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  • Articles in 'Health Tips'

    To Take Calcium Or Not To Take Calcium?

    Ramona Richards is available at Way of Life for free nutritional advice

    What is really the question?

    by Ramona A. Richard, BA, NC

    A decade or two ago we were told to supplement with calcium to prevent bone loss and avoid osteoporosis. We bought a bottle of calcium. Several years later we were told to take magnesium as well; magnesium is needed to help balance calcium in the body. OK. We next bought a bottle of Cal-Mag. Some years later, we learned that we needed vitamin D in order for the calcium to get fully absorbed. We dutifully bought Cal-Mag with D.

    Now we hear that taking calcium is associated with a risk for heart disease! A European study of 24,000 patients, reported in the journal Heart1 in June of this year, linked calcium supplementation with heart attacks. Support my bones or my heart? Are we confused yet???

    In order to make sense of all this, we need to look at the mechanism by which calcium can contribute to heart disease. Indeed, we need look no further than the artery walls. Calcium is known to collect in arteries. This contributes to the plaquing that we know as atherosclerosis, precursor to heart attacks. Meanwhile, our bones are starving for calcium! But to advise that we should stop taking calcium is to miss the larger point. That larger point involves a nutrient known as vitamin K2 or menaquinone. This is the real question: How can we get calcium safely into our bones and keep it away from soft tissues, like arteries? K2 basically funnels calcium into the bones to strengthen mineral density and fight fractures while it prevents and even removes dangerous arterial calcifications. As Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, Naturopath and authority on vitamin K2 points out, “there is more than a coincidental association between brittle bones and hardened arteries.”

    Vitamin K2 activates a protein in our bones called osteocalcin, whose job is to grab calcium and incorporate it into the bone matrix. Without K2, osteocalcin is not activated and bone density is compromised. K2 also activates a protein in our artery walls called matrix GLA protein, which prevents calcium from depositing in the artery. A deficiency of K2, then, allows soft tissue calcification and weakened bones

    Did our grandmothers have these issues, we might ask? Did they have vitamin K2 available to protect their bones and their arteries? Sources of K2, indeed, used to be abundant in the human diet. Vitamin K2 is found in the fats of animals allowed to graze on green pastures. This includes the marbling of meats from pastured cows, the butter, cream and cheese made from their milk, the egg yolk of chickens allowed to peck freely, the lard of grass-fed animals in general. (It is also found in the Japanese food, natto—a food most Americans find unpalatable.) It is now easy to understand why we are so deficient that osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are rampant. These are the very foods we have been taught are dangerous to our health! Current scientific literature has, fortunately, debunked the idea that saturated fat produces heart disease. However, our cows and chickens are now raised in confined quarters and fed grains, a situation that does not allow production of K2 in their fats. We have efficiently eliminated this important vitamin from our diets and sadly are paying the price.

    Supplementing with Vitamin K2 has become not only important but critical. (see sidebar for supplements available at Way of Life) K2 supplements come in several forms: menaquinone -7 (MK-7) and menaquinone-4 (MK-4) are the most common. MK-7 is preferable as it stays in the blood stream much longer than MK-4. K2 supplementation is an easy way to correct this significant deficiency, make calcium supplements safe, strengthen our bones and protect our arteries!

    Ramona Richard, BA, NC is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and life-long resident of Santa Cruz County. She owns Radiance, Diet & Nutrition Education, a consulting company and serves as Practitioner at Way of Life, in Capitola. Ramona can be reached at Way of Life at 464-4113 or at ramonaann9@gmail.com

    Ramona will be speaking at the Fall Way of Life Health lecture series on the topic Digging Deeper into the Calcium Supplementation Issue: A comprehensive look at building bone density, Tuesday September 25th 7:30-9:00PM. Save the date!

    1) Li K, Kaaks R, Linseisen J, RohrmannS. (June, 2012). Associations of dietary calcium intake and calcium supplementation with myocardial infarction and stroke risk and overall cardiovascular mortality in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study (EPIC-Heidelberg). Heart,98,920-5.

    2) Rhéaume-Bleue, Kate. (2012). Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox. Ontario, Canada:John Wiley & Sons Canada,Ltd

    Homemade Herbal Delights for Skin & Body

    Ingredients available from Way of Life:

    Jars, dried lavender, rose petals, jojoba oil, almond or apricot oil, coconut, glycerin, rose water, vitamin E, Aloe Vera gel, grape seed extract, and essential oils.

