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Swine Influenza (Flu)

The outbreak of Swine Flu in people caused by a new influenza virus of swine origin continues to grow in the United States and internationally. The organism of H1N1 consists of two parts pig, one part human and one part bird. Everyday additional confirmed human infections and hospitalizations are reported. The more recent illnesses and the one reported death suggest that a pattern of more severe illness associated with this virus may be emerging in the U.S. At present the reported pandemic is in level 5 from scale of 1 to 6. Most people will not have immunity to this new virus and, as it continues to spread, more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths are expected in the coming days and weeks.

What is swine flu?

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.

Is this swine flu virus contagious?
Center for Disease Control(CDC) has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people. The very good thing about this spread is happening in warm weather. This will keep the spread and strength of the disease down.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

How does swine flu spread?

Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?

Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

What to do to prevent Swine Flu?

These are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy:
  1. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  4. Practice good health habits and always build your immune system. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, never ever panic, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. You can supplement with 1000mg of vitamin C and two tablets of Echinacea herbal extract which comes in soft gel tablets. Eating lots of pumpkin seeds for Zinc and garlic for natural antibiotics also will help build your immune system. You can also leave cut garlics or cut onions in the rooms of your house. The onions and garlics will absorb all the impurities in the air very quickly.
  5. People with chronic illnesses including diabetics, cancer patients, and over 65 years old individules should avoid contacting this flu.
  6. Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  7. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  8. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Digestion/Indigestion/Heart burn

One of the sign of a healthy person is good digestion. Digestion is done in stages and in few places in our body. 
First digestion starts in the mouth where food are broken down with our teeth and then mixed with saliva and salivary enzymes. It is very good practice to put our utensils down and concentrate on the food in our mouth. Tasting and getting a good feeling from what we eat. The better we chew our food the easier it will be for our digestive enzymes to do their job. 
The chewed food then enters into the upper part of the stomach. Here the enzymes in uncooked food begin to do their work. That is why it is a good practice to eat some not cooked vegetables and herbs with your food. In Middle Eastern countries, they always consume fresh herbs like basil, parsley, tarragon, scallions, radishes and salads with their cooked food. 
Later the food reaches the lower stomach where it get mixed with Pepsin and Hydrochloric acid. These break down the food more, especially protein. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, so that they can be absorbed and processed by the body. Here I recommend not drinking soda or water with your food. The reason for this is not to dilude the stomac acid so the natural stomac acids can do their job better.

These mixed ingredients and amino acids go through the small intestine and they get mixed with pancreatic, liver and gall bladder enzymes. Here is where the final digestion and breakdown occurs. Fat is emulsified by the bile and pancreatic enzymes continue to digest whatever is left of our consumed food.

If you have indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating in the intestines, undigested food in the stool, stool that sink rather than float and stool that is light or green in color you have to look at the above steps, and correct each step. But if you get gas or bloating sometimes because of certain food that you ate here are some remedies that can solve these problems:

A tea made with a few fresh sprigs of fennel and/or a teaspoon of ground seeds will relieve indigestion
 and help prevent the gas, and bloatings.  If you experience gas and diarrhea after eating foods containing dairy you can now enjoy dairy again with above fennel receipe.

Fiber therapy products are an effective way to treat constipation and ensure regularity. The fiber in psyllium seed husk is a very good remedy for constipation. Just
make sure you have plenty of water with them. Few people get excess gas with this soluble fiber in psyllium, because it will ferment in the large intestine. 

Another problem that many of us have are stomac and intestinal parasites. These can vary from microscopic to large worms. My grand father every six month used to give his children something to clean all their body, stomac and intestine. This will ensure of riding the body of many parasites. If you have an indigestion problem you have to make sure to test yourself for stomac bacteria called Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori for short. This is a bactera that lives in the mucous layer of your stomach and can cause gastrit irritation or heartburn.  

In addition there are the intestinal problems due to use of antibiotics, and poor diets. Make sure you always finish the antibiotic perscription. And always try not to consume them many times because the body will get used to them and they will not work.

ABC signs of a healthy person?

When my parents used to go to the Doctor;  the doctor would look at them and take their heart beat from their pulse, and he knew what was wrong with them. I think the doctor mostly would deduce his findings from their physical presence. The following are some of the attributes of a healthy person. You can find the reasons and cures for all these items in this blog now or in the future.
  • Eyes should be shiny and the whites should be white.
  • Hair should be shiny.
  • Nails should be without white spots, smooth and strong.
  • When openning and closing the mouth one should not hear a click.
  • When you get up in the morning, your body should be rested and not in pain.
  • You should not get up with a headache.
  • You should not be tired all the time.
  • You should be able to sleep very well at night. 
  • You have to eliminate at least once a day (some say three times!!).The eliminations have to stay on top of the water, not to sink in the bottom. It should be thick and not cut up in very small pieces.
  • The color of your urine should be light, clear and not cloudy. (If you have certain foods or vitamins, the strong urine color is normal when you eat these foods)
  • The color of your tongue should be a nice flesh color red.
  • You should not have dark colors under your eyes.
  • You should not get irritated very easily. 

