chocolate into the pan.  Bake at 250 degrees for about two hours or until the middle of the cake is set.  When done, let the cake rest at room temperature for 1 hour before putting in the refrigerator.  Let chill overnight before unmolding or cutting.

After your cake has chilled, you will cut it into thin strips the width of your mold and place on top of the mousse covering with wax paper ends for the final chill.  After chilling, carefully pull the gateau out of the mold and garnish with a bit of whip cream and a fruit topping of your choice.


This is a picture of the flourless cake placed on top of the mousse before the final chill.

Words cannot do justice to this dessert!!

For obvious reasons, (your waistline!) this is not a dessert that you would want to have every week, no matter how much your tastebuds demanded it.  It is however, a fantastic choice for a special dinner with that person in your life, birthday, anniversary, etc....  I cannot put into words how delicious this was and since it has been several weeks ago that I had it, I'm ready to have it again!!  If you missed it last week, make sure to check out Video Testimonial Friday - Joseph's Story!!

Enjoy!!

This post is part of the following blog carnivals....Go check out these great sites!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Video Testimonial Friday - Joseph's Story

Is it Friday already!?!?  Form some reason I cannot get it out of my head that this is Thursday.  I was going to call this post "Testimonial Thursday!" and now I've gotta come up with something else.  I can hear you telling me now...."Quit complaining! It's one day closer to the weekend!!"  Thank goodness it's not Monday right?? 

I have been so busy in the last several days that I haven't been able to get this video loaded to the site.  I've had it on a flash drive in my pocket for more than a week and finally enlisted the help of my sister to load it for me.  I helped her with a plumbing leak a couple of days ago and while I was working on that she loaded this video on the blog for me.  Thanks Lisa!!

To give you some background information, Dr. Wise, mentioned in the video, is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, NMD.  He is also one of only 27 Naturopathic Endocrinologists in the nation.  You can read all about Dr. Wise and one of the formula's he developed, Gluten Sensitivity Formula, by clicking on Wise Formula Wednesday.  When you read this, it will give you some much needed background information so that you will understand what the video is about.  

Now that you've read about Dr. Wise and his Gluten Formula for Celiac disease, let me give you a bit of background information.  The patient in the video is a young man by the name of Joseph from Tulsa, OK.   Joseph is an outstanding individual that always has a smile on his face and a kind word for everybody and when we could get our schedules in line, he agreed to do a video for me. 

As mentioned in the video, Joseph has Sickle Cell Anemia, a very serious genetic disorder that affects the red blood cells in the body.  The prevalence of the disease in the United States is approximately 1 in 5,000, mostly affecting Americans of Sub-Saharan African descent, according to the National Institutes of Health.   In the United States, about 1 in 500 black births have sickle-cell anaemia.

A woman from Joseph's church had told him about Dr. Wise and encouraged him to make an appointment as soon as possible.  When Joseph first came to see Dr. Wise, he was seeking any sort of relief possible from the effects of his Sickle Cell.  Dr. Wise examined Joseph and he tested positive for Celiac disease.  He was given Gluten Sensitivity Formula as treatment and as you will see from his testimonial, it had an amazing and unexpected benefit.....


video
The voice you hear in the background is mine.  I think I was more nervous than Joseph.  I am not, nor do I claim to be, a T.V. anchor....:-)

As Joseph mentioned, he has been to the hospital a time or two since he took Dr. Wise's Gluten Formula.  He initially went because he was in great pain and thought that he was having another crisis.  His hip has been greatly deteriorated as a result of steroids and this was determined to be the cause of his pain.  According to his last blood test that we have seen, his blood was not sickling at the time of the visit. 

Gluten Sensitivity Formula was originally developed for another purpose but as Joseph mentions here, it has changed his life in an incredible way!!  Thank you so much Joseph for telling your story.....

Please tell us your thoughts in the comments section.  Do you know someone with Sickle-cell?  Would you buy a product that could affect your life in such as a positive way as it has with Joseph?  If you know someone with Sickle-cell and they would like to get in touch with me, feel free to send me an email: jason@thewisealternative.com  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What's In Your Diet Wednesday - Most Dangerous Food Additives

I often post about what we put in our bodies, and as a person involved in the health field, I should be very vigilant about my diet and most times I am.  I'm also as guilty as the next person when grabbing a quick snack or hitting the drive-thru in a rush to get things done.  All of my life, I've been a voracious reader of books, and with the ease of the internet, I read endless stories about general health, various conditions, and local / national news.

