Blueberries May Help Relieve Depression

Depression is becoming more and more common, at younger ages. You don’t have to have been in combat to experience it. Many young people have faced traumatic life situations from family stress, bullying, to unexpected crises in health or relationships, and more. The skills and support needed for young persons to successfully cope with post traumatic stress, as well as for any one at any age, can be difficult to acquire. Pharmacological treatments have side effects, which can add to difficulty in coping and optimizing one out of depression.

Beautiful, Healthy Blueberries!

Enter blueberries.

“For many people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), available medical treatments offer only limited relief. In a series of studies conducted in rats, researchers have found that eating blueberries could help to reduce the genetic and biochemical drivers behind depression and suicidal tendencies associated with the disorder.” [Read more…]

Tiny House Anyone?

Tiny Houses and Granny Pods seem to becoming more and more popular. When you look at the affordability, simplicity, and cuteness factors, you’ll want to take a second look. There’s even a show on HDTV called “Tiny House Hunters” where you can browse, along with a soon-to-be Tiny House owner, at several options in size, price and location. It leaves you thinking, “Hmmmm, how easy life would be” — and think of all the money you’d save and all the places to which you could travel ….with all the money you would save!

Here’s a sneak peek at a number of Tiny Houses in a variety of locations, courtesy of “Country Living”. While I’m a country cottage kind of gal, you will find log cabins, houseboats, covered wagons, A-frames and more while you click through 52 Tiny Houses they share. Click on this link to see them all: Country Living! Thank you, Country Living, for giving us such a great tour of Tiny Houses all across the world!

Here are a few to get you started:

Tiny House Hotel in Portland Oregon – Click the photo to learn more!

Tiny House Hotel in Oregon

Then there’s the Wild West Wagon located in Cornwall, England:

Wild West Wagon in Cornwall England

Here’s a darling little 260 square foot house on a Northern California Coast Dairy Farm – this one is my favorite!

Northern California Diary Farm House

Can you imagine a gust of wind coming up one night? Who knows where you’d be in the morning with this one! I can hear the cows a-mooin’ and sheep a-bleatin’ and the smell?!?

Wyoming Sheep Wagon

My other favorite is this darling little California Bungalow with a gorgeous garden in Redlands, California:

California Bungalow

There are so many options to choose from style and location, and when you click the link, you can see many you might be interested in. There are even Tiny House communities like one in Washington, DC, as you will see.

It almost brings to mind the communities where many centurians live in small huts and all the villagers stop by during the day to visit and learn from the wisdom of the older folks. It would be a nice way to spend your retirement years!

Bacterium Decreases Food Allergy Symptoms

Do you have food allergies? The bacterium Bifidobacterium longum KACC 91563 is an intestinal bacteria that when taken as a probiotic shows promise of decreasing allergic reaction to foods in the intestine. Great news for food allergy sufferers, to be sure. Think gluten, seafood, eggs and anything else that causes mild to severe intestinal symptoms when eaten. This would be life changing for many.

Take a look at this great diagram by the Institute for Basic Science. The probiotic bacterium release extracellular vesicles which deliver a protein from the bacterium that cause the mast cells (your body’s allergic response) to self destruct. (I heart this illustration – so easy to understand!)

nstitute for Basic Science. "Protein from bacteria alleviates food allergy symptoms." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2016. <>.

B. longum’s affect on mast cells produced when food allergens appear.

[Read more…]

Meaningful Life if You Give Out Advice?

Want to have a more meaningful life? Just start giving out advice wherever you go. Wait, what?

Older man giving advice to a young man

You know you run in the other direction when you see that older “advice giver”, the one who’s always got their nose in your business, who enjoys telling you how to do things differently. We say in our heads “I don’t need to hear it today” because life is just plain hard enough without someone telling you how to do it better or differently.

Reminds me of my general practitioner who I went to see a couple months ago, and we were catching up on family and the holidays. She told me her parents had visited, and it was especially painful to have her father there because he silently observed her family’s daily lives, then at the end of his two week visit handed her a hand written list of everything she was doing wrong and how she could do it better. Because it wasn’t me, I laughed, but I know I wouldn’t be laughing if it was my own father.

Why I bring this up is that there is new research that shows if you’re in your 60’s and give advice more freely (meaning others enjoy receiving your advice I gather), life has much more meaning for you. I can understand this. You will feel like your contributions are wanted, you are valued and validated. The key here is sharing with those who want to receive your advice. Not too many of those kinds around, right? [Read more…]

Time Off for Your Period?

Yes. It is true. There is a British company who is providing time off for women when they have their menstrual period. Where were they when I was young, experiencing monthly pain and short tempers? How lovely for the “younger generation” who won’t have to be whispered about behind their back when they’re cranky that “it’s that time of the month for her”.

