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Taking Care of our Health - Editor's Letter to the Reader PDF Print E-mail

As the editor of this magazine, I feel a strong compelling need to responsibly offer my insights to the health-conscious consumer who is looking for ways to improve their health, but choose to do so realistically and not with unreasonable expectations or lack of wisdom...

 

Health Care - The Most Vital Priority We Must Yield Ourselves To


Dear health conscious reader,

Health care should by all means, be the most important priority in our lives, for without it, we cannot enjoy the quality of life that we deserve to be able to live. This is why it is especially vital to be always and completely health-conscious, label-reader savvy when grocery shopping, and on top of our A-game when we visit the doctor.  Our bodies will talk to us and we should always take the time to listen.

In our health section of this magazine, we encourage the reader to take out the time to realize that words like 'natural' or 'chemical' are not strong enough words to form an opinion based solely on that description, as there are natural and synthetic chemicals and there are products that have a couple of natural ingredients in them, yet not enough to label the product as  'natural' or even 'organic'. 

The USDA organic label, though helpful in most situations, is to be regarded with some skepticism due to the fact that a product may include some organic ingredients, but ALL of that product's ingredients may not be 100% purely organic.  The label can be legally used by food manufacturers who have met some standards to be able to use the organic label. Usually, on the ingredient panel, the organic ingredients are typically marked with an asterick for clear identification purposes.  As always best advised, read, read and read again before making food and medicine choices for you and your family.

The reader will further embrace the fact that even foods are considered medicine and all foods, even in their most pure, natural state, are made up of chemicals. 

Many of us fail to understand or take into consideration that all medicines - be they prescription drugs or herbals - originate from some sort of flower or plant and that all medicinals, regardless of their source, have various chemical structures and compounds and therefore, will have different affects on everyone as some people are sensitive or allergic to even the natural source.  A good example of this is when someone has eye or nose allergies to certain spring flowers.  Another example is that while one person is allergic to the plant poison ivy or oak, another is not affected at all.  The same is true of grains, such as wheat and the potentially harmful protein of gluten. 

Lectins can also be quite harmful to certain individuals – such as those found in legumes (beans) or corn.  Some people react with mild intolerance and others have extreme intolerance, as is the case with gluten-intolerance types who struggle with Celiac Spru disease, while others experience no problems whatsoever. 

The fact is, as we age, we lose our stomach enzymes that have always helped us to break down our foods better and without enough of them, we tend to have poor and sluggish digestive systems.  A solution to some of this can be made when a food enzyme tablet is taken before or with each meal (especially when combining proteins with carbs).  The other crucial supplement we all should stock in our fridges is the pre/pro-biotic acidopholus/ bifidus, otherwise known as 'the good bateria' becasue our bodies are made up of friendly and  unfriendly bacteria and in order to fight off the foreign invaders and the unhealthy bacteria and viruses, the good bateria must be present in the intestinal tract, where the immune system dwells.

This good bacteria, (expert holisic practitioners advise that 50 Billion bacteria is best dosage, especially if repairing a weakened or impaired body), when taken daily on an empty stomach, will restore healthy intestinal flora/ bacteria. Quite simply, if diet is poor or other imperative supplements have not be added to treat symptoms or to aide in preventing them, disease can and will set in when a body is overloaded with too much 'bad bacteria'. 

Many people do not realize that the immune system is set up in the intestinal tract, which is the body's epicenter of all health and disease.  A phenomenon I discovered many years ago, called ‘leaky gut’ or LGS (Leaky Gut Syndrome) occurs when we don’t digest all of our foods properly and then that undigested food crosses the intestinal barrier and flows into the bloodstream.  When the blood is contaminated with this unhealthy bacteria created by undigested food particles, we are vulnerable for disease to set up shop and eventually, this risk factor can work to wreak sheer havoc over our entire bodies, conintuously destroying  certain body organs until all organs are eventually affected. 

The most common disease-threatening conditions, such as diabetes, and other irritating and auto-immune disorders like skin diseases (eczema or rosacea for two examples) are ripe and ready for deeper destruction to all the body’s vital organs.  People often toss this information under the bus, disregarding it as ‘hooey fooey nonsense’ but these are the same folks that while disregarding their better wisdom, travel to and fro the pharmacists every week or month for their diabetes and nerve disorder meds!

