Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Grab Bag Breast Video Ever:

Now HERE is a community service message we can all pay close attention to… really…. try to ACTUALLY LISTEN to what these guys have to say:

Breast Video Ever

Many thanks to Carolyn M. for sending this to me

Grab Bag Teach Dream:

12 minutes of absolutely inspiring teaching by a model human being:

Many thanks to Jo Ann N. for sharing this with me

Grab Bag Rollin’ With The Homies:

Lifestyle blogger extraordinaire Slim Paley (her blog is permanently linked under “Favorite Blogs” on the right side of this page) is in the running for Apartment Therapy’s Best Home Design & Inspiration Blog.

If you haven’t seen Slim Paley, enjoy! Gorgeous, inspirational, eye opening, globe trotting… this site has it all. From fashion to home design to REALLY DECADENT things to eat, Slim hits the fashionable nail on the head every time. Click on the AMAZING roses below to enter Slim’s world:


To vote, please go here, register in 2 seconds (Apartment Therapy is a GREAT site, by the way) and vote for Slim in this first round… top vote getters move on to the finals. Go, Slim, go!

Grab Bag Stem Cell Youth:

Gotta love the brains at UC Berkeley! Go Bears!


A new study led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, represents a major advance in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind aging while providing new hope for the development of targeted treatments for age-related degenerative diseases…..

….Researchers were able to turn back the molecular clock by infusing the blood stem cells of old mice with a longevity gene and rejuvenating the aged stem cells’ regenerative potential. The findings were published online on Jan. 31, in the journal Cell Reports…..

….over the past 10 to 20 years, there have been breakthroughs in scientists’ understanding of aging. Instead of an uncontrolled, random process, aging is now considered highly regulated as development, opening it up to possible manipulation.

Read the whole Science Daily article here.

Grab Bag Fitness Myth Busters:

From Zen to Fitness, a great fitness blog, comes Sargeant Michael Volkin‘s myth busters:

Busted! 5 Fitness and Health Tips That May Make You Cry

1- Myth: The more ab exercises I do, the skinnier my waist will be.


BUSTED: Doing stomach exercises can strengthen your abdominal muscles, but it won’t burn body fat to give you that 6-pack you’re after.  If you want your ab muscles to show, you need to either be naturally skinny or embrace a diet low in carbohydrates and high in proteins with a decent helping of healthy fats and fruits and vegetables.

2- Myth:My diet includes diet soda, it’s zero calories so it has to be good for me. 


BUSTED: According to a recent University of Texas study, drinking just two or more cans a day accelerated waistline expansion by 500%. The artificial sweeteners disrupt the body’s ability to regulate calorie intake. In other words, your body is being tricked into thinking it’s ingesting sugar, so you crave more food and as a result, eat more food than you would have without drinking the soda.

3- Myth:By working out, I can convert fat into muscle.


BUSTED: You cannot convert fat into muscle as they are completely different.  In fact, when working out it is best to focus on either losing fat or gaining muscle.   In order to gain muscle, you have to eat more calories than you burn and, in order to lose body fat, you must burn more calories than you consume.

4- Myth:Cardio is more important for fat loss than weight lifting.


BUSTED: You will definitely burn calories completing a cardio workout, but to lose weight your primary concern should be muscle loss.  Muscles make it easier for your body to prevent fat gain.  Your body will burn more calories maintaining muscle than maintaining fat. In other words, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body will burn each day.  The less muscle you have the lower your metabolism.  A great weight loss program should focus on (in this order) your caloric intake, weight training and then cardio.

 5- Myth:Stretching before a workout prevents injury and increased my performance.


BUSTED: I know, you grew up stretching before a workout or sporting event because your coach or parents told you it was beneficial.  You were probably told that stretching prevents injury, when in fact, the opposite is true.  Recent studies show that stretching before a workout will weaken the muscle by up to 30%.  By elongating your muscles before strenuous exercise you actually may be increasing the risk of injury. Instead of stretching before a workout, get your blood flowing through your muscles with some low impact cardio for 5 to 10 minutes.  Stretching after a workout is great and still proves to be beneficial.