Part of the reason I love "What's In Your Diet Wednesday" is because even when I'm in a hurry and making lunch or going out to eat at a restaurant or the dreaded drive-thru, it makes me stop and think about what I'm eating.  When I stay informed and read current diet information, it helps me to make better choices about 80% of the time.  For me that is a BIG deal!! 

So I hope that you can take this information with you in the back of your busy mind, to make better choices in your daily life.

Read this article from Forbes.com........
In Pictures: Most Dangerous Food Additives

Modern cuisine is heavily laced with additives for coloring, flavoring and preserving our food. Some of these additives are harmless, some questionable and others are downright dangerous. Here are nine you should avoid.


Aspartame
The sweetener found in Equal and NutraSweet and thousands of other food products has many critics. Though certified by the FDA, aspartame has been shown in many studies to have a correlation with cancer. Furthermore, the controversial FDA approval of aspartame prompted a congressional investigation.




 
 
Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Commonly referred to as trans fats, these plant oils have had hydrogen atoms added to them to make them more saturated, extending their shelf life and making them easier to bake with. Most health experts agree that these fats increase the risk of coronary artery disease and raise bad cholesterol levels. New York City recently banned the use of artificial trans fats in its restaurants.



Sodium Nitrite

Sodium nitrite is most often used as a preservative. Eating meats preserved with it--such as hot dogs, bacon and breakfast sausages--can increase the risk of cancer because nitrite can form carcinogenic compounds when exposed to hot environments like a frying pan or acidic environments like the digestive system.




Artificial Coloring

Many artificially colored foods use synthetic dyes. Over the years, the FDA has banned many dyes while certifying others for use in our baked goods, beverages and candies. Still, some health groups maintain that the approved dyes Blue 1 and 2, Red 3, and Yellow 6 pose a cancer risk, and that further research needs to be done.




Olestra

The additive olestra is better known by its brand name, Olean, which is used in fat-free Frito Lay potato chips. Despite being approved by the FDA, for many years foods containing olestra were labeled with a warning that the additive may cause abdominal cramping and gastrointestinal problems, as well as inhibit the absorption of essential vitamins.



Stevia

This controversial natural sweetener substitute has been off and on the FDA's list of banned additives. It is currently permitted as a dietary supplement but not as a food additive. The World Health Organization found it not to be carcinogenic, but said further study should be done.




Saccharin

The oldest artificial sweetener is used in Sweet 'N' Low and found in many diet foods and sodas. Saccharin first had its health risks investigated by the USDA in 1907 when Theodore Roosevelt was in office. Since then, there have been numerous studies linking it to cancer, and in 1977 the FDA proposed banning it. An FDA-mandated label is no longer required, but saccharin is still considered by many to be a possible carcinogen.



Sulfites

Sulfites are chemicals that are used to keep cut fruits and vegetables from discoloring, as well as prevent bacterial growth and fermentation in wine. Once considered safe, they've since been found to occasionally cause fatal allergic reactions. In the 1980s, Congress urged the FDA to ban sulfite use on raw fruits and vegetables, and the FDA has been broadening its ban on the additives ever since.



BHA & BHT


These two chemicals slow the rate of autoxidation in food, preventing changes in color, smell and taste. Some studies have shown BHA to be carcinogenic. The jury is out on BHT.






Let us know how you feel.  Have you had any adverse effects from consuming these additives?  Personally we don't agree with the Stevia comments, even though the WHO and FDA are noncommittal, we use Stevia and think it's a great alternative to sugar in most cases.  What do you think?  Any foods or additives that you would add to or take away from this list? Tell us in the comments section.......

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tasty Tuesdays! Dutch Oven Peaches & Cream Cake

It's already that time of the week again!  Time to post another great recipe for the readers (and myself) to enjoy.  I'm confident the readers enjoy them as a result of the traffic, and there is not the slightest doubt that I do because I get to eat the results!!  I've noticed that I have had to cook less or perhaps post less recipes because my waistline couldn't stand it!!  How do you veteran bloggers stay so beautiful when you're cooking and posting all the time??

