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Safety

How is Your Bone Health?

Information sourced from Shaklee’s Health Sciences newsletter from July 2013.

Just what do you know about your bones?  

 Most people think that bones are hard, lifeless parts of their bodies. Actually bones are living organs full of blood and cells that are an active part of our overall health. Far from static, our bones are constantly rebuilding themselves and growing stronger or weaker depending on how active we are and how well we are supplying the nutrients they need.Bones

 It is a fact of life that our bones lose minerals as we age. Bone loss starts around 30 years old. If left unchecked, bone loss can lead to osteoporosis, a disease in which the bones lose minerals such as calcium until they become fragile and break easily.

 What are your challenges?

•  There are many risk factors for osteoporosis:

•  The amount of bone mass you start with has a big impact on your risk of osteoporosis. If you are female, petite, white, Asian, or have a family history of osteoporosis, then you have a greater risk.

•  Research suggests that tobacco, heavy alcohol use, and low physical activity can all reduce bone mass.

•  Gastric bypass, low testosterone, high thyroid, and certain medications (such as steroids or thyroid) can all increase risk.

•  It is estimated that there are 10 million Americans affected by osteoporosis and at least 80% are women.

•  Bone loss rapidly accelerates after menopause; women can lose up to half their bone mass in the 5-10 years following the end of menses.

•  More than 1.5 million fractures occur every year because of osteoporosis. It is estimated that one half of women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone because of osteoporosis.

•  One in five people over the age of 65 who break a hip end up in nursing home within a year, and they are three times more likely to die within three months.

 What can You do?

 The good news is that you can begin making changes today that will improve your bone health.   Here is your action plan:

Start early: Remember that bone loss starts around 30 years old. While it is best to start taking care of your bones when you are young, it is also never too late to start nourishing your bones.

healthy-couple-exerciseInclude weight-bearing exercises in your routine: Weight-bearing activity increases the density of your bones because bones become stronger when put under pressure; that is why weight-bearing exercises work to build bones and slow bone loss. Consider weight lifting, walking, running, hiking, dancing, and tennis.

Make healthy choices: Don’t smoke, limit alcohol use, and maintain a healthy weight.

Include plenty of calcium: Calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bones.

•  Your diet should include high-calcium foods such as milk and other dairy foods, leafy green vegetables, and soybeans.

•  If you’re one of the many who aren’t getting enough from your diet, supplementation is key. 1000 milligrams of calcium a day in food or supplements is the recommended amount to help maintain bones for most adults; that amount increases to 1200-1500 mg per day for women who are post menopausal and men over 70.

Vitamin D is essential for the proper absorption of calcium from the digestive tract.b21214

•  Even though vitamin D is the “sunshine” vitamin, most people aren’t getting enough because of the use of sunscreens, where you live, time of year, if you are overweight or simply not spending much time outdoors.

•  A new study links vitamin D deficiency to accelerated bone aging. If you don’t have enough vitamin D, it could lead to reduced bone density, reduced bone quality, and increase the aging of bones.

•  The best approach for determining the proper amount to take is to have your blood levels checked and then supplement to achieve your optimum levels. Most health practitioners suggest around 1000-2Vitalizer New Stacked Boxes 2011 3 x 5 100  copy000 IU a day.

Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in bones and getting around 400 mg a day is essential for good bone building.

 Vitamin K is less well known than other vitamins, but just as essential for bone building. For good bone maintenance, use between 40-80 mcg a day

 Start taking care of your bones today, all it takes is a little effort to have a huge payoff later in life.  I take the Shaklee Vitalizer each day along with extra VitaD3 and other supplements to keep strong as I age.  Remember, aging is not for the weak!  Stay well.

 

 

 

 

Real Dirt on Clean Water

Everyone knows that water is essential to life. But what’s coming out of your tap or bottle may not really be your healthiest choice.

Sure, your water may look clean but is it?

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn

Fountain and Lights by Elise Hearn

Most people think that governmental agencies ensure that our water’s clean. And while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established the Clean Water Act to safeguard our water supply, it only set standards and testing requirements in our municipal water treatment facilities for 114 different contaminants out of literally hundreds more.

