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Health By Choice Blog & Newsletters
HBC Blog

HBC Blog

  1. For several years now, I have been a consumer and advocate of stevia as an alternative sweetener.  Recent articles and information have been challenging the safety of some forms of stevia that are currently used in products and as solo sweeteners.   I looked at the fine print on the label of the product I use only to be surprised to find maltodextrin as an added ingredient.  Unfortunately, unless it is labeled GMO free, maltodextrin may be manufactured from GMO corn (other possibilities include; rice or potato).  Another concern is that some stevia is not 100 percent leaf stevia and is manipulated chemically.  I would encourage anyone using or thinking about using stevia to read the newsletter #425 from for some interesting insight into stevia.
  2. How Stress Impacts Your Health and What You Can Do To Help Yourself
    Many of you are aware that I am currently taking some college classes and pursuing a degree in Human Services.   One of my summer classes that I am taking right now is based upon Health and Wellness.   The book that we are using is called The Wellness Book, by Herbert Benson, M.D..   The subtitle is called, “The Comprehensive Guide to Maintaining Health and Treating Stress-Related Illness”.    Although it is a book that was written many years ago, the principles and techniques are still as effective today as they were back then.   We have focused a lot on stress and how it affects a person’s health.   We have practiced a lot of mind-body wellness processes that can help your body and your mind deal with stressors.   Remember, stressors can be internal or external, and stress can come from both positive and negative experiences in our lives.   Also, don’t forget, the stressors do not even have to be real.   They can be imaginary, such as our worrisome thoughts that might be troubling us (about things that do not ever materialize in the real word).   So, what can you do to help diffuse the harmful effects that stress can impose upon your body?   Here are a few suggestions from the book.
    Each time you encounter a stress, stop, before your thoughts escalate into the worst possible scenarios.   Take a moment to breathe and then choose how you wish to react.  Choose your thoughts and your actions wisely.   Here are a few more tips: Learn effective communication skills.   Listen to your body.   Take time to rest.   Learn to say no.  Incorporate humor in your life.   Plan some fun in to your schedule.   Take a vacation.   Spend time with friends.  Get a message.   Go hiking.   Learn a new hobby.   Practice deep breathing.  Explore essential oils.  Practice affirmations.   Count your blessings.   Say a prayer.  Most of all, remember that is it up to you to take the best care of yourself.    You are important!

  3. The Benefits of Hiking
    Now is the time to get your hiking shoes on and go for a nice long walk in the woods, or a park near you.   Not only does hiking give you a good cardiovascular work-out, but it is also a great way to reduce stress and tension in your body and mind.   It certainly was a long winter for all of us.   If you take the time for a 30-minute walk, several times a week, you will be contributing greatly to your longevity of life, as well as maintaining good health.   Perhaps you like to hike with other people, but sometimes it is nice to just hike alone, in silence, and feel the connection to the nature that surrounds you.   It is a great way to clear your mind, and relax your body.
    For those of us here in south-central Pennsylvania, we have some great parks, such as Shawnee Park, Raystown Lake, Canoe Creek State Park, and Prince Galitzen State Park.   Shawnee Park is one of my favorites because of the lake-side trail.  I will often park my car, take a long walk on one of the trails, and eventually sit on one of the benches to watch the birds and wildlife that might be around.   And if you are like me, perhaps you enjoy taking some photographs while you are enjoying your walk.  I find that capturing a beautiful sunset, or even perhaps just a lovely flower, with my camera, makes me feel really happy.  If you would like a park that offers some fantastic waterfalls to visit, try Ricketts Glenn State Park, in Northeastern Pennsylvania.    I think they have 26 waterfalls and lots of trails to hike.  
    Spring is a wonderful season to enjoy.   Take the time to get out of the house, and explore some great parks and do some walking.   If you google Pennsylvania State Parks, I think you will find that there are approximately 120 of them in our state.   If you find one you really like, send me an e-mail and tell me about.   My e-mail is
  4. Did you know that as many as 80% of all Americans are deficient in magnesium?

    Magnesium, a necessary mineral, can help with poor sleep, low energy, anxiety and tension, migraines & headaches, fibromyalgia, blood sugar regulation, abnormal heart rhythm, hormonal imbalance, and can help prevent heart attacks!  Now thats a MIGHTY MINERAL!

    Have you "Magnesium-ed" today?? ;)

  5. Your skin is important to your whole body.  Taking good care of your skin really doesn’t take that much time. 
    “Drink plenty of water”. . .We hear this, but do we do it?  Sufficient water hydrates us inside and outside.  This is essential to your health program.
    A great moisturizer line is carried by Health By Choice at the New Enterprise location.  It is called Ultra Aesthetics by Dr. Ron’s. They are reasonably priced and not chemically filled.
    Here is an easy way to help with irritated eyes.  Warm two tea bags and place on your closed eyes for ten minutes while you relax.  Take the bags off your eyes, pat dry, and enjoy the day.
    Remember that a smiling face is a much more youthful face.

  6. If you have been gluten free for several months and still feel that something is not quite right; you are probably correct.  Recent studies have found that many foods can cause similar reactions in the body similar to gluten.  A good analogy is to think of a combination safe that will open with 4 correct numbers and that gluten is a perfect match for those 4 numbers.  Now what is interesting about this safe is that it will also open with just 3 correct numbers.  Many of the cross reactive foods have those three matching numbers.  Consider eliminating these foods from your diet for the next 30 days and monitor your body’s reactions.  The following is a list of gluten cross reactive foods; chocolate milk, sorghum, teff, cow’s milk, oats, millet, soy, yeast, hemp, eggs, coffee, amaranth, corn, sesame, quinoa, rice, whey protein, buckwheat, tapioca, and potatoes.  What is interesting is that many of these foods are used in gluten free foods.  So it is best to always check the label in detail if you are trying to avoid gluten cross reactive foods.
  7. I have been thinking lately about this winter weather, and also thinking about the benefits of winter.   Perhaps you are wondering if there really are any benefits to the winter season.   Let me propose that there indeed are some benefits.   Here are a few that I have been thinking about.   Well, how about for starters getting some extra sleep.   I find that once it is dark earlier in the evening hours, that I tend to go to bed earlier.   Sometimes I read, and sometimes I might watch a movie, but sometimes I just go to sleep early and catch up on some much needed rest.   I also have found that I do more cleaning in the winter months than the other three seasons because I am indoors more – especially during a snow storm, which of course we have had many of them this winter.   I also do more cooking in the winter months, and experiment with new recipes.  And I work on indoor projects, such as the genealogy research that I did a few winters ago.   Of course there is also the opportunity to start some new interests, such as learning to identify the birds in my bird feeder, and to learn the sounds that they make (i.e, trying to identify them by sound, before I see them).    What about you?   Can you think of any benefits of the winter season?
  8. 100% organic Einkorn is now available at Health By Choice.  This is the original wheat that William Davis MD writes about in his book, Wheat Belly.  It is the first original wheat that was cultivated over 10,000 years ago.  Its’ genetic structure is different from modern wheat because it only has 2 sets of chromosomes compared to 6 sets of today’s wheat.  Einkorn has never been hybridized and it has a lower gluten content than current commercial flours available.  It is not gluten free.  It does however transfer well to any recipe that calls for processed flour.  Several of us have made items from the Einkorn flour and our family members tolerated it better than modern wheat products.   I am not advocating that everyone can or should eat einkorn but if you have that special recipe that you haven’t made in years because non-gluten flours just didn’t work; it may be worth a try.  Soon we will also have some pasta and cookies made from einkorn available for purchase.  Remember to eat responsibly.
  9. How are you doing with your wellness goals for the New Year?  Are you still thinking about jump starting an exercise program for 2014?   Perhaps you have been thinking, “I sure would like to be healthier”.   It is not too late to begin.  Check out our new Healthcare Savings Plan, on the front page of our website.   It is a great way to dedicate a year of your life to becoming healthier than perhaps you have ever been before.   If you have questions about the new program, feel free to give us a call.   The plan includes nutritional counseling (3 sessions) and lots of other helpful tests designed to bring your body in to balance, increase energy, and help you develop healthy habits so that you can do your best to live a long and healthy life.
  10. I was recently introduced to which I think many of you will enjoy visiting.  It is based on the book by George Mateljan aptly titled; The world’s healthiest foods.  I have a copy of the book but spent more time on the website than I have looking at the book.
    There are a variety of sections to explore; including the WH food list which gives you the main vitamin and mineral listing for each food item selected.  It also provides recipes for the selected food item.  For the novice cook, there is a section on how to prepare each of the foods. Don’t skip the 10 most controversial foods section.
    You need to try the food advisor section.  You record the amount of various foods that you eat on a daily or weekly basis and various medical conditions and you receive an analysis of what vitamins you may be missing from your diet.  By clicking on the vitamin, a list of recommended foods and recipes are provided for you. 
    You can sign up for a free newsletter or recipes.
  11. We are all looking forward to this brand new year full of endless possibilities--a clean slate just begging to be written on. And as we move forward into the future it can be beneficial to decide what will be most important to get done this year.
    Here are some suggestions:
    1. Know your Vitamin D level—It is estimated that about three fourths of Americans are lacking the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial for proper development of the fetus during pregnancy, childhood growth and development, and for growing teens.  Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and for mental health issues. It is so easy to get a blood test done and get your “D” level up to snuff.!!!!
    2. See a qualified naturopath/nutritional counselor—The money invested for a session will pay you big dividends over the years.  No amount of money can by you good health.
    3. Try to eat less junk food and more green veggies.
    4. Drink lots of water
    5. Move…Move….Move
    6. Manage and lower stress levels—stress is a KILLER!
    7. Give…Give….Give –Research shows that those who volunteer and spend time helping others have a more positive attitude and live longer than those who do not.
    8. Forgive others and LOVE extravagantly!!
    9. Simplify your life and learn to live with less material items in your daily life….you can’t take it with you anyway!! By the time you get it all paid for, it is time to downsize and move to the nursing home!!!!
    10. ENJOY your new year!
  12. Cellphones - Friend or Foe
    Are we the victims of friendly fire?
    We live in the age of wireless from cell phones to ipads to video games. No one can deny that this digital world is fascinating, fun and entertaining. But are we sacrificing our health at the expense of wireless convenience. 
    We have been told that cell phones and wireless devices pose no significant health problems.  However, evidence is mounting that this may not be true. And if there are safety concerns, what should we be doing not only to protect ourselves but also our children?
    Most cell phones do comply with not exceeding the specific absorption rate (SAR) set by the Federal Government. This is the rate that our bodies absorb radiation but SAR only monitors thermal effects.  The real danger may be the RF (radio frequency) waves.  This is the invisible energy or nonthermal radiation that connects cell phones to their cell towers. When your cell phone is on, it is constantly sending and receiving RF signals to and from the nearest cell tower to keep you in service. The further you are away from a tower the harder your cell phone has to work and the more RF it emits.
    Research is showing that this type of invisible energy may be damaging our immune systems including permanent damage to our DNA. 
    Very few studies have investigated the health effects of cell phone use on children. It stands to reason that because they are younger with a longer exposure time, they are at higher risk for many health problems and irreversible damage.
    Children absorb about 60 per cent more radiation into their head than adults (De Salles et al 2006). A child’s nervous system is not fully developed and so he/she is more susceptible to long-term effects of using wireless devices.
    One study in the International Journal of Oncology (Hardell et al. 2011) has found that young adults who start to use a cell phone before the age of 20 are at five times the risk of malignant brain tumors than those who did not use a phone. This study was a small one but makes it clear that more research must be done.  But what can we do in the meantime to improve safety with cell phones and other wireless devices.
    Dr. Kerry Crofton, PhD who has spent several years compiling research about cell phone safety has written an excellent book and resource: “Wireless Radiation Rescue 2012: Safeguard Your Family from the Risks of Electro-Pollution”.
     Dr. Crofton also has a website that you can visit to learn more about the ongoing research on cell phone and wireless device safety:
    Some tips for improving cell phone safety include:
    1. Do not hold a cell phone directly to your head. Brain tumors (gliomas) were found to be more prevalent on the side of the head that people had their cell phones to.
    2. Always keep your cell phone six inches or more from your body and use either a speakerphone or a corded headset (but not a wireless headset).
    3. Text whenever possible.
    4. Keep your phone turned off when driving.  In the close confines of a car, your entire body is exposed to the RF (radio frequency) radiation.
    5. Always turn off your wireless settings when playing games, music or movies on your cell phone.
    6. Do not use your cell phone as a bedside alarm clock.
    Take the time to educate yourself on cell phone and wireless device safety. Remember just because it is convenient that doesn’t guarantee that it is safe. The effort taken to educate yourself may just save the health of you and your family.
  13. Looking for a late summer read – you may want to consider The Pharmaceutical Myth by Gerald Roliz, CNC.  As a former drug representative who sold pharmaceuticals to medical doctors, he has a unique perspective on both the allopathic and natural field.   He is a strong proponent of Weston A. Price and Dr. Royal Lee (founder of Standard Process). 
    Some bullet points of interest are: 
    • Acetaminophen is the #1 cause of acute liver failure cases in the U.S.
    • Addiction is one of the three major risks of taking any pharmaceutical (the other two are liver and kidney damage),
    • All drugs have side effects
    • Newer pharmaceutical have a higher risk of being withdrawn from the market place
    • Over 900 clinical studies document the side effects of statin drugs
    • Many of today’s processed foods contain yellow food dye.  FD &C Yellow No. 5 is known to contain benzidine, a Group 1 carcinogen by International Agency of Research on Cancer
    The author does a good job of providing supporting documentation for all statements made.  Sprinkled throughout the book are questions to ask your allopathic or natural health care provider and question to ask yourself.  For the seasoned veteran of natural wellness there may be few surprises in this book but the neo-naturopathic follower should find the book interesting and easy to comprehend.
  14. FDA defined what “Gluten Free” means
    After more than 6 years the FDA has a final ruling regarding the term “gluten free” on food labels.  Gluten free is now defined as products containing less than 20 part per million of gluten.   Technically this means that foods can still contain barley, wheat, and rye and their derivatives so they will not be grain free.  Food manufacturers have up to one year to comply.  The amount selected is generally recognized by the medical community to be low enough so that most people who have celiac disease won’t get sick if they eat it.  It would still make sense to read the ingredients label because of the possible cumulative effect of eating too much gluten free foods.
  15. Recently, I tried Caldwell’s Starter Culture to make fermented red cabbage.  I was very pleased with the results and so was everyone who tried it at our Spring Festival at Manheim last weekend.  The directions were easy to follow and it was ready to eat after 7 days.  The instructions say that it gets better with 6 to 8 weeks of extra refrigeration time but I didn’t have a moment  to spare.  I decreased the recommend salt by 1 tablespoon because of past experiences with excessively salty fermented foods.  I guess this is something each individual has to play with to satisfy their taste buds.  If you have wanted to try fermented products this is a great and easy way to start.  I prepared the cabbage in the food processor to create extra juice instead of beating it with a mallet and it saved time.  If you have never prepared fermented vegetables, I suggest you consider using a culture starter for your first adventure and who know what you will be making next.  Fermented foods provide a variety of good gut bacteria and are recommended by numerous health advocates such as Donna Gates, Sally Fallon, and Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride.
  16. History and Benefits of Massage
    Believe it or not but the practice of massage and therapeutic touch has been around for a very long time, and for many cultures it was their way of life to achieve health and longevity.

