Archive for May, 2010

Natural ‘Drug Free’ Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

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Statistics have shown that nearly 30% (27-30%) of American adults have high blood pressure (hypertension) – the percentage is even higher for Black/African Americans.

Prolonged, untreated, elevated blood pressure can lead to heart & kidney failure, and stroke. Often times, a patient will not even be aware that they have hypertension, but symptoms may include: headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness, irregular heart beat, and rapid heart rate (palpitations).

To visualize the concepts of artery pressure, think of a water hose. Take the nozzle off of the hose and let the water flow freely. Now, take your thumb and partially block the opening; the pressure will rise and the water will spray harder & further out. The body usually adjusts the blood pressure accordingly, in order for your cells to get enough blood. It is absolutely wrong and a poor medical practice, to immediately jump on prescription medication just because you have a couple bad readings.

Where most people go astray, is when they think they have to take silly prescription pills because of their high readings. This is nonsense, and more attention needs to be applied toward the direction of WHY your blood pressure is high. Look at it as an “indicator” of a potential condition, not as a disease in itself. Side Note: There have been many individuals who has ended up being medicated for this condition, when in fact, they didn’t need any prescription drugs – just merely going through stressful times. By the way, if you are erroneously medicated for this condition, it can also be a health risk – since low blood pressure can pose adverse effects to the body and its organs, along with bouts of fainting, dizziness, blackouts, et cetera.

Okay, hypertension is considered to be anything above 140/90 mmHG. The top number is called “systolic,” and is the pressure within your blood vessels when your heart fully contracts. The bottom number is called “diastolic,” and is the pressure within you blood vessels when your heart is fully relaxed between beats. There is debate on whether the “top number” is more important than the “bottom number,” but with or without mixed reviews, one could easily end this nonsensical chatter by saying they are both, diastolic & systolic, equally important when analyzing your results.

Your body automatically maintains the proper pressure for what your cells need, for the most part. With that being said, this is why it’s more important to focus on what may be causing hypertension, as opposed to falling into the money pit of the prescription drug industry abyss.

Common things that often cause high blood pressure:

A poor diet, often high in Trans fat or unhealthy oils, along with consuming an overly high ratio of salt versus potassium. Too much salt in the body will deplete your potassium levels, which is not good; potassium is necessary for heart & circulatory function – along with many other essential roles within the body.

Mental stress is a huge factor, that often causes temporary hypertension.

Other common causes are: caffeine abuse and excessive sugar intake – especially simple sugars like sucrose and/or table sugar, hence Diabetics are naturally at a higher risk.

Of course, smoking tobacco, using drugs, and alcohol abuse will have a negative impact on your readings. One may ask: Why does alcohol lower blood pressure when used in moderation, but doesn’t when I imbibe in abundance? Simple answer: When you regularly take part in excessive alcohol abuse, it can raise your blood pressure because of the depletion of minerals and the disruption of electrolyte balance due to the abundant amount of bodily fluids lost from frequent urination – along with the stress and additional fluids & nutrients lost from the body’s detoxification processes.

Being overweight and/or suffering from fluid retention, are also major causes of elevated blood pressure.

Being inactive in conjunction with any of the risk factors above, will only exacerbate existing blood pressure-related issues.

Of course, there are other less common, underlying serious conditions that can elevate your artery pressure, so it’s a good idea to find out the cause. Unfortunately, one of the most common, serious conditions that causes hypertension, is heart disease.

Natural ‘Drug Free’ Ways to Lower Blood Pressure:

Increase your consumption of foods high in Calcium & Magnesium. These minerals help relax the blood vessels. Of course, dairy products are a great source of calcium. A few examples of foods that are high in magnesium are: nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, spinach, potatoes, cereal… You could always take supplements; Coral Calcium is an excellent source of Magnesium & Calcium.

Increase your potassium intake; fruits are an excellent source of this nutrient. And remember, the salt versus potassium conflict that I mentioned earlier. If you consume a lot of salt, make sure you’re getting an extra supply of potassium, as well.

Don’t overeat; lose weight if you’re overweight.

If you regularly drink alcohol, consume in moderation; plus, this will also help raise your body’s HDL cholesterol.

Getting some regular exercise is always good. If you don’t have time for exercise, try to “sexercise” and/or find more time for intimacy; this is great for releasing pent-up frustrations, and it provides a positive hormonal release within the body, etc. Bottom line: being active while avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, is a must.

Reduce stress and try to get more sleep. It may be easier said than done, but by doing those two things, it will greatly improve your well-being.

Laugh, laugh, laugh… Find humor in your life and try to quit being so serious & uptight all the damn time!