In fact, the Environmental Working Group obtained test results from a database of over 20 million records from state water officials to determine the quality of drinking water in 45 states. The results revealed 316 contaminants were present in our water supplies. Among them were 202 chemicals that aren’t regulated by any safe water standards.i

Checking the quality of your local water is easy to do. Just visit the National Drinking Water Database.

So yes, your water looks clean. But really, it’s not.

Why Filtration?

The simple answer? You either use a filter or you are the filter.

Only 2% of all treated water is used for drinking water. The rest is used on your lawn, shower, laundry, or used for farms or industry. It’s simply too time-consuming and expensive to test and remove the thousands of chemicals that may be present in any particular water source.

And even if your water was perfectly clean before it left your municipality, it still has miles to travel in pipes before it gets to your home. Who knows what it runs into along the way?

What are you really drinking?

Here’s what may be in your water, and some of its hazardous effects:

Industrial Pollutants (such as benzene, nitrates, and petrochemicals): Long-term exposure may cause increased risk of cancer, as well as blood, nervous system, kidney, and liver problems.

Agricultural Pollutants (pesticides such as atrazine, lindane, alachlor, and others): Long-term exposure may cause increased risk of cancer, as well as eye, liver, kidney, spleen, blood, and nervous system problems.

Heavy Metals (such as lead, copper, mercury, arsenic, and cadmium): Even at low levels, long-term exposure may cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities. The EPA estimates that between 10 and 20% of total lead exposure in young children comes from drinking water.ii

Disinfection By-products (such as: trihalomethanes, chloroform, bromodichloromethane, dibromochloromethane,and bromoform): Long-term exposure may cause increased risk of cancer, as well as liver, kidney, or central nWater Bottlesrvous system problems.

With all these problems with tap water, you might think that bottled water is the answer—but you’re wrong. What most people don’t know is that there’re no regulations regarding the quality of bottled water. That’s right, none. Bottling companies don’t even have the same regulations to follow that your local municipal water supply does. That means that despite the clean look of your bottle, in many cases the water it contains isn’t any better than tap water.

The bottom line is that you can’t control what happens to your water before it gets to your house. But you can control what happens after. If you want to make sure you have r

Get Clean Water

Get Clean Water

eally clean drinking water, you really have to use a filter—a good one.

Why Get Clean® Water?

Because it’s safe, powerful, green and smart—and it outperforms both Brita® and PUR®*, hands-down:

Safe:  It reduces 59 harmful contaminants—at least 21 of which Brita doesn’t even touch—including up to 99% of water-borne lead.

Powerful:   It’s incredibly thrifty, delivering over 80 gallons of purer water from every hardworking, environmentally friendly filter—twice as much as big-name brands—for just a little over a penny per glass**.

Green:   It uses a unique refillable filter system, so there’s less waste in landfills.†

Smart:   It features a convenient smart-meter that shows you exactly when to replace your filter, so there’s no more guessing. And on top of all that, it’s ‘Gold Seal’ certified to tough ANSI/NSF Standards 42 and 53 by the Water Quality Association (WQA).

Ready to feel better with good Clean Water?  Visit my site  Elise.MyShaklee.com for purchasing options and more information!  Good health is a choice we make all through the day, make Shaklee Products part of those choices. Stay Well! Elise

i http://www.ewg.org/tap-water/executive-summary.php

ii http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/lead1.cfm

* Comparison of current WQA and NSF certified reduction claims conduced on May 26, 2011, referencing Brita® pitchers using OB03 cartridge and PUR® pitchers using CFR-950Z cartridge and is valid only for the named products marketed at that time. Product data claims obtained from the NSF and WQA website certification listings. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. “Big name brands” defined as Brita and Pur.

** Compared to Brita and Pur pitcher filters at 40 gallons.

† Compared to traditional carbon production.

Source: Shaklee Corporation 04/10/13

“Cinching” Preparation

Being Prepared for storms and severe weather has been one of my ongoing themes since I started this blog.  Living in the South, I have experienced 4 hurricanes whiles living in Central Florida (all in 2004) and more tornadoes than I care to remember, along with ice storms, snow storms and ferocious thunder storms with straight line winds and hail.  Life in the South is not calm when the seasons change, during hurricane season (June 1st- Dec 1st), and any time cold air runs into warmer. moist from the Gulf.

