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You be the expert on health

What is the best tips you can share to live heathlier as you age?  It would be great to hear from real people on what works.  Share your successes.

AARPTeri
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Addressing indoor air quality. As the EPA puts it indoor air pollution is surpassing outdoor. Its' directly linked to the plethora of toxic products we use in our homes. From cleaning supplies, laundry products, to bathing products, on top of toxic products like candles and air fresheners. These VOCs have a whole  host of health implications. The aldehydes alone in fragrance products can cause accelerated brain cell apoptosis. (brain cell death) These endocrin disrupting VOCs can induce all kinds of diseases and neurological disorders.

We have cleaned up our indoor air at home to be a chemically free haven, to include the foods we eat. We are fragrance free and fabric softener free. My husband no longer has Desert Storm rashes all over his body. My sleep has gotten better. We have great levels on all our bloodwork.

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I had a friend in Juneau with similar problems. Fortunately she is a health expert by trade. Her advice: gentle exercises that loosen up the thoracic spine (chest) to improve blood flow. Nothing too strenuous. Eliminate high glycemic carbohydrates. But when you absolutely must eat sweets ( let’s be real) eat some fiber just before. (Such as an apple) To reduce the inflammation she found that 100 mg of grape seed extract worked wonders. A word of caution when purchasing vitamins online: never buy from Amazon. Buy direct from manufacturer. There is a book that rates vitamin companies to help choose. Good luck 

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I'm reminded of another easy but beneficial health tip: don't take yourself so seriously. Stated another way: live and let live. 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Don't let temporary injuries & other priorities totally derail your healthy lifestyle program; just pick up where you left off, and keep truckin'!


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So when @AARPTeri posted this thread, being a health nut and a former food and lifestyle columnist, I jotted down a bunch of tips. Some I tossed, others I combined, but most I ended up posting. This is the last tip from that list.

 

Don't automatically peel your fruits and vegetables. There's nutrition gold in those peels!

 

peeling apple.jpg

 

 

 

Here's the rule of thumb: if the peel is a different color than the flesh of the fruit or vegetable, then eating it will boost your nutritional intake. 

 

The caveat: some peels soften when cooked, while others remain inedible. Learn more from Bon Appétit: http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/why-you-shouldnt-peel-your-vegetables

 

Here's a piece on the subject via the Washington Post.

 

Bonus tip: save vegetable peels and pieces in the freezer. Use them to make your own nutritious, low sodium stock at home. Better nutrition and less food waste. What a deal!

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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This is my second to last off-the-cuff health tip for this thread, and it's a quickie: Eat Less Meat

 

Note I didn't suggest going vegan. I'm saying eat smaller portions of meat, enjoy meatless dinners, and even meatless days.

 

You've heard that eating less meat might save the planet. You've heard that too much protein is bad for you, and you've heard that eating less meat will help you lose weight.

 

While all of that may be true, I think the reason to eat less meat (and by result eat more vegetables) is to improve digestion. For me it is all about the fiber. Foods rich in fiber support your health by helping to move foodstuffs through your system. When our systems slow down trouble starts.

 

Among other benefits, Web MD says eating fiber benefits your heart, weight loss, energy levels and digestion:  http://www.webmd.com/diet/fiber-health-benefits-15/default.htm

 

The Harvard School of Public Health offers the tips below for increasing fiber. They also delineate which diseases are directly affected by fiber intake. Read More:   http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/fiber/

 

Tips for increasing fiber intake from the Harvard School of Public HealthTips for increasing fiber intake from the Harvard School of Public Health

 

The Mayo Clinic chimes in on the importance of a fiber-rich diethttp://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983

 

So eating less meat is an easy way to make room for fiber, which really may save the world, because we want you in it.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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".....So eating less meat is an easy way to make room for fiber, which really may save the world.....".

 

The tip we learned decades ago, and embraced, is that one doesn't eat a plain piece of meat (yeah, on occasion, you don't have to be a fanatic). Almost everywhere in the world, it is relatively uncommon, if never done, to have a slab of meat of any kind. Instead, meat is always cut and part of a stew, stir fry, a mix of some type.  We only have burgers, for instance, maybe half a dozen times a year. We never have steak, or ribs. Virtually everything we cook is stir fried, or done in Thai, Indian, or Asian-style cooking. You get lots of veggies this way and meat is used in very small quantities.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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@retiredtraveler - Your post triggered another thought about eating habits - Don't eat supersized portions!