    Making Fresh Lavender Oil:

    Either pick your own or purchase your dried lavender flowers from Way of Life. If you choose to pick your own do so on a sunny day between 10 – 11AM when the dew has dried off the blossoms. Gather both open flower heads and green leaves and set them in a shady place to finish drying off for a few hours.

    Fill a large glass jar with the freshly dried lavender flowers and dried green leaves. Pour to cover, olive oil or any of the oils listed above. Make sure the oil covers all the flowers and that they can move easily in the jar, otherwise the flowers may mold. Cover the jar and place it in full sunlight for 2-4 hours. If available, blend herbs and oil in a blender to help extract the green leaves and flowers. Strain the oil mixture using cheesecloth or a clean nylon stocking. Squeeze the sock/cloth to extract the natural greenish oil. Add 20- 30 drops of lavender essential oil. Store oil in a dark bottle in a cool place. Use it as your base for making hydrating body products such as the hair mask recipe below, bath oils, lubes, massage oil, and foot scrubs.

    Lavender Oil Avocado Hair Mask

    (Adapted with permission from the book Maiden, Mother, Crone: Our Pleasure Playlist)

    This mask works well on any hair type and it is a wonderful hair conditioning treatment. The combination of avocado and lavender oil saturates the hair with protein and nourishing oils and also helps restore damaged and/or split ends. Your hair will be shiny & luscious and your scalp will be happy & healthy.

    What you’ll need: 4 TB of fresh lavender oil (see above) and 1 fresh avocado

    Prep Time: Lavender oil if making it fresh = 2 to 4 hours. Mask = 5 minutes

    In a bowl, scoop out avocado from its peel and mix until it resembles guacamole. Add around 4 tablespoons of lavender oil and blend together.

    Apply to all sections of hair, especially the ends. Sometimes combing the hair after applying the mask helps distribute the beneficial oils. Put hair in bun and put a shower cap (a plastic bag works great too) on – this helps trap heat, which maximizes the moisturizing process. The mask can stay on from anywhere from an hour to all night long. If you leave it on over night, make sure to lay a towel down just incase of any leakage. Rinse out using shampoo (I recommend shampooing your hair twice) followed by conditioner.

    Note: If the lavender oil involves too much prep work for your liking, an alternative is to use an egg. Simply substitute 1 egg for the lavender oil and proceed.

    Rose Water & Glycerin Facial Cream

    (Adapted from several online sites via www.ehow.com)

    What you’ll need: Sterilized jar with lid, 2 bowls, whisk, 3/4 cups rosewater, 1 1/2 tsp. glycerin, 21/3 cup aloe vera gel, 3 to 6 drops rose or rose geranium essential oil, Oil from 1 vitamin E capsules or equal amount of liquid Vit E, ½ tsp. grapefruit seed extract. Optional ½ cup Coconut oil

    Prep Time: less than 5 minutes

    In a glass or porcelain bowl add rose water, glycerin, aloe vera gel, rose essential oil and grapefruit seed extract. Break open the vitamin E capsule and add the oil to the mixture.

    Whisk the mixture together until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. To thicken put coconut oil in a bowl and very slowly add the rose water mix to the coconut oil. Whisking until blended and fluffy. Fill a sterilized container with a securely fitting lid and store in a cool dark place or a refrigerator between uses.

    St John’s Wort Leg and Feet Massage Oil

    (Adapted from Herbs from the Soul by Tamara Kircher)

    What you’ll need: Clean jar with lid, jojoba oil, and fresh St John’s Wort flowers

    Prep Time: 5 minutes to make – 2 weeks till ready

    Fill a clean jar full of yellow open flowers. Gently pour the oil over the flowers until fully covered.

    Close jar and let sit on a sunny windowsill for 2 weeks. Shake and turn the jar daily. After 2 weeks strain the oil using cheesecloth removing all plant material. Store the oil in a dark bottle away from sunlight. Use oil only externally, to massage into legs and feet. Or add a few drops of this amazing purple oil to an almond, apricot, or coconut oil.


    Top Ten Herbs to Have in a Home Medicine Garden

    By Darren Huckle L.Ac. Herbalist


    1) Stinging Nettle Leaf (Urtica californica or dioica)

    A potent source of bio-available minerals including Ca, Mg, and Silica. Also contains caretenoids, and vitamins. C, B group. and K. Used as a nutritive tonic, as well as for allergies, and eczema. The stingers are used externally for aches and pains.