Grab Bag Antioxidant Superstars:


Here’s some really good news…. huge group (93,600 women… nurses, actually) followed for a long-term study (18 years)… showed that consuming blueberries or strawberries 3 or more times a week reduced risk of heart attacks by 32%. That’s THIRTY TWO PER CENT, just by poppin’ berries in your pie hole at least 3 times a week.

The science behind the news lies in the FLAVANOIDS in the berries… in particular the anthocyanins so plentiful in purple, blue and red foods.


Other good choices include blackberries, cherries, black currants, grapes, red wine, eggplant, plums and raspberries.

Oh, by the way… go organic, OK? If fresh is prohibitive, Costco sells bags of organic frozen blueberries… and frozen is just as good… sometimes better… than fresh.

Grab Bag Brain Game:

Auditory and visual skills come in to play as you are asked to match an animal’s sound with its picture:


Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

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Grab Bag Sugar Blues:

Now…. about all that Easter candy….. Don’t shoot me… I’m only the messenger. Check out this blurb taken from New Beauty Magazine Online:

How Sugar Ages You

Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2011 by NewBeauty Staff

We all know about sugar’s link to diabetes and weight gain, but it may surprise you to know that it can also contribute to how old you look.

According to Meriden, CT, dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, processed and refined sugars play a pretty significant role in inflammation and advanced aging. “Glycation is the long-term effect that sugar has on the body,” he says. “High-glycemic foods are loaded with sugars that, when released, bind to proteins in the cells and to collagen in the skin. This sugar-protein bond also produces free radicals, which drive the production of inflammation. This glycation makes it difficult for cells to function properly, resulting in destructions to all organ systems, including the skin.”

Even though it’s hard to omit sugar entirely from your diet, natural sugars are thought to not cause a quick spike in blood sugar (since they help the body absorb sugar) like refined and processed sugars can, although any amount of sugar can cause it to climb somewhat.

Grab Bag Cute Stuff:

Not often that you see THESE two species rubbing noses:

Grab Bag Take Charge Health Tips:

Battling heart disease is not easy in today’s world… a world that, for many, is filled with stress, lack of exercise and poor diet, just to name a few contributing issues.

Ironically, to care for our cars, we are usually told clearly and specifically to use a certain grade of oil, to have regular service inspections, and we know that if lights go on in the dash, we need to get things checked.

So what about our own bodily engine under our hood? Must we always wait until things go south and our “mechanic” hands us a prescription to “clean things up”?  

The following guidelines and suggestions are offered by Dr. Ladd McNamara, an MD who is committed to encouraging patients to do all they can to optimize their cardiovascular health so they can hopefully avoid statin drugs. While I am not endorsing him personally, I feel the suggestions below can have merit, as well as low riskTry getting to know the following levels in your own test results, and discover what you can do about them:

What Can You Do?

1. Know, and lower your high-sensitivity CRP levels
     a. CRP less than 1.0 mg/L = Low Risk for CardioVascular Disease (CVD)
     b. CRP of 1.0 – 2.9 mg/L = Moderate Risk for CVD
     c. CRP greater than 3.0 = High Risk for CVD
2. Know, and lower your Homocysteine levels:
     a. Homocysteine less than 6.5 = Low Risk for CVD
     b. Homocysteine 6.6 to 8.0 = Low-Moderate Risk for CVD
     c. Homocyseine 8.1 to 10.4 = Moderate-High Risk for CVD
     d. Homocysteine greater than 10.4 = High Risk for CVD
3. Know, and lower your Lipid Peroxides
     a. This test is not commonly performed by most labs, but can be obtained.
     b. Keep Lipid Peroxidation low (according to print out on lab results)

How You Can Lower CRP, Homocysteine, and Lipid Peroxidation to Reduce Heart Attack & Stroke:

1. Statin Drugs: expensive; dangerous and sometimes deadly side-effects.
     a. Acquaint yourself with possible side-effects.