 

I hate that many people choose restaurants based on large portion size or "endless xyz". While some may intend to take a doggie bag home for a 2nd meal, they may continue to "pick at their plate" while sitting & socializing in a restaurant .. a bad idea. Often the "endless" items are starch (i.e. breadsticks, garlic bread, etc), and cheap items to fill you up .. instead of the more expensive protein items! Even "endless salad bar" can be a problem; it's only OK if you stick to the plain or pickled veggies, and limit or avoid everything with mayonnaise & other fat-laden sauces!


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There are ten zillion books and articles on eating healthy.  There is no lack of information on the subject.  Mostly there is lack of interest unless/until an individual comes across a reason to pay attention.  Everyone seems to want a quick fix.  There isn't one.  You need to have a good mix of activity and healthy diet to keep  your weight in check.  Is it fun to exercise and eat healthy if you want to lay on the couch and eat chips?  No it probably isn't.  But eventually you will not be able to get up off of the couch if that is your life style, so you are kind of pressed into some degree of health.  And the bad news is that the older you get, the harder it will be for your body to overcome the excesses you indulge in.   So,  take a walk and don't eat all the stuff you see on TV;  pizza chips donuts, pop, candy cookies  : )

Life's a Journey, not a Destination" Aerosmith
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Brown Rice, Red Rice, Black Rice

 

You've heard about eating your colors, right? No? OK: In a nutshell different essential nutrients exist in differently colored food. Eat the rainbow to make sure you are getting everything you need.  Since we are in DH's SAD season, I make sure our winter rainbow includes orange fleshed fruits and vegetables and black rice

 

Web MD reminds us that white rice is linked to diabetes: 

 

"White rice ranks high on the glycemic index, which means it can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. White rice is also low in fiber that can help lower the risk for developing diabetes." 

 

Any Rice But White, But Really, Make it Black Rice

 

Yes, eat the Forbidden Rice! Black rice contains antioxidants, dietary fiber and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a good choice for a diet aimed at fighting the development of diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

 

from http://draxe.com/forbidden-rice/from http://draxe.com/forbidden-rice/

 

As you can see black rice contains the highest amount of antioxidants, protein and dietary fiber of all rices varieties. 

 

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD on his body building blog, says: "Some varieties of rice better fuel your energy needs and your health than others." He goes on to explain the values of differently colored rice here.

 

Want more information? Here's an easy way to check the nutrition value of any food: http://nutritiondata.self.com

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Others have suggested making one's own yogurt, and I heartily concur. Today's health tip offering hopes to help you decide to get started on this healthful endeavor.

 

Why Bother?

Make yogurt yourself and you control the ingredients. The more expensive store yogurts often contain cornstarch while the less expensive varieties usually contain a chemical soup complete with artificial colors and flavors. These ingredients are not healthy. And they are not necessary, either.

 

Make yogurt yourself and you'll enjoy more probiotics because the yogurt is fresher, besides you'll have a ready supply of plain yogurt on-hand for your culinary exploits. I use homemade plain yogurt in East Indian fare, Mexican food and as a base for many sauces and dressings.

 

Yogurt Makers

I use a simple, inexpensive yogurt maker picked up at Walmart. This model doesn't have a timer, which is fine for me.  But do consider your lifetstyle and the features of any yogurt maker you choose.

 

small yogurt maker.png

 

Process

Your yogurt maker will come with a recipe, this is not intended to replace that, rather I offer this to show how easy it is to make one's own super healthy homemade yogurt.

 

1.) 4 cups of scalded skim milk (when the milk begins to rise in the pan, it’s scalded)
2.) 2 cups of nonfat organic plain yogurt (for the first time, next time you’l use two containers of your own yogurt. Organic is important here.)
3.) Let the scalded milk cool to 90F, gently mix in the yogurt.
4.) Pour mixture into sterile glass containers (leaving lids off).
5.) Place the yogurt maker’s lid over the filled containers, plug in the maker, let sit 8-12 hours, depending on your chosen consistency. 

6.) Place lids on yogurt containers, refrigerate.

 

 

 

Learn more about the benefits of yogurt here:   

http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/04/07/food-for-thought-yogurts-amazing-health-and-nutrition-b...

 

Learn how to make yogurt at home without a yogurt maker here:  http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-yogurt-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-125070

 

I'll be wrapping up my off-the-cuff health tips in a few days. I hope they have been useful.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Create Something

 

Being creative is actually healthy!