If you are suffering from fluid retention, try some natural anti-inflammatories, before turning to prescription drugs. For example, Chamomile tea is a natural diuretic. Speaking of that, try to eliminate any unnecessary prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs that you can, since many of these substances often elevate your blood pressure.

These were just a few natural ‘drug free’ recommendations, outside of doctoral pill-popping advice. But, use your own discretion, when dealing with personal health issues.  Cheers!

Testicular ‘THC’ Trauma & Marijuana

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If you’re having fertility issues and regularly smoke marijuana, now is the time to quit.

Cannabis

The chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects, is called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). I say “testicular THC trauma” for a few reasons. For one, it has been proven to effect fertility in men by unfavorably altering the way sperm swim to the egg and secondly, it lowers sperm count and testosterone (the male hormone) along with libido/sex drive. But the telltale tidbit for me, was something I learned way back in high school (or before) and that is: The THC that enters your body from smoking or ingesting marijuana, stores in your body’s fat cells (it is fat soluble) and it loves to chiefly embed itself into your brain and testicles! Now this can’t be good… Yeah, cannabis smokers are notorious for having impaired short-term memory and overall sluggish cognitive skills. Hmm, maybe that is due to all that THC stored in their brain. Maybe that’s why people often refer to their fellow cloudy comrades as “potheads.” Starting to make sense now? Well, the same applies for what I referred to as testicular trauma. Hmm, maybe it is due to all that THC stored in the…testicles?

Okay, now that the intro is out of the way, lets get on with the issue at hand.

Men who smoke marijuana can definitely have kids, that is not the point. What’s pertinent, is for the ones who are already having trouble impregnating their companion and happen to also smoke pot, it would be a good time to quit your drug habit, even if it is just a transitory hiatus. Some people are at the border of infertility anyway, and THC isn’t going to raise the odds of bearing children, it only lowers them. Something I haven’t mentioned yet, is about female fertility versus this drug. This psychoactive substance also stores in the ovaries, hence effecting the health of eggs produced, altering menstrual cycles, etc.

Fat Soluble vs. Water Soluble:

Water soluble drugs/chemicals flush out of the system in a speedy fashion, as we cycle food & drink to bodily waste, and so on. On the other hand, fat soluble chemicals leak out of your body more slowly. Depending on individual metabolism, body mass, and the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) you’ve took into your body, it can linger for months. Most people claim that users who only smoke weed moderately, can usually clear their body of it within 30-45 days after quiting. As with this “clearing issue” can be of interests to many people getting subjected to drug tests, there are several products on the market that boast about detoxifying in less time. I’ve heard of taking anything from vinegar to Sure Gel just to pass the tests, and one of the oldest methods is to simply drink lots & lots of water until your urine is clear. I can’t vouch for any of these tactics, so use your own judgement.

Overview:  I bring a complete neutrality to the table, when it comes to the debates on whether marijuana should or shouldn’t be legalized in this country. Some areas are starting to legalize medicinal marijuana, but it’s not for anyone’s recreational use; it’s only for medical patients. Most likely, there are issues on how to properly tax this drug if it ever does becomes legal to the public…who knows? What do you think? Should marijuana be legalized?

If so, go here: Legalize Marijuana – for Medicinal & Recreational use!

The bottom line: This drug should be avoided entirely during the time span you’re trying to conceive, that goes for both partners; and obviously, the mother should abstain from using cannabis while pregnant.

One last warning: Excessive marijuana abuse, by some studies, has been linked to raising the chances of developing testicular cancer albeit this is a rare form of cancer – percentage wise. At any rate, after reading all of this, it doesn’t sound like the beloved Mary Jane is very fond of guys, now does it?

—————————>‘Click Here’ for Marijuana-related products!<—————————

Legalize Marijuana – for Medicinal & Recreational use?

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I’ve pondered about this subject many times and, for the the most part, I usually end up with neutral views on this issue. But, the more I think about it, the more I’m starting to favor the idea of legalizing marijuana – for all purposes. I’m not only speaking about medicinal use, as this should be globally accepted, but I’m also referring to recreational use……

Before I say anything else, I have a few questions: Why is it not legal? Is it because the Judicial branch makes too much money through the court systems, when they prosecute your weed-toking ass for possession charges? I don’t want to hear about court costs for a contrast, as they make their money in abundance – good profit, oops, I mean court system. Is it because it is so hard to tax, due to people privately growing it? Perhaps… What makes marijuana so different from all of these other psycho-active drugs, besides it being safer and less toxic?

