Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mens sana in corpore sano

Roughly translated, the above latin quotation by Juvenal means that those who have a healthy body will have a healthy mind.

It is now known that when a person exercises, their brains produce a quantity of a chemical called "brain derived neurotrophic factor" or BDF. This chemical acts like fertilizer on brain cells causing them to sprout branches and grow like crazy.

Animal trials using rats and mice divided into an exercising group with access to wheels, and those who led more sedentary lives found that the exercising animals learned far more quickly than their couch potatoe counterparts. Upon dissection it was found that not only was the athletic rodents bodies more buff, so was their brains. They had more neurons, and greater connectivity, which is a sign of learning ability.

In addition to improving your brain's ability to work, there is heavy evidence that those who exercise are less likely to develop Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases.

So now I have another good reason to continue walking and running on my elliptical trainer.

I just figured out how to use the "add image" button on blogger and since I haven't posted any recent photos of James lately, but here is one for all you folkses. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Covenant Life

"It may be asked: “Why ought they to have mourned over another man’s sin?” I answer, for two reasons: first, in consequence of the communion that exists among the members of the Church, it was becoming that all should feel hurt at so deadly a fall on the part of one of their number; and secondly, when such an enormity is perpetrated in a particular Church, the perpetrator of it is all offender in such a way, that the whole society is in a manner polluted. For as God humbles the father of a family in the disgrace of his wife, or of his children, and a whole kindred in the disgrace of one of their number, so every Church ought to consider, that it contracts a stain of disgrace whenever any base crime is perpetrated in it. Nay, farther, we see how the anger of God was kindled against the whole nation of Israel on account of the sacrilege of one individual — Achan. (Joshua 7:1.) It was not as though God had been so cruel as to take vengeance on the innocent for another man’s crime; but, as in every instance in which anything of this nature has occurred among a people, there is already some token of his anger, so by correcting a community for the fault of one individual, he distinctly intimates that the whole body is infected and polluted with the contagion of the offense. Hence we readily infer, that it is the duty of every Church to mourn over the faults of individual members, as domestic calamities belonging to the entire body. And assuredly a pious and dutiful correction takes its rise in our being inflamed with holy zeal through displeasure at the offense; for otherwise severity will be felt to be bitter. 271"

John Calvin, Commentary on I Corinthians 5:1-5

Saturday, February 18, 2006

For those who wonder what I look like... Posted by Picasa
Book Reviews

One of the reasons why I don't have a list of the books I am reading on my sidebar is because I so seldom get a chance to read anything beyond my daily Bible reading. Or if I do try to read, I fall asleep over it. (In fact, sitting down for a few minutes is an invitation to snooze -- I must be getting old, or else the sleep interruptus gets me.) The other reason, of course, is because I don't know how.

However, I have managed to get through a couple of books lately in a sporadic manner. First of all, one of these books was one I mentioned a few months ago: Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau. Apparently Kevin doesn't want you to know about them either because he won't tell in his book citing some court cases that muzzle him. That doesnt' stop him from offering to tell you on his website for a fee. In short, the book is almost a complete waste of time and money. Most of the information that is in there about diet and natural means of healing are good as far as they go, but don't expect to find miracle cures for cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Ripoff is the word that comes to my mind when I think of this book.

On the other hand, another book I am working my way through that is helpful is called Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep by Jodi A. Mindell, Ph.D. I got this book from the library in desperation because somehow I lost the knack of getting kids to sleep through the night. Already in a week, James is sleeping much better and I am getting more sleep than I have had in a long time.

Back about four babies ago, I decided that co-sleeping was something I was going to do. It has helped me with bonding emotionally with the children, but it has also meant that I haven't had a decent night's sleepfor years between getting kicked in the head by toddlers, waked by guzzling infants, and pregnancy insomnia. The kids weren't sleeping well either. Now that I am getting older, I am finding sleep deficit much harder to cope with, so in desperation I looked for some answers from a book.

