Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

Everyone starts life with that first cry. As you grow up, you still produce about five to ten ounces of tears a day, even if you never or rarely cry. Here are some other tidbits of information about your eyes and why they produce tears.

hand cupping pool water

Tears Have Layers

The film of tears on the eye is a complex system, consisting of three layers—oil, water and mucus. The water layer is the thickest and contains electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium), proteins (mostly enzymes), glucose and other substances. Various fats in the outer oil layer slow evaporation. But the specific composition of tears may change day to day and depend on your general health and other conditions.

 

little girl crying, tears

Where Tears Go

Tears are produced mostly by the lacrimal glands located just above the outer corner of each eye; blinking spreads the tears across the eye surface. Tears drain into the tiny openings in the eyelids, called puncta (one on the inside corner of each lid), and then through ducts to the nasal cavity, where you either swallow them or they become part of nasal fluid—which is why you also get stuffy when you cry. If production of tears outpaces drainage, the excess will spill from the lower eyelids, as when you cry.

 

close up of eye with eye drops

We Need Tears

Besides lubricating the eye and flushing away debris, tears serve the same purpose in the eye that blood does elsewhere in the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients and removing waste products. Tears also improve the image that forms on the retina by smoothing any irregularities on the surface of the eyeball—that’s why people with dry eye may have blurry vision. Tears are a defense mechanism as well: their antibodies, enzymes and other immune components help protect eyes against microorganisms.

 

pretty young woman staring ahead on a windy day

Types of Tears

There are three types of tears. Continuous (or basal) tears are produced for basic eye function, such as lubrication. Reflex (or irritant) tears occur when the eye is exposed to excessive light, cold, wind, a foreign body or irritating gas (as from cut onions). Psychogenic tears are shed for emotional reasons.

 

little boy crying

Crying is a way to communicate needs and elicit attention from others, at least in early life, and may be a means of releasing emotional tension. According to research from the 1980s, psychogenic tears differ in composition from other tears, and it’s theorized that crying may be a way to rid the body of stress-related chemicals. Boys and girls cry in equal frequency; women reportedly cry more than men. But how people express emotions, in general, depends largely on cultural and psychological factors.

 

elephant eye

All vertebrates (animals with backbones) that spend time on land have continuous tears and perhaps reflex tears. Humans are the only animals that seem to cry for emotional reasons, though there are reports of elephants shedding tears in grief.

 

whole yellow onion

The Onion Issue

When cut, onions release an enzyme that causes the formation of an airborne chemical that irritates the eyes. New Zealand researchers have produced a tearless onion by inhibiting the gene that makes this enzyme, though it’s not commercially available.

 

woman squinting in the sun

Are Your Eyes Dry?

If tear production declines or tears evaporate too quickly, the result is dry eye. Inflammation may play a role. Besides causing burning or grittiness, dry eye syndrome can cause blurry vision and potentially damage the eye. Paradoxically, another symptom may be excessive tearing. Women, especially at menopause, and older people are at higher risk. Other contributors: environmental conditions (low humidity, wind, smoke, dust), certain medications (such as diuretics, antidepressants and antihistamines), some diseases (including Parkinson’s and diabetes), smoking and LASIK surgery. If artificial tears don’t help enough, see your doctor.

By Berkeley Wellness,  University of  California

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!  

We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

consult/coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

join our mailing list ~ www.healthyhighway.org

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skype ~ healthyhighway

11 Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries are delicious, beautiful, and in season now! National Cherry Day is on July 16th in the UK. Eat this superfruit before its short growing season comes to an end.

When you eat cherries, you enjoy much more than just their amazing taste. They’re packed with antioxidants and offer many health benefits, including help with insomnia, joint pain and belly fat. Cherries could be just what the doctor ordered.

Here are 11 good reasons to start eating this powerfood today!

The Health Benefits of Cherries

 

11 Health Benefits of Cherries

1. Protection from Diabetes

Sweet cherries have a lower glycemic index of 22, lower than apricots (57), grapes (46), peaches (42), blueberries (40) or plums (39). This makes them a better choice of a fruit snack compared with many other fruits, especially for diabetics.

2. Helps You Sleep Better

Tossing and turning at night?  Cherry juice to the rescue! Drink cherry juice 30 minutes after waking and 30 minutes before your evening meal. In a study, participants boosted their melatonin intake by following this routine. Cherries are a good source of melatonin.They have also been found to help with jet lag.