     Research has suggested that massage as a form of therapy was in use several centuries before the birth of Christ.  Mentioned in ancient Greek, Egyptian, Indian and Chinese medical texts, it played a particularly important role in the traditional medicine of the Far East and India and throughout history was taught along with other therapies, such as herbalism, exercise and acupuncture.

    Massage has also been used as well throughout history as a form of relaxation and for beauty treatments. Particularly popular with the ancient Romans, base oils were mixed with essential oil and herbs, and applied with full body massage techniques to regenerate and beautify the skin, especially the skin of the face.

    Massage and bodywork with their great variety of healing strokes can be very effective in balancing the nervous system and restoring homeostasis. The skin and muscles contain many nerve endings and connections and the soothing, balancing, healing touch of massage is relayed by them to every part of the body to bring relief and promote well-being.

    When muscles become tight or spastic from stress, overuse, injury and trauma there is a back-up of toxins such as lactic acid. With the variety of massage techniques that are out there, muscles can again be stretched and soften to help restore and regenerate normal muscle elasticity. Massage exerts a beneficial pumping action on the circulatory system by gently squeezing and releasing the muscles and circulatory vessels that pass through it. This improves blood circulation by the fresh nutrient-full blood to blood that is carrying toxins away from the cells.

    But let us not forget one of the most basic reasons for allowing ones’ self to indulge in such a luxury and that is in the gentle touch itself. Both human beings and animals have always been endowed with the intuitive knowledge that stroking and caressing with a caring, loving attitude brings comfort, relaxation and general well-being. In our scientifically-minded age, studies have over-whelming confirmed that a loving touch can also relieve pain, soothe sorrows, promote health, and ensure the growth and development of happy healthy offspring, both human and animal.

    To add a massage into your health program is indeed a benefit to your total well- being. It can cleanse and stimulate all systems of the body and in return create a physically, mentally and emotionally brighter you, and that’s what matters!
  17. Soothing Stress Relief
    Perhaps I have already mentioned in other blogs that soft music playing on your computer while you are tending to chores, or studying, or doing whatever you might be doing can really be soothing to your spirit and quite a stress reliever if your are feeling stressed.   Here is a link to one of my favorite piano songs by Philip Wesley.    I had first heard Philip Wesley while playing music (on the Internet) on   If you haven’t yet tried Pandora it is a great website to create a playlist of songs that you might like to hear.  For me, when I am studying for long hours, I enjoying listening to soft, soothing, piano music.  
    Give this song a try and see if you like it.  

  18. How Stress Affects Your Health
    Have you ever stopped to wonder how stress actually affects your physical health?    What does it really do to the body?   Can it actually make you more susceptible to becoming sick?   What about your brain?   Can stress reduce your brain’s ability to function correctly?
    These are rather interesting questions.   There is no doubt that stress affects our health.   Some statistics say that up to 85% of disease is related to stress.   Not only does it take a toll on your energy, sleep, mood, digestion, and immune system, but also it can possibly reduce the ability of your brain to function at an optimal level.    When you are under stress, particularly for a long period of time, you may find that your concentration is reduced, or your ability to make good decisions is hindered.   Some people find that their creativity is diminished.   Overall, there is probably for most people a sense of simply being “overwhelmed”.   When you are overwhelmed, everything becomes mentally more challenging.   You may become forgetful and confused.    Simple tasks just aren’t so simple anymore.
    So, what is the solution?   Two important things should be considered.   Number one – how well are you feeding and nourishing your brain?   Yes, you read that correctly.   Making sure that you are drinking plenty of water on a daily basis is vital to optimal brain functioning.   What is the ideal amount of water consumption?    Divide your body weight in half and convert that to ounces.  So, if you weighed 140 pounds, your ideal water consumption would be 70 ounces per day.    Another thing that improves brain functioning is healthy fats and oils.   Make sure you are getting plenty of omega 3’s, omega 6’s, and omega 9’s each day.   Cod liver oil (fermented is best) is also beneficial for so many areas of your health, but especially your brain.    Eat foods rich in healthy fats and oils such as avocados and salmon (wild-caught) and nuts.
    Finally, consider ways to reduce the stress in your life.    Keep your life balanced.   Do things that help build up your energy system in your body, and limit those things that reduce your energy levels in your body.    Take time to relax and incorporate time in your daily routine to do things that make you feel good.   Take a walk.   Spend time in the sunshine and be outdoors.   
    You may also want to consider a nutritional evaluation at Health by Choice to find out what supplements would be beneficial for your body.    Or you may want to consider having a stress reduction session in order to learn more about stress and ways that you can possibly reduce the stress that you have in your life, as well as learning better ways of coping with any stressors that can’t be eliminated at this time in your life.    There are always options and solutions in each of our lives when it comes to stress.   If you would like to have a nutritional evaluation or a stress reduction session at Health by Choice, just give us a call and set up an appointment.    As always, we are here to help you on your path to great health and wellness.
  19. Ella and I recently attended a seminar on Hypothyroidism type 2 that was taught by Dr. Mark Starr M.D. author of the book by the same name.  A few of the interesting things that were shared:
    • Chronic health issues are a result of the body’s inability to make new cells. Poor voltage is at the core of this issue.
    • Type 2 Hypothyroidism is considered subclinical and may not show on a TSH blood test.  It is an issue of mitochondrial function and their relationship to thyroid hormones. 
    • Triiodothyronine (T3) levels can have an impact on depression.
    • Chemicals and toxins can have an impact on thyroid hormonal function; especially fluorine, bromine, and chlorine which complete with iodine at cell receptor sites.  Plastics (phthalates) will also impact how the body reacts to thyroid hormones.
    • Individuals with autoimmune issues may be sensitive/allergic to some of their own hormones.  There is a link between autoimmune issues and dental infections.
    • The thyroid gland will not atrophy with long term glandular support.
    • Low thyroid can play a role in arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and muscle pain.
    • Iodine can be used topically for scars and sebaceous cysts.
    • Iodine may be needed in certain circumstances but can cause detoxification symptoms if used inappropriately.
    Please consult your health care provider before implementing any changes to your wellness regimen.
  20. Essential Oils For Your Heart
    Have you ever felt stressed or anxious?   Often we might find ourselves emotionally upset, which can then be felt as discomfort in our heart area.   Perhaps you noticed an achiness in your heart itself, or overall discomfort in your chest either during or after moments of stress.     Research is showing more and more that there really is a connection between our hearts and our brains.   Emotional stress can impact our physical bodies.  When you are in the midst of something stressful, and having stressful thoughts and feelings due to the distressing experience, try using an essential oil to help calm down your inner being.    One of the essential oils that I like is Heart Harmony.    You can dispense a few drops of it from the bottle, and rub it directly on your heart area.    This can be done even on days when you may not be experiencing any stress, but simply wish to feel lighter and happier. 
    Here is some information about Heart Harmony.