As promised, I am continuing with the Dutch Oven recipes for the next few weeks.  You can find all of my Dutch Oven recipes as well as a lot of great information by clicking the tabs below the blog header.  I truly love cooking in them and people are fascinated by it whether it be the concept or maybe it causes them to think outside the box.  It is simply the easiest way to cook that I have found.  You can obviously take it outdoors on a camping or hunting trip and even cook inside the house with it as I often do.  Other than leaving something in a bit too long (once or twice at the most)  I have never had anything turn out less than wonderful.  I highly recommend it and would be happy to give pointers to those of you that wish to buy a quality Dutch Oven.

Lets get to the recipe!  It is as follows.

Ingredients:


• 3/4 c. self-rising flour  (I used Bob's Red Mill GF and added baking powder)

• 1 pkg. cheesecake or vanilla instant pudding mix (3.4 ounce)

• 3 tbsp. butter, softened

• 1 egg

• 1/2 c. milk

• 1 lg (about 28 ounces) can sliced peaches, drained

• 8 oz. cream cheese, softened

• 1/2 c. sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

 
Preparation:


Mix together first 5 ingredients. Spread in lightly greased (deep) pie plate or casserole.

Arrange peaches over batter.

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and 3 tablespoons peach juice for about 2 minutes. Spread over peaches, leaving a 1-inch border.


Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar over cream cheese mixture. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes in 350 degree preheated oven.

Cool and refrigerate.

 
This dessert is in the refrigerator right now so like you, I only have the pictures to go by.....It looks remarkably similar to the before baking picture with just a little bit of cake showing around the edges.  This was super easy and fun to make and with all of those ingredients, it HAS to be good!!  As promised, I have posted the video testimonial of Joseph from Tulsa, OK who took Dr. Wise Formula II Intestinal Calm....Don't miss it!!
 
Enjoy!!
 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Good News Friday! - Turmeric & Its Possible Effect on Alzeimers

Ahhhh Friday...that favorite day of the week.....For so many of us it signals the end of the work week and the beginning of a few days of rest and relaxation.  For others, myself included, the weekend is often a couple of more workdays but they are more fun nonetheless because of the ability to socialize with friends, go the the lake, movies, bowling with the kids and other things not possible through the week because of the frantic pace of the work week.  Taking the kids back and forth to school, soccer practice, dance classes etc are great and I wouldn't trade them for all the money in the world.  But like all of you.....I LOVE my weekends!!

I like to, as the name implies, post good news on Friday so that we can all kick-start our weekends off the right way.  This subject is very important to me as one of my dearest family members is affected by Alzheimers. 

I personally do not know the research behind this article but it is certainly worth a close look where the health of our loved ones are concerned.  I will be digging into this subject in great depth in the coming days and weeks.

Read this article from NaturalNews.com.......

Nature is full of various herbs and spices that protect against disease and even treat and cure it. And according to Chris Kilham, an ethnobotanist and Fox News' "Medicine Hunter", turmeric root -- also known in its extract form as curcumin -- is one such powerful spice that appears to both prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease and even cure it.


"People who develop Alzheimer's disease get a sticky plaque in the brain called amyloid beta," explained Kilham to Dr. Manny Alvarez in a recent Fox News interview. Such plaques either develop as a result of Alzheimer's, or they are the direct cause of it. But either way, they are directly related to the degenerative process.

However studies show that turmeric actually eliminates these plaques, both when they are first starting to form and even during the late stages of their advancement.

"What we have in turmeric is something that appears to inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease…and actually help to reduce the occurrence of plaque in the brain if you have it," noted Kilham. "We know in animal studies, when animals actually have amyloid beta plaque in their brains and they're given turmeric root…that plaque is reduced."

Observational studies have also shown that people groups who eat large amounts of turmeric virtually never get Alzheimer's.

"In countries where people consume a lot of [turmeric], there's a very low incidence of Alzheimer's disease," emphasized Kilham. "In India and Southeast Asia, it's a rare disease. And [in the U.S.] it's very, very common."

According to Kilham, drug companies are hard at work trying to develop drug versions of turmeric, but he recommends eating real turmeric whenever possible, and taking turmeric extract supplements if eating the spice in food is not an option.

"A challenge that we face is that drug companies…can't patent turmeric root," he said. "So they will continue to try to develop something else. [But] eating turmeric, eating its extracts…appears to be protective against one of the most horrific and debilitating diseases we know."


If this research is proven, it could mean a drastic change in the health, well being, and quality of life of sooo many people.  As well as turning the medical world upside down.  Do you have a loved one in your family with Alzheimers? Tell us your stories.......

