Monday, January 30, 2012

A Re-Mick's in the Fog

(First posted October 11, 2011)

Have you felt like you’re not as sharp as you used to be? Do you feel fatigued? Are you wondering why you’re in slow-motion, while the world is moving faster than ever?

You might be dealing with Brain Fog.

Some of the symptoms of Brain Fog are (Brain Fog is Real and is a Common Symptom - by Lisa Cruz):
  • Lack of focusIn a Fog...
  • Forgetfulness
  • Loss of mental acuity
  • Decreased mental stamina
  • Decrease in creativity
  • Confusion
  • Lack of spatial awareness
  • Absentmindedness or spaciness
  • Decreased attention span
  • Decreased short term memory
  • Difficulty finding words

What can cause it?

Dr. Lawrence Wilson defines Brain Fog as “feelings of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity.” (BRAIN FOG by Lawrence Wilson, MD) He goes on to say nutrition and lifestyle are the beginning of the solution to the problem of Brain Fog, which has many causes.

Toxicity is one of the main causes. We are bombarded by toxins every day, everywhere we turn. Heavy metal toxicity not only causes Brain Fog, but it can also produce other chronic conditions such as Autism, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Multiple Sclerosis, and a host of other serious disorders.

What can you do about it?

Getting regular chiropractic care to keep the signal passages clear from the brain to the rest of the body… getting exercise to increase oxygen… getting the right nutrients in your body… and getting away from toxins as much as possible… if all working together, will help to clear up brain fog. (Again, it’s the simple lifestyle of incorporating the idea of 5 Essentials for healthy living.)

The way my family has decided to deal with toxins in the body is with a product called Daily Detox. I am not advertising. I don’t get any kick-backs by telling you about it. There are other products out there, and maybe there are even some very similar to it, but I’m just letting you know what I found out about this one. It’s not a periodic cleanse. It’s not a fad. It’s not a fast. The product has recently changed a little bit, with the inclusion of a new manufacturer, however the idea of it is that it includes a vitamin B complex and a glutathione enhancer (the most powerful antioxidant naturally produced in the body) to give your body’s natural detoxing system a boost (using such ingredients as milk thistle). With this detox system, the toxins are drawn from the cells… and as a side note, proper nutrition allows for healthy cell walls to have a more efficient process of getting bad things out and good things in. So it’s a cleanse at the cellular level. It also has activated carbon, which acts as a magnet, drawing toxins to it. Then, since the body cannot process it, the carbon and the toxins are totally eliminated from the body.
When toxins are eliminated, your body can start to heal, and your thinking can become clearer.

100B1030Depending on the toxicity and acidity levels of the body, the healing process will happen at different rates for different people. It’s a process, so be patient. If you’re really serious about healing, be sure to improve everything together: attitude, nutrition, exercise, spine/nerve system care, while working on decreasing toxicity.

I’ve seen it happen! I’ve witnessed Brain Fog clear up! It is possible! My husband can testify to it!

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The fog can lift!

“Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober,
set your hope on the grace to be brought to you
when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.”
1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mick’s up Sodas

You’ve probably heard  by now the news about Pepsi commenting on their Mountain Dew law suitKind of gross, isn’t it?  It would be bad enough to imagine a mouse was in the batch, but I think it’s even worse to hear the company admit a mouse carcass would not survive in the liquid.  If the soda can do that to something inside it, imagine what it’s doing inside us!  Besides that, did you read the article that tells us a fire retardant is in the ingredients list?

I’m not even going to get into the diet vs. regular argument.  There are some nasty stats I can share on that alone, but the point of this post is that soda in general should be avoided.

Don’t get me wrong.  I used to LOVE soda and drink it ALL the time.  In fact, if I’m around soda, it’s still a temptation for me.  My husband, being a computer programmer, used to run on Mountain Dew and Twizzlers as his fuel.  Thankfully, we both wised up.  Then information like this comes out that reminds us why we decided to seriously give up soda. 