  21. It’s only a few months into the New Year.  Have you kept up with your new year resolutions?  We all look forward to a brand new year full of endless possibilities--a clean slate just begging to be written on. And as we move forward into the future it can be beneficial to decide what will be most important to get done this year.
    Here are some suggestions:

    1. Know your Vitamin D level—It is estimated that about three fourths of Americans are lacking the sunshine vitamin. Vitamin D is crucial for proper development of the fetus during pregnancy, childhood growth and development, and for growing teens.  Low Vitamin D levels have been linked to a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and for mental health issues. It is so easy to get a blood test done and get your “D” level up to snuff.!!!!
    2. See a qualified naturopath/nutritional counselor—The money invested for a session will pay you big dividends over the years.  No amount of money can by you good health.
    3. Try to eat less junk food and more green veggies.
    4. Drink lots of water
    5. Move…Move….Move
    6. Manage and lower stress levels—stress is a KILLER!
    7. Give…Give….Give –Research shows that those who volunteer and spend time helping others have a more positive attitude and live longer than those who do not.
    8. Forgive others and LOVE extravagantly!!
    9. Simplify your life and learn to live with less material items in your daily life….you can’t take it with you anyway!! By the time you get it all paid for, it is time to downsize and move to the nursing home!!!!
    10. ENJOY your year!
  22. Fourteen family members and staff recently participated in a detoxification and 21 day cleanse program.  Today should be the completion date for many of the participants.  The program involved dietary changes and supplementation.   Caffeine, sugar, chocolate, and refined grains were among the foods that were eliminated from the program.  At the beginning of the process all animal products were removed with the exception of whey protein.  Most vegetables and fruits were allowed and small amounts of lentils and brown rice.  Most reported favorable results with weight loss being an added benefit.  It was challenging for those who travel to find acceptable foods.  Eating at restaurants was extremely difficult and I didn’t hear how people did at super bowl parties.  It was easy to get hungry if you couldn’t eat frequently or drink one of the approved shakes.  This was my second time completing the program and I added the lentils and rice throughout the cleanse because I became hungry easily without them.   Adding coconut milk to the shakes gave them more substance than water and helped to make me feel full.  I have not heard results of greater than 5 lb weight loss but will let you know as the participants report in.  I do recommend the program annually for most people.  Ask one of our clinic staff if it may be good for you to complete.
  23. Every so often a short video comes along that makes you stop and think.   The video below stimulates us to cultivate gratefulness for everything in our lives.   It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of everyday living that we can actually stop feeling truly alive because we get in to a monotone, detached way of being.   This video will help you get re-engaged in the true connection to your life – for you alone have your own life to live and to be grateful for.  
    This year, take time to learn the art of appreciating your own life.   Love what you have instead of longing for more.   Connect with the people around you instead of wishing to travel to exotic places to find other people to connect with.   Right now, this day, you are blessed with your own life.   Choose to be part of it, with eyes wide open and a heart full of love.
    Here is the video.
  24. Gluten Free PB Cookies
    1 cup                      Peanut butter (can substitute almond butter)
    ¾ cup                     Turbanado sugar
    1                              Egg
    ½ tsp                       Baking soda
    ½ tsp                       Baking powder (aluminum free)
    ¼ tsp.                      Salt
    ½ cup                     Semi sweet chips
    ½ cup                     Peanuts or Almonds (optional)
    Combine dry ingredients in large bowl.  Slightly beat egg and combine with nut butter.  Blend ingredients together.  Scoop with 1 oz ice cream scoop or from into balls by hand.  Place on ungreased baking sheet approximately 1 inch apart (will rise).  Bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown in 350 degree preheated oven.
  25. GMO fish coming soon?
    On December 26, 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its preliminary documents over the safety of AquaBounty’s  AquAdvantage genetically modified salmon to human health and environment.  The FDA approved the salmon, finding it safe for human consumption and found that the salmon poses no significant threat to the environment.  According to its creators, it will be engineered to only include sterile females; however, there is a 5% chance that the fish could become fertile.  This would be the first laboratory-created animal approved for food in the U.S.  There is just one final FDA approval before a final 60 day countdown to release it to grocery stores.  The fish is designed to grow at twice the normal rate, reducing the rearing period from 3 years to 18 months.  It consists of an Atlantic salmon egg that includes genes from Chinook salmon and an eel-like fish called the ocean pout.  According to;  emphasizing one of many concerns about creating a genetically engineered salmon species on such a large, industrial and commercial scale, Food & Water Watch quotes Denise Hawkins, PhD from the US Fish & Wildlife Service. In a statement describing the FDA’s lack of data on the subject, he writes, “Maybe they should watch Jurassic Park.”
  26. It will come as no surprise that when we look at the list of top New Year’s resolutions (New York Times); losing weight and getting fit are again within the top five for 2013.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 35.7 percent of adults and 16.9 percent of children ages 2 to 19 are now obese.  Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher.  According to a  Reuters (Tue Sep 18, 2012) article; “Using a model of population and other trends, a new report released on Tuesday by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation projects that half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030 unless Americans change their ways.”  A host of issues associated with increased weight are the real concern; for example, increased blood pressure, diabesity, heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, and cancer.  Unfortunately, there is no easy solution and I see the challenge first hand with family and friends.
    If you are committed to making this your year to make weight loss your goal, here is a great place to start.  Pull every food item from your cabinets that contain sugars, processed grains (flours, cereal, and snack food) or hydrogenated fats and put them on your kitchen table.  Do not put the food away but keep it out in plain sight.  You may eat this food but you must not purchase another product containing these items. If you do purchase any of these items, they must be kept out on the table.  I hope that this will be a small first step and daily reminder about which foods to avoid.
  27. The CDC announced last Tuesday that the flu season in the U.S. is off to its earliest start in nearly a decade and it could be a bad one.  Are you prepared?  There are a number of great products for you to consider.  If you are not familiar with Engystol and Gripp Heel, now would be a great time to learn how these homeopaths can help your family.  Congaplex by Standard Process is another great supplement to have in your home wellness kit.  It is safe for most children (over 2 years old) and adults.  Andrographis Complex by Medi Herb is one of my favorites and has an affinity toward helping with upper respiratory issues of the throat and sinus. Immuno Max by Nutritional Frontiers is a great tasting chewable that can be used for anyone with a weakened immune system or for acute support.  If you haven’t started your winter Vitamin D; what are you waiting?  Don’t wait until you need help, stop your winter wellness kit now.
  28. I had the opportunity to attend a Kerry Bone (Co founder and Director R&D for Medi Herb) seminar last week and learned the latest theories on antioxidants and turning on the body’s defense mechanism using herbs.  Here are some of the useful highlights from the seminar:

    1. Brassica foods (broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage) have better antioxidant value than higher ORAC rated foods.  Remember to eat cooked if low thyroid issues are a concern.
    2. Fresh garlic, turmeric (curcumin) , and rosemary are valuable antioxidant herbs.
    3. Most antibiotics are given to livestock in the U. S.  “In an effort to control this excessive use, in April 2012 the FDA announced that for the first time, farmers and ranchers will need a veterinarian’s prescription to give antibiotics to farm animals.”  Antibiotic resistance is an inevitable consequence of antibiotic use, the more you use the more resistance you get.
    4. Echinacea is an excellent herb for immune enhancement, reversing aging of innate immunity (rat study), safe for long term use.  The alkylamides found in Echinacea are an essential component to its effectiveness.
    5. Antioxidants can become pro-oxidants in the right environment; for example, in rat studies using green tea before taking acetaminophen helped the liver but not if taken after.
    6. Ginkgo has long term documentation as a powerful clinical antioxidant.
    7. Herbs can be beneficial as immune enhancing for the human body; however, they are weak in killing bacteria and viruses.  Herbs are best as prevention.
  29. Earlier this month I took a vacation and went to Aruba for a week. On the first day there I had went on a snorkeling expedition. While snorkeling in some shallow water I was startled by a fish and had cut my knee pretty badly on a piece of sea coral. I had made my way back to the boat where they had put an antiseptic and bandage on it.
    The very next day when I woke up I immediately noticed that the cut on my knee from the previous day had become very infected. Being in a forgien country I was without first aid materials, so I had made my way down to the resorts office to seek out the nearest pharmacy to acquire some items to help clear up the infection. While explaining what happened and asking for assistance the girl behind the desk had spoke some words to the man next to her in Spanish which I did not understand. The man said to me to wait in the lobby while he got some items that would help me.
    About 10 minutes later the man returned with three items. He had with him a roll of gauze, a machete, and a coconut that he had picked from one of the palm trees at the resort ( My initial thought was that he had lost his coconuts if he thought he was going to amputate my leg off at the knee). He proceeded to hack the top of the coconut off. Then he placed the roll of gauze down in the coconut to absorb the coconut water. He then removed the gauze and then cut the coconut in half. With his pocket knife he sliced a big chunk of coconut out and placed it on my knee and then wrapped the coconut water soaked gauze around my knee to hold the coconut in place.
    He instructed me to leave the bandage on all day and claimed that this would help get rid of the infection. Later that evening I removed the bandage and coconut to discover the infection to be completely gone ( and also realized that the man had not lost his coconuts ). I have Type 1 Diabetes and typically don't heal from cuts and scrapes very quickly but noicted the total time to heal was much quicker as well.
    There are not many days that go by in my job with Health By Choice that I don't suggest coconut oil to our customers for one thing or another. We suggest it for many things including; oil pulling, brain support, natural skin moisturizer, athletes foot, finger and toenail fungus, psoriasis, and much more. I will now also feel very confident in suggesting it for cuts as well considering my recent elevated respect for the power of coconuts.

