Cucumbers and Little Well-known Methods of Protecting against Type 2 Diabetes

Are you cool as a cucumber? Not merely is the cucumber known for its ability to cool off the body, it has also been seen to help with jaundice, diarrhea, epilepsy, sore throat, conjunctivitis (redness of the eye) and swelling of extremities.

Many times you should try to deseed the cucumber as the body can have trouble digesting the seeds. You can deseed them yourself easily by cutting them in two and utilizing a spoon to take out the seeds, or if you wish to eliminate this task, it is possible to buy cucumbers that are already deseeded.

Fresh cucumbers are easy to add to salads and for an easy salad, just toss diced cucumbers with sliced red onions, red tomatoes, and your favorite all-natural, low-fat balsamic vinaigrette. It is a fast way to make a refreshing salad that reaps some great benefits of cucumber.

Anti-diabetic Benefits of Cucumber
Beta cells contained in the pancreas produce the hormone insulin. Cucumber is found to possess a hormone necessary for beta cells in the insulin production. Moreover, the Glycemic Index of cucumbers is found to be zero.

Why do cucumbers have no Glycemic index listed? Does this signify they don’t raise blood sugar?
Not at all—it simply means that under the “rules” for the meaning of the Glycemic index, it is too difficult to get an accurate number. This is because you’ll need to eat a very big amount of the food to get 50 grams of carbohydrate at the same time to be tested. Usually, the lower the amount of carbohydrate in a vegetable and the more fiber it has, the less the rise in blood sugar will be.

The carbohydrates are primarily responsible of the raise of the glucose level. However, the carbohydrates contained in the cucumber are easily digestible in a diabetic patient’s stomach.

Tips for Preparing Cucumbers
Unwaxed cucumbers don’t need to be peeled but should be washed before cutting. Cucumbers are usually sliced, diced or cut into sticks.

Just a few Quick Serving Ideas
– Use half-inch thick cucumber slices as petite serving “dishes” for chopped vegetable salads.
– Mix diced cucumbers with sugar snap peas and mint leaves and toss with rice wine vinaigrette.
– For refreshing cold gazpacho soup that takes five minutes or less to make, simply purée cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions, and then add salt and pepper to taste.
– Add diced cucumber to tuna fish or chicken salad recipes.

Cool Cucumber Salad Recipe

Try a refreshing cucumber salad recipe to help protect against Type 2 Diabetes. (Photo by Suzanne Ault)Ingredients:

– 3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
– 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
– 1/2 red onion, sliced paper-thin
– 1/3 cup minced cilantro

Dressing:
– 1/2 cup rice vinegar
– 2 tsp. honey
– 2 tsp. Reduced-sodium soy sauce
– 1 & 1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
– Pinch dried red pepper flakes

Preparation per 8 servings:
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Marinating time: 1 hour

1. Combine the cucumbers, carrots, red onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.

2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl or glass measuring cup.

3. Pour dressing over cucumbers, cover, and refrigerate for one hour.

Nutritional Values per Serving Size: 1/2 cup – Calories: 25 – Calories From Fat: 10 – Total Fat: 1 gram – Saturated fats: .1 grams – Cholesterol: milligrams – Sodium: 50 milligrams (without added salt) – Total Carbohydrate: 5 grams – Dietary Fiber: 1 gram – Sugars: 3 grams – Protein: 1 grams

Suzanne Ault of Diabetes Diet Recipes Blog.About the Expert:

Suzanne Ault gives advice for the diabetes diet recipes blog, her personal hobby weblog focused on cooking ideas to stop type 2 diabetes.

 

Natural Fitness Eco-Smart Yoga Mat Product Review

Try the Natural Fitness Eco-Smart Yoga MatFor some reason, yoga feels better to me in the summer than any other month. Maybe it’s because being outside is like a Bikram class all on its own. Or maybe it’s because yoga works best for toning for sleeveless dresses and bathing suits. Whatever the reason, I’m glad to have my new Eco-Smart Yoga Mat on my side.

Until now, I’d been using the $10 mat I bought at Target. Don’t get me wrong, for $10 it’s fine. But I didn’t know what I was missing until I tried the Eco-Smart Yoga Mat from Natural Fitness. First of all, it’s free from toxins and environmentally safe, a plus on its own. Also, I love the purple/green color combination. It’s calming and, as my boyfriend pointed out, ‘not too girly looking.’

You can practice yoga outside with a good yoga mat!Most of what I like about the mat, though, is how it feels. It has great compression, cleans easily, and sticks to the floor. It occasionally does stick to my feet, too, but not as badly as other mats I’ve tried. The compression resistance indicates that I will likely get a long life from it, and it’s pretty light to carry. The only problem with the mat is that it doesn’t solve the problem of sweaty hands: it does take more sweat for hands to start slipping, but slip they do. I still need to put down a towel to get through a slip-free workout.

