Sunday, October 9, 2016

Heat(er) of the Moment

My song for this post is "Heat of the Moment" by Asia. This was definitely not the topic that I had planned on, today. I am, however, influenced to change my plans due to the heat (and the heater) of the moment.

Yesterday and Friday were so exciting! (Please note the sarcasm that can't be communicated through text...) We had to replace our water heater. Definitely an expense that I was neither expecting nor could I easily afford. We were out of the house on Friday for a good portion of the day. When we got home, we found that water heater had sprung a leak and we had a minor flood in our basement. We shut off the main water source for the water heater and started to make some calls. It was late enough in the day that we were unable to get any service from the various, local plumbers (even though they claim 24/7 service!). This turned out to be a blessing, though. Fortunately, we have some great friends and neighbors that helped us out. One of them offered to do the plumbing the next day if we were able to get a new water heater! Lowe's is right around the corner from us and they are running a 10% off sale for their water heaters. So, what would have been a minimum of $1,500 from the "emergency" plumber ended up only costing us $400 to get the new water heater and have it installed. Another friend is loaning us their dehydrator to help dry out the basement. We'll probably still have to replace the carpeting in the basement, but it could have been a whole lot worse...

How does this contribute to my journey to wellness and why am I sharing it with you? Well, wellness isn't just physical. It is also mental and spiritual. From this experience, I was able to view the benefit from the lack of emergency service from the plumbers rather than curse them. While it did cost us $400 to replace the water heater, we grew closer to two friends through their assistance to "fix the flapper" (remember that post?) rather than costing us more than 3 times than the cost of the water heater alone. So, this may not have been a step down the physical path but it was certainly progress down the spiritual and mental journey to wellness.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Key to D

Vitamin D - specifically, D3 - can be acquired 2 ways: through sunlight and through food and supplements.  As such, I'm giving you 2 songs on this post. The reason - technically, 2 reasons - that I'm using the first song might be more evident than the second song. It is "Waiting For the Sun" by The Doors. Reason #1: the sun is a fantastic source of Vitamin D. Reason #2: The "D"-oors! OK, it may be a silly reason, but there is more behind my choice of The Doors. Vitamin D isn't as simple as it may seem and you should have a key to unlock the 'D'-oor - hence, the title of this post.
The second song that I chose is "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down. There are also a couple of reasons why I chose this song. Of course, 'D'oors but also because of '3.' Vitamin D3 is really what we want to acquire through food and/or supplements because it is more absorbable/effective than D1 and D2. As well, D2 is synthetic and should be completely avoided! Title of the song also has multiple reasons for its selection. Vitamin D supplement could be your kryptonite if you don't, properly consume it (if you don't know the reference of kryptonite, look up Superman...). So, how do you properly supplement your Vitamin D? Consume it with Vitamin K! Get it? D3 - 3 Doors, K - 'k'-ryptonite? OK, so kryptonite is harmful to Superman/Super Girl but Vitamin K is beneficial to us... Still, I couldn't resist using this song.

So, I may have been a bit off by stating that K is the key to D, but if you are supplementing with Vitamin D3, you really should also supplement with Vitamin K2.

Essentially, taking Vitamin D as a supplement can lead to too much calcium in your blood. This can then cause the hardening of your arteries! Rather than spending too much time to describe all of that here, I recommend that you check it out HERE - the Vitamin D Council website.

What does Vitamin K do for us?

Here's what Dr. Andrew Weil says about Vitamin K:
"Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries – it regulates normal blood clotting. In addition, by assisting the transport of calcium throughout the body, Vitamin K may also be helpful for bone health: it may reduce bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures. It also may help to prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue."

While it isn't quite the key to Vitamin D, Vitamin K reduces the potential for negative side effects and improves the definite benefits of supplementing with Vitamin D.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Turmeric Trigger

What?!? The title of this post isn't also the name of a tune?!?

Sorry, I tried - but couldn't think of a fitting song to marry to this post...

I don't know if turmeric qualifies as a 'superfood,' but it is quite amazing! There are several (understatement of the week!) articles re: turmeric promoting the benefits of this spice. Rather than trying to re-type all of that information, I'm simply providing you with links to some of those articles. Go ahead and peruse these links. I'll wait right here for you...

  • The reason that I go for turmeric rather than the isolated curcumin is described in this article found on Huffington Post:
      • In case you have an issue trying to access it through the link, I'm providing a quote from that article here:
"Another compound in turmeric may protect the brain. Aromatic turmerone or ar-turmerone is not as well-studied as curcumin, but it also likely plays a part in the turmeric puzzle. In a recent study, researchers found ar-turmerone promotes repair to stems cells in the brain. The study examined the effects of the compound in rats on a type of stem cell that is also found in adult brains. These stem cells are involved in recovery from neurodegenerative diseases like stroke and Alzheimer’s. The compound could potentially be used in the treatment of these diseases in the future, the findings suggest."

  • The last link that I'm providing is a little more scientific and a little less opinionated than the previous three. WebMD:
      • Definitely check out the 'Side Effects' tab before you add turmeric to your diet

...and, we're back!

OK. So, there are several reasons why you might want to add turmeric to your seasoning options. But why did I title this post "Turmeric Trigger?"

Well, turmeric is great, but it works a whole lot better when you also add its trigger to your seasoning! That trigger is piperine. Adding piperine to your spice increases the absorbability of curcumin by up to 2000%!

"So... Where do I find that piperine stuff and how much should I use?"

Piperine is easily found in black pepper and you can use as little as 1/20th tsp. to trigger your turmeric!