Archive for December, 2009

Health Challenge 2010

December 30, 2009 Written by JP

Human nature dictates that we often want what we don’t have. Bald men wish for a full head of hair. Busy executives imagine what it would be like to have more time to spend with their families. Older folks lament aspects of their youth and children dream of the freedoms afforded to their elders. The grass always seems greener under circumstances that are likely to remain just a fantasy. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 14 Comments

Milk and Tea Controversy

December 29, 2009 Written by JP

When we go out with a group of friends, something kind of amusing often happens. During the course of the afternoon or evening, someone will pull me aside and bring up a health issue that they’ve read about or seen covered on the local news. “So what’s this I hear about coffee ‘curing’ diabetes?” “Is it okay to cook with extra virgin olive oil or should I just use it in salads?” “What’s the big deal about gluten?”. I love fielding these questions because it tests my knowledge and gives me a better idea of what kind of information is being spread over various media outlets. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink | 22 Comments

Autism Massage Therapy

December 27, 2009 Written by JP

The world as viewed by each individual is comprised of partial information. We only know what we feel, hear, see, smell and touch. Our observations and senses provide critical information that informs our every decision and move. Now imagine what your reality would be like if you almost always felt distant and emotionally isolated. What if that feeling was so powerful that you couldn’t even make eye contact with others. Beyond that, how would your daily experience be different if your capacity to learn and communicate was severely compromised? These challenges and many others are dealt with on a daily basis by a growing population of children with autism. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health | 5 Comments

Herbal Tips and Updates

December 23, 2009 Written by JP

The work life of a writer tends to be quite solitary. I research on my own. I come up with topics in a committee of one. I even read the final drafts of my columns out loud to myself before I post them. That’s why I sometimes like to imagine that I work in a large advertising firm. Just like all the other worker bees, I’d have to march into the main conference room each morning and pitch my ideas to the “head honchos”. In that scenario, the one thing I can be sure of is this: If my material isn’t compelling enough, it won’t go into production. Read more »


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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diabetes, Nutrition | 12 Comments

Aging Gracefully and Healthfully

December 22, 2009 Written by JP

Aging is a funny thing. When we’re children, we can’t wait to get older so we can do all of the wondrous things that we imagine adults do. By the time we reach adulthood, we realize that there are both pros and cons to this “grown-up” stage of life. That’s about the same time that we begin wondering what it will be like to be even older – a “senior citizen”. At first, many of the downsides of that proposition come to mind such as not being able to move or think as quickly as we used to. But often times, another concept rears its head: Growing old is a luxury that is not afforded to everyone. If you’re lucky enough to live a long life, then it becomes all the more important to make those extra years count. One of the best ways to enable this is to support your body and mind so that those so-called “golden years” can be both fulfilling and productive. Read more »


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Posted in Exercise, Memory, Nutrition | 10 Comments

Psychology of Love

December 21, 2009 Written by JP

The holidays can be a rather challenging time for many people. I reluctantly include myself in that not so exclusive club. We’re all familiar with the reasons why this season of cheer often becomes a “bah humbug” type of experience. But what’s not as clear is how we can shield ourselves from the psychological pummeling that often accompanies the yuletide festivities. Looking to science for answers to this this age old question may seem like an exercise in futility. After all, scientists rarely venture into the messy world of people’s personal problems. Feelings and medicine are notorious for being uncomfortable bedfellows. Still, that didn’t stop me from searching for some scientific solutions that might make this year’s holiday different than far too many others. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Mental Health | 2 Comments

Sodium Potassium Ratio

December 18, 2009 Written by JP

The best way for me to learn is to understand the logic behind a lesson. I need to comprehend not only what is happening, but why. This helps me quite a lot when it comes to the study of natural medicine and nutrition. It’s not enough for someone to tell me that fruits and vegetables protect against cancer or that exercise “does a body good”. I have to be aware of the mechanisms that justify such statements. Very often, these explanations are based on incomplete information and, therefore, need to be modified over time. But even so, at least they provide a reasonable underpinning upon which one can hang a concept. Read more »


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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Heart Health, Nutrition | 9 Comments

Mastic Gum and Digestive Health

December 17, 2009 Written by JP

A few years ago I went on a 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera with my family. By all accounts it was destined to be an experience where many fond memories would be formed. We were surrounded by exotic and picturesque locales. The time spent on land and sea could not have been more restful and restorative. Even the food was surprisingly good. But coming back home was a completely different story. By that, I’m not referring to an endless barrage of choppy waves or otherwise tumultuous weather conditions. The problem was my stomach. The following two weeks were crowded with digestive issues, the likes of which I’d never encountered before. My state of health was so volatile and unpredictable that I was afraid to leave the house. I simply couldn’t rely on my “insides” to cooperate with my “outer” plans. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments

Vinegar and Blood Sugar Control

December 16, 2009 Written by JP

Each day we are challenged to live up to our highest potential. These tests can be as basic as the thoughts upon which we choose to focus or as profound as life and death decisions such as whether or not to quit smoking. One of the issues that I’ve tried to work on over the years is to refrain from comparing myself to others. I’d like to say that I came to this realization after years of careful contemplation and devout study of the most sacred spiritual texts. But, in reality, I attribute this shift of thinking to a rerun of an old television sitcom. Many years ago, I fell asleep watching TV. I awoke at about 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning and I recall seeing a few moments from an episode of M*A*S*H. The scene involved an older, wiser character (Colonel Potter, played by Harry Morgan) giving some sage advice to a younger, wilder surgeon under his command (“Hawkeye” Pierce, played by Alan Alda): “The only person you need to compare yourself to is who you have been. And the only person you need be better than is who you are now”. To this day, I don’t know whether I actually heard that wisdom or conjured it up in the fog of my sleepy head. Read more »