For $19.99, the mat is a great deal. More than twice as good as my cheap Target alternative, it’s definitely worth the extra $10. They’ve got a range of colors and patterns to choose from. And using a safe and environmentally responsible product feels great too.

You can find the Eco Smart mat at Natural Fitness’s Web site: www.naturalfitnessinc.com. They offer tons of other great fitness accessories and equipment, all within their mission of Zero Impact (meaning that they off-set their impact on the environment in the manufacturing and distribution of their products by engaging in pro-environment programs). A great mission and a great product!

 

Refreshing Calorie-Free Beverages for Delicious Drinks

Drink healthy beverages for a better body!How many times have you wanted to enjoy a delicious drink only to forego the pleasure due to the calories? If you are like many women who are constantly watching their weight, you probably answered something like “quite a few” or “too many to count.” Well, times have changed from days of old and today quite a few calorie-free, sinfully delicious beverages are available for women to enjoy as stand-alone drinks or in combination with some type of alcohol for a refreshing, reduced calorie drink that has all the flavor without the guilt.

Skinny Water

Skinny Water is designed to control craving while boosting the metabolism with zero sugar and zero calories. Seems like it fits the ticket for those women looking to maintain control of their weight. Now, does it provide the refreshing, mouth-watering taste that has us coming back for more? Actually, it does. In fact, it does this so well that you will be hard pressed to keep some in the house for yourself because everyone is bound to enjoy the bold, flavorful, fruity taste that lingers on the tongue and tempts people to come back for more.

Skinny Water is featured in six different varieties, each with a specific purpose in mind and a delicious flavor all of its own. In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter which flavor you pick because they all taste so good and they all offer a unique bit of something extra. You can get your Skinny Water online at http://skinnywater.com/. You can also purchase your Skinny Water at Target or ShopRite. Although it does not contain any sodium or sugar, it does contain a dash of Splenda to enhance its sweetness.

Try Skinny Water - this is a product review.

Crave Control offers a refreshing raspberry-pomegranate flavor that goes down oh so sweetly. It is made with Chromemate and SuperCitriMax to help control your appetite. Now, that is what I call easy dieting!

Hi-Energy provideConsider this review of healthy beverages you can drink.s a scintillating combination of acai berry and blueberry flavor to create a drink that gives you that extra boost whenever you need it. Among its ingredients, you will discover ginseng, guarana, and Vitamin B.

For those of you who love fruit punch, Shape is the Skinny Water for you. It offers a delicious tang of Goji fruit punch with additives designed to make any visit to the gym more enjoyable.

Total-V is perfect any time of the year, but with its lemonade-passion fruit flavor, it seems perfect for the summer. It also provides a healthy dose of Vitamins C, E, and B giving you a head start on your daily dose of vitamins.

Wake Up does exactly that with its blend of orange, cranberry, and tangerine. It is a great way to get more than your daily requirement of Vitamin C.

The tropical taste of XXX Detox with its peach-mango-mandarin flavor is a great way to get yourself back on track if you’ve had the occasion to overindulge. It offers lots of antioxidants for your body.

Hint

Try HINT water as a healthy beverage alternative.Hint is a natural-flavored water beverage at its finest- no additives, no preservatives, and no calories. It is refreshing and flavorful, providing a “hint” of natural flavor without any of the calories of sugar-sweetened beverages. Hint is available in a delightful array of flavors including Blackberry, Strawberry-Kiwi, Raspberry-Lime, Pomegranate-Tangerine, Pear, Watermelon, Mango-Grapefruit, Lime, Cucumber, and Honeydew-Hibiscus.

Hint comes in convenient 16-oz size bottles that are easy to carry along for lunch or your gym workout. It starts with purified water that has a “hint” of natural fruit flavor. For the opportunity to learn more, visit http://www.drinkhint.com/.

Hint Recipes for Healthy Cocktails

Take a look at these recipes provided by the makers of Hint for a few healthy, sweet tasting cocktails created with women in mind.

Healthy Mama

1 Part Vodka
1 ½ Parts Watermelon HINT
1Watermelon Slice
Slimming Sally
3 Parts Gin
2 Dashes of Maraschino Liquer
1 Part HINT Mango-Grapefruit
Splash of Simple Syrup

Relaxing Raspberry

2 oz. Raspberry Rum
6 oz. HINT Raspberry-Lime
Splash of Lime Juice

Sweet Mommy

2 oz. Pomegranate Vodka
6 oz. HINT Pomegranate-Tangerine
2 Mint Leaves
Dash Honey Syrup

Guilt-free Beverages for Summer BBQs, Picnics, Parties, and Gatherings

Products provided free to writer for reviewI received a generous supply of Skinny Water free from its manufacturer to sample and enjoyed every single one! I also received five flavors of Hint, which I discovered to be equally enjoyable.

A Tip for Staying Healthy – Use Infectiguard Instant Hand Sanitizer

Try Infectiguard Hand Sanitizer to keep your hands free from germs. (product review)One of life’s modern creations that I have come to appreciate is the instant hand sanitizer, also commonly referred to as a waterless hand sanitizer. With today’s fast pace, it is difficult to find the time to stop and wash our hands as frequently as we would like. However, with all of the hand sanitizing products that are available, we don’t need to stop and find a sink and soap quite so often.

