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Friday, September 8, 2017

Amazingly Good Radish Bread - And It's Gluten Free!

I love to invent recipes. Sometimes they come out pretty good and sometimes they come out amazing.

And sometimes we all just have a good laugh. But this morning, the Radish Bread I made came out amazingly good.

I felt creative, so I reached for my mixing bowl. I started with one cup of organic buckwheat four (gluten free).

Then I added one cup of millet flour (also gluten free). These flours are from Bob's Red Mill and are whole grain and extremely heart healthy. I like to experiment with different flours. I have also used Tapioca flour and Almond flour.

Next, I added one teaspoon of Pink Himalayan salt, three tablespoons of baking powder, two teaspoons of cinnamon and two cups of organic unrefined coconut sugar. Coconut sugar has less of an impact on your glycemic index and so is a little bit more diabetic friendly. Also, if you have the aluminum free baking powder, that's best.

I mixed these dry ingredients together and then set it aside. Next, I took three very large radishes (about two to three inches in diameter) and washed and scrubbed them clean. I cut the ends off and then cut them into smaller pieces.

I utilized my Magic Bullet to puree the radish pieces. First, I added about a cup of chopped ice into the MB cup and chopped or ground them for several minutes until smooth and creamy. Mixture will be a bright pink or red due to the peelings.

Now to my original dry mixture, I added one cup of water, three fourths cup of oil, sunflower if you have it and two organic or cage free eggs. Mix well and then spoon into a buttered bread baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes in a preheated 350 degrees oven.

Instead of water, you could substitute almond milk. For buttering the baking pan, I use Land O Lakes real butter with olive oil. I served my Radish Bread very warm with butter. Amazingly good! And very good for you!




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Yummy Multi-Grain Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins - Original Recipe

I love making up recipes. Sometimes they actually come out pretty good. This was one of those times.

I woke up this morning and started making my breakfast of 2 link sausages, 2 over medium eggs...but then I realized I didn't have any bread in the house.

I know its okay to have breakfast without any carbs, in fact, I many times do that. But for some reason, (maybe its a full moon), I really wanted some kind of bread this morning. So, I went to looking in my cabinets and I noticed some whole wheat flour, some breakfast cereal and a couple of packages of pre-sweetened, pre-flavored oatmeal.

So, I decided to try to make some muffins with these ingredients. Below is the recipe what I made up this morning to complement my hot breakfast.

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of Great Grains cereal (pecan and oat clusters variety)
2 individual serving packages of apple cinnamon flavored oatmeal
3 tablespoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of water or milk
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
Optional (1/2 cup coconut sugar)

I did not use the coconut sugar, but then I don't like food very sweet, but I think that most people will want to add the sugar. The pre-sweetened oatmeal and cereal was enough sweetness for me.

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the water or milk, mixing well before adding the eggs and oil. Mix well and pour into a buttered muffin pan. My mixture filled 12 muffin cups perfectly. I baked them in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 23 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Serve warm with melted butter. Yummy!

These muffins had little chunks of apples and pecans from the cereals and I didn't have to slice or chop anything. So easy it should be illegal!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

5 Steps To Easier Potty Training

For an adult, the natural tendency when feelings of a full bladder or colon hit home is to make a B-Line to the nearest bathroom. We do this without hesitating, without any need to decide if that's the right thing to do or not.

In fact, in most cases, it is done with rather intense urgency. Let's go so far as to say with slight desperation. If for some reason, either medical or otherwise, we were unable to make it in time to a bathroom when needed, this has often brought tears and embarrassment.

Why is that so? Because at a very early age, it was ingrained in us to go directly to the bathroom and relieve ourselves as soon as the need arose. It was painstakingly taught to us as a basic necessity of life.

At times if feels as if our very lives depended on making it to the toilet in time. We quickly learned that there were consequences if we didn't make it in time. For some it might have been as mild as we didn't get the usual praise if we didn't unload in the proper place as we would have had we done that with success. Also, there was the discomfort physically.