Note: there is a higher level of melatonin in tart cherries compared to sweet cherries.

“There’s no diet list I’ll follow that would rule out a cherry.” – Edgar A. Guest

3. Decreases Belly Fat

Tart cherries reduced belly fat in a study. Researchers found rats that were fed whole tart cherry powder, in a high fat diet, didn’t gain as much weight or build up as much body fat as rats that didn’t.

4. Helps Ward of Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association includes cherries as one of the memory boosting foods because they are rich in antioxidants.

5. Reduces Risk of Stroke

Tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefits. The anthocyanins, which are the pigments giving  tart cherries its red color, may activate PPAR which regulates genes involved in fat and glucose metabolism and thus, reduce risk factors for high cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes. – Research University of Michigan Health System.

6. Slows the Aging of Skin

Cherries have the highest antioxidant level of any fruit. Antioxidants help the body fight the free radicals that make us look old. Drinking one glass of tart cherry juice daily slows down the aging process, according to Scientists from the Michigan State University. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions.

7. Lowers Risk of Gout Attacks

Eating cherries lowers risk of gout attacks by 35 percent in a study with 633 gout patients, done by by Yuqing Zhang, professor of medicine and public health at Boston University. Gout patients who consumed cherries over a two-day period had a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks, compared to those who did not eat the cherries. “Our findings indicate that consuming cherries or cherry extract lowers the risk of gout attack, the gout flare risk continued to decrease with increasing cherry consumption, up to three servings over two days.” said Zhang.

8. Reduces Muscle Pain

A cup and a half of tart cherries or one cup of tart cherry juice can reduce muscle inflammation and soreness studies suggest. A group of marathon runners drank tart cherry juice twice daily for seven days before their race. The group who drank the cherry juice group experienced less muscle pain after the race than those who drank another fruit drink.

“My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms — will it return to my body when they scatter?”  – Kotomichi

9. Good for the Heart

Cherries are very high in potassium, which helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of hypertension. The phytosterols in cherries help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

10. Helps with osteoarthritis relief

The pain and discomfort of swollen joints were reduced when tart cherry juice was consumed twice a day for three weeks in a study of twenty women ages 40 to 70 with inflammatory osteoarthritis.

11.  Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer

Substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals that develop from the charring of hamburger. Researchers added tart cherries to ground beef patties. “The fat contents of the cherry patties were, as expected, lower than that of the control patties, whereas the moisture contents were greater.  Cherry tissue will not only slow down the oxidation deterioration of meat lipids, but will also substantially reduce the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amines.” – J. Ian Gray, PhD, Professor of Food Science at Michigan State.

Now you have many good reasons (11 to be exact!) reasons to eat cherries. I eat cherries every day when they’re in season. (Leesa recommends choosing organic cherries!)

By Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy Living Network andHealthy Cooking. She is the head chef at Real Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook or Twitter (@DancinginLife).

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Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!  

We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skype ~ healthyhighway

 

Which Spices Fight Inflammation?

Once in a while I come across a study that’s so juicy I have to share it.

A group of researchers at the University of Florida, Gainesville and Pennsylvania State set up a brilliant experiment. We’ve known that ounce per ounce, herbs and spices have some of the greatest antioxidant activities known. But that’s only ever been tested in a test tube. Before we can ask if an herb or spice has real health benefits, it is first necessary to determine whether it is bioavailable — whether the active ingredients are even absorbed. This had never been done, until now.

The researchers could have taken the easy route and just measured the change in antioxidant level in one’s bloodstream before and after consumption, but the assumption that the appearance of antioxidant activity in the blood is an indication of bioavailability has a weakness. Maybe more gets absorbed than we think but doesn’t show up on antioxidant tests because it gets bound up to proteins or cells. So the researchers attempted to measure physiological changes in the blood. They were interested in whether absorbed compounds would be able to protect white blood cells from an oxidative or inflammatory injury—whether herb and spice consumption would protect the strands of our DNA from breaking when confronted by free radicals. I cover the DNA findings in my video, Spicing Up DNA Protection. They also wondered if the consumption might alter cellular inflammatory responses in the presence of a physiologically relevant inflammatory insult. What does this all mean?