Not only are hand sanitizing products convenient to use, but they are relatively inexpensive as well. Plus, they are sold in a wide variety of styles, brands, and sizes so we have lots of choices. I usually use the Bath and Body Works anti-bacterial gels, but decided to try Infectiguard’s hand sanitizing products since I received two free samples.

Infectiguard carries quite a few hand sanitizing products including wipes, pump bottles, and squirt styles. I recently had a chance to try their small, carry size style in both the instant hand sanitizer and the instant hand sanitizer with moisturizer. Each of these products has been enriched with Vitamin E and aloe, making them perfect for use on my skin.

Washing hands isn't always possible, so antibacterial handsoap is a handy item to keep with you.When I first put some of the Infectiguard instant hand sanitizer on, I thought perhaps I had used too much of it. As I began to rub it in, I noticed that my hands absorbed it quickly so they did not remain wet for long.

The Infectiguard instant hand sanitizers are so convenient due to their small size, a mere 1.8 fl. oz. that it is easy to take them almost anywhere. If you are like most women, you tote around a supersize handbag or roomy business tote so you can easily tuck one of these hand sanitizers inside. However, with the Infectiguard Instant Hand Sanitizer, you don’t even need to worry about having enough room for it since you can use the bright-red metal clip to attach it to your purse strap, belt loop, key chain, or pretty much anywhere.

Hand sanitizer product review - InfectiguardThe bottles are clear, so it is easy to see when you are beginning to run out. While these are designed to kill most infectious germs, you shouldn’t expect them to kill all germs.

Infectiguard Instant Hand Sanitizers sell for approximately $3.00. You can purchase them online at amazon.com or infectiguard.com. Women with sensitive skin or who have a tendency toward dry hands for whatever reason might prefer to use Infectiguard instant hand sanitizers with moisturizer.

Despite the fact that these hand sanitizers contain 62% ethyl alcohol, they smell fresh and clean without a strong tinge of alcohol smell. However, I must confess that I still prefer my favorite scents in Bath and Body Works anti-bacterial gels to these. Nonetheless, I like the convenience that the Infectiguard instant hand sanitizers with rings provide, so I will probably still use them for activities like walking or biking.

Products provided free to writer for reviewI received one each of the Infectiguard instant hand sanitizers with clip-on ring regular and with moisturizing lotion.

Yoga for the Phases of a Woman’s Life

Yoga, currently practiced by 15-million Americans, has also become a multi-billion dollar business. At its roots, yoga is a tool to help the body become more cleansed and balanced by physical asana, or poses, as well as techniques for breathing and meditation, mental focus, clarity and well being. With all the choices out there in yoga – celebrity teachers, expensive yoga mats, and clothes, many types of yoga and approaches to yoga, where does a novice turn to find out more about yoga in a way that is helpful for their own needs?

A gem of a teacher may be found as close as your nearest YMCA, gym, or place of work. With yoga being offered in so many environments, the quality of the teacher is what counts most. An experienced teacher can give you guidelines for your stage of life and unique conditions. Yoga can be used for children, pregnancy, for weight loss, pain and anxiety relief, and to ease a woman through menopause. A larger class is not always where you learn the most, or get the most attention, so trust your intuition when you check out a class. Feel free to ask the teacher questions about their training and background. Private sessions are an option, too, if you have it in your budget; a sure way to get a personalized practice that is right for you.

Many women are looking for ways to stay healthy and maintain the proper weight or lose weight. Yoga, if practiced three times a week, has been proven to help in weight loss. Along with the physical aspect of overeating, yoga can also help the mind and emotions come into balance, a great help for emotional eaters. Women with eating disorders may benefit from gentler forms of yoga, especially in learning breathing techniques that help them deal with the emotional issues attached to their condition.

Many young women are enjoying the work out approach of popular yoga forms like Vinyasa (flow) and Ashtanga (originally developed in India for young boys!), as are middle aged women wishing to maintain youthful energy. The gentler forms of yoga, such as hatha or restorative, are just as good a way to get the body stretched and toned and feeling great. Iyengar is a form of yoga that emphasizes proper alignment, which can prevent injuries or help deal with current ones. Kundalini Yoga emphasizes the breath and inner work, feeling the relationship of your energies from within.

When a woman becomes pregnant, she can look for prenatal yoga classes. These classes offer modifications for poses, as well as mental practices and attitudes that can help the woman through the pregnancy and birthing process. Laying on the belly, deep twists and intense rapid breath are not recommended during this time. Gentle soothing stretches feel good for the mom-to-be and for the baby swimming in the belly. Once baby is born, there are mommy and me classes and children can be introduced to yoga at an early age. Women’s joints loosen in preparation for birthing so this is important to realize. Women in preganancy often feel better resting on their side instead of their back.