Painful menstrual cramps

“Coexist, which employs 31 people— seven of which are men— hopes their policy can change the stigma around “women’s issues,” community director Bex Baxter told the Mirror. [Read more…]

Sugar is Out, Nuts are In

Sugar. I’m putting it aside. For now. Putting it aside versus giving it up. Someone suggested using the term “putting it aside” to trick my mind into thinking it’s not forever, and I’m in control of “not putting it aside” when I want to. Ha.

A couple years ago, I began going for a physical exam, including blood work, the first week of the new year. This year, some numbers were off a little more than I’m happy with. My diastolic blood pressure has trended upward and stayed there for the past year. My cholesterol and hemaglogin A1c, although normal, a little on the high side. Then there’s that homocysteine, increases with inflammation, potential stroke threat.

So, I made some changes. Two changes are intentional, two more were pleasant surprises.

Change 1

Sugar is out. As much as in my control, no more sugar. It causes inflammation in your body, wreaks havoc with overall health, and it really doesn’t do one thing helpful, except calm me when stressed. No more.

Cashews and Paleonola

Change 2

Eat more nuts. Sounds silly, but I’m enjoying two nut options throughout the day. They have replaced my snacks with sugar. Cashews are lovely, and I enjoy crunching on “Paleonola” granola, apple pie flavor. Ingredients include almonds, pecans, pepitas, honey, walnuts, coconut oil, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, dried apple, dried coconut, spices and vanilla extract. Ok, so honey. [Read more…]

Invisalign Done!

My Invisalign journey is over! I’m in the promised land of lovely straight teeth, aligned bite and painless eating.


Phew. I won’t say the year flew by, there were some very tough times, but all in all I’m very glad I took the challenge and am very happy with my results. (Only wish they could grow back receding gums while straightening teeth. Sigh.)

The good:

  • Watching my teeth come back into alignment while no one could really tell I was wearing the trays.
  • My jaw has expanded, and now there is no clicking or pain when I chew, no more getting locked or only being able to open my mouth a finger-breadth wide.
  • Chin wrinkles have melted into my wider jawline.
  • I am smiling more.
  • It’s over!!
  • This list is short compared to the bad, but so, so worth the struggles, and I am very, very happy I have done this, truly loving my results!

[Read more…]

Low Vitamin B12 in the Brain Affects Memory

Vitamin B12 plays a very important role in neurological function, affecting memory and balance when blood levels are low. A new study shows impressively low levels of B12 measured in the brain were related to decreased neurological function and memory impairment in the elderly, as well as those with autism and schizophrenia.

“These are particularly significant findings because the differences we found in brain B12 with aging, autism and schizophrenia are not seen in the blood, which is where B12 levels are usually measured.” said Dr. Richard Deth, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Pharmacy. “The large deficits of brain B12 from individuals with autism and schizophrenia could help explain why patients suffering from these disorders experience neurological and neuropsychiatric symptoms.”

Food Sources of Vitamin B12

What foods have the most Vitamin B12?

“…Meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products and wild-caught fish. Leafy green vegetables, beans and peas also provide some B vitamins, but if you eat an all vegetarian or vegan diet, vitamin B12 is one of the nutrients your body is most likely deficient in, as it is naturally present in foods that come from animals, including meat, fish, eggs, milk and milk products.” (From Dr. Mercola – his article is interesting in that he discusses in greater detail the effects of diminished B vitamins and elevated homocysteine for increased Alzheimers and brain shrinkage.) [Read more…]

Easy Diet to Lower Dementia Risk

Research studying specific dietary effects on Alzheimer onset from Rush University, has been listed in the top rankings by U.S. News and World Report among diets specifically aimed at brain health. . The MIND diet, developed by Martha Clare Morris, ScD, a nutritional epidemiologist from Rush University, is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and DASH blood pressure reduction diet, and has been shown to be very effective in maintaining brain health with aging. Lowering the risk of Alzheimer disease onset by 53 percent for those who followed it precisely, and 35 percent less risk for those following it moderately, it is also being ranked as the easiest diet to follow.

DASH Diet Food Pyramid

“The MIND diet has 15 dietary components, including 10 “brain-healthy food groups” and five unhealthy groups — red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food. To adhere to and benefit from the MIND diet, a person would need to eat at least three servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine — snack most days on nuts, have beans every other day or so, eat poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. In addition, the study found that to have a real shot at avoiding the devastating effects of cognitive decline, he or she must limit intake of the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), sweets and pastries, whole fat cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three). Berries are the only fruit specifically to be included in the MIND diet. “Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain,” Morris says, and strawberries also have performed well in past studies of the effect of food on cognitive function.”  Quoted from Science Daily’s article titled “MIND Diet Repeatedly Ranked Among the Best”, released January 5, 2016.

From a quick glance, the diet seems heavy on grains and vegetables, very light on (meat) proteins, and dairy. I would like to know if those following this diet strictly are taking any vitamin supplements, and are monitoring their vitamin and mineral levels, especially those like Vitamin B12 and Calcium.

I hope there are more research results coming on the longevity and mobility of those who follow the MIND diet closely, as well as overall health and well being long term. For now this is such a great find, easy to apply as the recommended foods are readily accessible, and no prescription required!