For others, failure might have been met with some type of punishment. Either way, our bodies became quickly accustomed to the feelings of "dry" and "comfortable". And that grew into a lifelong habit of going to the bathroom whenever the urge presented and the fear of discomfort was our body's temporary master. But now that you have children of your own, how do you teach that automatic and seemingly involuntary response to go to the toilet? When speaking about comfort, modern day diapers are so absorbant that many times children do not feel much discomfort.

So, although not listed as one of the steps, it might be advantageous to switch to a toddler panty or underwear when potty training so that the child can see what uncomfortable wetness feels like. Its also easier and quicker to pull down underwear to go to the bathroom rather than taking a diaper off and on.

If you are envisioning cleaning up accidents about now and decide to go with the diaper because its easier for you, don't expect the same quick results from the steps below. Maybe the steps should include a number 6: Don't Be Lazy! Potty training is work and you must be willing to do it...unless of course you expect the daycare center or a hired nanny to do it for you. What a great parent you are going to be.

Ok, so if you are still reading, then likely you wish to be a great parent. Here's the scoop. For newborns, expelling waste in their diapers does not naturally instill any fear. They have not yet met with any need to go anywhere or do anything when they need to go. They just go. Now they do often times feel uncomfortable afterwards and so the crying begins, but they do not comprehend that they can personally do anything different to prevent this discomfort. At this point in their lives, they rely on Mom or Dad to do something to fix their discomfort.

So, again the point is that potty training is a learned behavior that must be taught and there are several strategies that have been used throughout history and some work better than others. Here are 5 steps that have been helpful in making this chore less difficult so that the transition from diaperhood to potty trained is a little smoother. See if these steps work well for you and if so, feel free to leave a comment.

1. Wait. That may seem like a strange step in this process but it is actually very important. Some parents are too anxious to progress to the point of not having to buy diapers that they rush their little one into premature potty training. It has been proven that a child's bladder muscles are not developed enough to hold back urine until they are at least 2 years old in most cases. So trying to force a child to hold it until reaching the potty chair when he or she is only 15 months old may only cause anxiety and stress.

2. Be Observant. Pay attention to signals that your child is ready to begin potty training. One signal that has been observed is that the child's diaper may be dry when first waking up in the morning. If so, you might quickly encourage them to sit on the potty and empty there rather than into the diaper. Another signal that potty training time may be close is that the child will start hiding behind a recliner or in a closet to go number 2. This shows that they are becoming aware that going to the bathroom is something that you stop doing other things for and go someplace to do. It's good to take note of what time of day that was, because likely they will have to go number 2 the same time each day.

3. Fully Invest. When the time comes that you decide to start potty training, fully invest your time and energy to only this project. If done right, successful potty training can be accomplished in less than a week, maybe even 3 or 4 days. But you must be willing to devote your entire attention to only this project. This can not be stressed enough. If you start potty training and then decide to go shopping for the day, don't blame the child when they have an accident because you were too busy to take them to the bathroom.

4. Be Consistent. Start by putting your child on the potty every 30 minutes when they first wake up on the day you begin this task. Encourage them to pee, maybe by running water or something. Make it fun and enjoyable and offer praise when they pee'd in the right place. Never scold the child if nothing happens. Stay calm. Anything else can actually create the kind of stress in your child that can cause problems later like bed-wetting or bowel incontinence. This is a process that takes patience. You are not expecting them to pee every 30 minutes, but rather the idea is to get them used to the feeling of an empty bladder and the habit of emptying on the potty. Later that afternoon, you might be able to go for an hour between sittings if you are seeing success so far.

5. Stick With It. By the second day, the habit is beginning to form and your child may begin naturally going when feeling full, but this is no time to let them take over the job. Keep at it through the second day and the third day. You might be up to 2 hours by now or even 3 hour intervals between potty sitting. But by now the habit is definitely becoming ingrained and they are learning how to keep their bladder empty and comfortable so that they will want to do that on their own. Remember not to scold if an accident should happen because they likely will. But there is nothing wrong with letting them know in kind, but firm words that the place to go is on the potty.