Besides, we want our bodies to be less acidic, if we want long, healthy living, right?  If so, soda is certainly not the beverage we should be consuming.

I can understand the desire to drink a soda now and then, especially on your splurge nights, like maybe Friday pizza nights.  However, if you choose, like we do sometimes, to have a healthier pizza night, or just need that fizz of soda on an ordinary day, there are alternatives.  In my Mick’s up with the Sweeteners, I mention a soda sweetened with stevia, which I am finding in more and more grocery stores now.

Another idea is to make your own soda at home!  We’ve had fun doing that with our soda maker we have left over from our coffee shop ownership days.  There is also the Sodastream Penguin Starter Kit .  For our house, we choose to find healthy fruit juice or mix up juice from freshly squeezed lemons and limes.  This way, we get the fizz and yummy flavors without the sugar and other gross ingredients that would harm our bodies.  We still have lots more Make your own soda!experimenting to do, so if you have any ideas, please leave them in a comment here, or write on the Mick’s up facebook wall.

Thanks for dropping by!

Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do…
Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.’
But God said to him, ‘You fool!’


Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Mick’s up with Aha!

Have you ever read something that you have come away from saying, “Aha!  So THAT’s why!”?  That just happened to me today.  I’m so glad a friend shared on his Facebook a link to the article How to Starve Cancer Out of Your Body - Avoid These Top 4 Cancer-Feeding Foods.

As I read through the article, I had several “Aha!” moments.  Now I can better explain why we do what we do to be a healthier family, as well as why I believe what I believe about doing or not doing certain things for the sake of avoiding cancer and other serious diseases.

As I mentioned in It's a Mick's up With Cancer Information, I don’t like the idea of women getting mammograms.  Focusing on breast cancer, the article I read today gives some good reasoning behind that, as well as some alternatives.  Dr. Horner states, “Everything has its pros and cons… [M]ammography produces radiation, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer.  It's like, ‘Why are you doing the test to look at a disease when it's actually causing the disease, too?’”

When I read, Vitamin D cuts your (cancer) risks in halfTurmeric and anti-inflammatories cut your risk in half,” I thought to myself, “Aha!  I’m so glad my family and I are keeping up with taking our Vitamin D3 and our EFA (Omega)!  I can hope that this means our kidderz won’t have to watch us suffer from cancer, nor experience suffering themselves,” especially when reading, “Healthy fats of particular importance for cancer prevention are omega-3 and omega-9.  According to Dr. Horner, omega-3 in particular serve to effectively slow down tumor growth in estrogen-sensitive cancers such as breast-, prostate- and colon cancers.”  Aha!  Yes, again, aha!  Our major avoidance of bad fats is rationalized!  Woohoo!  We really ARE reading these labels for a good reason.

The next “aha!” was regarding grass-fed meatWhy am I so picky about my family eating the right kind of meats?  Some days I get doubting this myself, and I start asking that question.  Articles, such as this, put it in perspective again.  We get inflammation issues and cancer risks with the wrong meat.  Meats from confined animal feeding operations (CAFO's) “are given antibiotics, growth hormones and other veterinary drugs that get stored in their tissues.  Additionally, cooking the meat over high heat creates heterocyclic amines, which further add to its carcinogenic effect.” 

Then, if I get thinking about what hormones in foods are doing to children in regard to way-too-early development, I wonder, “So, what is the bad result of this, other than being abnormal and frustrating?”  Articles like this help to answer this and other questions:  Bodies end up getting more “estradiol, which is the strongest, most abundant form of estrogen, and the one that's most associated with breast cancer.”  Plus: “cells become really sensitive to environmental toxins, radiation, and so forth.  They're considered immature.  They haven't differentiated– as a more scientific term for it– so there's a longer period of time that they're exposed to these toxins where they have a greater sensitivity.”  Whether or not it makes sense or can be easily understood, all I know for sure is that I want to give my kidderz the best chance of living with healthy cells and bodies to fight off any risk of cancer.  It’s not fair to do otherwise. Is it? If you have the knowledge, but choose to ignore it and continue to put your loved ones in danger, is that really love?