Chemicals have molecules and as common sense would point out, a larger molecule cannot penetrate a tiny cell, as ths is akin to trying to force a quarter into a dime's slot - it is merely not possible.  But we believe what the commercials and fancy, bright-colored marketing package says and buy the over-hyped product despite our common sense rescuig us from all the lies.  We fail to do our 'medical homework' or ask our health care providers (or retail sales managers) a host of imperative and challenging questions they should be knowledgeable enough to tell us when asked. Plus, if they know their 'stuff', they shouldn't be angered or indifferent to our challenging them.  We make the mistake of not seeking more info about our health on our own, and we suffer as a result, putting all of the responsibility on the health care provider as we seem to be in search of the constant ‘quick fix’ and don't want to put any effort into being proactive. 

Taking a proactive position means taking the time to educate ourselves and in a rushed, frenzied culture like that of the one we live in America, we never think we have enough time.  With this attitude, however, is there any wonder the majority of us are all overweight and sick?  It's not enough to blame the fast-food restaurants or the deceitful marketing companies that are usually only interested in profit and fame - it is partially up to us to find the right answers for ourselves instead of always playing the blame game. There are many other options available to us - we just have to train ourselves to become better, more 'assertive hunters' instead of lazily relying on only being 'passive receivers' of whatever the mainstreamed, propaganda-filled world offers us.

One perfect example of many of these oversights we repeatedly make is when we ladies buy a cheap face cream or moisturizer at the drug or department store that promises 'miraculous results within days'. It’s always wise to do research on the Internet to find out if there have ever been any clinical trials or third-party approved studies performed on a product such as a certain face cream or anti-age cream before making an impulsive purchase.  The molecular structure of the majority of the face and body creams sold in the drugstores tend to be extremely dense and large, therefore, that lotion or cream lacks any real functionaltiy because it lays on top of the face, preventing essential penetration of the so-called great ‘extract’ or peptide from doing its 'miraculous' magic. 

COMMON SENSE FACT WE ALL SHOULD KNOW: A chemical not able to reach below the top two layers of the skin's upper epidermis does nothing as it was not chemically formulated for beneficial consumption.

The other fact to make an important note of relates to how the cosmetic industry’s inundated beauty products that line every shelf we pass in the average retail store, contain harmful chemicals. Some of these chemicals are petroleum-based by-products that can cause what is known as ‘estrogen mimicking’ in the endocrine system.  With too much estrogen, hormones become imbalanced and free radicals go beserk in the body with disease lying in wait beneath that next layer of mineral-oil rich, fragrance and dye-irritating, propylene glycol-poisoning ‘super moisturizer, miracle in a jar’.  Hoopla and hype is what the consumer is mostly buying and time will eventually reveal just how sick our beauty lies have become.  

Okay, so bad news should not be doled out without some good news to offset the offense!  There are many natural and healthier products to be considering so I am offering a few tips that work for me. Our female readers may be especially drawn to these simple and money-saving ideas…

(Simple and affordable tips for ladies wanting to reduce or erase fine lines and wrinkles: There are too many factors to go into in this article, but I will underscore the bsics. First of all, it is wise to fully understand the particular depth and dynamic of your own individual wrinkle biolgoy and status. What is your skin type?  If oily, you are a bit more blessed than those with dry skin, as dry skin tends to need more moisture-rich, molecularly tiny and thicker creams to protect them from mositure-robbing environments.  

Next fact to factor in: How far along are your lines and wrinkles?  If they are still young and fresh - that is, not 'young' as in your birthday-relevant age, but young as in newer wrinkles forming in an early developmental stage - it is easier to reduce or even eliminate them. When wrinkles have been left untreated for most of your life, the damage is harder to reverse.  Cosmetic surgeons - otherwise referred to as 'skin artists'  can help, but you have to help them to help you. A doctor can be highly skilled, but his or her skills are limited when the patient expects them to do all the work and perfom an unrealistic 'magic power' that does not exist in the real world. 

I have interviewed many of these skin experts over the years on the topic of cosmetic enhancements and they have all told me numerous times that it is best to take care of your skin as early as you can, as then it is easier for the future plastic or cosmetic surgeon to create better results - that is if a doctor's surgical service becomes an attractive option later in life.  Your skin is this artist's canvas  and he or she, if talented in their field and hopefully, double-board certified, will advise that you not only take simple maintenance steps when you are still young enough, but that you stay consistent with these preventative and maintenance measures when you are undergoing any future 'medical repair' procedures. 