The researchers took a bunch of people and had each of them eat different types of spices for a week. There were many truly unique things about this study, but one was that the quantity of spices that study subjects consumed was based on the usual levels of consumption in actual food. For example, the oregano group was given a half teaspoon a day—a practical quantity that people might actually eat once in a while. At the end of the week, they drew blood from the dozen or so people they had adding, for example, black pepper to their diets that week, and compared the effects of their blood to the effects of the blood of the dozen subjects on cayenne, or cinnamon, or cloves, or cumin. They had about ten different groups of people eating about ten different spices. Then they dripped their plasma (the liquid fraction of their blood) onto human white blood cells in a Petri dish that had been exposed to an inflammatory insult. The researchers wanted to pick something really inflammatory, so they chose oxidized cholesterol (which is what we’d get in our bloodstream after eating something like fried chicken. If oxidized cholesterol is a new concept for you, please check out its role in heart disease progression in my video Arterial Acne). So they jabbed the white blood cells with oxidized cholesterol and measured how much tumor necrosis factor (TNF) they produced in response.

TNF is a powerful inflammatory cytokine, infamous for the role it plays in autoimmune attacks like inflammatory bowel disease. Compared to the blood of those who ate no spices for a week, black pepper was unable to significantly dampen the inflammatory response. What about any of the other spices? The following significantly stifled the inflammatory response:

  • cloves
  • ginger
  • rosemary
  • turmeric

And remember, they weren’t dripping the spices themselves on these human white blood cells, but the blood of those who ate the spices. So the results represents what might happen when cells in our body are exposed to the levels of spices that circulate in our bloodstream after normal daily consumption—not megadoses in some pill. Just the amount that makes our spaghetti sauce, pumpkin pie, or curry sauce taste good.

There are drugs that can do the same thing. Tumor necrosis factors are such major mediators of inflammation and inflammation-related diseases that there are TNF-blocking drugs on the market for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and ankylosing spondylitis, which collectively rake in more than $20 billion a year ($15,000–$20,000 per person per year). At that price, the side effects better be hugs and rainbows. But no, the drugs carry a black label warning because they can cause things like cancer and heart failure. If only there was a cheaper, safer solution.

The spice curcumin, the yellow pigment in turmeric, is substantially cheaper and safer, but does it work outside of a test tube? There’s evidence that it may help in all of the diseases for which TNF blockers are currently being used. So with health-care costs and safety being such major issues, this golden spice turmeric may help provide the solution.

Mushrooms (Boosting Immunity While Reducing Inflammation), nuts (Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell), and purple potatoes (Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Purple Potatoes) may also reduce inflammation.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available atNutritionFacts.org.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!  

We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skype ~ healthyhighway

 

How to Be Happier Within 5 Working Days

  Why wait to be happy until the weekend hits or the next vacation beckons? It’s possible to feel happy Monday through Friday. Let me chalk out a simple Happiness Plan for you. It is almost ridiculously easy to follow, because it requires you to do nothing but one feel-happy thing each day of the week.
Monday: Decide to do your health just ONE favor. Think of something you have been neglecting or not doing for a while. Avoiding exercise, perhaps? No time for the gym, no energy to go jogging either. Fine. How about going up and down the stairs for just 10 minutes today? A few stretches at your desk would work, too. A spot of exercise will make a remarkable difference in the way you feel. Check out this University of Bristol research study, which specifically states how exercising on a working day makes you happier (and more productive at work).
Tuesday: Do some good today. Helping others triggers the feel-good hormone in our own systems. This good deed does not need to be time consuming or expensive–in fact, you need not even step out of office to try and help someone! How about bringing a batch of cookies for your coworkers, paying someone a genuine compliment, offering to help lighten their workload… ideas abound. The important thing is to think of something that will make someone’s day, and then do it! A British study has established that kindness leads to happiness: so now you have a science-backed reason to be nicer!
Wednesday: Today is No Negativity Day! Resolve, this morning, to think positive thoughts and wave away everything that is negative. So, no talking behind someone’s back, no criticizing and complaining, no “can’t and won’t.” Just for today, be someone who makes a space feel happier and more positive just by being in it. Smile more, and while you are at it, let go of the grudges you have been carrying around in your heart.
Thursday: Get close to Nature today. Routine work life has wrenched us away from the beauty of butterflies and flowers, trees and sky. Reconnect! Take a stroll in an open space, perhaps visit a plant nursery, or wake up early to hear the birds chirp and the dawn paint the sky gold.
Friday: Meet up with a friend or five! The weekend awaits, with its gift of rejuvenating pleasures. Tonight, just let your hair down and treat yourself to the company of your friends. A research study done at the London School of Economics measured happiness levels among people when they spent time with their parents, children and friends. The results: people were found to be happiest in the company of their friends. Chart your own happiness plan step by one little step.
By Shubhra Krishan
Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  HealthyHighway is a healthy lifestyle company that offers healthy lifestyle solutions for a Happy Healthy You! We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them?  As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for an optimal lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters!

Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!    Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide!

I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happier Healthier Life! Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination.

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author
 
ring ~ 770-393-1284
skype ~ healthyhighway

About Us…

 HH - Logo

Would feeling fantastic every day make a difference in your life?  Healthy Highway is a Healthy Lifestyle Company offering Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!  

We help people who are…

  • Wanting Work Life Balance.
  • Needing Stress Relief.
  • Concerned about their health and the environment.
  • Frustrated battling allergies to gluten, foods, dust, chemicals, pollen.
  • Overwhelmed with choosing the best products for their body, home, and office.
  • Unsatisfied with their relationships with the men and women in their life and are ready to transform them into satisfying, happy partnerships.
  • Standing at a Career Crossroad.
  • Preparing to start a family and want a healthy baby.
  • Seeking solutions for aging, more energy, and a good night’s sleep!

Are any of these an issue or problem for you?  Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your needs and how HealthyHighway can meet them? As a Healthy Lifestyle Coach with an emphasis on allergies and wellness, Leesa teaches her clients to make informed choices and enables them to make needed changes for a Happy Healthy Lifestyle. What you eat, what products you use ~ on your body and in your home and office, how you talk to yourself ~ it all matters! Contact me today and Start today to live a healthier, happier life!  Don’t live in Atlanta?  Not a problem.  We do virtual coaching worldwide! I look forward to helping YOU Live a Happy Healthy Life!  Remember, Excellent Health is found along your way, not just at your destination. 

Live Well!
Leesa A. Wheeler
Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author of two books…

Member International Health Coach Association

ring ~ 770-393-1284

write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.healthyighway.org

coach ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.chews4health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn   ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.google.com/+HealthyhighwayOrg

join ~ www.google.com/+LeesaWheeler

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

skype ~ healthyhighway

as-seen-on

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An important note…

The information on this website is for educational, encouragement, and empowerment purposes only. It is not intended and should not be considered as a replacement for consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed health professional. Many pages in HealthyHighway.org’s web site feature links to other sites, some of which are operated by companies unrelated to HealthyHighway.org.  HealthyHighway.org has no control over the content or availability of any linked site. Any reproduction, duplication, or distribution in any form is expressly prohibited.  

      Copyright 2014 ~ All rights reserved.       

Leesa Wheeler ~ Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

5 Ways to Take a Mental Vacation

 

Now that summer has officially started, you are probably thinking about, or even planning, a summer vacation. If you don’t have the time to take a real vacation, you might find yourself getting more stressed and sad that you can’t take one.   However, the longer days of summer sunlight and the warmer weather mean that you can still take time to relax and unwind without going on a “real” vacation. Here are some ways to clear your mind by taking a “mental” vacation without having to wander too far from home.

Go for a walk or a hike. As I have written here many times, one of the ways I clear my mind is by walking. Walking is not only good for me physically, but I find that it reduces the stress and any sadness I might be feeling. It gets your endorphins going, and by being out in nature you get to focus on the beauty around you. Without even realizing it, you have refocused and gotten your mind off of the things bothering you. This is especially true if you walk in a new or different place, it feels like you have actually gotten away.

Have a music marathon. When I was away at college, our library had soundproof rooms that you could reserve and LP’s and cassettes you could check out. Whenever I was feeling stressed out, or studying for mid-terms or finals, I would go there, pick whatever music matched my mood, or the mood I was hoping to get in and I would spend hours just listening to music. I could listen completely undisturbed and just focus on the music. While my life is much too busy now to do this, incorporating music into my life whenever I can provides me with mini mental breaks. While in the car I listen to my iPod or satellite radio, whenever I am in the house I put music on instead of TV. Singing along is an added stress reducer. And, whenever possible, I just go in a room by myself or even sit or lie outside under a shady tree and listen to music.