Being prepared for these weather events along with fires and earthquakes just makes sense.  However, lately there has been lots of talk about storms on the sun causing problems with our power grid and such.  So that has brought to mind again the need for being ready for any major event in our area that might knock-out the power for a few days or even weeks.  The tornadoes of 2011 brought close to home the sad fact that power lines, water and gas lines are all fragile when it comes to the strong influences of nature.

Naturally, I want to be as ready for the next event as anyone else.  And that realization that the power grid might be in danger from the actions of the sun, made me realize even more that being prepared is a prudent idea.  Among the items that I intend to add to my small stash of food items are canisters and packets of Shaklee’s Cinch Shake Mixes and canisters of Shaklee’s Instant Protein.

The Cinch Shakesare a full meal replacement, low glycemic, with 24 grams of protein when mixed

Cafe Late Cinch Shake

with milk or soy milk and 23 vitamins and minerals.  What I like about the Cinch shakes and the Instant Protein is that they can be mixed with water just as well as milk.  Since the shake mixes and Instant Protein are lactose free, they are great for everyone in the family.  I often add an additional scoop of the Instant Protein to give me an extra boost on those long, busy mornings when lunch might be delayed.

Another good thing with the Cinch Shakes is they are either non-GMO soy protein or whey protein, your choice.  Natural flavors, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial sweeteners.  Also, the canisters are sealed, dated with an expiration date and are 15 servings per canister.

Once you have finished the shakes, you can then reuse the canister for storing other items.  I use them in my pantry for rice and noodles.  The labels peel off easily, and then I add my own so I know which canister is holding  what!  If you have children, the canisters would be great for holding small toys like Lego’s, crayons, doll clothes and such.

To go along with the Cinch Shakes there are Meal-in-a-Bar meal replacement bars as well as snack bars.  The Meal-in-a-Bars are again full meal replacements, easy to store and great to eat! So follow this link to learn more about the Shaklee Cinch Shakes, Cinch Meal-in-a-Bar, Instant Protein and more.  Having good, nutritious foods to eat in for survival is important.  Knowing that your family has good tasty options in time of stress is comforting.  So plan ahead, stock-up on enough Cinch for a few days or a week or more.  Rotate your supply each week, keeping the stored emergency Cinch as fresh as possible!

To go along with the Cinch Shakes, etc, I am adding another bottle Shaklee’s Basic H2 Super Organic Cleaning Concentrate to my next order.  I use Basic H2 each day for washing dishes, cleaning counter tops, cleaning up after the cats and more.  Since it is so concentrated, a 16 ounce or 32 ounce bottle will last for a really long time normally.  However, in an emergency situation where hot water and general cleanliness might be harder to keep, the larger the bottle of Basic H2 the better.  Remember to also add some of the spray bottles so you can dilute the Basic H2 for dishes, windows, general cleaning and de-greasing.

I am adding another bottle of Shaklee’s Basic G Concentrated Germicide for those extra dirty days of having to keep things clean in difficult conditions.  Basic G not only is a germicide it also cleans as it gets rid of germs.  Bacteria, fungi, and viruses can wreak havoc on your family’s health and safety. Used as directed, Basic-G tackles over 40 of these pesky microbes, including several animal viruses. That makes it an excellent choice for use in the kitchen, bathroom, or pet area. In addition to being economical – one quart makes up to 64 gallons – it’s also EPA registered.

For ease and convenience during a disaster, both Shaklee’s Basic H2 and Basic G come in handy to use wipes.  Tuck a few of these in your emergency kits along with the larger concentrate bottles.  The convenient bio-degradable wipes will be easy to use on small jobs, making life a little easier.

Thinking about being without power for a few weeks as well as the possibility of not having access to grocery stores, banks or gas stations drives home the need to keep on top of what is stored at home.  When the first hurricane hit in 2004, Charlie it was named, the area around me was without power for week or longer, in August!  I was lucky that my power came back on in about 24 hours since I lived between 2 hospitals and power was restored to them quickly.  Gas stations were without power as were the grocery stores and banks for a while.  Therefore, think ahead, keep the gas tank of the car as near to full as possible, keep some cash in a household safe, and fill-up the larder with Shaklee’s great products, some nuts, water, pet food, first aid kit, solar powered flashlights, solar powered radios, (alternative power radios & lights from C Crane are great!) and anything else that comes to mind!  Preparation is necessary.