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To Your Health Wednesday - Understanding Tinnitus

I am dealing with a subject today that is near and dear to my heart....and not in the fondest sense either.  The subject is Tinnitus.  Many of you may be familiar with it having dealt with it yourself or perhaps you have a friend or loved one with this issue. 

It is a little understood problem, as it is something that only the patient can hear.  Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head.  I've heard people talk about roaring, clicking, or other variety of sounds in their ears that never seems to go away.  Doctors have many theories on what causes tinnitus, many of them very plausible.  Exposure to loud noises for instance, is a leading cause of tinnitus in many people.  Often these things happen over time so it isn't readily apparent that you are damaging your hearing by going to the shooting range, hunting, seeing your favorite band in concert or working in a loud environment unprotected.

Read this article on tinnitus by Medicinenet.com......
Tinnitus
(Ringing and Other Ear Noise)
Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. In many cases it is not a serious problem, but rather a nuisance that eventually resolves.

It is not a single disease, but a symptom of an underlying condition. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this disorder. In almost all cases, only the patient can hear the noise.

What causes tinnitus?

Tinnitus can arise in any of the following areas: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, or by abnormailities in the brain. Some tinnitus or head noise is normal. If one goes into a sound proof booth and normal outside noise is diminished, one becomes aware of these normal sounds. We are usually not aware of these normal body sounds, because outside noise masks them. Anything, such as wax or a foreign body in the external ear, that blocks these background sounds will cause us to be more aware of our own head sounds. Fluid, infection, or disease of the middle ear bones or ear drum (tympanic membrane) can also cause tinnitus.

One of the most common causes of tinnitus is damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Advancing age is generally accompanied by a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment, and consequently tinnitus. Today, loud noise exposure is a very common cause of tinnitus, and it often damages hearing as well. Unfortunately, many people are unconcerned about the harmful effects of excessively loud noise, firearms, and high intensity music. Some medications (for example, aspirin) and other diseases of the inner ear (Meniere's syndrome) can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus can in very rare situations be a symptom of such serious problems as an aneurysm or a brain tumor (acoustic tumor).

How is tinnitus evaluated?

A medical history, physical examination, and a series of special tests can help determine precisely where the tinnitus is originating. It is helpful for the doctor to know if the tinnitus is constant, intermittent or pulsating (synchronous with the heart beat), or is it associated with hearing loss or loss of balance (vertigo). All patients with persisting unexplained tinnitus need a hearing test (audiogram). Patterns of hearing loss may lead the doctor to the diagnosis.

Other tests, such as the auditory brain stem response (ABR), a computerized test of the hearing nerves and brain pathways, computer tomography scan (CT scan) or, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) may be needed to rule out a tumor occurring on the hearing or balance nerve. These tumors are rare, but they can cause tinnitus.

What is the treatment of tinnitus?

After a careful evaluation, your doctor may find an identifiable cause and be able to treat or make recommendations to treat the tinnitus. Once you have had a thorough evaluation, an essential part of treatment is your own understanding of the tinnitus (what has caused it, and your options for treatment).

In many cases, there is no specific treatment for tinnitus. It may simply go away on its own, or it may be a permanent disability that the patient will have to "live with." Some otolaryngologists have recommended niacin to treat tinnitus. However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that niacin helps reduce tinnitus, and it may cause problems with skin flushing.

Can tinnitus be prevented?

Do not place objects in your ear such as cotton swabs (Q-tips) to clean your ear. This can cause a wax impaction against your eardrum which can cause tinnitus. Take blood pressure medicines and other prescribed medications as they are ordered by your doctor.

According to the American Tinnitus Association there are several things you can do to protect yourself from excessive noise related tinnitus:

  • Protect your hearing at work. Your work place should follow Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Wear ear plugs or earmuffs and follow hearing conservation guidelines set by your employer.


  • When around any noise that bothers your ears (a concert, sporting event, hunting) wear hearing protection or reduce noise levels.


  • Even everyday noises, such as blow drying your hair or using a lawnmower, can require protection. Keep ear plugs or earmuffs handy for these activities.

    Is there anything to do to lessen intensity of the tinnitus?

    It is important to realize that the hearing system is one of the most delicate and sensitive mechanisms in the body. Since it is a part of the general nervous system, it is sensitive, to some degree, by anything that affects the overall health of the individual (both physical and psychological). Therefore, in order to lessen the intensity of tinnitus, it is advisable to make every effort to:


  • Avoid exposure to loud sounds and noises.