As a woman ages her yoga practice may have progressed from the earlier stages of her life so that she has a good foundation to build on. Yet she may find changes in her body affect her practice. Yoga can help the symptoms of menopause and it is a perfectly good time to start yoga – it is never too late! If you are in good physical condition, easing into yoga practice may be a breeze. If you have not exercised much, look for a beginner’s class. (Yoga can even be done in a chair if necessary).

Don’t be intimidated by yoga as a young person’s exercise. It can be practiced at any age, providing you take the time to learn. There are also books and DVDS available. The Internet is a great tool for researching anything, including yoga. In menopause, women with hot flashes may notice the warming poses affecting them – backbends and inversions – but it is not a reason to avoid them altogether. Do them for shorter periods of time if you like. The breathing practices can ease the anxiety that sometimes accompanies menopause (or any other stage of life for that matter).

Changes may occur that you have to work and live with. In my practice, my shoulders shifted almost overnight, losing their flexibility in deep extensions that I had previously found easy. As at any phase of life, things like frozen shoulders are not a reason to stop practicing. Listening to the messages of your body, especially pain when pushing, is all that is required – and putting your ego out the door. Yoga is not meant to be competetive.

Yoga boosts the immune system and strengthens the nerves, making it a helpful antidote to stress. The increased circulation, oxygenation, and reversing the effects of gravity, are all bonuses for a woman’s inner beauty, allowing her to radiate on the outside what yoga is doing for her on the inside – through any stage of life.

About the Expert:
Donna Amrita Davidge owns and operates www.sewallhouse.com, a small personalized yoga retreat in Maine, since 1997, and also maintains a teaching practice in New York City in the winter months. Teaching yoga since 1985, she is 500 Hour E-RYT with Yoga Alliance as well as a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor with 3HO. Donna (Amrita) has two dvds for home practice and has written articles for Fityoga, Medical Tourism, and is the yoga columnist for Inner Tapestry, a New England publication. Sewall House has been featured in Instyle, Travel & Leisure, Yoga Journal, Shape, and other publications.

Tips to Awaken Your Senses and Revitalize Your Mood

Sometimes we just sort of fall into a dull place in life. We could really use something fresh and fun to invigorate us, awaken our senses, and revitalize our moods. If you feel like you just need something new and exciting to jumpstart your mood, you will be happy to find this list of fresh ways to revamp your mood with little or no change in your daily routine.

Work can often put us in a bad mood. And when it isn’t work, it may be errands and having too many things to do, money issues, not having enough time to ourselves, or countless other things draining on us. Sometimes all we need to do to get back into the groove of life is to take a few moments to ourselves and refresh and awaken our senses and flip the switch to put ourselves in a better mood.

 

If you just need something simple to put your life back on track, or possibly to derail the current direction and change over to a new outlook, consider these tips to rejuvenate your mood.

•    Take a hot bath with luxurious bath salts, bubbles, or other bath goodies.

•    Try an emotibomb by LUSH Cosmetics. It adds lovely fragrance to your shower experience.

•    Go for a ride in a convertible with all the windows down on the next nice day.

•    Join a class or do your own yoga or Pilates at home.

•    Take the time to meditate on a daily basis.

•     Go for a jog outside…. Better yet if you can find safe trails to roam.

•    Go swimming, even if the water is cold. Jump right in.

•    Plan a tropical vacation, either by plane or on a cruise.

•    Treat yourself to new and fragrant bath and body products like lotions, body sprays, and other goodies.

•    Spend time outside gardening, doing yard work, or working out. Fresh air can do wonders for your mood and your body.

•    Indulge in one delicious and sinful goodie, like triple chocolate cake or a large dish of ice cream.

•    Watch a movie that makes you feel good. Or, if you feel like you need to cry but don’t want to cry for your own reasons, watch a sad movie that will let you get that release of tears.

•    Call an old friend out of the clear blue sky and catch up.

•    Spend time with a family member, friend, or pet. Remember how much you are loved.

•    Stop and smell the roses – literally. If you don’t have any flowers in your yard, consider treating yourself to a new potted plant or bouquet to enjoy for a spell.

•    Go somewhere peaceful and just relax. A stream, waterfall, or the ocean can be some great places to relax and reflect. You might also consider a hike to the top of a mountain or another pretty location.

No matter how you deal with your stress and mood swings, just remember that you can always try to reverse the negative feelings. In addition to the ideas listed above, consider things in life that make you happy and ideas of what you like to do for hobbies. Be sure to include these kinds of activities to help you eliminate stress.

Help Your Posture and Reduce Back Pain with Stretchsitting

Today’s corporate culture often involves sitting in cubicles in front of computers and telephones for the majority of the day, if not the entire day. Sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time often leads to slouching down in the desk chair and other poor posture habits.

Did you know you can actually improve the way your back feels on a daily basis simply by maintaining better posture? Try Stretchsitting – a comfortable way to sit that also helps to reverse the damage caused to your back by constantly slouching or hunching over in your chair. Improved posture can lead to reduced back pain, so why not give Stretchsitting a try?