Host a comedy movie festival. That old saying, “laughter is the best medicine” really is true. There’s nothing like a great, big belly laugh to make you feel better and forget all of your troubles. Get your friends together and plan a night of it. Have them choose some of their favorites and make sure that everybody turns off or puts away their cell phones and tablets and just focuses on the movie.

Plan a game night or day. Getting in touch with your inner child will clear out all of the negative thoughts and get rid of the stress you are feeling. Try to schedule monthly game nights or game days and play some of your favorite board games, card games or word games. If you want to plan something a little more ambitious, arrange a play “date” with your friends and family and go miniature golfing, bowling, or to a local amusement park.

Unplug with nature. Take the time to connect with nature and unplug. Sit in your garden or go to a garden, go star gazing on a warm summer evening. If you live near the beach or a lake, go and listen and watch the waves as they hit the shore. Just observe the sights and sounds of summer and you will feel like you had a vacation.

By Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author
 

6 Everyday Habits for Better Brain Health

 

June 2014 is the first-ever Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, an ideal time for all of us to take stock of whether our daily routines are enhancing or degrading the health of the all-important organ sitting between our ears.

While nothing can prevent or cure Alzheimer’s, adhering to these six habits can lead to better overall brain health:

Healthy body, healthy brain: Diabetes, heart disease—even poor gum health– have all been shown to increase a person’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia. Conversely, individuals who exercise on a regular basis, consume diets that are rich in fruit, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats, and engage in proper mouth hygiene practices often experience a lower risk for developing Alzheimer’s in their later years.

Good sleep hygiene: A recent study from the University of California, San Francisco found that older men who didn’t get enough high-quality sleep—woke up multiple times during the night, couldn’t fall back asleep, etc.—experienced cognitive issues equivalent to the effect of an additional five years of brain aging. Fitful sleepers had greater trouble planning, making decisions and were more likely to encounter issues with abstract thinking. Check out these 7 Yoga Poses that Can Help You Sleep.

Build a buffer against dementia: Cognitive reserve describes the mechanism by which a person’s mind helps compensate for damage to their brain. The term has recently become a buzzword among health care professionals because research indicates that people who have larger amounts of cognitive reserve are less likely to exhibit the classic signs of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia—short term memory loss, difficulty multitasking, etc.—even if their brain scans show mental damage. This is because cognitive reserve effectively makes the mind stronger and more nimble, enabling it to come up with ways to compensate for disease-related loss of functioning.

Fancy training programs not required: Building a cognitive reserve buffer doesn’t require a bunch of fancy mental puzzles and exercises—though such activities can help. Rather, the key to constructing cognitive reserve lies in seeking out novel activities and experiences in your everyday life. For example, Shlomo Breznitz, Ph.D., co-author ofMaximum Brainpower: Challenging the Brain for Health and Wisdom, says even simple tasks—using your non-dominant hand while eating, taking an alternate route to work—can strengthen your cognitive reserve. Discover six additional Ways to Boost Brainpower.

Stress management is essential: Studies have shown that individuals who experience high levels of stress in middle age have a greater risk of developing dementia, even decades later. Cortisol and other hormones released during the stress response can contribute to brain inflammation and can damage the hippocampus—the part of the brain responsible for memory formation.

The benefits of social support: Maintaining strong social connections with friends and family throughout life is widely-regarded as an ideal buffer against a host of ailments—both physical and mental. Indeed, new research has even outlined the Deadly Consequences of Loneliness.

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

AgingCare.com connects family caregivers and provides support, resources, expert advice and senior housing options for people caring for their elderly parents. AgingCare.com is a trusted resource that visitors rely on every day to find inspiration, make informed decisions, and ease the stress of caregiving.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler
Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author
 

7 In-Season Fruits and Veggies to Eat Now

 

 

We are right on the cusp of summer, which means we’ve got maybe another couple of weeks to track down some beautiful spring produce before it starts to wane. Here are 7 yummy spring fruits and veggies to find right now!

