Ways People Celebrate the Season

While we are part of a society that focuses on Christmas, we often forget that not everyone we meet personally celebrates Christian traditions.Throughout the world, millions of people are participating in joyous and holy celebrations unrelated to Christmas.

  1. Diwali 
    This five-day festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It is a celebration of good triumphing over evil and is usually held in November.

  2. Chanukah 
    A Jewish holiday, this is an eight-day festival of lights.  It is a celebration of triumph over adversity and the miracle of a small jar of holy oil that burned for eight days instead of one, which allowed the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. 

  3. Kwanza 
    A seven-day holiday of lights, created by Dr. Maulana Karenga in 1966 to celebrate family culture and heritage, and is modeled after the first harvest celebrations in Africa.

  4. Winter Solstice 
    The shortest day and longest night in the Northern Hemisphere. This year it falls on Friday, December 21st. There will only be 7 hours and 50 minutes of daylight hours. Throughout human history, from prehistoric time to the present, this time of year has been a time of celebration and ceremony. 

Ancient civilizations around the world built temples and structures designed to capture the rays of the sun at the moment of the Solstice. One of the most famous of these is Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire, England. The Winter Solstice is particularly important for Druid, Wicca, and Pagan communities. Today, people around the world celebrate the Winter Solstice with bonfires, music, family gatherings, dancing and singing.

Shalako Kachina Ceremony is a series of dances and ceremonies conducted by the Zuni people at the winter solstice, typically following the harvest. For other tribes, this is commemorated as the season when the river freezes and the land sleeps, known as Luut’aa and also the season of K’aliyee, the time of the north wind blowing.

The Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony involves extinguishing old fires and lighting new ones. The Hopi Holy Cycle celebrates the changing of the seasons and the nature of the Hopi sacred universe.   

Chinese New Year
  • Chinese New Year
    Also known as the Lunar New Year, this is the most important date of the Chinese calendar and is related to the Chinese Zodiac. Because the Chinese calendar is both a Solar and Lunar calendar, the actual New Year’s Day changes from year to year. Prior to the New Year, people clean their houses thoroughly and set up traditional decorations. 

This is a time of year for family reunions, parties, gift giving, and fireworks.Many of us look forward to the holiday season each year, and revel in the traditions that accompany it. However, with the holiday season, comes a myriad of potential threats to your health. Check back next year (on January 1), when we will post about how to stay healthy in the New Year.  

Whatever gatherings, ceremonies, celebrations, and traditions in which you participate, I want to wish you a healthy and joyous holiday season. 

Tips for Maintaining Holiday Wellness

Thanksgiving Well WishesCan you believe we are in the midst of the holiday season? With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought we should discuss something generally overlooked during the holidays – wellness. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time for gathering together with loved ones and indulging in a massive feast. Thoughts of health and wellness are not usually at the forefront of people’s minds. However, as enjoyable as the holidays are, they can take a toll on your overall health and wellness. I’d like to help you have the healthiest Thanksgiving possible.

FoodHealthy Thanksgiving Food

The holiday season, and Thanksgiving in particular, are loaded with decadent, fatty, rich foods. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the average person puts on an extra pound during the holidays, with people who are already overweight gaining around five pounds. The alarming thing about this is that most people don’t lose the extra weight after the holidays. And over time, the this adds up to an unhealthy situation. Read More

Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Benefit Plant Based DietWe are a culture obsessed with finding the “next best thing.” And our diets are no exception. We’re constantly bombarded with new diet trends, “must-have” supplements, “miracle cures,” and “superfoods.” So, how will you recognize those things which are worth incorporating into your diet? In this blog post, I’m focusing on a diet which has stood the test of time — a plant-based diet, often used interchangeably with terms “vegetarian” or “vegan” diets. Note that my use of the word “diet.” This doesn’t reflect a fad, but rather a lifestyle.

Perhaps you’ve wondered what the difference is between a vegetarian and vegan diet?

While these two diets are similar, key differences exist. Modern vegetarians tend to consume dairy (lacto) and eggs (ovo), and some also include seafood (pescatarian). Vegans, on the other hand, do not consume or useany animal products. Veganism is a lifestyle, while vegetarianism is a diet. Read More

Water: Why is it so Important?

Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

Hyaluronic Acid and Water

It seems as if medical professionals constantly tell us to drink water. The usual suggestion is at least eight 8 oz. glasses per day. But that comes out to 64 ounces, which is an entire gallon of water per day per person! Remembering to constantly drink water during the day is difficult sometimes, especially when I don’t feel thirsty. And I always wonder why we need to drink that much. Now that I know more about science as it relates to the brain and body, I understand the connection between water and hyaluronic acid. Read on to learn more.  Read More

What Is Hyaluronic Acid & Why Is It Important?

Key Ingredient Hyaluronic AcidIt seems almost every cosmetic, face cream, face or eye serum, and body lotion contains hyaluronic acid — as a major ingredient. But, what is it and why is it so important?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found throughout the human body. It is also found in the bodies of all animals, including microbes. The cells in the body manufacture hyaluronic acid. In fact, it is a matrix which surrounds our cells.

The Matrix (not that one)

A matrix is an environment or material in which something develops. For example, the uterus is the matrix for an unborn child. A matrix is also a medium or substance that surrounds or supports something. The hyaluronic acid in our bodies surrounds, supports and nourishes our cells.

Hyaluronic Acid MatrixThink of hyaluronic acid like a Jell-O mold with fruit. Bits of fruit rest, suspended in the semi-soft substance of gelatin.  The Jell-O supports the fruit, keeping the fruit bits from sticking together. In much the same way, the hyaluronic acid that surrounds our cells prevents them from sticking together.