OR, …. even BETTER:

2. Lifestyle Changes: inexpensive, non-dangerous, …and it promotes health!
     a. Maintain a Healthy Weight
     b. Maintain a Low-Glycemic Diet (plenty of vegetables)
     c. Exercise
     d. Don’t Smoke
     e. Reduce Stress
     f. Adequate Sleep
     g. Drink Plenty of Pure Water
     h. Maintain Gum Health (brush, floss, and use Co-Q10)
     i. Use Full-Range Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids: (a few examples of many vitamins and antioxidants are shown below, though I [Dr. McNamara] personally recommend a full-range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids):

Vitamin C 2000 mg/day (McNamara says vitamin C alone reduces CRP similar to statins)
B Complex Vitamins
Fish Oil (4000 mg per day)
Vitamin D (1000 to 5000 IU/day)
Turmeric Extract (400 to 800 mg/day)
Olive Extract (75 to 200 mg/day)
Grape Seed Extract and Resveratrol (200 to 400 mg/day)
Co-Enzyme Q10 (200 to 400 mg/day)
Betaine (TMG) (1800 to 3000 mg/day)
Magnesium (400 mg/day)

Grab Bag Print the Web:

(And save the world, pages of paper at a time)

Printing information from the web is often a challenge because websites are plastered with sidebars, images, advertisements, and other unprintable elements.

What makes a website look fantastic is a real drag when printing because all of these items waste precious ink and paper. Unfortunately, those sites that need a printable version most, notoriously don’t offer it. 

Rather than just printing everything or using copy & paste to create a custom document for printing, you can be smart and use the bookmarklet tool introduced below.

Bookmarklets work in any browser. Typically, you drag and drop it from a button on a website into your bookmarks bar.


PrintFriendly is a very user-friendly solution because it allows a good deal of editing and customizing. Click on the above link to get the bookmarklet for your browser toolbar (instructions are REALLY simple).

To see it in action, scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the new “Print & PDF” button. This will connect you to a “Print Friendly” version  of this web page that can be edited to just what you want to print or save as a PDF file.

Check this video to be convinced why this can be a really valuable tool. 

Grab Bag Brain Game:

For all those who love popping bubble wrap, here’s the virtual version:


Grab Bag Double Funny Stuff:

This Roomba thing has been marketed as an automatic vacuum cleaner, but in reality, it’s a KDD – Kitten Distribution Device.

And this video shows that even dogs can rat out their buddies:

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Grab Bag Secret Shadow:

Last summer, Prevention magazine published an article about a phenomenon they called Shadow Diseases. It seems that there are measurable connections between some benign conditions and some more serious hitchhiking diseases. The reasons behind each of these connections are different, but the knowledge that these pairings can happen is helpful, and can be used as a tool in your health fix-it kit.

Condition: Migraines  →   →   →   →   →   →   Shadow: Heart Attack or Stroke

Condition: Endometriosis  →   →   →   →   →   Shadow: Melanoma

Condition: High Blood Pressure  →   →   →    Shadow: Diabetes

Condition: Psoriasis     →   →   →   →   →   →   Shadow: Heart Attack

Condition: Metabolic Syndrome    →   →   →     Shadow: Kidney Stones

Condition: Asthma  →   →   →   →   →   →   →  Shadow: Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Read the full article here.

Grab Bag Go Fish, Stop Fish:

We keep hearing it. We get it.

Eat more surf. Eat less turf.

But we must keep two goals in mind when selecting the best fish to consume.

First, we need to avoid the consumption of the chemical class known as PCBs, as well as lead and mercury. Why? Read the following info gathered from this government study. If PCB’s and other fish contaminants can have this effect on children, can we really feel comfortable with their effect on us as adults?

Investigators report developmental disorders and cognitive deficits in children of mothers who had eaten moderate to high amounts of contaminated fish during the six years preceding the pregnancy and who continued to do so during the pregnancy.  Developmental effects include:

  • lower birth weight (160–190 grams)
  • smaller head circumference (smaller by 0.6 centimeters)
  • on average, babies are born earlier

These developmental effects were still evident 5 to 7 months after the infants’ births. Neurobehavioral deficits observed include:

  • depressed responsiveness
  • impaired visual recognition
  • poor short-term memory at 7 months of age

At 4 years of age, these children still had the following:

  • deficits in weight gain
  • depressed responsiveness
  • reduced performance on the visual recognition-memory test (i.e., one of the best validated tests for the assessment of human cognitive function).