Depending on where you live, you may have an easier or tougher time tracking down spring produce so late in the season. If it’s been cooler where you are, you’ve got a better chance of finding the more elusive spring produce this close to summer. When you head to the farmers market this weekend, keep these spring beauties in mind!

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

1. Watercress

This leafy green is getting some superfood cred lately, and it’s a lovely addition to sandwiches, salads, and soups. If you’re new to watercress, don’t worry! Here are some tips on growing your own along with how to prepare it.

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

2. Sorrel

Sorrel is another lovely leafy green that has a tangy, citrusy flavor. It’s a delicate green, so shopping for and storing sorrel can be a little bit tricky. Check out the health benefits of sorrel along with how to store and prepare it here!

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

3. Endive

Yes! Another yummy salad veggie. Endive might look unassuming, but it’s packed with nutritional goodness and plenty of flavor. Read more about how and why to eat more endive.

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

4. Broccoli

Broccoli has a long growing season, but during the hotter part of summer it can be hard to find. Grab some now before it disappears until fall! I’m sure that you know how to prepare broccoli, but you can read up on prep tips and health benefits of this cruciferous veggie here.

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

5. Asparagus

This might be the hardest spring veggie to track down so close to summer. Asparagus season is painfully short, so if you see asparagus at the market, snatch it up before it’s gone! Check out why asparagus is super healthy and get some tasty asparagus recipes here.

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

6. Cherries

I probably don’t have to tell you to hoard those cherries. Who can pass them up, right? The only trouble with cherries is getting those pits out if you want to bake with them or use them in a fruit salsa. Don’t worry! We’ve found you a handy cherry-pitting trick and some yummy cherry recipes.

Spring Produce Spotlight: 7 Fruits and Veggies to Find Now

7. Artichokes

If you’re used to buying artichoke hearts, dealing with a whole artichoke might seem a little bit daunting. Don’t let that stop you from snatching up this spring produce at the market. Learn how to cook whole artichokes and check out some bonus artichoke recipes.

Do you have a favorite piece of spring produce that wasn’t on this list? Tell us about it in the comments!

(Leesa recommends choosing organic fruits and organic vegetables!)

by Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. Her life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Like this article? You can follow Becky on Twitter or find her on Facebook!

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284 write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

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The Impressive Anti-Cancer Power of Berries

For disease prevention and health maintenance, berries of all colors have “emerged as champions.” Research has focused mainly on cancer prevention and treatment. Studies show that the anticancer effects of berries are partially mediated through their abilities to counteract, reduce, and also repair damage resulting from oxidative stress and inflammation. Berries may also have many other positive effects, such as boosting detoxifying enzymes.

One of the more remarkable effects is that of blueberries on natural killer cell counts. Natural killer cells are part of our immune system’s rapid response team against cancer cells, eliminating cancer cells through the activation of cancer cell suicide via death receptors. They’re called natural killers because they don’t require activation by prior exposure. We don’t want to wait until our second tumor before our immune system starts fighting.

We have about two billion of these soldiers circulating in our blood stream at any one time, but we may be able to get a troop surge with blueberries. Researchers had athletes eat about a cup and a half of blueberries a day for six weeks to see if that would reduce the oxidative stress of long-distance running. They indeed saw a blunting of the spike in oxidant stress. But that’s not what sets that study apart.

The number of natural killer cells in the blood typically decreases after prolonged endurance exercise, dropping by half to only about one billion—that is, unless we’ve been eating lots of blueberries. If you click on the video on the next page, you can see a graph comparing natural killer cell numbers with and without blueberries.  Those who ate blueberries retained close to the standard two billion cells. This is because six weeks of blueberries had doubled the resting number of natural killer cells up to over four billion. This has never before been demonstrated in humans. There was a study on goji berries, but despite a cup a day for a month, there was no significant change in the number of natural killers.

Another study, though, showed a significant increase in natural killer cell activity thanks to the spice cardamom. (Cardamom and blueberries—I never thought we’d be fighting cancer with blueberry muffins!) When researchers took some lymphoma cells in a petri dish and added cardamom, nothing happened. However, if we add some natural killer cells, about 5% of the cancer cells are wiped out. Add a little more cardamom, and our troops do better still. And then if we add more and more spice, then all of a sudden the natural killer cells are killing cancer like crazy—the same number of natural killer cells, but they’re now able to kill off ten times more cancer cells. While cardamom alone had no effect on cancer cells even at the highest dose, it seemed to enhance our natural killer cells’ killer instincts.