 

Helmets–The New Tornado Accessory

The newest accessory for Tornadoes seems to be Helmets!  I have been talking about severe storm safety for years, being prepared for a weather event, earthquake or fire seems prudent.  I have talked about having clothing, food, water, sleeping gear, medications, flashlights, candles, fuel for stoves, food & medications for you pets, cash on hand, important papers in fire-proof boxes or safety deposit boxes and so much more.

But in all that time using a helmet to keep your head safe never came to mind.  I never played sports, so I have not used a helmet.  When I was a child, we rode bikes without helmets, played at recess without helmets and still lived through our child hood.  But now there has been more and more evidence that wearing a helmet during a tornado can save your life!  Wow.

Seems that most deaths or serious injuries occur when falling, flying debris hits your head.  We are told to go to the basement if we have one or an inside room with no windows.  But even being in our safest place, the house around us can come apart and debris starts flying.  We had graphic evidence of the dangers of flying debris in the April 27, 2011 tornadoes.  So many people died from head injuries.

So get a helmet for everyone in the family.  Bike, baseball, motorcycle, football, whatever.  Put it in your safe place and wear it during any severe storm.  It is the latest fashion accessory for surviving a storm!  Be safe and smart.  You may feel “stupid” while wearing a helmet in your safe place, but “stupid” is better than dumb and dead.  Stay well and safe!

Commander Mark Kelly & Vitalizer in Space!

On May 16, 2011, Commander Mark Kelly had an historic flight on the Space Shuttle Endeavor’s last flight.  He has had a long and diverse career.  In 1987 he became a naval aviator and made two deployments  to the Persian Gulf on the aircraft carrier Midway, flying 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm.   Captain Kelly attended the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School from June 1993 to June 1994. Logging more than 5,000 hours in more than 50 different aircraft, he has over 375 carrier landings.

Commander Kelly’s first mission to space was in December 2001 on the Space Shuttle Endeavor.  His final mission was again on Endeavor’s last mission.  It was a successful mission with the crew installing the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the ISS. AMS is a 15,000-lb cosmic particle detector that was installed on the outside of the space station. Its experiments will help researchers study the formation of the universe and search for evidence of dark matter and antimatter.  Sounds really cool to me!

Commander Mark Kelly at Shaklee Global Conference

On August 12, 2011, Commander Kelly took the stage at Shaklee’s Global Conference in Washington, D.C..  We were all captivated by his time with us, talking about his career and space travels as well as his marriage to U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  Inspired by his courage and determination, Mark reminded us that persistence and practice are the way to reach our goals.

Commander Mark Kelly & Vitalizer in Space

While out in space as well as on earth, Mark is a user of Shaklee Supplements!  He learned about the Shaklee products when he joined the Space Program.  Since 1993, Shaklee has been providing NASA with a customized re-hydration beverage for use by Shuttle astronauts in 1993 and its use continues today.   As you can see from the image, Mark takes his Shaklee Supplements seriously, by taking them into space with him on his missions!

Vitalizer from Shaklee

Vitalizer From Shaklee

Vitalizer is the most advanced multinutrient supplement in the marketplace today with 80 bio-optimized nutrients clinically proven to create a foundation for a longer, healthier life.* Vitalizer is the powerful and convenient approach to complete supplementation providing the best spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-aging phytonutrients, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics*, all in one daily serving.

  • Custom formula created specifically for today’s healthy active woman, man or senior
  • Patent-pending delivery system designed to enhance absorption of key nutrients.
  • Based on 12 clinical studies and a first-of-its-kind Landmark Study

So join me and Commander Mark Kelly by using Shaklee Vitalizer each day!  Now you can take advantage of a special offer from Shaklee and save money now and each month.  Stay well and be persistent!

Preparing for a Long Drive

Well, conference is coming up soon and I have been thinking about that long drive.  While I love to travel, driving can be tiring at times, especially in this late summer heat.  This particular journey is going to be confined to Interstate travel, so the scenery will not be as “scenic” as my camera would like.  Friends and colleagues are coming with me on this journey, sharing the driving responsibilities as well as the gas money!  Map reading will be at a minimum.

This could be a car from Shaklee!

