Friday, November 6, 2009

WEDNESDAY NIGHT TALENT SHOWCASE

The last Wednesday of every month TJ Entertainment Productions will be featuring 3 talented singers during our "Dinner Showcase" starting at 7:30 at Angeles National's Agave Bar & Grill.

The talent showcase gives you the opportunity to invite family & friends as well as talent agents & managers in the recording, film & television industry , to see you perform live. This also gives you a venue to add to your resume.

Auditions are held weekly during Wednesday night karaoke.

Please contact Val 818.996.2760 or Barbara 818.951.4214 for further info.

Agave Bar & Grill is located inside the beautiful clubhouse of Angeles National Golf Club
9401 Foothill Blvd. Sunland, CA 91040 TEL: 818-951-8771

click here for directions

Join us Nov 25th, Wednesday @ 7:30 - 8:30 for our November Singer's Showcase
Open mic karaoke immediately following showcase

FOR THIS COMING WEDNESDAY NIGHT


















We're celebrating the hit's of the 80's! Here is a link to the top hits of the 80's. Practice your song pics this week and blow us away Nov. 11th 8pm at Angeles National Golf Club's "Agave Bar & Grill"...inside the beautiful clubhouse with the spectacular view of the foothills! We'll have fun giveaway prizes too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winners of "Sing Your Heart Out" Karaoke Contest

We would like to thank all of those who participated in our contest Oct 28th at
Angeles National Golf Club
AGAVE BAR & GRILL
9401 Foothill Blvd. Sunland, CA 91040
TEL: 818-951-8771
click here for directions

Help us congratulate the winners. The winners are as follows:

Babs Benson
1ST PLACE $200
plus
Voice Lessons with Dot Todman
(a $300 value)
Dining Gift Certificate to Agave Bar & Grill

Idara Udoffia
2ND PLACE $50
plus
Dot's CORE Vocal Power™
Building C.O.R.E. Vocal Training DVD
Dining Gift Certificate to Agave Bar & Grill

Mida Lane
3RD PLACE $25
plus
Dot's C.OR.E. Vocal Power™ Audio Lessons
Dining Gift Certificate to Agave Bar & Grill

Dot Todman
"Celebrity Vocal Empowerment Coach"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Back in the Karaoke Business

We hope that you can join us every Wed. night beginning Sept 30th.

Karaoke, dinner, just plain 'ol fun. Hosted by Pat Dempsey & Valerie.
check out the website for detailed info TJ Entertainment Productions.com

Open mic from 8-9:30 & 10:30-midnight

For the next 4 week we'll be running a singing contest 9:30-10:30
Top 3 winners from each week will compete for the $200 cash first place prize on Oct. 28th.

We're working on getting more sponsors to up the anti. Keep your fingers crossed!!!

Hope to see you there

TJ Entertainment Productions
@ The Agave Bar & Grill
inside the Angeles National Golf Club

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Red Yeast Lowers Cholesteral:


Pharmaceutical companies are bombarding us with constant ads to use drugs instead of using a natural cure & implimenting a healthier life style. Red yeast rice has been used in China for centuries as a medicinal supplement. Recently, it has been discovered that red yeast rice contains substances that are similar to prescription medications that lower cholesterol.


The drug companies stole the molecule for statin drugs from an herb called red yeast rice (but they made it more dangerous than the herb). The best and safest statins are provided solely by the herb, which is why the FDA has gone out of its way to pressure retailers to stop selling it.

But new science shows that red yeast rice effectively lowers cholesterol without the dangers of cholesterol drugs. Read today's report by Sherry Baker here:

http://www.naturalnews.com/026524_red_yeast_rice_drugs_side_effects.html



Thursday, May 28, 2009

Core Exercises

Here is a GREAT link for core exercises. Thank God for Dr. Oz and all the info to help you become the Best You can be Trim and tone your middle with this online ab video from expert trainer Joel Harper.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beginner Target Training for Women!

by Author: Rachel Vosu, B.A. (Kinesiology & Health Science), C.Kin., CFC

A strong core and lower body has a host of benefits, including a sleek and sexy body!
Most women have one or two problem areas that they wish they could change or improve. Some are looking for a toned midsection, whereas others would like firmer thighs and a tighter butt. Generally speaking, the core and lower body are usually the two areas that women are always looking to improve. However, these areas of the female body are not just there for appearance! They also have extremely important functional roles too. Within this article, I’m going to briefly explain the importance of a strong core and lower body, and outline an exercise routine that you can incorporate into your plan. By exercising the core and lower body muscles not only will you have a more functional body, but a tighter and more toned body as well!

The Importance of a Strong Core & Lower Body
The core is the body’s center of gravity. It’s comprised of many muscles, such as the abdominals, obliques, and erector spinae to name a few. Basically, it’s the general area around your trunk and pelvis. Some of the benefits of having a strong core include the prevention of lower back pain, improved posture, and a reduced incidence of muscle injuries.
A strong and functional core enables the muscles of your pelvis, hips, lower back and abdomen to work in synchronization. Essentially, the core muscles provide support to the spine for any type of physical activity you engage in. A strong core provides your body with a stable platform so exercise movements are more controlled and risk of injury is minimized. This is also the case with the lower body. Stronger lower body muscles enable better balance and increased functional ability. So, remember to keep this in mind when doing your lunges and squats. Of course, exercising the core and lower body muscles will also help you tighten up your body so you can easily fit into one of those sleek and sexy outfits of yours!

Outlined below you’ll find a sample lower body/core workout that includes six exercises you can do just about anywhere. I’ve also described the exercises and have included start and finish photos to help you get on the right track!

Sample Workout:

Exercise Sets and Reps Rest
1) Alternating lunges 3 of 20 (10 per side) 30 sec
2) Side step squat 3 of 16 (8 per side) 30 sec
3) Walking lunges 3 of 20 (10 per side) 30 sec
4) Body weight squats 3 of 10 30 sec
5) Side bridge hold 3 of 10-15 seconds
6) Plank hold 3 of 8-10 seconds 30 sec

Exercise Descriptions:




Alternating Lunges
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and lunge foreword keeping your shoulders back and chest out, and arms are at the side. Make sure your knee does not extend past your toes. Alternate between the right and left legs, so that 10 reps are done per leg.





Side-Step Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, step or lunge to the right side, and squat down. When you squat, pretend as though you are about to sit down on a chair. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, butt sticking out, and back slightly arched. Slowly lower your body, and slowly come up. I like to count down for three and up for three. Step to the starting position and do this sequence for the left side. Do 10 reps per leg, for a total of 20 reps for this exercise.


