Apple Cider Vinegar for Amazing Health

Whenever the skin on my hands becomes overly dry and irritated, I can tell that my gut needs a little help. In addition to increasing my water intake, I have started drinking apple cider vinegar again. I drink one tablespoon of Bragg apple cider vinegar—organic, raw, and made with “mother” enzymes”—in one cup of water before breakfast and lunch. Apple Cider Vinegar has many amazing uses—below are three of my favorites!

Bacteria Killer

In the time of Hippocrates and The Old Testament, apple cider vinegar and honey were used to fight infection and to clean skin wounds. According to one clinical study, apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial effects on E-coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans. It can help the body get rid of bad bacteria in the gut. A healthier gut leads to a healthier you!

Diabetes Fighter

Vinegar helps to lower blood glucose in people that have type 2 diabetes or people that are at-risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study showed that a change in diet and one tablespoon of vinegar twice per day led to a greater decrease in fasting blood glucose than daily rosiglitazone or metformin use.

Weight Loss Helper

In one study, researchers concluded that apple cider vinegar reduced the risk of obesity in rats. In another study that lasted for 12 weeks, obese human subjects that consumed 15 mL or 30 mL of vinegar had significantly lower weight, body mass index, visceral fat, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels than subjects that did not consume vinegar.

Before you decide to consume apple cider vinegar, you might want to consult with your healthcare professional. Also, be sure to dilute it in water and do not overdo it. Over-consumption can lead to stomach upset, erosion of the enamel of your teeth, a decrease in your potassium level, and other unwanted effects.

What do you think of this natural remedy?

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Our Healthcare System: A Nurse’s Perspective

Before I decided to become a nurse, I wanted to be an attorney. I loved the idea of being better equipped to fight against some of the injustice in the world. When I became a nurse, I loved the fact that part of the job description for nurses included the title of Patient Advocate. So, for today, pretend that I am your nurse—I am your advocate. As your advocate, I want to encourage and empower you to ask questions of all your healthcare providers; conduct your own research about prospective treatment protocols; and always challenge the current healthcare system to improve. Here are five reasons why.

Systems break down and people are far from perfect.

I used to be a temporary employee (assignments ranged from one day to one year) at quite a few companies; despite my relatively young age, I have had a lot of jobs. I have worked at corporations with seemingly caring, amazing leaders and appropriate protocols. But if I was with any company for longer than a week, I would eventually discover that the company had a high turn-over rate, poor training, a lack of communication, a less-than-stellar staff or all of the above. Medical offices and hospitals suffer from the same dysfunction. Therefore, when using the healthcare system, be vigilant; don’t let yourself or your loved ones fall through the cracks of a dysfunctional healthcare system. Do your research and ask questions.

Healthcare workers are exhausted and cannot always provide adequate care to patients.

This is how I felt when I was a bedside nurse.

6:00 PM

It’s so cold and dark outside. I feel like I haven’t seen the sun in awhile. I miss the sun. Maybe if I get hit by a car I won’t have to go to work. Heh. I’m not going to tell anyone that. If I do, they will think that I’m suicidal. I really need more sleep ’cause three hours is not cutting it. Do they have to schedule a two-hour mandatory training session after the night nurses have already been on their feet for 14 hours? I don’t know how Med-Surg nurses do this for so many years. I feel like I’m dying.

7:45 PM

I just have to get through a couple more of these shifts and then I can sleep. I’ll just try to plaster a smile on my face until then. Looks like I have three heavy patients tonight. I have the very loud paranoid schizophrenic in 1218 that threw his bedpan at me yesterday. I also have the 400-pound Mrs. P with a ventilator, urinary catheter, ostomy bag, and stage 3 pressure ulcers. The charge nurse gave me the patient in room 1216 with sickle cell disease. He’s going to need pain medication every two hours and he will need a new IV line. I also have the man chained to his bed—I wonder what kind of crime he committed. Oh well. Maybe the other three patients will sleep—at least a little bit—tonight. I hope that I don’t get another admission tonight. The paperwork will take me forever to finish.

11:30 PM

Finally done passing out medications. I really need to get some charting done or I will be backed up in the morning. Shoot—1216 wants pain medications and Mrs. P. needs to be changed. Her pressure ulcers can’t get worse. I am really not in the mood to be cursed out by her son tonight. I can’t believe 1224 has cancer. She’s so young. I wish I had some time to talk to her to see how she is doing. But there’s never any time for that.

2:00 AM (the next day)

1218 is screaming again. I don’t think that his medication is working. If he starts getting violent, Security better get here quick. I can finally get a little bit of charting done. Oh, wait, can’t do that yet. Julie went on break and her patient with Chron’s Disease needs her pain medication. Better give her that medication first and then I have to help Mrs. P ’cause her ostomy bag is leaking. Gross. I haven’t taken a break yet. I really need to pee.

3:30 AM

1216 is having trouble breathing?! Why am I being paged about 1222? I don’t care that he needs a toothbrush right now!

6:00 AM

The Day Shift is going to be here soon. After all the running around that I did tonight, I hope they understand that not everything will be done. I always stay two hours after my shift to tie up loose ends and help them, but a few of them don’t seem to care. Even the nurse that has been with this hospital a little while longer than me is rude and unforgiving. I have barely done any charting tonight. That’s going to take me awhile.

7:00 AM

Mrs. P’s BP is sky high?? Oh, Mrs. P, please don’t code on me. Please—hang in there.