Esther Gokhale is an expert in pain-free living and the author of 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. She developed Stretchsitting, which she describes as “lengthening the spine against the back of a chair” as a means of immediately decompressing discs in your back and preventing new damage. Gokhale’s technique has shown that over a period of months, individuals practicing Stretchsitting can actually become ¼” to 1” taller over time.

Some of the other benefits of Stretchsitting include improved circulation and better nerve function around the spine.

To practice Stretchsitting for yourself, follow these steps by Esther Gokhale:

1.    Before you begin, attach a cushion to your chair so that it hits you at mid-back, below the shoulder blades. (Esther Gokhale offers a Stretchsit Cushion for sale.)

2.    Scoot your bottom all the way back in the chair.

3.    Lean forward from the hips, and tilt your ribcage forward, like you are doing a mini-crunch.

4.    Hold the armrests or side bars on your chair and, while still tilted forward, press against them to get a gentle stretch in your lower back.

5.    Keeping the stretch, lean back from your hips and stick your mid-back on to the Stretchsit cushion.

6.    Come out of the mini-crunch and relax completely, letting the Stretchsit cushion keep you in mild traction.

7.    Roll each shoulder back and rest your hands close in to your body.

8.    Angle your chin down slightly, letting the back of your neck be long.

–    All steps provided directly from Esther Gokhale.

You can feel healthier over time by practicing Stretchsitting, and you might just grow a tiny bit taller. The health benefits of good posture make Stretchsitting worth a shot. For more information on Stretchsitting and Esther Gokhale, please visit http://egwellness.com. To buy 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, please find her book at Amazon.com.

Brighter, Fresher Teeth on the Go with the Colgate Wisp™

Let me start off by saying that I love the idea of this tiny disposable mini-toothbrush simply because it is so adorably cute. Plus, the Colgate Wisp™ does have quite a few favorable traits. It is small, easy to carry, and easy to use.

The Wisp is perfect for people of all ages, but it is particularly nice for women who want to look their best, feel their best, and kiss their best. This tiny little brush offers a clean taste with a little pick-me-up of minty freshness. I liked its taste and the fact that I could tuck it away into my tiniest of purses when going out-on-the-town for the night. In fact, this mini-toothbrush is so small that you can put it into a back pocket without any trouble at all.

Designed with a breath freshening bead that gives a fresh mouth taste without the need to use water to rinse, the Colgate Wisp is perfect for those of us who are constantly on the go. Skeptical at first, I quickly discovered that this handy little brush is worth its weight in gold. Not only did it freshen my breath and mouth with a strong burst of Cinnamint, but it also made my teeth feel clean.

As the makers of this tiny beauty tool suggest, it does provide a kissably clean smile. If you don’t believe me, try the Colgate Wisp™ for yourself and find out just how great it is. You have three wonderful choices for freshening flavors including Cinnamint, Peppermint, and Spearmint. I received a generous sample of the Cinnamint Colgate Wisp™ for the purposes of this review and I have to admit that I really do love it.

So, if you want to be prepared when you are out and about, tuck a two-pack of the Colgate Wisp™ into your purse and you can take a moment to discreetly clean and freshen your teeth anytime and anywhere. The packaging utilizes a slimshell design with an easy pull tab on the foil back. The mini-toothbrush is designed with a soft pick that is great for removing food after a meal or the plaque that tends to develop in between the gum line throughout a long day.

It might be a good idea to have one or more Colgate Wisps in your purse for the next time you get stuck in an airport, go hiking or camping, or take a long journey to visit a friend or attend a party. Colgate Wisp™ is sold in a generous 16-pack size for about $8.00 or a convenient 4-pack size that retails for $2.39.

Product provided free to writer for reviewFor more information or for a coupon for 50 cents off on Colgate Wisp™, visit http://www.colgatewisp.com/wisp/HomePage.

For Better Health, Energy, and Physique, Try these Nutritional Supplements

If you’re looking for (or are considering) an alternative to dietary supplemental vitamins, consider trying any of the following products. They are environmentally friendly and are organically tuned into the needs of their consumers.

Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying two liquid dietary supplements from Argo Labs as well as Oxylent premiere blend supplements. I have enjoyed not only the ease of “drinking” vitamins (rather than swallowing pills) but I’ve also enjoyed the benefits I’ve encountered in the process.

Naturally Noni 2X double strength was one of the first products I received from Agro Labs. At first taste, you’ll notice a very succulent, yet rich flavor of Noni Herbs (grown in Polynesia). I can’t even begin to describe the flavor to you, but I will say that I enjoyed the aftertaste as well as the initial trial run with this product. I’ve even noticed some of the effects from this herb taking place. I feel more at ease, I feel calmer and balanced; ready to tackle the day.