Making a car trip  takes planning for me.  I don’t like to eat fast food as I travel for several reasons.  One main reason is the price for fast food when close to an Interstate Hwy is usually higher than when the same food is in a neighborhood.  Plus, the fat content and carbohydrate levels are usually high also.  Driving does not use that much energy, compared to the number ingested with hamburgers, fries and cokes.  Oh how I love good french fries! Yummy.  But not healthy.

Now I have to plan my snacks and meals along the way so I can stay energized and ready for conference when I arrive.  I am making my list already, planning my shopping trip, and wishing the car was larger!  For this trip, which we will do in 2 days of 7 or so hours of driving, I am taking some of my favorite Shaklee Cinch Products, popcorn (watch the salt), apples, Get Clean Water pitcher for fresh water on the road, green tea bags and Cinch Tea Packets, and some cookies.

Be Healthy

The Cinch Lemon-Cranberry Snack Bars are my favorites!  Along with the Peanut Butter Snack Bars, I will have a good balance of protein and carbohydrates since the bars are low glycemic. They make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack anytime, but are really good for travels.  On airplanes they really fill that hungry spot!

Since I travel with the Get Clean Water Pitcher, I have fresh filtered water when I am thirsty.  Adding Cinch Tea or a green tea bag to my water bottle adds some good anti-oxidants as well as flavor to my water.  Staying hydrated while traveling is important.  When you become dehydrated, your brain is effected.  The one thing you need to have working well while driving is your brain!  Make good decisions while on the road.

Get Clean Water

Get Clean Water

I keep a cooler in the front seat with sliced apples, peanut butter and extra ice for my tea.  Having the cool apple slices and the peanut butter gives me a good snack with fiber, flavor and crunch.   When I stop along the way I take a few minutes in the rest area to spread some of the peanut butter on the ends of a few of the apple slices for a quick snack.  Keeping the fuel and water coming in, keeps me awake and ready to drive safely.  When flying, I do something similar, but don’t have the cooler.

Some of the traveling I do is lengthy. Using the Cinch Shakes along those long journeys really keeps me fueled and focused.  Cinch Shakes are filled with good protein, vitamins, minerals and flavor.  I use the Cinch Chocolate, Vanilla and Strawberry Shakes.  When traveling in a car you can use the canisters.  But for airplanes, I find the packets work best.  One packet per meal and you are done!  Makes the luggage lighter as you continue on your journey.

So when you get ready for your next trip, whether it is across town or across country, take a few minutes to plan your meals, take some healthy snacks, water bottles with your filtered Get Clean Water and have fun in this beautiful country!  Fuel for you is as important as fuel for the car!  Stay well.

 

You Should See This Scale!

Oh my gosh!  My friend just got a new scale so she can keep up with her weight and you will not believe what it can do.

Now I come from a simpler time since I was born in the early 50’s.  Life was simple.  Scales worked on springs, not batteries.  Back then, a scale was just that, a scale.  You stood on it in the morning after your shower and groaned or smiled.  Simple.  No buttons to push.  No digital read-outs.  No kilograms.  Pounds was all that existed.

Then in came this new scale today.  It came with an Instruction MANUAL!  Really?! You need an instruction manual to use a scale?  And to add insult to injury, the instruction manual was about 10 pages in English!  Oh My!!  Really???!!!! 10 pages of instructions to use a scale?  How complicated is this thing?

Well, when we tried to use it we found that it not only tells you your weight,  it tells you your hydration percentage.  Lower than 45 is too low, higher that 65 is too high.  Who knew.

Then it tells you your BMI, that is your Body Mass Index.  That is the measure of body fat based on height and weight.  Usually an ugly number with unrealistic expectations of what real bodies are like.

As if that wasn‘t enough, this “Scale” also tells you your bone density percentage.  Fortunately you can get all this information in a matter of a few seconds.  Well, after you have pounded on it to turn it one, selected your personal user number and waited for the double “0’s”, you then get to stand on the glass panel and wait for all those numbers to appear on a digital display.

The numbers are plenty large, in weight and font size for easy reading.  However, the little words that tell you the BMI, fat, hydration and bone density are so small it is  hard to know which is what.  Now we get to shop for better glasses or weigh ourselves with binoculars so we can read all the information!  The things we do for health and beauty.

So the next time you need a scale, head for an antique shop and look for one that works on a spring and weighs you a few pounds lighter.  Stay well!

