Total Pageviews

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Bless Your Body, Heal Your Soul

Listen folks....for the past week, I've been sitting in hospitals, clinics, and oncology units -- not for myself, but with a loved one. I've been in these settings plenty of times before, professionally, and as the caregiver, not accompanying a family member who is the vulnerable and needy recipient of care. Both experiences have emphasized the need for each person to take charge of their own health and to take care of their bodies by eating healthy, getting regular exercise, not smoking or drinking excessively, and to live an overall healthy lifestyle. But seeing my dear loved one, who is still so sharp in mind, but suffering in body -- literally losing her soul and spirit, has been a very painful experience for me. More than ever, I am certain that choosing to life healthfully is the way to live -- not just to take care of my body, but to receive the BLESSINGS of my body from the Greatest Physician and Healer. I KNOW now that THIS is my way to heal my soul. I belive we all have hurting souls on this earth. But to listen to the sound recommendations of knowledgeable experts on healthy diet, exercise, and habits and more importantly, to PRACTICE this in your daily lives is to live a blessed life. Do it, people. You will feel uplifted and avoid alot of the heartache and regrets of disease -- especially preventable disease. There are diseases that just happen, regardless, but why add to your odds of heartache, frustration, and losing your spirit before it's ready. Bless your body NOW -- Heal your soul NOW and FOREVER!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Rosacea -- Diet Tips To Help Control

Rosacea – Dietary Modifications to Help Prevent and Control

Although there are many medical treatments to help improve the symptoms of rosacea, it is believed that diet is also an important aspect of treatment. Diet-related modifications include:

1. Attain and Maintain your Ideal Body Weight and optimal fitness level by:
a. eating a nutritionally-balanced, calorie-controlled diet, ideally split
into 3 small meals with breakfast being substantial,and small snacks
throughout day
b. daily adequate exercise
2. Keep Blood Pressure normal – avoid consuming more than 4-5 grams Sodium daily
(depends on body size)
3. Keep your intake of saturated fats less than 10% of total daily calories and include recommended daily adequate intake of essential fats
4. Avoid foods and activities that overly increase circulation (‘vasodilators’) to the face and neck which results in the characteristic redness on the cheeks, forehead, nose, chin, and neck.
5. Develop dietary habits and include foods that aid in vascular constriction (‘vasoconstrictors’).


Hot foods and drinks – allow foods and drinks to cool slightly before consuming.

Alcoholic beverages

Spicy foods --including hot spices, seasonings, and sauces, abrupt withdrawal from caffeine (not caffeine itself), peppers and black pepper, meat marinades, tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices, bananas, red plums, raisins, figs, cheese, chocolates, liver, yogurt and sour cream, vanilla, soy sauce, yeast extract, eggplant, avocados, spinach, broad beans and pods – navy, lima, and peas, shellfish, artificial sweeteners –Aspartame and NutraSweet, preservatives, food colorings, MSG, strong vinegars

Fried, salty, and sugary foods

Sunlight, stress, anger or embarrassment, strenuous exercise, hot baths, saunas, corticosteroids, drugs that dilate blood vessels, temperature extremes, wind, dry skin, certain skin products.

Note: some people will tolerate any of the above without experiencing any symptoms. Alternatively, there may be foods and activities that are not on the above list that DO cause symptoms in some people. This list has been collected from frequently named foods and activities from a large number of rosacea sufferers.


Remember – splitting daily dietary intake amongst 3 small meals and 2 or 3 snacks is best. Try to make breakfast a substantial meal.

Whole grains such as brown pasta, rice, millet, buckwheat, oats, amaranth, quinoa, and spelt

Seeds, nuts, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables

Cherries, blackberries, blueberries, chicken and fish, tofu, seaweed

Avoid eating too many raw foods

Drink water liberally, at least 6, better 8 glasses per day.

Chew food well.

Keep intake of salt and sodium less than 6 grams daily.

Keep a food diary, noting when symptoms appear or worsen and note which food or beverage reaction associated with.

A supplement containing B-vitamins is often helpful

A supplement of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids if often advised

The book ‘Rosacea 101’ by Brady Barrows may be helpful and is available on-line.

For more in depth dietary/nutritional counseling to help you with weight control, blood pressure and sodium regulation, fat prescription, and more detailed analysis of rosacea-causing/inhibiting diet, contact:

“we mean to be the people we meant to be” - Miller Williams
Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Fitness AND Beauty for Everyone!

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. John Keats from ODE ON A GRECIAN URN

When it comes to the 'beautiful people' in the world -- those that are fit, toned, trim, great teeth, beautiful skin, radiant hair, incredible clothes not to mention fabulous homes and cars, etc., etc. -- it has been shown to all come down to one thing -- they come from the 'HAVES'. You know what I mean.

Thanks to the research of folks like the esteemed Sir Doctor Michael Marmot and colleagues, it's an unequivocal fact, at this point in time, that socio-economic status or financial security seems to be the most significant determinant of health status, specifically conditions of fitness, healthy lifestyle choices, and absence of obesity. Furthermore, there seems to be a gap, ever widening, between the health/fitness status of the 'HAVES' and the 'HAVE-NOTS'. That is, those that are in lower SES groups and have financial insecurities and stress seems to have more health problems, greater prevalence of poor fitness and obesity, and poorer eating and physical activity habits.

