Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure

pexels-photo-905485.jpegLifestyle factors such as stress, diet, and lack of exercise can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure, but it could also be in your genes. Here are 4 natural remedies that can help.

  • Hibiscus tea has been used to lower blood pressure for decades. Researchers found that after 12 days of drinking this tea, it reduced systolic (top number) by an average of 11.7% and diastolic pressure by 10.7%.
  • Magnesium Threonate. The mineral form of this vitamin leaves your gut and gets into the bloodstream faster and is easily absorbed to lower blood pressure.
  • Garlic cloves and garlic supplements have been proven to lower blood pressure and is rich in antioxidants.
  • Beets and its juice also has been proven to lower blood pressure.

Is Coconut Really Good for You?

20180109_134841 coconutWe hear all the buzz about coconut and gluten- free diets, but are they really good for you? Coconut flour is a light tan color with a fine, airy consistency. After the oil and water are pressed out of the coconut, its dried white meat is ground into powdery flour. Since it’s made completely from the coconut, it’s considered hypoallergenic and gluten-free.  It’s high in fiber, protein, and a healthy saturated fat that supports a healthy metabolism and balances out blood sugars. So the answer is yes.

The problem  baking with coconut flour though is because of its high fiber content it becomes absorbent, which means your final product is dry. Who wants to eat dry muffins or cookies? Add an egg for every ounce of coconut flour used and it will solve that problem, but all those eggs  don’t help  people with cholesterol issues.

Coconut flour can be used in other things for a quick pick-me-up, such as a tablespoon of it inside your morning smoothie or in some cocoa. It gives you a boost of protein and fiber.  So weigh the pros and cons and see if coconut is right for you.


The Shocking Reasons Behind The Opioid Epidemic

According to the CDC, 91 people die everyday from opioid overdose. Deaths have increased since 2010. The root cause is debatable, yet since 1999, 400% in opioid prescriptions have increased.

In 1995, the Purdue Pharmaceutical Company released the drug, OxyContin. It’s an extended release oxycodone formulation branded for treatment of chronic non-cancerous pain. From 1996-2002, Purdue contributed to a large campaign to encourage chronic use of opioid prescriptions for pain. Not only that, but they asked doctors and nurses to include pain as another vital sign. Purdue financially supported the American Pain Society and other groups. They supported the message that long-term opioid use for pain was safe. In patient’s best interests, OxyContin became the best selling painkiller prescribed in the country.

Opioids are known for their analgesic ( pain ), sedative, and euphoric effects. They were originally derived from the poppy flower. Natural and synthetic opioids have since been formulated. Natural occurring opioids are Morphine and Codeine. Semi-synthetic opioids are Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Heroin, and Hydromorphine. Synthetic opioids are Fentanyl, Methadone, and Tapentadyl. The CDC names Oxycodone, OxyContin, and Hydrocodone as the top prescription opioids implicated in overdosed deaths.

Since 2007, IV Heroin usage increased over other drugs of abuse. The DEA reported 200% increase of Heroin overdosed deaths from 2000-2014. Since 2013, overdoses involving Fentanyl has affected the opioid crisis in North America. Fentanyl is used as an anesthetic as well as an analgesic in the medical field. It is the most potent opioid narcotic available. It is 50-100 times more potent than Morphine. The problem is the non-pharmaceutical Fentanyl is being manufactured illegally overseas, primarily China, and trafficked to the US, Mexico, and Canada. This powder is mixed with heroin and made into pills that looks identical to the common prescribed opioid medications. The high potency is equivalent to a few grains of salt. The short term effects are respiratory depression and decreased levels of responsiveness that leads to overdosed deaths.

When using opioids, the reward center in the brain is stimulated. Once individual moves beyond the early stages of pleasure and reward seeking, a more complicated neuro-biological process takes over. The more exposed to the drug, the more the drug is needed to achieve the same affect. Once individual acquires escalating doses of opioids to achieve pleasure and analgesic affects, the person has developed a tolerance. Tolerance results when the receptors in the brain cells become less responsive to opioid stimulation. Opioid dependence occurs when the body has adapted to presence of drugs and will suffer physical symptoms  in drug’s absence. They will suffer withdrawal symptoms if drug stopped suddenly. The withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, jitteriness, dilation of pupils, muscle cramps, insomnia, GI upset, and Tachycardia.