The same thing was found for black pepper: Black pepper alone, nothing, but when combined with natural killer cells, there seemed to be a boosting effect up to around 30 or 40% cancer cell clearance. If cardamom and black pepper are combined, they synergize and their individual effects are doubled. The researchers conclude that “Taken together, these data strongly suggest that black pepper and cardamom have the potential to markedly enhance the anti-cancer activity of natural killer cells.”

Exercise itself can improve immune function in general, but the blueberry finding is so far unique.

It is true that the blueberry study was funded by the North American Blueberry Council and the North Carolina High-bush Blueberry Council. However, just because the study was funded by blueberry councils doesn’t necessarily mean the science is suspect, but we would want to see the study independently verified, especially one so dramatic.

(For a convenient way to enjoy your berries, Leesa recommends you enjoy Chews4Health every day! Chews4Health is made with Goji, Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, Dulse, Kelp, Bladderwack, Nori, Vitamin B-12, Folic Acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Resveratrol,  Pomegranate, Blueberry, Cranberry, Raspberry!)

By Michael Greger, M.D.

A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. Currently Dr. Greger serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States. Hundreds of his nutrition videos are freely available atNutritionFacts.org.

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284 write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

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6 Signs You Need to Eat More Fat

Look at the aisles of low-fat products in any grocery store, and it might be hard to believe that fat can actually be good for you. Fats can be just as vital to your health as your daily intake of veggies and other important nutrients, giving your body energy to function, aiding brain development, helping absorb vitamins, and more.

Do you need to add fat to your diet? Read on to find out:

Add fat if: youre always hungry. If you find your stomach growling for lunch shortly after finishing breakfast, you may need more fat in your diet. Dietary fat has been shown to provide satiety, as well as regulate the appetite, preventing overeating. Even small changes to your meals can make a big impact—switch out your low-fat yogurt and milk for full-fat options, add avocado to your daily snack, or use a full-fat dressing like blue cheese on your lunch salad.

Add fat if: youre often cold. Before you start running a portable heater in the middle of June, try eating more fat. Our body’s fat cells are responsible for generating heat and keeping us warm, and “people with low body fat or who don’t get enough fat in their diets often complain of being cold,” according to registered dietician Felicia Stoler, MS.
Add fat if: you take vitamin supplements…or care about your bone, eye and heart health. Whether you take supplements or get your daily intake from the foods you eat, vitamins like A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, meaning that they’re absorbed with dietary fat. Not enough fat in your diet and you might also be vitamin-deficient. Not ready for a dinner of bacon with a side of bacon? Try snacking on almonds, which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Add fat if: youre feeling mentally sluggish. If you’re having trouble concentrating or are feeling mentally tired throughout the day, consider salmon for lunch. Research has found that the omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like some popular fish, certain oils, and spinach are crucial for mental acuity and cognitive function. They’ve even been shown to possibly protect against Alzheimer’s and depression.
Add fat if: you have dry skin. If your skin is dry, flaky, or itchy, your diet may be to blame. Essential fatty acid deficiency can lead to dermatitis–and getting enough omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids has been shown to reduce sun sensitivity and diminish acne-related inflammation. EFA supplementation has also been shown to help with psoriasis treatment.
Add fat if: you have diabetes. It may sound counter-intuitive, a high-fat, low-carb diet can actually have a more positive effect on blood sugar levels than low-fat diets, according to recent research. Experts recommend healthy fat sources like lean meats, olive oil, and whole nuts, as well as avoiding white flour, white rice, and sugar. (Leesa recommends choosing organic fats including organic oils, organic nuts,etc. )
By Diana Vilibert

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Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today! I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

ring ~ 770-393-1284 write ~ info@healthyhighway.org

visit ~ www.HealthyHighway.org

consult ~ www.healthyhighway.org/contact.html

chews ~ www.Chews4Health.com/Leesa

enjoy ~ www.Chewcolat.com

follow ~ www.twitter.com/HealthyHighway

learn ~ www.healthyhighway.wordpress.com

like ~ www.tinyurl.com/Facebook-HealthyHighway

join ~ www.tinyurl.com/googleplusHealthyHighway

link ~ www.linkedin.com/in/leesawheeler

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