  • Control blood pressure.


  • Decrease salt intake.


  • Avoid nerve stimulants such as coffee and colas (caffeine) and tobacco (nicotine).


  • Reduce anxiety.


  • Try to stop worrying about the tinnitus. Often, the more you worry and concentrate on the noise, the louder it will become.


  • Get adequate rest and avoid fatigue.


  • Exercise.


  • Utilize masking noise. Tinnitus is usually more bothersome when the surroundings are quiet, especially when you are in bed. A competing sound such as a ticking clock, a radio, a fan or white noise machine may help mask tinnitus. Small hearing aid like devices which generate a competitive sound may help reduce the awareness of the tinnitus.


  • Biofeedback may help or diminish tinnitus in some patients.


  • Avoid aspirin or aspirin products in large quantities.


    Tinnitus At A Glance


  • Tinnitus is abnormal ear noise.


  • Tinnitus can arise in any of the four sections of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear, the inner ear, and the brain.


  • Persisting unexplained tinnitus is evaluated with a hearing test (audiogram).


  • Measures can be taken to lessen the intensity of tinnitus.



  • I've read absolutely everything I can find on tinnitus over the past few months and haven't found any definitive answers to this point.  It started about 3 months ago with a light ringing in my left ear.  I'd describe it as the same thing you would experience after shooting an extremely loud firearm or going to a rock concert and having seats next to the 6' tall speakers.  At first it was minor, but as time went on it has become very intense and now has affected my right ear to a lesser degree.

    I've excercised regularly for the past 4 years and increased that to no effect.  Changes in diet, medicines, sleeping habits and most everything I could think of hasn't given me any relief.  I do however, have a few more things to try, one of them being to candle my ears.  I am going to try it tonight and will let you know if I have relief.  Believe me, if this works, I will be shouting it from the rooftop!! 

    Do you have tinnitus?  Do you still have it or did you find relief?  If so, tell your story!!  I'd love to hear it!

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Tasty Tuesdays! GF Dutch Oven Coffee Cake

    What a wild and crazy week it has been already!  I'm not complaining, mind you, it's infinitely better than the alternative.  On another bright note, we have had a TON of rain here in central Oklahoma and just in time.  Everything is turning green again and you don't have to wear shoes when you walk on the grass barefoot anymore.

    I've always done what I said I would do.... I've been promising more Dutch Oven recipes, and I shall deliver.  I did some serious research over the past few days and have gotten several new recipes to try, this one being the first.  I LOVE coffee cake!  My grandma used to make the world's best and while I think mine is good, it just doesn't measure up to hers....This one is actually called a "streusel coffee cake" so maybe it's different from hers....If anyone has some great recipes, feel free to email them to me and I will be happy to post them on the blog along with props to the author.  Let's get to the recipe!

    Ingredients:

    1 - 10" Dutch Oven

    20-24 charcoal briquettes (Light mounded pile of briquettes just before mixing ingredients giving them about
                                            10-15 minutes time to ash over.)

    Topping:

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1/4 cup sifted all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill GF flour)

    1/4 cup butter, room temperature

    1 tsp cinnamon


    Cake:

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Again Bob's Red Mill GF)

    2 1/2 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp salt

    1 egg, beaten

    3/4 cup sugar

    1/3 cup butter, melted

    1/2 cup milk

    1 tsp vanilla extract


    Preparation:

    Topping: In a small mixing bowl, combine topping ingredients.  Blend with fork until crumbly. Set aside.

    Sift 1 1/2 cups of flour and place in bowl with baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl, beat together beaten egg and 3/4 cup sugar and 1/3 cup melted butter.  Add milk and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture and mix well.

    Pour batter into greased and floured 10" Dutch Oven.  (I skipped the floured part.  Oops) 

    Sprinkle topping crumb mixture evenly over batter.  For some reason my topping wasn't crumbly, but sort of thick and smooth.  Perhaps I over mixed it.  I squeezed it through my fingers to drop it onto the cake in small bits.

    For a 10" oven at approx 350 degrees, use 8 coals on bottom and 12 on top.

    Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until knife comes clean.  Partially cool in pan on wire rack.  Cut into squares while still warm.

    I left this in about 5 minutes too long because I couldn't find my pliers to remove the lid and check it....Grrr..Lol


    The cake turned out delicious and I look forward to making it again!


