Or just stressed and pulling your hair out?

A new study from UC San Francisco is the first to show that while the impact of life’s stressors accumulate overtime and accelerate cellular aging, these negative effects may be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping well.

“The study participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere (the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age) shortening than the ones who didn’t maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress,” said lead author Eli Puterman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF. “It’s very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss.”

Shorter telomeres have become associated with a broad range of aging-related diseases, including stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis diabetes, and many forms of cancer.

“This is the first study that supports the idea, at least observationally, that stressful events can accelerate immune cell aging in adults, even in the short period of one year. Exciting, though, is that these results further suggest that keeping active, and eating and sleeping well during periods of high stress are particularly important to attenuate the accelerated aging of our immune cells,” said Puterman.


What’s A Little Spare Tire or Two…


Obesity is a global health concern. In the US, more than 69% of adults aged 20 years or over are overweight or obese. Similar numbers are found in the UK, where around 62% of individuals aged 16 or over are overweight or obese.

It is well known that being overweight can increase the risk of potentially serious health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Past research has also shown that overweight and obesity can increase the risk of cancer.

Last year an eight analysis was completed. Results of the analysis revealed that 166,955 participants developed one of the 22 cancers during the 7.5-year follow-up. The researchers found that BMI (Body Mass Index) was linked to the development of 17 out of these 22 cancers, and the link was particularly strong for 10 of these cancers.

Every 5 kg/m2 increase in BMI was associated with a higher risk of the following cancers:

Womb/Uterine (62% increased risk)
Gallbladder (31% increased risk)
Kidney (25% increased risk)
Liver (19% increased risk)
Cervical (10% increased risk)
Colon (10% increased risk)
Ovarian (9% increased risk)
Thyroid (9% increased risk)
Leukemia (9% increased risk)
Breast (5% increased risk)

A 1 kg/m2 increase in average BMI (the equivalent to 8-10 pounds per adult) across the country’s population – which occurs around every 12 years based on current trends – may cause an additional 3,790 cases of the 10 cancers every year.







Effective Parent “Police Training”


School is back in session and that brings new friendships, new activities, new homework, and new challenges to your child. Here’s some Parenting 101 tips to help you keep communicating with your child and still keep tabs on them without them feeling like they are under a microscope.

1.  Pay thoughtful attention.  Most young kids love to share how their day went.  If you cultivate this propensity at a young age, your child is much more likely to tell you what’s happening with them when they are more reserved teenagers.  Give your child you complete attention; turn off the TV, put the cell phone down, stop what you’re doing and focus on them.

2. Ask open ended questions. If you ask a YES or NO question, all you’ll get is a yes or no answer.  Ask questions that can’t be answered without some sort of 5 or 6 worded sentence.

3. Prioritize time with your child.  They have been gone for 6 or more hours and you may have been gone even longer with your job.  Make time each day just for them; not minutes but an hour or more. Be sure that they recognize that this is their time with you and nothing is more important to you then being with them.

4. Build on trust. Kids are smart.  They learn really fast whether or not they can trust you.  If you tell them you will do something, do it! No excuses!  If they know you can be trusted, they will be more open in telling you what is happening in their lives.

5.  Build relationships with the people that matter in your child’s life.  When your child is in school, their teachers will know more about their day to day life than you may know.  Get to know those teachers.  They will be a great resource in helping you ensure that your child is safe, learning well, and progressing in school.

With Dad in the Backyard

6. Remember  respect is mutual.  If you want respect, you must give respect.  Don’t badger your child. Give them time to think and respond.  Let them confront issues first before you offer to step in and help.  Let them voice their opinion and don’t try to lead or teach by force.  respect will go a long way towards creating a mutually loving and happy relationship.

7. Don’t take it personally.  When you’re working through something, you don’t always want to hold a conversation about it.  Your child may respond the same way. Don’t push for conversation if your child prefers to remain deep in thought.  Don’t take offense at the slammed door if your child is upset and just needs to cool off before coming to you. Give your child enough space to work out their own issues and still assure them that you are there to help and support them.

8. Say your sorry.  Parents screw up too.  more often than we like.  Be quick to apologize to your child when you don’t get it right.  Not only will you teach your child to be responsible for their own actions , but you will build on their trust and strengthen communication skills.

9. Know when to step in.  While most issues can be handled by your child, some cannot.  Watch for warning signs; sudden changes in your child’s behavior, emotional swings that seem abnormal, bruising, anger issues.  These could be signs of bullying, issues at school, or medical conditions that will need a physician’s attention.  Be attentive and watchful and step in and protect your child. No one else will.

