Category Archives: Health

Let the Journey Begin!

My youngest son and I occasionally get enthralled in discussions in regards to God’s divine provision of healing plants. That comment is intriguing in itself. Anyway, our battering back-and-forth entails a discussion usually originating with natural health, (as I hope he takes after his mother, which I see the low flame igniting), and progresses to the long-standing debate on medicinal marijuana, then lopping out our personal opinions into the ring in regards to all of the natural remedies found in nature, and ending with me feeling proud that he holds a belief to some degree in healing with what God has provided for us naturally, but a little reserve that I have to keep a neutralizing, mild grip on his path. He has his ideas and perspectives in balance, I must admit, though. He does not believe in illicit, harmful drug use, but is there a role for medicinal marijuana for end-stage, suffering cancer patients? Most definitely. Now that can be a debate provoker with people by itself. My point is, though, God did provide many natural remedies and natural food to make and keep people healthy. So why so much disease? For goodness sakes, haven’t we poured billions of dollars into research to find out? Maybe, just maybe, it’s right under the tip of our noses, if we look down. IT COULD JUST BE WHAT WE EAT & DRINK!!!

I would like to share a few interesting and controversial items of information. Back in the late 1800s, Coca Cola was formulated and contained the coca leaf (that contains cocaine). In 1903, under much scrutiny, instead of using the fresh coca leaf, the formula was changed to contain the remains of the coca leaf after the cocaine was removed. Before this time, when cocaine was believed to be the root of crime, you could purchase cocaine over-the-counter, much like you can purchase Tylenol today. It was called “snow,” which brings to my mind pretty, light, fluffy, and fun. Right! Yes, this is one of God’s natural provisions, but causes many harmful health effects. I have to use this one my son next time. LOL!

And really? Is there prune juice in Dr. Pepper? Well, we may never really know if we continue to ask the manufacturers and formula owners of Dr. Pepper. But a few of my patients believe it prevents their constipation.

Artificial sweeteners; now there’s a HOT topic. This will be a discussion for later as it is lengthy and there are several. Just be aware that sorbitol, and some other sweeteners, cause gastrointestinal problems if enough quantity is consumed. Such symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, cramping, gas, and diarrhea to name a few. Ick! But it’s good for us, correct? Much better than the evil sugar!!!

My husband, who is a diabetic, and I often verbally batter when he says, “I can’t have sugar,” when I am offering him some fruit. I reply, “But you would rather kill yourself with artificial sweeteners,” and so on goes the battle. Now, I do not believe that he should consume large quantities of sugars, but an apple is better than the artificial junk any day!

So, all this is leading into my revealing my beginning of my challenge (or maybe more appropriately stated, my battle). I am compassionate about natural health and disease prevention. I preach and teach to an audience (mostly 1 on 1) most days of my life and have for years. My knowledge is lacking to where I would like it to be, but I am learning. My challenge is this. I have drunk a certain soft drink for years. Gone off of it at times, especially during acute illnesses, which hasn’t been often. But after re-aquiring a taste for the nasty stuff, I get right back on the wagon. It is one of the highest caffeine laden and sugar laden drinks there is on the soft drink market. And the carbonation, well that is powerful acid reflux or heartburn and indigestion causing medicine. Yes, I drink Mt. Dew! But, my excuses to self are, I don’t smoke, rarely consume alcohol, and eat rather healthy, or so I thought. I am realizing that I am a sugar addict and am fortunate that I do not have diabetes mellitus or cancer at present (at least that I am aware of). So with my recent wake up call from God, as He usually doesn’t let me stray too far unless I am adamant about ignoring Him, I am in the self-realization phase. I am disappointed in what I have done to myself. I only consume about 8 – 12-ounces of the wicked drink a day, but that is enough to cause the horrible withdraw headache and sugar cravings that I suffered two days ago when I went cold turkey. My other son, the eldest one, said to me in the same voice that I often communicate to him with on health issues, “You can’t go cold turkey. You have to wean yourself off the stuff. It’s just like alcohol. It’s bad.” Really? I know this (thanks for the reality check, though)! But I wasn’t drinking that much! Enough to make me suffer withdrawals and enough to cause me health issues and maybe even serious disease. So, my confession is that I am a sugar and caffeine addict, and have caused myself health issues due to my choices and poor habits. Sugar causes inflammation in our body. It leads to harmful effects and even cancer. I do not want to leave this world before my destined time that God has prepared for me, so my dietary habits and health choices need to improve!