At eleven years of age, these children were:

  • three times more likely to have low verbal IQ scores
  • twice as likely to lag behind at least two years in reading comprehension
  • have difficulty paying attention

Impairment was also associated with higher concentrations of lead and mercury levels in the children.

Secondly, an anti-inflammatory diet incorporating healthy fish can have a real impact on our defense to arthritis, heart disease, asthma, skin conditions and diabetesnone of which sound like very much fun.

So swapping out the sirloin for the salmon seems simple enough, but not every fin is not created equal. Some have undesirable ratios of omega 3’s: omega 6’s. Others have sadly evolved to build up high levels of mercury or antibiotic residues that make them a higher risk than reward choice. Here are Dr. Andrew Weil’s picks for hits and misses in the piscine pool:

Eat More of (2-6 servings per week recommended):

• Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon

• Canned Sockeye Salmon

• Sardines

• Herring

• Black Cod

(I have no problem with the first two…. I guess I’ll need to work on the last three)

Eat Less or Avoid Altogether:

• White (albacore) Tuna, Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel (does anyone you know eat mackerel??) and Tilefish: All have high levels of mercury (“small catch” tuna is OK)

• Farm-raised Tilapia: very low in omega 3’s, very high in omega 6’s

• Farmed (Atlantic) Salmon: Dr. Andrew Weil and others suggest AVOIDING THIS ALTOGETHER. The popularity of salmon has given rise to farming on such a large scale that antibiotics and other drugs must be used to fight infections that could decimate the farm. In addition, the ratio of omegas is quite different in the farmed version. Let’s face it…. fish are not meant to live in tanks or pens. Adding to that, we are also beginning to see the environmental impact of fish farming, and our oceans are paying the price for cheap and concentrated fish foods and unnatural densities of fish excrement.

Grab Bag Handy Hangover Tip:

Now I am certain few if any of the Grab Bag readers need this tip, but some of you may “have a friend” who might….

The best hangover “remedy” is to avoid alcohol in the first place. However, if you do overdo it, drinking plenty of water and taking a B-complex vitamin supplement plus extra thiamine (100 mg) to counter the B-vitamin depletion caused by alcohol can help, as can… asparagus? Researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in South Korea recently conducted a study that linked the amino acids and trace minerals in asparagus extract with reduced hangover symptoms.

While more research needs to be done before asparagus can be touted as a reliable hangover cure, if you drank too much the night before, eating asparagus at breakfast can’t hurt – it is a nutrient-dense vegetable, among the richest food sources of folate, and a good source of fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium.

Grab Bag Brain Wonder:

Many thanks to kind reader Lynette L. for reminding me about Stephen Wiltshire, a mind and talent rarely seen. Worth the time to watch the special gift of this savant…

Grab Bag Brain Game:

So, if we play games like this, might we develop a gift like Stephen Wiltshire’s?? Probably not, but it certainly can’t hurt to play these. This one asks you to click on matching pairs of shapes, either side by side or out on the perimeter. The edge ones get more points the further away from one another you find them. Fun and slowly addictive.


Grab Bag Funny Stuff Part A:

OK… I think human beings have officially thought of everything now.

These are honestly and truly being manufactured and are available for sale here. So….. do these dogs really leave these butt covers unchewed, unlicked, untorn?

Rear Gear comes in many designs including a disco ball, air freshener, heart, flower, biohazard, smiley face, number one ribbon, cupcake, sheriff’s badge, dice, and you can even make yours custom, so there’s a Rear Gear for everyone.

Grab Bag Funny Stuff Part B:

Doomed to fail …….

Everyone should have a draem and a deram! Why have just a dream?

Those are lighthouses?


That’s gotta hurt….

Who was in charge of marketing here?

This explains why our country struggles with weight loss.

Who’s comin’ with me to Eats and Sweets?

This certainly would work….

How do we gently let him know…..

Yeah… that jackhammer noise will definitely harm whatever the cigarettes don’t.

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