10.  Remember you’re the parent first and the friend second.  Children need parental security while they are still young and under your roof.  Be sure they know that while you hope to have an open relationship with them, you are still their parent and as such, you will discipline them, give them boundaries and guidelines, and protect them from harm.  They will thank you for the security you provide even if they chaff at what they might see as restrictive.

Keep Those Bugs At Bay


With school back in session and cooler weather around the corner, you can expect to see more cold and flu viruses showing up; maybe even coming to your home.  I found a fun way to keep those nasty bugs away and please my family (particularly my kids) as well.

A blend of wild orange clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils is a natural immune booster.  The combination of oils strengthens the body’s immune system and helps ward off viruses.

So here’s how I keep my home germ-free and my family free from colds and flu bugs.  We eat POPCORN!

onguard popcorn

Immune Support Popcorn

1 cup of un-popped popcorn kernels

1/8 to 1/4 cup of butter

1/8 to 1/4 cup of pure maple syrup

4-5 drops of immune booster blend

2 drops of cinnamon

While popcorn is popping (preferably in a air popper), melt the butter and then add the syrup and oils. Pour the butter mixture over the popcorn, then shake some salt and ground cinnamon powder over the mixture, adding nuts as an option. Serve.

This is a great way for your family to ingest some of the oil so they get even more illness prevention protection!

Here’s another option.

Chex Mix Immune Support Popcorn

4 cups Chex cereal
4 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup nuts ( I like almonds)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
10 drops Immune support oil blend
8 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil.

Mix together the cereal, popcorn and nuts.  Add the essential oil to the melted butter. Pour butter mixture over the popcorn mix. Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Pour over the popcorn mix. Stir together. Microwave for 1 minute and stir again.  

You need to serve it immediately as it gets a little soggy if it sits.


Strawberry Chocolate Popcorn

1 large bowl full of organic popcorn- popped

1/2-1/2 cup coconut oil

1/4-1/2 cup real maple syrup

8 drops wild orange essential oil/p>

4 drops immune support oil blend

1 cup of organic freeze dried strawberries, ground to a powder

1 cup unsweetened coconut

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup chia seeds

sea salt to taste

Pop the popcorn and pour into a large bowl. Heat the coconut oil and blend in the maple syrup until combined. Add the essential oils. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients together and pour coconut oil mixture over the top and stir. Season with salt to taste.


Are You Losing Your Mind?


In the first large, population-based study of its kind, a team of researchers has found a link between vitamin D consumption and the risk of developing dementia. Older people who do not get enough vitamin D could double their risk of developing the condition. Similarly, younger people who do not consume enough vitamin D increase their risks of developing dementia later on.

Vitamin D is important for the body’s immune function, growth and repair of bones, and normal calcium and phosphorus absorption. It can be obtained from fish, milk, eggs and cheese. oily-fish

Dementia is a collective term used to describe the problems that people with various underlying brain disorders can have with their memory, language and thinking. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia.

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is believed to currently affect 5.3 million Americans. It is most common in people aged over 65, in which a tenth of the population has the condition, but has been known to afflict individuals as young as 40 years of age.

The authors of the study, published in Neurology, state that low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are high rates of vitamin D deficiency in older adults – the group most at risk from developing dementia.

The CDC report that one third of the US population do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, with 8% of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure and foods such as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.

The study could provide a good starting point for this area of research. “Our findings are very encouraging and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.” New deitary guidelines are supporting eating vitamin D rich foods once a day and oily fish a minimum of once a week.



The Eyes Have It


Your eyes are not only the window to your soul, they are also an indication of how healthy you are. Here are some signs to watch for and what your eyes might be trying to tell you.

1. Bumps above the eye lid and along the brow are and indication that you have high cholesterol. The bumps are fatty tissue called xanthelasma palbebrarum.

2. Spot damage to the retina may indicate diabetes.

3. If your vision is doubled or blurry without reason, you may be developing myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder characterized my muscle weakness.

4. Different sized pupils may indicate brain trauma. This could mean an aneurysm, migraine, tumor, meningitis, or swelling on the brain.

5. Headaches coupled by vision issues may be an indicator of high blood pressure.

6. Yellowing of the whites of the eye indicate jaundice or other liver issues.

7. Red, irritated eyes that appear to bulge are a sign of Grave’s disease, an autoimmune thyroid disorder.

Keep on top of your health by checking your eyes weekly. After all, they will show some of the first signs of illness and it makes sense to look yourself in the eye when you look in the mirror.