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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 19 Comments

ReserveAge Ultimate Antioxidant – Product Review

December 15, 2009 Written by JP

When I was growing up I imagined that the absolute greatest job in the world was to be a film critic. What could possibly be better than making a living watching movies and then telling people all about them? But, as time went on, my perspective changed somewhat. I think it’s partially because my desire to create surpassed any interest I had in critiquing the work of others. When I started writing films myself, I began to understand how very difficult it is to write a good, let alone great screenplay. What’s more, it dawned on me that the writing process is but one small piece in a much larger production. I think this is why I’ve ultimately phased out movie review columns on this site. My original intent was to recommend obscure but noteworthy films that I hoped would entertain and inspire. But writing (and reading) exclusively positive reviews tends to be rather boring and, frankly, my initial reservations about motion picture critiquing began to haunt me once again. Read more »


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Posted in Product Reviews | 5 Comments

Are Legumes Healthy?

Written by JP

Nutritionists generally concede that there are healthy ways and unhealthy ways of implementing almost any type of diet. There are obviously different points of view about what an optimal menu plan looks like. But ultimately, it’s understood that everything from a vegan diet (no animal derived food) to a ketogenic diet (very in high fat, very low in carbohydrates) can be made healthier by choosing the best dietary options within each diet’s framework. You’ll be hard pressed to find a vegetarian advocate who suggests eating meals consisting of potato chips and mixed cocktails or a low-carb authority who recommends pork rinds and diet soda for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, General Health, Nutrition | 6 Comments

Cancer Prevention Convention

December 11, 2009 Written by JP

When I was putting together today’s column I envisioned myself sporting an impeccably coiffed hairdo, a designer suit and a flamboyant tie. I’m standing in the middle of a bustling conference room filled with some of the top names in the field of cancer research. I have a microphone in hand and I’m speaking directly into the eye of a television camera. “This is JP, the ‘healthy fellow’, reporting live from The American Association for Cancer Research’s Frontiers in Cancer Prevention. Experts from around the world have converged in Houston, Texas to discuss the latest and greatest news about how we can all reduce our risk of cancer. More on that, at the top of the hour. Back to you in studio, Stacey and Charles”. The reality is that I’m sitting at my usual work desk, trying hard to tune out the sounds of a couple of loud neighbors while reviewing a bunch a studies presented at the previously mentioned AACR conference. It may not be glamorous, but I love it. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 12 Comments

Olive Oil and Red Wine Gifts

December 10, 2009 Written by JP

A few years ago I gave my wife a rather unconventional gift for the holidays. It was a book of “vouchers for lovers”. In it, there were coupons that could be redeemed whenever she chose. Some of the options included requests for “alone time”, “a big kiss”, “breakfast in bed”, “a candlelight dinner”, “a foot massage” and “a weekend getaway”. I don’t know who originally conceived of this idea, but I thought it was very clever. It seemed like an excellent way for couples to give a lot without necessarily having to spend a lot. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 6 Comments

DIM – Diindolylmethane

December 9, 2009 Written by JP

Kids often times wonder why things are the way they are. Parents know this phenomenon all too well. Rarely does a word strike as much dread in a father and mother’s heart as the word “why”. The answer to such a question usually isn’t that complicated. But rather it’s the understanding that any answer given will often prompt the follow up question – “But, why?”. I think I may be able to help out with this. The next time you instruct your daughter or son to eat their broccoli, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower and they ask you why, you can simply tell them that: “Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates that assist the body in detoxifying xenochemicals and discouraging aberrant cellular and hormonal processes that can ultimately result in malignancies”. Works every time! Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Detoxification, Nutritional Supplements | 13 Comments

Healthy Holiday Gifts

December 8, 2009 Written by JP

The holidays are rapidly approaching. It’s officially crunch time for shopping for those special gifts for beloved family, friends and mates. In the coming weeks, I’m going to share some health promoting gift ideas that I’ll personally be giving out. I want to start by telling you a little bit about my mother’s recent birthday. Selecting a gift for her is always a challenge because she absolutely refuses to offer any suggestions about what she might enjoy. Her feeling is that she has doesn’t need any more “stuff”. So typically we’ll give my parents concert or theater tickets or a gift certificate for a new and interesting restaurant. But this year, my wife and I came up with a different type of present. We wanted to choose something that we knew Mom would genuinely enjoy and, more importantly, actually use. In addition, we’re always looking for innovative ways to improve the health of those we love. By combining these two goals, we were able to find the perfect birthday gift – something that would keep on giving for an entire year. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink | 10 Comments

Pycnogenol and Eye Health

December 7, 2009 Written by JP

It’s difficult to conceive of any circumstance in which you’d purposefully eat the bark of a tree. Fruit from a tree, sure. Seeds? Possibly. Leaves? That might be pushing things a bit, but still plausible. But tree bark?! Technically, you can eat some varieties of tree bark in a survival situation. But I think most people would need to be in pretty dire straits to resort to that last ditch option. Fortunately for us all, a select group of scientists have been studying the health benefits of a specific tree bark in an attempt to derive a natural medicine from it. I’m pleased to report that their promising research now allows mankind to benefit from the goodness of tree bark by swallowing a pill rather than chewing on “tree skin”.
Read more »


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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | 15 Comments