    2) Lavender Flowers (Lavendula spp.)

    Lavender tea drunk internally is a great calmative, digestive, anti-nauseal agent and treatment for stress related headaches. When used externally it makes a great bath or compress for sore muscles relating to overexertion, sprain, or stress.





    3) Mint Leaf (Mentha spp.)

    Mint tea is useful in the early stages of cold as a diaphoretic (sweat inducer), It makes a soothing yet stimulating tea useful for tiredness due to stress. One of the best digestive remedies, it is useful for indigestion and gas due to culinary libations.





    4) California Poppy Plant (Escholtzia californica)

    All parts of California poppy are used as a safe and effective remedy for occasional sleeplessness or anxiety. Can be used effectively as a tea or tincture.





    5) Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis)

    As a tea or tincture, Valerian is a soothing digestive and anti-spasmodic herb. Useful for menstrual cramps, indigestion, stress related muscle tension, and sleeplessness. Especially effective for sleeplessness due to eating too late at night.



    6) Thyme Herb (Thymus vulgaris)

    A great digestive herb to be cooked with or drunk as tea. Due to its high thymol content,, Thyme is strongly Antimicrobial with a special ability to treat respiratory and digestive tract infections. Also useful as an antiseptic wash for wounds.



    7) Sage Herb (Salvia officinalis, mellifera, clevandii)

    Sage is especially useful for thin copious mucus that occurs after eating or a bout of the cold. It strengthens and tones the digestive system while eliminating excess mucus. Also useful as a gargle for sore throats, when mixed with honey and a slice of lemon.



    8 ) Rosemary Herb (Rosmarinus officinalis)

    An abundant and potent source of anti-oxidants Rosemary makes a great health promoting and uplifting tea. Internally it is useful for delayed menses, poor circulation, colds, indigestion, and mild bouts of depression. Externally as a soak or bath Rosemary is a great wound healer for conditions including ankle sprains and carpal tunnel syndrome.



    9) Chamomile Flower (Matricaria recutita)

    One of the safest and most versatile garden herbs, Chamomile is especially useful for issues of the digestive and nervous systems. Promotes a healthy digestive tract, gently cleanses the liver, and soothes frazzled nerves. Useful internally and externally for healing injuries especially when associated with trauma.



    10) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

    Yarrow is one of the easiest grown first aid remedies. The crushed leaves applied to a bleeding wound will stop bleeding almost instantly. When applied to bug bites, bee stings and burns Yarrow will greatly reduce the associated pain and inflammation. Useful for the early stages of colds as a diaphoretic tea, as a mild substance to promote delayed menstruation, and for strengthening the digestive system.

    Nourishing Your Health At Home

    by Liz Koch (Original article published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel 2008) 

    Chock full of Western and Eastern herbal specimens, Martha’s garden conveys the care of an experienced Eastern-based medical physician. Her sensibility keeps her always focused on what is necessary for restoring balance and enhancing vitality.

    Walking through her garden, one is struck by the virility of every plant. Each seems to literally emanate a palatable vibration that speaks of sustenance with glowing health as the end result. One feels stronger just being in the presence of these magnificent creatures.
    “I’m concerned with a different type of homeland security,” says Martha who will be speaking to the community at the Way of Life Lecture Series Wednesday evening, February 8th on how to maintain Lung Health – “the kind that keeps your quality of life vital.”
    Martha Benedict’s approach is simple: since plants are an essential part of our life, gardening is one way to bring this relationship full circle.

    “The way I understand the ancient Chinese system for health, it all begins with the Earth, and translates to our relationship with food; food sources, preparation, and consumption,” she explains.

    Given the right conditions, every plant fulfills its essential potential. This approach flows from plants to human beings to herbal medicine. By embracing this wise way of living, Martha recognizes that people and plants have much in common.

    Gardening deepens our understanding the use of herbs as both food and medicine. When an herb such as peppermint, for example, is thriving not just surviving, it provides a vital medicine. A cooling herb commonly used for ridding the body of excessive heat, peppermint likes to grow in—you guessed it—a cool moist climate. The quality of the soil directly affects the health and vitality of each plant and will as Martha emphasizes, be reflected in its ability to heal.