  30. Seven Ways To Enjoy Life Without Spending A Dime

    1. Enjoy the sunshine—There is no substitute for what we receive from the sun—It is life and we need more Vitamin D, not less…Sunshine is antibacterial and antiviral and at one time was used to cure infections.  Tuberculosis patients spent months living at a sanatorium where rest, healthy whole foods and abundant sunshine were the medications used to get rid of their disease.
    2. Volunteer—The benefits of volunteering are numerous and multiple research demonstrates that volunteering improves health.  We were created to be social beings—we need each other and it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Several studies have shown that teens who volunteer are less likely to engage in risk taking behaviors such as smoking, drinking and using drugs.
    3. Check out your local library—This is free unless you owe money for late fees!!! Many new thoughts and ideas can be found just by browsing through the hundreds of books on the shelves.  Many are lonely and looking for a new friend!!
    4. Make a phone call to an old friend you haven’t talked to in years—social isolation is rampant in our society—Take the first step and make someone’s day with a “Hello, I just called to say hello and see how you are doing.”
    5. Take a walk— Yes, our legs were created to take us places without a car being involved!!!
    6. Window shopping at the mall—Totally free unless you are an impulse buyer, in which case I recommend repeating # 5 or skipping to # 7 on the list.
    7. Enjoy silence---rare in today’s society—turn off the TV, computer, smart phone and/or IPOD.  Treasure the peace and quiet for something different while saving on your electric bill.
    So just for today, enjoy life and do it for free!!!!
  31. A while ago, I met a lady that got me really excited about a simple way to improve my health and wellbeing…”good” salt.  I love it.  I will never go back to that “other” stuff.  Then the dilemma: what should I do with all this white salt that I have left?  There is no chance I will ever use it on food ever again, but I don’t want to waste it.  These are uses I have found through various sources that I want to try.
    Gravy on carpet: sprinkle the area with salt to prevent the grease from spreading; the salt will turn to a lighter shade of the gravy; clean as usual
    Tarnish on Copper/Brass: slice a lemon in half, dip in salt; rub on surface with a soft cloth; rinse to remove all salt; buff with a clean, soft cloth
    All-purpose cleaner: mix vinegar (white) and salt in a spray bottle; Warning: do not use on linoleum, marble or any waxed surface
    Pest away: salt helps kill moths and drive ants away (just sprinkle)
    Wicker furniture: moisten a stiff brush with warm saltwater, scrub; place in sun until dry
    Extending the life of a broom: soak in hot saltwater before first use
    Perspiration stains on clothes: blend 4 tbsp salt to 1 qt hot water, use a sponge to apply to fabric until stains vanish
    Dirty fish tanks: remove hard water deposits by rubbing with salt (no iodized salt), rinse WELL
    If you would like to know more about the benefits of “good” salt, feel free to stop by either of our locations.
  32. Not sure where I read this but thought it was worth passing along:
    You should remove fluoride and aluminum from your drinking water.  Flouride interacts with aluminum to form a compound that is very toxic to the small blood vessel of the brain, even in half the concentration seen in normal drinking water.  In addition, you should not use a lemon with your tap water or tea as this greatly enhances the absorption of aluminum.  Do not use lemons with black tea as it is high in fluoride and aluminum.  High silica containing mineral water may be beneficial to detox aluminum.
  33. Here is a link to a really cool website (at least I think so) –    It is written by a man named Henrik Edberg, from Sweden.     It is all about “Happiness and Awesomeness Tips that work in Real Life”, to quote the website.   I signed up for his e-mails, and this week he sent one out on “How to be less Stressed in Everyday Life”.    His blogs are easy to read and filled with good practical advice about being happy, reducing stress, and creating new habits that will help you live more consciously and enjoy your life more fully.   I would recommend checking out the website and if you do, click on “New? Start here” at the top center of the page.    That gives you a nice starting point.    Throughout the years I have signed up for various newsletters or e-mails from people, and often as time goes on, I find that I am not really reading them (i.e., too many e-mails in my inbox to even begin to read all of them, although they might be good ones) so I end up unsubscribing to them.     However, this website, The Positivity Blog, I hang on to, because I am always finding neat stuff that I can really use in my life and it’s worth taking the time to read what he sends out.  
    So, there you go, a new website to check out
  34. Are Beans On The Menu
    I just finished reading And They Said It Wasn’t Possible by Karen Hurd.  She is also known as the bean lady ( because of her recommendation to eat beans (as much as ½ cup of legumes 6 times daily) as part of her process to help individuals with intestinal issues.  She believes that noxious recycled bile will bind with the fiber in the beans and be expelled from the body into the toilet.  This allows the liver to make fresh mild bile.  She states that; “it is bile that causes gas.  Nasty, recycled bile ferments our foods instead of digesting them.  If the bile was mild – not saturated with trash that has been recycled for who-knows-how-long then we will have digestion take place not fermentation.”  I do not fully understand the white diet component of her program (need to study this more) but see the value in increasing our dietary legumes. 
  35. One of my roles at Health by Choice is being a Stress Management Counselor and Coach.   I often work with clients as to how they can explore what is happening in their lives and together we come up with various ideas and ways of creating more balance.   All of us have stress in our lives from time to time, but managing the stress, in a healthy way, will provide the balance which is very much needed in order to stay well.    Now that we will soon officially be entering the summer season, I encourage clients to remember to have fun and be outdoors, just like they may have been when they were a child.    Exploring parks, going on a weekend adventure, taking a vacation to the beach, or learning a new hobby (like photography, or bird watching), can all be very beneficial to your mind-body health.    Perhaps you enjoyed camping as a child, but haven’t done that for a while.   Or perhaps you often wanted to rent a canoe or kayak to see what that would feel like going across a small lake and watching the beauty of nature as you glide across the water.   

    The more stress that we feel and/or experience in our lives, the greater the need for some balance by making an effort to have fun and enjoy some relaxation as a part of our week to week routine.    If you only work, work, work all the time, you may find yourself at some point in your life later on saying, “I wish I would have taken the time to have more fun”.   

    I regularly go camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, and just love to explore parks.    I am also an avid photographer, and I am currently enrolled in a photography class.    My next adventure (at the end of this month) will be a camping trip down to the Shenandoah River for several days of camping, swimming, fishing, and tubing.     Perhaps you may remember how in days gone by, people would take old truck inner tubes and hop on them and float down the river.    Well, that’s what I will be doing.   The Shenandoah River is breathtakingly beautiful and there is nothing more fun than tubing down the river for a nice long lovely ride.    The fishing is great there also.   I think there will be at least ten or twelve people going in our group.    We are planning to have lots of fun.

    So, what about you?   What fun and relaxation do you have planned for the summer?   How about a little getaway?   Or perhaps you might go somewhere that you have wanted to go to for a while now.   Don’t let the years go by without carving out the time to be like a child in your own life.    Enjoy it while you can.   Life goes by too fast to not have some fun and relaxation on a regular basis.

    Have a wonderful summer everyone!!!!
  36. Reducing your wheat intake isn’t just for celiac sufferers anymore.  In his book Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis MD explains why wheat may be as big a concern as high fructose corn syrup in our diets.  Let me share a few thoughts/quotes from his book: There is hardly an organ that isn’t affected by wheat in some potentially damaging way.  Wheat is among the most consumed grains on earth, constituting 20% of all calories consumed.  Wheat is only exceeded by corn in acreage of farmland planted.  When going to the grocery store – look at how many aisles are exclusively dedicated to wheat based products.  One whole aisle is bread and snack cakes; there is usually a cracker and chip aisle, not to mention the frozen waffles and toaster products, and lest we forget the cereal aisle.
    Genetic changes have been introduced to increase yield per acre for wheat.  99% of all wheat grown worldwide is of the dwarf and semi dwarf variety.   The small changes in wheat protein structure can spell the difference between a devastating immune response to wheat protein versus none at all.  95% of the proteins of the newly created offspring are the same as the parents but 5% are unique to the new species.  The genetically changed crops were never tested for safety on animals or humans.  Plants such as wheat have the ability to retain the sum of the genes of their forebears.  The wheat species of today are hundreds if not thousands of genes apart from the original wheat that was bred naturally.  In fact, wheat that has been modified by humans is unable to survive in the wild without human support such as nitrate fertilizer and pest control.  This is because strains have been developed to be compatible with specific pesticides and herbicides.
    Aside from some extra fiber, eating 2 slices of whole wheat bread is really little different and often worse than drinking a can of sugar sweetened soda or a candy bar.  This is because the most digestible form of carbohydrate is found in abundance in wheat.  The Glycemic index of wheat is higher than a snickers bar.  In diabetics white and whole grain bread increased blood sugar 70 to 120 points (mg/dl) over starting levels.  Because of its impact on sugar wheat is an appetite stimulant.
    To learn more consider adding Wheat Belly  to your summer reading list.

  37. It is that time of year again. The time when we wake up, look out the window and discover the beautiful day! Excitement overwhelms us to get outside and enjoy the weather. Easy for some, but for the seasonal allergy sufferers it is not so easy.
    Allergies affect one in four Americans and symptoms can be lessened with homeopathy simply and inexpensively. Using homeopathic remedies to alleviate symptoms of allergies and hay fever eliminates the side effects of suppressive treatments like allergy medicines. Decongestants and expectorants only remove the symptoms, where homeopathic remedies can get to the root of the issue and create a more permanent solution by increasing the vital force of the individual.
    I have explored several homeopathic allergy remedies this season. I have had great results with the Adrisin by the Heel Company. Also, Heels BHI Allergy has been helpful. And while we can’t forget about the younger generation who are bothered by seasonal allergies; the Hylands Company offers a product called “Allergy Relief 4 Kids”. This product has been tested by my children successfully!
  38. Spring is here and everyone who loves to garden is getting anxious to start planting!!!!   Take a few moments to read how to plant this garden---no soil and dirty hands required!!!
    How to Plant Your Garden for Daily Living
    Plant 3 rows of Peas:

    1. Peace of Mind
    2. Peace of Heart
    3. Peace of Soul
    Plant 4 rows of Squash:

    1. Squash gossip
    2. Squash indifference
    3. Squash grumbling
    4. Squash selfishness
    Plant 4 rows of Lettuce:

    1. Lettuce be faithful
    2. Lettuce be kind
    3. Lettuce be patient
    4. Lettuce really love one another
    NO Garden should be without Turnips:

    1. Turnip for meetings
    2. Turnip for service
    3. Turnip to help one another

    1. Thyme for God
    2. Thyme for each other
    3. Thyme for family
    4. Thyme for friends
    5. Thyme for rest
  39. A colleague recently joked that she may have to put a flea and tick collar on her child when she goes out to play to avoid being bitten by ticks.  With the recent warm weather it seems that we are already into the tick season a month early.  On May 5, 2012, the Center for Disease Control gave official warning that 2012 promises to be a banner year for ticks.  So what are we to do if we do not want to use the chemical laden bug repellents?
    First use common sense: when going out to potential tick infested areas avoid wearing any scented products (perfumes, laundry detergents, fabric softeners).  Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts if possible.  Pull socks up and over the cuffs of your pants. 
    Consider using a repellent soap with your shower or bath.  Mix 10 to 15 drops of Lavender essential oil per ounce of Dr. Bonner’s Liquid Castile Soap.
    Garlic may have some benefits.  One Swedish study showed that ingesting a 1200 mg garlic powder capsule daily reduced tick bites by 21 % when compared to placebo.
    Burt’s Bees makes an all natural herbal insect repellent.  It is designed primarily for flying insects such as mosquitoes.  I do not know how well it works for ticks.  However, does offer a product specific for dogs and cats which many times carries the ticks inside to your family.
    The essential oils Geranium and Rose Geranium may offer some assistance.  You can make your own repellent spray by mixing 10 to 25 drops of either essential (geranium or rose geranium) oil with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (olive or almond).  If you don’t have any carrier oil – ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar will also work.  This can then be applied to clothing.  A note of CAUTION:  Geranium oil has been used to balance the hormone system and is therefore not recommended for pregnant women.
    Other essential oils that may have some benefit as general insect repellents include:  Idaho tansy, palo santo, peppermint, lemon, citronella (Young Living brand). 