If you notice that your child becomes a bed-wetter, you should consult a physician, because there might be a medical or emotional reason for this. Otherwise it is not unusual for a child to occasionally wet the bed until he or she is age 5. Never restrict fluid intake just to prevent bed wetting. Keeping little bodies fully hydrated throughout the day is necessary for good health. However, its not a bad idea to hold back enormous amounts of liquid late in the evening. If they are thirsty before going to bed, maybe offer a sip or two just to satisfy without the entire glass.

So if you wait for the right time, are careful to observe when they are ready, fully invest your time and energy to train them, teach them the comfort of an empty bladder and are consistent and patient, you will be able to successfully teach your child a skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

5 Transitional Jobs For Women Over 50

Many people agree that the job market can be a very competitive and self-esteem stripping place to be. You may be a young, fresh, intelligent, adventurous, ambitious college graduate trying to find your place in the dog-eat-dog career world only to find that your resume has been set aside and replaced by someone with more experience.

This can be disheartening, but imagine the reality of being replaced because you are getting older and considered less productive. This is the case sometimes for women over 50 because they are now competing with all those young, fresh college grads full of energy and motivation.

And the painful truth is that as women age, they do feel a little less energetic. They do feel a little more fragile and a little less physically strong. When women reach the age of 50, they still have 15 or more years before they can retire, but may likely have increasing financial demands.

It is possible that either they themselves or their mate may begin to have some health issues to deal with. They may have some traditional expenses dealing with their grown children, like paying for their son's college or their daughter's wedding. And the old saying about raising children for only 18 years is bogus. Many parents feel compelled to assist their children financially well into their 20's or 30's.

So what are some of the options for women who want and need to stay active in the job market without breaking a hip and without losing their dignity. What if you had been a hard-working waitress for 20 or 30 thirty making anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour. This may not be the most dignified position, but it paid the bills and you survived doing it for all those years. But now, standing on your feet and running around tables for 10-11 shifts is simply killing you.

The truth is, many companies that are looking for sales agents actually mention in their job advertisements that those in the hospitality industry are well suited for that position. This is because servers or waitstaff are already used to dealing with people. They are already experienced in  dealing with work stress and deadlines, getting the food to the customer while still hot and they're still happy, etc. They have learned many good skills about organization and money management that can be used in client account management areas. And sales is definitely physically less demanding in most cases.

So Sales is option number 1 for women over 50. Many companies are looking for mature women to present their products. If your job would require in-home selling, people respond better to women making a pitch to them about certain products rather than men in many instances. This is because of the mother image that folks perceive about women, so women can come across as more trustworthy. Women are usually more warm and engaging in their approach to selling rather than men who sometimes come across as applying high pressure to their sales pitches.

Sales is one of the highest paid careers in the world making well over $100,000 annually if you find the right company. Insurance sales, walk-in tubs sales, home improvement sales and exercise equipment sales are just a few possibilities to consider. Craigslist and Indeed.com have long lists of sales opportunities to examine and you just might find the right one for you.

Now, what if you have worked for 20-30 years in a very high pressure or high stress job like Advertising or Public Relations, Event Coordinator or a company Executive. And now you are ready for a change to something a little less stressful now that you are over 50? You might consider becoming a consultant. Women over 50 have loads of experience in life in general and have learned many skills and trades that they could inspire or teach others to do. So becoming a Consultant is option number 2 for women over 50.

Start by creating business cards of what you consult in and network yourself with the clients that you have previously worked with and asked them to speak for you to others as well. You can advertise as a consultant in the particular field that you have experience in. Opening a LinkedIn account and gaining connections will also spread the word on what you do. More often than not, people want someone they respect to give them advice before they buy a product or use a service. You likely have much to share about your field that others are willing to pay for.

Another possibility for women over 50 is that of becoming a freelance writer. Women at this age have much to say about life in general or maybe about their field of expertise. So becoming a Writer is option number 3 for women over 50. Starting a successful blog has been financially rewarding for some but this is tougher than you may realize. So it might be better to start by guest posting on websites that offer the particular product or service that you feel passionate or knowledgeable about. There are also websites that offer to pay for freelance writers to keep their sites full of fresh content.