Nowadays, people can go to the doctor for barely anything at all, and they are trying to force prescription drugs down your throat. It is amazing at the number of legal “prescription” drugs that are considered “street drugs” by many. Take pain pills, for example. Many people end up becoming dependent/addicted to these sedatives; same applies to ‘muscle relaxers’…and so on. Overdose can easily occur when mixing or taking too much of these so-called FDA approved drugs. Some people take excessive amounts of anti-anxiety/depressent pills just to “trip out.” I’ve seen young kids driving around town, trying to buy other peoples’ prescription sleeping pills to mix with other substances for an enhanced effect, for example. How many people have died off of these “legal” drugs? A lot of people have overdosed from these supposed “legitimate” drugs… With that being said, who has died from marijuana abuse? Huh? Hmm, this is starting to look ridiculous, and it’s making marijuana look even better when it comes to the legality.

On a health note, most of these prescription drugs are toxic to the liver – especially if took in excess. But, the THC in marijuana (the chemical responsible for the effects) is not even considered to be toxic, even if took in large amounts; albeit the smoke does contain toxins. I will say, the main negative effects of marijuana is: it does have an adverse effect on fertility – both male & female, but this usually only concerns the ones who are already having trouble reproducing. THC lowers testosterone levels in males, which is never a good thing. When you smoke weed, like all inhaled smoke, it is not good for your lungs, throat or mouth. Cannabis can impair short-term memory and it does not act in a favorable way, when it comes to general, overall cognitive function. Some people believe THC may help with their creativity, but anything that relaxes you and makes you happy, can have those effects. Anyway, these negative issues do not outweigh the positive and shouldn’t interfere with legalizing marijuana – for medicinal or recreational use.

First, lets look at why we need medicinal cannabis to become legal and available to the citizens of our country and throughout the world: When it comes to medical reasons, its primary purpose is to increase appetite, reduce nausea, and lower intra-ocular pressure in patients with glaucoma (eye condition). You could also say that this substance, when gave to the sick, (people undergoing chemotherapy, etc.) would enhance their quality of life by helping them eat, sleep, and alleviate mild bouts of pain. I’ve also had people tell me personally, that marijuana helps them get rid of their headaches and also lowers their blood pressure, when it is high. I could list a few more possible benefits, but there is too much conflicting data out there, at this time.

Now, lets look at why it should be legal for recreational use: Much like beer, wine, spirits, and cigarettes, people typically use marijuana to relax, reduce stress, and have a good time. What’s wrong with that? I understand that the usage could be more widespread but, for the most part, it is not like they can get it for free. There would be age limits for purchase. There would probably be ‘grower permits’ (with a fee) for the ones who grow their own. Side note: Suddenly, more people would become farmers; ha-ha! There would be a big tax revenue for the government and states, so that should keep them happy. It will help free up some space in local jails & prisons, and it will also cause the court systems to have less congestion.

This all sounds good, so why have I always been neutral about this issue? I’ve never promoted the idea (in the past) of legalizing this drug – due to personal bias, even though I was unbiased in a way – since I was neutral, but it is better than me being negative about this subject. See, a lot of the people I know (locally) who regularly use this substance…are deadbeats, bums, and lazy people with sluggish mental function. They often sell drugs to get drugs & money, et cetera. But after thinking about it, most of these people were already like that, before smoking pot. Just because someone uses marijuana, doesn’t mean they won’t be productive or become brainless. With that being said, my opinion on this matter has shifted towards the notion of legalizing this drug. What’s your opinion?

————————>‘Click Here’ for Marijuana-related products!<————————

Liver Detox – Milk Thistle

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Living in a highly populated and polluted world that still burns coal & oil, is enough in itself, to emit an abundance of impurities that enter your system.

The miraculous Milk Thistle - a healthy, herbal agent for liver health.

The miraculous Milk Thistle - a healthy, herbal agent for liver health.

If you add up all the additives & preservatives that are put into many of the foods we eat, the household chemicals, insecticides & pesticides, the prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs that the majority of people on Earth are accustom to, it comes to the totality of an abundance of toxins.

In addition to all of this listed prior, if you enjoy your regular dose of alcohol, use tobacco or smoke anything, you’ve really got those Kidneys and Liver working overtime.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those people who believe a person should perform regular detox rituals and especially since most of the advertised methods are bogus scams and ripoffs. But, I will recommend a natural alternative that is simple and effective. It involves no procedure or special diet, just supplemental pills that you can either take on a regular basis or use sporadically. The primary supplement I’d suggest, is an herbal delight called Milk Thistle.

