alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
I use this to keep pretty much everything unfriendly in the microbe category away. I make it in November and take it until March, usually. Refrigerated, the mix can last two months or so, and then seems to go off slightly. If you cut the honey, it doesn't last as long. If you live in a warmer climate, refrigerate it. So I make 2-3 batches a winter. If you are taking it only for preventative purposes and are quite healthy, you probably need only a teaspoon a day. If ill or immune compromised, or everyone else at work is ill, you may choose to take up to a tablespoon a day. When ill, if you can keep it down, a half teaspoon an hour might help.

Yes, this could be the base for an alcoholic version, but the honey benefits will probably die gasping under the alcohol. Check with your herbalist, or your books. I never add alcohol to mine, but alcohol could make it shelf stable.

Use good honey, not mixed from all over the world pasteurized junk. Honey has curative properties, but you don't want the honey to get too hot. So do NOT add before boiling, add after the mix has cooled down quite a bit.

Accordingly, if you use real honey, do not give this to a child under two years of age. Research honey.

1 cup dried elderberries (organic if possible.)
4 cups filtered water.
1 square inch peeled organic ginger, slivered up or grated.
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
sprinkle ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ceylonese cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Saigon Cassia cinnamon

Up to one cup unpasteurized local honey.

Bring water, berries, ginger, and spice mixture to a low, rolling boil. Cook at a roll for fifteen minutes, mostly covered but not sealed as boil-over could happen. Then set aside to cool down a bit.

Set strainer in 4 quart Pyrex measuring cup; strain mixture. Gently press berries and ginger to get last of juice out. Compost berries, if you compost. Let juice cool some more. You may have up to 3 cups of liquid.

Add one cup of unpasteurized honey. I sample until desired sweetness is reached, but do not add more than one cup. Stir until dissolved, then carefully pour into a clean one quart wide mouth ball jar. Sample and refrigerate. Always use a clean spoon each time you dip into the jar. You've got enough for 1 tsp. a day for three people, with a full recipe. I take more when I don't feel well, so I made the entire recipe this time. I have halved this in the past to keep it fresh.

The ginger is a new addition from my friend Becky Kyle!
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Milky Way over WA Coast)
What if the health of the mind and the health of the body are entwined--so much so that they must be addressed together? This is actually very old thinking--shamans have treated the body and the spirit together for centuries.

When you ask me how I keep getting younger...this is part of it. New York Times, so look fast.

One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp. Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men’s home for five days as they participated in a radical experiment, cooked up by a young psychologist named Ellen Langer.

The subjects were in good health, but aging had left its mark. “This was before 75 was the new 55,” says Langer, who is 67 and the longest-serving professor of psychology at Harvard. Before arriving, the men were assessed on such measures as dexterity, grip strength, flexibility, hearing and vision, memory and cognition — probably the closest things the gerontologists of the time could come to the testable biomarkers of age. Langer predicted the numbers would be quite different after five days, when the subjects emerged from what was to be a fairly intense psychological intervention......
Read more... )
alfreda89: (Blankenship Reeds)
In evolving news -- coffee may be healing for you. You just need to figure out your own dose needs. Since I'm not supposed to have coffee with a med I'm trying, this is a slight problem. But -- there is evidence it helps with fatty liver disease, which is what killed my father. I don't eat like he did, but this does get my attention.

And I had a cup of good coffee this AM (with Irish butter, MCT and coconut oil, yum!) and I feel more focused. Bonus!

Now I need a coffee icon....
alfreda89: (commonly called Lyme)
A big study (40 years, 1.2 million patients and their relatives) shows certain mental illnesses are more common among artists and scientists. The study also indicates that these illnesses can run in families.

Not a big surprise, eh? Rather confirming casual suspicion.

[Edit: I marked these articles so I could read them later, as I'm in grant deadline hell right now. A respected LJ friend reports back below that these aren't very well written articles. So -- when I have time, I'll be looking for more on this study. Think of this as a place marker -- that we want more info later.]

CBS News introduces the topic, with links to several Live Science articles on the study, creative people, and how some feel bipolar condition does have some positive effects.
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
An interesting post about "Manipulating the Microbiome" to regulate weight gain.

From the article:

In a study, published Aug. 26 in the journal Nature Immunology, a research team based at the University of Chicago was able to unravel some of the mechanisms that regulate this weight gain. They focused on the relationship between the immune system, gut bacteria, digestion and obesity. They showed how weight gain requires not just caloric overload but also a delicate, adjustable -- and transmissible -- interplay between intestinal microbes and the immune response.

