Changing Your Lifestyle

 

healthy snack of fruit and yogurt

At age 63, I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. I was told that this was a life sentence and that I would have to change my lifestyle and start on some heavy duty medications. Eventually I would have to have daily insulin shots. For 10 years I was able to control my diabetes without any medications. Gradually, I had to add various medications. It wasn’t until I was 83 that I had to go on insulin. 20 years without the needle! Even now, I find that I don’t need to take insulin on a daily basis. So how do I do it?

Yes, I most definitely changed my lifestyle. I started to eat a healthier diet and exercise regularly. Those two things turned out to be the key. One of the changes was to include various types of natural supplements in my diet. Vitamins and mineral supplements were particularly important towards building my strength and even more importantly my stamina. This meant that the exercise regimen that I undertook was more effective. My brother-in-law and I worked out at least three times a week, egging each other on to become healthier. I hadn’t been as fit since my days playing multiple sports in high school.

We even started playing tennis together until my knees decided that tennis was not something that I wanted to do anymore. I started down the road of osteoarthritis. My doctor prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) to curb the pain. That turned out to be a cure that was worse than the disease. The side effects are incredibly harsh so I went looking for alternatives. As discussed in a previous blog post, anti-inflammatory supplements are effective and far less harsh than more traditional medications as prescribed by the medical profession.

The biggest change in my life came because I changed my attitude. Diabetes wasn’t a death sentence but rather a wake up call. It forced me to look at not just my health but my entire life. I realized that I had the opportunity to still contribute and to be with my family and to help them to be strong and to achieve their goals. But most importantly, I realized that getting older wasn’t a penance but rather an opportunity. Being engaged and being interested in the world around me. I still have fun and make myself and others laugh. My life is full of vitality.

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Herbal Teas and their medicinal properties

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hands holding tea mug

Herbal teas have been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. It is a wonderful way to help that which ails us in a pleasant way. There are an infinite number of herbal teas that are blended into herbal infusions.

Green tea has been used for centuries by the Chinese and Indians in their traditional medicines. Among the many possible health benefits:

  • control of bleeding,
  • wound healing,
  • aid in digestion,
  • improved heart health,
  • regulating body temperature and
  • aid in improving mental health.

As well, recent studies seem to indicate that there is potential for improvement in:

  • weight loss,
  • liver disorders,
  • type 2 diabetes and
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

As well, studies have shown that green tea may impact rates of cancer although lifestyle facts could also play part. In today’s world, green tea is not just for drinking as a hot beverage, its also included in smoothies and baked goods.

Chamomile tea, like green tea, has a very long history of uses for medicinal as well as social purposes. Studies have shown that chamomile tea a bedtime helps relieve:

  • general aches and pains,
  • headaches and
  • arthritic pain

allowing for a more restful sleep. As well, chamomile tea is known for its support for the nervous and digestive system, easing stress and nervousness. In children, chamomile tea is popular for calming colic and childhood digestive issues.

Other types of Herbal teas

Detoxification

Herbal teas are often a part of a detoxification or cleansing regimen. The body builds up toxins from food and the environment, and these toxins can have a major, negative impact on our health. Cleansing regimens can take many forms, the most common being:

The organs that are most commonly targeted for cleansing are the colon, kidneys and liver, but it is important to be careful about cleansing. This is an area where more is not necessarily better. For general information on cleansing go to Essential Vitality.

Social teas

Herbal teas have always been in enjoyed in relaxed social settings. Teas that include ginger, lemon and peppermint to name a few. Of course, we can’t forget teas such as orange pekoe and Earl Grey. Wonderful!

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Controlling Stress and Anxiety with Vitamins and Minerals

Stress is the scourge of modern life. At its most basic, it is a reaction to danger. Under stress, we may feel tense, anxious, or nervous. The reaction can be physical, as well as triggering a surge of a hormone called adrenaline that briefly influences the sensory system. It sources are many: work, family, and noise to name a few. The list is endless.

Stress does have a place in our lives by saving us from danger particularly physical danger, but too much stress is not a good thing. It can cause anxiety, depression. It can also manifest itself physically: tight muscles, low energy, irritability, the inability to sleep properly. And the list goes on. There are a number of ways to reverse stress. Hard physical exercise and meditation are two. There are various drugs that have been developed to specifically control stress. Good  vitamin and mineral supplementation and a good diet can also relieve stress.

The VITAMIN B group of vitamins as well as foods such as: Dried fruit, Nuts, Eggs, Seafood, Lean meat, Whole grains such brown rice, Yeast extracts, Green vegetables, Seeds, Dairy produts, Lentils and other pulses.

VITAMIN C. This vitamin reduces the stress hormones in your system. Vitamin C can be taken as a supplement or through the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

MAGNESIUM. Magnesium is the most important mineral for stress maintenance. It helps to reliever muscle tension and cramps. Its found in nuts, seeds, green vegetables, wholegrains and pulses.

CALCIUM: important for muscle and nerve health. Foods such as canned fish, yogurt, cheese and pulses.

ZINC & COPPER: These minerals boost immune function. Foods such as red meat, nuts and wholegrains are rich in these minerals.

