Monday, September 29, 2008

Depression & Beating the Blues

“You cannot keep the birds of sadness from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in you hair.”
Like Jonah, we sometimes end up in the belly of the whale. At least that’s what it feels like. If it’s not the belly of the whale, maybe it’s the blues, melancholy or sadness. Some people feel temporarily blue because of loneliness, grief, death of a loved one, divorce, poor health, financial problems or other life stressors. These moods usually lift and the person will function normally again, but if it lasts for more than several months and interferes with daily activities, professional help may be needed.

Get moving
Depression knocks at every door, but you don’t have to invite it in as a permanent guest. Like my grandfather used to say, “Fresh fish and house guests shouldn’t stay more than three days.” If the blues stay more than a few weeks, someone needs to move, and exercise is a great beginning. Studies have shown that vigorous exercise stimulates circulation, produces an increase in endorphins and releases serotonins in the brain, the hormones that encourage contentment and cheerfulness. Aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, jumping on a mini-tramp and biking can generate a significant antidepressant effect. Brisk walking is as effective as any other exercise.
A common misconception about exercise is that it will cause fatigue, but if approached sensibly for about 20 minutes a day, it can increase energy, alertness and make you more relaxed. If you’re not motivated, join an exercise group, a gym or find a friend to walk with you. For those with physical limitations, chair exercises are available.

Learn to laugh Say “Cheese!” University studies confirm that when we use our smile muscles and humor, it increases the endorphins in our brain. Humor is the ability to look at the absurdity in our own lives and find something to laugh about. It may not eliminate the problem, but it will help overcome the effect. Life is at least as funny as it is sad. Humor can stop misunderstandings and ease tension when no other strategies will work. Consider creating a humor folder with clever cartoons and quips. These clips are good to pass on to friends and family when they are ill, recuperating or just need a chuckle to cheer them up.

Eat well While there are many causes of depression or the blues, good nutrition plays a vital role. My No. 1 recommendation is to add essential fatty acids (EFAs) to your diet in the form of fish and flax seed oil or a blend that contains both omega 3s and omega 6s such as marine/borage lipid combination. Omega 3s, raise the serotonin level in our brain, improve moods and are found in fresh deepwater fish, flax seed or flax oil. A good quality fish oil or evening primrose oil are examples of good fats. "Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill" by Udo Erasmus is an excellent resource. Avoid saturated fat and transfatty acids. Bad fats (French fries, deep fried foods, etc.,) inhibit the synthesis of neurotransmitters by the brain because they cause the blood cells to become sticky and clump together, resulting in poor circulation, especially to the brain.
According to Dr. Norman Shealy, author of "Alternative Medicine," and Dr. James F. Balch, author of "Nutritional Healing," avoid sugar. That means honey, sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup and fruit juice. Avoid drinks or foods with aspartame because it can block the formation of serotonin and also cause headaches and insomnia. Your body reacts more quickly to sugar than it does to complex carbohydrates. The quick increase in energy by the intake of sugar is quickly followed by fatigue and depression. Stevia is an excellent sugar substitute.
Candida is a yeast-like fungus that inhabits the gastrointestinal tract, mouth, throat, genital tract and bowels and can contribute to depression and mental illness. According to Dr.William Crook, author of "The Yeast Connection," diet, antibiotics, and some birth control pills are factors that cause candida-related health problems. As yeast multiplies in the intestinal tract, villi in the intestines is unable to absorb vital nutrients needed by the brain and body. You feel hungry, your body craves sugar and bread, which contributes to more yeast overgrowth. Dr. Crook’s book is an excellent resource and has a candida questionnaire. The candisphere is a test your doctor can give to measure candida in the blood.
Remember when you are eating junk food, dead food without enzymes and empty calories, you are only feeding your mouth, not your body. Dead foods include food like coffee, sodas, candy, alcohol, pastries, peanuts, fried foods, processed foods, microwaved foods and margarine. Live foods include foods like broccoli, avocados, spinach, celery, cucumbers, limes, lemons, fish, almonds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, grape seed oil, flax seed oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic, alfalfa, peppers and sprouted wheat wraps. In the next minute your body is going to give birth to 720 million new cells. What quality of materials have you stockpiled in your body for it to use to make these new cells? When your body wears out, where are you going to live?

