Posted in food, guest post, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Boost Your Brain: 5 Vitamin Supplements that Help Aid Memory

This article is a guest post from iveeapp.com. I’ve added my two cents throughout:

The benefits of vitamin supplements are incredibly far-reaching. They can help aid bodily functions such as digestion, metabolism, and immuno-response. Researchers continue to support the belief that vitamin supplements play a large role in longevity. When combined with a proper diet, adequate sleep patterns, and daily exercise, a noticeable impact on life quality can also be achieved with vitamin supplements.

So what about memory? Can these tablets really boost cognitive function? Well, yes and no. One of the most common symptoms of aging is memory loss. As of 2020, roughly an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 and older live with Alzheimer’s dementia. If scientists were able to slow the onset of Alzheimer’s with the use of vitamin supplements, over 200 thousand fewer seniors would be diagnosed per year. So, in that respect, vitamin supplements act as a preventive measure.

Five supplements that boost memory

1. B-12

Researchers have studied the correlation between B-12 and B complex vitamins and cognitive function for a long while. They have found that having a B-12 deficiency could lead to troubles with memory in the future. According to the Mayo Clinic, having an adequate amount of B-12 can lead to improved memory. Still, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that higher intake leads to more benefits. However, there is evidence that regular B-12 consumption can slow the cognitive decline of seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when combined with omega-3 fatty acids. 

B-12 deficiency is most common in those with bowel or stomach issues, strict vegans, and diabetics. Getting enough B-12 should come naturally. Certain foods such as fish and poultry contain high levels of the vitamin B-12. Dairy products and certain vegetables such as mushrooms also offer high levels of B-12. 

If you do not eat foods rich in B12, you can supplement your diet with vitamin B12 in a jar! and get the same benefits.

2. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another supplement that has shown to slow cognitive decline. Like vitamin B-12, this vitamin has proven to be more effective in older people since they are more at risk for memory loss. According to a 2014 study done by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMMA), “Among patients with mild to moderate [Alzheimer’s], 2000 IU/d of alpha-tocopherol [the vitamin E supplement] compared with placebo resulted in slower functional decline.” 

Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but it does occur. It is most apparent in those whose diets lack fat. Good sources of vitamin E include foods such as:

  • nuts
  • seeds
  • dark-colored fruits, such as blueberries, avocados, and blackberries
  • vegetables, such as spinach and bell peppers

Whether you get your daily dose of vitamin E from your diet or a jar of supplements, make sure you do!

3. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for efficient brain function as well as keeping our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. We obtain Vitamin D mainly through the sun’s rays. The vitamin isn’t found in many foods, but it is abundant in certain fatty-fish such as trout, salmon, and tuna. Vitamin D supplements are great for everyone, but especially for those who spend a lot of their time working from inside. Being deficient in vitamin D can have negative effects such as raised anxiety, depression, and chronic fatigue. 

If you cannot get outside to obtain your daily dose of vitamin D, supplements are available.

4. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are extracted directly from fatty fish like sardines and salmon. Fish oil can play a vital role in optimizing brain function. That’s because fish oil contains the same fatty acids found in the cell membranes of human brain cells. Preserving healthy brain cell membranes can have a massive impact on how our brain develops as we age. Not only is fish oil excellent for the mind but it is also great for muscle recovery as it decreases muscular pain and shortens recovery time after a workout.

Fish oil containing important omega 3 fatty acids is also available in supplement form if fish will never make it into your diet.

5. NAD+ Treatment

Yes, we know that NAD+ is not a vitamin, but its potential to optimize brain function is worth noting. NAD+ is a compound that is produced naturally in the body but as we age, our NAD+ levels decrease. The rate at which our NAD+ levels decrease is directly related to increasing biological age. So as we age, we lose NAD+ and we lose energy, our skin ages, and we experience some form of memory loss or mental fatigue. NAD+ supplements are available at certain vitamin shops, but one of the most effective methods is NAD+ treatment through an IV.

