Archive for March, 2010

Best Olive Oil: What to Look For

When it comes to olive oil, we’ve either read or heard about the benefits on numerous occasions. However, there are so many to choose from, how does one know which is the best olive oil? What should we look for?

Elle Wood in her article on How to Choose the Best Olive Oil, says to research how the olive oil was created. There are different methods and processes. In an article in Better Homes and Gardens, Nicki Heverling of Oldways says the cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is best because it contains the most phenols which is most of the source of its healthfulness. Probably the most important factor is taste. No matter how good or healthful an olive oil might be, if you don’t like the taste, there’ll be no enjoyment.

Better Homes and Gardens goes on to say that:

  • Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is especially good for drizzling over vegetables and pasta noodles, or for dipping bread.
  • Virgin olive oil is next best and is fine for sauteeing.
  • Light olive oil refers strictly to color and mild taste; not a reduction in calories.

Consumer Research rated the 365 Extra Virgin Olive Oil (private brand for Whole Foods) as the “Best Budget Olive Oil.” Whole Foods says it’s 100% olive oil and “derived from the first cold press of the olives and meet the International Olive Oil Council standards for extra virgin olive oils.”

Personally, I use olive oil and balsamic vinegar on my salad when I’m at home. I use very little balsamic vinegar because of its overwhelming taste, but it pretty much masks the flavor of the olive oil. So I’m not very picky about the taste of the olive oil. However, when I go to restaurants and dip my bread in olive oil, then I can really taste the flavor of the olive oil and I know I like some better than others.

What is your vote for the “best olive oil”? Please share your thoughts.

Weight Loss Support — How Dr. Oz Can Help

Dr. Mehmet Oz

I love the Dr. Oz Show … and so do millions of other people. His show offers so many interesting and intriguing topics such as weight loss support, natural remedies, skin care, sleep, stress, healthy eating, obesity, depression, cooking tips, self help, supplements, vitamins, and many more including the most embarrassing questions. I don’t watch the show every day, but where I do watch it is at the gym. I’m generally at the gym every other day and if I’m there in the afternoon, I make it a point to watch the Dr. Oz Show while I’m on the treadmill. So I got to thinking, there are so many people that need to lose weight for health reasons, especially seniors, and here’s where Dr. Oz comes in for the weight loss support and to make walking interesting. Dr. Oz appeals to a broad range of people so he can offer you weight loss support by keeping you so interested in his program that you will stay on the treadmill for an hour. So that’s how Dr. Oz can help and give you weight loss support.

There are many ways to lose weight, but it first takes a commitment on your part. It is easier if you have your family or people that you can count on for support. Not everyone does. There’s a club — Club Shrinkit — where you don’t have to diet and it even pays you to lose weight, but exercise is recommended so I’m always thinking of ways to help people start walking. If you have any creative ideas to make walking interesting, please leave a comment.

I hope you’ll see how Dr. Oz can help you with your weight loss support and exercise program if you’re not already a fan. If you need to make that first baby step, check out this post. Click here.

Cold Relief — Can Ionic Silver Help?

During the winter, many of us catch colds. It generally takes several days to get rid of a cold and some people like those in broadcast journalism or those in business for themselves need something that can get rid of a cold as soon as possible. For seniors with health challenges, it often leads to secondary problems and not getting cold relief can present even greater challenges. This winter I started using an ionic silver product each time I felt something coming on. I escaped winter without a cold. According to testimonials I’ve heard, even those seeking cold relief after a cold has started, shortened their cold with the help of ionic silver.

Curious about ionic silver, I did further research. Simply put, germs cannot survive in an environment of ionic silver. Furthermore, ionic silver is used not only for colds, but for many other diseases as well. But first, let’s clarify the difference between ionic silver and another term heard frequently, colloidal silver. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably and I get the feeling that the authors are not even aware that there is a difference.

Colloidal silver is a fluid containing particles of silver. Most of the colloidal silver products are actually silver ions (dissolved silver) and not particles of silver. Ionic silver is a solution consisting of water and single atom silver ions and contains no silver particles.

According to the National Health Federation, “Ionic silver is increasingly being recognized for its broad-spectrum antimicrobial qualities and the fact that it presents virtually none of the side-effects related to antibiotics.  Ionic silver is entirely non-toxic to the body. Research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has shown that some resistant strains of disease cannot develop with ionic silver the way that they will with antibiotics.  Reports of any pathogens developing resistance to ionic silver are rare.  Some reports indicate it even kills drug-resistant strains of germs.”

Silver has a long history of medicinal benefits. It can kill harmful organisms and leave friendly bacteria in tact (unlike antibiotics). Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, colloidal silver was used widely in hospitals. Hence, ionic silver is effective for a long list of illnesses and diseases. According to Fred Peschel in The Real Truth About Colloidal Silver – Scientific Facts Squash Stupid Rumors and Marketing Hype:

A tiny amount is a tremendous aid to your immune system, as each cell can use it to kill pathogens, relieving our over worked immune system to do daily housekeeping. It is a natural anti-inflammatory, aids mast cell production for more effective healing, etc.

