A happy home for recipes, natural healing, fitness and lifestyle tips

The Cherries Are Here! July 8, 2011

The cherries I bought today. Eating them as I blog. Yum!

One of my most favorite fruits for healthfulness and definitely part of my fruit binge this season: CHERRIES!

Cherries pack a very high anti-oxidant value and contain a specific antioxidant known as anthocyanins which are not found in popular antiox fruits like blueberries. Cherries are very high in beta-carotene which is a characteristic more commonly found in veggies. Cherries also contain C, E, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate , fiber, quercetin and more.

So what does that really mean for you?

  • Arthritis & Gout – Cherries lower uric acid levels, nitric oxide and c-reactive proteins thus inhibiting inflammation. Cherries are a terrific way to treat symptoms and prevent osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as, gout.
  • Heart Disease & Stroke – C-reactive  proteins are a better indicator of heart disease and stroke than blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Cherries are proven to lower those c-reactive proteins.
  • Cancer – Anthocyanins, the antioxidant most found in cherries, are proven to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and in some cases even kill cancer cells while protecting healthy cells! That is amazing. Think about that before you destroy healthy cells with conventional treatments.
  • Diabetes –  Cherries may help prevent and reverse type II diabetes. The anthocyanins DO help repair organ and small blood vessel damage caused by all pancreatic diseases including type I diabetes.
Cherries have also been known to help with weight management and brain neuron health. And the research on cherries is irrefutable, backed by the USDA, Michigan State University, Tufts, the Mayo Clinic and many other prestigious health research facilities. So, today is the day to get your Cherry on. July is the season and Whole Foods is running a terrific one day sale on ORGANIC CHERRIES for $2.99/lb. (Thank you to Britt N.E. for informing of this awesome regional sale!)

Visit,, for more detailed information on the benefits of cherries.


Beware the C.A.T. May 11, 2011

A double dose is an overdose. Do you suffer any of these?

The list of symptoms goes on and on. If you haven’t guessed, C. stands for caffeine. Caffeine is considered a psychoactive stimulant not a food. Cut back today. Skip the grande and grab a tea. Watch the serving sizes. More than one serving a day can and most likely will have adverse effects. If those aren’t enough to stop you, maybe vanity will. Caffeine dilates your blood vessels causing redness in the face and making blemishes more apparent.

Drink responsibly does not mean don’t get caught.

In the past 3 years I have known 5 people affected or killed by alcohol use and 3 who just felt the need to join AA. A. is for alcohol and I have cut back my drinking to almost sober due to these events which are very common. Chances are you know someone who has had one of these things happen. None of these people were considered full-out alcoholics by their friends and family. And none of these people thought they had a real problem:

    • An underage adult who lost their license. It hurts when you can’t get to your job.
    • A twenty something who had to seek medical attention for blood sugar and blood pressure.
    • A diabetic who passes out regularly due to “moderate”  intake of wine at dinner.
    • A relative who died of liver failure.
    • A YOUNG in-law who died of a brain aneurysm.

Just because you’ve never been caught doesn’t make you a responsible drinker. Its time for us to stop acting like stupid sheep at the party. There is no reason to have more than one serving size (not a giant serving) of alcohol to  “liven up.” If it takes you more than one, you’re already drinking too much. And please stop the “one for the road” nonsense. You don’t need to be loose on the road. Alcohol directly kills more than 23,000 Americans per year. I also don’t care if red wine has resveratrol or not, one 6 oz SERVING twice a week is what doctors consider moderate. No more than that. And if you have blood sugar problems, just don’t.

I shouldn’t even have to say this.

T. is for tobacco. Tobacco directly kills more than 435,000 Americans every year! IT IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE U.S. It yellows and browns your teeth and skin. It causes blood pressure and circulation issues. It’s the dumbest waste of money, I’ve ever seen. You know the facts on tobacco. I am soooo sorely disappointed every time I see someone my age, who I know knows what they are doing, pick up a cigarette. Stop it. Just stop it. You’re killing yourself, poisoning others and polluting the earth. Is the short-term jolt really worth feeling run down the rest of the time and destroying your immune system? Is it worth the ugliness? Is it worth a month’s groceries every year? There is no such thing as moderate smoking. You have to give it up. For resources on quitting, please visit

I know this will be an unpopular post with many of the people I know. And if you’re angry or off put by it, you probably need it most. I’ll take your scathing remarks because if it makes one person think twice, its worth it.