Before I elaborate about this particular herb and detoxification, lets get one thing clear: Your body, when healthy and not overloaded, is made to naturally detox on its own. Under normal circumstances, you don’t need assistance; your Kidneys & Liver are a duo of detoxing powerhouses. Then again, nowadays, a lot of things are different. This isn’t the same world as it was before; it’s a rat race amongst billions and the quality has dropped in many areas and aspects of life — including food and the air we breathe. So maybe you need a supplemental detoxifying agent or some occasional help from this wonderful substance (Silybum marianum) found in Milk Thistle.

Not only does Milk Thistle help prevent damage to your liver, it also helps induce and speed up the liver’s regeneration process.

Many scientific studies have proven this to be true, along with additional benefits.

The main benefit outside of promoting healthy liver function, being a protector of liver cells and acting as a powerful antioxidant, is the fact that it can help regulate and lower cholesterol to healthier levels. Which many of you know, most of the body’s cholesterol is manufactured within the liver, so this comes to no surprise.

Milk_Thistle_Softgels 

——————>‘Click Here’ for a fine selection of Milk Thistle products!<—————

Other Foods for Detox:

Sulfur-containing foods such as eggs (yolks included), broccoli, cabbage, onions, artichoke, brussel sprouts, radishes, etc., can naturally assist in the detoxification process and of course, they are all healthy side items to add to any meal.

All fruits and any foods high in Vitamin C, are well known for providing the body extra protection from harmful free radical damage.

Flavonoids, like the ones found in tea and especially Green Tea, are also great alternatives.

Other Excellent Alternative Supplements: Dandelion, Korean Ginseng, and Artichoke Extracts.

So whatever your choices are, whether you’re living healthy or not, it’s good to give the body a break and supply it with the nutrients it needs.

We are very resilient creatures, but we don’t need to constantly tax our bodies……

Cholesterol Myths Debunked – Go ahead, eat those shrimp & eggs…

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Sometimes, supposed facts end up turning into fiction; be prepared to turn your existing knowledge about cholesterol into the myth department, and here’s why:

I’ve gave this some thought a long time ago, but never really researched it. I didn’t have to, really; blame it on intuition, it doesn’t matter. But, to make my point more sound & solid, I’ll give a good reference below along with an intro from this page:

“People with high cholesterol live the longest. This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one´s brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance. Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers.”

Interested yet? Okay… Click Here to continue reading.

The article goes on to talk about the protective properties of cholesterol and basically, the benefits of high cholesterol. The main point being made on that page, other than debunking a few myths, was that older people with high cholesterol live longer. In general, younger people do not need as much cholesterol, and so on.

In contrast to the high side, I’ve recently read several studies that have linked low cholesterol levels with depression, cancer, and lowered immunities.

With all the drug pushers and products out there saying otherwise, no wonder a lot of health-conscious people are scared to eat eggs or shrimp (a couple foods high in this waxy steroid metabolite) along with many other foods.

A few things that does disturb me, is that these so-called “experts” and educated individuals should know that the body can produce all the cholesterol it needs. And if you consume less, your body will just make more and vice versa, but they persistently push their “miracle diets” and many other senseless scams. True, a healthy diet may put your levels in optimal range or it may not – depends on the problem, but we don’t need to constantly see your adverts! For the pseudo-intellectuals pushing the statin drugs: They should also know that this waxy substance shows up in excess for a reason. It could be an indicator of a problem elsewhere, but it is not the bad, artery clogging villain that some people make it out to be. The point is, all this hype about cholesterol is just that…all trying to sell you drugs or asinine products to lower something your body produces for a reason.

Now, I’m not saying that things don’t go haywire and your liver, for example, suppose to regulate the proper levels. Cholesterol, in itself, is not the problem and it may also be an indicator of overall health. When your body is stressed, for example, the production increases.

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your life and it exists in all of the cell membranes in your body; the brain typically contains 25% of your body’s supply. Why would anyone want to take drugs to get it “super low?”

Eggs are good for you, duh!

Conclusion:

Go ahead and eat foods that are low in fat and high in cholesterol, such as eggs, shrimp, and so on. You’re actually doing your body a favor, since that will be less it has to manufacture on its own. Now of course, if you’re on a special diet due to existing medical conditions, this doesn’t apply.

Heart Healthy – Anti-Inflammatory Sources

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When it comes to heart health, everyone should know about these easy-to-find anti-inflammatories; they will assist that blood-pumping ticker of yours, by lightening the work load and also by helping prevent heart disease while promoting cardiovascular health.

Below, I’ll provide a few common, good ol’ heart healthy anti-inflammatory sources.