With that in mind, let’s talk sugar.  Since the start of our “no sugar” kick, I get extremely excited to see or hear someone else with the same opinion about sugar and other inflammatories.  Dr. Horner refers to them as “cancer-promoters” and explains that this includes ALL forms of sugar, including fructose and grains.  “To me, sugar has no redeeming value at all, because they found that the more we consume it, the more we're fuelling every single chronic disease,” Dr. Horner says. 

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Cut out the sugars!!

Dr. Horner continues, “In fact, there was a study done about a year ago… and the conclusion was that sugar is a universal mechanism for chronic disease.  It kicks up inflammation.  It kicks up oxygen free radicals.  Those are the two main processes we see that underlie any single chronic disorder, including cancers.  It fuels the growth of breast cancers, because glucose is cancer's favorite food.  The more you consume, the faster it grows.” Enough said?!

So, what is good to eat? 

Do you have a sister, dad, husband, kidderz (or even yourself) who do not like to eat “rabbit food?”  Are you needing some “ammo” to convince them of the importance of eating greens?  Well, here’s an “aha!” for you.  Dr. Horner describes plants by saying, “some of them behave exactly like chemotherapyEvery plant has some anti-cancer properties to them. There are some that are standouts.  Cruciferous vegetables are something that I really recommend.  They're a family of vegetables that include broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts… All of them have several different chemicals in common.  They've got indole-3-carbinol, Calcium D-glucarate, and sulforaphane.  They have big anti-cancer properties to them, and they inhibit the growth of breast, prostate, colon cancer and a variety of other ones.  Of all the families of vegetables to consume, [cruciferous vegetables] are the ones to be aware of, so you can make sure you're including that in your diet frequently.

I use flax seed at times, but never seem to remember why.  Dr. Horner helps by saying, “The lignans in flax seed inhibit the growth of cancer in about a dozen different ways, including the exact same mechanism as the anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen and Arimidex, which shut down an enzyme in fat cells called aromatase that converts androgens into estrogens.” Aha!  We’ll be adding more flax seed to our recipes, for sure!

My husband tries to get proper sleep, but when he slips up, I try to explain to him how important it is.  Dr. Horner does a much better job at it:  “If we, for instance, go to bed by 10, we have higher levels of our sleep hormone melatonin; there's a spike that occurs between midnight and 1am, which you don't want to miss because the consequences are absolutely spectacular.  Melatonin is not only our sleep hormone, but it also is a very powerful antioxidant.  It decreases the amount of estrogen our body produces.  It also boosts your immune system… And it interacts with the other hormones.  So, if you go to bed after 10… it significantly increases your risk of breast cancer.”  Aha!  (Well, I like to think it doesn’t stop at breast cancer.)  Any cancer in general is a good enough reason, not to mention all the other benefits… but definitely assisting the immune system is something we all need.

Moving on to things other than food, we’ll look at stress.  We cannot stop traumatic events from happening in life, but it is interesting and insightful to read that when you experience stress like that, “your risk of breast cancer is 12 times higher in the ensuing five years.”  That’s more like an “ugh!” than an “aha!”

The final “aha!” is exercise.  It has some good defense, too! “One of the primary ways exercise lowers your risk for cancer is by reducing elevated insulin levels, which creates a low sugar environment that discourages the growth and spread of cancer cells.  Additionally, exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood.  Your immune system is your first line of defense against everything from minor illnesses like a cold right up to devastating, life-threatening diseases like cancer.”

So, just like it’s nice to know why you’re right in telling your kidderz to wear a helmet when they ride their bikes, it’s nice to know why you’re right in creating healthier habits.  Go with your gut!  You know healthier is better. 

I’ll leave you with an Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.even better “aha!” than all the above “ahas!” combined:

Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for you.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mick’s up in a Mutiny

Mick’s up Life’s twitter profile states, “Living life as a healthy family can sometimes seem mixed up.”  I say that out of experience.  For example, this week seems a little mixed up.  I think the kidderz are on the verge of declaring mutiny.  It’s a conspiracyHelp!!!
Arrrgh, Matey!
We've had all we can take of them there vittles!