IS Defense

When you choose an ionic silver product, be sure the company reveals all of the supplement facts. Click here for more information on the product I take from Vitamark International. Developer of the product is B. J. Biagioli, NMD.

In conclusion, for cold relief, can ionic silver help? I believe the answer is a resounding yes.

Energy Healing — Reiki and Cellular Response

As an active student of Cellular Response (CR) energy healing, I am also interested in other energy healing arts. A few years ago, a reiki practitioner volunteered her reiki healing to help me recover from an injury. More recently, I listened to Eva Arciszewski , a reiki master, talk about her practice, Reiki Wisdom, and watched as she demonstrated on a volunteer at one of our energy healers meeting. A couple of weeks later, my sister (Dianne), a level two trained reiki practitioner, and I exchanged the experience on each other, with Dianne performing reiki on me and with me performing Cellular Response on her.

According to Eva, we are all energy. Any information comes to the heart chakra first (the heart chakra is one of the seven centers of spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy — dictionary.com) then it goes to the brain. Illness results when we are unbalanced — it originates in the energy field.

Eva Arciszewski

Eva says reiki can be learned. There are three levels plus the master level. Neuropathways are opened and we can feel more energy. The healer is the vessel for energy to flow, not the energy itself. You need to trust your own body as a source of self-healing.

Dianne added that in reiki, the practitioner is not treating the person, reiki is doing it. It is like a garden hose that’s serving as the vessel to go to someone else. In order to practice, you must be initiated by a master.

As I experienced reiki, the biggest differences as compared to Cellular Response were the touch and breathing. In Cellular Response, the touch is very light, whereas with reiki, it was a heavier touch. In reiki, there is no specific breathing pattern, whereas with CR, there is a specific breathing sequence in order to bring up the energy. As I experienced reiki, I could feel the energy in my feet. Reiki also involves symbolism which is not part of CR. In both modalities, permission must be granted before the practitioner can work on you. After the treatment, I felt a greater energy balance.

With seniors facing more and more health challenges each day, energy healing offers the possibility of having the body heal itself and perhaps avoiding the need for medication. It is definitely worth the time to investigate the energy-healing modalities.

Long-Term Care in America — Part 3

This is the last in a three-part series on long-term care insurance written by Pat O’Neill. Pat has pointed out that long-term care insurance is not for everyone. But if you do not have long-term care insurance, I hope it has provided you with insights as to whether or not you should consider it.

When should you buy long-term care insurance?

If you decide LTCI is right for your situation, the best time to buy is now. Why?

  • Lower premiums now and lower cumulative premiums over the life of your policy. See the example below.
  • Avoid the risk of developing a condition that may make you uninsurable.
  • You are covered immediately should you develop a need now.
  • Wider choice of insurance companies to choose from.
  • If you cannot care for yourself, you will get the care you need.

Example:  Bob is 50 years old and purchases a LTC policy. He pays for it until age 90. Now, let’s say Bob waits four years and buys an equivalent policy at age 54. (We assume Bob remains healthy and the company does not change the base premiums.) He pays for this policy until age 90. The cost of waiting four years could cost Bob an additional $17,362 in premiums. Bob did not save anything by waiting. It cost him money, and he took the risk of not being covered for four years and of becoming uninsurable.

What are the benefits of LTCI?

A good LTCI policy delivers broad and flexible benefits to help provide and pay for the LTC services you need.

  • Relieve the potential burden on your loved one
  • Maintain choice and quality of care.
  • Maintain independence
  • Protect assets for spouse’s use or to pass on
  • Avoid having to rely on Medicaid.
  • Potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars, should you need care.

What does LTCI cost? Like a car, it depends on which one you buy.

The cost of a LTCI policy is based in part on your age and health when you apply. It also is based on the level of benefits you choose:

  • Monthly or daily benefit
  • Benefit period/lifetime benefit amount (pool of money)
  • Elimination period
  • Inflation protection
  • Additional options (e.g., shared care for spouse/partner, etc.)

What discounts are available?

  • Spousal discount
  • Preferred health discount
  • Group coverage discount with an employer or association

The most important thing to remember is that you should have a plan for your long-term care. It costs no more to meet with a dedicated specialist who can help you analyze all your choices and help you make an educated decision about what is best for you.

Pat O'Neill

Pat O’Neill is an independent long-term care insurance specialist. She works with individuals, businesses, and associations. You can visit her Web site at http://web.ltcfp.com/PatriciaO’Neill and download her booklet, Dignity for Life, or you can reach her at 703 534 3255 and pat.oneill@ltcfp.net.