    If anyone else know of any safe, natural products, please share them with us.
  40. Have you noticed that a lot of people are talking lately about gluten free products?   More and more grocery stores are even starting to carry gluten free products.   Have you thought about perhaps making a change in your daily food plan to incorporate gluten free products?   What about avoiding grains?   Just about everyone would benefit from avoiding grains.
    Well, that is what I was thinking about back in January.    I was wondering if avoiding gluten and grains would be beneficial for my digestive system.   But, I really was not having any digestive issues that I was aware of.   My system seemed to be working just fine.    Nonetheless, I decided to take the plunge.   I started February 1st, and for the most part started eating proteins, vegetables, fruits and salads.   No potatoes or pasta.  No junk.   No sweets.   No grains.   And no gluten.   It really wasn’t too difficult for me, as I do really well on proteins.   Proteins seem to fill me up and also manage to keep my energy system running well.   I suppose what I have been eating since February 1st would be similar to the Atkins diet.
    I felt so good that I took a second plunge.   I decided to start exercising a whole lot more than I was.   I started going to a gym, and once the weather got nice enough I was outside walking a lot.   I call them power walks – 45 to 60 minutes, several times a week.   Power walking can really energize you.   I carry my iPod so that I have music to listen to and off I go.    It is also a great way to de-stress the mind and body.    I just love it.   Before February I really wasn’t doing much exercise at all.   Yes, I am active in the summer, but in the winter months I am more of a stay inside and catch up on reading type of person. 
    So, how do I feel now?   Amazingly well!   Even though I didn’t think I had any digestive issues, I now notice that my stomach is so quiet (no stomach growls, no gurgling or rumbling), and most of all, no abdominal bloating.   My abdomen is actually flat.   To date, I have taken off 14 pounds.   Might not seem like much, but it feels great.   My clothes fit better, I feel better, and I think I look better (nothing like gaining those extra pounds over the holiday season and not liking what you see in the mirror!).    
    A co-worker asked me yesterday, “Well, did you eat any Easter candy?”.  My answer was “no”.   I have worked too hard since February to blow my healthy food plan now.   So there was no Easter candy, no pie, and no junk for me.   It seems that once you start on a program like this, you get really energized and motivated once the weight starts coming off, and your energy starts to soar, and your stressed feelings starts to diminish.   And the more you notice all of that, the more you want to stick with it.   I have a general idea of what I would like to weigh, however I am approaching it with a “well, let’s see how that weight feels and looks, and then I’ll decide if I want to go further”.
    Feel free to send me an e-mail if you would like any further information (or if you have any questions) about this way of eating.   My e-mail is
  41. It's that time again...people are flooding into the store to find the "miracle" weight loss pill. Sorry, there is still no substitute for eating the right foods and exercising. However, I do have a few suggestions/reminders as to how to reach your goals.

    1) Ask yourself WHY you want to "lose weight". It would be great if your honest answer is that you want to improve your total health and wellness, not just to "look better" or because you remember when you only weighed x pounds.

    2) This, I feel, is the MOST important: Set realistic goals! Most of us know that muscle weighs more than fat. But, did you know that 1 pound of muscle is roughly the size of a baseball, and a pound of fat is about 3 baseballs? Do you really need to lose weight or do you just want to "shrink" a few areas? If it is weight that you want to reduce, remember that losing more than 2-3 pounds a week could actually cause other health issues.

    3) Get help/guidance. I know money is tight for most of us, but spend the money on GOOD advise that is geared specifically for you. Many gyms are offering at least 1 free consult with a personal trainer. A good fitness trainer can help you put together a routine that works the areas of your concern and fits into your schedule. Also, speak with a nutritional councelor. (S)he can help you ease into better decisions or help you dive right in. The nutritional counceilor can give you guidance as to what foods you will need to make sure you aren't depleting your body of important vitamins and minerals, let you know what foods should be the most beneficial for energy and stamina, let you know what foods might be holding you back from your goals (other than just the obvious), and may suggest supplements to get a jump start for your wellness goals.

    4) Find an encourager. This person doesn't have to workout with you or change his/her diet. This person just needs to tell you when (s)he notices positive changes, let you know that (s)he is proud of you, be a listening ear, and cheer you on when you feel discouraged.

    5) Reward yourself. Treat yourself to something you craved (small piece of cake, cookie, small piece of pie, etc...) or to a new outfit. Don't do it often, but every once in a while will help you stay on track.

    6) And, please, do not dwell on the areas you wish were different. Focus on your accomplishments...such as actually making it to the gym, adding an extra workout, making a better choice at breakfast, feeling more energetic, meeting a new friend, helping a friend reach his/her goal, and everyone's favorite: my pants are looser. A possitive attitude will get you much farther than one filled with stress.

    You can reach your goals! Don't give up, and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help.
  42. I attended a Biotics Research seminar on Saturday March 10, 2012 to learn about their product line and how they work. While it was fascinating to learn their product line and learn all the benefits they have, there was one product that was talked about that really got my attention.
    We live in a world that is so focused on personal appearance and how we are perceived by friends, co-workers, and people we interact with everyday. Americans spend Billions of dollars each year on treatments, creams, surgical procedures to rid themselves of skin tags, warts, moles, Psoriasis, and acne to list a few. At the seminar some of the other practitioners suggested another use for the Bio-D Mulsion Forte drops from Biotics. One Practitioner had suggested applying the Bio-D Mulsion Forte directly to a wart and it will make it fall off after a few applications.  Although I have not experimented with the Bio-D Mulsion Forte to verify these claims I am excited to try it out!
  43. For any recovering sugar-holic you may enjoy reading Get the Sugar Out by Ann Louise Gittleman.  It is short and sweet (pardon the pun) when it comes to the reasons why you should stop eating sugar.  The majority of the book is devoted to 501 ways to eliminate or substitute refined white sugar from your diet.  Simple ideas; such as diluting maple syrup with water, making sweet butter with honey and carrots and frozen parsnip dessert were new options that I haven’t thought of.   I do not agree with everything but found some new recipes to try.  It is an easy read and you can open the book to any page to find something interesting.
  44. Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Health
    (without spending a lot of moula!)
    1. Stop drinking soda—There is NOT one single benefit to drinking pop. In fact, soda weakens your bones, causes tooth decay, digestive problems and messes up the pH in your blood and body causing illness.
    1. Stop using artificial sweeteners.  There is much debate over whether artificial sweeteners are safe or not, so why take the chance—it is far wiser in this case to travel the narrow road and avoid them.  Studies do show that since using artificial sweeteners and low fat foods, we are FATTER than ever!!!!
    1. Tell your family today that you love and appreciate them.  Don’t wait until tragedy or disaster strikes.
    1. Invest time and money seeing a well-qualified naturopath.  The dividends of doing so will multiply over the years.
    1. Get out in the sun more. There is a world wide pandemic of Vitamin D deficiency. We need the sunlight to enjoy optimal health and Vitamin D is critical to help every system in our bodies to function correctly.
    P.S.  Take time and smell the roses.  Enjoy your life.  Remember none of us get out alive anyway!!!!!!!
  45. One of the most frequently requested products at HBC is for weight loss.  With close to 40 Billion spent annually on weight loss products ( is it any wonder that recent television shows have sparked an interest in a number of items that promise results. 
    Before you spend another penny on weight loss products, check your stress level and sugar intake.  Chronic stress or poorly managed stress may lead to elevated cortisol levels.  Elevated cortisol can stimulate your appetite with the end result being weight gain or difficulty losing weight.  Research has confirmed that stress elevated cortisol causes fat deposit increase in the abdominal area.  High carbohydrate diets (sugar) increase insulin levels which is either used by cells for energy or stored for future use as fat.  If there is a decrease in blood sugar (hypoglycemic reaction) it can trigger an adrenal response to increase hormones; one of which is cortisol.  And the cycle continues.  So you can see that diet and stress management are two integral parts of any weight loss program.
  46. For those of you that may not know, before I worked at Health by Choice, I worked in portrait photography. There was never a dull moment. Some people would smile as soon as I picked up the camera, some people had to be told to smile, and there were those that I all but stood on my head to make smile. In any family picture, you can almost guarantee that there will be one person that does not want to be there and REALLY does not want to smile (even though it would get it done and over with quicker). That one person, once you got him/her to smile once, it was smooth sailing from then on to get that person to smile on cue. That was the key...get them all to smile once, and whatever reason any of them had for not smiling at the beginning - didn't matter anymore. I recently learned that the muscles that we use to smile, actually release endorphins (natural pain killers 3xs more potent then morphine) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that helps maintain a feeling of happiness, and can help regulate mood by aiding in sleep, relief from anxiety and even depression). You can experience REAL physical and emotional benefits just by smiling. No wonder it got easier after the first smile.

    Did you know that there is a valid treatment for people with serious psychological conditions called dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), in which the patients are told to smile (even a partial smile) upon waking? This is thought to help the patients to cope with stressors throughout the day. The concept is that the more patients smile? The more their bodies release serotonin - the more their bodies are able to regulate their mood with less or even without the use of external substances. Would it be possible to reduce the occurrence of “bad days” if you just smiled more? Ever think about having a favorite picture or a joke by your bed or on the bathroom mirror to start your day with a smile?

    I also found that there are many studies from all around the world, where they compared "smiley" people, with those that "fake" smiled. These studies varied with different nationalities, age, professions, settings, situations, etc...But one thing was consistent - the results. People that smile more, at least in appearance, are more attractive, younger looking, self-confident, pleasant, sincere, competent and have more fulfilling social bonds. Let's face it no one wants to be around someone that is always negative.

    Smiling is contagious. Charles Darwin had a theory called the "feedback loop" or "facial feedback hypothesis". He basically suggested that smiling=happiness and happiness=smiling. I love the mood lift, when around someone that always smiles, a genuine smile, every time we see each other. “The most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy,” said Dr. Patch Adams, in a Time Magazine article.
    Make a big impact without having to spend a large amount of time or money. SMILE FOR YOUR HEALTH and everyone around you!

    By Tina McElwee, Store Manager
  47. Concerned about your brain health – check out the video on our homepage
    Here is a video that was sent to us by one of our clients. I found it really fascinating. How many of us would like better brain functioning? Well, here is a simple item that has potential to help us with our brains and mental functioning. Check it out and see what you think.
  48. The Sunshine Vitamin and The Winter Blues
    By Patty Douglas RN, BSN, CCT

    Did you know that depression and the “winter” time blues are more commonly seen in the cold, dreary snowy months because our stores of Vitamin D are low or depleted due to a lack of sun exposure.  Actually most people are Vitamin D deficient year round but more symptoms of D deficiency show up in the winter.  Vitamin D is necessary to help our brains function optimally and maintain a positive mental outlook. Symptoms of depression are worse when a person is Vitamin D deficient.

    Vitamin D deficiency is another reason we see more colds, pneumonia and flu in the wintertime. Vitamin D is so crucial in the fight against infections, that our immune system does not even start to attack an infection until it has sent a signal for Vitamin D to get out there first and lead the fight!! So if you don’t have enough Vitamin D running around, then your body cannot properly fight off the many germs out there waiting to make you sick!!