OK.  OK.  It’s not that bad.  It’s just that I am a person who likes routine and patterns.  (A college roommate even told me I’m predictable.  At the time, I found it offensive.  Now, I just accept it, even if it is a quirk.)

My advice, when changing to a healthier lifestyle, is to keep it simple.  That was some of the best advice I received at the beginning.  The problem with it is that the source of the advice doesn’t have children, and is comfortable with monotony, like me.

The kidderz are showing me the need for more than routine.

Simple is good, but remember to mix it up!

I’m telling myself this, too.  My kidderz are at the point where they need a little more variety.  So, this week I’ve had fun revisiting some yummy recipes I almost forgot about.

What are those yummy recipes?

Well, so far this week, we had Gluten-free Fluffy pancakes and Apple-Berry Crisp with Cinnamon-Raisin Ezekiel Toast & Cream Cheese & Cinnamon for breakfast two different days, Gooey Brownies for snack in the afternoon, and our own Banana Cream Pie recipe for an after-church dessert tonight.  (See below for the recipe, which still needs improvement.  Feel free to mix it up however you like.)

I love using amazing resources, like Healing Cuisine by Elise and GOOD FOOD.  I know there are others out there, so please feel free to share them with me!  If you’re looking to reward your new lifestyle with a new cookbook, check out Elise’s Season's Eatings, Lin’s GOOD FOOD cookbook, or a new one I just learned about:  Dr. Axe’s The Real Food Diet Cookbook.

Happy hunting!

Now, for me, it’s time to be off to wash all those dishes I’ve been dirtying!!

Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.


Banana Cream Pie Filling
3 bananas
Stevia to taste
1 tsp vanilla (no sugar, no alcohol)
1/2 can coconut milk

Mash bananas by hand, or blend in a food processor or blender.  Mix in remaining ingredients.

(We're considering adding something to slow the browning of the bananas, as well as vanilla protein powder for more flavoring and thickening.  We still have plenty more playing to do with this recipe to spice it up!)

We use the Maximized Living Almond Pie Crust recipe for a shell to place the pie filling in.  Then we top it all off with our homemade whipped topping, made in a cream whipper (iSi Gourmet Whip) with the ingredients: organic heavy whipping cream, xylitol, and vanilla.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Mick’s up with a Golf Ball and an Ice Pack

Do you know what I fear most?  I fear readers will view my blog as written by an arrogant person with a know-it-all attitude, avoid it, and thus hinder any possibility of total wellness for themselves and those around them.

Why would I want to take time away from family, work, and other life responsibilities to write about something unimportant or make believe?

Just like the header on this blog says, “... it's just THAT important to get this information out to YOU!

Looking back on various phases in my life, I remember receiving health advice, which I shrugged off, just like a lot of people still do these days.  Don't let your loved ones make the same mistake!

Now, I’m paying for it, and THAT is why I am so adamant about getting the word out on wellness.  I want to save my readers from suffering similar or worse challenges my husband and I have dealt with.

For me, it's nothing compared to what so many people out there are going through, but it doesn't mean I don't want to save others from even my small ailments.  I’m now living with the consequences of not wearing the proper shoes for all What do you get when you mix an ice bottle, golf ball, ice pack, and a mattress?my miles of walking and years of exercising, nor stretching consistently.  Dealing with a heal spur for more than 6 months and plantar fasciitis for much, much longer… and now seeing how bunions are going to torture me as they get ever-increasingly worse as time goes on… I am in constant pain and discomfort.  Even though I’m using all the remedies I know of, minus the medications and surgery, my symptoms have not subsided.

Not only that, but I can’t count how many times my parents warned me about incorrect and heavy lifting.  Even after years of chiropractic care, I still suffer terrible pain, because of over-usage of my back while still in the uncorrected stage.  If I had listened, and if I had had proper care of my spine early enough, I might not be experiencing this seemingly downward spiral of my wellness at this age.