"Diet-induced obesity depends not just on calories ingested but also on the host's microbiome," said the study's senior author Yang-Xin Fu, MD, PhD, professor of pathology at the University of Chicago Medicine. For most people, he said, "host digestion is not completely efficient, but changes in the gut flora can raise or lower digestive efficiency."

So the old adage "you are what you eat" needs to be modified, Fu suggested, to include, "as processed by the microbial community of the distal gut and as regulated by the immune system."


I'm taking this as a reminder that I was feeling better when I took a pro-biotic every day. Time to return to that.
alfreda89: (borrelia burgdorferi)
So -- is it a disease, or is the person unhealthy, and tipping toward a disease? This columnist opens up the subject. I'm currently coming to the opinion that we can walk around asymptomatic to serious things that we've been exposed to...and then something knocks us to our knees, allowing that organism/state change/change of body balance to seize us by the throat. Suddenly we're drowning in deep water.

Some people never find their feet again -- never recover enough to lift their head, look around for purchase, and lay in a plan to get back to the solid ground of the riverbank.

I've had a lot of experience with this (unfortunately) and I can say that the old chestnut of "listening to your body" is a crucial concept we need to teach children from the cradle. For example, are they really hungry? If so, what kind of food do they want? One friend of mine has taught her children that a fast carb is all well and good, but it doesn't satisfy long, and if you depend on it, you'll end up with a headache, cranky, etc. Her kids are learning to say "I didn't eat enough at breakfast. May I have some cheese, please?" They understand that cookies are good, but they need some protein with cookies, or that's where the headache comes from.

There are lots of ways to start talking with your unconscious. I've explored several of them. The one I'm currently using (and I'm delighted with its ability to connect the conscious and unconscious mind) is NLP. Turns out NLP is very useful for small things, and Big Things.

I'm experimenting this week with something that I'd almost lost -- body awareness that is not pain-triggered.

Here comes the New Age-y crap -- brace yourself and read on. I promise that this is worth a moment of your time.

Ask your body what's going on. Ask it what it wants. Ask it what it wants for You, the major portion of the beautiful, faceted gem that makes up your complete being. Use positive words and imagery, always -- your body needs encouragement, too. Remember that your body may not communicate with words, because images were your first language.

What is the positive intention of that pain in your hand? Is it actually warning you that something you're doing is wrong, and will lead to long term injury?

Your unconscious knows about 90% more about you than your conscious mind.

Scary thought, eh?

Maybe it's time to ask its opinion about things?

This fall, several Austin NLP practitioners are going to offer mini-sessions on NLP -- concepts and exercises that you can try out NOW. If it's gonna work for you, you'll know fairly quickly, because your unconscious always chooses the most effective strategy that it knows to handle a problem or situation. This will be a great way to test out the technique for yourself. The 90 minute sessions will be very inexpensive and fun as well. Looks like they will be offered several times a month, in the evenings, this fall.

When I know more about them, or the dates, I will post them here. I should say that it looks like my unconscious has been teaching itself a lot of NLP techniques over the years -- my novels are full of NLP problem-solving on the part of several characters. Without my ever reading a word about NLP. My point being that the basics of this are easy to learn, because you know a lot of the stuff already -- you've just never put it together in the most useful fashion.

An easy way to restructure your learning exists. Greater Austin folk, an inexpensive way to learn some of the techniques approaches! And, everyone else? If you are interested in NLP, but have heard that some people do not use the techniques wisely, shall we say -- I have good people I can ask.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Warning Sign on a CA entrance to a parki)
Yes, it's real.

Don't ever give me a surprise party!
alfreda89: (Winter_Mette's Glogg)
Well, for years I've been grabbing a towel to open public restroom doors, but I had not considered the build on menus -- and I sure didn't know about lemons!

I'll miss lemons, sigh --

http://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-03-2011/8-germiest-places.1.html
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Furry crustacian!)
It's only one study so far. But I must admit that when I was on Atkins, my triglycerides and cholesterol were the lowest on record. So...right now, thinking about keeping 100% butter, 100% clarified butter, 100% sour cream and 100% cream in the diet, in tiny doses.

But milk and alas, cheese, will be a rare occurrence.

Furry lobsters are still off the menu....
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
I have used PP for blood tests when money has been tight, and they are caring medical personnel who do not pressure a patient into anything. At least at the office I went to... . Let's not shut down safe health care for blue collar and minimum wage women.

From Planned Parenthood --

President Obama has begun the process of overturning the Bush
administration rule that limits the rights of patients to
receive complete and accurate reproductive health information
and services.