 

I knew this intuitively, but that didn't make the journey to a creative life easy: my father insisted I become a scientist, whereas I insisted on becoming an artist. This victory did not come without a struggle supreme. Where was Oprah when I needed her, right? (Piece on Oprah's website regarding creativity and health:   http://www.oprah.com/health/Benefits-of-Creativity-What-the-Creative-Process-Does-to-the-Mind)

 

Here’s a snippet from a Psychology Today article titled Creativity, Happiness And Your Own Two Hands:

 

“Research has shown that hand activity from knitting to woodworking to growing vegetables or chopping them are useful for decreasing stress, relieving anxiety, and modifying depression. There is value in the routine action, the mind rest, and the purposeful creative, domestic or practical endeavor.  Functioning hands also foster a flow in the mind that leads to spontaneous joyful, creative thought. Peak moments occur as one putters, ponders and daydreams. One can be tickled, moved or transformed by a thought or idea along the way as well as by the endpoint.

 

Consider how you felt the last time you made something by hand.  Whether it was a cake, a home improvement project, a garden, or a scrapbook, it was absorbing and satisfying, right? Maybe you even had a moment or more of euphoria.”

 

I find that long days in the kitchen produce bliss. What creative endeavors bring you bliss?


According to Gene D. Cohen, MD, PhD of the Center for Aging, Health & Humanities, George Washington University, “Expressing ourselves can actually improve health, both mentally and physically.” His research on the subject of creativity and seniors concludes:

 

•  Creativity reinforces essential connections between brain cells, including those responsible for memory.


•  Creativity strengthens morale. It alters the way we respond to problems and sometimes allows us to transcend them. Keeping a fresh perspective makes us emotionally resilient.


•  Challenging the brain can relieve sleep and mood disorders.


•  Reading, writing and word games increase one’s working vocabulary and help to fend off forgetfulness.


•  Capitalizing on creativity promotes a positive outlook and sense of well being which boosts the immune system and fights disease.


•  Having an active, creative life makes it easier to face adversity, including the loss of a spouse.

 

Read more here: http://thebristal.com/blog/benefits-of-creative-activities-for-senior-citizens/

 

 So go on: create!

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Spice it up!  

 

Using a variety of spices in your homecooking can help you reduce sugar, salt and fat content. Since most packaged foods and nearly all restaurant foods contain far too much fat, salt or sugar to be considered healthy, people who eat out or eat packaged foods rather than cook at home generally are getting too much salt, fat and sugar. And there's suggestion that these familiar food elements are addictive, so when we try to cut down, we have issues. Whether science utimately concludes that salt, fat and sugar are addictive or not, the palate does become used to these flavors, and so when we try to cut them out of our homecooked meals, we often feel we've cut out flavor.

 

But a healthy lifestyle requires that we reduce fat, salt and sugar intake.

 

What to do?

 

I make a variety of spice blends. From simply mixing my own garlic pepper (granulated garlic and black pepper) to foraging and preparing wild foods, I have a virtual wardrobe of healthy spice mixes in my cupboard.

 

Of course you don't have to prepare spice blends. You can simply use recipes that have reduced salt, fat and sugar, but as many spices have profound health benefits, finding ways to use more spice, no matter how you do that, is a step in a healthy direction.

 

Here's how I make a couple of my favorites spice blends:

 

Gomasio (Sesame Salt)

By mixing sea salt with other ingredients, the use of this highly adaptable spice mix can help you reduce added salt content while boosting other nutrients in your homemade food. I sprinkle this tasty spice mix over poached eggs, noodle bowls, homemade sushi and other rice dishes. 

 

I don’t grind my sesame seeds, nor have I found it necessary to roast them at home, as many chefs do. I just buy roasted ones. Usually for my gomasio I mix in dried nettle and motherwort leaves, but those choices are particular to our health goals and dietary needs. You can use just about any spice you like. I trust you’ll find your own taste preferences. Here's a couple of recipes to get you started: Mountain Rose herbs: http://mountainroseblog.com/herbal-gomasio/ and Fanatic Cook: http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2005/01/gomasio-sesame-salt.html

 

Turmeric Milk Spice

Most people mix this wonderful blend with a cup of warm milk. We put it in both hot and cold oatmeal, over yogurt and in tea. I mix together turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, cardamom, grated nutmeg, cayenne and ground vanilla bean to taste. A quick Internet search for turmeric milk will get you a ton of proper recipes that you could follow. I’ll leave it to you to research the benefits of the various spices, but know this: turmeric milk spice is highly regarded by herbalists as a cancer-fighting immune booster.

 

Dandy Spice

And if you are into wild foods, why not mess around with a foraged dandelion blend? I mix spring dandelion leaves with wild onion (both foraged, dried and crumbled), with celery seed and powdered ginger. This is a favorite seasoning of mine for use in fermented broccoli slaw, on baked fish, in scrambled eggs, atop homemade pizza.