You might work on a book about humor, cooking, parenting, your field of expertise or whatever you like. There are many self-publishing sites out there and you could have your book up for sale on Amazon or Barnes & Noble in no time at all. If good grammar and story development are not your specialties, hire an editor. Royalties will begin to trickle in and if the book is pretty good, who knows...

Maybe you are not one of those women who have slaved for the corporate world for 20-30 years until you are tired and ready for a change. Maybe your husband paid the bills while you raised your children and kept house all those years. But now, you find yourself either divorced or suffering from empty nest syndrome and you want or need to enter the job market at age 52. This is certainly a tough time in life for that to happen. But you might consider whether or not you have the entrepreneurial spirit.

If you have a small amount of cash resources, you might look into buying some products wholesale and listing them on eBay. So Self-Employment is option number 4 for women over 50. You may not have to buy products wholesale. You might wish to make some type of craft like BoHo headbands or some type of creative decor. This would keep costs down and profits higher. eBay is one of the largest marketplaces in the world. There is no other storefront in the world that gets the kind of traffic that eBay gets with costs of operating a business there very low by comparison.

Spring Imports is one company that ships women's clothing out of the fashion district of New York and they do not require a minimum order to get started. All they ask is to just sign up for free membership. Orders over $300 get free shipping. If you bought 60 pieces of women's clothing for $5 each and sold them on eBay for $20 each, your profit after shipping costs of about $180 would be about $720. Not too bad a paycheck per week for working at home. Can you sell 60 pieces in a week? It's been done on eBay before, so it could happen to you too.

The last option (number 5) for women over 50 that wish to enter the job market is Domestic work. Child Care, Elder Care or Housekeeping is definitely something that most women are good at. Care.com offers you the ability to sign up for free membership and check out local positions in these fields. Many people want mature women rather than unpredictable teenagers to care for their children or their parents. Pay for childcare and eldercare usually ranges around $10 an hour. Light housekeeping is not typically too demanding physically, and pay usually centers around $15 to $20 an hour.

You may also have seen women over 50 working at Wal-Mart or the Dollar General store, but these positions might include standing on your feet for long shifts and lifting boxes up to 40 pounds each when restocking shelves. Fast food restaurants hire people of all ages, but these positions also require a lot of reaching and stooping and standing on your feet for many hours which might be difficult for some women over 50.

Some women find jobs in the Administrative field, like secretaries or other office positions. And you might get hired for these if you have typing and computer skills that are up to date. Up to date is the key expression here. If you worked in a doctor's office 30 years ago, the data entry and spreadsheet programs that most every office used was Lotus 1-2-3. The word processing programs were Word Perfect or WordStar2000. These are obsolete now for the most part. So if you wish to enter this field, you might need a refresher course on the latest software programs.

If you are loaded with money or if you qualify for grants or loans, you could take some college courses and get your degree and then you will have the same problems getting a job that young college graduates face every day. But this is certainly an honorable goal if goals is what you are shooting for.

So there you have it -5 possible job opportunities to check out if you one of those women over 50 that want or need to go back to work and would like to find something a little less physically demanding.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Storms That Hit South Resemble Hurricane On Radar -Derecho?

January 22, 2017 -A land hurricane or severe storm that hits over land is called a Derecho. Although the official description given to the storms that hit the south today was not a Derecho, one couldn't help but notice how much the radar looked like a swirling hurricane, even with a noticeable "eye" in place.

When you set the video to play the progression of the storm, the entire system visibly swirls like a hurricane. A Derecho usually forms at night which makes these storms even more dangerous because people are unaware and possibly sleeping.

These storms can contain very powerful and damaging straight line winds and generally are at least 240 miles in width. Additionally, they can produce winds up to 100 miles per hour. They can also contain damaging hail and tornadoes.

The worst of the storms that hit Southern Mississippi and Georgia in the earlier parts of today contained many Tornadoes and caused a great deal of damage to property and life. However, Tornado warnings were issued in Central Florida and up the Carolinas as the evening progressed. As of the last report, 18 people had lost their lives in these devastating storms that tore through mobile home parks and even brick home residential areas.