Walking Lunges
Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back, and a tight core. Step foreword with your right foot. Bend both knees so that your right knee is aligned over your ankle or slightly forward, and the left or back knee approaches the floor with your heel lifted. Push up allowing the weight of your body to pass through the right heel. At the same time, bring your left leg forward, and without pausing, lunge forward with your left foot. Continue to alternate strides for 10 steps on each leg, for a total of 20 reps for this exercise.






Body Weight Squats
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and toes slightly pointing out. Concentrate on dropping your hips as if you were to sit on a chair. Go down far enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Control yourself as you go down. Count down for three and up for three.












Side-Bridge Hold

Lie on your right side (right elbow) with legs stacked and both feet on floor. Left foot should be slightly in front of your right foot on the floor. Keeping your weight on your feet and right elbow/forearm, lift your hips off the floor and straighten your body to form a line. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and then switch to the opposite side.







Plank

Support your body weight on your elbows/forearms and toes. Elbows/forearms should be shoulder-width apart and are directly under your shoulders. Feet should be together or slightly apart. Maintain head alignment with the spine. Keep the core tight and breathe normally while holding the position for 8 to 10 seconds.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Golf Humor

Michel Courtemanche - Le Golf
What a talented and funny guy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lose a Pound of Fat a Week



Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss. Research shows that fad diets, medications, and herbal supplements do not work for long-term weight loss.

Losing weight and keeping it off involves three key elements:

How many calories do I need?

Your body requires a minimum number of calories to maintain its basic functions. This is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It is influenced by many factors, including age, gender, and climate. Daily exercise adds to that requirement.

How can I lose one pound of fat per week?
A pound is approximately 3,500 calories, so you need to subtract 3,500 calories from your diet, or burn 3,500 calories through additional exercise. Most people use a combination of both.

Once I calculate my caloric needs, what should I do with this information?
This is just step one. Now you should choose a diet and exercise program and a target weight. Once you've done this, consider the diet that would be right for you.
You probably often hear references to eating a “balanced diet,” but this can be misleading. While the idea is correct, “balanced” varies for each individual. Here are a few basic guidelines:

Calories come from proteins, fats, carbohydrates and, sometimes, alcohol. We need all of the first three to survive and, in general, a bit more carbohydrates than fats and proteins. Your diet should be a reflection of our activity level and body composition. The more exercise you do, the more carbohydrates you need, which changes the daily percentage of your food intake. In a basic sense, proteins and fats should remain fairly constant, while your carbohydrate intake should fluctuate based on the amount of exercise you do in a given day.

"Low-carb" diets are for obese individuals. They are not balanced because they don't follow the above guidelines, but they can be effective for short-term weight loss. They are often a good first step in bringing ones body into balance.

One pound of body fat equals approximately 3,500 calories. To lose one pound of fat per week, you need to consume no more than the following calories per day. Calorie Caluculator

As always, consult your physician before starting any diet porgram.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Update Thursday April 30th

My husband Pat received a very informative e-mail. He posted it on his blog today and I think it's important enough to share with you as well:

All,
This is information from a family friend who is a doctor in the San Marcos/New Braunfels area. He gives a little more insight on this disease than has been reported on the news. I certainly wasn’t aware of all this info.

The virus is infectious for about 2 days prior to symptom onset

- Virus sheds more than 7 days after symptom onset (possibly as long as 9 days) (this is unusual)

- Since it is such a novel (new) virus, there is no "herd immunity," so the "attack rate" is very high. This is the percentage of people who come down with a virus if exposed. Almost everyone who is exposed to this virus will become infected, though not all will be symptomatc. That is much higher than seasonal flu, which averages 10-15%. The "clinical attack rate" may be around 40-50%. This is the number of people who show symptoms. This is a huge number. It is hard to convey the seriousness of this.

- The virulence (deadliness) of this virus is as bad here as in Mexico , and there are folks on ventilators here in the US , right now. This has not been in the media, but a 23 month old near here is fighting for his life, and a pregnant woman just south of San Antonio is fighting for her life. In Mexico , these folks might have died already, but here in the US , folks are getting Tamiflu or Relenza quickly, and we have ready access to ventilators. What this means is that within a couple of weeks, regional hospitals will likely become overwhelmed.

- Some of the kids with positive cases in Comal County had more than 70 contacts before diagnosis.

- There are 10-25 times more actual cases (not "possible" cases -- actual), than what is being reported in the media. The way they fudge on reporting this is that it takes 3 days to get the confirmatory nod from the CDC on a given viral culture, but based on epidemiological grounds, we know that there are more than 10 cases for each "confirmed" case right now.

- During the night, we crossed the threshold for the definition of a WHO, Phase 6 global pandemic. This has not happened in any of our lifetimes so far. We are in uncharted territory.

- I expect President Obama will declare an emergency sometime in the next 72-96 hours. This may not happen, but if it doesn't, I will be surprised. When this happens, all public gatherings will be cancelled for 10 days.

- I suggest all of us avoid public gatherings. Outdoor activities are not as likely to lead to infection. It is contained areas and close contact that are the biggest risk.

- Tamiflu is running out. There is a national stockpile, but it will have to be carefully managed, as it is not enough to treat the likely number of infections when this is full-blown. I don't think there is a big supply of Relenza, but I do not know those numbers. If I had to choose, I would take Relenza, as I think it gets more drug to the affected tissue than Tamiflu.

- You should avoid going to the ER if you think you have been exposed or are symptomatic. ER's south of here are becoming overwhelmed -- and I mean that -- already. It is coming in waves, but the waves are getting bigger.

- It appears that this flu produces a distinctive "hoarseness" in many victims. The symptoms, in general, match other flu's; namely, sore throat, body aches, headache, cough, and fever. Some have all these symptoms, while others may have only one or two.

- N-Acetyl-Cysteine -- a nutritional supplement available at the health food store or Wimberley Pharmacy, has been shown to prevent or lessen the severity of influenza. I suggest 1200mg, twice a day for adults, and 600mg twice a day in kids over 12. It would be hard to get kids under 12 to take it, but you could try opening the capsules and putting it on yogurt. For 40 pounds and up, 300-600 mg twice a day, for less than 40 pounds, half that.