Glucose/Sugar level in our body

Glucose is a form of simple sugar and is a carbohydrate. Glucose is a very needed source of energy for the body and brain. It enters in our body by consuming foods that have carbohydrates; sugar, and starchy foods.  Glucose then travels through the blood inside our body. It can be found in corn, rice, wheat products and potatoes.

The level of Glucose or sugar in the body is regulated by Insulin, a hormone produced by pancreas. While the body cannot live without glucose; having too much of it will also overwhelms the body. When the body's glucose level is too high, the body becomes hyperglycemic which means we have too much sugar and too little insulin. Hyperglycemia and diabetes are disorders that result when the body cannot regulate glucose and/ or insulin levels, and can happen after years of consuming too much glucose. 
Another problem with excess glucose is that the excess glucose gets converted into fat and gets stored as belly and love handle fats  in the body. Momentary forgetfulness is also associated with rising blood sugar. Some foods convert to glucose quickly than other carbs and also will store quickly as fat. These foods are known as simple or bad carbs and are usually processed food such as: 

  1. Table sugar
  2. Corn syrup
  3. Fruit juice
  4. Candy
  5. Cake
  6. Bread made with white flour
  7. Pasta made with white flour
  8. Soda pop
  9. Candy
  10. All baked goods made with white flour
  11. Most packaged cereals
  12. Honey
  13. Jam
  14. Chocolate
  15. Biscuit

 When consuming Carbohydrates we should eat complex carbsHere's a list of complex carbohydrates foods:

  1. Spinach
  2. Grapefruit
  3. Turnip Greens
  4. Apples
  5. Lettuce
  6. Prunes
  7. Water Cress
  8. Dried apricots
  9. Zucchini
  10. Pears
  11. Asparagus
  12. Plums
  13. Artichokes
  14. Strawberries
  15. Okra
  16. Oranges
  17. Cabbage
  18. Brown rice, wild rice 
  19. Yams
  20. Celery
  21. Carrots
  22. Cucumbers
  23. Potatoes
  24. Dill Pickles
  25. Radishes
  26. Broccoli
  27. Beans (Navy beans, Whole Barley, Pinto beans, Split peas, Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans, Lentils, Soybeans
  28. Brussel sprouts
  29. Sprouts
  30. Cauliflower
  31. Eggplant
  32. Soy milk,  yogurt, milk
  33. Onions
  34. Whole meal bread, Multi-grain bread, Buckwheat and buckwheat bread, Oat bran bread, Oat bran cereal, Oatmeal 
On the other hand, we could have low levels of glucose. This condition is called hypoglycemia. It is also known as low blood sugar and is considered a fatal condition. 
To keep the diabetes or hypoglycemia under control, it is necessary to know about your glucose level. The normal glucose level lies between 70 mg/dl and 110 mg/dl.(or 4mmol/l & 6mmol/l). The level is usually lower in the morning but after having meals, it rises to some extent. When the blood sugar level reaches above 150 it depicts hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.  Below 70 is called hypoglycemia and low blood sugar and is considered fatal.  Few different and simple tests measure the amount of glucose present in the bloodstreams and monitors the treatment of diabetes.  

There are several symptoms of diabetes in a patient and some of them are lethargy, impaired mental functioning, irritability and loss of consciousness. Long hyperglycemia results in diabetes which is the most common disease related to the blood sugar level. Diabetes can be alarming and lead to some irreversible diseases like eye, kidney and nerve damage. 

Our Brain

Human brain is the most developed brain among all the living beings. Everyone wants to be smart and have Einstein's brain.(by the way Einstein's brain is of regular size but Scientific studies have suggested that regions involved in speech and language are smaller, while regions involved with numerical and spatial processing are larger. Other studies have suggested an increased number of Glial cells in Einstein's brain.) If you forget things here or there is OK. But if you see the keys to your car and think what it is for then you are in verge of Alzheimer disease. Following are few things you can do to help your brain.

-Brain needs oxygen. Alcohol and smoking are in general bad for us but they are also very bad for our brains.

-Sleep always at the same time. Let your body build its natural clock.

-Before your sleep recall the daily events. (While you are doing that thank god for everything!)

-Get more engaged. Work as long as you can, volunteer, take a course, learn something new or take care of a pet. Mental exercise is very important for our brain. Brain always needs to learn, this way it will get better. Listen to music or play an instrument.

-Have a good balance diet: 30% Complex Carbohydrates , 40% Proteins and 30% good Fats.