Omega-3 – I’m sure most of you have heard about the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. The main benefit I’m focusing on right now, is its anti-inflammatory properties. This is an absolute blessing for heart health, and by gearing your diet towards a direction that is more in favor of Omega-3 as opposed to Omega-6 and the non-essential Omega-9, you will have significant benefits in the long run. One simple way to slowly work more into your system, if you do much frying/cooking, is by changing your cooking oil from corn or vegetable oil (commonly used – cheap oils on the market) to canola oil. Olive oil is often touted as being super healthy, and it is, but it is not good for high-temp cooking as this thin oil breaks down at high temperatures, into less friendly stuff.

You can purchase this product, fish oil, as a supplement or you can simply eat foods like shrimp, fish, oysters (most seafood in general), walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans, use canola oil (like I mentioned before), etc. To supplement your diet, it is easier to simply take it in pill form. If you’re not big on supplements, do a quick search query on the web for “foods that contain omega-3.” The drawback from eating tuna, king mackerel and other predatory fish that are higher up on the food chain, is that they often contain elevated levels of mercury – something you don’t want to consume in excess.

Green Tea– has many heart healthy benefits and anti-oxidant properties that is great for your general well-being. This tea has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory properties, as well. If you favor black tea, due to its stronger taste, simply meet in the middle by making oolong tea. What’s oolong tea? To put it simply, it is basically a mix between green & black tea. Lets say, for example, you usually steep 12 black (or whatever your desired strength is) tea bags for each gallon. You could change this to 6 bags of green tea and 6 bags of black tea, add a little honey and/or sugar (if desired) and you have successfully compromised and now you have green tea into your diet. Although, green tea has a weaker taste, so you might have to up the number of bags being steeped.

You can also purchase this product as a supplement, but I’d recommend consuming it naturally for optimal benefits.

Black Cherry Extract – this source has been a fairly recent discovery for many, when it comes to its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Many people that have used this substance have claimed that it greatly improved their arthritic conditions. Some, even consider this to be an excellent alternative to arthritis medication; results may vary.

Alcohol – is well known for temporarily thinning the blood, raising you HDL cholesterol, and acts (in small dosages) as a heart healthy anti-inflammatory. On the other hand, if you abuse this substance, it tends to cause inflammation in the body and if you’re a habitual drinker it may lead to other health risks. As with most things, moderation is the key. Regardless, there are mixed reviews on this subject within the medical field. Personally, when it comes to drinking alcohol…I say, “cheers.”

Capsaicin – has analgesic (pain relieving) & anti-inflammatory properties. This is the ingredient that makes a chili pepper hot. You can purchase this as a supplement, but I’d recommend consuming it the natural way. Yes, the chiliheads are on to something…and, if your digestive tract permits, spice it up a bit!

Magnolia Bark Extract – is well known for its anti-anxiety properties and potential anti-cancer activity, but it also acts as an anti-inflammatory per recent studies.  I did a post on this beneficial herb, a while back;  just follow the link if you’re interested about this supplement, to read more…

81mg. Aspirin – is often recommended by cardiologists for people (middle age and up) to take one of these a day – due to its anti-inflammatory attributes from salicylic acid. Aspirin’s anti-platelet properties help prevent strokes and heart attacks, as this is very important, especially if you have existing risk factors, etc. Many people steer clear from aspirin if they have stomach trouble, but a coated 81mg. tablet is really small (baby aspirin) and shouldn’t cause any trouble, but use your own discretion or ask your doctor, if in doubt. If you’re already using a few of these sources, that I’ve listed above, to combat inflammation, you could probably skip the daily aspirin – especially if you’re regularly consuming alcoholic drinks and/or on a daily basis.

Faulty Ignition? Is it the Battery or Alternator?

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I’m not very mechanically inclined when it comes to automobiles, but I did learn a nifty little trick the other day… This subject deals with common ignition problems, as in the often confused vehicular ailment; do you have a faulty alternator or battery?

The automobile's electrical powerhouse - Alternator...

The automobile's electrical powerhouse - Alternator...

A lot of my car problems that have occurred within my driving history, for the most part, have been related to the ignition system. I’ve had a few starter solenoids installed, an alternator and numerous amounts of batteries that needed replaced (mostly due to booming sound systems) down through the years.

When having faulty ignition problems, many people are often quick to blame the battery, terminal cables, or the starter solenoid…but what about the alternator?

The alternator, when it involves auto-mechanics, is basically a rotating machine that transforms mechanical energy to electrical charge in the form of alternating current – by definition, an electric generator for producing alternating current. The alternator, when working correctly, maintains an electrical charge for your vehicle’s system, hence keeping your battery charged in the process.