Naturally Noni is a sacred herb grown in the volcanic rich soil of Polynesia. Noni is known for its healing process for the body, mind, and soul (spirit). Naturally Noni 2X is available in 16oz and 32oz bottles and the recommended daily dosage is not to exceed three ounces.

I was also given the opportunity to try Naturally Pomegranate (made with organic Pomegranate). Just as Naturally Noni, it is in liquid form, but rather than working to toward enhancing your body, mind, and spirit, this product works towards maintaining and promoting optimal cardiovascular health.

Though I haven’t used Naturally Pomegranate for more than a week, I already feel better about using such a product. Maybe it’s because I know that I’m using a product that, in due time, will help promote better cardiovascular health (which is always a good thing). At this time, being new to using the Agro Labs products, I’m happy. I feel good both inside and out. I have not felt any ill effects nor have I felt an urge to quit using them.

If you are looking for an alternative to the normal daily vitamins and are looking for something that can promote more than what the daily vitamin has to offer, please consider reading more on Agro Labs’ products. They have many beneficial products to consider.

Naturally Noni, Naturally Pomegranate (as well as other Agro Labs Naturally products) can be purchased online by visiting www.Costco.com, the Vitamin Factory, or by visiting www.drugstore.com.

To add to the wonderful list of supplemental vitamins I received, I also received some nice and thirst quenching supplemental drinks along with a nice moisturizing lip balm from Vitalah that are sure to stay at the top of my vitamin lists.

Vitalah is unique in the sense that each drink (an array of flavors) is filled with high quality essential nutrients. Each drink creates a synergistic environment and you feel a boost of functionality at peak levels throughout the day.

Oxylent Lip Balm is definitely a product worth considering. I know that there are many lip balms to choose from and many that are very satisfactory; I will not dispute that, but once you’ve tried Oxylent Kisses for the first time, there’s definitely a difference. I was very, very impressed at how wonderful this lip balm truly was. It instantly made my lips go from “okay” to “amazing” in a matter of seconds. It kept my lips moisturized long after the balm had wiped away, and when used again, it gives that much more of an effect on the surface and feel of your lips. Did I mention it had flavor? Oops, it’s Raspberry – Yum!!

Every one of these products is worth the time to try, read about, and purchase. I for one am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to try them. I will be telling many friends about the two brands featured here today because I feel strongly about the companies and their products.

There are many products to consider and if you’d like to read more on Vitalah, please visit www.vitalah.com.

Products provided free to writer for reviewDisclosure: The statements and opinions I share are my own. Please be advised that these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are also NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I was sent these products for the purpose of my review; based on my experiences with the products, therefore, I bare no responsibility for others who feel differently. Thank you.

Moving on After Battling Cancer

Ovarian cancer is a deadly enemy. They call it a “silent killer” because the symptoms are so subtle and random that it’s not detected in many women until it’s far too late.

Author Sandra D. Bricker shares her experiences in moving on after battling cancer.I went through a very long period of time without connecting the dots between irregular (and sometimes non-existent) periods, bloating, abdominal pain, changes in frequency and urgency of urination, and unexplained pelvic discomfort. I treated these symptoms autonomously, never even thinking about them being related to a larger problem. When one of the doctors finally went looking, she quickly told me that I had stage 1 uterine cancer. “Not a problem, very treatable, no worries.”

My spirit just felt … unsettled. There was something more. When I voiced my concern, it was met with ambivalence. The CA-125 blood test, the one and only detection tool for ovarian cancer, had been negative … so why was I so worried?

After my first surgery, however, the revelation came that there was indeed something more. I had ovarian cancer, and it had already advanced to stage 3. This report was followed by more surgeries, five weeks of daily radiation treatments, and several days in the hospital for radiation implants. It was grueling, it was frightening, and it felt like forever.

I’ll never forget the day when my oncologist stood across from me, grinning. “You did it, kiddo. You’re cancer free.”

Of course, my initial reaction was elation. I’d been waiting for more than a year of my life for someone to say those words to me. I muttered them repeatedly on the drive home that day until they seemed to take the form of a prayer of thanksgiving. “Cancer free. I’m cancer free. I am cancer free!”

But here’s what they never tell you: You’ve just spent months of your life in a routine of treatment, in a battle stance, fighting this silent warrior that came at you out of nowhere. You’ve surrounded yourself with a certain circle of professionals and support. You’ve spent most of your days and weeks thinking about the battle, planning it, waging it. And now someone you’ve come to depend upon is looking at you, telling you to fly from the nest. Go ahead. You’re on your own now!

After the elation wears away, the next phase is a sort of numbness. And a big neon question blinking over your life: What now?

Kim Snyder is a member of Ovacome, the Tampa support group for those afflicted, and she works as a systems engineer for a computer distributor. At the age of 41, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “I had the textbook symptoms,” she says, “and I was misdiagnosed by three different doctors.”