I am currently reading a book that my oh so wise, brother, gave to me called, Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy, by Dirk Benedict. Who? You know, the guy who was face on the A-team. Intriguing book right out of the gate. I have so much to share with those who truly want to be healthy. I often say that I could be sued easily by some of the big fast food corporations if they heard me speak their name in the same sentence as diarrhea or the soft, little spongy cake and fatty liver disease. And here’s some irony……”Buy a 5-Hour Energy Drink and Help Fight Breast Cancer Today!” You know, the cute little pink bottle of 5-Hour Energy that is raising money to fight breast cancer?!!! I REFUSE to buy the drink (wouldn’t anyway) to support breast cancer when excessive intake of caffeine has AN ILL EFFECT ON BREAST TISSUE!!! WOW, is my response! But, it’s all about the money, to line some pockets at whatever the cost and possibly causing harm to those unknowing.

It is a choice to be healthy and a choice to harm one’s body. We still have genetics, environmental exposure to harmful toxins, unknowing exposures in food and drink, etc. that can cause us health problems that we often have no control over. My thought is, let’s make healthy choices and try to stay ahead in the journey of life. So, as I take on my personal battle of sugar and caffeine addiction, learn to prepare healthy foods for my family, and lecture them on their unhealthy dietary intake (oh, you know it’s coming my beloved family), I hope you will journey along with me, and if I can help you feel better and live healthier, God has truly blessed me! Blessings as always until next time……………………………………………….

Basic Health

My first love is to promote basic health. I see individuals in clinic five days a week that are often not feeling well and are having some frightening symptoms at times. I work in at a gastroenterology/hepatology clinic. I try to spend at least 5 – 10 minutes of each visit just educating individuals on improving their health practices in order to improve their overall health and sense of well-being. I hold the opinion that we ARE what we eat, susceptible to our genetic makeup, and affected by our environment. So how can we be more health conscious? Let me provide you with some helpful information:

1) The recommended amount of weekly exercise is 150 minutes divided into fairly equal sessions.
2) TRULY, the amount of portion size is out of control and I usually think that I have to eat all of what is served me or what is on my plate. After all, most of us were taught to clean our plates and food IS expensive now days. We don’t want to waste money, right? The old idea that a serving size of meat is equal to a deck of cards is ideal.
3) It takes approximately 20 minutes for receptors in your stomach to send a message to your brain that you are full. Try interrupting your meal before you are finished, drink some water, and see what happens after 10 – 15 minutes.
4) It can take up to 4 hours for your stomach to breakdown and mix your food so it can pass through a 2 centimeter opening into your small intestine. Don’t eat within 3 – 4 hours of bedtime to help avoid acid reflux/heartburn and indigestion.
5) Eat 6 small meals (love that term) a day. In other words, if you eat a small balanced diet 6 times throughout the day, you will keep your furnace (metabolism) fueled and continually have energy and burn energy. If you eat one or two big meals a day, you will have peaks and valleys where your furnace (metabolism) runs out of fuel and energy giving you ups and downs mentally and physically. When you do eat, it will take your furnace longer to get fired up and the extra calories will be stored as fat. Optimal weight control is with the 6 small meal plan and HEALTHY snacks.
6) Drink an average of 64 ounces of water daily. Actual daily recommended water intake is based on weight, but 8 – 8 ounce glasses is the average. If you drink caffeine, you will have to drink extra water as caffeine is a mild diuretic and pulls water from your system causing you to urinate more.
6) Speaking of caffeine, it is, also, a bladder wall irritant. Do not drink caffeine and go to bed or it will sit in your bladder for the better part of the night and may cause irritation and make you prone to a bladder infection.
7) More on caffeine….when we are young, say age 20, we metabolize and excrete caffeine in as little as 30 minutes. As we age, say age 70, it can take us up to 9.5 hours to metabolize and excrete caffeine. This fact alone can lead to insomnia as we age and drink caffeine late in the day.
8) Fiber is good in our diet. But remember, water and fiber are like a lock and key. You must drink adequate amounts of water as you increase dietary fiber or it can sit up like concrete. And increase dietary fiber GRADUALLY or it can cause bloating, cramps, diarrhea, and excess intestinal gas. The average American consumes approximately 10 – 11 grams of fiber in their diet daily. We need 25 – 35 grams daily. There are excellent fiber tables online to calculate your daily dietary fiber intake. I encourage you to calculate your fiber intake and initiate a plan to gradually increase your dietary fiber over a period of 30 days to reach the recommended daily amount. And remember, dietary fiber is the best kind, but there are fiber supplements on the market. These include Metamucil (psyllium), Citrucel (methylcellulose), and FiberCon (polycarbophil) to name a few.
9) Few more facts on fiber….fiber is an indigestible part of plant food and is only present in plant food. It is, also, known as bulk or roughage. It has no nutritional value (no calories, no cholesterol, no fat). There are two types of fiber: Soluble as found in psyllium, fruits, oatmeal, oat bran, beans, and peas, which absorbs water, helps regulate nutrient absorption, may lower cholesterol, helps slow sugar absorption; and, Insoluble as found in wheat bran, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, which adds bulk to bowel movements and speeds their passage through the bowels. So when making food choices to increase dietary fiber in your diet, choose whole grain (wheat, corn, rye, oat) breads and cereals, brans, fresh fruits and vegetables with skins, potatoes with skins, peas, and beans. Avoid refined flour products (white bread, rolls, pastries, cakes).
10) Medical conditions helped by a high fiber diet include: Constipation by adding bulk, making stool softer by absorbing water with adequate fluid intake, helping maintain bowel regularity, and improving stool transit time; Heart disease as soluble fiber lowers cholesterol; Hemorrhoids because softer stool decreases straining and decreases the risk of hemorrhoid swelling and irritation; Colon cancer as a low fat high fiber diet may decrease the risk of colon and rectal cancers and may be protective against breast, endometrial, ovarian, and gastrointestinal cancers; Diabetes as soluble fiber slows glucose absorption and may lower insulin requirements; Obesity as high fiber foods are generally low in calories and may decrease appetite; Diverticular disease; and, Irritable bowel syndrome.
11) DON’T smoke. If you are one of the unlucky individuals that inherited the nicotine gene, it will be more difficult for you to quit. There is assistance out there for you, but in the words of one of my patients, “No one quits unless they want to quit.”
12) The recommended daily amount of alcohol consumption not to exceed in a male is 2 – 12 ounce beers, 2 – 8 ounce malt liquors, 2 – 5 ounce glasses of wine or 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor. For a female it is cut in half. Sorry females! And this does NOT mean that you can save up your daily amounts and cash them in on the weekend as one of my patients asked me, curious to see my reaction.