A couple days ago, I learned some advice from an ol’ southern “shade tree mechanic,” as they say. Personally, I call it good, useful knowledge through working experience.

Well, anyway, my girlfriend’s car has been having trouble starting lately, electrical gadgets not operating correctly, and just overall acting zapped & drained of power.

I first thought it was the alternator, due to an intuitive hunch, but how in the hell do I know for sure? I checked the battery, and yes, it was dead. I looked at the battery post terminals, and yes, they were corroded & funky looking. I knew it wasn’t the starter solenoid, since the car would start after charging the battery. I changed out the terminals, but yet, this damn thing would keep dieing out – even after a full battery charge.

Okay, it is either the alternator or the battery cells are shot and I need to replace the battery.

Instead of taking a chance (I’ve did this before) and go out and buy a new battery, she asked her step-dad about it. He had, as he stated, an ol’ mechanic trick that would determine if it was the alternator or not.

He said to fully charge the battery, connect the cables, and start the car. …And from there, after the car has been running a couple seconds, remove the negative cable from the battery. After removing the negative cable, If the car shuts off, it is your alternator…and if it keeps running, it is your battery or some other electrical issue. I followed this advice, and as soon as I removed the negative cable from her car, it shut off. So, by this form of testing, it is definitely the alternator – and he touted this sly, old-school method, to have a 99% chance for accuracy.

I didn’t know that! Just to make sure, I went over to my car that is currently functioning properly (for now; fingers crossed) and started it and removed the negative battery cable after a couple seconds…and it never missed a lick. I thought, “okay, this is some damn good advice.”

From there, we ordered the part for her car, changed the alternator, and it is now running smoothly. So this proved, that this little bit of knowledge that I learned a few days ago, to be true. Many people would have run out and bought a new battery, before considering it to be the alternator.

Bottom line: If you’re unsure if it is the battery or the alternator, try this simple testing method first; it may save you the expense of a new battery – that you didn’t even have to buy.

Also, take heed to the advice from another mechanic about this subject:  

“Good trick, but just be careful not to do it on many of the newer model cars, or you will have more things to reset in the car than you would want.

There is also the risk of blowing a diode in the alternator.

I just look for output at the alternator with a milli volt meter.

Most alternators when they break down only need one or two small components replaced to be good as new. If you are handy, you can do this yourself providing you know where to purchase these bits. We have electronics shops here that sell the parts for a couple of dollars. I always sort my own alternators.”

Coconut Oil Myth – Debunked

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I’m sure many of you are getting tired of hearing or reading about how everything we ingest & inhale is bad for us.

Coconut tree

Sure, we know that moderation is good and that there is a limit to things we need to do while being health-conscious.

But why does it seem like there is an enormous amount of pseudo-intellectuals and wanna-be health gurus, flooding the screens of media?

Aside from money, the motive may simply be, well…okay, it’s money.

In this particular case, it could be some health-related writer trying to earn a days pay by typing senseless babble, an advertiser promoting a rival product or supposed healthier food, and so forth.

With double-edge marketing strategies that are often geared to build up and tear down products, while providing information, remedies, quick-fixes, etc., it’s often a confused mess amid the consumers.

I’m not going to waste time on the multiple marketing facets of fluster; I’ll keep it pertinent to the subject at hand.

Coconut Oil Myth

Under scrutiny due to its high saturated fat content, many health experts want to wield their college degree around in the air while saying the “Coconut Oil in Theater Popcorn is worse than eating 4 fast-food burgers and 2 large fries,” etc. I’ve heard random claims with variable comparisons, but these collegiate scholars (or whoever) are merely looking at the surface, and nothing more. Many so-called experts have deemed this as an unhealthy oil.

Sure, it is very high in saturated fat; anybody that can read a label knows that.

That’s their case; this is all they got: too much saturated fat can cause artery plaque, heart attacks, et cetera.

This is where the myth gets debunked

Something to remember: Not All Saturated Fat is Created Equal

First of all, lets clarify a possible misconception: I’m talking about non-hydrogenated coconut oil – in its natural form.

The molecular structure in this natural oil is different, consisting mostly of medium chain fatty acids. MCFAs react differently in your body, doesn’t linger in the bloodstream like long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) and is readily converted into energy within the body. Most people primarily consume LCFAs in their diet, as most fats are, which is another reason coconut oil is a healthy alternative – of course, within reasonable amounts. The main difference in MCFAs is the way this fat starts its travel inside the body; much like short chain fatty acids that are found in cow milk, medium chain fatty acids quickly enter into the portal vein to be processed by your liver. The circulatory journey of LCFAs within the body is much longer and takes a totally different route.