 

How Supplements Are Regulated by FDA

Taking any kind of supplement, eating any kind of food, drinking any kind of beverage or using any kind of personal care products all come with a certain level of risk. Most of us never think of there being a risk with something that is sold in our friendly neighborhood grocery store, pharmacy or on the internet. The pictures on the bottles and bags depict healthy folks enjoying the benefit of whatever the product is supposed to do.

As I have posted on before, we often buy products based on the picture on the label rather than reading the ingredients list on the back! It is wise to read and do your own research into a company’s claims. I have seen many in my time that promise all sort of benefits that Dr X is touting, but there are rarely any published, peer-reviewed scientific studies supporting Dr X’s claims. Testimonies are not clinical studies. And having a clinical study published in a peer-reviewed journal is having the study vetted by a large group of scientists from all over the world. Peer-reviewed studies that are published take time and have to be done to high standards of testing.

The FDA does regulate supplements. But not in the same manner as prescription and over-the-counter medications. This from the FDA website:  ” FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering “conventional” foods and drug products (prescription and Over-the-Counter). Under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), the dietary supplement manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that a dietary supplement is safe before it is marketed. FDA is responsible for taking action against any unsafe dietary supplement product after it reaches the market.
Generally, manufacturers do not need to register their products with FDA nor get FDA approval before producing or selling dietary supplements.*  Manufacturers must make sure that product label information is truthful and not misleading.

FDA’s post-marketing responsibilities include monitoring safety, e.g. voluntary dietary supplement adverse event reporting, and product information, such as labeling, claims, package inserts, and accompanying literature. The Federal Trade Commission regulates dietary supplement advertising.

*Domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture/process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are required to register their facility with the FDA.”

DSHEA places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of “foods,” not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement.  FDA regulations require that certain information appear on dietary supplement labels. This includes: a descriptive name of the product stating that it is a “supplement;” the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; a complete list of ingredients; and the net contents of the product.

In addition, each dietary supplement (except for some small volume products or those produced by eligible small businesses) must have nutrition labeling in the form of a “Supplement Facts” panel. This label must identify each dietary ingredient contained in the product.
Ingredients not listed on the “Supplement Facts” panel must be listed in the “other ingredient” statement beneath the panel. The types of ingredients listed there could include the source of dietary ingredients, if not identified in the “Supplement Facts” panel (e.g., rose hips as the source of vitamin C), other food ingredients (e.g., water and sugar), and technical additives or processing aids (e.g., gelatin, starch, colors, stabilizers, preservatives, and flavors).

So take a good look at your supplement labels, read them well.  Do some research and see if the claims are backed by real science or are they just from testimonies only.  Do yourself a favor and make wise choices when you supplement.  That is why I like my Shaklee supplements, the science is there for each product, the purity is there and the potency is always there. Stay Well!

 

Questions to Ask Your Supplement Company

I was recently asked by a friend. “What makes  your Shaklee vitamins so much better than my multi-vitamin/mineral tablet?”  It is a fair question.  Most people don’t understand the difference between natural and artificial vitamins.  Even the supplements from the “Health Food” stores are often not as wholesome as one would think.

My friend has been taking the regular multi-vitamin/mineral tablets that you get in those huge bottles at the wholesale clubs and discount stores. The ones with the important sounding words on the bottles, filled with artificial colors.  Another friend is looking at some multi-vitamins from a Health Food store and was chiming in on the same conversation.  Just how is Shaklee different?

After talking about the quality of the Shaklee products, the safety built in to each of the Shaklee products, the published peer-reviewed research backing Shaklee products, I gave the ladies a few questions to ask their supplement company so they would then have more information.

Here are some Questions to Ask Your Supplement Company:

1. How long has your supplement company been in the nutritional supplement business?  What is your track record with recalled products?

2. Are your supplements made by your company under the guidance of your staff or are they made by a third party with your label added to the bottle?

3. Are the ingredients in your supplements naturally and organically sourced or do you use synthetic substitutes for naturally available ingredients?

4. Are your products based on your own peer-reviewed scientific studies, or do you “borrow” science from other companies?

5. How about testing on ingredients and final products?  Do you test the ingredients all along the process, at the end or rely on vendors for testing?  Is the final product in the bottle what is listed on the bottle?

