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Posts tagged ‘Do Good’

5 Things People with Alzheimer’s Want to Tell You

5 Things People with Alzheimer’s Want to Tell You

  • I’ve been diagnosed, not defined, see the real me: “I am not a diagnostic or a statistic. I still have feelings, thoughts, dreams, hopes and plans. There are many things I can still do. I am not sitting in a wheelchair in a nursing home staring out the window—not yet. I am a vibrant, loving person. Always remember: I have Alzheimer’s, it does not have me.”
  • I can’t do this alone, help me: “I need you to help me find ways to succeed at helping others and in doing something significant with my life. I am very capable of putting thoughts together and expressing them. I sometimes need help understanding things, but that does not mean that I don’t understand. I sometimes need help expressing things, but that doesn’t mean I have no thoughts, and nothing to say. Help me when I need it, and let me do all I can, while I still can.”
  • I am worthy, respect me: “I need to feel that what I say and do matters. I have much yet to offer the world. In many ways, I have more to offer than someone who has not read the final chapter of their life yet. I have lived life, my life, and I am worthy of respect, just as I was before.”
  • I am scared, comfort me: “I am scared of the unknown. I don’t know if I have six months to communicate, or six years. I worry about going to bed at night and whether I’m going to be as bad tomorrow. This disease is with you 24/7. It’s my brain and I can’t get away from it—it is a scary thing.”
  • I crave compassion, love me: “I need to feel loved and needed, and that my contribution to life matters and helps someone else. I need to feel loved and not rejected because of my diagnosis. I need people to meet and accept me where I am at, right now…It’s important to understand that I don’t understand. I don’t have any idea why I forget some things and remember others. It’s not intentional—I just don’t have the ability to realize what I’m doing wrong.”

Helping those affected by Alzheimers

The heartbreaking reality is that almost every person reading this post will in some way be affected by Alzheimer’s disease. While nothing can truly prepare you for the emotional, financial and spiritual gauntlet that is dementia, it is possible for each of us to help create a better world for those with the condition.

Ultimately, it’s about making Alzheimer’s awareness an ongoing effort—not just for one month out of the year. And while donating money is a helpful step, perhaps a more profound donation is that of the time necessary to educate ourselves (and others) about the realities of the disease and the challenges faced by those who have it.

As science strives for a medicinal cure, we must do our best to support those for whom such a cure will probably come too late—the five million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, and their families.

Three of these families have shared their story in the online narrative: “Fade to Blank: Life Inside Alzheimer’s” as a way to help others understand the true impact of the disease on the lives of patients and their loved ones. Their raw, unfiltered perspective offers a glimpse into a complex world of love, fear, hope and anguish.

How will you support Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers this month (and all year long)? Share your thoughts below.

Image credit: nateone via Flickr

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


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…
     Melodies from Within ~ Available Now! 
    Available on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes! 

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20 Houseplants to Clear Toxins From Your Home

20 Houseplants to Clear Toxins From Your Home


Bringing a bit of nature into your home does more than brighten the atmosphere. Introducing houseplants into various rooms in the house can help reduce the chance of getting seasonal sicknesses such as the common cold, remove airborne contaminants (volatile organic compounds [or VOCs]), reduce the chance of headaches, lift your mood, decrease your blood pressure, reduce allergies, improve sleep and much more.

The 20 plants listed below are specifically known for their air purifying properties.  And while an open window may feel like all the fresh air you need, did you know that everything from toilet paper to common household cleaners can contain chemicals and release toxins like formaldehyde? Or that VOCs like benzene can be released into the air by everything from the paint on your walls, to the printed material found in your home?

So why not breathe a bit easier and enjoy the beauty of a new houseplant at the same time!

(All plants listed will clear CO2 and may clear more VOCs than noted.)


1. Golden pothos (Scindapsus aures): Clears formaldehyde and other VOCs.

2. Ficus alii (Ficus maeleilandii alii): Good general air purifier.

3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum): Clears benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene.

4. Lady Palm (Rhapis Excelsa): Good general air purifier.

5. Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’): Clears formaldehyde.


6. Aloe: Clears formaldehyde and benzene.

7. Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis): Clears formaldehyde.

8. Dwarf/Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii): Clears formaldehyde and xylene.

9. Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema Crispum ‘Deborah’): Clears air pollutants and toxins.

10. Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium): Clears benzene.


11. Gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii): Clears trichloroethylene and benzene.

12. Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata): Clears xylene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

13. Weeping fig (Ficus benjamina): Clears formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene

14. English ivy (Hedera helix): Clears airborne fecal-matter particles.

15. Azalea (Rhododendron simsii): Clears formaldehyde.


16. Heart leaf philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium): Clears formaldehyde and many other air pollutants.

17. Warneck dracaena (Dracaena deremensis ‘Warneckii’): Clears pollutants such as those associated with varnishes and oils.

18. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata Bostoniensis): Clears formaldehyde.

19. Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii): Clears benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde.

20. Peace lily (Spathiphyllum): Clears formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene and xylene.

By Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


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


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4 Countries With the Right Approach to Dementia Care

4 Countries With the Right Approach to Dementia Care


By the year 2050, 277 million aging adults are expected to be dependent on  others for personal care. Of those 277 million, approximately half will be  struggling with symptoms of dementia, according to the newly released World  Alzheimer’s Report 2013. (Discover the common signs  of dementia.)

“All governments should make dementia a priority,” according to the authors  of the report, which calls upon policymakers across the globe to “transform  their system of priorities” and infuse dementia research and support efforts  with a tenfold increase in funding.

These statements echo the pleas made over the years by countless individuals  and advocacy groups; a universal cry to address the threat of the “silver  tsunami” that looms ever larger in the world’s rear view mirror.

The report itself highlights many current caregiving issues that advocates  warn will only become more concerning as time goes on. Why are family  caregivers so undervalued? What factors force people to place their loved  one in a long-term care facility? How can we preserve the quality of life of  individuals with dementia and their caregivers?

Progress is being made to address each of these problems, with different  countries adopting different strategies to find a solution to the dementia  care crisis.

The United States joins eleven other countries (Norway, Australia,  Netherlands, Scotland, Denmark, Finland, England, Wales, France, Republic of  Korea and Northern Ireland) in releasing a formal plan to address Alzheimer’s  and other dementias in their respective domains.

Improving support (both financial and emotional) for those affected by  dementia, enhancing the quality of care provided by long-term care facilities  and reducing the overall costs associated with dementia top the lists of  priorities in these plans.

Similar aims, different approaches

The global community appears to agree on the overall goals of dementia care,  but a surprising number of differences in execution occur, depending on  geography and cultural practices.

“Different places are going to have different variations in care,” says Cathy  Greenblatt, PhD, author of Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer’s  Differently. “But the same things that are important in Florida are important in  Bangalore.”

After watching her grandparents (both of whom had dementia) receive little  more than maintenance care in a local facility, Greenblatt acquired a dim view  of dementia care. “The people working with my grandparents had bought in to the  idea that they were ‘gone.’ I grew up with no evidence that any kind of care  could make a meaningful difference.”

After retiring from her professorial post at Rutgers University,  Greenblatt—inspired by her childhood experiences with her grandparents and a  budding passion for photography—crisscrossed the globe in search of examples of  high quality dementia care.

Despite the cultural disparities and ideological differences of the regions  Greenblatt visited there was one central theme that united them all. No matter  which country she found herself in—India, Japan, France, or the Dominican  Republic—Greenblatt discovered that the best dementia care practices were the  ones that focused on celebrating the ongoing humanity of the person with the  disease. “The things that make a difference are the things that are  universal—treating people with dignity, being in the moment,” she says.

Here are just a few examples of the ways different countries are infusing  dignity into dementia care:

India: Money is always a significant factor when caring for  someone with dementia, no matter what side of the Equator they live on. Having  fewer finances often amplifies the burden of dementia on a person and their  family. But low-income elders in Cochin, India receive special treatment, thanks  to a group of professional staff and volunteers from the Alzheimer’s and Related  Disorders Society of India (ARDSI). While traveling around India, Greenblatt  visited the home of a woman with advanced dementia whose bed consisted of little  more than a wooden frame with a piece of cardboard over it. Still the woman was  able to receive a treatment plan and regular in-home visits from ARDSI  caregivers and social workers.

France: Greenblatt describes the remarkable transformation  of a dementia-stricken Frenchman named Marcel. In a special Snoezelen room at  the Villa Helios in Nice, France, Marcel, whose condition was causing him to act  angry and violent, was changed into a gentler, more caring soul. Snoezelen rooms  are used to calm those with cognitive disorders, such as autism  and dementia. They contain an array of different sensory stimuli, including  water beds, soothing scents, soft lighting, and even big water tubes with  bubbles piped into them.

The Netherlands: Just beyond the outskirts of Amsterdam lies  Hogewey, a quaint village occupied by just over a hundred people. The town has a  theatre, a grocery store, a beauty salon, restaurants and cafes. What makes  Hogewey different from the traditional European hamlet is the fact that nearly  half of its inhabitants have moderate or severe dementia. The remaining “residents” are in fact specially-trained caregivers who pose as beauticians and  restaurant staff, all the while making sure those with cognitive impairment  remain safe and calm.  The so-called “dementia village” is actually an innovative care facility  designed to make those suffering from memory loss feel as though they are living  regular lives and remain engaged with their environment. Residents’ rooms are  decorated based on their hobbies and interests, food preparation and service are  tailored towards individual preferences and there are always staff members  available to provide hands-on care for those who need it. Other caregivers  surreptitiously keep an eye on the residents as they go out shopping or to the  salon, always ready to step in and make sure no one endangers themselves. The  village’s single exit is manned by a staffer who tells any approaching resident  that the door is either broken or barred and offers an alternative path. This  prevents residents from wandering away and becoming lost—an especially common  concern for those with profound dementia.