 

Having these and other healthy spice blends on hand has helped me take our diet to the next level.

 

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Consume more fresh food. I think of it this way: buy ingredients (raw produce) rather than meals (packaged fare).

 

WebMD on The Benefits of Healthy Whole Foods:


What's the difference between whole foods and processed foods?

 

"We live in a society that eats so much processed and manufactured food, that I think there's some genuine confusion about what qualifies as a whole food," says Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Even for the health conscious, the phrase gets tangled up with other terms. Whole foods might be organic, or locally grown, or pesticide-free. But they aren't necessarily. The definition of healthy whole foods is much simpler.

 

"When you eat whole foods, you're getting the food in its natural state," Gidus tells WebMD. "You're getting it intact, with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food." Basically, it's the healthy whole food, rather than the bits that remain after refinement and processing. It's the difference between an apple and apple juice ...

 

Read the rest: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-healthy-whole-foods#1

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Learn to Cook Light

 

There are many ways to lighten up a favorite or traditional dish.

 

Here's one of my favorites: for non-savory baked goods like muffins and cakes, substitute unsweetened applesauce  or pearsauce volume for volume for oil. If the recipe calls for 1/2  cup of oil, mix in 1/2 a cup of unsweetened apple or pear sauce. 

 

For more tips on tasty ways to lighten up your meals, visit Cooking Light's recipe makover secrets page: http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/recipe-makeovers/lighten-up-secrets-revealed

 

For additional kitchen tips and tricks visit the Cooking Light Simmer and Boil tips blog: http://simmerandboil.cookinglight.com/category/tips-tricks-shortcuts/

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Guard Your Diet While Away From Home

 

We recently attended a catered project meeting. Expecting typical deep fried, high fat brewpub fare, (read: stuff not on our diet) we ate a piece of fruit and drank 8 ounces of water beforehand. This way we were not hungry and didn't give into temptation. 

 

Then we went out to a healthy dinner. 🙂 (Date night is also healthy!)

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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DH is a noodle lover. He's also from a family of diabetics. (Mind you, he isn't even yet in pre-diabetes, but I aim to keep him that way.) Sooooooo ... I have a problem, don't I?

 

Here's how I give him his noodle fix, but am careful to make those meals more healthful and nutritious.

 

I shop Asian groceries for these non-wheat noodles: mung bean, sorgum, millet, buckwheat. And Trader Joes for other non-wheat noodles including: black bean, spelt, quinoa.

 

Spaghetti squash. I'll put baked squash 'noodles' under pasta sauce under goat cheese and walnuts. He inhales.

 

For a traditional pasta dish I'll mix whole wheat noodles with semolina noodles, (cooking separately, as the varieties cook differently) which boosts fiber content and reduces the starch content of the dish. 

 

And of course, all of these meals are created with plenty of fresh vegetables and are part of our active, healthy lifestyle.

 

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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Take a Driver Safety Course. I did this last year and learned a number of things about driving defensively as we age. I also will save on my auto insurance for the next few years. Now I'm trying to get DH to complete the course. 

 

AARP has an inexpensive, easy-to-complete online course. None of these great health tips on this thread will be worth a darned if you end up a traffic statistic.

 

To learn more about the AARP Driver Safety course, click on this link: http://aarpdriversafety.org

 

AARP Driving Course.pngRefresh you driving skills.png

 

 

For more information, see this Help Guide article: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/aging-well/age-and-driving-safety-tips.htm

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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  • One of the best things you can do as you age is walk for exercise everyday.  Five years ago when I was 65 I lost 44 lbs walking and it was the best thing I've ever done for myself.  I try for 10,000 steps a day.  I work two days a week also.  Keep busy.  Until recently my 72 yr old husband was volunteering 3-5 days a week and was averaging about 10 miles a day walking.  We try to eat at home more also.  And do not isolate yourself.  Keep in touch with friends and family.  And take your medications!
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We do not use chemical air fresheners. Not the spray kind. Not the plug-in kind and not the kind you put behind the couch and forget, either. Artificial aroma agents have been linked to lung problems. (Web MD: http://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20060727/air-fresheners-linked-to-lung-damage) And some say they cause cancer (Maria Rodale's Huff Po piece on the subject: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maria-rodale/five-mustknows-on-the-dan_b_4737654.html).

 

Given that inside air is usually more polluted than outside air (especially this time of year), how do we keep our home smelling fresh?

 

I put orange peels and a stick of cinnamon or a few cardamom pods in a pot on the stove and let it simmer. Sometimes I'll add a few drops of lemon grass oil to the mix.

