Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Healing Power of Gratitude

How often do we say or hear those incredibly simple words… “thank you”...
It’s true; sometimes these words are just a formality, but the feeling of gratitude behind them can do wonders for both our mental and physical health.
Gratitude is an emotion so powerful it can transform ones mood from darkness to healing light and renew our zest for life.

Being grateful is an attitude of deep appreciation for the realities that surround us "moment to moment"...each day of our life.
The power of the mind can work for us, or it can work against us. We control what we put into our minds; whether our thoughts are positive or negative. More than any other force in the world, it is the mind which serves as a partner in our health.

Chronic illness does cause many people to lose sight of the reasons they have to be grateful.
This being the case, we need to take time to think and focus on what we are grateful for. Something that has helped many is making a list of things such as the important people in your life, special events, places you have lived or visited that brought joy to your life.

Positive thoughts, like gratitude activate a part of the nervous system which is responsible for such wonderful feelings as peace, love, serenity, harmony and tranquility. Enough said!

Let's take a large dose of “gratitude” to make an enormous impact on our health!

“Good Health to You”

*Dear Readers;

"Thank you" for being here for 2009! Each one of you are very important to me, and you've inspired me in one way or another.
I appreciate you, your questions, comments and feedback.
A special "welcome" to my new followers. "Thank you" for being so patient with me and staying the course through the "flares" or work load.
Trust me, your support has meant everything to me!"

Warmest wishes and looking forward to 2010 with you at my side!

~ Good Health to You

Definition of gratitude here:

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lemon Juice - Health & Beauty Benefits

"Around the world lemon juice is one of the most popular drinks because it is healthy, tasty, and low in cost."

This bright yellow fruit is one of the most popular citrus fruits in the world because of it's numerous health benefits. It is known as a liver tonic and natural antiseptic; the juice of a lemon will destroy harmful bacteria found in cuts and areas of infection. Today many studies claim lemon juice helps to prevent osteoarthritis, diabetes and the development or progression of atherosclerosis.

The fresh scent of *lemon oil is so calming that health practitioners encourage it to help remove mental fatigue, exhaustion, and anxiety. The oil creates a positive mind-frame that removes negative emotions. It's believed that inhaling lemon oil helps increase ones concentration and alertness.

Healthy benefits include:

Immune System: *Lemon oil has high vitamin content and therefore helps increase the immunity of the body and your ability to fight diseases. Lemon oil also improves the circulation in the body.

Skin Care: Lemon juice is a natural skin brightener because it is rich in fruit acids which exfoliate gently to remove dead skin cells for younger looking skin. Lemon juice use over time will bleach darkened or discolored areas. The juice should be applied directly to the skin and allowed to dry. Remove with water and olive oil. As a facial treatment for blackheads, clogged pores and blemishes, apply *lemon juice to areas at night. You will experience a tingle but it will subside. Do not wash your face until the morning. Lemon oil add luster to dull skin and can be recommended for oily skin.

Hair Care: Lemon oil/juice is an effective hair tonic. Use lemon oil to get strong, healthy and shinning hair. Lemon oil can be used for removing dandruff. As a "hair treatment" it adds bounce and shine. After shampooing mix the juice of one lemon with one cup warm water and apply to hair. Allow to remain in hair for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly.

Stomach Disorders: Since lemon oil/juice is carminative, it is used in treating various stomach problems. If you suffer symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, or bloating these can be things of the past. Drinking lemon juice regularly has another added bonus; the bowels are aided to eliminate waste more efficiently so you won't be troubled with constipation or diarrhea.

Everyday I drink the juice of one lemon for every 8-12 oz of water. If you desire sweetness I suggest organic honey.
"Good Health to You"

*Always use organic lemons.

“Water is life's mater and matrix, mother and medium. There is no life without water.”

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi quotes (Hungarian Biochemist, 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine, 1893-1986)

Links to further your personal research:


© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do What You Love & Joy Will Follow

Has your happiness level gone to ground zero, and has your self esteem gone "out the window?"
You are not alone and unfortunately these problems are common even among people who do not suffer a chronic illness. There are many things that can diminish the joy of living. The question is, "What can we do to help ourselves or our loved ones combat this despairing situation?"