Brain BathBrain Health Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is an important component of synovial fluid. Special cells within the brain produce this fluid, which bathes and nourishes our brain, nerves and joint tissues. Fluids in the eyes and joints feature the highest concentration. Fifty percent of the hyaluronic acid produced by the body is in the skin.

Hyaluronic acid binds with water. In fact, it attracts 1000 times its own weight in water!! It is nature’s moisturizer, which is essential to the function of our bodies. Bodily fluids, tissues and cells also contain it. And it serves the vital function of keeping cells hydrated. Hyaluronic acid lubricates muscular connective tissues by enhancing the sliding between adjacent tissue layers.

Aging Skin Hyaluronic Acid

If your skin looks like this, call me immediately.

In the Skin

Hyaluronic acid is vital to the maintenance of healthy connective tissue. It is also involved in cell migration, wound healing, formation of blood vessels, and skin elasticity. Aging skin is associated with loss of moisture. And hyaluronic acid is the key molecule involved in skin moisture.

As we age, the body produces less hyaluronic acid, leading to wrinkles and causing joints to ache.

The big question is: What can we do about it?

Some foods encourage hyaluronic acid production. These include bone broth, soybeans, leafy greens, citrus fruits and starchy root vegetables. These provide bioavailable sources of the hyaluronic acid matrix.Leafy Greens Skin Help

How to Replace Hyaluronic Acid

Liquid BioCell Life, Skin, Sport, and Pure are the ONLY sources for a liquid matrix of collagen and hyaluronic acid that are virtually identical to the matrix in our bodies. Scientific studies of the product have found that subjects who took Liquid BioCell Life daily for 12 weeks see an increase in hyaluronic acid of 6000%.

Some information for this post comes from the following source: Papakonstantinou, E. et alHyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging’ in Dermato Endocrinology 4.3 (2012) pp. 253-258.al

Diet Direction

Diet Direction It seems like everyone is always talking about diet. We are a culture obsessed with the way we look. Yet, we are a nation of fat people! This is quite a paradox. Sometimes, I think I have spent my entire adult life thinking and worrying about my weight and body image. I’m practically a charter member of the international diet program, Weight Watchers – not to mention the number of times I have joined and quit.

Diet NirvanaDiet Direction

Over the years, I have tried myriad diets, including the varieties that require injections. Like millions of other Americans, I’ve been searching for the Holy Grail of diets. only to discover that no such thing exists! No diet will lead me to the Nirvana of Perfect Body Weight. And by the way, I diet not just because of how much I weigh. The ratio of body fat to body muscle matters much more than the number on the scale. So, what’s the answer? The truth is that changing my body requires a change in lifestyle. What matters is the type and quantity of food I eat, exercise I do, and amount of sleep I get.

Diet SleepDiet Dreams

Lack of quality sleep leads to weight gain. Also important is the way I think as well as the words I think and tell myself. Man, oh man, reality can be difficult! If I want to change my lifestyle, where should I start?

  • The latest research points to the fact that the healthiest way to eat is a plant-based diet. What does that mean? Must I become a vegetarian (does not eat meat, fish or poultry, but does eat eggs, and/or milk and cheese) or a vegan (does not eat meat, fish, or poultry or animal products, including milk and eggs)?
  • Research states that a healthy diet includes lots of leafy green vegetables. And not just salad greens, but kale, collard greens and spinach. We also need to eat cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. We also need to eat fresh fruits and vegetables with lots of color, like carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, low glycemic fruits like berries.Leafy Greens Diet

What else should my diet include?

I also need whole grains (no white flour or white rice) and beans (also known as legumes), as well as lentils, peas, and peanuts. And every diet around warns you to stay away from sugary stuff and fried foods. (Gosh, but I really like In-N-Out French fries).

Sounds a lot like a vegetarian diet to me.

Then, looking a little further, I discovered the Mediterranean Diet.Research suggests people who follow a Mediterranean diet lose 52% more weight than the standard low-fat diet because it isn’t just a fad or limited list of foods. This way of eating begins with the foundation of vegetables and whole grains, but also includes small quantities of lean meats and fish, a few times a week. This seems like something I can ease into. Fortunately, great recipes and resources on the internet can help me change the way I cook. If you’re interested in this type of eating plan, check out Forks Over Knives. It has lots of fantastic vegetarian recipes or Food Revolution, which offers inspiration for changing what you eat.

Modere Diet TipsSupplemental Assistance in Diet

The lifestyle line I carry, Modere, also offers safe and effective products designed to help you achieve your body’s goals and continue living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re interested in upping the ante in your journey toward optimal health, give me a call. Using Modere as well as EEG Neurofeedback, I can offer you a jumpstart on body, brain health!

Pet Joint Pain Solution

Pet Pain ModerePet Pain

Like their human companions, dogs, cats and horses can suffer joint pain. Our furry friends bring us joy and comfort and are members of the family. We worry about them when they don’t feel their best and we want the best care possible for them. But did you know that one of most common problems for dogs and cats is being overweight? We love them and show it with treats and extra food. Like humans, being overweight can create all kinds of health problems. Read More

Hints for Creating Healthy Brains

Healthy Brain FunctionScientists once believed that the brain was a static organ. Therefore, once it developed, it could not change and could not create new neural pathways or new neurons; brain cells aged and died and were never replaced. So, if someone recovered from brain injury or stroke it was considered that damage to the area was not as extensive as first thought or another area of the brain took over the function. Read ahead for info about healthy brains.

Read More