Another tool to add to your skin and cellular health repair kit : Vitamin K. More precisely, Vitamin K-2 has the ability to repair and grow collagen for weak joints and bones (especially when taken with its synergistic-producing partner, calcium), jumpstarts healing and bruising after sugery, and also helps to repair damaged cells and to heal the body at the cellular level.  Vitamin K creams (of course, with tiny molecular structures) will also speed the repairing of unsightly broken capillairies and blood vessles and some veins - especially good for dark circles under the eyes. 

It is possible, for example, to prevent major wrinkles and crinkles from further forming by using a good quality, synthetic chemical-free sunscreen every time you step into the sun, even if this means only walking to your car from the store. Another good tip is to avoid sleeping in your make-up, as our skin needs to breathe and repair itself during sleep cycles - especially during the circadia rhythms of our hormone-balancing, restorative sleep time frame beween the hours of 10 pm - 2 am.  

Of course, all doctors - cosemtic and the conventional family MD - will tell us that an over-acidic diet plays a key role in drying out our skin beyond any hereditary, environmental or maintenance-failure reasons. A good diet consisting of more alkaline foods (yes, that means more fruits and veggies and chilling on the processed foods and heavy carb load!), when paired with low or no alcohol, is another way to pamper our body's largest organ.  If great skin is the desired, goal, alcohol is its worst enemy, due partially to being highly acidic.  This acid is harsh and is known for dehydrating the skin, robbing it of its proper moistture and ph-balance as well as for weakening the collagen and elastin, thus, further causing the breakdown of the skin's tightness, creating sagging skin. So drink up, right? Yes, in fact do drink up - but drink that filtered water, as water is our most valuable, most precious resource and acts as a detoxifier.  Added tip: Squeeze in a few drops of an organic lemon to enhance the flavor. The lemon serves two purposes - it is great for detoxifying the liver and it helps neutralize acids due to its alkaline properties.

A SIMPLE OIL FOR WRINKLE RELIEF: Now, once you make your skin more moist with diet, sleep and sunscreen changes, dab some hexane-free, pure organic castor oil onto a simple eyebrow brush and dot under eyes or along fine lines.  Do this every night before bed and see amazing results within a few weeks.  The castor oil is viscous however, so be conservative in dabbing the brush!  Castor oil can be found in the health stores such as Whole Foods in Hyde Park/Oakley area and is usually below $10 for a medium-sized bottle.  Just make sure it is hexane-free as this means that the oil has not had its purity disrupted or tainted during the complex manufacturing process).

Another seemingly 'innocent mistake' we ladies have been known to make is to simply eat a grapefruit while taking certain drugs such as birth control pills. The natural grapefruit, while healthy for most, will negate the benefits of the hormones found in birth control pills! Now, this does NOT mean that grapefruit is a bad food and that we should take it off the shelves, but people who over-generalize information like this miss the wider point and bigger picture.  To add to this complexity is the manufacturing process that can significantly alter the quality of the medicine, especially when other inorganic, unnatural chemicals (such as pesticides or antibiotics for example) and preservatives and fillers are added to increase shelf life for products as well as profit for the companies that make the products. 

When this additional chemical alteration occurs, we must acknowledge that not all medicinals are created equal, nor are all of them compatible with one another for the consumption of the general public.  It's first important to understand that there are a lot of chemical reactions taking place as we mix natural chemicals with unnatural ones and then put them into or on our bodies which are also already full of our own body's chemicals and hormones. 

This is in fact, why generalizing with the 'all herbs are the way to go' trend, or 'all herbs are bad, so only use drugs' mantras are absurd, as mainstream media will confuse you for ratings and profit, and everyone does not share the same body chemistry or have the same health issues and concerns. This is also why 'all diets' don't work for everyone. The general public would be benefited greatly from ceasing to listen to overhyped hipster trending and careless sound bytes without the real 'bite' of substance-driven data.  If we stop generalizing and work with ways to discern what to do for ourselves on a case-by-case basis instead of blindly judging or following popular fads and trends to fit in with our friends and families, we'd all be much healthier, inside and out, and we'd be listening more to the higher truth of our own (individual) instincts, which is the best adviser we could ever have!

COMMON SENSE FACT WE ALL SHOULD KNOW: Each of us need to be treated as the individuals we are and only work with experts who will treat us as such by customizing our health plans with us, not just 'for' us. We encourage all of our readers to take a more proactive approach with their personal health - both in the physical and psychological forms. Our bodies (and minds) have the amazing natural power to regenerate, repair and heal themselves, but we need to live healthier lives to help that natural process along. 

- KK/ Altro Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief
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