The United Kingdom: The Pan-London Dementia Action Alliance  recently announced a formal push to make London the world’s first  dementia-friendly capital city. Unlike Hogewey—a self-contained village created  specifically for those with dementia—London aims to integrate the  cognitively-impaired into its pre-existing metropolis more effectively. This  will involve the coordination of countless smaller initiatives, such as making  landmarks more accessible and instructing fire fighters, policemen and bus  drivers how to identify and communicate with the dementia-stricken.

Across the world, person-centered dementia care is rapidly replacing the  outdated paradigms that relegated the cognitively impaired to wheelchairs in  locked wards.

Greenblatt is cheered by these shifting tides because that means fewer and  fewer people with dementia will be treated like her grandparents were. “It’s a  tragic disease and you have no control over the cards you’re dealt. But you do  have control over how you play the hand. There are ways to make the situation  livable for everyone involved.”

By Anne-Marie Botek,  Editor


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

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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10 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Surviving a Plane Crash!

10 Ways to Increase Your Odds of Surviving a Plane Crash


Plane crashes seem rare these days, but as last week’s vivid incident on the  San Francisco runway reminds us, they still do happen and the results can be  fatal. Since I am in the Florida Keys with my daughter and we are flying across  the country in a few days, the San Francisco accident admittedly gave me a  scare.  Fortunately, I came across an interview with Ben Sherwood, the  author of The Survivor’s Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your  Life, which included smart tips for increasing your odds that you will  survive a plane crash – if you happen to be so unlucky as to be in one. As it is  the summer travel season, I thought I would share Mr. Sherwood’s and other  experts’ potentially life-saving tips with you:

1. Maybe the most important tip: Sit as close to an exit as possible. A study  by University of Greenwich’s Ed Galea, an expert on how people react and  survive in emergency situations, examined the seating charts of over 100 plane  crashes and discovered that those within 5 rows of the emergency exits had much  better odds of survival than those farther away from exit doors. Aisle  seats are also statistically safer than other seats as it allows you to exit the  plane faster than people in middle and window seats.

2. Galea also found that seats at the back of the plane were safer  statistically than those in the front (sorry, First Class). Passengers in  the tail  of the airplane enjoy a 40% higher survival rate than those in the first few  rows.

3. Always keep your seatbelt snugly buckled when sitting in your seat. “Snug” is the operative word here: Every centimeter of slack in your  belt triples the G-Force your body will experience in the crash.  Also, keep your belt low on your pelvis, rather than your abdomen, as your bones  can handle impact better than your soft internal organs.

4. Pay attention to “Plus Three / Minus Eight.” This is aviation lingo  referring to the first three minutes of being airborne and the last eight. Why  is this time frame important? Eighty percent of all crashes happen in this  eleven-minute window. Rather than take off your shoes, snooze or pick-up a  magazine, pay close attention during take-off and landings for any signs that  something may be amiss.

5. On average you have 90 seconds to exit a burning plane before the aluminum  hull of the aircraft is no longer protective. Leave luggage, purses and laptops  behind. Also, remove high-heeled shoes. Smoke is one of the biggest threats to  plane crash survivors, so if possible, place a cloth over your nose and mouth as  a rudimentary filter.  Again, if possible, for added protection make the  cloth wet before using.

6. Sherwood emphasizes that how you react to an emergency situation and  how prepared you are has significant bearing as to whether you will survive it  or not. Easier said than done, but do not panic. Panic, says Sherwood, is the  enemy of survival. Being prepared helps prevent panic. When boarding a plane  memorize where you are vis-a-vis the emergency exits. Formulate and VISUALIZE  your exit plan – for example what if the closest exit is not available, where is  the second closest exit? The third? Imagine yourself getting to the closest exit  and out to safety.  ”You are responsible for your life,” Galea warns, “If  you know what you’re doing, you’ve got a better chance of surviving.”

7. In most extreme emergencies, about 90 percent of people either panic or  freeze, while only 10 percent keep absolutely calm, are able to think clearly  and instruct others on how to save themselves. If you happen to be a  deer-in-the-headlights person or one who is prone to hysteria and you come in  contact with an Indiana Jones-type (i.e. calm, cool and collected), do your best  to follow his/her instructions.

8. Statistically people who are in better shape are more agile, more alert  and better able to escape. Also, being thin increases your survival chances in a  plane crash as you may be required to squeeze through tight spaces to safety.  While you are not likely to suddenly get in shape or become thinner for an  upcoming flight, you can choose to be as alert as possible. Do not drink alcohol  or take sleeping pills that will impair your ability to respond quickly in an  emergency, especially in those crucial minutes before take-off and landing.