If IVs are not your thing, NAD+ is also available in supplement form. You have no excuse to avoid it!

Conclusion

Though these nutrients are not the “end all and be all” for cognitive decline, having a consistent intake of the vitamin could slow symptoms, especially for seniors and those already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other mental diseases. The easiest way we can prevent the onset of these illnesses is to take care of our bodies. Good sleep patterns, a good diet including vitamins, and daily exercise are things we can do daily to increase the quality of life and longevity. 

If you are not keen on introducing supplements to your diet, try incorporating foods that contain the specific vitamins instead. That is my preferred way to achieve a healthy diet. I do so by concocting a variety of smoothies that contain healthy, fresh vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables. Make the choice based on your lifestyle, but be sure to incorporate the vitamins into your diet.

Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

If You Dont Use it, You Lose it!

As I get older, the phrase “if you don’t use it you lose it” is becoming more obvious. Not just the rusty physical parts of my body, but the mental parts like good habits, routines, and comfort zones too.

Highway Driving

I’ve never been anxious driving on the highways, in fact I much prefer it to city driving where you have pedestrians, bikes, and cars coming at you in all directions. When I moved to Ottawa from the much smaller town of Cornwall, I forced myself to drive up and down the Queensway (the major highway running east to west through the city) getting off each exit, then back on.

It feels like I hardly ever drive on the highways anymore, in fact, I’ve cut down considerably for almost two years now, since the pandemic shut us down in early 2020.

When I do drive on the highway these days, the first few minutes feel strange. And then the comfort and enjoyment return, the feel of the open road beneath me. The winding roads and the relaxing rural scenery are a bonus, although I haven’t seen much of them recently.

Organized Routines

When I worked outside of the home, especially when my kids were young, I was incredibly organized. At least when I look back to those days now, I think I was. Beds were stripped every Friday for a weekly wash. Grocery lists were mandatory, in preparation for weekly shopping every Thursday. Once the boys were out of diapers, bath nights were Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays.

I learned that kids thrive on routine, but so do busy moms.

When I retired, and the kids were much older, routines flew out the window with the alarm clock. That might not be considered a bad thing.

Brain Power

How many of you reach for a calculator or your phone to figure out a mathematical equation, even the simple ones? I admit to forcing myself to use my brain power with a pen and paper to ensure I remember how to. It is so much quicker and more convenient to use the electronics.

One of the reasons I loved helping my granddaughter with her online lessons is that it forced me to think like a seven-year-old again. At that age, kids’ brains are like sponges, absorbing every tidbit of information they encounter. I like that feeling, and I really enjoy finding the right way to answer their never-ending questions. Do you remember how some teachers were so much better than others at explaining things?

Arthritic Joints

When I refer to my rusty body parts, I am talking about my achy, arthritic joints. My ankles, knees, hips and wrists are anxiously awaiting warmer, drier weather.

The problem with arthritic joints is that the less you use them, the harder it is to use them when you want or need to. It is indeed a viscous circle, but the trick (I find) is to make sure you keep using them.

Conclusion

Use it before you lose it!!

photo credit

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Chicken Chili, a Gluten-Free Recipe

This is yet another OBG post. Sorry, I don’t believe “oldie but goody” was on my recent list of acronyms, but it should have been. This recipe for the best, gluten-free chicken chili came up in a search of my go-to cold-weather comfort foods…

A few days ago I made the best gluten-free chicken chili in my slow cooker.  My husband said it was the best “soup” he has ever tasted.  Regardless of what you call it, chili or soup, it was fantastic.  