 

And we let the master bedroom's bathroom vent run for a couple hours a day.

 

In addition, I use a weak vinegar water to wipe down surfaces. Vinegar is non-toxic to humans, kills 99% of all germs on contact, and it helps freshen the air.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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".....In addition, I use a weak vinegar water to wipe down surfaces. Vinegar is non-toxic to humans, kills 99% of all germs on contact, and it helps freshen the air....".

 

Copy that!. However, we don't use it 'weak'. I get the cleaning vinegar (6% rather than 5% acid), and use it straight, undiluted. And because it is an anti-bacterial, once we've cleaned a surface with it, we re-spray and let it dry untouched.  It's inexpensive too. Purchase it by the gallon and put into a spray bottle.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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@retiredtraveler wrote:

".....In addition, I use a weak vinegar water to wipe down surfaces. Vinegar is non-toxic to humans, kills 99% of all germs on contact, and it helps freshen the air....".

 

Copy that!. However, we don't use it 'weak'. I get the cleaning vinegar (6% rather than 5% acid), and use it straight, undiluted. And because it is an anti-bacterial, once we've cleaned a surface with it, we re-spray and let it dry untouched.  It's inexpensive too. Purchase it by the gallon and put into a spray bottle.


You know what? I'm a-scared to go full power vinegar on our hardwood floors or this eclectic mix of Mission and Amish furniture, as it can strip the finish. So I just mix up a 2 gallon bucket of water with a half cup of vinegar in it and go to town without a care.

 

Vinegar is good stuff, though: I use it to disinfect the hen house, in the laundry room, mixed with baking soda to clear clogged pipes, mixed with salt to clean copper, and sometimes to wage war with a fox that wants to mark the house as its property (he marks the house, I splash vinegar over the scent; repeat, but elsewhere). And of course, I make gallons of various herbed vinegar for culinary use. (A wee bit makes scrambled eggs extra fluffy, for instance.)

 

🙂

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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The old cliched, tried and true, diet and exercise.  Keeping active, yoga, finding a hobby or job that you truly enjoy. I have one rule now. When I worked I had to deal with people that were not always nice, a lot of gossip and jealousy, was not always nice myself. My rule now is, I did not come here to listen to gossip, to be put down or to put others down, I came to help and enjoy. If I no longer enjoy or cannot be of service in some way then I leave and find something new to do.

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@pb40374959 wrote:

The old cliched, tried and true, diet and exercise.  Keeping active, yoga, finding a hobby or job that you truly enjoy. I have one rule now. When I worked I had to deal with people that were not always nice, a lot of gossip and jealousy, was not always nice myself. My rule now is, I did not come here to listen to gossip, to be put down or to put others down, I came to help and enjoy. If I no longer enjoy or cannot be of service in some way then I leave and find something new to do.

 


@pb40374959 Let's hear it for knowing gossip is poison! (Kin to comparison, that poison, sez me) Yay you! 🙂

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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I am new to this community and it seems not too many people are visiting . I just want to say that having given up ALL dairy products, and using Almond or Coconut in it's place has lessened my congestion of my respiratory system. When I cheat and eat ice cream I suffer later.
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Thank you for the respiratory info I have that problem I am lactose intolerant but I buy lactose free dairy I thought about Almond milk but hesitate to try it I will now Blessings and peace to you also
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Thanks for the Kudos. Each day is a journey to better health for me. I live in Alaska, so there is limited sunshine here. It's summer here and for the first time in my 6 years here, it feels like fall~~fall with high pollen alerts. I also have COPD; allergies so I stay in when it's like this. It's 48 and feels like 46. Has been raining since last Tuesday.  So I walk the halls of my apartment, if I feel up to it just to get movement going. I go to the Gym twice a week. I'm determined to not take insulin. I'm 65 years young , and still moving forward. I just graduated college for Healthcare Administration May 1st.  Not ready to sit in a rocking chair yet!   😉

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@dw17543009 - Welcome to "Online Community"! I gave up dairy about 8 months ago, as well as breads/grains, and sweeteners. Maybe I'll have plain yogurt once every 2 or 3 weeks, and coffee w/cream that infrequently as well.


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Quickie today: Get fresh milk delivery from a local dairy (hopefully organic or transitional). The milk is fresher (ours is less than 24 hours old when delivered), has been handled less and therefore has more nutrients than store bought, as vitamin D is easily damaged by light exposure.

 

In addition, buying from a local dairy contributes to another kind of health: that being the health of your local economy.

 

 

"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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