    The best way to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D is to take a good quality supplement of Vitamin D3 daily. Your doctor can order a blood test 25 OH Vitamin D that will tell you exactly how much Vitamin D your body has stored. The range for this blood test is 30 to100 ng/ml and ideally your number should be greater than 50 to ensure that the winter blues don’t get you down. 
  49. I attended a seminar on Hanna Somatic Exercises this weekend, facilitated by Richard Eshelman at Health By Choice.    Quoting the website; “Hanna Soma tics is a rapidly effective form of neuromuscular (mind-body training) movement re-education that goes directly to the root cause of most chronic muscular pain:  the brain and the way in which it senses and organizes the muscles and movement.  By learning to regain awareness, sensation, and motor control of muscles – the brain can remember how to relax and move the muscles properly.”  Personally, it was very safe and pain free to practice the various stretching movements.  I was pleasantly surprised to experience more range and freedom of movement even though I currently incorporate stretching into my exercise program.  Incorporating eye movement with body movement was a unique for many in the group and something you don’t get with yoga or pilates.  The movements we learned require only 15 minutes per day to complete.   I would encourage anyone to take an introductory class to see if it has potential benefits for them.

  50. Simple Eating Changes with Huge Rewards


    At  a Doctor’s visit earlier this year my wife I am were told by our family doctor that he would like to see our children lose a few pounds as they were carrying some extra weight. He had suggested better portion control in the meals they were eating.

    After returning home my wife and were discussing our “plan of attack” to help our children lose the extra pounds they were carrying. We also admitted to ourselves that the two of us were carrying some extra weight. We immediately realized that portion control was not the answer and concluded that it was time for a lifestyle change for the whole family. 

    We were in agreement that the foods we were consuming on a daily basis were not the best for all of us. We were living a life style that led us as adults to be obese, and our children were on that path.  Our biggest fear in making a dietary change was that our diet would consist of foods that were tasteless and un-enjoyable to consume.

    We are happy to report that we were wrong. Eating healthy has been a pleasant change for our family. We have cut out carbonated beverages, Iced Tea, and carbohydrates. We have started drinking water primarily and also milk. Meals and snacks consist of fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. We have found the natural tastes of the foods we are eating now are more appealing then the way we were eating. We found lots of great meal and snack suggestions and recipes in the internal bliss cook book.

    My family has been working on this diet strategy for three weeks and has been amazed on how easy it was to make the lifestyle change. I can report that in three weeks our family has lost a total of 29 pounds, we are eating healthier, and feel more energetic.  I can’t encourage anyone enough to make a lifestyle change as we did because it truly is easy to do and the rewards for a healthier life come easier than anyone could think.

  51. A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, “How heavy is this glass of water?”   Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.    The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.   It depends on how long you try to hold it.   If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.   If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.   If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.    In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”  

    He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management.    If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”   “As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it up again.    When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.”   

    “So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.    Don’t carry it home.   You can pick it up tomorrow.   Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.”   So, why not take a while to simply relax.   Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now.   Don’t pick it up again until after you’ve rested a while.

    Life is short.     Enjoy it!

  52. Happy New Year! If you have set your resolution to lose weight a study from the University of Hong Kong may provide some added incentive.  They report that just 12 weeks of high-intensity resistance training with weights can reverse 12 years of muscle deterioration associated with natural aging.  Pound for pound, muscle will burn more calories than fat.  And if that isn’t enough, Dr. David Williams states in his September newsletter that increased physical activity was associated with an average 4 year weight change of negative 1.76 pounds in all groups in a New England Journal of Medicine study.  For maximum weight loss the best foods to avoid are potato chips, French fries, and soda.  Unfortunately 85 % of new years’ resolutions are abandoned by the third week in January.  So I hope that you are in the minority 15% and have an effective targeted plan to achieve your new year’s resolutions. 

  53. Check out this new website I found called the Happiness Project.    It is by Gretchen Rubin who wrote the #1 New York Times bestselling book, “The Happiness Project”.    Her website is full of great ideas, tips, blogs, videos and feedback from others.  You can even join the Happiness Challenge and learn to create more happiness in your life.


    See what you think.    Perhaps you find the website helpful.   I did.

  54. Is your immune system ready for winter?  Have you prepared your cold and flu emergency kit?  It’s not too late to start taking some immune support on a daily basis to keep your body prepared for the long cold days ahead.  Just one Andrographis or Echinacea Complex tablet daily may help boost your body’s defense systems.  If you don’t have a homeopathic kit, you should consider keeping a bottle of Engystol and Gripp Heel available.  For children, Congaplex chewables in addition to their multi-vitamin can prepare them for what lies ahead.  Also watch the sugar intake with the coming Holidays; we know how it can weaken our immunity.  It’s also good to keep your Vitamin D level at an acceptable level.  Not sure what your level is; check out  They offer a single or multi Vitamin D level test kit for home use.  I haven’t personally tried it and would welcome input from anyone who has.  So stay warm and safe. 

    Merry Christmas!!

  55. Just tried the varying intensity Mercola workout the other day and found it very effective when limited time is a factor.   For 20 minutes you cycle between high and low intensity (high intensity is defined as reaching your maximum heart rate:  220 minus- your age) on any cardio equipment you prefer.  I found it easier to reach my maximum target heart rate by running on a treadmill (I could not reach maximum heart rate as easy using an elliptical).  For thirty seconds you exercise at your maximum heart rate and then ninety seconds at reduced rate.  You complete 10 cycles in 20 minutes.   Please do not try this if you are just starting an exercise program and always consult your health care provider to ensure that this is an acceptable exercise for you.  Videos are available at that explain the process in detail.

  56. Found a great new website: National Vaccine Information Center (America’s Vaccine Safety Watchdog)  that you may want to visit.  The website does a balanced job of presenting both sides and can direct you to a variety of educational resources so you can make an informed decision for yourself and your children.   Did you know that there is only one manufacturer of shingles vaccine and that it contains live shingles virus which is reported to only be effective in 51% of users?  Or that 80 to 90 % of flu vaccines contain thimerosal.   

    The website provides a state by state analysis of possible vaccination exemptions and a copy of the state’s legislation.  If you are considering vaccination, check out the vaccine ingredient calculator.  It details each manufacturer’s ingredients and does a spreadsheet comparison.  

    If you have found great websites that you would like to share, let’s hear from you.

  57. In preparation for the Fall Festival I have been experimenting with Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix.  It is gluten free and made primarily of a blend of rice flour.  It reminds me of the Bisquick pancake mix in its’ texture but it does raise without the addition of any baking soda.  If all goes as planned, you will be enoying a zucchini cake  and maple pumpkin cake made from Pamela’s products at the Fall Festival on September 17, 2011.  Unfortunately, I found that I needed to add some sweetener to bring out the flavor of the ingredients.  Maple syrup, raisins, and a little sugar (rapadura) was need to satisfy my sweet tooth.  Look for the recipes to be posted on this website later in the month.  For now you can visit to learn more about this item and additional recipes.  Sorry to make this short but have a lot of cooking to do. 

  58. Here at Health by Choice we are buzzing about in preparation for several upcoming events.   First there is the annual Fall Festival, which will be held here at the New Enterprise location, on September 17th, from 9-4.   Every year we seem to be blessed with absolutely beautiful fall weather on the day of our festival.   We always have great food for everyone, lots of informational lectures and presentation, and plenty of activities for all ages.   This year there will be some great music by Strings of Faith from noon until 1:00 p.m.    And, if all goes as planned, we will have fresh pressed apple butter this year for sale.    Of course, you can’t forget the great store specials and the 20% discount that day.   I hope all of you can make it to our festival this year.

    The second big event coming up for us is the Mother Earth News Expo at Seven Springs Resort, in Seven Springs, PA (about an hour west of Health by Choice).    We will be exhibiting at this event on days, September 24th and 25th, 2011.  This year they are expecting 18,000 folks to attend.   Yes, you read that right.   It is a huge event with lots to do.   I think the cost of a ticket is $15 for a one day pass or $25.00 for both days.    Here’s a link to their website for more information:

    They are anticipating 150 workshops, and 180 exhibitors.    If you click on the website link you can look at the schedule for the workshops, along with a listing of exhibitors.

    So, go ahead and mark your calendars:

    September 17th – Health by Choice Fall Festival, New Enterprise, PA, 9-4

    September 24-25th – Mother Earth News Expo, Seven Springs Resort

  59. I hope, with the hot weather that everyone is staying properly hydrated.  Heat distress can turn serious (and possibly deadly) if not corrected.  Remember to drink small amounts of water frequently throughout the day and increase your intake due to any water loss through perspiration.  Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and soda as these can cause extra fluid loss.  Products such as ReCharge can provide valuable electrolytes that are lost due to perspiration.  Be aware of your body’s signals; such as, nausea, dizziness, and headaches as these are just a few signs of dehydration.  For more information about heat cramps, exhaustion, and heat stroke refer to

  60. It seems that this was an interesting week for weight in the news.

     All the major news organizations ran a story discussing whether obese children should be taken away from their parents and placed in foster care because it could be considered child abuse.  According to ABC news Dr. David Ludwig an obesity expert at Children’s Hospital Boston wrote an opinion piece that ran in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  The author cites the case of a 12 year old who weighed 400 pounds and had developed diabetes, cholesterol issues, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.  He was only recommending removal of children from their parents in extreme situations.

    U. S. News ( ranked the top 20 diets from best to worst and it seems that the DASH diet won top honors and the Paleo diet came in last (but only because the foods may be too difficult to obtain).

    A Times article commented on a new Harvard study that suggests that “the quality of your food matters more than the calorie count”.  No real surprise there to any of us who focus on nutrient dense foods.  What was fascinating is that the worst food to eat is potato chips.  The study showed that potato chips led to more weight gain per serving than any other food.

    Read more:

  61. For those of you who might live near the Lancaster Area, here’s a great way to learn more about health and wellness.    Every month there is a free evening meeting from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center.    It is held on the 4th Tuesday of every month.  This free event is hosted by Patrick and Lori Kirkham from Natural Alliance.   

    During this month’s meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 6:00 p.m., Ella will be speaking on the subject of allergies.    The title of her presentation is “Why do I have Allergies?”   You can learn more about Ella McElwee, PhD. ND. HmD.,  here on our website, .  Also, at this month’s meeting, Patrick Kirkham will be speaking about “Home Sweet Home – Or is it?”    Patrick Kirkham is the founder and president of Natural Alliance. 

    For more information or questions, you can e-mail them at or you can call them directly at 717-392-5125.    Their website is

    You will also find vendors at the meetings.   Last month I bought some organic blueberries and they were super delicious.    Hope to see you there.

