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Leo and the Bird

I have a cat named Leo.  He is one of several who have found their way to our home.  None have been purchased.  Must be some mark on the front of the house that tells cats that we are a good family to live with.  I really must find that mark and remove it!


Yesterday was a beautiful day here.  About 80 degrees, light breeze, perfect spring day.  Pollen and all.  Since I get to do the “carpet commute” I was working on the computer while the kitties were on the screened porch enjoying some time napping in the sun.  Getting their Vitamin D!

I was in the midst of composing an email when I heard a commotion on the porch.  Thinking it was just the boys having a dispute over who was napping where, I opened the door to have a chat with them.  Boy, did I get a surprise when I saw Leo charging through the doorway with a bird in his mouth!  A BIRD!!! LIVE BIRD!!!! Oh My!

Leo raced towards the front door, ducking into the dining room.  Somewhere along the way the bird got free and started to fly about.  Of course the other cats thought that was wonderful.  A new play toy for all.  Oh My….

The poor scared, but unharmed bird, flew up to the top of the palladium window in the foyer.  The front door is topped by a large palladium window that is curtained with sheers (faces west) except for the top arch of the window unit.  The bird perched on the thin curtain rod and tried in vain to push through the glass to his freedom.

Now I have 6 cats, watching with great intensity as this poor bird tried to escape.  I am in a panic since I don’t want to the bird to fly to the other side of the house where the great room has upper windows too.  I knew if he got into that room it would be harder for me to set him free.  I began to try to get the cats back on the porch.  They were not as cooperative as one might think.  Boring porch or new play toy that might turn into lunch.  Not hard to see why the porch was not their first choice.

I opened the front door and propped it open with a box since the wind blew it shut each time I opened the porch door to put another cat out.  I was hopping the bird would sense the door was open and fly down and out.  No such luck.  He just keep banging into the glass arch window at the top.

I finally got the rest of the cats on the porch so I could turn all my attention to the poor bird.  He just keep trying in vain to push his way through the glass in the arched window.  I know how he must have felt, frustrated at seeing the outside and not being able to get where he was wanting to go.  Freedom so close and yet so far away.  Lessons to be learned from that little bird’s plight.

Finally, the bird began to fly to the chandelier over the steps to the upstairs.  Trying to keep his focus on the open door below his normal perch, I used a long board to help me keep the chandelier turned so he was always facing the open door.  A few times he flew back up to the top of the window and fluttered about the arch window.

At last, he came back to the chandelier.  Again, keeping him facing the open door, he finally heard the other birds chirpping and felt the breeze blowing through the doorway.  Off he flew, right through the doorway and out to his freedom!  I was thrilled and I am certain that bird was telling tales of his adventure for days.

Trapped in a giants home, attacked by killer cats, miraculously set free by the giant.  Miracle for the bird.  Can be the same of us when we are trapped in the same old ritual of flying into the glass when our true freedom is only a few feet away.  The bird changed his path to escape and we must do the same.  Change our path, our preset ideas so we can find our freedom, our health or true path.  Stay well! Elise

Cholesterol is Not All Bad!

As we learned earlier, we need Cholesterol! We actually make cholesterol.
Cholesterol forms the outer membrane of each of our cells.  Who knew!?!  It is cholesterol that gives the cell membrane flexibility.  It also helps regulate the permeability of the cell which controls which substances flow into the cells.

Cholesterol is also important for the production of bile in the liver. The bile is used by the liver to break down fats and helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins in the intestines. It is used to insulate nerve fibers so the nerve signals travel properly from place to place.

Cholesterol is also used to make hormones which carry chemical signals to our bodies. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone as well are the adrenal hormone cortisol are all created from cholesterol.
Without cholesterol we would be in poor shape.  Our body would not function.

Knowing your cholesterol level isn’t, on its own, enough to tell you your personal risk of heart disease. You also need to know about lipoproteins. These are special molecules that carry or transport cholesterol around the body.
There are three main types:
* Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often known as bad cholesterol – this carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and, if supply exceeds demand, can cause harmful build-up of cholesterol
* High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol – this takes cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it’s either broken down or excreted
* Triglycerides–the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They’re also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.

As  you can see, we need cholesterol, but not excess amounts and not out of balance.  The balance is important because of the proper functioning of our bodies.  Any system out of balance does not perform as well as it should.  So we need to be aware of the ratio of LDL to HDL so we can maintain a healthy functioning body!