    This was my first Dutch Oven coffe cake as well as a GF version.  It turned out good and the sample piece on my plate was doomed from the first bite.  I enjoyed making this and hope you did as well.  Stay tuned this week for a video testimonial from one of our patients who took Dr. Wise Formula II Intestinal Calm.  I have the video on my flash drive, I just have to figure out how to load it and post it on the blog!

    Enjoy!!

    This post is part of the following blog carnivals......Go check out these great sites!!

    Monday Mania
    Mouthwatering Monday
    Hearth 'n' Soul
    Tuesday Twister
    Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
    Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
    Gluten-Free Wednesdays
    Real Food Wednesday
    Pennywise Platter Thursday
    Recipe Swap Thursday
    Fight Back Friday

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    To Your Health Thursday - Kidney Stones

    How many of you know someone who has had kidney stones?  Perhaps you have had them?  Thankfully I never have and I sincerely hope I never do.  I hear it is the closest thing to childbirth that a person can experience and since I don't have the right parts for that I don't have a reference point.  I have, however, witnessed the effects, as my boys mother had them at the same time she was carrying our youngest son.  It appears to be extremely painful and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  The doctor couldn't do anything without endangering the baby so she had to endure the last trimester with the stones causing a great deal of distress.  In about an hour after our son was born, they wheeled her in to use EWSL, or shock wave therapy to break up the stones and give her almost instant relief.

    How are kidney stones caused?

    Kidney stones may form when the normal balance of water, salts, minerals, and other substances found in urine changes. How this balance changes determines the type of kidney stone you have. Most kidney stones are calcium-type-they form when the calcium levels in your urine change.


    Factors that change your urine balance include:

    Not drinking enough water. Try to drink enough water to keep your urine clear (about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day). When you don't drink enough water, the salts, minerals, and other substances in the urine can stick together and form a stone. This is the most common cause of kidney stones.

    Medical conditions. Many medical conditions can affect the normal balance and cause stones to form. Gout is one example. Also, people who have inflammatory bowel disease or who have had surgery on their intestines may not absorb fat from their intestines in a normal way. This changes the way the intestines process calcium and other minerals, and it may lead to kidney stones.

    More commonly, kidney stones can run in families, as stones often occur in family members over several generations.

    In rare cases, a person forms kidney stones because the parathyroid glands produce too much of a hormone, which leads to higher calcium levels and possibly calcium kidney stones.

    Now with the causes out of the way, we can concentrate on the solutions.....

    There are a couple of different remedies for kidney stones currently in the medical community. The first one is to take pain meds, drink lots of water and hope you can pass them naturally. Ouch!!

    The other method, mentioned above EWSL, is to use shock wave therapy to break up the stones so that they may be passed. There is also the method of using a very small scope to pass through the ureter and remove or break the stones up to ease passage. These methods described here are used for the more serious cases of infection, blockage, or other complications

    Do you have any other options?
     
    I'm glad you asked.....
     
    I sell two products as a "Kidney Stone Relief" package that over the years, has successfully treated hundreds of patients.  It consists of two key products.  The first one, Hydrangea, was originally used by the Cherokee Indians for kidney support, hydrangea was introduced to early American settlers for similar purposes.

    A common shrub, hydrangea is a bitter and a solvent. Its solvent properties nutritionally support the urinary system. It contains natural minerals plus silicon, flavonoids, resins and saponins. In this formula, the dried, powdered root is used. Each capsule contains 325 mg hydrangea.

    The second product, Magnolia, (magnolia liliflora) is an extract from the flower of the magnolia plant and is used to dissolve the stone to a manageble size or even completely so that it can be safely passed without surgery or other medical procedures. 

    Take the time to read about our company and the top quality suppliers we use by clicking HERE.


    Kidney Stone Relief Package - $35.20 / total plus shipping


    What would you do to relieve your pain?  Go to the doctor?  Have surgery? What if you could find relief naturally?  Would you do it?  I certainly would!! In many cases, one package dissolved the stones where they were easily passed without problems.  In rare cases, two bottles of each were needed.  Whatever the situation, an investment of around $50 - $80 for kidney stone relief is not even the cost of a single doctor's visit.

    Tell us your stories of kidney stones....Have you had them?  What did you do to get rid of them?  Would you use the same method again?
     


    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Tasty Tuesdays! Spring Arugula w/ Linguine & Toasted Almonds

    Whew!!  What a weekend!  I hope everyone had a great one.  I certainly did but seem to have misplaced my get-up and go somewhere along the way.  I ate a lot of good food, spent time with great friends and got a lot of things accomplished.  I did miss out on a couple of things but am looking forward to catching up on that in a few weeks. 