It is important in this opioid epidemic to decrease the access and exposure to the opioid drugs.

Bright Red Sun

I woke up this morning to the smell of a fire. The sun was bright red and the air smoky. Ashes covered my deck. As I looked around, ashes were falling from the sky. I turned on the news and found out 410 hwy. was closed because of firefighters containing a fire at Crystal Mountain area. There was already a forest fire in Cle Elum. The wind carried the smoke and ash over the mountains and into Auburn and surrounding areas.

This has been the driest summer Washington has ever had.

Bring On The Good Skin

There are several good food choices to help retain healthy skin. Here are a few:

  • Avocados: They have healthy fats that lock in moisture and strengthen skin cell membranes
  • Beets: They support healthy liver function which contributes to glowing skin
  • Berries: The skin of the berries have anthocyanins in them which strengthens skin elasticity.  They are also a good source of antioxidants.
  • Leafy greens and spinach: They help heal skin and support collagen production. They have Vitamins A and C in them also.
  • Lemons: They cleanse and balance the body’s pH. They are a good source of Vitamin C.
  • Sweet potatoes: They help repair and smooth your complexion.
  • Salmon: They help protect skin from UV damage and are a good source of protein which aides in healing.

Some spices also help with good skin. Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidants. This helps with healing and anti-aging. Cinnamon helps moderate blood sugar spikes caused by sweet foods. It also is an anti-inflammatory which helps in healing. Also drink plenty of water to retain healthy skin. With summer upon us, slab on that sunscreen. Too much sun can lead to skin cancer and wrinkles.

The Balance Act of Stress and Diabetes

Stress can sabotage the best efforts at controlling blood sugar. When we are stressed, the body releases higher levels of the hormone, cortisol. This hormone together with adrenaline places the body in a fight or flight mood. This creates a dominos effect by increasing the concentration of glucose which interferes with the activity of insulin, leads to higher levels of A1C, and increases the risk of complications. When cortisol rises, it damages brain neurons associated with mood. It’s no wonder that people with diabetes suffer from depression 3-5 times more than the average person. Brain cells can regrow if the cortisol levels are decreased. However, if those levels stay at a constant high due to stress, medical problems will happen.

When people are stressed, they will reach for comfort foods. Those high-carb foods are the worst thing a diabetic can eat.  It is a daily juggling act to decide what they can or can’t eat. Diabetes is  challenging because it requires attention and discipline. So what can a person do?

  • Find out the cause of your stress. If it’s your job, you need to decide if it’s worth staying there or move on. If you can’t leave, take a time out.
  • Find reasons to laugh. Humor is a great reducer of stress and it lowers your cortisol. Go to a comedy club or watch a funny movie.
  • Working out helps the body burn up excess cortisol produced by stress.
  • Meditate. Focus on a picture in your mind of something peaceful.
  • Concentrate on your breathing, slow and easy, in and out for a few minutes.
  • Stretch or go for a walk.
  • Find a nutritionist to help you plan a balanced diet. Some people are overwhelmed with a diagnosis of Diabetes and have a hard time with planning meals.
  • Seek help for depression if you find yourself lacking interest in things you once enjoyed.
  • Contact the local Diabetes Association for help and questions.
  • Talk with friends or family. Sometimes just talking about the stressors in your life with someone releases the burden.

Stress-reducing techniques can lower your cortisol levels and stabilize your insulin thus reducing the risk of complications with Diabetes. Also you will feel better.


Who knew those women libbers that burned their bras years ago had the right idea all along? According to medical anthropologists, Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, a bra-covered breast can actually cause cysts, pain, cancer, as well as lead to stretched-out, droopy breasts. Perhaps your mother, like my own, preached the importance of wearing a bra to prevent sagginess. Wrong! A fifteen year study, done in France, concluded that eliminating the bra doesn’t promote sagginess of the breast. In fact, bras constrict the natural lymph fluid from flowing much like a rubber band cuts off the circulation. Backed-up fluid results in pain and cysts. Stagnant lymph fluid, not flushed away, concentrates waste products and toxins in the breasts. THIS can lead to cancer! So what are you waiting for ladies? Toss the bra.

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