  62. At the June 2011 Food as Medicine Conference, Dr. Mark Hyman M.D. presented the startling statistic that 1 in 2 Americans will be diabetic or pre-diabetic by 2020.  He went on to state that 90% of those individuals won’t even know it.  This increase in diabetes will cost $3.5 trillion over the next 10 years.  This number isn’t so hard to understand when you realize that 65% of Americans are overweight and weight is one of the contributing factors to diabetes.  He coined a new term “Diabesity” to describe a “condition of metabolic imbalances ranging from mild insulin resistance to end stage diabetes”.  Lifestyle factors are the biggest determinant of whether you will be in the 50% of Americans with diabesity in the years ahead.  Talk to your healthcare provider about the warning signs and what you can do to reverse the growing trend.

  63. Stress, stress, stress……what can you do?   It seems to be all around us these days.    People are dealing with the high price of gas, increased food costs, busy lives, and oddly enough, crazy weather this spring.    So, what can you do?

    One of things that I often suggest to clients is to buy a copy of The Relaxation & Stress Reduction book by Martha Davis, PhD, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, and Matthew McKay, PhD.    This book offers great stress management and relaxation techniques that really do work.   They are easy to understand and simple to apply.    The best part is that they can be really effective in alleviating symptoms of stress.  

    According to the authors, stress is defined as any change to which you must adapt.   Think about your own life. Are there changes that have occurred to which you are now adjusting to?  We know that many things in our lives are constantly changing.   If you read my blog last month I shared some information about how stress affects our body and suppresses our immune system.  This can then sometimes bring on unwanted states of un-wellness.   It is not surprising that the rate of stress related illnesses has continued to climb at an alarming rate.   That is why it is vitally important for each and every one of us to learn and incorporate stress reduction techniques in to our daily lives.

    One of the reasons that I like this book so much is because of the very helpful chart right in the front of the book.   It helps you identify exactly which particular stress reduction technique would help you with stress-related symptoms.   For example, let’s say you were dealing with high blood pressure.   Then you would look at the chart and see what specific techniques could possibly help you, such as progressive relaxation, deep breathing, biofeedback, and meditation.    Or, let’s say you are experiencing insomnia, then you would look at the chart and see that applied relaxation, thought stopping, and exercise would be helpful for you. Each of the 20 different techniques has a whole chapter devoted to the process and is explained very well.   There is even a whole chapter devoted to coping skills for anxiety and coping skills for anger.

    Be sure to look for the sixth edition of the book, since it would contain the most up to date techniques.   If you shop online, you can buy it on Amazon for about $12.00.   I think that you would find it helpful.   Sometimes, however, clients tell me that they have tried different ways of helping themselves, but they still do not feel any improvement.    If that is the case, then I would probably suggest scheduling an appointment for nutritional counseling here at Health by Choice. You could also consider having a private stress reduction session to find out what would be the most effective way to help make progress in reducing the stress in your life, as well as helping you adjust to stressors that you are experiencing.   Ultimately, we all want to have healthy, happy lives.    Incorporating a stress reduction program in your life will help you reach this goal.

  64. It has been approximately one month since we introduced the Zyto machine at both our locations and the response has been very positive.  The machine utilizes technology similar to a polygraph as it measure subtle changes in the body from a stimulus (electronic).    The fluctuations in the skin’s conductivity is measured and interpreted to create a graphical representation of the organs, teeth, vertebrae, and meridians that are out of balance.  It cannot diagnose, treat, or heal any specific disorder but can recommend supplements that may balance the individual energetic field.  There are few short videos on You Tube that explain how the Zyto machine works; I encourage you to look at them.  If you haven’t stopped in for your complimentary assessment, what are you waiting for?

  65. If you needed another reason to switch to organic, grass-fed, hormone free beef, here it is. You have to read and see this to believe it – Meat Glue

    Read the full story at:

    Watch the Video Here


    Need to find a good source of quality meat please visit to find a local provider in your area.

  66. Many of our clients come from all over the United States (and outside of the United States also).    If you are one of the fortunate ones who live close by, consider yourself lucky.    Not only because you don’t need to travel far for your wellness appointments, or for your shopping in our health food store, but also because you have the opportunity to come to our free evening lectures held on Monday evenings.    You can find more details about the evening presentations on our website.    There are also free meetings you can attend such as the Weston A. Price Foundation, the Homeopathy Study Group, the Holistic Moms group, and some others.   Just by checking the monthly calendar right on the Health by Choice website, you can know what is going on here.   There is a wide variety of helpful things to learn about.

    On Monday evening, May 9th, at 7:00 P.M., I will be presenting the evening lecture.    In April I spoke about cancer prevention and cancer care.    The folks who attended found the information very helpful, so we will be talking about it some more again this month, along with some ideas for quieting our ever busy chattering minds.    The two processes that I will be providing information about will be meditation and also mindfulness.   Now, don’t worry, we won’t be sitting cross-legged and meditating until midnight…..not at all…..but I think you would find that even if you practiced meditation (or quieting your mind) for 5 minutes a couple times a day, you would notice a great improvement in your overall inner peacefulness as well as your ability to better be able to cope with external stressors that we might have in our lives from time to time.

    So, if you are interested in learning more about Cancer Care and Prevention, and you would also like to know how to better be able to quiet your mind and experience some inner peace, I’d like to invite you to join us on Monday evening, May 9th, at 7:00 p.m.   Pre-registration is not necessary.    Just come in and join us in the reception area at Health by Choice and plan to learn something new.

    Hope to see you then.

  67. Learning to implement the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet can be very challenging; however, the results can be very rewarding.  I want to share my interpretation of the main points to follow if you are going to follow a GAPS based eating plan:

    1.       Soak seeds and nuts before consuming

    2.       Eliminate all refined carbohydrates, especially cereals

    3.       Consume fermented foods such as sauerkraut

    4.       Eliminate all wheat and gluten containing foods

    5.       Consume vegetable, meat, and fish stocks

    6.       Consume grass fed, wild-caught, hormone-free proteins/meats

    7.       Consume quality fats in the forms of coconut oil, ghee, and butter

    8.       Eliminate all grains and anything made from them

    9.       Make your own fresh juice

    10.   Eliminate any commercially produced product that contains lactose

    11.   Consume non-starch fresh vegetables

    12.   Consume fresh fruits

    13.   Drink sufficient quality water

    14.   Avoid sugar and any form of sugar (no molasses, no corn syrup, no maple sugar).  Honey is acceptable.

    15.   Avoid all sugar substitutes (Slim Sweet is acceptable)

    At our recent Manheim open house, all of the food sampled was gluten free and many were GAPS diet compatible.  Many of the clients expressed interest in the recipes.  I would like to share recipes through our website but need help from you to collect them.  Please let me know if we should add a recipe sharing section to the Health By Choice website.

  68. Learning to use Affirmations

    Affirmations can be a set of words or thoughts that are used to reprogram the subconscious mind in a desired direction. This helps to empower you to move through emotional and mental blockages which may be limiting your opportunities to experience life to the fullest. How many times have you heard people say, “I’m too old”, “I’ve already tried that and I can’t do it”, “My mother/father always did it that way”, “I don’t have enough energy”, “I’m too shy”, “I don’t know how to relax” and “I was born this way”.

    Every time you make a mental (or verbal) affirmation, your subconscious mind hears it and adjusts towards the reality of that statement. The subconscious mind does not filter, it just acts on your statements.   You have many, many thoughts going through your mind everyday.  Unknowingly, many can be negative instead of uplifting or encouraging.   Try to sit quietly and pay attention to the thoughts streaming by in your mind for five or ten minutes.

    When it comes to the health of our bodies, those “habitual” thought processes (or programs) running through your mind can and do play a role in your personal state of wellness.  However, taking the time to learn how to change those programs can make a difference in your health and in your life. 

    A great way to start is to make a habit of using the classic affirmation, "I am open to learning new ways of creating a life I truly enjoy".   And another popular one is, “I am relaxed and centered, with plenty of time for everything”.  

    Ignore any skepticism that arises inside you when you start doing this. That's just the automatic response which comes from resistance to change. Remember, for every action in life, there is an opposite and equal reaction. When you launch into an action which will cause change, resistance to change can manifest as the automatic, opposite reaction. Just carry out your action regardless. Keep learning and trying new affirmations.   See what happens!

  69. Do you know your SAR score?  If not I encourage you to visit and check out your cell phone’s specific absorption rate score which is the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using the handset.  All cell phones emit radio frequency energy and most hands-free home telephones as well.  It is estimated that there are 217 million cellular users (71 % of the population) in the U.S. making it the second largest cellular market in the world, so don’t expect them to go away any time soon.  New studies continue to call into question the safety of cell phones and the long term effects of their use.

    A report by CBS news (February 23, 2011) called into question the safety of cell phones by Dr. Jennifer Ashton of the National Institute for Health.  “To minimize your potential health risk, Ashton recommended limiting kid’s access to cell phones.”

    In the March 2011 issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You ( they couldn’t be more direct with the title of their article “A mobile call is never safe”.   They make the same recommendation that people under the age of 20 should only text on a cell phone.

    So what can we do?  A few suggestions include:  purchasing a cell phone with the lowest possible SAR rating, keep your phone off when not in use, only use the phone when you have strong signal strength, use EMF dampening products for your phone, and wear an air tube not a wired headset. 

  70. Have you ever considered what your health is worth to you??   Would you be willing to invest a few hundred dollars to get a 500% return on your money in a few years?  Interest rates are at an all time low and certainly no savings account or CD is offering even a 5% return on your money, not even in 5 years.

    There are some things in life that we cannot buy regardless of how much money we may have. Ask any wealthy individual who is experiencing a life threatening illness and he or she will tell you that good health cannot be bought at any price.  And as we age, being able to enjoy good health becomes more precious than money.

    So what will an investment of time and money with a qualified doctor of naturopathy do for you?  An initial nutritional assessment will highlight problem areas regarding diet and lifestyle patterns that are likely to cause serious illness down the road.  Follow up visits will keep you motivated and on the right track. Information gleaned during these visits will help you to begin making changes that over time will help to decrease your risk for developing many of the chronic diseases that are rampant in our society. Wouldn’t it be nice to never hear the words “Diabetes” or “Cancer” as a diagnosis during a visit to your doctor?  But instead to hear the doctor say “You are in great shape, whatever you are doing, keep it up”!

    Health By Choice has 2 highly qualified naturopaths (Dr. Ella McElwee and Dr. Walt Lang) who together have over 50 years of experience in helping to guide individuals down the path to health and wellness.  So consider putting some time and money aside for an investment that keeps on giving you great returns as the years go by.

    Have a great day!

  71. We live in a very toxic world and no one is immune from them.  At our recent purification workshop we were reminded of this.  For those of you unable to participate, you should visit  At the environmental working groups website you will find a video titled 10 Americans that you should watch.  This short video describes a 2004 study of blood that found 212 industrial chemicals and pesticides (some of which have been banned for 30 years) in the umbilical cord blood of infants. 

    Another feature at this websites that deserves some attention is the drinking water data base for those of us on municipal water systems.  By typing in your zip code, you will get a report on the quality of the water in your area and know what pollutants have been tested and discovered in it.