After her last CAT scan, Linda Kraft, also a member of Ovacome, was told that she was N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease). “I remember struggling with the feelings of total ecstasy and quite a bit of nervousness,” she says. “During the past five months, I had done everything I could do to be cancer free. I had a great surgeon, followed my chemo regimen, ate right, made myself exercise … and now that it was done and I had a clear scan, I kept thinking, ‘Now what?’”

The thing about ovarian cancer is that, even after you’re considered cured, there are these frightening statistics hanging over your head about a high percentage of recurrence within the first five years. You can’t help yourself. The thought is almost always there.

“With every pain, fatigue, or weird feeling,” says Kraft, IS IT BACK? pops up.” But as she returned to her normal routine over the next months, the thoughts came less often.

Another member of the Ovacome group, Carole Martinez, put it to me this way: “I was totally unprepared for the angst that occurred after the treatments had been completed. I no longer felt that I or my doctors was being proactive, and I felt like my lifeline had been removed.”

I identified with that reaction so much!

When I was asked to write a comedy about the process of turning fifty, all of those same feelings came rushing back to me. 50 was already barreling toward me when I was finally declared cancer free, and I was almost paralyzed with questions about how to move on. So I did what every writer does best: I wrote about it. And then I turned it on its ear the way I like to do with most everything, and I made it funny. It was a little like therapy as I wrote Olivia’s story, and walked in the sands of Sanibel Island, Florida, right next to her as she considered how on earth she was going to move on after ovarian cancer. But as Olivia found her way in her new world, I am happy to report: So did I.

January 8th, 2010, marked six years cancer free for me! There are no guarantees about my future. It turns out that ovarian cancer can still recur after your ovaries are long gone. This seems wrong to me, but it’s a fact. There is still no reliable diagnostic tool; there is no cure. But I don’t think every day about it coming back any more. And I don’t ignore even the most subtle sets of symptoms. I’m vigilant about my check-ups, and I raise money to fund the research against this disease at every opportunity.

Like Olivia Wallace in The Big 5-OH!, I am thankful for balmy breezes, white-capped ocean waves, and the promise of everything ahead of me. I can only hope that there’s a happy ending written for me, too.

*  *  *  *  *

The Big 5-OH! © 2010 Abingdon Press
The Big 5-OH! © 2010 Abingdon Press by Sandra D. BrickerOlivia Wallace can’t remember a birthday that wasn’t marked by illness, tragedy or both. And now, as she emerges victorious over cancer and approaches The Big Five-Oh, she is determined to change her course. Better late than never, right? That’s what Liv believes when she leaves a snowy Ohio winter behind and runs away to Florida to regroup. Amidst a crazy cast of characters that include a dog with a lampshade collar, a rogue alligator and a flirtatious octogenarian, Liv finds the biggest birthday surprise of all … A second chance at love.

Sandra D. Bricker has been publishing in both the Christian and general market for years with novels for women and teens, magazine articles and short stories. With 11 novels in print and 4 more slated for publication through 2011, Sandie has carved out a niche for herself as an author of laugh-out-loud comedy for the inspirational market. Last year’s Love Finds You in Snowball, Arkansas garnered three readers’ choice award nods. Sandie was an entertainment publicist in Hollywood for 15+ years and now lives in Tampa, Florida. To keep up with her blog, readers can visit http://sandradbricker.blogspot.com.

Read the first three chapters of The Big 5-OH!

Preorder / Buy The Big 5-OH! on Amazon.com.

View the video trailer.

The Big 5-OH! hits bookstore shelves in February 2010, and a portion of the author’s proceeds will be donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

How To Snag Quality Time With Your Doctor

Try these tips to gain more quality time with your doctor.We’ve all had the frustration of walking out of our doctor’s office and realizing that we haven’t addressed all the problems that led to the doctor visit or haven’t had all our questions answered – sometimes because we weren’t organized enough, sometimes because we simply didn’t have enough time with the doctor.

Financially, we’d like to get all our healthcare ‘in-network’ – with doctors who participate with our health plan, so that we need part with only a relatively small co-pay for the visit.  It’s important to realize, however,  that  the participating doctor has discounted his fees in order to participate and has had to add staff and equipment in order to handle the paperwork and phone calls generated by the insurance companies.  When you consider the increasing cycle of skyrocketing costs and decreasing reimbursements,  you can see that participating doctors must see more and more patients daily – spending less and less time with each.

If you’re lucky enough to have a policy which covers out of network healthcare, and you want more time with the doctor, then choose a physician who does not accept insurance.  Do check to see how long the doctor spends for a complete exam and for a short office visit, to see if that scheduling better suits your needs than an in-network doctor.  You’ll probably have to pay up-front, submitting the claims to your insurance company and waiting to be reimbursed.

Whichever system you choose, make sure to maximize your time with your doctor:

Try these tips to gain more quality time with your doctor.•    On your first visit, give the doctor a detailed medical history – preferably typed, and including your allergies, past surgeries and serious illnesses, family medical history and a list of all your medications, including dietary supplements and other over-the-counter products – even if you don’t use them regularly (in fact, you should always carry that list of medications in your wallet, along with your doctor’s business card, in case of emergency); on subsequent visits, always give the doctor an updated list of those medications.