    Peppermint, as just one example, flourishes when in optimal conditions and in turn provides abundant life force. Thus offering a more powerful home remedy.

    Many foods and herbs provide balancing or strengthening energy for keeping lungs, skin, and kidneys vital throughout the winter flu and cold season. Martha blends her years of knowledge and practice as an Oriental Medical Physician, master gardener, and herbal formulator to create herbal products specifically to nourish health at home.

    Blending herbs and plants is truly an art in synergy. Whether making soup or an herbal tea blend, proportion is just one of the aspects that make a dynamic relationship between plants, which enhances potency not available in one single plant. Complementary properties are another essential aspect of a synergistic relationship.

    If Benedict were an herb, she might well be one of the venerable adaptogens; herbs best known for their rejuvenating capacity and their mysterious ability to respond according to whatever is going on and enhance balance while encouraging harmony in complex situations. She is a local treasure and an extraordinary person to meet and thoroughly enjoy.

    NOTE: As with any medical condition, consult a doctor or trained professional for treatment of specific illnesses. This column contains opinion and is not meant as medical advice


    Winter Wellness: It's Time to Prepare

    By Liz Koch

    Now is the time to prepare for winter wellness. Every season, so says the ancient texts, is the mother of the next season. For winter wellness one must start preparing right now. The easiest way to know just what to do is to take cues from Mother Nature. We, like all creatures, have a biological if not a social need to prepare for winter.

    Although California winters are not as extreme as those in the North and East, this year looks like it may be colder and wetter than usual. With colds and pandemic flu lurking around the corner why wait? Begin now by noticing how the days are shortening. This is the first important cue to observe. As the days shorten it is time to shorten your busy schedule.

    Winter’s natural rhythm of hibernation is perceived in traditional Chinese philosophy as the best way to build blood and life energy. Winter is the kidney/bladder season: it is the time to replenish and store our adrenal health. Like the squirrels that are busy collecting nuts, replenishing and nourishing our adrenal health is a great fall activity that helps us survive the winter. By restoring our reserves we feel calm and capable of not overreacting to holiday stress.

    Eat for the season – To restore your adrenals, eliminate coffee, processed foods, sugars and chemicals, which all stimulate the sympathetic flee/fight survival response. Eat basic whole nutritionally dense foods during the winter season. such as root vegetables, dark leafy greens prepared in rich broth soups and stews to help build healthy blood. Winter is not the time for cold raw foods, which are great for spring cleansing and eliminating. This is the time to deepen the well of nourishment with warm seasonal pumpkins, squash, apples, pears, and mushrooms. Add a touch of cayenne to spice up, warm, and increase circulation.

    Exercise for the season – Rather than continue the same program throughout the year, fine tune or shift to quieter movement. Qi Gong, tai chi, restorative yoga, and continuum movement, all provide an internal exploration fit for winter. Winter is also a good time for regular acupuncture, massage, acupressure or other healing modalities that restore and rejuvenate. Bathing is restorative during winter. Taking the time to light candles and immerse yourself in a steaming bath fosters relaxation and contemplation. In the book Well-Being: Rejuvenating Recipes for Body and Soul author Barbara Close offers a great selection of herbal and food recipes for every season of the year. A calming Chamomile bath is toted as having sedative properties used for centuries to treat insomnia and anxiety and lull you off to dreamland.

    Eastern and Western herbs can assist in helping you rebuild adrenal and immune health. Many winter tonifying herbs can be included in your soup broths or enjoyed as tea. Rosemary’s Gladstar’s Family Herbal: a Guide to Living with Energy, Health and Vitality, and Herbs for the Soul: Emotional Healing with Chinese and Western Herbs and Bach Flower Remedies by Tamara Kircher are two books that inspire new and refreshing ways to value phyto plant healing powers.

    Stay warm during the winter – Nature goes dormant, takes shelter, and finds protection during the winter months including our kidney energy. From the traditional Chinese perspective adrenal health and our immune system needs protecting. The aged and weak particularly feel the cold. Throughout winter we need to choose how to spend our energy and calories to ward off the cold. Keep your feet, head, neck, and low back covered and warm throughout this season. If you are particularly vulnerable to cold and wet winter winds, wear socks and even a stocking cap when enjoying a long winter’s nap.

    Rest is essential for winter wellness – Take extra naps, go to bed early with a cup of herbal tea or warm milk, and be asleep by 10 p.m. When possible get up with the natural light of day. Long Winter nights provide fertile ground for our creativity. Both our dreams and Mother Nature quieting tone point the way to health.