My Recipe for Chicken Chili

The only problem is, as usual, I did not follow a recipe, so the measurements I am giving you are approximations only.  These quantities are for my family of five with leftovers (hopefully) for the next day…

  • 5 uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans white kidney beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped spanish onion
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers (cut up two sweet red peppers, toss in a bowl with olive oil, bake the peppers on a cookie sheet at 400 until they start to turn black at the edges)
  • 2 cups green tea (i know, sounds gross, but I didn’t have any fresh chicken broth and needed some liquid, not to mention green tea is good for you!)
  • 2 tsp each chili powder and curcumin (or more chili powder if you like it HOT)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

I cooked the above ingredients for 6 hours on the low setting of my slow cooker, then removed the chicken breasts, let them cool before chopping them up, and returned them to the pot.  At this point, I also squished the tomatoes against the side of the slow cooker to make them burst. Some members of my family (not me) are picky and don’t like the squishiness of cherry/grape tomatoes.  I then let the concoction simmer for another hour on low heat.

Secret Ingredient in my Chicken Chili

Approximately 20 minutes before serving, I turned off the heat on the slow cooker, and then added 1 cup of jalapeno flavored Greek yogurt, and 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.  I buy the yogurt at Costco and use it in many recipes instead of sour cream or cream cheese.  It provides a nice, mildly spicy flavor and adds much less fat.

This is the secret ingredient that I use to thicken any sauces, soups, and gravies without adding gluten.

jalapeno flavoured Greek Yogurt, the secret ingredient in my chicken chili recipe

Serving Options

You can serve this chicken chili up in a bowl with a sprinkling of shredded cheese or a dollop of the greek yogurt on top, or even on a plate over a bed of rice.  

Leftover the next day, this chicken chili tastes even better as is often the case with many stew, chili, or soup recipes.  

That is if there are any leftovers to be found!

photo credit

Posted in food, food allergies, gluten intolerance, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Gluten Intolerance: Know the Symptoms

Any of the following symptoms could be signs that you suffer from gluten intolerance. If any of these signs apply to you, get yourself checked out; you will be glad you did!  I did years ago after suffering through many of the symptoms listed below; see this previous post to read about my story.

Common Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation.

  2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

  3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

  4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

  5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

  6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

  7. Migraine headaches.

  8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

  9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

  10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

How to Deal with Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance can affect many of the organs in your body, not just your stomach and intestines.  This is especially true over a long term exposure.  Get informed; knowledge is the best way to move forward to better health.

Gluten-free options are currently very popular in grocery stores and restaurants.  I am happy to report there has been a huge improvement in the ten years since I was diagnosed with my wheat allergy.  

photo credit

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Do you believe it?  I do.   Apples are an incredibly easy, inexpensive, and delicious way to add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet.

Apples have been around forever, since the days of Adam and Eve. What have we learned about the correlation between apples and good health?

The Health Benefits of Apples

Apples are fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, low in sodium, and full of fiber (with the peel on), pectin, vitamins, flavonoids, minerals and antioxidants. One apple contains approximately five grams of fiber and just eighty calories.

Which Minerals are Abundant in Apples?

Apples are full of magnesium and potassium which help control your blood pressure.   Quercetin is a flavonoid found in apples that protects your artery walls as well as your lungs.  Boron, a trace mineral that is absorbed from the soil, is also found in apples. It has been shown to be beneficial for your joints. 

Antioxidants Prevent and Stop Cancer

Research has proven that antioxidants are helpful to prevent disease and even to stop the growth of cancer cells once they are present in your system.

Apples Alleviate Constipation

Doctors have suspected for years that constipation is at the root of many illnesses. Constipation is caused by insufficient fiber in the diet. Conditions such as appendicitis, varicose veins, diverticulitis, hernias and hemorrhoids are all thought to be caused by strained bowel movements.

Most people know that fiber can alleviate these strained bowel movements. An apple a day can go a long way to keeping your body regular and free from constipation. My children can attest to the fact that anytime they complained of a stomach ache, I would always ask them when the last time they had a good poop. I would then prepare them a large bowl of sliced apples (with the peel still on) sprinkled with cinnamon.

See a previous post all about what your poop will tell you.

Pectin in Apples Stops Diarrhea

Pectin is a carbohydrate found in apples that helps our intestines when diarrhea is a problem.  This is because pectin causes food to congeal, just as it does when you use it to make jam or jelly. 