9. Listen to those safety instructions before take-off, even if you have  heard the drill a hundred times. Have your children listen as well. Look at the  emergency card and consider the different impact positions that can be assumed  during a crash. A child has a different impact position than an adult. Bracing  upon impact makes a difference on survival rates. This was well demonstrated by  Discovery TV that crash tested a Boeing 727 in Sonoran Desert. They had the  Boeing 727 equipped with crash test dummies, dozens of cameras, sensors and a  crew of daring pilots, who parachuted from the plane minutes before the jetliner  careened into the ground.

10. Be positive – while accepting the worse case scenario. While you may feel  a sense of hopelessness in the advent of an impending crash or immediately  following a crash, remember that the survival rate of plane crashes is 95.7  percent! That is an incredibly high rate of survival for something as dramatic  as a plane crash.

After sharing his plane crash survival tips, Sherwood likes to reassure his  audience that actual crashes are highly unlikely and the odds are that you  will survive.  ”You could fly every day for the next 164,000 years and not  have an airplane crash,” he said. I don’t know about you, but I find that last  statistic the most comforting.  But in the advent of a crash, thanks to Mr.  Sherwood and others, I also feel more empowered that I can survive.

By Cherise Udell

Cherise Udell is a mom, clean air advocate, anthropologist and feline  aficionado with the nomadic habit of taking spontaneous sojourns to unusual  destinations.  Before her adventures in motherhood, she was an intrepid Amazon  jungle guide equipped with a pair of sturdy wellingtons and a 24-inch machete,  as well as a volunteer at a rainforest animal rescue  center.


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

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author


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10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common

10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common


We all want  to be happy in some way or another. We strive each day  to find the  path of happiness whatever we think it is. But some of us come up  way  short. Some of us make mistakes day in and day out that take us away  from  the shining beacon of happiness at the end of the tunnel.

Are you striving to find peace? Are you striving to locate that inner  glow  that you know must exist? Are you coming up short or finding  happiness that’s  always fleeting? Life is a journey and on it we find  what works and what  doesn’t work.  However, the most unhappy people tend  to have a few things in  common. If you’re looking to find peace,  balance, and joy in your life, here’s  what NOT to do. These people have  it all wrong:

1. They Hate Their Jobs

You spend eight hours, sometimes much more at work. If you hate your  job you  can’t help but hate your life because you’re spending 40 out of  the 168 hours  in a week doing something you can’t stand. What’s worse,  we often take our  anger from work home with us, bringing that  disgruntled attitude into our  homes. I’m not saying go out and quit your  job tomorrow. Instead, take an  aerial view of your life. Why don’t you  love your job? What’s missing? Is it  the career itself? Is it your boss  or your company? What’s your passion? What  are you good at? Take time to  answer these questions and then make a plan to  move towards change,  however long it takes.

2. They’re Constantly Worried About Money

Studies have proven that being  rich won’t make us any happier. A Princeton  University study showed that people needed an  annual income of  $75,000 per year per household and no more to be happy. Above  that  amount, more cash has no effect on “emotional well-being.” What this   really means is that you need to be able to comfortably pay bills and  save  without worrying about finances. On the other hand, financial  uncertainty does  make us unhappy so this is another chance for  evaluation. Are you overspending?  What can you downsize? How can you  minimize your life so that you can afford  it? This is in no way an easy  question, but it’s part of the journey.


3. They Don’t Have Any Active Hobbies

Happiness  is linked to activity level. You have to move to  feel good. What  about yoga, hiking, swimming, surfing, biking, or running?  Happiness is  also linked to doing what you love so find active hobbies that  make you  happy and get to it.


4. They Have Wandering Minds.

According to Science  News, “[a] wandering mind often stumbles  downhill emotionally.  People spend nearly half their waking lives thinking  about stuff other  than what they’re actually doing, and these imaginary rambles  frequently  feel bad, according to a new study.” The more you can focus on what   you’re doing when you’re doing it, the happier you are. Meditation allows you to learn to focus on the present  moment so you can actually  live the life you’ve been given.  (Leesa recommends Dahn Yoga!  Visit to located a Dahn Yoga center near you! ) 


5. They Commute a Long Distance

A long commute can take a toll on your life and after a while it can  really  bring you down. How much of your life are you losing in commute?  It’s hard on a  relationship as well. A recent Swedish study found that divorce  rates were higher the longer the commute.

6. They Think “Stuff” Will Make Them Happy

Unhappy people are constantly trying to fill the void by consuming,  whether it be alcohol, food, or shopping. But  the problem is happiness  can’t be consumed, it’s cultivated from within.  Meeting desires only  brings fleeting happiness.



7. They’re Lonely

Cultivating relationships is important for both your health and your   happiness. And that doesn’t just mean how good you are at social  networking.  Unfortunately nowadays more than a few of us view our laptop  as our very best friend. Single or not, married or  not, it’s  important to always strive both to make friends and to keep them  while  also keeping close ties to family.