One thing we can do is find something we love doing; this brings back joy and give us a measure of happiness. Circumstances may limit or prevent us from taking part in activities we once enjoyed so maybe it’s time to search out a new hobby. Have you tried reading, painting, playing cards or volunteering? The most important thing is that we engage in something that keeps joy alive.

Another thing we can do is share our joy with other people. This increases our happiness level because selfless giving is said to be the greatest enrichment in life. Remember the scripture, “there’s more joy in giving than receiving”…

A smile is a simple way of giving but the influence is powerful. Learn to be wasteful with your smiles, your compliments and practice sharing them with people daily.
If we contribute to the joy of others we reap the happiness benefits.

Twelve years ago chronic illness forced me to leave a wonderful *career that I loved. But, in time I learned to embrace this new life along with it's challenges and began to focus on interests I'd never explored or had time for before.
Today, I enjoy *freelancing part-time. But, I find my greatest pleasure is in writing about my journey with rheumatoid arthritis and sharing how I've learned to cope with autoimmune disease.

Do what you love and joy will follow.

“Good Health to You”

Makeup Artist http://www.artistrybysandy.com
Sandy Guerriere
*recent client/bride

Wedding Photographer Stephanie Moore Photography

The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire In a World Out of Balance" - by Donna Jackson Nakazawa.

@SandyGuerriere - Twitter
artistrybysandy - StumbleUpon
Sandy's page - Wilmington's 3rd Street Plaza

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dealing With Isolation Due To Chronic Illness

How can we deal successfully with the isolation that unpredictable flares associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis or chronic disease bring about? This is a serious question many subscribers ask, and it's a problem we all experience at one time or another.

Those of us who deal with chronic illness greet each day knowing it will have challenges, but truly the most destructive challenge is that of isolation.
Chatting with fellow sufferers I've learned this is an issue we all face.
Sadly, our circumstances distance us from those we need most, our family and closest friends. The longer we deal with chronic illness the worse things can get; most people tire of inviting us places because we end up being a no show.

One of the unforeseen consequences of chronic illness is "social isolation" which refers to a negative state of aloneness or diminished participation in social relationships.
This happens to us in two ways; the symptoms and difficult regimens along with loss of energy force us to withdraw from most social contact or we are abandoned by friends and relatives because we don't 'show up' when invited to functions. In either case social relationships are disrupted, falter and break down.
Anyone suffering a chronic condition will tell you that they have lessened or impaired social contact and a sense of increased social isolation. It's been proven that social isolation has a detrimental consequence on us as humans with or without having chronic illness.

Those of us who have RA and deal with flares need lots of rest and can't push ourselves or it makes our illness worse. The longer we're chronically ill the more isolated we become. This can and does defeat all the good effort on our part to stay healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually.

What can we do to help ourselves? Personally I've found it helpful to reach out to others who share a chronic illness. It can be in the form of an email or visiting with new friends on a Social Media site like Twitter, StumbleUpon or Facebook.
I enjoy meeting people from around the world and sharing.

Maybe a pet will help? I will expound on this subject in a later post. (Recently I rescued a cat and she is helping me feel less alone.)

I've found that getting involved in anything you enjoy doing alone can help; then practice expanding that interest.
At times we may need support professionally, especially if loneliness becomes as chronic as our disease. Chronic isolation can and does cause depression.

Whatever you do, don't blame yourself. Remember despite various treatments for RA it remains unpredictable.
How often you have an acute flare-up depends on each individual and we respond differently to stressors as we do to therapies.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is not a 'Cookie-Cutter' disease; we are all unique. There is no cure or control over this disease. We must continuously adapt to our disease state.

Please, whatever you do, stay "positive" and do whatever helps you cope within your means and limitations.
I truly believe the quote, "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars" ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never give in to self pity. Keep hope alive and know that tomorrow is another day.
If possible get outside and enjoy the sunshine, that will always brighten your spirits.