For example, there has been studies on the Polynesian people who consume large quantities of saturated fat from coconut oil, and it showed that they had a very low incidence of heart disease.

Another advantageous aspect of this particular saturated fat, is its stability at high temperatures, which retards the oxidizing process and makes it ideal for high-heat situations. Less stable oils can break down at high temperatures and form harmful free radicals, oxidize quicker, etc. This oil is also an excellent source of Lauric Acid, which several studies have made claims about this fatty acid for its immunity-boosting effects.

What does all this mean?

It means Theater Popcorn is not the culprit, when it comes to the ingestion of unhealthy fats.

If you’re cutting calories, then simply do that…but don’t fall for all the put-ons and deception.

If you don’t or rarely go to theaters and want some tasty theater-style popcorn, go ahead and grab a chunk of coconut oil, kernels, desired amount of salt & seasoning, and get to popping……preferably, guilt free.

This oil is obviously not limited to popcorn and is an excellent, durable, multi-purpose lipid.

In addition: Health-conscious people need to research more and believe less, especially if there is a sales pitch involved.

Search for proof; don’t solely take one resource for granted and do your homework.

Hot Pepper Craze – Health Benefits & Info

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The hot pepper aficionado and/or pepper fan/lover, is often referred to as being a “chilihead” or, also separately spelled, “chili head.” Well, if you enjoy taking part in this hot pepper craze, you’re in luck – besides the tasty aftermath, there are several health benefits, as well……

Hot Pepper Craze!

Hot Pepper Craze!

The ingredient in hot peppers that is responsible for the heat, is called capsaicin.

As I mentioned before, in my post Heart Healthy – Anti-Inflammatory Sources, capsaicin naturally has analgesic & anti-inflammatory properties.

Peppers, whether hot or mild, all contain a decent amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. And, as with most fruits & vegetables, they contain an abundance of disease-preventing phytochemicals.

One quick myth to debunk: Hot peppers do not CAUSE stomach ulcers; in fact, they help prevent them…as they are excellent for our digestive tract. The bad reputation comes from people with pre-existing stomach conditions, as in their case, it may not be wise to eat spicy foods in general.

Lets get to the obvious health benefits: Capsaicin increases blood circulation, acts as an antioxidant, speeds up metabolism, acts as a mild pain reliever, helps to alleviate arthritic conditions, promotes heart health, is an excellent digestive aid – increases gastric juices to help break down food, and if you’re a male…it can cause a fire somewhere else besides your mouth. Oh yeah, capsaicin is often added into Male Performance pills for a reason. It helps to cause vascular dilation (also known as vasodilation) within those endeared, productive, useful, enjoyed penile chambers of yours. Hmm, that always sounds like fun…and your lover will surely appreciate it.

So, as you can see: there is plenty of reasons to spice up your life and embark upon the Hot Pepper Craze of today.

Fun tidbit: Capsaicin can have euphoric properties. The “hotness” from chili peppers can induce a temporary feeling of euphoria – due to your own body releasing endorphins in response to this “heat.” Obviously, that is why we have addicted chiliheads out there. Enjoy…

The Scoville Heat Scale is used to measure the “hotness” and/or concentration of capsaicin for peppers. You can search all you want about hot peppers and the hotness that they may provide on a scale, but take it from me, it depends on how you grow them. I’ll get to that info in a minute; now back to the scale…

The highest the scale goes, as in pure capsaicin, is 16,000,000. For example, a typical Jalapeno usually falls between 2,500 – 8,000 Scoville units – although, a smoked Jalapeno (Chipotle) has been known to hit 10,000 (plus or minus) on the scale – due to being more concentrated/dryed out. Cayenne peppers usually range between 30,000 – 50,000 and are much similar to Tabasco peppers, when it comes to heat levels. A commonly known sizzling demon of fury, is the Habanero pepper…and can reach 350,000+, and some variations of this pepper can reach even higher. On the low side, for example, a Pepperoncini (also known as Italian Peppers) are usually under 500 on the Scoville Heat Scale. Of course, a Sweet Bell Pepper is zero – but what did you expect?