- Oscillococinum, a homeopathic remedy, has been vindicated as quite effective in a large clinical trial in Europe , with an H1N1 variant. You can buy this at Hill Country Natural Foods, or the Wimberley Pharmacy.

end e-mail

Saturday, April 25, 2009

10 Super Foods You Should Eat

We've all heard about superfoods—consumables with mystical powers to cure whatever it is that ails you and that will help you live forever. This list will be different. Today we'll look at some common items that should be on your menu, even though you probably haven't heard them touted as the next great miracle cure. In fact, some of these you probably thought were bad for you.

I begin this list with a caveat; we're all different. One person's superfood is another's trip to the emergency room (soy comes to mind here). There are some nutritional factors we all share, such as the need to eat a certain amount of calories that come from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to keep our bodies functioning as they should. Beyond this, our exact dietary needs begin to diverge.

RunnersThere are some obvious reasons for this. Lifestyle and activity level are pretty easy to understand. That someone who is pregnant or training for an Ironman needs more calories than a computer programmer who sits for 14 hours a day isn't difficult to fathom. Neither is the fact that a 90-pound ballerina uses less fuel than a 350-pound lineman. That we all eat a different number of calories and a different percentage of fats, proteins, and especially carbs is obvious, or at least should be, since the bigger you are and the harder you work the more fuel your body needs to recharge itself.

What's more subtle are body type differences. These can be difficult to understand, and many people never figure them out. Blood type, heredity, and other factors come into play and make each of us unique individuals. When it comes to eating, most of us spend a fair portion of our lives figuring out just what we should be eating to maximize our life experience (which doesn't necessarily mean we choose the healthiest options). For this reason, there is no true "superfood." There are, however, helpful foods that are specific to each of us. By experimenting with our diets, we will all find a course of eating that makes us feel better than anything else.

To help you begin your self-experiment, here's a list of common foods that you'll want to try. Most of these are very healthy for almost everyone, even though some have been vilified by society. This doesn't mean that they'll transform you into an epitome of health, but they're certainly worth a try.

  1. Peanut ButterPeanut butter. I'm leading with this because I'm fairly certain peanut butter single-handedly kept me from getting chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) during the no-fat 90s. In the early 90s, the average amount of fat in our daily diets plummeted while the incidence of CFS* skyrocketed. This was particularly true among the otherwise healthy endurance sports sect. In the early 90s, my body fat was once recorded at 2 percent. Sure, I was ripped. Healthy? Not so much. I'm pretty sure that only my adherence to peanut butter as a healthy fat source kept my athletic obsession intact.

    * CFS is the colloquial veil for debilitating disorders marked by chronic mental and physical exhaustion.

    A bevy of modern studies now vindicates my opinion with science. Peanuts are high in both fat and calories but their fat has been associated with decreased total cholesterol and lower LDL and triglyceride levels. It's also high on the satiation meter, meaning that a little can fill you up.
  2. Cabbage. Every Asian culture, as well as European, eats more cabbage than we do and it's time we thought about it more often than when we happen to splurge on P.F. Chang's. Cabbage is absurdly low in calories and very high in nutrients. Among these is sulforaphane, which a Stanford University study showed as boosting cancer-fighting enzymes more than any other plant chemical.
  3. QuinoaQuinoa. This "grain" isn't technically a grain at all. It just tastes like one. It's actually a relative of spinach, beets, and Swiss chard. All of these are extremely healthy from a nutrient point of view, but quinoa is the only one that can fool you into thinking you're eating a starch. It's high in protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.
  4. Spelt. This one is actually a grain but its origin is slightly mysterious. Some claim it comes from wheat while others say it's a different species. Regardless, it has a high nutritional profile and can be eaten by many people with gluten intolerance, making it a good alternative to wheat products. Spelt can be found in many products, but as it's still considered a "health food," it's off the major processing radar. Unlike wheat, if spelt is on the ingredients list, it's probably good for you.
  5. WalnutsWalnuts. All nuts, really, but walnuts seem to be the king of the nut family. Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, walnuts are becoming more associated with Western health than ever before. A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that eating walnuts after a meal high in bad fat could reduce the damaging effects of the meal.
  6. Avocado. Another villain in the old no-fat movement, avocados are now thought to be one of the healthiest fat sources available. Beyond this, they have very high amounts of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and recent research seems to indicate that avocados' phytonutrients may also help with the absorption of nutrients from other sources.
  7. MushroomsMushrooms. The more we learn about phytonutrients—those that come in a small enough quantity to be missed on a food label (this is a layman's definition only)—the more we should admire ancient cultures. These culinary delights have been feuded over for decades until, for some reason, we'd decided they were pretty much empty calories. The study of phytonutrients has taught us that warring over fungi may have held some rationale after all. Mushrooms are loaded with antioxidants and are thought to boost the immune system, help ward off some cancers, and have high amounts of potassium. Furthermore, researchers at Penn State University have found that mushrooms may be the only food to contain an antioxidant called L-ergothioneine.
  8. Tea. Despite a ton of positive press over the last, oh, century, tea and coffee are still the devil's brew in some circles. Perhaps even worse is how many coffee and tea restaurants have bastardized these natural brews into sugar- and fat-filled dessert items. Both tea and coffee, in their basic states, have no calories and many healthy benefits. Between the two, coffee is arguably more popular, most likely due to its higher caffeine content. But tea is probably healthier. Both have a high amount of antioxidants but stats on tea are almost off the charts. A recent study on calcium supplementation in elderly women, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that bone mineral density at the hip was 2.8 percent greater in tea drinkers than in non-tea drinkers.
  9. CinnamonCinnamon. Maybe the novel Dune was more prescient than we've given it credit for. After all, the plot revolves around an entire solar system at war over a cinnamon-like spice. Nowadays, we think of this as little but the flavoring in a 1,100-calorie gut bomb we find at the mall. But Frank Herbert knew a thing or two about history and cinnamon has long been the prized possession of the spice world. It has a host of benefits, but perhaps none more important than this one: USDA researchers recently found that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed one gram of cinnamon a day for six weeks significantly reduced their blood sugar, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol. "He who controls the spice controls the universe!"
  10. Natto. This is on the list because, for one, it's one of the few foods I've eaten that I truly don't like. But mainly, it's here because we've really messed up the way we eat soy. Natto is fermented soybeans and very popular in Japan, which is where I had it. It's becoming more popular here and this is most likely due to its health benefits. Nearly all the soy options we're offered in the U.S. are non-fermented. The list of health benefits of fermented soy is a mile long. It's associated with reducing the risk of cancer, minimizing the likelihood of blood clotting, aiding digestion, increasing blood circulation, an improved immune system, improving bone density, lessening the likelihood of heart attacks, more vibrant skin, and reducing the chance of balding. And it also has strong antibiotic properties, among other things. So you might want to ditch the soy crisps, soy ice cream, and your iced soy mochas and add some natto to your diet.
Thanks to Steve Edwards for all of his great articles

Related Articles
"10 Scariest Fast Food Dishes"
"10 Anti-Aging Foods"
"9 Questions About Food Allergies"
"10 Sensational Seasonals"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

HOW TO STAY YOUNG




1. Try everything twice.
On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:
"Tried everything twice.loved it both times!"