Even without all the studies to corroborate, we see it around us all the time. Drive through wealthy neighborhoods and most people are trim, fit, and looking radiant and great. Go through poorer neighborhoods and the red, puffed, pasty-faced, overweight and obese look is more the order of the day.

Now, of course, over the past 10+ years, as the OVERALL incidence of obesity and overweight has increased, no strata of society has been spared the increase in its obese population -- including the financially lucky and blessed. But, it still remains clear that the lower the SES, the more unfit and disease saddled you and your kin will be. Along with that comes higher morbidity and mortality rates and increase in these things epidemiologists also like to measure called DALYS (disabilty-adjusted life years)with a decrease in QUALYS (quality-adjusted life years).

Guess what?! There is no excuse for this. Without getting into the whole argument of how the rich get richer and the poor poorer or trying to comment on economics and other issues that I know nothing really substantial about -- just from a nutritionist/dietitian perspective -- we can and MUST defy this model. It's time to think outside this box and work harder on what we have to work WITH.

It so happens that many poor people, families,cultures, neighborhoods, and countries have aspects about them that health experts should actually take note that are HELPFUL in promoting health and fitness and which are actually PREFERABLE to those aspects that are glorified and aspired to amongst wealthier people, families,cultures, neighborhoods, and countries. For example, ownership of fancy cars has always been seen as a symbol of success and happiness. I realize having a car can be extremely convenient and useful, but it's not totally necessary -- especially if you live in urban areas that has access to good public transportation. Also, in many instances, even if you have a car, you can walk or use a combination of walking and public transport if you are in commuting distance. Driving everywhere -- even up to the corner -- is such a waste and a missed opportunity to expend kcalories. For people who can't afford a car, it's useless to saddle yourself with car payments when you can walk and use public transport. Alternate means of transport, like bicycles, is also great -- for your financial status and fitness. Many places DO have viable cycling paths and when this is the case, we need to make people who live in these areas appreciate and utilize this means of travel. It's been painful for me to see so many cars on the road in The Netherlands than when I first moved there in 1986. Ironically, in a country that had virtually NO obesity in 1980 -- prevalence is now about 33%. Such a shame!

It's important to encourage consumption of local and fresh produce and other food products that are better-priced, fresher, and more nutritious than what marketing claims and companies try to make people, ESPECIALLY in poorer neighborhoods THINK they need to be consuming. For example, instead of plonking down $2.99 for a burger, fries, and a Coke -- as big and 'worth it' as the meal looks -- make a sandwich at home with local whole-grain bread and cheese and tomato or peanut butter and a banana or left-over meatloaf from night before and drink a big glass of water. This lunch will cost a dollar or so LESS and is much healthier.
It's interesting to see that poorer people who live in the Mediterranean Basin, are often much healthier than their wealthier countrymen because they get fresh fruit, veg, and fish cheaper as its the fare of their country-side, 'peasant' living so they consume this vs the rich and abundant expensive meat, and fancy desserts and creamed and/or buttered veg that their 'up-market' city-dwelling fellow countrymen, consume.

As a dietitian working several years in the South in the USA, I had to find innovative ways to respect the eating preferences of the African Americans who liked salty and fatty pork products, cornbread, rice and potatoes, black-eyed peas and collards, AND an abundance of sweets -- candy, soft drinks, pies and cakes WHILE teaching them how to make changes to their daily preferences to make their intake healthier. I showed them how to cut the fat off their meat -- not ALL of it, but most. I showed them that when they used a product that was naturally salty, they didn't have to add salt. I explained to them that it would take time for them to get used to the less-salty taste, but in time, they would. I HIGHLY encouraged their use and intake of black-eyed and black beans and peas and collard greens and showed them how to make them just as tasty, but without all the grease and salt. I made cornbread for them using skim milk instead of full-fat or cream and LIGHTLY greased their griddles, not use a whole stick of butter. These and many more changes made them fill in control and still able to eat what they liked BUT were much healthier options AND they saved money, time, and food. They LOVED this. This is what we call a win-win!

When I was a dietetic student and even when I was first working, I was CONSTANTLY questioning my professors, mentors, and supervisors about why, how, and when the fancy multidisciplinary treatment programs and wellness-type spas were so expensive and how unfair it was that only the wealthy could afford to get proper treatment for obesity/overweight/poor fitness as well as the myriad of beauty and stress-busting treatments like massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, etc. They would never give me a satisfactory answer. They basically said it was too complicated and costly to provide these services to people that could not afford it. BUT, in my mind, there was also not enough done to get into the poorer communities and find out what steps COULD be changed or taken to work with what they had without spending or draining their or others' resources or to be reliant on charitable organizations.

In my mind, when we, as experts, only provide health and 'fitness' products, advice, services, and programs to the wealthier communities -- we are more or less 'preaching to the converted'.

My goal is to open a 5-star type multidisciplinary clinic with spa services, including a spa restaurant offering culturally-expansive cuisine. I want EVERYONE to be welcome there and able to afford coming there -- for treatments, relaxation, and beautification services of all sorts. I would like to call it 'Beauty Class'

No class or group of people on this earth should be denied anything less or indulged in anything more than another.

My dream is to see research documented someday where rich and poor, 'haves' and 'have-nots' have as a universal equalizer -- fitness and health and beauty -- regardless of 'class'. That would be a 'truth' worth believing in and 'knowing' while on this earth.