"Good Health to You"

"The Autoimmune Epidemic: Bodies Gone Haywire In a World Out of Balance" - by Donna Jackson Nakazawa.
This book is a timely read to inform and better understand the empidemic in autoimmune diseases.

SandyGuerriere - Twitter
artistrybysandy - StumbleUpon
Sandy's page - Wilmington's 3rd Street Plaza

Photography: Stephanie Moore Photography

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mediterranean Diet Helps Control Inflammation

The Mediterranean diet is known specifically for its use of olive oil, red wine, vegetables and fish. Keeping this in mind I share this quote:
"Thousands upon thousands of persons have studied disease. Almost no one has studied health."

Olive oil, or 'Liquid Gold' contains natural anti-inflammatory agents which scientific evidence suggests reduce inflammation in autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, aid in heart health and wards off many chronic diseases.
Olive oil is also well known for it's 'Beauty' secrets. Visit: www.artistrybysandy.com -'Anti Aging' Tricks Of The Trade - Olive Oil Secrets for details.
Jeanne Calment, who holds the record for the longest confirmed lifespan, reportedly attributed her longevity and relatively youthful appearance to olive oil, which she said she poured on all her food and rubbed into her skin.
So, enjoy this healthy oil on everything from salads to cooking meats, fish and vegetables.

Red Wine, a daily glass or two with meals has benefits for inflammation, digestion and your heart.
Regarding red wines, chemical and food experts have known for years that wine contains rich deposits of vitamins, minerals, and natural sugars that are often beneficial to good health. Wine is rich in potassium and low in sodium. Red wines have more of these elements due to the juices longer contact with the grape skins and is rich in Vitamin B which comes from the grape skins as well.
Red wine aids digestion in the production and flow of gastric juices. This facilitates digestion by breaking down the food in the stomach quickly and effectively.
For many persons after the age of 50 the body does not produce enough hydrochloric acid essential for proper digestion. In line with that fact, many health care providers suggest a glass or two of wine with a meal. Wine also may help lower the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer´s disease.

Protein sources for this diet are primarily fish, which is specifically helpful for RA patients. Fish, in particular oily fish like Salmon have anti-inflammatory effects. Protein is lost during the inflammatory process, and high amounts of protein may be protective.
Fish should be the primary sources of protein and some evidence suggests fish oil supplements may be helpful.

Carbohydrate choices should put a high emphasize on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, beans, and whole grains.
Foods seasoned with fresh garlic and onions are highly recommended.

Of special interest to sufferers of RA is the latest health news. A naturally occurring chemical found in extra-virgin olive oil is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent.
Scientists from the Monell Chemical Senses Center and collaborators state that the named oleocanthal by the researchers is the compound that inhibits activity of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes, a pharmacological action shared by ibuprofen.
This is "significant" because inflammation increasingly is believed to play a key role in a variety of chronic diseases.
Some of the health-related effects of the Mediterranean diet may be due to the natural anti-COX activity of oleocanthal from premium olive oils," observes Monell biologist Gary Beauchamp, PhD.
These findings are described in depth in the September 1st
issue of the journal 'Nature.'

Suggestions: Organic Unfiltered Olive Oil First Cold
Press and Organic Red wine.
Sold in most grocery stores in the Organic section.

"Good Health to You"

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Life Interrupted - Count Your Blessings

'To dream of the person you wish to be is to waste the person you are.'

Certainly everyone dealing with a chronic illness knows the discouragement of an interrupted life. Everyday is a fight; everyday a new challenge.
Not being able to do the things we use to do causes a great deal of frustration and can foster negative feelings as well as isolation.

"The only thing worse than having an incomprehensible, incurable illness is having an incomprehensible, incurable illness in isolation."

To counteract the negative I've found friendships with those who share and understand my illness to be the most supportive.
You may find such friends at a local support group or an online communities like Twitter, Stumbleupon or Facebook. (@SandyGuerriere)

Suffering from RA or chronic disease may cause anxiety about the future, a fear of becoming immobile or dependant on others. Most of us have thoughts like this especially on the BAD days.
Example: Recently I had to use a hammer to unbolt my front door. My hands were too painful to unlock it.
The hammer worked and I got out! I laugh about it today, because it's a GOOD day! (We share that special language don't we?)