2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)


3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain get idle.'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.'
And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!



4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud.
Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh,
spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.


6. The tears happen:
Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
LIVE while you are alive.


7. Surround yourself with what you love:
Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.
Your home is your refuge.



8. Cherish your health:
If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county,
to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.




10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
I love you, my special friend.



11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance.



Remember! Lost time can never be found.

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to Think What Nobody Else Thinks


How can you think of things that no one else thinks of? By deliberately taking a different approach to the issue from everyone else. The brilliant thinker purposefully challenges dominant ideas in order to think innovatively.

Albert Szent-Gyorgy, who discovered vitamin C, said:

“Genius is seeing what everyone else sees and thinking what no one else has thought.”

Especially now, with the economy like it is, thinking outside the box can help you turn a challenging situation, such as a lay-off, into an opportunity by giving you an easy edge over the competition.

How can you force yourself to take a different view of a situation? Instead of looking at the scene from your view, try looking at it from the perspective of a customer, a product, a supplier, a child, an alien, a lunatic, a comedian, a dictator, an anarchist, an architect, Salvador Dali, or Leonardo da Vinci. Challenge all the common assumptions.

The great geniuses did not take the traditional view and develop existing ideas. They took an entirely different view and transformed society. If you can come at problems from entirely new directions, then you can think of things that conventional thinkers miss. read more here

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Planning to Lose Weight This Year?



Supplement With Honey!


(NaturalNews) Losing weight has never been sweeter, as long as you use the right sweetener. A new study indicates that the use of table sugar or mixed sugar leads to weight gain. However, honey does not lead to weight gain. Diets including sugar were found to increase the levels of HbA1c, indicating higher levels of glucose in the blood. Diets including sugar were also found to increase triglycerides, an aspect of blood fat that is known to damage arteries. In this study, researchers from Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand fed three different groups of rats diets with no sugar, eight percent mixed sugars, or ten percent honey. The animals fed honey gained about as much weight as those fed no sugar at all, while those eating sugar gained significantly more weight. A diet of ten percent honey causing no more weight gain than a diet including no sweetener at all? Astonishing.

This finding is one reason to make honey a regular dietary choice. But there are many more reasons. Honey provides our bodies with much more than the hollow calories of sugar, corn syrup and other processed sweeteners. Honey is a natural substance, the only one in our diets made up of concentrated nectar from blooming plants. It contains trace amounts of protein, plus riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin B6, folate (vitamin B9), vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It also contains antioxidants, some found only in honey, which include pinobanksin, chrysin, catalase and pinocembrin.

Honey provides a stable source of energy as it enters the bloodstream while sugar enters it so quickly that blood glucose levels fluctuate rapidly. Honey has a healthier glycemic index (GI) compared to sucrose, high fructose corn syrup and other common sweeteners. The GI rating measures the effect of foods on the blood sugar level. The lower the GI rating, the more gradual the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. Eating diets low on the GI scale is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity. So replacing other sweeteners with honey, particularly honey in combination with whole foods, could be associated with improved health.

Honey is also sweeter and more flavorful than sugar. A teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories while a teaspoon of honey provides 22 calories. But because honey is more intensely sweet, most people use about a third to a half less honey than sugar, actually reducing the calorie load.
Purchasing locally sourced honey helps support beekeepers, who are having difficultly staying in business due the impact of bee diseases and pests, agricultural chemicals, and Colony Collapse Disorder.

There's evidence that some imported honey is actual packer's syrup, not pure honey, so beware of low cost products. Every one of us, whether we consume honey or not, relies on bees to pollinate the crops we eat each day. Supporting reputable beekeepers helps to insure that there will be enough bees to put fruits, vegetables and nuts on our tables.


What are some ways to incorporate honey in a weight loss program?

1. Ayurveda, the respected system of traditional Indian knowledge, recommends using honey to cure obesity in a variety of ways. Start the morning with a glass of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of honey and fresh lemon or lime juice. This drink can be taken several times a day, up to a half hour before each meal. Mint tea or ginger tea with honey is suggested. Raw ginger slices with honey can be eaten to stimulate the metabolism. The herb guggul may also be combined with honey and ginger, and used two to three times a day.


2. The ancient Unani healing system often used honey as a base. For weight loss, honey was combined with cinnamon. Current versions of this remedy suggest drinking a concoction each morning made by boiling a half cup of water with a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder and a teaspoon of honey. Since boiling honey destroys important enzymes, modify this recipe by pouring boiling water over the cinnamon then stirring in honey, to taste, after the water has cooled somewhat.


3. A small amount of honey helps you look forward to replacing an unhealthy meal with a fruit smoothie. Place approximately a quarter-cup each of three types of fruit (such as pineapple, mango, grapes, apple, banana, blueberries, strawberries, peaches, etc) in a blender along with a tablespoon of honey and several ice cubes. Process until fruit and ice are smooth. Top with yogurt or nuts for protein.


4. Many herbal teas are known to assist in weight loss, in addition to the mint and ginger teas suggested above. Honey added to the tea not only improves the flavor but helps curb hunger. Green tea raises the metabolic rate, nettle tea reduces appetite and chickweed tea is said to diminish cravings.


5. Use honey to support a healthier exercise routine. The University of Memphis found that honey is a highly effective pre and post exercise energy source. Researchers studied the performance of athletes supplemented with honey during endurance cycling trials. The cyclists' power and speed were significantly improved using honey compared to those using a placebo. Honey was found to boost performance equal to glucose, a more common carbohydrate source. But honey promotes steady blood sugar, helping sustain energy and promoting recovery, while glucose does not.