The "eye" of this theorized Derecho passed over Estill Springs, Tennessee at around 8:30 pm this evening. Mostly what local residents experienced was some flooding along Highway 41A and some high winds. Thankfully, no further damage was reported here locally. The forecast for this storm is for it to progress further out into the ocean and up the coast to bring some snow and ice to the Northeastern states.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Should You Buy A Walk-In Tub?


It has been said that the basic necessities of life are food, clothing and shelter. But how long can you survive without a bath?

According to nih.gov (National Institutes of Health), not bathing can cause a lot of problems for you health wise.

In simpler language than the website uses, bacteria can build up on your skin and cause some pretty nasty skin infections.

Here's how nih.gov words it, "Dermatitis neglecta (DN) results from the accumulation of sebum, sweat, corneocytes, and bacteria in a localized area of skin, forming a compact and adherent crust of dirt." This article also mentions discoloring and blackening of the skin in these infected areas. If this all sounds pretty gross to you, you are not alone.

Psychology Today also published an article about how loneliness is often self-treated by taking long warm baths. Apparently, our brains try to substitute companionship with warmth and soaking in a hot bath surrounds your body in warmth for an extended period of time. This same website in another article also promotes the idea of showering and bathing to help with enhancing your creative self. The idea is that physical movement and self-care is invigorating to your emotional state of mind. 

So with these thoughts in mind, it appears that the basic necessities of life should be listed as food, clothing, shelter and bathing. Every human and animal alive should have access to the fundamental need of bathing for good physical and emotional health. But as people grow older, physical steadiness decreases. Fear of falling and breaking a hip or cracking a skull paralyzes many senior citizens from climbing into and out of a bathtub.

Yes, according to a report published in 2011 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 234,094 people were injured in the bathroom in the US in 2008 and this disturbing trend continues to happen every year. Of these 234,094 injury reports, the fracture rate increased markedly, from 5.8 per 100,000 for people aged 25-34 years to 165.6 for people aged 85 years and older.

So, for many senior citizens, taking a bath or shower becomes a frighting chore rather than a relaxing pleasure. This fact leads to many of these individuals to bath less and less frequently. Maybe you have had a parent or other older relative that you were trying to care for and couldn't understand why they weren't bathing as much. No matter how much you tried to encourage them, you just couldn't inspire them to bath regularly. Well, now you know why. Because they are scared of getting hurt.

For this very reason, purchasing a walk-in tub has become an increasingly popular idea. There are several companies out there that make good quality walk-in tubs ranging in prices from $3000 to $5000 all the way up to $15,000 or $20,000 depending on many factors. If you walk into the bathroom department in Home Depot, you will find walk-in tubs for the lower end of that price range. Many of these are made in China and they can be small in size compared to the actual needs of the bather.

For example, many of these only have a 14 inch seat and a similar size door that opens for the person to step into the bath. But for many senior citizens that size is too small for them to be truly comfortable. And if the door is that small, then the person will have to turn sideways to get into the tub. This will increase their chance of losing steadiness while entering and possibly falling in the process. And then when they sit down, the width of the tub and size of the door is so that it’s difficult to fit past the knees to shut the door.

Another thing to consider when purchasing a walk-in tub is features. Some tub manufacturers include lots of bells and whistles with their tubs. For example, air and water jets that turn your bath into a relaxing jacuzzi, aromatherapy, continuous heated water, oxygenated water, colored light displays (chromotherapy), fast drain systems and so on to name a few. These options come with a higher price tag but in many cases are worth it when you consider the reason that you are purchasing a walk-in tub in the first place.

Additionally, some companies offer heated seats and others offer padded seats. Which is more important to you? Would you rather have a heated seat to sit on in your hot bath or would you rather have a soft seat to sit on in your hot bath? Heated seats seem somewhat redundant in a heated bath, but soft seats are likely more important to most seniors today. How often do you remember Aunt Pearl carrying around her seat pillow wherever she went to add comfort for her bony butt.