Truly, "A Life Interruped" gives us a unique vision. We learn to appreciate what we have, and not worry about what we don't.
Life is a precious gift that holds meaning for us everyday when we count our blessings.

Daily inspiration: My father said, "Live Life on Life's Terms" and work with what you have!

Drug tip: Prednisone has a 'Boomarang' effect when stopped.


"Good Health to You"

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Olive Oil - Anti-Aging Skin Care Secret

When we suffer from a chronic illness it saps our energy and makes routine heatlh and skin care difficult. Daily routines we once accomplished in an hour now take three, and especially so during flares. Grooming is so important to our self esteem and it's a vital part of coping with a chronic illness.

Putting on a face to greet the world each day was always a habit with me, like brushing my teeth. Rarely did anyone see me without full makeup. Being a professional makeup artist most of my life this came as second nature.
These days it's a differnt story all together. I wear makeup maybe once a week or if there's a special occasion. It takes a lot of energy to do ones hair and makeup, and I never realized that until I struggled with the flares of RA.
Now, I have found that my skin is healthier because I don't use products that aren't organic. I enjoy the early morning sun and as the years go by I find the natural look more appealing.
Not that we should let ourselves go, not at all. But we can stop worrying so much about our looks, while doing the little things that made us feel pretty and glamourous.

Anti aging makeup tricks can help us girls look years younger and organic olive oil is one of my favorite skin care secrets. As a seasoned makeup artist I always focused attention on the eye and lip area since these age faster than other areas of the face. Larger lips and an open eye look give you a youthful appearance and are achieved with artistry tricks.
Makeup techniques take years off your appearance and these tips can be easily taught so you can duplicate the look whenever you desire.
A primary step for good skin care each week is exfoliation, this will help your skin look younger immediately and absolutely radiant after makeup application.
Like the famous Italian actress Sophia Loren, I use olive oil every day. The famous actress Sophia Loren, who is now well over 70 and considered one of the most beautiful woman in the world uses it daily too. Olive oil is an ancient Roman beauty secret and I’ve suggested it's use to my clients for many years.
Try a dab of organic extra virgin olive oil( first cold press) several times a week. It is also a total body moisturizer. Olive oil, or ‘Liquid Gold’ has been used throughout the Mediterranean for thousands of years as both a health and beauty aid. This precious oil has been treasured as a beauty aid because it protects, tones and moisturizes the skin. Olive oil is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients that are easily absorbed and water soluble so it won’t clog pores. Premium Olive Oil actually ‘feeds’ your skin to make it firmer, truly ‘anti-aging.’
Scientifically it’s proven Olive Oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent for total body health. As we age the inflammatory response is higher making Olive Oil benefits of greater value…. ‘Good health to you!’
Directions as a moisturizer for the face: Warm a tiny amount in your hands, pat in gently and not too close to eyes,( makes them cloudy) allow to absorb for 10-20 min., then pat off excess with a soft cloth and proceed with your usual beauty routine. It’s natural, healthy, and gives you a youthful glow! As the saying goes, ….

”You will love the skin your in!”

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Red Wine Fights Inflammation

*Red Wine fights inflammation, and the diet-inflammation connection has been well established. This is good news for those of us who suffer from autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Studies show drinking a glass or two of *Red Wine daily along with changes in our diet and lifestyle slow down aging, support a healthy immune system, and decrease chronic inflammation significantly.

Chronic inflammation is caused by many factors including genetics, environment and lifestyle but recent studies prove a connection with diet.
The Western diet promotes inflammation, obesity and has largely contributed to the health crisis we face today.
Red wine and a host of other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dark chocolate, green tea, and turmeric are a *'line of defense' against inflammation.
In a recent study published in May 2008 (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) it states, "by selecting foods based on total antioxidant capacity it has a 'marked effect' on decreasing inflammatory markers."