    I spent part of the long weekend on the lake and soaked up all the sun possible while I was there.  It is quickly becoming that time of year in Oklahoma where the weather rapidly turns cooler and unpredictable for weekend plans.  If they forecast 90% chance of rain here it will likely be cloudy and dry whereas if you have a 20% chance, get ready for the monsoon.  I've always thought it would be great (and I'm not bashing here) to have a job reporting the weather.  It doesn't matter whether you are wrong or right you still get paid!!  All you have to say is "Wow!! We did not see this coming!!" and all is forgiven...:-)

    This week's Tasty Tuesday! post is a favorite of mine and one I thought I should put up right away as it isn't spring any longer, (ie: Spring Arugula) summer is nearly gone and fall is almost here.  I love this dish but like many favorites, don't eat it often enough.  The recipe is as follows:

    2 cups Arugula (washed & dried)

    1/2 cup Almonds (sliced & toasted)

    3 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese feather shredded

    2 Tbsp green onions chopped

    1 cup fresh Linguine

    Cracked Pepper (to taste)

    1 Tsp. Olive Oil

    Add your olive oil to a hot saute' pan.  Add green onions and almonds, cook for two minutes. 

    Homemade, fresh linguine.....Mmmmm!
    I don't have a pasta roller at home but I've always wanted one. You can find them at restaurant supply vendors in your area. After this dish I think I'll see what I can do to add to the kitchen arsenal.


    Poach linguine until al dente, add to pan.

    Toss pasta in oil mix in pan, season with cheese.

    Toss fresh arugula quickly but do not cook.

    Swirl in pan & place in pasta bowl, top with almonds from pan and additional cheese.

    Last but not least, finish with cracked pepper.

    Arugula is one of those delicious additions to a meal that many people overlook.  It adds a wonderful flavor to pasta or any other dish as well as having super concentrations of vitamins B & C.  I'll be the first to admit that I don't take advantage of it in my meals often enough.  It was an incredible compliment to this meal.  The Pecorino cheese speaks for itself and toasted almonds topped it all off.  Pasta is one of my favorite meals, as is obvious to my waistline but I don't foresee giving it up anytime soon!  Enjoy!!

    This post is part of the following blog carnivals.....Go check out these great sites!!

    Mouthwatering Mondays
    Two for Tuesdays
    Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
    Pennywise Platter Thursday

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Good News Friday - Autism Advancement

    I found this article a couple of weeks ago and wanted to save it for another blog I'm going to start working on.  It's going to be another week or two before I get it going and I didn't want this to go to waste. 

    I'm often amazed at the rapid pace of our world and our lives.  The personal computer you bought less than six months ago is already obsolete.  The top of the line flat screen, HD, whatcha-ma-callit 50" TV hanging on your wall is....you guessed it....yesterday's news.  Science & technology is a wonderful thing and it often advances so quickly that the mind is boggled. 

    The technological advancement in the article below is light years ahead of current methods of autism diagnosis.  It will also eliminate a HUGE variable in the current test, the human element....  No matter how skilled the practitioner, there is great room for misdiagnosis when you are dealing with such a complex thing as the mind.  What other amazing things are waiting just around the corner for us?

    Read this article from Reuters.......
    Quick brain scan could screen for autism

    By Ben Hirschler
    LONDON
    Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:34pm EDT

    LONDON (Reuters) - A 15-minute brain scan could in future be used to test for autism, helping doctors diagnose the complex condition more cheaply and accurately.

    British scientists said on Tuesday their rapid test had proved more than 90 percent accurate in adults and there was no reason why it should not work equally well in children.

    It could be a boon for patients and their doctors by reducing reliance on time-consuming and emotionally trying assessments based on interviews and behavioral observation.

    Autism is a complex brain disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication, ranging from mild to profound impairment.

    The new scanning method -- which picks up on structural changes in the brain's grey matter -- could be ready for general use in a couple of years. The next goal is to test it in children.

    "What we are working on now is to see if we find the same results in younger people," research leader Declan Murphy, professor of psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, said in an interview.

    "We would hope that it would work just as well ... there is no reason why not."


    TREATMENT

    The ability to base a diagnosis on an objective biological test, rather than having to rely on personality traits, should mean patients get treatment more quickly, he added.

