Archive for August, 2009

Motivate Me!

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Heart healthy CoQ10What truly motivates us? For some, it is the almighty dollar, for others it’s perhaps feeling like we do our job well, or maybe it’s helping the less fortunate and realizing a greater purpose.

But what really motivates us to eat right, exercise and take care of ourselves?

Basically, I have negative willpower. If I am confronted with any of the following at a party, (margaritas, chips, cookies, chocolate, those toasty little quiches, cake et al.) I am powerless to resist. I then calculate how many hours I’d need to spend on the treadmill to burn off all of the superfluous calories. Twenty-six hours ought to do it.

This was no way to live.

But a recent trip the doctor’s office changed all of that; I highly recommend it to everyone. My doctor served me up a heaping bowl of reality and I had no choice but to grab my spoon and dig in.

It turned out that my LDL cholesterol level was pretty good, though the HDL “good cholesterol” number was low. However, my blood pressure was a bit on the high side, but nothing to be too concerned with. Yet.

Not wanting to fill the pharmaceutical company’s coffers, I decided not to push my doctor for pills to “cure” my mild afflictions. Instead, I decided to get motivated about my health. I would create a DIY health program, if you will, which included investing in some high quality CoQ10 supplements.  Research has shown CoQ10 to have important heart strengthening and other heart health properties.  Now don’t misunderstand me. If my doctor had urged me to take medicine for either of these health concerns, I would definitely take that seriously. But I, like so many of us, was on the cusp of something that could turn into a problem in the future, if I wasn’t diligent about my health today.

I decided to take control. I learned to love hiking. I learned to tolerate a lower sodium diet and I made sure that all of my vitamins and supplements were lined up on the bathroom sink so I wouldn’t forget to take them.

And the margaritas? Once in a while won’t hurt, but remember to hold the salt.

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/4418“Coenzyme Q10 and Respiratory Chain Enzyme Activities in Hypertrophied Human Left Ventricles With Aortic Stenosis”, Maurer, Iris, M.D., et al, The American Journal of Cardiology, August 15, 1990;(66):504-505.


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(Healthcare) Reform School

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

These days healthcare is on everyone’s mind.  No matter what your political stance is, we can all agree that quality healthcare is paramount to a happy life.  If you don’t have your health, it doesn’t matter what other things you possess.  Right now, perhaps more than ever, it’s very important to take your health seriously.  With staggering unemployment rates and company health care options uncertain, it is wise to take matters into your own hands as much as possible.

solanova supplements and eating right

Make smart decisions.  If your cholesterol is on the high side, ban things like saturated fats from your diet.  And take up jogging, swimming, power walking, hopscotch or anything else that gets your body moving and off the couch (where you normally consume more than your share of beer and nachos).  In fact, you might want to ban the couch from your life all together-for a while anyway.

Muscles aching?  Don’t have enough energy to exercise?  It’s easy to find excuses not to be active and eat right.  The easy choice is to microwave frozen dinners and watch ER reruns on TiVo.  But you’re not one to back down from a challenge, are you?  Especially when healthy choices can enhance your quality of life, your overall longevity and even help you appear younger and more vibrant?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Besides, there are many ways to approach good health.  Spending time at a farmer’s market once a week can motivate you to cook with fresh vegetables and fruit, plus you can soak up a little immune system enhancing vitamin D while you’re at it.  As you embark on a healthier way of life you may find yourself actually liking it, which in turn, will encourage you to continue.  Those extra pounds might just melt away over time and with the extra energy you suddenly have, maybe you’ll do something unexpected, like run a half-marathon, or take a swing dancing class.

After all, the choice is yours.  Make it a healthy one.

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Summertime Blues

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

solanova supplements and exercise for energy and health

Maybe it’s because the weather is sweltering and there is no relief in sight.  Or maybe it’s because you just got downsized from your job or that your “stay-cation” consists of a blow up kiddie pool and a six-pack in the front yard.  Whatever the reason, summer blues can be particularly frustrating because this is the time of year everyone is supposed to feel happy, relaxed and free.  So what’s wrong?

This is not always an easy question to answer.

Sometimes mild depression or “the blues” can be mitigated by an enhanced diet.  Foods rich in omega-3’s, vitamin B12 and folic acid can boost your mood and also help with any weight-related mild depression or anxiety.  And be sure to keep up with an exercise regime, or if you’ve let one slide, reinvent yourself with some physical activity that is also social, i.e. salsa dancing, a yoga class, or even a biking/hiking club.  Oftentimes sharing activities with those who are likeminded can help you feel better and more connected.

There has been some compelling research lately that suggests that omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can contribute to depression in some individuals.  In one study done with cardiovascular disease patients, it was found that as levels of omega-3’s dropped off, depression seemed to rise.  Ensuring the body is replete with proper omega-3 levels can possibly help prevent some cancers and cardiovascular disease and is now thought to ease depression.

So keep active, eat properly to keep blood sugar at a healthy level, and make sure you take some time for yourself as well as for your friends and family.  Hopefully you’ll see those summer blues melt away, like strawberry ice cream on a hot day.

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/35116“Low levels of docosahexaenoic acid identified in acute coronary syndrome patients with depression,” Parker GB, Heruc GA, et al, Psychiatry Res, 2006 Feb 22; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, 2031, Australia; Black Dog Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia).

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