Choose Organic *Red Wine to limit pesticide residue.
Green living trends give us great wines from Organic farms and introduce a variety of wines at affordable prices. You can find many at your local supermarket. One of my favorites is a Pinot Noir from California for $13.00. But, I also enjoy many Italian and French wines. We are individuals so our tastes will vary.
'Line of Defense' - Decrease inflammation when cooking by using a variety of spices and herbs like fresh ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, red pepper, raw onions and garlic.
Add raw garlic last to retain nutritional value.

"Good Health To You"

*If you're taking medications or drug therapies they may conflict with a natural approach so please consult your healthcare professional before the use of alcohol including red wine.

Red Wine - Italian Style > http://www.lifeinitaly.com/food/nonna/red-wine.asp
Inflammation & Red Wine > http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730103742.htm
*2 Glasses! > http://getsomehairapy.wordpress.com/2007/11/28/women-of-the-world-rejoice-two-glasses-of-red-wine-a-day-good-for-you/

www.jimdowningphotography.com - photo by Jim Downing

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Need Support? Time to Reach Out!

Scientists have found that people who have a strong support network can improve their overall health. People who suffer from a chronic illness like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) can build their own support networks to include family members, *close friends, coworkers, and health care providers.

Having a wide support group will help ensure you get the emotional, social, spiritual, and physical support you need to better manage your condition.
Unless we let others know what we're dealing with on a daily or weekly basis they won't understand our limitations. We can't sit back and suffer in silence. Speak up and ask for the help you need.
Here are a few examples of how to do this.
Involve your family members in decisions about chores around the house. If you have older children at home teach them how to do simple tasks, such as doing laundry or vacuuming. As an added bonus, children will benefit from knowing they are helping and become self-confident and learn compassion.
Educate friends and coworkers about your chronic illness. If they understand how the condition affects your life they are more likely to be supportive when you need to postpone plans or need help.

The people in our lives who care about us want to know how they can help, but we must learn to reach out to them.

"Good Health To You"

*Photographer - Harley Winborn
Harley is a friend who suffers a chronic illness yet he reaches out to others with cheer and support in spite of his personal battle.
He brightens my day often with email or gifts like the Photo used for this post. Thank you Harley!

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Michael Jackson - Lupus and Autoimmune Disease

King of Pop
Michael Jackson
1958 – 2009

"Gone Too Soon"....that is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs and now it has been appropriately sang for him.
I was affected deeply and shocked by Michael's sudden death and my heart goes out to his family, friends and fans all over the world.
It came as a big surprise to many that
Michael Jackson suffered from the autoimmune disease Lupus. But, it was in 1986 that Michael Jackson was diagnosed with Vitiligo and Lupus.
As a fan of his music and someone who defended the entertainers uniqueness for decades, I'm glad the truth is coming out and Michael's being vindicated. He deserves it and so does his family.

As the story unfolds we learn Michael Jackson may have worn the famous sequined white glove to hide the early stages of his skin disease Vitiligo. Larry King interviewed Michael Jackson's dermatologist Dr. Arnold Klein who stated; “Jackson's particular case was bad because it affected his entire body, but it was Michael’s face and hands that were difficult to treat."
Dr. Deepak Chopra told PEOPLE that his longtime friend Michael Jackson suffered from Lupus a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any organ of the body including the skin.
Sadly autoimmune diseases are gravely misunderstood and people are generally berated and criticized who have them. People do not understand why symptoms come and go so a person may be considered lazy or faking it. The symptoms are chronic and include various types of pain which can vary widely from one flare to the next.

Researching for this post I learned that Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis often have "Overlap Syndrome."
Connective tissue diseases are a family of closely related disorders which include: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Polymyositis-Dermatomyositis, Systemic Sclerosis, Sjogren's Syndrome and various forms of vasculitis. When you have more than one of these diseases it's called 'overlap.'

Michael hid his illness from the world but maybe the media coverage will enlighten people to autoimmune disease; and more compassion will be shown for those who suffer chronic pain.
Video: Michael Jackson in video clips discussing Vitiligo > http://mj.magnify.net/video/Michael-Jackson-Vitiligo-clips

ABC News video: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Health/MichaelJackson/story?id=8041395

Tribute to Michael Jackson

"Gone To Soon"

Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon...