6. Replace expensive, unhealthful energy drinks with those you make yourself to support a more active lifestyle and lose excess weight. Mix 1/3 cup unsweetened grapefruit, cranberry, pomegranate or other tart juice with 1/3 cup honey. Add 6 cups of water. If necessary for exercise in hot weather, add a few grains of sea salt. Blend well, distribute in sports bottles and refrigerate till ready to use. Or steep four tea bags of your favorite herbal, green or flavored black tea in two cups boiling water. Add five additional cups water and 1/3 cup honey, stir well and store in sports bottles in the refrigerator till ready to use. Experiment by mixing teas, juices, supplements, water and honey in your own proportions for a sports drink that supports your exercise program and provides a healthy boost of energy.


7. The Hibernation Diet was developed by a pharmacist and sports nutritionist. The initial results were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food and are now in a book by the same name. This diet supports liver and adrenal function. A central feature of the diet is taking a dose of honey before bedtime. Check (
www.benefits-of-honey.com/hibernati...) to see if you meet the criteria for this approach. Remember, it's about balance. Honey should be a small part of your overall diet. If you use no sweeteners, you might want to add a spoonful of honey to your diet for the benefits it offers.

If your diet currently includes sugar, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame or other sweeteners, consider making honey your sweetener of choice but keep your focus on the taste and appeal of whole foods eaten in moderation.

by: Laura Weldon, citizen journalist

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Healing Power of Honey

My family is originally from Hungary where natural remedies are handed down generation to generation. We were raised using these natural medicines. I remember as a child, if we had a sore throat...gargle with salt water...we always had an aloevera plant growing so we could break off a piece and apply to a wound or sunburn to help the healing process...and there was always honey in the house - if we had a cough, we'd have to take a teaspoon of honey...as a child I hated honey. Now that I'm a mom, I too use honey remedies with my son and husband!

Here's a great article on the healing power of honey.

by: Kelly Joyce Neff, citizen journalist
Key concepts: Honey, Raw honey and Water


(NaturalNews) Raw honey – which has not been pasteurized or filtered, and ideally taken directly from the hive – is a treasure chest of nutritional value and medicinal remedies. It contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals and is a natural and powerful medicine, both internally and externally.

The list of honey's beneficial functions is a long one. Honey increases calcium absorption; can increase hemoglobin count and treat or prevent anemia caused by nutritional factors; can help arthritic joints, when combined with apple cider vinegar; fights colds and respiratory infections of all kinds; can help to boost gastrointestinal ulcer healing; works as a natural and gentle laxative; aids constipation, allergies and obesity; provides an array of vitamins and minerals; and supplies instant energy without the insulin surge caused by white sugar. Many have found raw honey helpful for its positive effects against allergies and hay fever, and one or two teaspoons last thing at night can help with insomnia. As an antiseptic, honey is also a drawing agent for poisons from bites or stings or infected wounds, and has outperformed antibiotics in treatments for stomach ulcerations, gangrene, surgical wound infections, surgical incisions and the protection of skin grafts, corneas, blood vessels and bones during storage and shipment.

"Raw honey is exceptionally effective internally against bacteria and parasites. Plus, raw honey contains natural antibiotics, which help kill microbes directly. Raw honey, when applied topically, speeds the healing of tissues damaged by infection and/or trauma. It contains vitamins, minerals and enzymes, as well as sugars, all of which aid in the healing of wounds."

So writes Dr. Cass Igram, D.O. in The Survivor's Nutritional Pharmacy. In a fascinating modern development, scientists and doctors are beginning to rediscover the effectiveness of honey as a wound treatment. In recent years, honey has been used effectively in clinical settings for the treatment of fist-sized ulcers extending to the bone, as well as for first, second and third degree burns. Complete healing has been reported without the need for skin grafts and with no infection or muscle loss. It can be applied full strength to such conditions, covered with a sterile bandage, and changed daily. When the wounds are clean, honey acts as a healer. This also is the same procedure for infected wounds, ulcerations and impetigo. Garlic honey can also be applied directly to infected wounds, which will help clean up the area of infection.

Dr. Peter Molan, professor of biochemistry at Waikato University, New Zealand, has been at the forefront of honey research for 20 years. He heads the university's Honey Research Unit, which is internationally recognized for its expertise in the antimicrobial properties of honey. Clinical observations and experimental studies have established that honey has effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Astonishingly, it painlessly removes pus, scabs and dead tissue from wounds and stimulates new tissue growth. "Randomized trials have shown that honey is more effective in controlling infection in burn wounds than silver sulfadiazine, the antibacterial ointment most widely used on burns in hospitals," explains Dr. Molan.

Dr. Molan believes that if honey were used from the start in cases of septicemia, there would be far less tissue damage resulting. "The remarkable ability of honey to reduce inflammation and mop up free radicals should halt the progress of the skin damage like it does in burns, as well as protecting from infection setting in", says Dr. Molan. "At present, people are turning to honey when nothing else works. But there are very good grounds for using honey as a therapeutic agent of first choice."

Researchers believe that the therapeutic potential of honey is grossly underutilized. With increasing interest in the use of alternative therapies and as the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria spreads, honey may finally receive its due recognition as a wound healer.

Indeed, it works: Raw honey makes a sterile, painless and effective wound dressing. Apply it directly to open cuts, abrasions and burns, and cover it with a piece of gauze. The results will occur quicker than with conventional alternatives, such as salves and creams.

Honey is also exceptionally effective for respiratory ailments. One Bulgarian study of almost 18,000 patients found that it improved chronic bronchitis, asthmatic bronchitis, chronic and allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. It's an effective treatment for colds, flu, respiratory infections and a generally depressed immune system. Whereas sugar shuts down the immune system, a good quality honey will stimulate it into action.

Here are some more ways to utilize the healing power of honey:

BURNS - Apply freely over burns. It cools, removes pain and aids fast healing without scarring. Apart from being a salve and an antibiotic, bacteria simply cannot survive in honey.

BED WETTING - A teaspoon of honey before bed aids water retention and calms fears in children.

INSOMNIA - A dessertspoon of honey in a mug of warm milk aids sleep and works wonders.

HYPERACTIVITY - Replace all use of white sugar with honey. White sugar is highly stimulating with no food qualities. Honey provides the energy without the "spike."

NASAL CONGESTION - Place a dessertspoon of honey in a basin of water and inhale fumes after covering your head with a towel over the basin. Very effective!