Most mothers are familiar with the BRAT diet recommended when their children have diarrhea. It consists of bananas, rice, unsweetened applesauce and toast. Most of these ingredients are bland and easy on the stomach.  The applesauce (apples without the fiber of the peel) is primarily included in this diet because of the pectin.

Now that you know just how good apples are for you, be sure to eat an apple a day to stay healthy or get healthier.

Starting today!

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Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Blood pH: Keep it Alkaline

The pH level of a substance is the measure of potential hydrogen on a scale of 0 to 14. On this scale, a measurement of less than 7.0 is acidic, and greater than 7.0 is alkaline. The acidity or alkalinity of everything can be measured, from the soil in your garden, and the water in your swimming pool, to the blood cells in your body.

Why is Alkaline Better than Acidic?

Why is it so important to keep your blood pH on the alkaline side?  Basically, because extensive research has shown that an alkaline pH increases the amount of oxygen in your blood.  This is a good thing since the lack of oxygen in your blood cells causes disease.

When our blood becomes too acidic we enter a state of acidosis.  Even slight deviance from the ideal pH of 7.4 can cause problems. Loss of energy and concentration, tiredness, even exhaustion can be common.  Long-term effects include acid build-up in our organs, loss of muscle mass, and loss of bone density when the calcium stored in our bones leaches out to try to compensate for the acidosis.

Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic conditions causing bodies in acidosis to be vulnerable to disease.  Acidic toxins we ingest from food, water, and even the air that we breathe produce disease-causing free radicals.

An alkaline pH, on the other hand, is believed to have many health benefits. These include boosting metabolism, slowing the aging process, and slowing bone loss in menopausal women. Other benefits include neutralizing acid, helping your body absorb nutrients better, and preventing disease. An alkaline pH prevents disease by removing the free radicals that your body does encounter in day to day life.

How do we Ensure our Blood pH stays Alkaline?

So, how do we go about alkalizing our blood cells?  The easiest way is to monitor what we eat and drink.  Chlorinated tap water is acidic, and although most city water is alkaline to prevent acid corrosion in the pipes, toxic chemicals are used to make it alkaline.  Mineral water is alkaline due to the addition of health-promoting minerals such as calcium, magnesium, sodium potassium, iron, zinc, nickel, and manganese.  Ionized water is adjusted mechanically to make it more alkaline.

Many brands of mineral and ionized water are on the market today, ready to drink. Alternatively, you can purchase a system to ionize tap water yourself. Methods range from a small, inexpensive stick you put in a water bottle to a more extravagant under the counter unit.

Many common foods and ingredients cause our blood pH to slip into the acidic zone. These include sugar, flour, and protein from animal sources such as dairy products and meat.  Remember, it is the effect the food has on your body after digestion that makes it acidic or alkaline.  For example, lemons are acidic in taste, but one of the most alkaline foods.  

To keep your body feeling and looking its best, choose foods from the alkaline side. and reduce foods from the acid side in the following chart:

Conclusions

You can keep track of your blood pH by testing your urine or saliva with these simple pH test strips.

Some people believe the alkaline food theory is just another “fad diet” encouraged by the alkaline/ionized/mineral water companies.   As usual, I encourage you to be the judge. Try it for yourself, especially the simple, no cost, no risk, food chart version.  Be sure to let me know what you think and how you feel.

photo credit

Posted in Christmas, current events, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Covid Restrictions, are Canadians Over Cautious?

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry right now. Christmas morning and hubby and I are sitting here, alone, with our turkey still in the freezer. The presents are all wrapped, placed lovingly under the tree, and stockings are stuffed, but no other family members in sight. Covid restrictions have put a kibosh on our Christmas plans.

Isolating and Covid Restrictions

One son and his family are “isolating” after a positive covid test. Both hubby and I have “symptoms” but we are not convinced they are Covid-related. Testing is not available so we will never know. Isolating is still recommended.

As a family, we decided it prudent (and law-abiding) to cancel our Christmas plans.