Live well and Be well.


Milling Around May 6, 2011

I’ve spent a good deal of time on or near a treadmill. I’ve maintained them, cleaned them and showed many people how to properly use them. I developed great contempt for them and only use them when all of the ellipticals and bikes are taken at the gym. Did you know that one of’s definitions for milling is “to move around aimlessly, slowly or confusedly, as a herd of cattle?” Aimless and slow are not exactly my goal at the gym!

This month I discovered the muscles supporting my right knee are imbalanced due to recent inactivity. I had to develop a new personal workout routine. I tried something that I have seen in a handful of fitness articles but never actually done for fear of drawing too much attention to myself. I used the treadmill sideways. It was love at first workout! In just 3 workouts the pain in my knee is gone. Plus after a few minutes you can really feel that burn in your inner and outer thighs.  It doesn’t exactly count as a full cardio routine but I suggest adding 10-20 minutes of this to your routine:

  • Attach the emergency stop cord!
  • Stand parallel to the machine belt.
  • Start slow and build your way up as you gain better balance.
  • Lead with the leg closest to the front of the treadmill.
  • Stop the machine and switch directions.
  • Repeat leading with the opposite leg (which should now be closest to the front) for an equal amount of time.

Don’t just treadmill, tread sideways!

*If you’ve had a severe injury or knee replacement you should consult a physical therapist before trying this exercise.


Tips For Selecting A Gym or Personal Trainer April 12, 2011

Filed under: Fitness — njr711 @ 8:49 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Selecting a gym or trainer is mostly about personality. Take Jack Lalanne, Richard Simmons and Jillian Michaels for example. They led thousands to better fitness using vastly different approaches. It is often frustrating to have so many options available. Try these tips to get you started:

Assess your needs.

  • If you want to socialize and stay active: You may want to consider a dance class, a recreational sports league, boot camp or an outdoor enthusiasts club. Check your church, health food store or local city/county website for options.
  • If you want to make lasting lifestyle changes: You should consider joining a gym or a fitness class for a year to get back in shape. Then try to get involved in a dance class, a recreational sports league, boot camp or an outdoor enthusiasts club to make friends who will support your new lifestyle.
  • If you are trying to beat your butt into bikini shape: You need a trainer.

Choosing a gym.

  • Search gyms within a 5 to 8 mile radius if possible. The more convenient it is, the more likely you are to attend regularly. Pick three to checkout. Call them to schedule a visit.
  • Does the variation and quality of equipment and floor space meet your needs? Is it clean? Are the employees mostly body builders or general fitness enthusiasts? Are all of their employees certified through an NCCA accredited certificate program?
  • What type of payment plans do they offer? Can you really afford it? If you break the monthly amount down per visit is it a good deal? What does it take to break the contract? Check out other two gyms before you sign!

Choosing a trainer.

  • You can always find a trainer at the gym. You can check the bulletin board at your local health food store or a chiropractic/natural health school. The best way to find a good trainer is to ask around. Get a referral from a friend or family member.
  • Interview them like you are a hiring manager and they are a potential employee. What is their background? Do they have client references? Will they provide a free 45 to 60 minute trial session? Check out more than one person but respect their time too. Try to complete the process within a week.
  • Make sure they are certified. I posted a link on the right under “useful websites” to find an ACE certified trainer. ACE is just one of several  NCCA certified programs.
  • Surprisingly, prices actually don’t vary much. You can expect to pay about $30 – 40 per hour. Or approximately $100 – $150 for a 6 or 8 class package deal.

Whatever you choose to do, always be honest and upfront about all disabilities, health concerns or injuries. Make sure your instructor, gym or trainer is capable of and willing to work with your specific issues.

Don’t be afraid to change things up, have fun and enjoy your new activities!


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