Positive thinking Our thoughts determine our feelings and actions. Wayne Dyer, a well known psychologist and author, has said, “When you realize that what you think about becomes your reality, you become very careful about what you think about.” When an African shaman prays for rain, he prays, “Thanks for the taste of the rain. Thanks for the smell of the rain. Thanks for the rain,” and somewhere out there it is raining.
We can change our thoughts and replace them with words from a positive song, positive affirmations or appropriate music.
Worry is like a rocking chair, it gives us something to do, but it doesn’t get us anywhere. Helen Keller said, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.”
Depression can be caused by loss, feeling trapped, guilt, and anger turned in on yourself. Acknowledge your feelings; it’s painful to lose a loved one in death or divorce. It’s distressing to have health problems. Write about your feelings. Find a support group or someone you can talk to about your pain or loss, but don’t dwell on it continuously. Widowed twice, I have felt the agony of loss and loneliness, but ultimately I had to ask myself, “How can I turn my pain into service or positive action?”
It’s normal to have a pity party when you are hurting, but make it a short pity party. My mother-in-law, Marie, was one of the most positive people I’ve known. She was in her 60s when first widowed, but said, “I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. I’ll take myself to lunch or have friends over for dinner.”
Marie frequently went for walks or to a shopping mall and said hello to everyone. She took lemonade out to the garbage man and in turn, he delivered her garbage can in the driveway next to her house. When Marie was nearly 80 she said, “I’m going to go visit the old people on the street.” The old people on the street were in their 60s.
Keep a gratitude journal. Each day write down from five to ten things you are grateful for — laughter, the giggle of a baby, sunrises, sunset, trees, rivers, forests, mountains, blue sky, rain, flowers, the song of a bird, music, a healthy heart — the list could go on forever. Develop an attitude of gratitude.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


"Wisdom is the reward for a lifetime of listening ... when you'd have preferred to talk."
- D.J. Kaufman

Monday, September 22, 2008

Are Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia the same disease?

This is for Jo at jo janoski's blog

CFIDS and Fibromyalgia are not the same disease, although many people have both CFIDS/FMS. Many of the symptoms are the same such as muscle pain, fatigue, insomnia or sleep problems.
Case definition for CFS (must have at least 4 out of 8 symptoms): Six months of fatigue that reduces function, unexplained by other illness or major psychiatric morbidity, post exertional relapse/malaise, unrefreshing sleep, muscle aches, joint pain, new onset of headaches, attention/concentration and cognitive complaints,sore throat, and tender or painful lymph nodes.
Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Tender points-18 specific spots where the muscles are abnormally tender to touch, chemical or food allergies (also true in CFIDS),dizziness and loss of balance, extreme fatigue, jaw pain, irritable bowel, and headaches.

For more information on CFIDS/FMS check out To receive their ENews, look for the ENews button and sign up.

Defeating Depression & Beating the Blues

University studies have shown that using your smile muscles, even by saying "Cheese," can raise the endorphins in you brain and body and make you less depressed. In my book, "Defeating Depression & Beating the Blues," I list 50 instantaneous activities or ideas to help you overcome depression. Listen to uplifting music, keep a gratitude journal, sing happy songs, dance, walk, exercise, help someone else, change your stinking-thinking by using positive affirmation such as "I enjoy having a sense of humor", practice laughing, are just a few of the fifty.

This is a review of the book:

By Anita Coleman (Nevada)
I have been in therapy for nearly a year and I think this book has helped me understand depression better than the counseling sessions. I liked the author's personalization, because I also was so depressed, I felt like I was in the belly of the whale. It's rare to find a therapist who understands what you are going through when you are depressed. I was at rock-bottom when I bought this book. It gave me hope. After reading her nutritional section, I found out that I had hypoglycemia and candida. As the candida clears up, and the diet improves (no sugar, white flour), I find that I am feeling so much better. I also walk around saying, "Cheese," and I believe it does change my endorphins. I recommend it. Maybe it's a five star.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Become More Alkaline- increase bone density and muscle mass

Dr.Robert Young recently noted the following information on his newsletter.
A study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-funded scientists suggests alkaline plant foods may help preserve muscle mass and bone density in older men and women.

The American diet is highly acidic in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods. In general, such acidic diets generate dietary amounts of acid each day. With aging, a mild but slowly increasing metabolic "acidosis" develops. Acidosis appears to trigger a muscle-wasting response. So the researchers looked at links between measures of lean body mass and diets relatively high in alkaline potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables. Such diets could help neutralize acidosis. Foods can be considered alkaline or acidic based on the residues they produce in the body, rather than whether they are alkaline or acidic themselves. For example, acidic grapefruits, lemons and limes are metabolized to alkaline residues because of their high alkaline potassium bicarbonate content.