Two other sons and their significant others are symptom and positive test-free, so permitted (according to provincial restrictions/rules) to attend (scaled down) Christmas get-togethers with their partners’ families. I don’t begrudge them their holiday plans, but it does feel weird. And quiet.

Covid Restrictions Outside of Canada

The kicker is that I just read a Facebook post of a relative in Texas whose family attended a family reunion. Her husband and daughter tested positive earlier this week and she was feeling ill. I’m not sure which happened first. The difference? They don’t have the same isolation/quarantine rules so positive tests or symptoms don’t appear to slow them down.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t begrudge them their celebrations either, I am just really ticked off that our governments (federal and provincial) are telling us to stay home if positive, feeling symptoms are even been in contact with someone that has tested positive…..

…And jealous, I am realllly jealous, even moping, feeling sorry for myself, getting greener by the minute.

Enough about me though, I really feel bad for business owners forced to turn away patrons to try to control the herd immunity that is not only imminent but a healthy thing in the long haul.

Who is right? I believe Canadians, in general, are more cautious etc etc, but is that a good thing? Are we turning into an over-cautious, judgemental, economy-tanking, Negative-Nancy or Debbie-Downer country?

Merry Christmas wherever and however you are celebrating. Or not.

Covid Restrictions, are Canadians Over Cautious?
Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca

Omicron Variant: At Home Protocol

With Omicron numbers rising exponentially, it appears we will all get it sooner or later. Supposedly (so the experts tell us) a less severe, but more contagious variant, Omicron probably won’t send you to the hospital. This might not necessarily be a bad thing as herd immunity was a goal way back when all this Covid talk began.

Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it?

And of course, Omicron or any other Covid variant, does not take a break for the holiday season. Many of us are frustrated as we thought we would finally be able to enjoy an extended family dinner/get-together for Christmas this year.

With testing (seemingly) limited as these numbers increase, what can you do at home if you suspect you have come down with the Omicron variant of Covid? Or if you manage to get tested and your suspicions are confirmed.

Depending on the capabilities of local health systems, public health officials recommend those with minor symptoms to stay home and not seek care in health clinics or hospitals and monitor symptoms.

Medical care is focused on those who are short of breath, have severe symptoms, or require oxygen and supportive care that is only available in a hospital.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

One of the Facebook groups I belong to (created by a very trusted, knowledgeable individual that appears to have the inside track on the various government announcements/rules/protocols etc) said she was told to follow the Johns Hopkins Protocol for at-home treatment.

Stay Home if Your Symptoms are Mild

The first thing to do is to isolate yourself from others, including those living in your household. Although you might already all be in the same boat so you may isolate together.

At Home Protocol for Omicron Variant

The recommended treatments are as follows:

  • Treat fever with Advil or Tylenol, as directed on package.
  • Stay hydrated; drink LOTS of water and avoid dehydrators like coffee and alcohol.
  • Get lots of rest, don’t fight the fatigue.
  • Take recommended doses of vitamins and minerals; Vitamin C, D3, K and zinc are reportedly the best to battle the symptoms and boost your immune system.
  • boost your ventilation with a filter, or open windows (last week we could have done that here too, this week not so much) When the pandemic began I purchased a UV filter, it has been out of storage quite a bit lately.
  • avoid sugary foods and other simple carbohydrates as they are known to fuel inflammation.
  • get some fresh air. This is my own addition, but it always works for me.
  • keep your sense of humour, laughter is the best medicine of all!

The Common Cold Virus vs Omicron Variant

Unfortunately, the common cold virus creates similar symptoms to this Omicron variant of Covid. The good news is you can treat the mild symptoms of both the same way.

  • cough
  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • scratchy throat
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • headache

Every cold I have ever suffered through started with a scratchy throat, followed by sinus congestion, and ended with a nagging cough. My husband has a similar process except for the fact that a cold always settles in his lungs causing prolonged and chestier coughing.