Many seniors suffer from poor circulation and it can be a challenge to improve circulation when they are getting older and more tired and less active each and every day. This problem can be addressed if your walk-in tub has air and water jets to stimulate circulation. Also, according to livestrong.com, the following comment was made in an article about improving circulation to your legs, "Immersing the lower limbs in hot water will stimulate dilation of the vessels near the skin's surface, which causes blood to flow toward the skin to help regulate the body temperature," thus improving circulation. 

If your doctor has ever prescribed hydrotherapy for you, then you might want to consider purchasing a walk-in tub. Hydrotherapy provided by the use of a walk-in tub has been known to treat such conditions as arthritis, rheumatism, gout, acne, colds, depression, headaches, stomach problems, joint, muscle, and nerve problems, sleep disorders, and stress. And when you compare the cost of having to move to an Assisted Living facility to the tune of $50,000 or more per year, the cost of a walk-in tub may make more sense.

Some tubs offer lifetime warranties and others only offer a one year warranty against leakage. Check these features out before purchasing. Installing a walk-in tub can be costly and messy, so make sure that the company that you purchase yours from handles all installation and cleanup afterward. If you buy a tub from Home Depot or Lowes, it might be cheaper but you likely will have to hire someone to install it which can end up adding a few more thousand to the eventual price tag.

So, for many, purchasing a walk-in tub is the right decision to improve physical and emotional health with regular bathin, prevent dangerous falls by safely entering and exiting the tub, and just to make bathing more fun.



Some information provided by Vantage Therapeutic Walk-In Tubs

If you would like to see if a walk-in tub is right for you, send a request for more information to sueleamarketing@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Should Churches Provide Shelter For The Homeless?

According to Google Trends, this topic of homelessness is one of the most searched for topics in the United States and has been consistently for the past 5 years.

Supposedly according to that research, there are over 6000 homeless people living in San Francisco. How do they live? How do they support themselves? And should churches offer shelter for these ones?

In the past and present, homelessness usually paints a vivid picture of an individual living in an old appliance box on the edge of a street or under a bridge. Some cities like Roanoke, Virginia has in the past housed many homeless persons underground in the city's sewer system. Access to these areas can be had by crawling into a street drain or pulling up a manhole cover.

One famous homeless blogger states that he makes between $15-$30 and hour by panhandling or asking for donations from passersby. He claims that this money is not consistent, however, sometimes only bringing in $60 for a whole day. That's about the same amount of money servers make for working long shifts at say...The Olive Garden.

The questions about whether or not churches should provide shelter to homeless ones can be answered by researching the history and purpose of churches. Originally, the first churches or houses of worship were built as a place where individuals could go to feel close to God and give him proper worship. They could pray there or learn about his will.

In ancient Israel, when the Israelites were told that they would have to wander in the wilderness for 40 years due to their lack of faith, God gave them the architectural plans for building a tabernacle so that they could have a place to worship God while in the wilderness. The plans for this tabernacle allowed the people to take it apart and put it back together as they moved from place to place.

When King Solomon began to rule over the people, he inherited the designs and materials left by his father King David to build a temple for the people to come and worship God. There was never any mention about this also being a place for the homeless to be able to come and live. In other ancient temples and shrines, it was never a common practice to house the homeless.

However, in the year 64 CE, Rome was set fire by some means, either by accident or due to some treacherous deed of Nero. History contradicts itself as to the actual cause. But when this disastrous fire had left many people homeless, Nero did open up the Campus Martius or "Field of Mars" among other facilities to help house these ones. This was a plain dedicated to festivals of the pagan gods.

So, apparently, there are exceptions, but it is not the rule. It is not normally a practice to house homeless people in churches, temples or sanctuaries. In modern times, it is noteworthy that the role of churches has seemed to change from ancient days. In many churches today, live entertainment, restaurants, barber shops and many other unusual venues are in place.

Even if there are no such attractions present, it is not uncommon for churchgoers to present their main reason for attending church to be for social reasons rather than for learning about God and the bible and for the opportunity to worship. In fact, in recent years, church membership has waned so much that there is certainly room for the homeless to have a place to stay.