1:30 PM

Finally in my bed. If someone tries to call me, I will throw my cell phone at the wall.

Science is inadequate and flawed.

Our scientific discoveries are only as good as our experimental designs and the data that is obtained from them. Even if we have flawless scientific designs and data, the information that is communicated to the medical community and general public is often biased and misinterpreted. Why? The data is interpreted by people with bias, conflicts of interest, and flaws.

For some people, money is more appealing than integrity.

If a treatment is being presented to you that does not make sense to you, ask yourself, will this really benefit my health or is some person/organization hoping that my ignorance will help to pad their own pockets? Please note—I don’t want you to be overly paranoid. I also don’t want you to be overly naive.

Our livelihood depends on it.

Despite all the above, I hope that it encourages you to know that most of the people that I have worked with in hospital and pharmaceutical settings seem to be people with above average ethical standards. Unfortunately, it only takes a few bad apples or one bad policy to affect the health of our families and communities. Because of this, we cannot become complacent about flaws in our healthcare system—we must ask questions, do our own research, and work to improve our healthcare system for the sake of our loved ones.

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Health Success with Health Supplements

Three pregnancies, almost six years of breastfeeding, and a prolonged lack of self-care contributed to nutritional deficiencies and a decline in my health. I don’t know what I would have done if health supplements didn’t exist. If I did not have them, I would have major fatigue, numbness in my arms, pain in my hands, severe psoriasis all over my skin, major depression, and a very weak immune system. Here are some of my views on health supplements!

The best health supplements come from food-based sources and are from reputable brands.

Why food-based? Unlike synthetic fillers and chemicals, the body knows how to metabolize food. Also, because health supplements are not regulated the way that medications are, it is imperative that you buy from a brand that you can trust. I would rather go without health supplements than buy them from a brand that I know nothing about.

Health supplements are beneficial for optimal health because the conventional food in the U.S. does not provide enough of the vital nutrients that the body needs.

Even if you are a Health Nut that chooses foods packed with nutrients, much of the American soil lacks nutrients that it once had. Much of our food supply has been negatively affected by GMOs, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. You should try to get all your necessary nutrition from food, but health supplements can help fill your inevitable nutritional gaps.

Health supplements can help prevent health decline and can help your body recover from some serious ailments.

For instance, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with cavities, cancers, autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders, infections, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. This is why I am always asking everyone if they consume enough vitamin D!

I have had so much success with health supplements. Fish oil helped me immensely with my hand pain. B vitamins provide support with my postpartum numbness and psoriasis. My gut is healthier with magnesium, probiotics, and multi-collagen protein.

I recently came across a couple of articles on Pub Med related to certain vitamin deficiencies in people that have epilepsy and Parkinson’s Disease. As time goes on, I believe that there will be even more research that supports that many health issues can be resolved when nutritional deficiencies are corrected.

Reference

Holick, M.F. The vitamin D deficiency pandemic: Approaches for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Rev Endocr Metab Disord 18, 153–165 (2017).

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I Want To Quit

The Temptation to Quit Will Become Greatest Just Before You Are About To Succeed

-Chinese proverb

When I heard this quote from my business mentor, my mind immediately thought of childbirth. Right before a mom has to push her baby out, she goes through a stage called TRANSITION. This is a very intense stage of labor when moms feel out of control and want to quit. According to my Bradley birth instructor, this is when a lot of moms opt for pain medication.

When I first learned about this stage of childbirth, I was really scared of it. But when I was in the midst of it, I was relieved because I knew that I would soon hold my baby and I knew that moment would be worth the diet restrictions, stretched out clothes, waddling, constant need to pee, consistent congestion, frequent visits to the midwife, skin rashes, (pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy) stares from strangers, (is it just me or does everyone stare at the pregnant lady?) stretch marks, intolerable morning sickness that lasted all day for seven plus weeks, and physical pain of childbirth.

My mentor also said that if you haven’t felt like quitting yet, you probably aren’t working hard enough. So, if you have any goals–health, business, financial, or any other kinds of goals–and you feel like quitting, congratulations! Your efforts are moving you in the right direction. It is almost time to hold your metaphorical baby. Just don’t give up!

Fun, Fab, FAT diet

It’s dinnertime! It’s time for the low fat, low carb, low sodium meal again. Sound delicious? Not really! These are the kinds of meals that I used to make in 2010. I’m so glad that I am not eating this way anymore. Do you know why? Research shows, and health gurus agree that…fat…is…good for us! Our brains and bodies need fat to work properly. It’s also difficult to feel satiated when we don’t consume enough fat. Filling up on carbs to feel full may lead to health problems like diabetes and obesity.

If you want more information about a diet high in fats, you may want to read about the Ketogenic diet. My husband has been on this diet and has lost 40 pounds. Personally, I don’t follow a particular diet. I believe that the ideal diet includes organic/natural/clean foods and should contain mostly vegetables/fruits, some meat, and minimal grains/sweets.

Regardless of the diet that you follow, our bodies need fat. Some healthy fats include organic/free-range eggs, organic/free-range chicken, organic/grass-fed beef, organic ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil and olive oil (please note that olive oil becomes unhealthy when cooked at a high temperature).

Let’s get back to dinner. Now I’m hankerin’ for a large portion of colorful vegetables, some grass-fed beef and a small portion of sprouted rice. Let’s throw in some organic ghee and avocado oil. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Bon Appetit!

This post was originally published on February 6, 2019. It was updated on November 8, 2019.

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