Do you get it yet?!  Sure, there are people out there suffering a lot worse than I am, and I do count myself as very blessed to have the health I have… but do you see?  I’m trying to save you… or if you think it’s too late for you, then save your loved ones!  I don’t want anyone else feeling doomed to waking up every morning, wondering if they can get out of bed without having to catch their breath because of the pain, after an extremely uncomfortable night’s sleep.  I don’t want anyone else thinking they’re old before their time.

I want newly-weds to enjoy their first 15 years of marriage, instead of having the tension and worry of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.  I don’t want them wasting their money on medications, nor their date nights on doctors’ visits.  They should be putting their time, energy, and resources into maintaining their first house they are so proud of, not on maintaining their sanity and self-esteem.

How many people do you know make the comment that they don’t have enough energy to keep up with the kidderz, whether they mean their children or grandchildren?  That’s not the way it has to be, just because we’re used to hearing it.  If we take care of ourselves early on, we can live a full life, and run around with the children and grandchildren… and even great-grandchildren!  I already bragged on my grandmother, who still runs around with the great-grandchildren, even sledding down snowy hills in the dead of winter.  I wish I could be like her!

Don’t be like me.

Take the advice, when you receive it.

I’m not perfect.  I’ve made lots of mistakes and have seen the other mistakes made.  Read what I have to say about it.  Learn from our mistakes. Don’t make the same mistakes.  Allow the changes to be made in your life and your family members’ lives now, so you can enjoy the benefits before it’s too late.

Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
   love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
   Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
   embrace her, and she will honor you.


Monday, January 2, 2012

A Goal-setting Mick’s up

My husband and I are excited to start off the new year debt free!!  Whew!  What a load off our shoulders!

We have made many dumb decisions over the years, but with the help of family along the way and financial common-sense taught in settings like Financial Peace University, we dug ourselves out of the mess, and now we can have a fresh start, doing it all the RIGHT way.
It is a wonderful feeling to not be in debt:  no car payments, no business debt, no college debt, no credit card payments.  It is amazing how much stress we don’t even realize we are putting on our bodies, when we are under the weight of debt.

It’s the same with all areas of our lives.  Do you have dreams, goals, a mission in life?

God wants us to be successful.  Follow His guidance.  Seek His direction.  Write out goals and a mission statement to help you be more productive where God wants you to be, so you can bring glory to Him.

To be more successful at reaching our goals, Dave Ramsey gives us some goal-setting techniques:  set a time limit, make it specific, take ownership, make it measurable, put it in writing.  He also guides us in clarifying our dreams and missions.

If finances is an area of focus for you this year, start out with developing an emergency fund.  That is an extremely important first step! From there, work on a budget, maybe even learning along the way through a class, like Financial Peace University

Of course, Dave Ramsey isn’t the only resource out there, even though my husband and I found his M.O. to be the most effective. There are other resources, such as Larry Burkett’s Financial Matters renamed to Crown Ministries, as well as Kerry K. Taylor’s blog Squawkfox, where you can find budgeting tools and the free eBook Frugal Food and Fitness.

If workouts is an area of focus for you this year, try using a workout log, and remember to only do a short amount at a time.  (Don’t discourage yourself!)  Why not add nutrition to that focus?  It does, after all, work together with exercise to bring you fitness

Now, just add proper rest and a healthy nervous system, and you’ll find yourself heading toward overall wellness!

While the holiday memories are still fresh in your mind, why not make use of the Holiday Expense Tracking Worksheet and be a step ahead for planning next Christmas?

Well, one of the changes I’m making for 2012 is not posting daily.  I will be changing my schedule to one or two posts weekly, instead.  I truly enjoy sharing my research with Mick’s up Life readers, and I can still supply the same amount of information, while reaching goals in other areas of my life at the same time.  Let me know if there are certain days, topics, etc. that you prefer reading. 

Now, go set those goals!  Happy achieving!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”