I hope this information helps to promote healthy lifestyle choices. We are holistic in that our mental, emotional, physical, sexual, and spiritual aspects of being must be in balance for us to enjoy optimal health and a sense of overall well-being. Healthy lifestyle choices and practices promotes this balance. Remember that everyone is unique. We should always consult our personal health care providers when making health related changes. Blessings until next time…………………………….

Exciting NEW Exercise Program……8 Seconds to Fit

How many people will read that title and think, “Uh huh.” Some may not even venture any further into this message. For those individuals desiring a healthier lifestyle, read on.

Approximately three years ago, I was doing a rotation in orthopedics and came across study data discussing HIIT (high-intensity intermittent training) and an orthopedic surgeon who was recommending the simple, but beneficial exercise program to many of his clients. I presented the data to my computer programmer brother and RDConcepts’ own HIIT program was born; 8 Seconds to Fit. Three long years later (because of our hectic schedules) the program is ready to be rolled out. And don’t let first impressions fool you. The program appears to be a simplistic computer application, but the detail and time consumption in the development was in-depth, not to mention ALL the different mobile version issues out there. So….in keeping with RDConcepts desire to promote health and provide individuals with truly beneficial and solid health information and programs, our HIIT program IS available! It is FREE so take advantage of getting something for NOTHING!!! How often does that occur these days?

So what is HIIT and our 8 Seconds to Fit program? As stated previously, HIIT is high-intensity intermittent (exercise) training. Study data shows as published in International Journal of Obesity (2008), this method of exercise provided SIGNIFICANT decrease in total body mass including fat mass targeting trunk fat and helped in stabilizing fasting plasma insulin levels. And the TRULY EXCITING PART…….(drum roll please) is that required exercise time is 20 minutes 3 times a week. No, there are NO typos. I have personally performed the program and it is PHENOMENAL!!! I was burning calories hours after I stopped exercising and I felt GREAT!!! The program lays out a 5 minute warm up, then you vigorously exercise for 8 seconds whether it be on a stationary bike (my personal favorite), treadmill or exercise machine of your choice, pace for 12 seconds, and repeat. The time FLIES by and it is actually FUN!!! It ends with a 5 minute cool down.

So…..what do you have to lose? It’s quick, extraordinarily more beneficial then your other standard exercise programs, and it’s FREE!!! Go to http://www.rdconcepts.biz/iPhone/8SecondsToFit/ for iPhone, iPad, and Android users or go to our home page of http://www.rdconcepts.biz/category/aspx?Detail=Exercise-c12 and access the Blackberry, windows and all versions. Let us know what you think with your feedback on this webpage.

Thanks for your interest and best of luck!!! RDConcepts truly wishes you the best in health! Blessings until next time……………….