Homemade Remedy for the Common Cold

Last week when I felt sinus congestion signaling the beginning of a cold, I boiled a cup of water, sprinkled in a few drops of tea tree oil, and inhaled the steam. It worked like a charm; the congestion disappeared and my symptoms never progressed to a cough. My husband was not so lucky, he now has a full-on chest cold. But then again, he would not try my homemade remedy.

Colds never slow me down much. That’s the difference, hopefully something we all have learned from this pandemic. With cold symptoms so similar to Covid, we have to make ourselves slow down, stay home, get more rest etc., to attempt to control the spread of any virus we contract.

The similarity in symptoms does make you question though whether or not they warrant testing for Covid. This may be a good thing though, as testing (at least in my area) opportunities are slim pickings with the focus now changed to vaccine and booster distribution.

Of course, the downside to not getting tested for Covid means (potentially) fewer statistics generated for research and falsely low case counts.

Super Immunity From Breakthrough Cases?

Very promising recent research is predicting super immunity thanks to the increased covid cases:

You’ve got to have a foundation of protection….I think this speaks to an eventual end game,” he said. “It doesn’t mean we’re at the end of the pandemic, but it points to where we’re likely to land: Once you’re vaccinated and then exposed to the virus, you’re probably going to be reasonably well-protected from future variants.

Dr. Marcel Curlin, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases) in the OHSU School of Medicine and a co-author of the research, 

Finally, some good news! At least for those of us that dutifully received our two Covid vaccines and a booster.

Posted in food, health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, weight management

Digestive Systems, Keep Them Healthy!

Research has shown that healthy, properly functioning digestive systems can alleviate many health issues. Weight control and fat loss, curbing sugar cravings, mood control, and more are easier to achieve if you look after your digestive system.

I knew this from my own experience with health issues over the years, but my personal observations were validated watching this video. Dr. Amy Lee is head of nutrition at Nucific. She starts off talking about unhealthy (contrary to popular belief) breakfast choices, then explains why these choices get you in trouble and how to change your habits.

She also states that food sensitivities are warning signs that digestive systems are not functioning properly, something that resonated strongly with me.

I have more time to watch these videos now that my garden business is (literally) under snow. Although they are marketing something at the end, I scroll through that part. I do find lots of informative, well-searched (I do check) fodder for thought though. In turn, this research translates to inspiration for my blog posts.

In case you have no desire to or don’t have time to watch the whole thing, I have summarized it for you…

Breakfast Choices Affect Digestive Systems

Breakfast is important, but what you choose to consume or offer your children to consume first thing in the morning is even more important.

Healthy breakfast choices are crucial to kickstart digestive systems for the day and keep them functioning properly. These three popular choices are bad ideas as they contain too much sugar in forms often difficult to recognize. High fructose corn syrup is the worst offender. It is present in many packaged, convenient breakfast (and other snack) foods.

  • yogurt (see clarification below)
  • wheat bread
  • cereal bars

Digestive Enzymes

Dr. Lee recommends physical activity plus the use of these three digestive enzymes to break down food properly. When this happens nutrients are distributed throughout our body and the waste eliminated.

  • amylase
  • bromelain
  • lipase

These enzymes are already present in our bodies but you can add to them with commercial supplements (pills) or foods such as:

  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Honey
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kiwifruit
  • Ginger
  • Asparagus
  • Kimchi
  • Kefir
Make Your Digestive System Work for You!

You know my preference. I’ve never been a proponent of pills. I also noticed that many of the foods listed above are ingredients in my customized morning smoothies, so are rarely absent from my fridge or freezer.

The Issue with Yogurt and Digestive Systems

While (some) yogurt does contain digestive enzymes or probiotics, read the labels as not all probiotic yogurts are created equal. Most contain so much sugar the benefit of the enzymes is diminished by the sugar content.

If yogurt is your thing, I’ve done the research for you. The healthiest yogurts were recently listed by Prevention Magazine. These contain more healthy digestive enzymes than sugar, with some vegan options making the list.