To find out more about the alkaline diet visit:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Weight Loss--Alkaline Diet

“We are not overweight, we are overly acidic.”

Author of The pH Miracle for Weight Loss, Dr. Robert Young, claims we are not overweight, we are overly acidic. When the body is overly acidic, the acidity starts to damage our organs and in order to protect the organs, the body goes into preservation mode and says STORE FAT. The body shuttles excess acids into fat cells so they can’t harm vital cells, and in turn, the metabolism slows down in order to generate more fat cells to protect the body. “This makes losing weight virtually impossible,” Young says.
Fortunately there is hope. It all boils down to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The secrets of losing weight include keeping your body hydrated with alkaline water, eating whole, natural unprocessed foods, and building your diet around green vegetables, healthy fats, exercise, and preparing your self emotionally.
Of course you can eat other vegetables, but green vegetables are an excellent source of alkaline salts and help neutralize acids in the blood and tissues. When acids are neutralized, there is no reason for the body to store fat. Green vegetables produce chlorophyll which helps the blood cells deliver oxygen throughout the body and reduces the binding of carcinogens to DNA in the liver and other organs. Also, they are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
One caution about raw green vegetables, if you are on coumadin or other statin drugs that thin the blood, you need to check with your doctor before changing your diet.
The most important single measurement to your health is the pH of your blood and tissues—how acidic or alkaline it is. The body will go to great lengths to maintain a very narrow pH range of 7.365, which is mildly basic or alkaline. The pH level of our internal fluids affects every cell in our body. The entire metabolic process depends on an alkaline environment. Chronic overacidity corrodes body tissue and will interrupt all cellular activities from the beating of your heart to the neural firing of your brain. An acid balance builds cholesterol plaques, stores fat, and leaches calcium from bones or magnesium from the heart muscles—all in an attempt to protect itself from acid damage.
Several years ago while my husband and I were on a mission in Tampa, Florida I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue (CFIDS) for the third time. My body was still carrying the additional twenty pounds I gained with my first bout with CFIDS, which lasted over four years. At the time, my doctor wanted to give me medical disability because I was so ill. I tried all kinds of weight loss programs, but could not lose the added pounds.
Sister missionaries introduced me to Young’s book, “The pH Miracle,” and the alkaline diet. When I started on the alkaline diet, I drank “greens,” ate a whole avocado everyday, and in the first month I lost ten pounds, and my health improved rapidly. Within the first week I had energy, the depression lifted, I could sleep at night, resume my activity, and started walking. Within a few months I lost another ten pounds and have kept the weight off and remained healthy.
In a controlled twelve week study, Young had 27 participants who lost an average of 50 pounds apiece. At the same time they decreased body fat and increased muscle mass. All experienced other improvements in their health including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, normal blood sugar levels, improved libido, improved muscle tone, less depression, indigestion and pain. My friend tried the diet, and within two months lost 38 pounds.
Normal body functions require an alkaline reserve as well as the correct pH in the blood and tissues. To ensure these conditions, a proper dietary ratio of 80% alkaline to 20% acid foods—four parts alkaline to one part acid—is required especially when there is yeast or fungus overgrowth in the body. The goal is to create the proper alkaline balance within your body by eating 80% alkaline foods—green vegetables—like cucumbers-avocados, kale, spinach, broccoli, any sprouts--especially broccoli sprouts, zucchini, asparagus, celery, and dark lettuce.
I like to fill warm Ezekiel sprouted tortillas full of sprouts, romaine lettuce, hummus, avocados, tomatoes, Bermuda onion and then use wax paper to roll it into a wrap. You can add pine nuts, pecans, sun dried tomatoes, or any vegetables you want.
According to Young, the first step in a weight loss program is to hydrate by drinking 1 liter of “green” alkaline water for every 30 pounds of body weight. The body uses water to neutralize and dilute excess acid and other toxins, and wash them out of the body through urine, sweat, and the bowels. Your blood is 90 percent water—you are what you drink. To make a green drink, Young recommends using 1 liter of distilled water, 2 teaspoons of baking soda (if you have high blood pressure use sodium chlorite or sodium silicate) and 1 teaspoon of green powder (which could be a green barley or blend of grasses). Distilled water is more alkaline and does not contain chlorine or other impurities. You may wanto pull up alkalizing supplements on the internet for other options.
It is important to chew your food carefully because the digestive process begins in the mouth as you chew. Chewing speeds up the metabolic process and aids enzymes to do their work. The ideal is to chew your food long enough to convert it to a liquid consistency in the mouth.
Foods to avoid on an alkaline diet because they are highly acidic are meat, sugar (use stevia as a sugar substitute), soda pop, dairy products, vinegar, white flour, and caffeine. Increase the amount of raw food you eat, cut out yeast, use brown rice instead of white rice, and eat only low-sugar fruits—lemon, limes, grapefruits, avocados, and tomatoes. Use soy, rice, or almond milks. Soak almonds overnight (this starts a sprouting process), and you can eat pine nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Do use quinoa, buckwheat, soba noodles, and millet. Find new and exciting recipes and consider including tofu, veggie crumbles, or veggie burgers.
Some of you may not be ready to give up meat or dairy entirely, but remember meat and dairy are some of the most acidic foods you can eat. Fish, particularly, salmon, chicken and turkey are less acidic than red meat, although still acidic .Try to buy organic meats whenever possible.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell, who has been called the Einstein of nutrition, in his book The China Study, writes, “We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole foods, plant-based diet is best for cancer.” But, he doesn’t stop there; he includes heart disease, diabetes, obesity, autoimmune diseases, kidneys, bones, eyes and brains. His message is to eat meat sparingly.
Wheatgrass and barley grass are not only good for you, but they are an excellent source of protein—more than meat, poultry, fish or eggs, Young says. “Wheat grass contains more than a hundred nutrients, including every identified and trace mineral and all the B vitamins, including B12 , which is usually considered to be available only from animal sources. Barley grass has seven times more vitamin C than oranges and four times as much thiamine as whole wheat flour—thirty times as much as milk.”
Both barley and wheat grass are rich in vitamins. Grasses help balance blood sugar levels. In his book, The pH Miracle for Diabetes, Young writes, just 3 ounces of juiced wheat or barley grass in a liter of distilled water will normalize blood sugar in fifteen minutes. In addition, grasses are natural buffers of metabolic acids.
When juicing fresh barley and wheatgrass, I add distilled water, celery, spinach, and a little ginger root.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Worry--what a waste!

'Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.'
Corrie Ten Boom

How many of you remember the song "Whistle While You Work"?

Friday, September 5, 2008

CFIDS--Vaccinations, Flu Shots

I just read an article from the New York Times that questions flu shots for the elderly. A study by Michael L. Jackson in the Lancet medical journal, called into question much of the statistical evidence for the vaccine’s effectiveness. A growing number of immunologists and epidemiologists say the vaccine probably does not work well for people over 70.
A have never had a flu shot and have never had the flu, while everyone around me who had the shots became ill. I am not saying that is true of everyone. It’s a personal decision.
At the time I had Chronic Fatigue, and even after, my doctor told me not to have any vaccinations, because my immune system was too fragile.
I have concerns about individuals with CFIDS/FMS having vaccinations. I was coaching a 17-year old teenager that had been desperately ill with CFIDS/FMS and
was exhausted all the time, but then she changed to an alkaline diet and supplements and improved dramatically. She was able to go back to work, go to school, lost weight, was happy again—the change was amazing. Then, as she was about to go off to college, her doctor gave her the cervical cancer vaccine containing gardasil. Within a few days she had terrific pains in her stomach, her mouth broke out with white blisters, and she was more ill than she had ever been and ended up in the hospital for a week. Doctor’s couldn’t determine the cause, or didn’t discuss the possible cause.
Here is a brief excerpt from an article in the Post by SUSAN EDELMAN and BRUCE GOLDING
July 6, 2008 —
GARDASIL - a new cervical-cancer vaccine heavily marketed to young girls in ubiquitous ads on TV and in movie theaters - is under investigation for possible links to paralysis, seizures, and 18 deaths.
Federal health officials have logged 8,000 “adverse events” in girls and women injected with the Merck & Co. vaccine introduced two years ago, more than 500 of them from New York.
Check out this link for mor information.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Wisdom from Around the World

"Don't insult the crocodile until you cross the water." (Ghana)

"Rats don't dance in the cat's doorway." (West Africa)

He who cannot dance will say, "The drum is bad." (Ghana)

A man's heart is not a sack open to all. (Rwanda)