    Winter is the season for reflection – Prepare for quiet winter gatherings by slowing down rather than reeving up for the holiday season. Let this holiday time reflect the values and traditions dear to your heart. Enjoy a contemplative walk deep within the local forests or along our ocean edge. It is Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, who reminds us of our deep biological connection to the earth; those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter

    Gastrointestinal Imbalance – The Root of Dis-ease

    by Dr. Holly German

    The saying you are what you eat is true. The foods you ingest become the cells that make up and fuel your body. Your diet dictates your level of energy, mood, and how easily/quickly you heal from illness. So, why do people who eat a well balanced diet continue not to feel good?

    The reason is that ingestion is only the first step in getting nutrients into your system. After ingestion, your body must digest, assimilate, and distribute those nutrients to all of your cells. When your gastrointestinal health is poor, all the fruits and veggies in the world won’t do you much good because your body can’t access the nutrients.

    Dysbiosis is the term used to describe an imbalance in gut flora. This can mean there is a deficiency of “good” bacteria, such as the stuff in yogurt and fermented foods or an overabundance of “bad” bacteria like candida and H.Pylori.

    There are many causes of dysbiosis – antibiotics, analgesics (like Tylenol), and acid blocking medications are some common causes. Other causes include chronic stress and worry, high sugar/carbohydrate intake, toxins from the environment (such as pesticides in food and chlorine in water), consuming inflammatory type foods, and low acid production in the stomach.

    After years of chronic dysbiosis, the lining of the gastrointestinal tract becomes weak and what is called “leaky gut” ensues. When leaky gut sets in, the body’s immune system begins to recognize foods as foreign invaders instead of nutrients. This sets a chain reaction that results in inflammation and dis-ease.

    Aside from GI discomfort such as gas, bloating, and unhealthy bowel movements, there are many other illnesses associated with dysbiosis: autoimmune disease, arthritis, allergies, mood disorders (anxiety, depression), chronic sinusitis, autistic spectrum disorders, and fibromyalgia to name a few.

    Rebalancing gut flora begins with probiotics. I recommend taking a high dose of quality probiotic daily. If candida or H.Pylori have invaded, these pathogens need to be treated with dietary changes and anti-microbial herbs, such as black walnut and pau d’arco. A stool test can reveal which type of candida is present and which herbs can best be used to eradicate it. Glutamine, slippery elm, and zinc picolinate are proven to help heal a leaky gut lining. Digestive enzymes are also helpful in supporting the body in digestion and nutrient assimilation.

    While there are some good general habits to get into to prevent dysbiosis, treating gastrointestinal imbalance is not a one-size fits all approach. For example, many kids on the autistic spectrum lack an enzyme called DPPIV (dipeptidyl-peptidase IV). This enzyme is necessary to break down wheat (gluten) and dairy (casein). These children will need to also avoid wheat and dairy for their GI imbalance to improve.

    Because we are all unique beings, the best treatment can be found by pinpointing the exact cause of the imbalance for each individual. Only then can we remove the cause of illness and develop a treatment plan to support each individual’s innate ability to heal – mind, body, and spirit.

    pH balancing

    …and how it can guide your risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes to near zero

    by Burt Goulding Jr.

    Good Health is all about pH Balance!

    The term pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Easy to understand examples are spas, swimming pools, planting soil and fish tanks. pH is measured on a scale of 0.0 to 14.0. Values less than pH 7.0 are acidic, and values over pH 7.0 are base or alkaline. Pure water has a pH value of 7.0 — a perfect balance of acids and alkaloids.

    A common definition of pH is “potential Hydrogen.” This definition is reasonably accurate.1 But for practical purposes, I like to define pH in terms of its effect on human health and I frequently call it the “power to Heal.”