FATIGUE - Dissolve a dessertspoon of honey in warm water or quarter honey balance of water in a jug and keep in the fridge. Honey is primarily fructose and glucose, so it's quickly absorbed by the digestive system. Honey is a unique natural stabilizer: Ancient Greek athletes took honey for stamina before competing and as a reviver after competition.

FACIAL DEEP CLEANSER - Mix honey with an equal quantity of oatmeal, and apply as a face pack. Leave on for half an hour, then wash it off. Great as a deep cleanser for acne and other unwanted blemishes.

POOR DIGESTION - Mix honey with an equal quantity of apple cider vinegar and dilute to taste with water. This is also wonderful for the joints – and promotes weight loss.

HAIR CONDITIONER - Mix honey with an equal quantity of olive oil, cover head with a warm tower for half an hour then shampoo off. Feeds hair and scalp. Your hair will never look or feel better!

SORE THROATS - Let a teaspoon of honey melt in the back of the mouth and trickle down the throat. Eases inflamed raw tissues.

FOR STRESS - Honey in water is a stabilizer, calming highs and raising lows. Use approximately 25 percent honey to water.

ANEMIA - Honey is the best blood enricher by raising corpuscle content. The darker the honey, the more minerals it contains.

FOOD PRESERVATIVE – If you replace the sugar in cake and cookie recipes with honey, they'll stay fresher longer due to honey's natural antibacterial properties. Reduce liquids in the mixture by about one-fifth to allow for the moisture present in the in honey.

OSTEOPOROSIS – Research has shown that a teaspoon of honey per day aids calcium utilization and prevents osteoporosis – probably not a bad idea for anyone over 50.

LONGEVITY - The most long-lived people in the world are all regular users of honey. An interesting fact, yet to be explained, is that beekeepers suffer less from cancer and arthritis than any other occupational group worldwide.

MIGRAINE - Use a dessertspoon of honey dissolved in half a glass of warm water. Sip at the start of a migraine attack, and, if necessary, repeat after another 20 minutes.

CONJUNCTIVITIS - Dissolve honey in an equal quantity of warm water. When cooled, apply as a lotion or eye bath.

COUGH MIXTURE – Combine 6 ounces (170 grams) liquid honey, 2 ounces (55 grams) glycerin and the juice of two lemons. Mix well. Bottle and cork firmly, and use as required.

Raw honey may become granulated, as some does after a week and another maybe only after several years. If the granulations bother you, simply place the honey into a pan of hot water (not boiling) and let it stand until becoming liquid again.

Kelly Joyce Neff has an interdisciplinary degree in Celtic Studies which includes work in cultural anthropology, history, linguistics, language, and literature. She is a traditional midwife and herbalist, a reiki master, and an active craftsperson. She lives in San Francisco.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pat Dempsey helps you Increase your drives

My husband, Pat Dempsey is a former ReMax World Long Drive Champion Sr. so needless to say he knows the golf swing well. He has 3 tips with 3 easy exercises you can do to help improve your game. You'll gain more distance with your driver if you practice. But remember, perfect practice = perfect play. These tips apply to men and women...basics fundamentals don't differentiate between male or female.

You can check them out here: Pat Dempsey PowerTips. Once you've practiced and applied them to your game, let us know how you're doing or give us a call and we'll help answer any questions you may have.

Tee it High & Let it Fly!
Barbara

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

10 Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol and Blood Pressure

by: Brian Swift, citizen journalist
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(NaturalNews) Lowering your cholesterol and avoiding high blood pressure is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Most people discover their LDL cholesterol (Low Density Lipoprotein) to HDL cholesterol (High Density Lipoprotein) ratios when applying for health insurance or medical insurance. But lowering your cholesterol with a prescription from your doctor is not always the best way. Try the below natural methods for lowering your cholesterol and living a healthier lifestyle.

1. Regular Exercise - With regular exercise you can help your body to reduce stress, lose weight, increase metabolism, burn more calories, and more. Steady and regular exercise has been found to help lower cholesterol and reduce triglyceride levels. With regular exercise you can lower your body mass index and achieve a healthy weight. This helps you to reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

2. Cut Out Trans Fats - Trans fats are found mostly in fried foods, pastries, cookies, and other similar foods. Avoiding these types of foods limits your calories, fat intake, and helps lower your cholesterol. The American Heart Association`s Nutrition Committee recommends limiting trans fat to one percent of your daily calorie intake.

3. Remove Stress From Your Life - Stress and anxiety cause chemicals to be released into your body, raise your blood pressure, and reduce blood flow to your heart. Avoid stressful situations and use techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and other similar techniques. This helps your body to deal with stress and minimize the effects on your body.

4. Lose Weight - Being Overweight changes your metabolism and the way your body deals with fat and cholesterol. Losing weight in a slow and steady manner improves your health and lowers your cholesterol. Natural dieting results in consistent weight loss and reduces your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

5. Emphasize Healthy Social Relationships - Focus on stress-free, fun and relaxing family and friendship activities. These should fit with a healthy lifestyle and steer away from unhealthy and stressful social behaviors including arguments, drinking, inactivity, and overeating.

6. Get a Pet - Many studies including have shown that caring for a pet reduces stress. A 10 year study performed at the Stroke Research Center at the University of Minnesota found that owning a pet lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, helps with depression, and reduces risks of dying from a heart attack or other diseases.

7. Avoid Red Meat, Eggs, & Whole Milk - Red meats, whole milk, and egg yolks are concentrated cholesterol foods. They should be avoided and replaced with some of the healthier foods that are low in cholesterol. Some examples can be found below.

8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Stock up on foods containing Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids raise HDL and lower LDL cholesterol levels. Some good sources include salmon and herring fish, walnuts and almonds, dried cloves, and flaxseed oil. Many of these foods also contain antioxidants and vitamins.

9. Try Oat Bran & Brown Rice Bran - Both oat bran and brown rice bran contain high levels of soluble fiber. Soluble Fiber binds fats and absorbs cholesterol.

10. Blueberries, Garlic, & Apples - These three foods are tasty and can be easily combined with many other foods in home-made recipes. Garlic and Blueberries lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The fiber pectin in apples decrease the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver. Using these ingredients in your meals can make a healthy impact on your cholesterol.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/re...
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/...
http://www.americanheart.org/presen...
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/m...
http://health.yahoo.com/cholesterol...
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?...
http://ezinearticles.com/?Top-10-Na...
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/art...