8. They Don’t Like Their Town

So often we feel stuck in our lives. We live in a town that we no  longer  love and aren’t sure how to feel better about the situation. This  is another  opportunity to take a step back and ask why you feel the way  you do. Is it the  town or is it you? Get the newspaper and look into  new events, volunteer some  place new, or, well, move. Who says you have  to live in the same place your  whole life? I certainly haven’t. I’ve  already tried out Charlottesville,  Athens, Washington DC, Florence,  Charleston, and Columbia and I’m just getting  started.



9. They Don’t Have Pets

Pets  serve as support and provide unconditional love that  we grow to  depend on but at the same time, they don’t disrupt other human   relationships, according to a new  study. If you’re considering pet ownership, adopt a pet  in need and  follow this guide  to responsible pet ownership.


10. They Don’t Like Themselves

We make ourselves happy by the way we view life and by learning to  enjoy the  moment. We make ourselves happy by the way we view ourselves.  By opening our  hearts we find peace but that peace has to first start  off with you. If you  dislike yourself, you can never be happy so give  yourself a break. Learn to  love yourself, you deserve it!

By Sara Novak, Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the  environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the  planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two  robust websites, and,  offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve  to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery  Communications.


Thank you for visiting!  I believe that 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

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author

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18 Ways to Boost Your Health in 2013

18 Ways to Boost Your Health in 2013


Let’s face it:  most of us start out the New Year with the best  intentions, but soon we are back to our old habits.  Here are 18 ways to  help you get your health on track in 2013:

1. Eat a large green salad.  Greens are full of vitamins, minerals,  enzymes, and phytonutrients like chlorophyll that give our body a huge  boost.  Chlorophyll, in particular, helps build healthy and strong  blood.

2. Drink more water.  Water fuels every cell in our body.   Insufficient water spells the breakdown of cellular process that can eventually  cause illness.

3. Eat two or three pieces or servings of fruit (count ½ cup of fruit like  grapes, blueberries, cherries, etc. as a serving) daily.  It’s easy enough  to choose fruit instead of a less-healthy dessert.

4. Go for a brisk walk.  Walking gets your heart pumping, improves  circulation, and gets your lymphatic system (the system that eliminates toxic  build-up from your tissues) working more effectively.

5. Better yet, take your brisk walk in nature.  Breath in the rich  oxygenated air from the trees and enjoy the peace and quiet nature offers.

6. Drink a freshly made juice preferably with green veggies.  Ideally,  dilute your juice 1:1 with pure water.  Fresh juices are an easy way to  cleanse your body and give it a huge amount of nutrients.  Some people  spend a fortune on superfoods (which is fine if you have the money) but fresh  juices also tend to be rich in antioxidants and other critical nutrients and are  much cheaper.

7. Think of at least 10 things for which you are grateful each day.   Better yet, start a gratitude journal.  Just the act of appreciating what  you have can help you feel happier and better about your life.

8. Hug someone you love (make sure it is someone who actually wants a  hug).

9. Soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts.  The magnesium in Epsom salts  is readily absorbed through your skin to relax your muscles and ease  tension.  Many experts estimate that about 80% of the population is  magnesium deficient.  This is a delightful way to boost your magnesium  levels.  Try to stay in the water for at least 20 minutes for maximum  benefits.

10.  Meditate.  The act of calming your mind can relax the nervous  system, which tends to be in stress mode due to our high-stress, fast-paced  lives.

11.  Deep breathe for at least 5 minutes, as often as you can.   Research shows that breathing deeply can reduce the amount of the stress hormone  cortisol that is released from the adrenal glands.  Simply reducing this  hormone can reduce anxiety, stress, and even help with weight loss.

12.  Dry skin brush.  Brush your skin using a natural-bristled  brush.  Start with the legs and brush upwards toward the heart.  Then  brush the trunk of the body also toward the heart (avoiding the breasts), and  then brush the arms toward the heart.  This gets the lymphatic system  moving to eliminate toxins more effectively.  Take a couple of minutes  before hopping in the shower.

13.  Snack between meals on healthy snacks like almonds, veggie crudite,  hummus and whole grain pitas.  Snacking every few hours helps keep blood  sugar levels stable, which is critical to reduce mood swings, depression,  balance energy and to lose weight.

14.  Stop and smell the flowers.  It’s okay to slow down to a pace  that you actually enjoy life more.

15.  Eliminate at least one item from your life that contains toxic  chemicals (dryer sheets, most types of commercial laundry soap, dish soap, “air  fresheners,” etc.).  Choose a natural option from your health food store  instead.

16.  Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables.  We know we should eat  our vegetables but it’s difficult to remember sometimes.  Add mashed sweet  potatoes as a side dish, or saute some greens with freshly chopped garlic and  toss with a little fresh lemon juice and sea salt.  Even people who don’t  like greens tend to love this way of preparing them.  Check out my book Healing Recipes if you need more ideas for creating  delicious vegetable dishes.