    Lack of pH Balance and Poor Health

    We read everywhere that cancer cannot exist in an alkaline environment. Nearly all degenerative chronic diseases of modern man, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, asthma, and tooth decay are associated with excess acidity (pH 5.0 to pH 6.5) in the clear fluids of the body.2

    The U.S. Center for Disease Control believes that these chronic diseases are among the most preventable.3   Excess acid in the body dissolves both teeth and bones. Excess alkalinity creates even more severe problems for the body, including vomiting, seizures, chronic indigestion, over-excited nerves, thick blood, edema, night cramps, and bone spurs.4

    Poor pH balance is known to disrupt digestion and inactivate vital body functions. One encyclopedia puts it this way “Enzymes and other proteins have an optimum pH range and can become denatured [or altered natural qualities] outside this range.”5

    Dr. Robert O. Young (author of several books on ph balancing) has pointed out that every single cell in the human body is affected by the pH levels of the clear fluids of the body.6

    Regardless of the health situation you are faced with, you should monitor your progress toward a proper acid/alkaline balance by testing your saliva pH level weekly. Your results will indicate your susceptibility to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Your Power to Heal (pH)

    The human body is a marvelous creation, designed to be self-healing. When it is balanced and functioning properly, it will repair itself. Your body will automatically correct imbalances and diseased conditions through its homeostatic mechanism (a survival system) which seeks to maintain a constant pH 7.365 in the blood.

    The body protects this pH balance by depositing and withdrawing alkaline or acidic minerals from other locations in the body including the bones, vital organs, soft tissues, and body fluids.

    Your “power to Heal” is at its greatest potential when the pH of the body’s clear fluids remain in the Healing pH rangeTM of 7.1 to 7.5. This slightly alkaline condition is vital to the body’s ability to perform cellular repair and maintain natural healing. A fasting saliva pH test is the quickest, easiest, and most accurate way to establish your immediate healing potential.

    The pH level of your saliva is a powerful indicator of health because:

    1. Saliva is part of the clear fluids that make up over 55% of your body weight. These clear fluids fill the body and include lymph fluid, intracellular fluid, organ cushioning fluid, spinal fluid, cranial fluid, the fluid that surrounds the heart, and the synovial fluid that fills the joints.
    2. The saliva pH test is convenient. Testing is most accurate when done first thing in the morning. However, you get a good indication anytime day or night when it has been: • 2 -3 hours after food and beverages, • 1 hr after chewing gum /teeth brushing, • 5 mins since drinking water.
    3. Saliva pH testing can be done at home, in the health food store, the wellness clinic, or the doctor’s office. It only takes about two minutes total to test and log your results. Saliva pH Testing is the simple way to take control of your own health. It is easy to help your family, friends, and neighbors to learn to do the same for themselves.

    All acids are not bad

    The human body is designed to work best with a healthy balance of good acids and good alkaloids that keep each other in check.

    Good (balancing) acid sources include:  fresh citrus fruit – fresh onions and garlic –  organic apple cider vinegar – vitamin C (ascorbic acid) – all essential fatty acids

    Harmful acid sources include: Juices from concentrate (choose fresh-squeezed juices only) – meats from grain-fed cattle (choose free-range, grass-fed beef and bison) – Heavy metal and heavy chemical contamination contribute to acid levels. These are now commonly found in: drugs, including prescription and over-the- counter medications, seafood that contains mercury (includes most saltwater and freshwater fish!)

    high fructose corn syrup (HFCS —has been found to have dangerous levels of mercury in most batches; most are also GMO).

    Acid-forming sources to avoid

    1. Coffee bean (208 acids in the harmful or incompatible range for the human body)
    2. Tobacco (smoking and chewing)
    3. Alcohol in all forms
    4. Black tea (with tannic acid), hot or cold
    5. Carbonated beverages (colas, fake energy drinks, even club soda)
    6. White refined sugars (table sugar, artificial sugars, HFCS are worst!)
    7. Bottled up, unresolved stress (Extreme worry and anger)

    The bottom-line

    For achieving and maintaining a healthy, happy life, there is no other health-related number as important as your “power to Heal” or pH. Your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose, and pulse readings are all affected by the pH of the body’s internal environment.

    You can reach your health goals. Your body can regain its natural healing ability. Don’t ever give in to those who would tell you that there is no hope for your health condition. You can be pH-healthy for life!