    Cognitive behavioral therapy and educational treatment can be highly effective for some patients and the impact of a more certain prognosis would be especially beneficial for children.

    Murphy and colleagues, who published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience, studied 20 healthy adults and another 20 individuals previously diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, which also includes Asperger syndrome.

    The accuracy of the scan in predicting autism was so high that the results were strongly significant, despite the small number of patients involved.

    Experts not involved in the research applauded the research but cautioned further study was still needed.

    "Although this method is not ready for normal diagnostic situations, any step to easier diagnosis is welcome," said Terry Brugha, professor of psychiatry at the University of Leicester.

    Murphy said he envisaged that in future autism specialists would use a scan alongside interviews, in much the same way as doctors monitoring diabetes look at blood test results alongside patient histories.

    The new system works by analyzing variations in the shape and structure of brain regions linked to language and social behavior, using standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines made by companies like General Electric, Siemens and Philips.

    The speed of the test makes it some 20 times cheaper than traditional tests, which can take a team of doctors four to eight hours to conduct. The actual brain scan costs around 100 pounds ($157.5).

    Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one percent of the population in Britain and the United States, and the condition affects four times as many boys as girls. Researchers agree there is a strong genetic component.


    With that good news, I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC Labor Day weekend filled with lots of food, family, friends and fun.  Be safe and we'll see you in a few days....

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    What's In Your Diet Wednesday

    How many of you actually know what is in your food?  Unless you eat 100% homegrown meats and vegetables, not very many people do I would venture.  I will be the first to admit that it is all too easy to grab something quick or premade but that is often a gamble, as many with food allergies can attest.  There are so many products and fillers in our food today that it staggers the mind.  Not all of these additives are a bad thing however.  Many come from staples such as corn, various types of legumes and other nutrient rich foods.


    Read this article from Thrifty Living.......

    Soybeans in the Diet


    Foods from soybeans are not new. They have been used for thousands of years in other countries. The soybean was introduced into the United States in 1765. It was not until the 1900s that soybeans became the important crop they are today. It was first used as a food for animals. Only in the last few years have people in this country eaten soybeans and foods made from soybeans. You may think you do not eat soybeans, but it would be almost impossible not to eat some products made from soy.

    Ingredients made from soybeans are in many foods that we eat every day. Soy products are used in everything from baby food to whipped toppings. One of the most common soy ingredients is soy oil. This is a very popular vegetable oil and is used in many baked products.

    Soybeans and soy products can be a healthy addition to our diet.
    • Soybeans are included in the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, nuts, and egg group of the Food Guide Pyramid.
    • A 1/2-cup of cooked dry beans is the equivalent of one ounce of meat.
    • Soy products are a good source of protein and fiber, have no cholesterol, and may be low in fat.
    • Eating soy products may reduce the risks of some cancers, coronary heart disease, and osteoporosis.

     Soy Foods

      
    A number of soy foods and ingredients are now in the grocery store. Here are some products you may have seen:

     Soy flour - Soybeans are ground into a fine powder. It is usually used with wheat flour.

     Soy grits - Soybeans have been roasted and cracked into coarse pieces.

     Soymilk - This is made from crushed cooked soybeans. There is also soy cheese made from soymilk. People who are allergic to cow's milk can sometimes use soymilk. Soymilk can be used in many recipes in place of cow's milk.

    Textured soy protein (TSP) - This is made from soy flour that is cooked, formed, and dried. TSP is sold as granules, flakes, or chunks and is often made to resemble meat, seafood, or poultry. It can have a bland taste or be flavored to taste like the product it is made to resemble. It can be used by itself or blended with ground meat.

    Tofu - This a soft, cheese-like food made by curdling fresh hot soymilk. The main types of tofu are extra firm, firm, soft, and silken. The differences are determined by firmness, texture, and nutritional value. Tofu is high in protein, low in saturated fat, has no cholesterol, and is lactose-free.

    Whole soybeans - This can be bought dry or fresh and cooked in stews, soups, or casseroles. Roasted whole soybeans are available for a snack.

    Soybeans and soy foods can be a healthy part of the diet. Food scientists are looking for new ways to include soy into soups, drinks, and baked goods. Read ingredient labels on some of your favorite foods to see if you are already eating soy products.


    Written by: Barbara Farner
    Nutrition and Wellness Educator
    University of Illinois Extension
    Matteson Extension Center