17.  Dust off that piece of exercise equipment you’ve owned for years  and put it in front of your television.  If you’re watching TV, exercise on  the commercials.  No equipment?  Do pushups, sit-ups, crunches, or  other exercises on the commercials.  It’s easy and it adds up.  Soon,  you’ll be surprised how fit you are.

18.  Do something nice for someone.  It just feels good to do  something nice for someone else.  Usually we reap the greatest benefits out  of paying good deeds forward.  A positive attitude is contagious.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

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What Workout is Best for Your Personality Type?

What Workout is Best for Your Personality Type?

Understanding the nature of your personality comes  in handy for landing the  perfect job or fine-tuning your communication skills  with your partner. But did  you ever consider the role your personality type  plays in determining your  fitness tastes?

“Understanding these nuances and tailoring  your fitness regimen accordingly  give you a major head start on the path to  success,” says Suzanne Brue, MS, a  longtime Myers-Briggs practitioner and author  of The 8 Colors of Fitness (Oakledge Press,  2008).

“Research suggests that people who engage in personality-appropriate   activities will stick with the activities longer, enjoy their workout more  and  ultimately have a greater overall fitness experience,” says Susan Davis-Ali,   PhD, a researcher who developed a fitness interest profile test for Life Time   Fitness. (Take Davis-Ali’s quiz at

Though  not the first to dig into the topic of fitness and personality, Brue is the  first to create a system based on the principles of the  Myers-Briggs Type  Indicator (MBTI) assessment. Brue took the MBTIs — Introversion (I) or  Extraversion (E), Intuition (N) or Sensing (S), Thinking  (T) or Feeling (F), and  Judging (J) or Perceiving (P) — and reworked them into  an easily maneuverable  color-coded fitness personality model.

Get to Know Yourself

If you’ve ever taken an MBTI assessment and you  remember your resulting  four-letter type, you can skip to the type-associated  descriptions on the  following pages. If not, you can get quick results by using  Brue’s online  color-coded fitness assessment at

A little  background: The MBTI investigates whether you’re an extrovert,  (“E”– drawing more  energy from the outside world) or an introvert (“I” — getting energized from within);  whether you process information through  intuition (“N”  – trusting flashes of insight)  or through sensing (“S”  – seeking out hard facts and sensory data); whether you’re a  thinker (“T”  – meaning you tend to be more detached and analytical in decision-making)   or a feeler (“F”  – meaning you tend to be more personal and empathic when  making up  your mind); and whether you lean toward judging (“J” — indicated by a  desire for  defined decisions and closure) or perceiving (“P”  – denoting  those who prefer to keep  their options open longer). Often people recognize  their type when they hear it  described, Brue notes, so even reading the  descriptions of the personality  categories can help you identify yours.

To  help you get to know your fitness type, we’ve outlined each of the eight  fitness  colors below. Read the descriptions, take Brue’s 8 Colors quiz online  and try  out some activities that best suit your personality. “You might even  discover  you are well suited for a sport that you never even thought of  trying,” says  Davis-Ali.

  • Blues (ISTJ, ISFJ) are safety-conscious, and good at  creating their own space and  concentrating in a gym.
  • Golds (ESTJ, ESFJ) are traditional, conservative, and like  to  share their exercise experiences and results with others.
  • Greens (ISTP, ISFP) are nature  lovers who enjoy outdoor  activities.
  • Reds (ESTP, ESFP) like to live in the moment and  compete  in team sports.
  • Whites (INTJ, INFJ) prefer to plan, hate to be rushed and  are  visionary types who enjoy calm spaces.
  • Saffrons (INTP, INFP) like to express themselves as   individuals and are attracted to spontaneous, engaging activities.
  • Purples (ENTJ, ENFJ) are routine-oriented and enjoy  repetition.
  • Silvers (ENTP, ENFP) like exercise to be  disguised as  fun.

True Blue (ISTJ, ISFJ) – Tried and True

Blues are loyal, traditional,  dependable and straightforward. They are  committed and conscientious, especially  about safety and consistency. “You’ll  see Blues habitually using the same gym  equipment all the time,” notes Brue. “They like to monitor their heart rate and  keep track of their progress.” They  also like to create their own space and are  likely to read books or magazines  while on a treadmill.

Motivation: Blues  will benefit from keeping a training log  or wearing a pedometer or heart-rate  monitor. They like familiarity and  cleanliness and will prefer an exercise space  or gym that is organized, safe,  predictable and clean.

Suggested Activities: Rowing, running, walking, yoga,  interval training.

Gold Standard (ESTJ, ESFJ) – Just the Facts

Golds are traditional and  conservative. They trust the suggestions of  authority figures such as doctors,  fitness instructors or personal trainers.  They rely on proven methods to achieve  the results they desire. “It’s  especially important to Golds to work out in  a friendly, positive environment,” Brue says. They get attached to certain  classes and teachers they like and may  quit a class if their favorite instructor  leaves. Golds also value precision.  They want to be sure that they’re executing  correct form at all times.

