June 2014

June is National Fruit and Veggie Month

 

In honor of this, let me tell you some things you may not know about two popular fruits. They taste great and may even help you to lose weight. Let’s start with my favorite, grapefruit. Then we will move on to raspberries.

Grapefruit has many of the vitamins of the other citrus fruits but is has a lower Glycemic Index. That means that sugar is released slowly in the body rather than in one quick rush.

The results of a 12-week study linking grapefruit to weight loss done at the Scripps Clinic in 2004 put 100 men and women on a diet that included half a grapefruit or grapefruit juice three times a day with a meal. The average weight loss was 3.6 pounds for those who ate their grapefruit, 3.3 pounds for those who drank it. However, many reportedly lost more than 10 pounds. Grapefruit has chemicals that may lower insulin levels and expedite weight loss. The only problem with it is that it can interact with certain medications. It is important to check with your doctor or pharmacist to find out if you are on any of these medications. If so, you need to avoid it. (Sorry about that)

Raspberries are rich in antioxidants. Eating three or more servings per week have been found to lower the risk for age related macular degeneration. The anthocyanins (important antioxidants) in raspberries have been found to delay the effect of aging. Although raspberries contain sugar it does not seem to affect blood sugar in a significant way. Red raspberry ketones are currently being used in Japan as a weight loss supplement. Red raspberry seed oil has attracted the interest of the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries because it is rich in Vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acid and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 24-50.

Celebrate this month by eating your favorite fruit or vegetable and enjoy!

To Life!

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I have a friend who is amazing.  She is full of life, grace and light and she has been one of my most inspirational teachers.  She is dying of ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed five years ago at the age of 50 and was doing really well until about a month ago.   Knowing that she had a disease, which had spread at the time of diagnosis, she realized that she was living on borrowed time. She has tried every type of chemotherapy available to her, and she has lived life to the fullest and valued every moment that she has had.

She has given all those around her perspective about life. When my parents and grandparents used to say that our greatest gift is our health, I now know what they meant. My friend has shown me that.  She has taken great care of herself with healthy eating, exercise, meditation and lots and lots of love and laughter. And, she does not let little things bother her. She lives each day as if it were her last.

She is a reminder that we need to appreciate all that we have and not take our health for granted.  It is the most important thing for all of us. None of us know what is waiting around the corner.  What we can do is really listen when our practitioners provide suggestions on how to improve our health and lifestyle choices. It is important to take the advice instead of giving excuses for bad behavior.  Wellness is all about healthy eating and exercise. This is a concept that seems to elude many.   I am continually striving to help patients find the connection between their choices and behaviors and how they feel.  It isn’t easy but when it happens it is wonderful to watch.

Regardless of how much money you make, how old you are, what you think of your wrinkles or the state of your body, if you are healthy you are rich. Recently, someone was bemoaning the fact that she was turning 60 years of age; my friend told her that she would love to be able to get to 60. That would be an incredible gift.  Unfortunately she will not get there.

However, her legacy is the lesson on how to embrace life and not sweat the small stuff.  We are here and we are lucky to be able to enjoy life and make the most of it.  It is never too late to do what we need to do to be healthy.  Life is short. The time is now; just do it!

 

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