6. Does your company offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee, even on open bottles or used product?  Do you have a free Product Hotline for customer information?

I am certain that once you start asking these questions, you will find more to ask.  Being informed is your responsibility.  It is your right to know about the products you ingest.  Don’t take anything that is not up to the highest standards available.  You deserve the best!

Surviving The Tornadoes of April 27th 2011

The first tornadoes struck early Wednesday morning, April 27, 2011, followed by another round Wednesday evening. It was 2 days of tension as we were looking for bad weather on Tuesday, but it waited until Wednesday morning for those of us in the Birmingham AL area.

The tornado sirens sounded about 5:20am for us, jarring us out of bed in the early morning darkness. After a quick look at the local TV station we realized we had about 45 minutes before it was on us. Took a quick shower, dressed, and carried down my emergency items to the powder room on the ground floor. We do not have a basement, although we considered digging one quickly later in the day.

I have posted many times about being prepared for storms, spring storms like tornadoes, summer storms like hurricanes and winter storms that bring ice and banks of snow higher than I can imagine. Snow is why I live in the South. Tornadoes are why I wish there was a safer place in the South to live!

Being prepared for the storms that come our way is usually not too hard. Just make certain you have a wind-up radio, wind-radio, food for several days for myself and the kitties, water, even some hot water stored in a thermos, medicines, first aid kit, clothes, candles, matches in a dry place like a Tupperware container and a few blankets with pillows for me and the kitties. Well, you know the kittes are going to take possession of the blankets and pillows.

But these storms on April 27th were different from past storms. These storms packed winds of up to 200mph. Now I had lived through hurricane Charlie (and the 3 following hurricanes) when it hit the Walt Disney World area in 2004. I saw the trees down, the houses destroyed, the roofs removed or damaged as was mine, the power off, the houses flooded because the roof lifted and the contents of the house were exposed to the relentless rain of the hurricane, pounding at strange angles.

At that time I was in my little house when the slanted A-frame roof groaned and creaked like a ship in the storm. I witnessed the metal garage door panels separating in the continued onslaught of 100mph winds. The cat door between the garage and the house stayed open for ½ an hour or more, gently bobbing up and down but never really closing. I prayed in the powder room on the ground floor, holding my kitties and keeping an eye of the battery powered TV/radio I had with the 9 inch screen. Could not see much on that tiny black & white picture, but I knew it was not good. Finally the winds died down and the main part of the storm passed on to other parts of FL.

Power was out, for about 24 hours total. I lived near 2 hospitals and that was providential for getting power back on. But I also lived in a community where our oak trees were trimmed each year to remove excess weight. We did not lose a tree in the 4 storms. We also lived in houses that were 20+ years old with wooden siding. Some lost a few boards, we all lost some shingles on our roofs, but all was well. However, the newer houses in the adjacent neighborhoods with the vinyl siding were naked when the sun came up.

100mph winds can do amazing damage. But 200mph winds do unbelievable damage. Even looking at the pictures just does not give you a true perspective on the damage or the horror that the people of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia lived through last Wednesday.

For us, the storms went all around us. Not a good feeling when a local weather man calls out the name of the highway you live off of as the path of a tornado! We had one storm pass just over the mountain from our home. The trees at the top of the mountain swayed and the wind sounded like those ominous “trains” that everyone refers to when talking about tornados. Debris was flying about here, but it was mainly leaves for us. The 7 or 8 storms that were on the weather map in our area at one time missed us, thankfully. Prayers were answered. But we have family who were not so lucky.

I can only image the terror they felt when their homes, their place of security and comfort blew apart around them. The home that they rejoiced in, the home where they fed family and friends, the home where they mourned for friends and family, the home where they saw their children grow up, all blown to bits in a matter of seconds.

Now these folks are looking at a pile of rubble. Some were at work when the storm hit. They have been back to their homes, their neighborhoods and could not even find their lot. Nothing looked recognizable to them. All the normal landmarks are gone.

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine coming home to find the trees, gardens, swing sets, storage sheds, garages, street signs and such are not all gone? It is like being dropped in a war zone. The landscape is alien, trees stripped of limbs, leaves, while what is left is twisted, contorted into bizarre shapes. Neighbors are bruised, battered or worse yet, dead.