I don't want to post a long description about the book's contents because you can get it for yourself to read if this is something that you are struggling with. Let me just say, this book is great. Explains sleep cycles and tells how to train babies into good sleep habits as well as things parents do to cause sleep problems. This book may save your sanity and relationship with your wakeful wee one.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Health Notes

I haven't been posting a lot lately. Haven't been reading blogs either. No time. Or, else, I do have the time, but if I used it, it is taking away from other things I ought to be doing. Blogging feels more like an indulgence when it isn't because I feel compelled to spill my guts on things.

Anyhow, I decided to blog about these articles I have been reading just cuz I like to share with y'all. Even though my office is a mess and I have a client coming later...

Menopause and Memory Loss -- Does one cause the other? Not according to a study done by Dr. Miriam Weber, Ph.D., a senior instructor of neurology from the University of Rochester Medical Center, who conducted a study on the topic with colleague Mark Mapstone, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology.

It feels like memory loss, but what is really happening is that information was never really encoded in the brain in the first place. Does this mean that menopausal women are now learning impaired? Nope. Everything still works. The problem doesn't lie with the brain's ability to learn, but rather with stress. Middle aged women are generally the ones who are juggling children, careers, home, and looking after aged parents. When you have so many demands on your attention in so many areas, it is much more difficult to learn new things in the first place. This all comes at a time when women aren't feeling their best because of hormonal upheaval. The answer? Exercise, stress-relieving activities, and maybe some natural supplements like natural progesterone creams or glyconutritional endocrine support supplements.

Women tend to feel guilty about taking time to look after themselves, but we can't be of service to others if our own motors go untended.

And speaking of hormone disruptions...

Clear plastics causes significant health problems. DO NOT give your baby stuff to drink in clear plastic baby bottles or sippy cups. It contains Bisphenol-A, which is now known to cause significant hormone damage . In fact, any clear container that has the #7 recycling symbol on it contains BPA, including all those bottles of "pure" water that we buy. Click on the link if you want to know more about the significant problems this chemical can cause and how to avoid it.

Lastly, I would like to draw your attention to pharmaceutical pollution. Did you know that at least 90% of the active ingredients in pharmaceuticals are not absorbed by the body? Guess where they go? They get excreted and end up in the water tables. Which means you are drinking them. Water that has been tested is showing toxicologically high levels of anti-cancer drugs, anti-microbials, anti-depressants, and anti-convulsants. I wish there was some way of telling you how to avoid this one, but there isn't. Consider finding natural means to deal with your health issues so that you are at least not adding to the problem.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Confused about Soy?

Ok, more comments are forthcoming about soy. Fermented soy is fine for you. Unfermented soy is not. Most of the soy that people consume is unfermented and full of phytates and things that are not good for your body. It is also one of the top seven most common allergens that affects people.

For those who would like to know why I think a steady diet of soy milk and soy products isn't good for you, there is plenty of research on the topic at the Weston A. Price Foundation webpage. You can also do a search on the topic on Mercola.com
Soy or No Soy?

Several people have pointed out to me that my recipe contains soy milk. And I agree, soy is not good for you, so therefore the smoothie is technically not sin free. If you have dairy allergies you can try rice milk, or make your own almond milk (1/4 cup almonds in 2 cups of water, blended and strained). Alternatively, I have also used organic yogurt and water.

Commenting -- If you want to make a comment or leave a comment then click on the time stamp at the end of any of my posts. To read the comments already posted you have to click on "post a comment". I think I messed things up there and don't know how to fix my template. Sorry Susan.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"Sinless" Chocolate Smoothies

I don't actually believe that consumption of chocolate is a sin, unless you indulge in it too much. However, the above is the title of a new recipe book I bought recently. For the most part the recipes pass muster as recipes I would consider reasonably healthy. There is no doubt that they taste good!

Here's one I tried today:

3 cups chocolate soy milk
2 frozen bananas, in chunks
10 large frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons dutch cocoa powder (the unsweetened kind)


Now, you can fiddle with the amount of fluids you use and if you use a bit less, you can actually get something that resembles soft serve ice cream without the loads of sugar.

It will disappear fast if you have kids helping you consume it.