When it comes to growing peppers, it is probably one of the easiest plants to grow and the hardiest plant you’ll have in your garden. They will not need overly fertilized ground or substrate, and they actually do better in poor to moderate conditions. Lets just say, if you pamper your hot pepper plant, you’ll end up with loads of healthy foliage (mass of leaves), less produce, and milder peppers. Also, if you overly water your pepper plants, the heat content will be withered. See, capsaicin produces in abundance as a natural ‘protective factor’ to save the fruit from being ate by wild animals when it is struggling. In better terms, the more harsh conditions provide the hottest peppers. But then again, they are native to harsh conditions, so go figure… I’m not saying you shouldn’t take care of them, but, for the chiliheads that want the hottest of the hot, you might want to factor in some ‘neglect’ into your gardening tactics. Now, how’s that for gardening skills? Interesting fact: Birds are immune to capsaicin’s effects…as they are nature’s natural spreaders of the seeds and whatnot. Just think, no matter how tough a local humanoid chilihead is, they can never handle the “heat” from a hot pepper like a little, innocent bird can, LOL!

In summary: Hot Chili Peppers are easy to grow, beneficial to your health – in many ways, can be addictive in a good way, and add a lot of spice to your food. Enjoy the craze… I hope you found this info useful. Now, go spice it up……

The Optimal Caveman Diet – Foraging hunter and gatherer…

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For some reason or another, this is often a controversial topic: whether man was meant to eat meat or was it intended for humans to strictly be vegetarians?

Personally, I disagree with the vegetarian beliefs, simply because it doesn’t sound natural. A human being out in the wild, while trying to survive, would have a very hard time surviving on vegetation alone. It is not that I think people shouldn’t be vegetarians – it is your choice – but to say that we shouldn’t eat meat, is asinine, in my opinion.

Has anyone ever watched the beautiful video, ‘Alone in the Wilderness’? It is the story of Dick Proenneke, living in the Alaska Wilderness. The footage he caught on tape, is an excellent example of what it’s like to make it in the wild and to eat like a foraging hunter and gatherer would. If you like nature and survival type shows, I recommend it.

Anyway, the caveman diet, also known as the “Paleolithic diet,” has positive health benefits. Although, due to your genetics and any pre-existing health conditions (most of them due to today’s version of “food”), an individual’s optimal diet may vary from one to the next. But, in general, reverting back to this Paleolithic-style of eating may be the way to go.

Most vegetarian supporters often misconstrue this reality: It is not the meat or food that is killing the people of today, it is all the preservatives, chemicals, and crap they inject or put into the products. You know, anybody that has read the ‘content labels’ on some of the foods in today’s market, surely has seen some very unusual words while thinking, “What in the … is that? How do you pronounce that? Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate who? Tripolyphosphate what?” And so on…  There is an endless amount of “additives” in our food today. So, the main point being made here, is that organic, clean & lean meat is not bad for you. Unless you’re allergic to it or have a medical condition, anything natural (I mean ‘natural’ as in man didn’t alter it) is always good. Fat is not bad either (saturated included), as it is an essential nutrient. Your body must have lipids, and I don’t mean it is fine to throw pounds of bacon down your throat either – common sense needs to be applied.

Confirmation: I’ve heard about and known of too many people living long, healthy lives that were raised up on a farm and ate pork, chicken, and red meat all of their life – and lets not forget, this was also home-raised food without any additives or chemicals. Things have changed, and drastically so, over the last several decades.

Think as a foraging hunter and gatherer would: Random types of lean meats due to fresh kills, raw vegetables, and fruits. And yes, you can cook the meats & vegetables and still be primitive. Nobody really knows when fire was first discovered, other than it being from someone or some thing … long, long ago. Who knows, maybe an alien dropped off some know-how for these primitive beings, and then deployed into another region in space?

When thinking retrospectively, all the continents used to basically be intact. I noticed the globe looking like a jigsaw puzzle a long time ago, when I was in Kindergarten class. Nobody really knows how many times life has started & re-started on this planet, but after the continents did split apart, it has been all about adaptation, acclimation, and evolution of species. Sure, if this was a perfect world in a constant state of stagnant conditions on one giant plateau, we could have an absolute, optimal diet for everyone. On second thought, after a population boom, I think humans would do poorly on a one-continent world, think about it…… I’m glad the continents split apart. Anyway, the prior statement is irrelevant.

Bottom line: Don’t blame the meat; praise the caveman. Now, go cook yourself a wholesome steak from an organic cow, etc. If you want optimal diet plans, eat like the farm raised people of the past or follow the Neolithic critters of the Stone Age and eat like a foraging hunter and gatherer would; aim for natural, organic foods……

Need more information about the caveman diet?
Additional resources below:

| Modern Dietary Practices | Paleolithic Humans |

Organic meat without additives, is A-OK.

Organic meat without additives, is A-OK.

What’s your opinion? Are humans designed to eat meat?

—End of Post