Mind Over Matter – Eye & Skin Health & More….

Our guest blogger Annette Presseau from Reliv is back with some great reminders and tips to keep us healthy so we can do all those great outdoor activities like the beach, grilling, and more.  Good health means good attitude means you are able to do all those things you want to do and you like to do. 

Mind over matter

Can your mind control your pain?  Have you ever had a time when you were in pain and you told your subconscious mind that it is not too painful and it worked?  Well according to the book The Mindbody Prescription by John E. Sarno, M.D. your mind possibly can control your pain.  The book is about healing the body, healing the pain and using your mind to do it.  It is a very interesting book to read on how the mind affects us with pain unconsciously and the ways to combat the pain that we have.  When I think of it the mind is a pretty amazing thing.  The pain is very real but what if my mind is causing it for whatever reason and if I can control what my mind is thinking maybe the pain will go away and not come back.  It is a very interesting theory and possibly might be a way for me to control my Psoriasis.  Time will tell.  What do you think about this theory?  Is it possible for the mind to control our pain?

5 Essential Nutrients for Men

Most men tend to neglect themselves when it comes to their health consider changing your lifestyle just a bit to include some nutrients so that you can live a long healthy life.  If you’re 40 and older maybe it’s time to look at essential nutrients for men on this website:  http://newhope360.com/men/5-essential-nutrients-men  like a B Complex, Fish Oil, Lycopene, Magnesium, and Vitamin D.  Men sometimes neglect their bodies by working too hard, playing sports and grabbing the wrong food instead of eating the right food and with age sometimes health conditions occur.  If you would like to read more on men’s health check out this Reliv Blog http://blog.reliv.com/nutrition/science-health/more-on-mens-health/.  This blog covers a whole bunch of nutrients must haves for men of any age besides looking at skin health as well as dieting tips. 

June is Men’s Health Month.  There are so many diseases that can be prevented if only they were detected early so help the man in your life to get a checkup and if you don’t have a special person in your life to help you get a checkup then step up to the plate and get a checkup.


Men’s Health Month is celebrated across the country with screenings, health fairs, media appearances, and other health education and outreach activities. The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.  Check out this website: http://www.menshealthmonth.org/.

Headaches are you prone to them?

There can be triggers in your home that may cause you to have headaches do you know what they are?  Most of the time headaches are caused by lighting and smells.  Here are some simple ways to relive your headache:  turn down the lights, change your light bulbs to dim incandescent bulbs because they emit a steadier more muted light, get rid of hidden allergens because more than half the homes have six or more detectable allergens some research shows that dust, dander and mold are culprits (you need to purchase a good vacuum cleaner and air purifier), run a dehumidifier and wash bedding weekly in hot water and to eliminate strong smells believe it or not pollutants are two to five times higher indoors.  Masking odors with scented candles and air fresheners often makes matters worse, as many of these products contain the same volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are in paint fumes and floor varnish, according to new research.  Crack your windows regularly, choose unscented, nontoxic cleaners, and trash products that are a few years old—their containers can begin to leak.  Pick low-VOC paints and avoid buying furniture made from particleboard, because it may release the VOC formaldehyde. If you have smells you can’t control (like cigarette smoke coming from a neighbor’s condo), use an air purifier with a carbon filter, which cuts down on headache-causing odors.  The super bright screens of some glowing gizmos (laptops, tablets) carry the same hazards as bright lights—their white glow can overstimulate the brain.  Take a break every 20 minutes from your computer to reduce the likelihood of getting a headache.

Eye Health

Protect your eyes from the sun with sunglasses.  Did you know that Macular Degeneration can be possibly prevented by just wearing sunglasses and that 40% of all seniors get Macular Degeneration?  So wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes.  Sunglasses should totally eliminate “ultraviolet” UV rays, reduce or eliminate blue light, reduce light intensity, eliminate horizontal glare, and your eyes from all directions.  Make sure your sunglasses block 100% UV-A and UV-B.  Wearing a hat helps too.  Just as the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin, they can also harm the lens and cornea of the eyes.  Magular Degeneration can also be hereditary which I have found out in my family that it is hereditary my mother had it around the age of 50 and two of my brothers have the gene.  There is no cure yet maybe someday there will be I hope.  Your eyes are so precious I often remember my mother telling me “if only I had my eyesight”.

UV radiation increases your odds of getting cataracts which cloud the eye’s lens and lead to diminished eyesight. It has also been linked to macular degeneration, a treatable, but incurable disease of the macula, a part of the retina that is essential for sharp vision.

Sunlight that bounces off highly reflective surfaces such as snow, water, sand, or pavement can be especially dangerous.

Photokeratitis is a corneal sunburn (tiny blisters form on the surface of the cornea) that’s also known as snow blindness. As the name suggests, skiers and snowboarders are particularly vulnerable to this temporary but acutely painful condition.

Sunglasses play a vital role in shielding the fragile tissue around the eye, according to W. Lee Ball Jr., OD, an optometrist at Harvard Medical School’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “This skin, including the eyelid itself, is very thin and vulnerable to skin cancer, and that’s especially troubling since dermatologists are reporting an epidemic in all types of skin cancer,” Ball says.