A proper diet will help you manage stress, but if you can’t get that, there are excellent supplements that will fill the bill. Essential Vitality has more information on vitamin and mineral supplements.

Inflammation and help in controlling it

 

 

Inflammation. Its nature’s early warning system, letting us know that there is a problem. Inflammation can be the result of an auto-immune disorder or just wear and tear from living life fully.  The most common types of these inflammatory disorders are arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis and osteoarthritis have a huge impact on our day to day lives from the pain caused by inflammation.

Unfortunately once arthritis and osteorarthritis present themselves, it becomes a permanent state of being. But life goes on and we can’t just retire to our chairs and hope the pain caused by inflammation goes away.

There are a number of Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) available, but over time they have serious side effects such as gastrointestinal bleeding. Fortunately there are alternatives to the NSAIDs. They fall into three general categories: Glucosamine & chondroitin, Curcumin and Brometain.

Studies have shown that Glucosamine and Chondroitin are as effective or more effective than the more traditional NSAIDs. The two herbs together seem to retard the progression of arthritis and osteoarthritis.Curcumin is an active anti-inflammatory found in turmeric. Turmeric can be used in cooking, not just in a pill form. One cautionary note, it should not be used if an individual is taking blood thinners.

Brometain comes from the bromeliaceae family which is found in fruits such as pineapple and the mangosteen fruit.

There are specific foods that can control inflammation. Such foods as Tomatoes; Citrus fruits and berries; Nuts, Olive Oil, Leafy Greens and Fatty Fish. These are foods that are part of healthy diet. The downside of sourcing particular nutrients  directly from food is the amount that must be eaten for to have an affect on the body. The amount that must be ingested tends to be very large which brings up a whole new problem, weight gain. If its hip and knee joints that are causing the most problem of inflammation, then weight gain is not a solution. There are supplements that can be taken that are as effective as food. Go to Essential Vitality to find products that will help.

For more in depth information on inflammation go to http://www.usa-homegym.com/buying-guide/best-glucosamine-reviews/

Arthritis and osteoarthritis are not the only conditions where inflammation is a factor. We’ll discuss some of the other ones in future blogs.

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Farmer’s markets-the place for summer’s bounty

Farmers' market stand

Farmers’ market stand

Farmers markets are the place where this year’s crops are starting to come in with delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll get food that is at its nutritious best, pesticide free and non-GMO. The closer to the farm you can get in buying your fresh fruits and veg, the better. Local farmers markets and farm stands have produce that was picked a few hours before you bought it. Berry farms very often encourage people to come and pick fruit to take home at a very reasonable price. Its a great family outing. Farmers’ markets also have really fresh food and other farm products such honey, jams and the like. These are products that you won’t find at your local super market. They tend to make things without a lot of additives or preservatives.

There are farms that have produce stands open all year. Very often they are farms that also sell eggs and meat products. Check them out by asking questions and find out just what the farm raises. Sometime a local farmer will have a stand that sells produce from people who don’t want to sell themselves. Some farms have their chickens in movable runs that allows the chickens to be free range.

There are a number of ways of finding local farmers’ markets. Websites such as Local Harvest will help. There’s an app for that as well: Farmstand.  Local farmers’ associations should have a list of farmers markets as well as farms that have stands that sell their produce. And of course there’s the old reliable, Google and other search engines.

Your local supermarket is an alternative to farm stands or farmers markets. Find out the source of their produce. There are supermarkets that go out of their way to source locally which is great. If you can, buy organic produce. Organic produce tends to be more expensive and isn’t always supermarket perfect looking.

For more knowledge on a healthy diet, go to Essential Vitality. Essential Vitality also has information on weight loss, detoxifying, vitamin and mineral supplements. Everything you need to have an awesome life.

Welcome to Vital Talk

Welcome to Vital Talk where we’ll be talking about lifestyle and good health and any related information that we come across. We want to introduce you to a new healthy lifestyle so you can have a longer, more fulfilling life. You’ll find even more information on the website Essential Vitality.

We’ll be posting all kinds of things to help you achieve that goal. First rate product information and reviews; general information; even the occasional opinion piece. The focus will be on good health so that you, the faithful reader, can make informed decisions about lifestyle choices that involve nutrition, weight loss and other health related information. We’ll cover such topics such as weight loss, nutrition, vitamin and mineral supplements, herbs and detoxification.

Our lifestyles are far more important than our genes in controlling our health and fitness. Stress is the most destructive element in our ability to stave off illness. Finding ways to lessen stress is one of the most important things we can do to improve our lifestyles and give us longer lives. Lifestyle and long life are inextricably bound together, and we must always remember that when developing our wellness plans.

Our lives are richer when we can function at full capacity. We are better off and our families get positive examples of better lifestyle choices when we are healthy and fit both physically and mentally.

There are many products and articles that you may find to be of interest. There is a lot of scientific information and technical data that we’re sure you will want to acquire. We will do our best to bring all this to your attention.

Remember the information and opinions that we provide are not to be construed as medical advice or instructions. You should always consult with the appropriate medical practitioner of your choice.

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