    If you can’ remember when you last completed a detoxification program, it may be a great time to talk with your nutritional counselor and develop a protocol that is right for you. 

  72. With Spring soon approaching it is time to start thinking about your semi-annual detox  (and possible parasite cleanse).  The two favorite detoxification programs for most of our clients are from  Heel and Standard Process .   If you are in the area on Saturday March 12th, 2011 we are offering a wonderful free 3 hour workshop on the Standard Process Purification Program at our New Enterprise location.  It is open to everyone, even if you aren’t  a client, you can participate in the purification program.  If we get enough interest we will offer the workshop  at our Manheim location.  Several of our team at HBC have already begun the program – keep you posted on their results. 

    Too often we only think about the physical detoxification of the body and forget about the detoxification of the mind and soul.  As part of the 21 day program you are encouraged to take a news fast and avoid all negative media via television, internet, and print.  For some this is harder than making dietary modifications. 

    As part of the purification program, we are including daily internet support.  You will receive additional instructions, encouragement, and recipes throughout the 21 day process through your e-mail.  So call or send us an email to reserve your spot today. 

  73. Learning To Journal

    Last month I wrote a blog about paying attention to the thoughts that you think on a daily basis.   As a stress management counselor I often encourage clients to look inside when they are feeling anxious or stressed.   Sometimes the feelings of anxiety, or worry, or stress can be traced back to our thoughts.   Once you uncover those thoughts (which can often distort what is really going on) only then can you learn to create a better thought process which can help to ease what you perceive as a stressor.   So, tracing your thought processes backwards can be an effective way to help you feel less stressed.

    Learning to journal is another great tool that I suggest.   I have been journaling for years.    Many times I am asked, “well, what do you write about?”   Actually, anything goes, when it comes to journaling.    Perhaps you have had a fun day and wish to write about it.   This is probably one of my number one reasons for journaling.   I wish to remember those happy memories and fun experiences on paper, realizing that if I don’t write it down, chances are that ten years from now I won’t remember them.   And isn’t that what we all wish for in our later years – to sit back and remember all the good times.   Many days, after taking a long car ride with my father (who now lives in Heaven), I would come home and write down some of our conversations, especially when he was sharing wonderful memories of his early life or family life.   If I hadn’t wrote those things down, the words and conversations would long be forgotten by now.   Some day when I’m older, I know I’ll pick up my journals and reread about those wonderful car rides and all the lovely things we talked about.

    Another reason that I journal is to work through tough times or to help shed some light on challenges in life.   Often times we may feel down for what seems like no apparent reason.   When you sit down and start writing about how you feel, and why you think you might be feeling this way, it can give you insight in to possibilities that you had not thought about.  

    One of my favorite authors, Julie Cameron, in her book “The Artist Way”, suggests that you do something called Morning Pages, which is basically getting up each morning and writing down whatever you wish (but hopefully three pages long).   Don’t hold back.   Whatever comes to your mind write it down.   You might find it fun and enjoyable to give this a try.   You can find more information about Morning Pages on her website,

    Next month I will be blogging about aromatherapy.    Until then, happy journaling.

  74. Hope everyone had a special Valentine’s Day yesterday.  Well, we are now 6 weeks into the new year and each wintry day is bringing us closer to the promise of spring and warmer days. By now, for most of us, the sparkle of a new year has worn off, the new year resolutions have fallen by the wayside and we are back to the daily grind of every day life. But don’t be discouraged and don’t worry about the inability to stick to those New Year resolutions. Remember, they were made with the best of intentions. Sometimes plan A isn’t feasible, so it’s time to try Plan B. 

    For Plan B, think about where you would like to be on January 1st, 2012. Then look at what needs to be done on a daily basis to get there. For many, weight loss and improving health were New Year Resolutions.  These were worthy goals, but too broad and difficult to achieve. Naturally for large goals to be achieved, they must be broken down into bite size pieces. This is certainly not a new concept but I seem to have trouble remembering this. So now instead of  thinking that at some point I will magically start losing weight or get healthy, I think to myself  “What I eat today will determine what I weigh and how healthy I am on January 1st, 2012”.  I do much better with short term goals.  So what are your thoughts about reaching goals?  What has helped or hindered you from getting to where you would like to be in life???   

    And as always, Health By Choice is here to help you in reaching  your wellness goals!

  75. Chalk up another victory for Monsanto and another defeat to all opposed to non-genetically engineered (GE) products. 

    According to “In the wake of a 12 year battle to keep Monsanto GE crops from contaminating the nation’s 25000 organic farms and ranches, America’s organic consumers and are facing betrayal.  A self appointed cabal of the Organic Elite spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stoneyfield Farm has decided it’s time to surrender to Monsanto.  Top executives from these companies have publicly admitted that they no longer oppose the commercialization of GE crop. ”   They are now supporting the conditional deregulation  of a herbicide-resistant alfalfa produced by Monsanto.

    You need to review the article for yourself at  to understand the scope of the situation and what  you can do about it.

  76. Mayo Clinic Study Implicates Fungus As Cause Of Chronic Sinusitis

    Mayo Clinic researchers say they have found the cause of most chronic sinus infections -- an immune system response to fungus. They say this discovery opens the door to the first effective treatment for this problem, the most common chronic disease in the United States.

    An estimated 37 million people in the United States suffer from chronic sinusitis, an inflammation of the membranes of the nose and sinus cavity. Its incidence has been increasing steadily over the last decade. Common symptoms are runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of smell and headaches. Frequently the chronic inflammation leads to polyps, small growths in the nasal passages which hinder breathing.

    "Up to now, the cause of chronic sinusitis has not been known," say the Mayo researchers: Drs. David Sherris, Eugene Kern and Jens Ponikau , Mayo Clinic ear, nose and throat specialists. Their report appears in the September issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

    "Fungus allergy was thought to be involved in less than ten percent of cases," says Dr. Sherris. "Our studies indicate that, in fact, fungus is likely the cause of nearly all of these problems. And it is not an allergic reaction, but an immune reaction."

    The researchers studied 210 patients with chronic sinusitis. Using new methods of collecting and testing mucus from the nose, they discovered fungus in 96 percent of the patients' mucus. They identified a total of 40 different kinds of fungi in these patients, with an average of 2.7 kinds per patient.

    In a subset of 101 patients who had surgery to remove nasal polyps, the researchers found eosinophils (a type of white blood cell activated by the body's immune system) in the nasal tissue and mucus of 96 percent of the patients. If you want to read the entire article  go to:

  77. Just thought that you need to know that on January 13, 2011 the Food and Drug Administration ( announced “that it is asking manufactures of prescription acetaminophen combination products to limit the maximum amount of acetaminophen in these products to 325 mg per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit.”  The FDA believes that limiting the amount of acetaminophen will reduce the risk of severe liver damage from acetaminophen overdosing, an adverse event that can lead to liver failure, transplant, and even death.  There was no such recommendation for over-the-counter products.  The concern is that numerous products contain acetaminophen and accidental overdosing can occur if you take multiple products without being aware of the total daily amount taken.  Reduced dosages are also recommended with alcohol consumption.

    This month’s issue of What Doctors Don’t Tell You magazine ( has an interesting article that postulates that paracetamol (acetaminophen) could boost the risk of asthma in children.  Paracetamol may not be directly responsible but possibly reduce antioxidants that protect the lungs from other pollutants and irritants. warns nursing mothers to not use Tylenol without telling their doctor because it can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. 

    Is acetaminophen safe for you?  Ask your doctor, pharmacists, or health care provider before using any OTC or prescription drug.

  78. What are you thinking about?

    Blogged by: Paula Himes SMC

    Did you know that the thoughts that we think on a daily basis have a great impact on our moods and our feelings?   Your thoughts can make you feel happy and excited and full of life, or they can have the opposite affect and make you feel stressed out, irritable, anxious, or blue.   Each and every day we have a new opportunity to work on our thoughts.  For example, if you are constantly thinking and worrying about “becoming sick”, do you think you will feel “vibrantly healthy”?   Probably not.   On the other hand, if you wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “this is a wonderful day, and I am blessed with good health and happiness”, then guess what?   You will probably feel healthy and happy.   You can also practice statements of gratitude before falling off to sleep at night.   Try it – see if you can name five things that happened during the day that you are grateful for.   Perhaps you got some good news about something, or someone was extra nice to you, or maybe you had the chance to be extra nice to someone who needed some kind words.     As you make a practice out of falling off to sleep feeling grateful about your day, you will find that you sleep better and that you wake up in a better mood.   Then watch again during your new day for more things to be grateful about.   Pick thoughts throughout the day that make you feel happy and full of joy.   It may take a little practice, but soon you will find yourself looking forward to each and every day.

    So, what are you thinking about?    Give it some thought.   Be aware of your thoughts.   This is the first step in changing them.

    Watch for my next blog where I will share some insights about journaling.


  79. Happy New Year to All!!

    How are things going with your New Year’s Resolution?  I decided several years ago to be nice to myself and not make any New Year’s Resolutions.  There was no point in setting myself up for failure so early in the year!!!  After all, I had 364 days left to do that!!  Just kidding!!  Actually, I decided not to make any New Year’s Resolutions, because I have learned that each and every morning brings a new day in which to learn, grow and experience life, hopefully to its fullest.  One of the best resolutions I did make in the past was to increase my knowledge in the area of nutrition and wellness.  Health By Choice has made that resolution easy to keep.  The wealth of knowledge available here is simply amazing.  It has been terrific learning how to improve my health while at the same time helping others work towards this goal also. So when you make your New Year’s Resolutions for this year, be sure to include a visit to a qualified natural health professional and/or naturopath to help meet your wellness goals. And NATURALLY,

    I recommend Health By Choice!!! 

    Have a great day and a Blessed New Year,

    Patty Douglas, BSN, RN, CCT

  80. If you are looking for more information about how to use homeopathy, you need to visit  Under the education section are several slide show presentations that provide you with information about the basics, home care for cold and flu, and women’s concerns.  Each section is only a few minutes in length but gives you some ideas about their products and how to use them.  Two new modules are pending completion for allergies and first aid.  With cold and flu season upon us, you may want to add homeopathy to your prevention and acute care program.

    Personally, I have used homeopathic creams, pellets, and vials with good results.  I keep Engystol and Gripp Heel available and use them at the first signs of flu-like symptoms.

  81. Thermography's role in breast cancer and other breast disorders is one of early detection and monitoring of abnormal physiology and the establishment of risk factors for the development or existence of cancer.  When used adjunctively with other laboratory and outcome assessment tools, the best possible evaluation of breast health is made. 

    Patty Douglas BSN, RN is our Certified Clinical Thermographer.  Patty is trained to take the digital infrared pictures.  She then sends them electronically to Medcial Doctors who are trained to interpret the pictures and send us back the results for you.  Thermography is a non-invasive, no radiation, no contact, pain free, low-cost screening.  You can't afford to not have it done.  

    Has anyone had thermography and would like to share about their experience?....
  82. Welcome to our first blog ever! We are learning and will write something soon!

    Enjoy our new website!!!

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