Sunglasses will not only protect against basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and melanoma but also against the formation of wrinkles like crow’s feet and the unsightly thickening of the skin that can sometimes be caused by UV exposure.

Skin Health

This is a no brainer wear sun screen when you are outside.  You might think that this is not important but it is very important.  Recently I came across an elderly person who is riddled with sun cancer spots on his skin and has to go to the doctor’s office to get them removed.  Skin cancer is nothing to fool with and we all should protect our skin.

Skin cancer is the most common form of human cancer. It is estimated that over 1 million new cases occur annually. The annual rates of all forms of skin cancer are increasing each year, representing a growing public concern. It has also been estimated that nearly half of all Americans who live to age 65 will develop skin cancer at least once.

The most common warning sign of skin cancer is a change in the appearance of the skin, such as a new growth or a sore that will not heal.

The term “skin cancer” refers to three different conditions. From the least to the most dangerous, they are:

To this day I know of three people who have melanoma and regret not protecting themselves when they were younger so protect your skin.  Check out the sunscreen reviews on this website for more information:  http://www.consumersearch.com/sunscreen/review.

Grilling Time

It’s that time of year to start grilling if you haven’t already started doing so but what about doing healthy grilling like instead of grilling a hamburger grill a turkey burger with grilled vegetables and maybe a sweet potato there are plenty of ways that everyone can grill healthier.   Lately, I’ve been grilling fruit like apples and they are really great tasting grilled!  Be aware that the grill’s high temperature can trigger substances in the muscle proteins of meat, chicken and fish to produce cancer-linked chemicals known as HCAs (Hetero-Cyclic-Amines) — especially if the meat is charred or well done.  I have a grilling book to know how to cook foods on the grill and it is called Better Homes and Gardens Gas Grill Cookbook and I also have an insert which is a cooking chart for a quick reference that I found in a magazine and I refer to this when I cook on the grill.  I found this book to be invaluable.

To lower the amount in your BBQ food, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep      gas jets low or wait until the charcoal      turns into glowing embers before you start cooking.
  • Trim      all fat and marinate your meat.
  • Flip      meat often.
  • Enjoy      kabobs. Small pieces of chicken, fish      and lean beef cook faster and spend less time on the grill (and therefore      produce fewer HCAs than large breasts and steaks).
  • Scrape      off and discard visible charred pieces.
  • Shorten      grilling time — by slightly precooking meat in      the oven or microwave.


Organic Stuff

Organic products have become one of the fastest growing industries in the country, offering high quality food and household products without additives and pesticides that affect the environment. Sounds good, right? The only problem is that these products can be more expensive than their regular counterparts. Here are some tips that you can use when you go to the market that will allow you to get high quality products and save at the same time.

The first thing to remember is that you don’t need to buy everything organic. Products such as dried pasta and beans might taste a little better when organic but you can save some money by sticking to their conventional equivalent. When buying organic, it’s best to stick to the basics: meats, dairy and produce. These groceries offer the biggest change when compared to their conventional counter parts.

Let’s go a little further in depth about produce. Every year, the USDA releases a list called the “dirty dozen”. These are the twelve pieces of produce that absorb the highest amount of pesticides and chemicals from the growth environment. These items are:

Apples, Peaches, Celery, Bell Peppers, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Lettuce, Grapes, Pears and Spinach

When you are shopping for organic produce, make sure that these are the first things on your list. Along with this, there are fruits and vegetables that absorb less chemicals and pesticides. While it would be better to purchase these products organic, you can buy these conventional and save. These products include:

Onions, Corn, Pineapples, Avocados, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Mangos, Eggplants, Cantaloupes, Kiwis, Cabbage, Watermelons, Mushrooms, Grapefruits and Sweet Potatoes

When you start your organic shopping spree, look for the store brand products first. They offer the same high quality that more well known products do but at a lower price. Many stores are also offering their own line of organics, which will help lower the cost even further. This practice is especially true for individuals that purchase frozen food. Name brand organic frozen food can be very expensive and should probably be avoided. If you are going to go organic, make your own dinners from scratch. If you are going to buy organic products, you might as well use them right?

One thing to look out for when you are shopping at your grocery store is the USDA “Certified Organic” label. The USDA has a thorough inspection process that farms must pass through to be organic and only products with that label will pass inspection. Many items at the market now feature labels that say “natural” or “all-natural”. While many of these products are very good, they might not be organic. Make sure you look for the label!

The next time you go to the supermarket, you might want to check out organic products. They offer excellent health benefits along with even greater flavor than your usual food. Just keep some of these tips in mind when you are shopping for them and you can save money on organic food too!

Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic source for fresh, seasonal, locally produced foods, and what’s better is they’re cropping up in more places than ever. Chances are there’s a market within 20 miles of your house.  With warmer weather on the horizon, everyone is migrating towards the outdoors, and there is no better place to enjoy the Spring than checking out the ever-growing areas of Farmer’s Markets.  Farmer’s Markets can have live music, bread, jams, tomatoes, fresh eggs, cheese, handmade stuff just to name a few things and you get to meet the farmers too. All in all, the market gives back more than it receives, and I urge you to go and check it out. Good times had by all are almost guaranteed.  Check out the Billerica Farmers Market here:  http://www.billericafarmersmarket.org/  but there are many other Farmers Markets in Massachusetts and here is the website to check out where the others are:  http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/farmers_markets.htm.  See you at the Farmer’s Market!

Sprained Ankles (Ouch!)

Fun in the sun, hot weather, beach trips, flip flops, and outdoor exercise can sometimes attribute to a sprained ankle.  Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries that occur to people of all ages and abilities. You might ask how does this happen?

  • By awkwardly planting the foot when running, stepping up or down, or during simple tasks such as getting out of bed


  • Stepping on a surface that is irregular, such as stepping in a hole


  • Athletic events when one player steps on another player (A common example is a basketball player who goes up for a rebound and comes down on top of another player’s foot. This can cause the rebounder’s foot to roll inward.)


  • Inversion injuries, in which the foot rolls inward, are more common than eversion injuries (also referred to as a high ankle sprain), in which the foot twists outward


Check out this website on ankle sprains for more information: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/ankle_sprain/page2_em.htm#Ankle%20Sprain%20Causes


So be careful and watch how you step to avoid being at the emergency room or a doctor’s office and not being able to enjoy this beautiful summer weather.


June is . . . . National Safety Month to educate people about preventable injuries and death.  Did you know that car crashes are the leading cause of unintentional death among our nation’s teens?  And that most falls are preventable?  Check out the National Safety Council on what National Safety Month is all about: http://www.nsc.org/nsc_events/Nat_Safe_Month/Pages/home.aspx?VanUrl=nsm.

June is also Internet Safety Month…. The NCSA (National Cyber Security Alliance) research released in November 2011 found that less than half of the U.S. population (46%) reports that they feel safe from viruses, malware and hackers while roughly half (48%) of parents are not completely confident that their kids can use the Internet safely (http://www.staysafeonline.org/in-the-home/research-and-resources). This data shows that Americans should further embrace their shared responsibility in making the Internet safer. Additionally, as young peoples’ online use increases during summer break parents should remain committed to teaching their children how to stay safe online. To help with this, NCSA advises Web users to follow the below steps when accessing the Internet:

  1. STOP: Before      using the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to      spot potential problems.
  2. THINK: Take a      moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and      consider how your actions online could impact your safety, your kids’      safety or that of your family.
  3. CONNECT: Enjoy the      Internet with greater confidence, knowing you’ve taken the right steps to      safeguard yourself, your family and your computer.

Youth ages 8 to 18 spend upwards of 8 hours a day on the Internet while adults spend an even greater amount of time each day on the Internet.

June is National Pet Adoption Month…..This was done as a way to commemorate and encourage adoption of shelter pets.  Daily there are hundreds of deserving pets just waiting to be adopted by loving families.  Visit a shelter and pick out a great companion that will promise to give you love and happiness.  Did you know that Pets can decrease your blood pressure, Cholesterol levels, Triglyceride levels, feelings of loneliness and pets can increase your opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities and opportunities for socialization.

A pet is certainly a great friend. After a difficult day, pet owners quite literally feel the love.

In fact, for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits like helping to lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety and they also boost our immunity.

Allergy Fighters

“The old thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided,” says researcher James E. Gern, MD, a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

However, a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals” — whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals — will have less risk of allergies and asthma.

If a dog lived in the home, infants were less likely to show evidence of pet allergies — 19% vs. 33%. They also were less likely to have eczema, a common allergy skin condition that causes red patches and itching. In addition, they had higher levels of some immune system chemicals — a sign of stronger immune system activation.

Date Magnets (Ok guys this is your chance!)

Dogs are great for making love connections. Forget Internet matchmaking — a dog is a natural conversation starter.

This especially helps ease people out of social isolation or shyness.  People will talk about the breed of the dog and the tricks the dog does and even the conversation will become a real social event.

Dogs for the Aged

“Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog,” says Hart.

Walking a dog or just caring for a pet — for elderly people who are able — can provide exercise and companionship.

Pet owners with AIDS are far less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. “The benefit is especially pronounced when people are strongly attached to their pets,” says researcher Judith Siegel, PhD.

In one study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did people without pets.

Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine — nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties, he tells WebMD.

People take drugs like heroin and cocaine to raise serotonin and dopamine, but the healthy way to do it is to pet your dog, or hug your spouse, watch sunsets, or get around something beautiful in nature.

Good for the Heart

Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies. Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners, researchers say.

So, check out your pet shelter in your neighborhood and get out and have some fun!



June is National Dairy Month…..National Dairy Month is a great way to start the summer with “3-A-Day” of nutrient-rich dairy foods. From calcium to potassium, dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients which may help to better manage your weight, reduce your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Whether it’s protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse. Those are just a few of the reasons that you should celebrate dairy not just in June, but all year long.



I’m off to take a walk for exercise and to cook on my grill so until next month be healthy and stay well.


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