Motivation: Golds will benefit from setting clear,  specific  goals and from having good, accessible fitness role models. They should  make a  point of telling others about their results and successes. “Be careful in  large  group classes,” Brue warns, “since your desire to interact with others  might  detract from your workout.”

Suggested Activities: Swimming, Pilates,  yoga, tennis,  one-on-one personal training, hiking (with a goal, such as  reaching all the  highest peaks in your region).

Roaring Red (ESTP, ESFP) – Now!

Reds are quick responders with high energy.  They like to be where the action  is, living in the moment. “Reds never zone out  and disengage during a workout,” Brue says. You won’t see them reading a book or  watching TV while on a  treadmill. In fact, you’ll rarely see them on  treadmills at all, she says — because Reds find them boring.

Motivation: Friendly competition is a great motivator for  Reds. Pickup basketball games,  beach volleyball, mountain-bike rides with pals — these are the activities that  sound fun to them — and fun is essential. If  you’re a Red, stock your trunk with  equipment to keep exercise an exciting,  entertaining and easily accessible part  of each day.

Suggested Activities: Basketball, tennis, racquetball,  in-line  skating, Frisbee, mountain biking, soccer, skiing.

Going Green (ISTP, ISFP) – Nature Beckons

For Greens, the desire to be outdoors overrides all  other motivations to  exercise. They prefer to be alone and are in tune to all  the vivid details of  the natural world. “Greens are great navigators,” Brue  says. You won’t see them  in gyms very often unless they’re working toward a  specific goal, such as  training for a mountain climb or backpacking trip. In  doing her research, Brue  met a few Greens who trained on a stairclimber while  wearing a weighted  backpack to more closely replicate their climbing  experiences.

Motivation: Greens should look for appealing outdoor  challenges  and keep time open in their schedules for adventure. Set a goal — say, a  mountain peak or charity bike ride — put it on your calendar, and begin  training  for it. Consider joining a local outdoor club that takes regular trips  in your  region.

Suggested Activities: Hiking, orienteering, backpacking,  mountain or  road cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, windsurfing.

Quick Silver (ENTP, ENFP) – Fluid and Flexible

Silvers are energized by new  ideas and possibilities. They readily embrace  novel concepts and  opportunities. Group-fitness instructors are often Silvers,  Brue observes. Music  and a fun atmosphere often energize them. But if something  interrupts their  flow, they can get distracted and look for something more   interesting.

Motivation: Silvers do best with convenient workouts that   maintain constant momentum and demand constant focus. Weight training, with its   starts and stops and weight changes, may prove distracting. “If you’ve planned   to attend a noon yoga class, don’t check your email one last time before you   walk out the door — you’re too likely to get thrown off track and skip the   workout entirely,” Brue advises. Another suggestion: Show up at the gym in your   workout clothes, ready to go.

Suggested Activities: Tai chi, bicycling or  jogging with a  group, Zumba, Nia, yoga, group-cycling classes, ChiRunning,  Nordic skiing.

Saffron (INTP, INFP) – Making Workouts Into Play

Saffrons strive for  clarity, vision and truth in all that they do. They’re  represented by a burnt  orange hue that commands attention in a warm,  comfortable way, without glitz or  extravagance. Saffrons are bored easily and  struggle with motivation if they  aren’t in the mood for something. They enjoy  being around like-minded  people.

Motivation: Music and location are huge motivators for   Saffrons. They go for classes that sound challenging, and it’s important to them  to find fitness instructors whose personalities appeal to them. If you’re a   Saffron, consider seeking out multiple workout environments (fitness clubs,   cycling studios, dance studios). Ideally, find a few options near home and near  work so it’s easy to work out whenever the mood strikes. When  you’re on a cardio  machine, listen to favorite tunes and cover up the display  so you don’t see your  results until the end — watching the miles and calories  slowly tick away can  take the fun out of your routine

Suggested Activities: Music-filled  classes such as group  cycling, Body & Soul, Zumba, Nia, yoga, dancing  (salsa, belly, ballroom,  jazz, folk — whatever appeals).

White Canvas (INTJ, INFJ) – Visionaries

Whites have a connection to  their  subconscious that yields an endless stream of ideas and abstractions.  They’re a  blank canvas, receptive and creative. “Whites like to zone out and  let their  minds wander,” Brue says. They’re independent and crave familiarity  and routine  in their workouts so they don’t have to think too hard about what  their bodies  are doing. They often find it hard to adjust to unexpected   changes.

Motivation: Whites are best off hitting the gym during  off-peak  hours so that they can have space to relax and zone out without  talking to  people. Tuning in to a custom MP3 playlist or TV screen can help  free your mind.  You’re best off avoiding personal trainers or classes that  require intense  verbal instruction or interaction because you may feel jarred  by  interruptions.

Suggested Activities: Hiking, running, yoga, cardio,  strength  training alone at the gym.