(Remember to always check with your primary care provider prior to starting any new diet or exercise program)

Hot Flashes

My goal is to post health information to this blog on a daily basis in the near future.  This task has not been possible for me to date, as life is SO busy of late.  There is some information that I would like to share from personal experience for those women who are experiencing those horrible episodes called “Hot Flashes!” 

In October 2010, I experienced my first episodes of “Hot Flashes” mainly occurring at night.  For five agonizing weeks I suffered with horrible inferno attacks every 20 – 30 minutes during the night.  I got to the point when I would go to bed that I actually experienced anxiety because I knew what the night had in store for me.  Let me add that this was never like me in the past XX years of my life.  Even life’s stress usually could not interfere with my nighttime slumber as I always held the philosophy when it came to bedtime and sleeptime, that was MY eight hours of personal ownership.  Nothing mattered during those hours and any problems would still be there in the morning awaiting my attention.  I WAS a sleeper!!! 

Needless to say, I was at my wit’s end after 5 weeks of suffering no REM sleep and frequent sleep interruptions throughout the night.  I finally gave in and went to my health care provider.  My options were HRT (hormone replacement therapy), which I consider NOT an option for me as there are so many family members that suffered breast cancer and due to my personal beliefs; Effexor (antidepressant), which I said I didn’t need because I wasn’t depressed, however that could have been argued at that point in time due to my exhaustion from lack of sleep; and, Clonidine (antihypertensive plus other uses).  I chose the Clonidine. 

After leaving the provider’s office, I called my husband to inform him of the verdict and he told me about an advertisement that he saw in the SJ-R that morning about a herbal supplement called iCool that was suppose to prevent hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms.  He told me there was a coupon in the newspaper that he tore out for me.  I thought, what have I got to lose?  I was desperate.  So desperate that I picked up the coupon from him, went to the pharmacy and picked up my Clonidine and iCool.  There were two entire rows reserved for the supplement and one row was empty and the other was 1/2 empty so I thought that there must be alot of desperate hot flashers out there just like me.  I went home and that evening decided to take the iCool and wait on taking the Clonidine as I knew the effect that it could have on my low normal blood pressure.  I went to bed that night, experienced the same anxiety and fear of not being able to sleep due to inferno flashes and drifted off. 

God does work in mysterious ways.  I only awakened briefly that night three times!!!  The next night was even better…….NO hot flashes!!!  I only took 16 pills total until I stopped taking the supplement.  I am not much of a pill taker and I wanted to see if I still needed the supplement.  I experienced no more hot flashes for 16 months.  Not because the 16 pills entirely stopping the hot flashes forever, but more likely because my hormone levels returned to normal again. 

After 16 months, I began having hot flashes with the same fury if not worse then before. I started taking the iCool again.  It didn’t work this time hardly at all!  I was bummed to say the least.  Then one day, after about a week, I was out shopping with my mom and aunt in Sam’s Wholesale.  I saw a big package of iCool and thought how more available and popular the product was.  It raised to the glory of being bulk packaged and had made it to the spotlight of Sam’s shelves.  Then it hit me!  The shelf life had probably expired on my supplement form October 2010.  I purchased new product and just like magic, no more hot flashes!   I can personally atest that this herbal supplement stopped my hot flashes entirely while taking it.  I must inform you though, that I do not take any prescription medications, only other supplements and I do not endorse this product or tell anyone to start taking it until they check with their health care provider first.  This IS extremely important as your own individual health situation is just that; individual and unique.  So always check with your health care provider prior to taking any herbal supplements.  For me, this is a phenomenal product.  I researched the ingredient and found nothing for me to fear in regards to my health and its use.  

 “Hot Flashes” are horrible to say the least!!!  Many women suffer sleepless nights and multiple bed sheet changes in the middle of the night due to the episodes.  I can say that I, once again, enjoy peaceful and relaxing uninterrupted sleep (as does my husband) due to iCool. 

Since finding iCool on the popular shelves of Sam’s Wholesale, I noticed that it has earned a new spotlight in a TV ad.  Blessings until later………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Helping Others to Live Healthier Lives

In December 2010, I fulfilled one of my life’s goals and achieved a certification as a nurse practitioner after many years of practicing as a registered nurse. I thought that this was going to be the dream career that I was looking for. Little did I know that the advanced education and certification only better prepared me for actually working towards an advanced nursing career and my true dream. Now, one and one-half years later, I’m eager to get started utilizing my knowledge and fulfill my dream of: Helping Others to Live Healthier Lives! This website will be the pathway through which I hope to offer solid, evidenced based information to individuals in order for them to make lifestyle changes, become better educated and live a happy, healthy life. I live my life with faith that anything IS possible! So……let the journey begin!!! Blessings until next time:)