Monday, March 16, 2009

10 Commandments of Cholesterol Control

My husband & I both are fighting high cholesterol. We don't take any medication but we have changed our diets...a little. What we have done is add more fruits and veggies to our meals. Pat, my husband has been great, he continues to exercise daily as well. I personally have fallen of the exercise wagon and it's been a struggle getting back on. Sharing knowledge and personal experiences have seem to be the only way I can get motivated. I've found great articles on the subject that I would like to share with everyone.

(ref: Prevent www.prevention.com )

What to do if your cholesterol levels are High

You've been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Now what? It's a perfectly valid question, the same one facing millions of Americans at this very moment. Your doctor has probably recommended dietary changes, perhaps more exercise, maybe even medication. But you know you can do more. You're just not sure what, or when, or how. That's why we've created the Ten Commandments of Cholesterol Control. They're the basic steps anyone can follow, no matter what their current cholesterol profile, to get the numbers they want. Some of the commandments may seem more important to you than others, depending on your current health status. For now, feel free to focus on those most relevant to your situation. You can return to the others later; at the very least, they'll help you stay informed and inspired as you wage your own cholesterol war. Just remember that by adopting all ten commandments, you establish a solid foundation for lifelong cholesterol control. They'll support whatever treatment plan you ultimately choose to follow. There's no better time to get started than now!


1. Know Where You Stand
You've heard the old saying about no news being good news? Well, it doesn't apply to cholesterol. Getting it checked on a regular basis is essential to your long-term good health. After all, high cholesterol has been linked to cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, people who have a total cholesterol of 240 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter) are twice as likely to experience a heart attack as people who have a cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL. Knowing your level, and tracking it as you begin treatment, just makes sense. In a nutshell, all adults age 20 and over should have their cholesterol checked at least once every 5 years as recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. You may require more frequent screening if you have certain risk factors for heart disease or if your test results are cause for concern.
Generally, doctors like to see total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL, with LDL (bad cholesterol) below 130--the high end of the "near-optimal" range--and HDL (good cholesterol) above 40. If your test results aren't consistent with these levels, your doctor may recommend a retest. If they're still not where they should be, your doctor may want to discuss treatment options. The truly good news is that in many cases, cholesterol is easily managed, even without medication. But you need to know your starting point, and you need to monitor your progress toward healthy levels. Even for those whose cholesterol is within the range considered normal, knocking a few points off their readings can slow fatty buildup in the arteries and possibly reduce any buildup that's already there. The bottom line: In the pursuit of cholesterol control, knowing your numbers is an absolute necessity.


2. Learn All You Can
Once you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol, your instinct may be to jump right into whatever treatment plan your doctor recommends. Unless your cholesterol has gone through the roof, which may require immediate intervention, you're better off taking time to think through your situation and your treatment options. By exercising some control up front, you're more likely to develop a cholesterol management plan you can truly live with. Perhaps a good place to begin is with an assessment of your personal risk factors for heart disease beyond high cholesterol. Which ones are within your control? For example, you may not be able to change your age, gender, or family history. But you can improve your eating habits, get more exercise, and quit smoking. These are the sorts of lifestyle changes that should become part of your cholesterol management plan, no matter what other treatments you may choose. Likewise, you'll want to learn as much as you can about cholesterol itself. Your body needs cholesterol to perform certain vital functions. In fact, lowering one type of cholesterol, HDL, can be bad for your heart. What's more, while many foods contain dietary cholesterol, most of the blame for elevated cholesterol levels rests squarely on the shoulders of saturated fat. Of course, you'll also want to educate yourself about the available treatment options. Conventional medicine has much to offer to people with high cholesterol--but so do alternative therapies. Indeed, the choices can seem overwhelming. Before you settle on a specific treatment or combination of treatments (in consultation with your doctor), you should know whether it's effective and safe and how soon you can expect to see results.


3. Get Rid of Those Extra Pounds
If you weigh more than you should, slimming down may produce a significant drop in your cholesterol level. Research suggests that being overweight disrupts the normal metabolism of dietary fat. So even though you may be eating less fat, you may not see a difference in your cholesterol profile until you unload the excess pounds.
In fact, shedding just 5 to 10 pounds may be enough to improve your cholesterol level. Just don't go the crash-dieting route. A slow but steady loss of 1/2 to 1 pound a week is healthiest and easiest to maintain. Since 1 pound equals 3,500 calories, you could meet the pound-per-week rate by eating 500 fewer calories per day, burning 500 more calories per day through exercise, or--the best option--a combination of the two. Findings from the landmark Framingham Heart Study confirm that such modest weight loss is worth the effort, for reasons beyond cholesterol control. According to the study, taking off--and keeping off--just 1 to 2 pounds a year may reduce your risk of high blood pressure by 25 percent and your risk of diabetes by 35 percent. Incidentally, many of the lifestyle strategies that help rein in unruly cholesterol can also take off unwanted pounds, and vice versa. If you're significantly overweight, be sure to consult your doctor before embarking on any weight loss program.


4. Lace Up Your Walking Shoes
Whether your goal is to lower your cholesterol, shed some extra pounds, or both, regular exercise can help you get there. We're not talking about high-intensity workouts, either, though boosting your intensity can elevate HDL cholesterol. Walking and other, more moderate physical activities are good for your heart, too. In fact, one study suggests that walks of any duration may help reduce heart disease risk. For the study, British researchers recruited 56 sedentary people between ages 40 and 66, then divided them into three groups. One group took a long, 20- to 40-minute walk each day; another group walked for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day; and the third group took 5- to 10-minute walks three times a day. Over the 18 weeks of the study, the once-a-day walkers saw their LDL cholesterol drop by 8.3 percent; the twice-a-day walkers by 5.8 percent. The researchers concluded that walks of any length can be beneficial, as long as they're done at a moderate intensity--that is, a brisk pace at which you can still carry on a conversation. We mention walking because it's the most convenient form of physical activity. But really, any form of aerobic exercise--running, bicycling, swimming, whatever gets your heart pumping--can help lower heart disease risk. Whichever activity (or activities) you choose, just make sure you're doing it for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week. If you've been relatively inactive, check with your doctor before launching any exercise regimen. Your doctor may be able to help you choose an activity that suits your current fitness level.