Melanoma – Quickly Learn Your Risk

Melanoma is serious, which is why any way to find out if we could be at a higher risk for it is a good thing.

A mole (nevus)

“Researchers at King’s College London have investigated a new method that could be used by General Practitioners to quickly determine the number of moles on the entire body by counting the number found on a smaller ‘proxy’ body area, such as an arm.”

The number of moles on a particular area of the arm can be used to pretty accurately determine the risk for developing melanoma. In the absence of suspicious moles, this is a very simple way to send a warning to go see a dermatologist on a regular basis so he/she gets to know your moles, has a diagram of their location on your body and description of them documented. Over time, if they change or new ones form, your doctor will have a clearer idea of how to care for them and when to biopsy or remove.

“Scientists found that the count of moles on the right arm was most predictive of the total number on the whole body. Females with more than seven moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having more than 50 on the whole body and those with more than 11 on their right arm were more likely to have over 100 on their body in total, meaning they were at a higher risk of developing a melanoma.”

I will be counting mine and letting my Dermatologist in on this new research finding, as well.

Start counting yours, too!

“Scientists also found that the area above the right elbow was particularly predictive of the total body count of moles. The legs were also strongly associated with the total count as well as the back area in males.”

Read more about this research at Science Daily

…where they describe a mole as being a nevus (- usually dark brown and basically flat).


1 – 3 Glasses of Champagne for Healthy Brains

Wine gives me a headache, and I’m not one for sugary drinks – mixed drinks and sodas alike. But pour me a nice glass of champagne and all is well.

Champagne Please!

There are research findings now it seems that show 1 – 3 glasses of Champagne PER DAY has wonderful health and memory boosting benefits! Did you see – PER DAY!

“New research shows that drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with aging, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders, such as dementia. [Read more…]

What Stains Your Teeth?

One of the benefits I’ve experienced with daily oil pulling has been whiter teeth. My teeth were set up to stain due to enamel damage from cemented-on braces / headgear / rebelling-from-the-pain-and-ugliness-by-not-brushing-for-days back a few decades ago (before there was such a thing a motrin). With eroded enamel, a love for coffee, blueberries, …make that ALL berries, and chocolate, my teeth were a yukky yellow. Then I began daily oil pulling and within a few months I noticed the stains lifted, and my teeth a nicer shade of white (not the bright white of laser bleached, mind you).

Yellow to White Teeth

Recently, WebMD posted a really nice pictorial of what the common causes of teeth stains are which you can flip through by clicking What Stains Your Teeth?

Some of the common culprits we all know are: [Read more…]


Living in a drought-stricken area means we’ve had a few years of dry and warmer-than-usual weather. Believe it or not, we do get fall colors here when our normal cold, rainy season is upon us. This year, the leaves have dried up and died before they could turn a pretty hue of yellow, orange, or red.

Sigh. Sweaters, jackets. I do so love fall. Watching leaves turn their vibrant hues, then fall to the ground, calling in the coldness of winter, blankets, hot mugs of yummy drinks, soup, and chili.  Mmmm.

So here are a few photos I’m meditating on which help me feel like we’ve had just a little bit of fall! [Read more…]

Food Allergen Sensor Coming!

I’m so excited to share with you a new little gadget, called the Nima Sensor, which will test a small portion of your food for gluten! This little portable gadget will be able to travel with you wherever you eat to test a portion of food for gluten before you eat it – kind of like the “King’s Cupbearer” from ancient days who ate a bit of the King’s food before he ate it in case it was poisoned.

To some, gluten is poison to their insides. Those with Celiac Disease, and other intestinal conditions who have difficulty with digesting wheat protein and gluten, should be able to manage their exposure much better and find greater freedom with this new sensor.

How does it work?

The Nima Sensor

You place a small sample of the food you are about to eat in a little pod. Then you load the pod into the sensor device, wait a couple of minutes to see the “smile” if the food sample is free from the allergen.

The Nima Sensor will be available for gluten sensing in 2016. They are working on sensors for milk and peanuts, and hopefully a few others like fish, shellfish, soy, eggs and wheat.

This little gadget will be life changing and freeing for so many who have serious food allergies.

Please click on Nima Sensor to learn more about it!


Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with this company or product in any way, and make no income from, nor  endorse this product. This post is to inform you of something coming which could be very beneficial to the health of many.

Oil Pulling Results

It’s been one full year since I began oil pulling, and I’m very excited to share my results! First, this is what I have done for the past year, missing only one day:

First thing each morning, swished and “pulled” one full teaspoon of Organic Coconut Oil around and through my teeth for 10 – 20 minutes. (You can read more about the what and how of oil pulling in my post “Oil Pulling.”)

I must also tell you that after a few months, I had my teeth cleaned and my dental hygienist said my gums looked noticeably healthier, but I shouldn’t expect the recession to grow back.  She then had the oral surgeon stop by to examine my gums and provide a consultation. [Read more…]

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