Obviously, the best solution for the homeless would be for programs to be in place that encourage or help them to find suitable work and for them to be able to pay for their own affordable housing. Of course, the bible does promise a time when "they will build houses and live in them, and they will plant vineyards and eat their fruitage." -Isaiah 65:21

Monday, December 12, 2016

Do Statin Drugs Really Lower Your Risk Of Alzheimer's?

Many popular news sites in the last few days have been reporting that a recent study suggests that the use of statin drugs may be connected to a lower risk of developing the dreaded dementia causing illness Alzheimer's. 

This disease was first named in 1901 by German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer and thus its name. In 2015, there were approximately 48 million people worldwide diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

If it is true that statin drugs help prevent Alzheimer's, then the drug companies producing statin drugs that have been enduring some pretty bad press and some very costly lawsuits for decades due to the terrible liver destroying and incredible aging side effects of statin drugs will likely breathe a sigh of relief. 

The life expectancy following a diagnosis of Alzheimer's is six years, so it's likely that being responsible for producing a "cure" would almost change the reputation of most pharmaceutical companies from a villian to a hero.  But what about those side effects of statin drugs? Are they really aging people?

In fact, many doctors recommend that their patients on statin drugs take COQ10 supplements to help reverse the aging effects of statin drugs. Everyone naturally has an abundance of COQ10 in their bodies in their youth. But as we age, our body loses this vital nutrient and it loses it even faster if we are on some type of statin drug. Statin drugs also work in the liver, blocking its ability to make the enzyme that produces cholesterol. 

Side effects of statin drugs range from something as simple as muscle cramps all the way to liver dysfunction and worse to (ironically) memory loss. Dr. Mercola even claims that taking statin drugs increases your risk of getting Lou Gehrig's disease, diabetes and ever cancer. He also lists on his website other risks including anemia, impotence, a depressed immune system and polyneuropathy which is nerve damage in the hands and feet. 

So, do statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor to name a few actually reduce the risk of Alzheimer's? Well, here's what the study concluded: The University of Southern California conducted a research study of 400,000 patients who took statin drugs on a regular basis. 

The study was published online in JAMA Neurology, a monthly medical journal published by the American Medical Association. What the scientists discovered was that these patients had reduced their chances of getting Alzheimer's by 12 to 15 percent. Why? Because statin drugs lower cholesterol.

An article published at nih.gov (National Institutes of Health) in November, 2011 states, "Substantial evidence has accumulated in support of the hypothesis that elevated cholesterol levels increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, much work has been done investigating the potential use of lipid-lowering agents, particularly statins, as preventive or therapeutic agents for Alzheimers." 

So, the question arises, is the risk reduced by taking statin drugs? In the study of these 400,000 patients, was the risk reduced because they were taking statin drugs? Or was it because these patients were proactively reducing the amount of cholesterol in their arteries? The scientists working on this major study admit that the correlation between the reduced risk of getting Alzheimer's and the statin drug's ability to lower cholesterol and beta-amyloids in the brain is likely a factor. 

Beta-amyloid is the main component in the plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Statin drugs also have an anti-inflammatory benefit that may also contribute towards lowering the risk of Alzheimer's. 

So in reality, it's the lowering of cholesterol and the keeping of your arteries not inflamed that actually reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer's, not necessarily the taking of statin drugs. Eating a healthy low cholesterol, rich in fiber diet may be just as connected to reducing the risk of getting Alzheimer's. Large amounts of Vitamin C help to keep your arteries and veins healthy and reduce inflammation. 

To back up this claim, the organization Alzheimer’s Research UK in Cambridge, UK states that the research such as the study published in JAMA Neurology identified “important trends”, but also claims that the very best protection against neurological decline remains a good diet and regular exercise. There are other means of reducing cholesterol, but the article sounds like its saying that taking the "wonder" statin pill will prevent Alzheimer's and that's not necessarily the case. 

It kind of makes you wonder what pharmaceutical company funded that research?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Yikes! Tornado Hits A Little Too Close To Home

I live in a small town in Tennessee called Estill Springs. Its a pretty quiet town with not much going on most of the time. The only concern that some residents have had around here lately is the very lengthy drought that the middle Tennessee valley has been experiencing. In fact, its been so dry that the area has seen a sudden spark (no pun intended) in wildfires, especially in and around Gatlinburg.