5. Become Acquainted with the Good Fats
When you were diagnosed with high cholesterol, your doctor likely advised you to reduce your fat intake. In general, cutting your dietary fat will lower cholesterol. But as with any rule, this one has exceptions. Evidence suggests that eating more of some fats and less of others is better than simply cutting way back on all fats.
Peanut butter, avocados, olive and canola oils, and most nuts are mostly monounsaturated fat. Research has shown that monounsaturated fat can help lower LDL and triglycerides (another type of blood fat) while raising HDL. It's a much healthier choice than saturated fat, found primarily in animal products--meats, butter, full-fat milk and cheese. Saturated fat can elevate your cholesterol level more than anything else you might eat. Also included in the good fats category are the omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in fish such as mackerel, albacore tuna, and salmon. The omega-3s appear to lower levels of VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. Studies have shown that when people cut back on saturated fat and consumed more fish oil, their LDL dropped. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least 2 servings of baked or grilled fish a week. That said, omega-3s are not a magic bullet. When study participants consumed more fish oil without altering their saturated fat intake, their LDL levels stayed the same or increased. In order to reap the cholesterol-cutting benefits of omega-3s, you need to limit your saturated fat consumption. Remember, too, that eating foods low in total fat can help restrict saturated fat.


6. Discover Fiber's Cholesterol-Cutting Capacity
It's no secret that vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels and lower heart disease rates than meat eaters. That's in part because vegetarians consume so much fiber, which is found exclusively in plant foods--fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Fiber comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. The soluble kind appears to pack the greatest cholesterol-lowering punch. Research has shown that consuming about 15 g of soluble fiber a day can lower LDL cholesterol by 5 to 10 percent. It works by binding with cholesterol-containing bile acids in the intestines and escorting them out of the body. A specific kind of soluble fiber, pectin, not only lowers cholesterol but also helps curb overeating by slowing the digestive process. Munch on apples and other pectin-rich fruits, and you're likely to eat less, lose weight, and rein in your cholesterol. Coincidentally, foods high in fiber tend to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol, as well as calories. Just make sure you don't top your fiber-rich whole grain toast with a huge dollop of butter.

7. Take a Good Multivitamin
Even if you're getting more good fats, avoiding bad fats, and filling up on fiber, your diet may have some nutritional gaps. A multivitamin/mineral supplement can help cover your nutritional bases and possibly lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Look for a multi that delivers 400 micrograms of folic acid, 2 mg of vitamin B6, and 6 micrograms of vitamin B12, advises Robert Rosenson, MD, director of the preventive cardiology center at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. In studies, all three of these B vitamins have played important roles in protecting heart health. In a Harvard study involving 80,000 nurses, for example, those with the highest intakes of folic acid were 31 percent less likely to develop heart disease. Folic acid works by decreasing blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that's an emerging risk factor for heart disease and stroke. While many foods contain foliate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid), including orange juice, kidney beans, broccoli, and spinach, you'll be certain that you're getting the recommended amount by taking a multivitamin.
The same study found that the women who consumed the most vitamin B6 reduced their risk of heart disease by one-third. Like folic acid, B6 helps to hold down levels of homocysteine. In older people, effectively controlling levels of homocysteine may depend on adequate stores of vitamin B12. After age 50, the human body sometimes absorbs less B12 from food. According to Johns Hopkins researchers, older people who took a multivitamin containing B12 had lower levels of homocysteine. When you're shopping for a multivitamin, steer clear of those that contain iron. According to Rosenson, men and postmenopausal women don't need extra iron. Iron stores have been linked with a higher rate of heart attacks and strokes.


8. Explore Your Treatment Options
When you were diagnosed with high cholesterol, you and your doctor probably discussed an appropriate course of treatment. It's important that you continue to work with your doctor and inform him of any therapies that you decide to try on your own. The fact is, both conventional and alternative medicine have a range of cholesterol-combating strategies available. Which ones you choose depends on your current cholesterol profile, your general health, your lifestyle, even your perspective on treatment. Some people feel perfectly comfortable taking cholesterol-lowering medication, while others do all they can to avoid it. For people who have advanced heart disease or who've already had a heart attack, conventional therapies such as drugs and surgery are vital, at least at the start of treatment. Later, you and your doctor can discuss lifestyle strategies and alternative therapies that may support your recovery and possibly stop the disease from progressing. For those with mild to moderately elevated cholesterol, lifestyle strategies and alternative therapies may make drugs and surgery unnecessary, Rosenson says. These days, many physicians urge patients in the mild-to-moderate category to try controlling their cholesterol through dietary changes and increased physical activity. If those measures alone aren't enough, or if a patient already has coronary heart disease or is at high risk for it, physicians reach for the prescription pad. Together, you and your doctor can come up with a treatment plan that matches your needs and lifestyle--and that delivers the results you want.


9. Find Ways to Short-Circuit Stress
To win the cholesterol war, managing stress is as essential as eating healthfully and exercising regularly. When you're tense and anxious, you're more likely to neglect the actions that help lower cholesterol in the first place. After spending 12 hours at the office working frantically to meet a deadline, do you really want to devote another hour to preparing a nutritious meal or walking on a treadmill? Probably not.
What's more, stress and its companion emotions--tension, anxiety, anger, depression--trigger the release of chemicals that constrict arteries, reduce bloodflow to the heart, raise blood pressure, and elevate your heart rate. These changes, in combination with uncontrolled cholesterol, can put you on course for a heart attack. To block your body's stress response, simply removing yourself from the stressful situation can help. Go for a short walk, practice deep breathing, perform a few simple stretches, meditate--whatever enables you to relax and regroup. You'll feel better, you'll think more clearly, and you'll spare your heart from harm. No matter how busy you are, set aside a few minutes every day to reflect on yourself and your life. Are you satisfied with the direction you're taking? Are your needs being met? By tuning out the world and turning inward, you remind yourself of what matters most, and you rise above the stressful distractions that undermine your health in so many ways. While staying in touch with yourself can help you set priorities and adjust your life's course, don't sacrifice family and social relationships. They give your life balance and enable you to cope with stressful situations. Of course, maintaining ties to family and community takes some effort, especially in an era when technology drives our interactions. But it's worth doing, since research has shown that people with fewer social connections are more prone to illness and more likely to die young. On the bright side, the more social connections you have, the better your chances of living longer--free of heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses.


10. Make a Commitment
Several men and women manage to take charge of their cholesterol and achieve their ideal numbers. Many of these people had experienced some life-changing event that forced them to commit themselves to a healthier, cholesterol-lowering lifestyle. To win the cholesterol war, you must make that same commitment--resolving to take care of yourself, to make necessary changes, to live healthfully every day. Your family and your friends can support you, but ultimately, you're the one making the decisions that will have an impact on your health, for better or worse.