Vehicles are flipped over, crushed by trees or parts of houses. Power poles are down, wires are all over the place, some still live and others not. Dangerous. The boards that litter the yard are filled with nails, screws and splinters. There is no safe place to be, no clean place to sit and have a meal, no bathroom to shower, no toilet to use, no faucet to give water. Cell towers are down so no communications can get through. Nothing is normal.

Whole towns are gone. Homes, businesses, churches, schools, theaters, professional buildings for Doctors, accountants, restaurants, fast food joints, donut shops, bait shops, lawyers, fire stations, police departments. All damaged or gone. Wiped off the face to this earth. A concrete slab with pipe stubs marks buildings with no reference as to what they used to be.

Not only are homes gone. But jobs are gone. Medical care is displaced or gone. Resources that normally help in times of small crisis are having a big crisis themselves.

Now the arduous task of putting their lives back together has begun. They have to bury their dead. Some have to locate family and friends still missing. Some will be rewarded with good news and will rejoice. Others will not be so blessed and tears of mourning will flow.

Every time they need something it is not there. All that is around them at “home” now is rubble. Paper, books, shingles, boards and such flew in the tornado and landed miles from their original homes. So you look in your yard and there are checks form a lady in a town 60 miles away who went to the Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) in 1992 and spent a few dollars on food! Bizarre.

I have experienced the numbing task for burying 3 of my immediate family members one fine May day several years ago, after they were killed in an auto accident by an 18 yr old who lost control speeding. I know how impossible that is to get through the sudden deaths of family and friends. But add on top of that immense sadness the loss of homes and everything else you used to own, and see how that feels. It is a level of pain of high magnitude.

So how can we move on from this assault on our bodies, souls, minds, property and emotions? What can we do to make a step forward when we feel like we weight a thousand pounds and cannot possibly take a step in any direction? All we want to do it get our lives back to the way it was before Wednesday. And of course that will never be.

We will never know the sound of that home again in the same way. We will never hear the laughter of our dead friends and family. The swing set will never squeak in its own peculiar way again. The bar-b-que grill is in pieces scattered over 3 counties and will never be the site of family get togethers. How can we possibly move forward?

It is not easy. These survivors will make the slow process of moving forward inch by inch, day by day. Since they are alive, their grief will come in unexpected places. They will absentmindedly reach for something only to realize that it is forever gone. They will reach for the phone to call someone only to be reminded that that person is dead. Sadness will grip them in unusual places at unusual times. But slowly, they will heal.

Their homes and lives will be rebuilt. They will form new communities with different people, different values and different goals. The survivors will move to new places, stay in the same area or leave the state entirely. Change has happened and the final place to start again will be part of the process.

Right now the immediate need is for shelter and comfort, food, clothing and a sense of safety. The survivors will find bits of their lives and pack them away in boxes for use later in their new homes. Their memories will be their touchstones for what has happened. The things of their lives will change, they will change and they will being again.

The slate is blank for them now. They can create their own future based on what their past was, or not. Moving forward can take them in different directions and only God knows what he has in store for them. New paths, new directions, new talents maybe. New passions, new skills forged from the newness of the raw earth. It is a time of renewal, it is a time of rediscovery and of forging new identities. Old habits can be laid aside easier since the stimulus is no longer there.

We are lucky in the Birmingham area to have many resources coming to help with aid and comfort. Churches, Red Cross, Salvation Army, private individuals, Television and Radio stations doing all day coverage linking people and needs together as well as fundraising. People looking for lost pets, people looking for the dead, people looking for the survivors who have not connected with loved ones.

The pet people are my favorites. I cannot imagine the terror of having my kittes separated from me in the storm. To know that there are folks out looking for, recovering, treating injuries, feeding and caring for the pets warms my heart. I re-post on facebook when I can so others can see the need and help match owners with found pets. What a wonderful reward after such a tragic event.

So the next time I post something about being prepared for a coming storm, listen and take heed. Gather your precious things around you whether they be people, pets or things and be ready for action when the house explodes around you. Have a plan. Know who to call. Know what is really important to you and let go of the rest. For in the end, your family, friends and pets are all that really matter. Stuff can be replaced, memories are in your heart, and smiles are on the faces of those you love. Stay well and stay safe!

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