So, when the weather news stations finally predicted some rain in the forecast, many residents were relieved to say the least. However, we got a little more than bargained for. Last night, November 29th, 2016 at around 8:59 pm, tornado sirens in Tullahoma were blasting. Tullahoma is about 8 miles from where I live.

The huge weather system coming across the state and several states actually, raged on for most of the evening and throughout the night and even into the wee hours of the morning. At around 2:00 am, my phone weather alert buzzer went off and I jumped to my feet to find out what was going on. Tornado warnings and watches were being updated the entire night.

The next day, I drove to Tullahoma to take care of some business and the following video is what I saw there. I know it could have been worse, and thankfully no one was hurt that I know of, but I still think that this storm was a little too close for comfort.





freelance reporting by Suzanne Lender

Friday, November 11, 2016

Vines That Enrich Our Life

It is commonly believed that most plant life here on Earth benefits mankind. No one questions that. Plants bring us food, medicines, decorations and more.  

And many plants help us to express our emotions towards others in the form of gifts. But one plant is sometimes overlooked when other plants are credited with benefiting us. And that is the lowly vine.

At times, the vine is even considered a pest when we think of clearing away an overgrowth of vines at inappropriate places. Vines like the Virginia Creeper, Vinca Minor or worse, Poison Ivy are considered invasive and troublesome to most. Besides causing deterioration to wood surfaces, they sometimes provide inroads to rodents or other undesirable creatures.

However, in the defense of vines, this article presents some interesting and beneficial facts about 5 vines that you may not have known. Being objective can be productive. For example, we all know that tobacco causes cancer. But, you may not know that tobacco has saved thousands of lives as an anti-venom poultice for bee and wasp stings.

Our first vine to offer a defense for is the Wisteria vine. Likely, you won’t question the beauty of the delicate purple blossoms. And be careful about the brown bean-like seed pods. They’re poisonous. But did you know that some people use these blossoms to decorate their fresh, delicious salads? They add lovely color and light flavor to a healthy salad.

The next vine with a bad rap that might not be all bad is the Clematis vine. Although the Clematis vine is pretty in pink when it flowers, its petals can be toxic to both humans and animals alike, causing nausea and vomiting when ingested. However, the Clematis vine has been used for many centuries in medicine to alleviate inflammation and it’s an anti-microbial.

Our next vine is widely known for its health benefits. The Honeysuckle vine produces light orange colored flowers that are easily recognized for their lovely fragrance. What you may not have known is that the different Honeysuckle varieties have some amazing health benefits. Some of these benefits include headache relief and fever reducer, improved immunity, stabilizing blood sugar and tea made from honeysuckle aids respiratory problems.  

English Ivy has at least two mention-worthy benefits. Although it has been called an aggressive invader, having an inside potted English Ivy plant has been known to clean the air in your home of dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and airborne fecal particles. Outside, it is excellent for preventing soil erosion in your garden or landscaping.

Partridgeberry has been praised for the same thing. It too helps to prevent soil erosion on your property. (https://www.onlineplantnursery.com/garden-delights-nursery-blog/vines-perfect-for-soil-erosion-and-landscaping-english-ivy-pachysandra-and-partridgeberry/) But another huge benefit of Partridgeberry vine is its likely ability to prevent miscarriages. In the herbal world, it is well known as a uterine herbal tonic for female fertility.

This vine list is not all inclusive. There are many other vines with very beneficial properties like the Balloon Vine for example, that is known to aid in the cure of anemia and anorexia, headaches and asthma. And let’s not forgot the wonderful fruit that grows from the Grape vine. Both fresh and fermented, this vine produces fruit to nourish our bodies, strengthen our heart and yes, lift our spirits.

This article included a partial list of vines that enrich our life. This research shows that vines are not all bad. Yes, some are toxic, aggressive and difficult to remove from structures. But some vines are extremely beneficial to humans providing color, beauty, medicines, eco strength and clean air for our homes. Nobody’s perfect, including vines.