Recommended read: "The Autoimmune Epidemic"
by Donna Jackson Nakazawa.
The book sheds light on why there is an increase in autoimmune diseases in developed countries.



Good Health to You!

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Autoimmune Disease: "A Body Gone Haywire"

Primarily our immune system protects us from disease.
Ideally, antibodies, which are part of the immune system, recognize and destroy infections like bacteria and viruses so we don't get sick. To do this successfully our body must be able to distinguish between "self" and "non-self" ...in other words bacteria and viruses.

When our "body goes haywire" autoimmune diseases occur.
The body misinterprets "self" as "non-self" resulting in the destruction of its own cells.

Scientists say immune system diseases appear when multiple genes work together to make an individual vulnerable and ultimately a trigger occurs that disrupts proper functioning of the immune system.
The trigger could be an infection, medication, or environmental exposure.

Autoimmune disease "family members" include: Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis and Lupus.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a chronic disease resulting in inflammation that attacks and affects multiple parts of the body including skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs as well as any other parts not exclaimed.

It's of interest that two-thirds of people with rheumatoid arthritis are women. As with other autoimmune diseases, Rheumatoid Arthritis is thought to be be caused by a combination of genetics risks possibly triggered by infections or exposure to an unknown substance in a person's environment.

I highly recommend reading the book, "The Autoimmune Epidemic" by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. The book sheds light on why there's an increase in autoimmune diseases in developed countries.



Good Health to You!

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rheumatoid Arthritis - Spice Up Your Life to Fight Inflammation and Pain

Many readers have recently asked for a list of *spices and *herbs that I use to help me with inflammation and pain.

There are several staples in my daily diet that have helped me. This is only a partial list, you may know of others that have helped you. If so, I'd love to hear about them.

Turmeric – It’s main active ingredient curcumin is good for inflammation but research shows it’s also good in fighting many diseases. In India this colorful spice is known as 'Holy Powder' and has been used for centuries in treating infections, wounds, and other health problems. Recent research has shown it’s a wonderful antioxidant, antiviral, anti-cancer, antibiotic, and is being used by health care practitioners for relief of congestion, Alzheimer's disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and other conditions.

Black Pepper - Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices and I use pepper with every meal and lots of it. I prefer peppercorns and like it coursely ground. Black pepper is known to improve digestion by stimulating the taste buds and thereby alerting the stomach to increase hydrochloric secretion. It’s also an antioxidant, and has antibacterial effects. The outer layer of the peppercorn helps stimulate the breakdown of fat cells,....good news for us who struggle with our weight!

Cinnamon - Cinnamon with it's healthy dose of manganese also helps eliminate and prevent the clumping of blood platelets. Did you know the scent of cinnamon can boost brain function, yes, smelling cinnamon can improve your memory. These days who doesn’t need that? It also helps stop the growth of bacteria and for people with type 2 diabetes researchers claim cinnamon can help them respond to insulin and thereby normalize their blood sugar levels. I love cinnamon toast and it's sometimes my bedtime treat with a tiny bit of honey and butter. Yum! It puts me right to sleep.

Cayenne - Benefits of cayenne pepper are endless it seems. It fights inflammation, prevents stomach ulcers, boosts immunity, offers pain relief, has cardiovascular benefits, and helps clear congestion. No matter what ails you a dose of cayenne will help you out and it’s full of vitamin A. I use Cayenne pepper every day, from eggs at breakfast to my bean salad at lunch or stir-fry for dinner. I love the flakes too, especially in soups or on pizza.

Ginger - I drink fresh ginger tea often especially in a flare and researchers support the fact it gives relief to those who suffer chronic inflammation like Rheumatoid Arthritis. In one study +75 percent of those participating reported relief from both pain and swelling. Dosage will depend on your condition and advice from your health care practitioner. I use fresh slices of ginger to hot water and let seep for about 5 minutes in my coffee pot, pour and add organic honey to taste. It's good for an upset stomach or digestive disorders too.