Royal Purple (ENTJ, ENFJ) – Pursuers With a Plan

Purples are outgoing and  confident, and although  they’re extroverted, they often thrive when they keep  interaction to a minimum  during workouts or limit it to a regular workout buddy.  They always have a plan  and aren’t easily deterred from their goals. “They can  walk into an unfamiliar  gym and easily figure out what they need to do,” Brue  notes. But their routines  can get stale over time without their noticing, and  they need help bumping up  the intensity to achieve their goals.

Motivation: Purples like uncomplicated routines that are  easy to replicate, such as 20  minutes of cardio followed by 20 minutes of  strength training. To avoid plateaus  and overuse injuries, try new machines and  train a variety of muscle groups each  workout. Map out what you plan to do  ahead of time so you feel confident and  focused. Occasionally bump up the  incline or speed, or hire a trainer to push  you further. If you have the space,  set up a home gym or workout area so you can  exercise more frequently.

Suggested Activities: Lap swimming, cardio and  strength  training, running, cycling. As fitness-personality typing catches on, both  Brue and Davis-Ali expect that  gyms nationwide will include it as part of their  fitness evaluations and  personal training. They predict it will become as  important as checking body  composition and heart rate. But unlike more  scientific measures of success,  fitness-personality evaluations are closely  linked to enjoyment. And isn’t that  what exercise should really be about?

By Gina DeMillo Wagner, Experience Life

(Writer Gina DeMillo Wagner is a classic Gold — outgoing yet traditional — and  enjoys one-on-one Pilates lessons.)

Experience Life magazine is an award-winning health and fitness  publication that aims to empower people to live their best, most authentic  lives, and challenges the conventions of hype, gimmicks and superficiality in  favor of a discerning, whole-person perspective. Visit   to learn more and to sign  up for the Experience Life newsletter, or to subscribe  to the print or digital version.

10 Risk Factors and Warning Signs of a Stroke

10 Risk Factors and Warning Signs of a Stroke

According to an American Heart Association survey, young adults have a  disconnect about how their lifestyle choices affect their chances of stroke, a  leading cause of death and disability in the United States.

More than 1,200 adults between the ages of 18 and 44 were surveyed on their  thoughts about health and stroke risk.

Of the 18-24 year-old group, most expressed desire to live a healthy and long  life — 98 years was their average desire — but one-third of those said they  don’t think their unhealthy behaviors today will affect their risk of stroke  later. Eighteen percent couldn’t even name one stroke risk factor.

Ralph Sacco, M.D., neurologist and president of the American Heart  Association/American Stroke Association, said in a press release:

“This survey shows the dangerous disconnect that  many young Americans have about how their behaviors affect their risks for  stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Starting healthy behaviors at a young  age is critical to entering middle age in good shape. The investment you make in  your health now will have a large payoff as you age. We want everyone – especially young people – to strive to avoid stroke, which can affect anyone at  any age.”

The survey also indicated that people become more aware of their overall  health as they age:

  • In the 35-44 year-old group, 22 percent were not worried about  cardiovascular diseases.
  • In the 18-24 year-old group, 43 percent said they weren’t concerned.

Lifestyle Choices to Lower Stroke Risk

Healthy lifestyle choices can lower risk of a first stroke by almost 80  percent, according to American Heart Association/American Stroke Association  guidelines. Those choices include:

Risk Factors for Stroke

  • Age: The chance of having a stroke approximately doubles  for each decade of life after age 55. While stroke is common among the  elderly, a lot of people under 65 also have strokes.
  • Heredity/Race: Your stroke risk is greater if a parent,  grandparent, sister or brother has had a stroke. African-Americans have a higher  risk of death from a stroke than Caucasians.
  • Gender: Stroke is more common in men than in women, but  more than half of total stroke deaths occur in women.
  • Health Conditions: Having high blood pressure, diabetes,  heart disease, sickle cell disease, or high blood cholesterol raise your risk of  stroke.
  • Prior Stroke, TIA, or Heart Attack: The risk of stroke is  many times greater for someone who has already had one. Transient ischemic  attacks (TIAs) produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage, and if you’ve  had one or more TIAs, you’re 10 times more likely to have a stroke than someone  of the same age and sex who hasn’t. If you’ve had a heart  attack, you’re at higher risk of having a stroke, too.

Warning Signs of Stroke

  • sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side  of the body
  • sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • sudden, severe headache with no known cause

If you, or someone near you should experience these symptoms, immediately  call 9-1-1.

Facts About Stroke

  • About 795,000 Americans each year have a stroke.
  • Stroke kills more than 137,000 people a year, making it the third leading  cause of death, after diseases of the heart and cancer.
  • About 40 percent of stroke deaths occur in males, and 60 percent in  females.

By Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis.  She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and a regular  contributor to Care2 Healthy & Green Living and Care2  Causes. Follow on  Twitter @AnnPietrangelo


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