In order to overturn the Bush administration rule, President
Obama has to allow 30 days for the public to comment on what he
proposes to do. We need to show our support NOW to make sure his
proposal to reverse the rule succeeds.

Will you add your voice? Here's the link with all the info you
need:
http://www.ppaction.org/campaign/hhsorcp_ppol?rk=j1MJwun18C-IW
alfreda89: (Cat Magic)
Well, Max is now a $900+ cat.
Fortunately, we have deeper pockets than many cat people. )
Thank you for all your words and encouragement. We need all the help we can get.

This new stress added to both our health issues, how this impacts our relationship, work and money questions...I will be glad to see 2008 in the rear view window. I pray we survive it.

Only good news -- Obama/Biden win (you can think of this as "Palin doesn't" 'cus she is NOT Ready for Prime Time.) At least adults are going to be at the helm. And, knock on wood, it would be difficult to be a worse administration than the current one. My fiscal conservative heart foresees national debt for a long time to come.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
http://www.newsweek.com/id/57368/page/1

Beneficial bacteria have lived with us and on us for millennia -- now doctors and researchers question whether we've done too good a job cleaning up our environment. Are we triggering asthma and allergies in our children and ourselves by shielding them from dirt and scrapes -- or giving them antibiotics for things we can do without medicine? (Such as not giving them cow's milk to eliminate ear injections?) Interesting article expanding on some stuff we've been reading up on.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] willshetterly brings us an article from WIRED on getting quality sleep. This article and study does not insist on mega-hours of sleep -- it insists on trying to get quality sleep.

Believe it or not, here are a few suggestions:


* Do not take sleeping pills. This includes over-the-counter pills and melatonin.
* Don't go to bed until you're sleepy. If you have trouble sleeping, try going to bed later or getting up earlier.
* Get up at the same time every morning, even after a bad night's sleep. The next night, you'll be sleepy at bedtime.
* If you wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back to sleep, get out of bed and return only when you are sleepy.
* Avoid worrying, watching TV, reading scary books, and doing other things in bed besides sleeping and sex. If you worry, read thrillers or watch TV, do that in a chair that's not in the bedroom.
* Do not drink or eat anything caffeinated within six hours of bedtime.
* Avoid alcohol. It's relaxing at first but can lead to insomnia when it clears your system.
* Spend time outdoors. People exposed to daylight or bright light therapy sleep better.


Cheat on the Need to Sleep
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2006/02/misfitting-at-certain-age.html
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
http://health.discovery.com/convergence/viewerschoice/viewerschoice.html

This link goes to the Discovery Channel, where there is voting for the Viewer's Choice award. If you feel like doing something like booting (Mystery Diagnosis -- Episode 16) to the top, by all means, go for it -- and pass it along. Tonight a 8 pm they'll announce the winner.

Lyme doctors and patients have tried for years to get something on Lyme out -- but the talk show gurus aren't biting yet. This would give the disease higher profile, which it desperately needs. (Compared to West Nile Virus, it gets very little funding. And its long-term effect on people and on the GNP may be devastating.)

A documentary film maker has got a ton of info for a picture, but not enough funds yet to finish editing, etc. So it will get out there eventually. But this would be nice.

(I must admit to great curiosity to what the current first place entry is -- but gotta be loyal to the Lyme diagnosis!)
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
Most of you know I have health challenges right now, that are impacting my writing and my livelihood. Here's something that appears to be helping -- a lot. Yes, I know I have trouble with molds -- lots of trouble. But this is different.
I'm talking about Coriolus 'Turkey Tail' mushroom extract. )
Recommended.
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Chai anime)
So -- the British are twice as healthy as Americans. Economic group doesn't seem to matter.

Theories, anyone? (Of course we can't reply to anything, LJ must be up to something.)

http://my.ev1.net/english/news/newsarticle.asp?articleID=50263912&subject=health
alfreda89: 3 foot concrete Medieval style gargoyle with author's hand resting on its head. (Spring in Austin)
Study: Walking on Cobblestones Is Healthy

"Research scientist Fuzhong Li is seen walking on a cobblestone mat, June 30, 2005, at the Oregon Research Institute, in Eugene, Ore. A recent study of adults over the age of 60 showed a significant reduction in blood pressure and improved balance after walking on cobblestones just 30 minutes a day."

Beauty and health--everyone wins )
Ellison, the hypertension expert, said he would like to see a larger study to compare results but called the initial findings were promising.

"It certainly suggests there is something real about the cobblestones," Ellison said.

Oregon Research Institute: http://www.ori.org

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