Here are some things to do to take action now.  Follow these tips from the National Institutes of Health’s Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Program to help lower
your cholesterol:

1. Decrease your intake of saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories

Cholesterol Reduction Complex

2. Decrease your dietary cholesterol intake to less than 200 mg per day

3. Lose 10 pounds if overweight

4. Add 5–10 g of Soluble Fiber to your diet each day

5. Add 2,000 mg of plant Sterols and Stanols to your diet each day

Now you have some information that will help you ask those important questions when talking with your doctor about  your health.  Knowing that the National Institutes of Health recommends using Plant Sterols and Stanols to lower your cholesterol naturally is a great alternative to statin drugs that have such a long list of really bad side effects.  Take care of your body, ask the hard questions and don’t be afraid to question the need for a prescription that has negative side effects. Stay Well!

Simple Changes Make a Big Difference

Life today is a risky business when it comes to drinking water and food.  As a person who believes in and takes natural supplements, I am always amused when people tell me that they will not take anything that their doctor has not prescribed.  Little do they know about all the chemicals (most untested for human toxicity) and drugs that lurk in our food, water and air.  We are “taking” things not prescribed by doctors all the time just by drinking water and eating our food and don’t even think a thing about it.

There have been dramatic changes in the our food supply as well as our eating habits that are causing equally dramatic changes in our health.  While we are using more pesticides and herbicides along with genetic manipulation of crops, the nutritional of our food has decreased since the 1950’s. Crops are picked before they are ripe, lowering the nutritional potential of the fruits and vegetables.

Our drinking water is the source a myriad of chemicals including prescription drugs, industrial pollutants, agricultural runoff  and fertilizers.   Now 20% of the lead exposure we get on a daily basis, including bottled water.   Using filtered water is sensible and a healthier way to get the much needed hydration we need daily.

Get Clean Water

Get Clean Water

So think carefully the next time you turn your nose up at the idea of taking a natural supplement, remember all the chemicals you are “taking” because of poor quality drinking water  and our food sources.  Do something good for yourself.  Make some simple changes in your food, water and supplementation to have a healthier life.

Use  filtered water such as from Get Clean Water from Shaklee since it filters 99% of the lead from water along with many agricultural and industrial pollutants.  Purchase organic foods from local growers.  Talk with the grower if possible to establish how they grow their crops, what pest control methods they choose and how they handle the food once it is picked.  Avoid processed and fast foods because of preservatives, fat content and sodium levels.

Increase your exercise each day, walk or jog in your neighborhood, use the Wii Fit program at home, go to a gym or local fitness center or take classes in dance.  Eat well and use good natural supplements.  I always recommend Shaklee supplements since they are known for being safe and contaminate free.   In my “Supplements to Avoid” post on August 22nd, I sited Dr Jamie McManus explaining why Shaklee supplements are safe.

Simple Changes Make a Big Difference every day of your life.  When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change!  Eat good healthy food, exercise daily, drink filtered drinking water, and supplement wisely! Stay Healthy!! Elise

Supplements to Avoid

In the September 2010 issue of Consumer Report there is a list of the “dirty dozen” in supplements to avoid. This list has been found to have lots of negative effects, serious negative effects in clinical research. These negative effects include kidney damage, liver damage, cancer, coma and even death! DEATH! Now that is a truly negative effect.

This list of the dirty dozen includes kava which the FDA warned against its use as early as 1993, but did nothing to stop the sale of products with kava.  To see the full list, go to the Consumer Report pressroom.

Now that the list is out, we who use Shaklee products are confident in the Shaklee supplements’ safety and purity.  That is one of the founding principles of Shaklee Corporation.  In a letter from Dr. Jamie McManus, M.D., FAAFP, Chairman, Medical Affairs and Health Services, she states: “It came as no surprise to Shaklee that there are not any ingredients on this list that are in our products. In fact, these ingredients are not and have never been used in any Shaklee dietary supplement. In addition to researching the ingredients that we use in our Shaklee formulas for their efficacy, we take equal care in determining the safety of each and every ingredient used in our Shaklee products.  Over the years we’ve evaluated many of the ingredients on the CU list and have rejected them for the same safety reasons CU now uses to identify them on their “hit” list.”

Dr.  McManus continues in the letter to say that Shaklee’s “Always Safe” slogan is more than just a catchphrase.  “Safety is paramount at Shaklee and our safety standards are unsurpassed in our industry. We conduct hundreds of tests on new ingredients and tens of thousands of quality tests annually to ensure product safety and efficacy.  But more importantly, we design safety into each and every one of our products so you can be confident that dangerous ingredients will never find their way into any Shaklee dietary supplement.

This basis is the reason many of the athletes who use Shaklee supplements are so comfortable and confident:  they are not surprised with unwanted results from the drug tests that are now part of the sports world.  So the next time you want a safe, natural, supplement that works, is safe and green, think Shaklee!  I do each day and feel better for it.  Stay Well, Elise

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