    Burt Goulding is Managing Director of Positive Nutrition Institute and will be speaking January 19th at the Way of Life Lecture Series.  His lectures, training seminars and radio show interviews are based on 99% success rating in balancing the pH of more than 1,500 people. He can be contacted at: burt@pn-institute.org


    The pH Miracle For Diabetes by Robert O.Young, Ph.D. and Shelley Redford Young, Warner Books, 2004 (see pgs. 1-54, 146-63)

    Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, and James F. Balch, M.D., Avery, 2000, (see pgs.122-25)

    1 ‘The term pH is derived from “p”, the mathematical symbol of the negative logarithm, and “H”, the chemical symbol of Hydrogen. The formal definition of pH is the negative logarithm of the Hydrogen ion

    2 activity.’ see http://www.omega.com/techref/ph.html see Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, and 3 James F. Balch, M.D., Avery, 2000, pgs.122-25

    4 http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp see Prescription for Nutritional Healing, pgs.122-25

    5 see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH_7

    6 see The pH Miracle For Diabetes by Robert O. Young, Ph.D., and Shelley Redford Young, Warner Books, 2004, pg.21

    7 see The pH Miracle For Diabetes, pgs. 1-54

    Cell Power® is a registered trademark of Positive Power Nutrition, Inc. product information: www.CellPowerUSA.com

    Disclaimer: The entire contents of this booklet are based upon the opinions of Burt Goulding, unless otherwise noted. This information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is only intended to share the knowledge and information from the research and experience of Burt Goulding and his associates. Burt Goulding encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

    © 2009 Positive Nutrition Institute

    Winter Health

    no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds – november!

    (Phrase from the poem November by Thomas Hood 1844)

    by Liz Koch

    Winter is fast approaching. As we head straight into the colder weather and busy Holiday Season it’s a good time to remind ourselves that Winter traditionally is a time of rest. When life was simpler, the darkness forced people to go to sleep earlier. Now we must remind ourselves that winter is a time for replenishing.

    Warm soups and stews with seasonal vegetables such as squash, pumpkins, turnips and rutabagas strengthen us. Dark kale, collards and seaweeds nourish our blood and provide vital minerals. Onions, garlic and leeks strengthen and ward off disease. Adding one piece of the Chinese herb Astragalus to your broth can help to build energy as well as to provide deep warmth in the body. Astragalus, found in The Way of Life Bulk Chinese Herb section, is considered an immune-modulating herb that strengthens both the metabolic and respiratory systems.

    In Chinese 5 Element Theory Winter is not only a time of rest it is also a time to rebuild the kidney energy, immune system and adrenal health. Three herbs that combine well for rebalancing and rebuilding are Red Clover, Oat Straw and Nettles. Together they make a pleasant herbal tea. Try fresh or dry Peppermint, Fennel, or Honey for an added treat.

    Red Clover is a wonderful mild blood cleanser and a source of chlorophyll, Oat Straw helps neutralize acidity, is moistening, and soothing. Nettle is rich in chlorophyll, and a good source of beta-carotene; vitamins A, C, and E; calcium; silicon; potassium; phosphates; and various other minerals. Rich in iron, Nettle is also beneficial to circulation and helpful in high blood pressure.

    Inexpensive, this trio makes a valuable tea. Measure approximately equal parts of each found in The Way of Life Bulk Herb Section. Combine in a large bowl at home and store in a dry, closed, glass jar.

    Each day scoop one or two teaspoons into a ball jar and pour boiling water over the herbs, filling the jar. Let it steep for 10 minutes strain one cup to drink warm right away and then let the rest infuse. Later in the day enjoy the infusion at room temperature. Or use this herbal liquid when taking your evening vitamins. Herbs work their magic over time. Expect at least 4-6 weeks before you will feel changes or notice that you are just feeling stronger. Over time you will notice changes; more vitally (those happy adrenals!), stronger nails and even more hair!

    Health Educator Liz Koch is an international somatic educator, and creator of Core Awareness TM focusing on awareness for developing human potential. With 30 years experience working with and specializing in the iliopsoas, she is recognized in the somatic, bodywork and fitness professions as an authority on the core muscle. Liz is the author of The Psoas Book, Unraveling Scoliosis CD, Core Awareness; Enhancing Yoga, Pilates, Exercise & Dance, and The Psoas & Back Pain CD. Please visit www.coreawareness.com for workshop information and to join her quarterly newsletter

    Enjoying the Benefits of Hydrotherapy

    by Liz Koch

    Long before indoor plumbing, bathing was a
    highly regarded form of renewal and relaxation.
    The ancient Greeks constructed great
    bath halls; the Roman’s built elaborate baths
    of marble and gold. The Japanese and
    Koreans long revered the bath, or ofuro,
    elevating it into an art form.