•    Take with you a careful list of all your issues, placing first the most important ones – try not to get distracted from that list.  It can be helpful if you give the doctor a copy of that list at the beginning of the visit.  If you need prescription refills, be sure to give the doctor a list of those needs at the beginning of the visit.

•    Make sure prevention is on your list.

•    Whatever the assistant says when putting you in the exam room, be sure to undress sufficiently to make it easy for the doctor to examine the area(s)of concern

•    When the doctor explains the diagnosis and recommendations, make sure you understand by repeating back in your own words

•    When given prescriptions, check that the new medications don’t interact unfavorably with your usual regimen, ask for expected side effects and what to do should they occur

Before leaving the office, check with the staff to find out to handle problems that come up between visits:

•    What to do in an emergency, including finding out which hospital emergency department to go to if necessary

•    Is the doctor available for emergencies outside of regular office hours – and if not, what arrangements have been set up?

•    What to do with easier but important problems:

o    Is there a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to call?
o    Does the doctor have regular times set aside for telephone calls?
o    Can you email in your questions  – and if so, what’s the expected turn-around time?
o    What’s the procedure for getting prescription refills?

Being super-organized will help you get the most out of your doctor visits.  If, however, you find that even this doesn’t give you the time you need to fulfill your medical needs, it’s time to consider changing doctors!

About the Expert:
Dr. Margaret Lewin is Medical Director of Cinergy Health. For more information about Cinergy Health, please see www.cinergyhealth.com.

Cervical Cancer: Overview, Cause, Prevention, and Screening

Check out these tips on cervical cancer screening, prevention, and cause.Last year, 11,270 new cases of cervical cancer were diagnosed and another 1.2 million women will develop dysplasia, a condition which left untreated will turn into cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is a malignancy that develops in tissues of the cervix: the organ which connects the uterus to the vagina. It is preventable, slow-growing (so that it can be detected and cured early in its course), and is nearly always caused by infection from the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Cause: Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV – a highly contagious virus which can be transmitted easily by skin to skin and sexual contact.

• At least half of all sexually active Americans contract HPV during their lifetimes
• About 20 million Americans between the ages of 15 and 50 carry the virus.
• There are more than 100 types of HPV – of which more than a dozen (termed “high risk types”) can cause cervical cancer.
• Most often, a person’s immune system kills off the virus without intervention
• Exposure to high risk types of HPV is more likely to lead to cancerous changes of the cervix in women who smoke or whose immune system is impaired.

Prevention: Cervical cancer can be prevented by:
• Having no intimate contact with either men or other women
• Obtaining the HPV vaccine – which can immunize against two high risk types of HPV (types 16 and 18), which cause about 70% of cervical cancers. It is given as a series of three injections over a period of six months. The vaccine is now FDA-approved for females and males between the ages of 9 and 26, although many physicians recommend the vaccine up to age 50 for sexually active women and men who have sex with men.
• Screening and treatment for early evidence of pre-malignant changes to the cervix

Screening: The “pap smear” (Papanicolaou test) is used to screen for cervical cancer as part of the gynecological examination. It can reveal early, pre-malignant changes to the cervix. It is done by gently scraping the cervix with a wooden or plastic spatula and then by inserting a very small brush into the opening of the cervix. The cells thus obtained are then evaluated by a commercial laboratory. For maximum accuracy, your provider should be submitting a liquid-based preparation (not the old-fashioned smear submitted on glass slides). The same cells can be evaluated for the presence of HPV.

Lately, when and how often to screen has become controversial. Consensus among the various guideline commissions is still pending, but it is likely that recommendations will be as follows:
• The first Pap test should be done at Age 21, then repeated every two years.
• At age 30, the Pap test and HPV screen (done using the same cells collected for the Pap) should be done; if both are negative and you’ve had at least three consecutive normal Pap smears, screening can be reduced to every three years.

If the Pap is normal but high risk HPV is present, Paps should be repeated at least yearly.

If the Pap is abnormal, further testing is necessary – starting with ‘colposcopy’. This procedure starts like a regular gynecologic examination, with the speculum inserted into the vagina. The doctor then brushes a material on the cervix to highlight any abnormal areas. The ‘colposcope’ – a large microscope positioned about a foot away – shines light into the vagina so the abnormal areas can be seen through the microscope. These areas are then biopsied and evaluated by a special laboratory.

Note: You should continue to see your doctor at least yearly for general gynecologic check-ups, even though the Pap test might be done less frequently.

Of all cancers, cervical cancer is almost unique in that it is preventable. Ask your healthcare provider whether you should consider the HPV vaccine.  Cervical cancer can be detected early, treated, and cured. Ask your provider how frequently you should be screened.

About the Expert:
Dr. Margaret Lewin is Medical Director of Cinergy Health. For more information about Cinergy Health, please see www.cinergyhealth.com.