I choose yogurt drinks that contain 40% (5 gm per bottle) less sugar for my grandchildren. The tiny containers (nano) have spill-proof lids and come in many flavours. My grandkids all love them.

Make Your Digestive System Work for You!

Candida or Yeast Infections

Do you suffer from repeated yeast infections? Sugar in your diet may be to blame because yeast feeds on sugar, wreaking havoc on your digestive and blood systems.

Mood swings, lethargy, fatigue, bloating, joint pain, sugar cravings, eczema or rashes, weight gain, and recurrent yeast (urinary tract) infections, and inconsistent bathroom habits (diarrhea/constipation) can all be attributed to excessive sugar (and yeast production) in your diet.

Too Much Sugar is not Good for Digestive Systems

Once again, sugar is rearing its ugly side!

While bananas and mango contain digestive enzymes, they also contain a high amount of natural sugars, so beware of consuming too much of them. So do these foods:

  • gluten containing grains like wheat, rye, barley and spelt.
  • deli meats and farm-raised fish.
  • refined oils and fats such as canola, soybean, and sunflower oils or margarine.

Olestra, a Dangerous Fat Substitute

Another dangerous ingredient in many so-called “light” convenience foods is olestra (AKA olean), a fat substitute advertised to improve the healthiness of these foods with their fat-free claim. So dangerous in fact, olestra has been banned in many countries, since it was subsequently discovered to increase weight gain and gastrointestinal problems in its consumers.

That’s because our bodies are not equipped to identify fat substitutes or preservatives, so store the calories as fat instead of converting them to useable energy.

Lifestyle Approach vs Dieting

A quote from the video above states:

the digestive system makes energy or fat, NOT both!

By controlling how you feed it, you are the only one that can decide whether your digestive system makes energy to burn or stores fat. Choose a lifestyle approach instead of a fad diet to help your digestive system work for you.

You should soon discover that this choice is much easier to maintain.

Posted in health & wellness, loreeebee.ca, parenting

Sleep Deprivation, the Consequences

If you google just about any health ailment or nagging symptom, sleep deprivation will be on the list of possible causes. Why is that?  Because people are just too (potentially dangerously so) busy and plugged in to sleep these days. When we do sleep, we don’t sleep well.

From small children to retirement age, our lives are jam-packed with structure and technology, leaving no (or very little) downtime.  If you ask a retiree, they will most likely tell you one of the most enjoyable things about retiring is the ability to nap when you want.

Improve the Quality of Your Sleep to Avoid Sleep Deprivation

What can you do to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep to ward off sleep deprivation? Start by unplugging yourself, literally and figuratively, at least four hours before your bedtime. Instead of focusing on the screens of a television, game console, computer, or cell phone, shut them down. Read a book, cook and savour a nice meal, or go out for a drink or meal with a friend or loved one. Without the phone.

Children Need Quality Sleep Too

This applies to your children too. Remember, you are their most influential teacher. They will pick up your unhealthy habits just as easily as your good ones. They do need routine in their lives but organized structure not so much. Kids also need downtime instead of being shuttled from event to event.

Sleep deprivation shows up in their behaviour and their health.  Research has shown that overly active (organized) kids tend to suffer from anxiety, which in turn leads to poor quality of sleep.  It is very easy to cut back on their organized activities.  Let them play at home with their siblings and parents. Bring back the board games of our youth. Encourage older kids to read books or experiment in the kitchen.  Simply slow down their lives, especially before bedtime.

Downtime is a Healthy Way to Reboot

Think of your brain as a computer that controls your body. Even the best computers need to reboot or update regularly to stay efficient and healthy.

Similarly, every cell in your body, especially those in your brain, needs downtime to repair and recuperate from everything we throw at them. Unfortunately, they can only recuperate or repair when we sleep. When we don’t provide these cells with quality sleep to perform this maintenance on a regular basis, sleep deprivation sets in and cells start to break down, causing all those symptoms you are googling about.