Licorice - This can works in the body like cortisone without harmful side-effects.

Parsley - I use parsley in my morning juice. It’s added in with carrots, celery, garlic clove and beet slices. Parsley is effective in flushing uric acid from the tissues to ease pain in our joints. I use one handful per juicing. I never cook parsley, it's a garnish for my meals added as a topper.

Whatever *spice or *herb tickles your fancy enjoy them everyday.

'Spice Up Your Life' and enjoy the many health benefits. Diet changes can lessen pain, decrease inflammation in the body and extend ones longevity.

Here is a great link I encourage you to read: http://www.agingwellmag.com/archive/spring08p20.shtml

You may also enjoy my post on the benefits of Garlic.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - Immune Support with Raw Garlic

'Good Health to You'

Helpful link:

*Consult your Health Care Practitioner before adding spice or herbs to your diet while taking medications since interactions can occur.

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Listen To Your Body

After researching nutrition and alternative health care for the past 20 years I've witnessed a 'common theme' which shows up in many studies.
It's of great importance that we listen to the warning signals our bodies try to give us before chronic disease can plan it's disastrous assault.

A good example of listening to our body comes from animals.
Have you ever noticed your dog or cat sniffing around the yard or garden and when it finds a certain green plant and eats it shortly afterwards they will vomit?
Yes, animals instinctively sense when a toxin or micro-organism intruder has invaded their body, and they will look to nature for just the right plant to provide a cure. (for instance chlorophyll or whatever is in the plant)

Modern medicine has failed in many ways to tap into preventative practices such as lifestyle changes, foods and herbs that can help support health to prevent medical conditions and disease.
In fact, there are a lot of negative statistics associated with conventional medical care.
Researchers state that more people die due to medical mistakes, reactions to prescription drugs, infections in hospitals than those who died of heart disease each year!

Health can best be described as the optimum state of physical, mental and social well-being. The way to achieve this optimum state is by reaching out for our personal health potential in an ongoing conscious effort.
We must provide our bodies with all of the requirements of health. At the same time, we must minimize anything that compromises our health which include foods that encourage inflammation, environmental stressors and our own destructive behavior patterns.

The bottom line, we need to become pro-active and responsible for our health and medical decisions along with finding a compassionate, qualified health care practitioner.

It's important we find out how our body functions, and what it needs in order for us to have optimal health.
Rememeber too, we are unique as individuals; what works for one person may not work for another. There's no room for 'cookie cutter' health care!

Most of us desire a long healthy life, and since we weren't handed an 'owner’s manual' it's up to us to take charge and research for answers to our medical conditions.

'Listen To Your Body'...what's yours telling you?

'Good Health to You'

Excellant read:
Extraordinary Healing
by Art Brownstein M.D.

photo - www.jimdowningphotography.com

© Copyright 2010 Sandy Guerriere. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Raw Garlic for Immune Support

The wonders of garlic are numerous, not only is it a powerful therapeutic herb but it's a strong-flavored seasoning for food. Garlic helps lower cholesterol and high blood pressure and may help prevent heart attacks by reducing blood clotting.

Since Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers usually have infections more often than the general public, "raw garlic" can help them get over these sooner and may actually reduce inflammation in the body.
Garlic is a potent antibiotic and it's especially active against fungal infections and has immune-stimulating properties with antibacterial and antiviral effects.

Personally I use garlic everyday; from my a.m. juicing, as an addition to stir-fry or in salad dressing.

Interestingly enough, the compound principally responsible for garlic's disease-fighting ability (and pungent smell) is allicin, also found in lesser amounts in onions and other white vegetables.

Use garlic often, and remember allicin is formed from an inactive precursor compound only after garlic is mashed or chopped and exposed to air for at least a few minutes. I suggest using "ORGANIC" grown garlic when possible.

Have a glass of red wine while you wait with a piece of fruit or unbleached unbromated bread...

"Good Health to You!"

*Consult your Health Care Practitioner before adding spice or herbs to your diet while taking medications since interactions can occur.

Side effects, helpful information or questions:


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