    Throughout the world people have established
    sacred bathing rituals in recognition of the
    healing power of water. Within our own homes
    and community we too can enjoy the
    benefits of hydrotherapy. Santa Cruz is
    home to several hot tub and bathing spas
    dedicated to enjoying the benefits of bathing.
    At home using fresh and dried herbs,
    essential essences, sea and mineral salts, oats
    and oils can transform any bath from simply a means of cleanliness
    into a deeply healing experience.

    Bath salts pull toxins, stimulate the skin and balance the electrical system. Sea salt returns us to the sea, feeding our cellular memory. The common mineral salt product Epson salts found in every drug, food and health food store not only sooths tight aching muscles but calms and relaxes nerves and emotional stress.

    Combined or used alone fresh and or dried herbs offer array of healing benefits; stimulating, soothing, decongesting, uplifting. Chamomile well known for its calming effects as an herbal tea when added to the bath continues to enhance a sense of wellbeing. Chamaimelon or “earth apple” was well known to the ancient Greeks” writes Barbara Close author of WELL BEING: Rejuvenating Recipes for Body and Soul. “Its sedative properties have been used for centuries to treat insomnia and anxiety.” A combination of peppermint, sage, eucalyptus and calendula flowers offer to uplift and invigorate; opening the pores, increasing elimination, soothing the skin and refreshing the digestion.

    For those without a bath tub, a hot herbal foot soak is an excellent way to pull tension out of the head, sooth the feet and stimulate circulation. National herbalist Rosemary Gladstar explains” all of the nerves in the entire body pass through the feet and hands, making them a map of our inner being…in fact, soaking your feet in a warm bath while resting with a cold pack on your head will often stop a migraine in its tracts.” In her book FAMILY HERBAL: A Guide to Living Life with Energy, Health and Vitality she recommends using mustard powder, ginger, sage or rosemary for your foot bath.

    Whether preparing a whole body bath or a foot bath soak prepare the herbs ahead of time. This keeps the drain from getting clogged and makes for simple clean up. Use cheese cloth bags filled with herbs like a large tea bag slung over the spout lets hot water release the properties into your bath. Or in a large pot filled with water place your herbs and let simmer over a low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and pour into your bathwater or into a large basin. Adjust the temperature with cold water. If using bath salts, simply add directly into the bath. Swish and enjoy.

    Taken From Flower Essence Repertory

    by Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz:

    Calendula ( Calendua Officinalis)

    Positive qualities: healing warmth and receptivity, especially in the use of the spoken word and in dialogue with others.

    Patterns of imbalance: Using cutting or sharp words; argumentative, lack of receptivity in communication with others.

    The Calendula flower imparts a warm, golden light of healing for those souls who must learn to use “the Word” as a truly creative spiritual force. ….Calendula flower essence helps those whose innate creative potential to use the spoken word often deteriorates into arguments and misunderstandings…

    California Wild Rose (Rosa Californica)

    Positive qualities; Love for the Earth and for human life, enthusiasm for doing and serving

    Patterns of imbalance: Apathy or resignation, inability to catalyze will forces through the heart.

    California wild rose is among the most beautiful and fundamental of flower remedies, for it helps the soul to incarnate and really take hold of its responsibilities and tasks on Earth. It is often said that hate is not the opposite of love, only a distortion of it. Rather it is apathy which is the true polarity of love. The ability to really care and to give oneself to life, to others and to the Earth characterizes a truly loving soul. ….California Wild rose stimulates the love forces of the heart, so that the soul finds enthusiasm for earthly life, worldly tasks and human relationships.

    Prevent Diabetes

    With a little work, there’s hope for preventing diabetes

    LIZ KOCH – Special to the Sentinel
    Original Article Launched: 09/26/2005 3:00:00 AM PDT Santa Cruz Sentinel, reprinted with permission

    For many of us, diabetes can be crossed off our list of possible diseases if only we are willing to take action. Prevention is the key. Easier said than done, prevention includes personal lifestyle changes and even more difficult cultural and social changes. But that’s what prevention is all about. Pre- comes from the root before. By taking proactive steps before symptoms arise we can eliminate unnecessary struggles.

    According to the American diabetes Association, more than 14 million Americans are estimated to have diabetes and one-third of these cases are believed to be undiagnosed. Children are a growing statistic with adolescent diabetes on the rise. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body loses its sensitivity to insulin, the blood sugar-regulating hormone. When this occurs, blood sugar, or glucose, rises to levels that can, over time increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease, kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness. Read more…