To perk up your brain and to be more alert, eat a meal that: Contains high proteins, moderate amount of sugars from mainly low "glycemic index" (GI) complex carbohydrates and relatively low in calories.

To relax, or easily fall asleep, eat a meal that: Contains low proteins, high amount of complex carbohydrates foods, and be high in calories.

-Make sure you have enough intake of food with folic acids or supplement of folic acids.

-Exercise or walking in fresh air makes your endorphin to go up and this in turn sends oxygen to the brain.

-Constantly tell your brain observe more. look at the things around you and observe it and take it in. How many times you went somewhere and did not notice anything and just skimped through.

-Fat is also very important for our brain. Babies and older people need more good fats for development and functioning of their brains. The most rapid brain growth occurs during the first year of life, with the infant's brain tripling in size by the first birthday. Around fifty percent of the calories in mother's milk comes from fat and is the best milk for infants.

-The most important thing that you can do is to have a positive and happy attitude in life. Believe and demand that you will live a long and productive life. If there is a gene deficiency in your brain get help with correct drugs. The correct drug and talking with professionals will add and boost the required neuron in your brain to make you have a better and in turn a longer life.

Weight loss and Diet

In order to stay healthy and maintain a correct weight for our height and age; we have to keep our metabolism going strong. Starting in our 30s, our body's metabolism can slow down and we can gain weight. To help maintain healthy metabolism levels, we need to give our body key nutrients and always eat on time. The best way to do this is to eat much less each time we eat but 6 times a day. Every three hours will be a great way to schedule our daily food intake.

Starting with full breakfast(6:00 AM- we should eat at the same time everyday) then in three hours we have a snack of 100 calories(9AM- eating 2 times). Three hours later lunch(12noon eating three times), three hours later snack of 100 calories(4PM eating 4 times). Three hours later Dinner(7 PM and 5 times) and later snack of 100 calories(9PM eating 6 times) if we are hungry.  The point here is not to make our body think that is starving. Once the body feels it is hungry then whatever we eat, it will try to save as fat for later. This is the way the body hoards the food and protects  us from hunger and starvation.  If you see the three hours is too long for you cut the interval to 2 1/2 hours or even 2 hours. Have a friend or timer on your cell phone to tell you to eat every set time.

In general men thanks to testosterone hormone have more muscles than women. Muscles burn more energy and therefore need more calories. That is why people; men or women with more muscles could consume more calories.   
Another thing that we could do is minimize eating starchy carbohydrates with proteins and fats. Women should limit starchy vegetables and bread to 1/2 servings to a meal. Men could double this amount. None starchy and none sweet vegetables could be eaten as much as you want.

A daily sample of foods to be eaten are as follows:
For breakfast: 
Bowl of whole grain non sweeten cereal(could be sweeten with fruits or one teaspoon of honey or sugar)
skim milk
1/2 grapefruit
coffee or tea with skim milk or 1% milk 
200 to 250 calories

Water in between
snack of 100 calories

For Lunch:
None fat turkey, ham or chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes and mustard dressing on 1/2 slice of bread
you could have 300-350 calories for lunch

Water in between
snack of 100 calories


One serving of any non fat meat/fish or protein, as many as you can eat non-starchy vegetables. 1/2 serving of starchy vegetables or starch. 
you could have 300-450 calories for dinner

Water in between
snack of 100 calories

The daily calorie intake for woman should be 1250- 1400 calories per day and for men 2000 to 3000 calories.  

You can use the following calculator daily to calculate your daily calorie intakes.

Drinking Green Tea, White Tea & Orange Tea will help boost our metabolism. Make sure you do not buy those bottled green teas with loads of sugar. It is very easy to make your own. There are Green tea supplements that you can take if you do not have the time and you are always on the run.


Menstrual cramps

Do you suffer from those painful menstrual cramps? Do you get unbearable cramps for the first few days? There are some home remedies that you could do to help with this symptoms.
If you know the date of your period(you are regular)you can take 600mg to 1000mg Calcium plus Vitamin D supplements few days before your period. This will greatly help with your menstrual cramps by relaxing your muscles.
If you are not regular you can take the 600mg Calcium on the regular basis.

Evening Primrose Oil in the tea or pill form would be a great thing to add to your diet also. It is a natural anti-inflammatory. Valerian Roots also are good for relaxing your muscles and are used for cramps.

Even when you follow the treatments mentioned above, sometimes you may get the pains and cramps anyway. To ease the pain; you can keep the area right below the naval area hot with a hot towel. ***Please under no circumstances put a hot or warm towel or bottle over your stomach if you have an Appendix pain. Also, I have to mention here that most of the time these pains will disappear after child birth. Exercise and intercourse also will ease the pain.

FATS in our daily food

Fat provides more than double the calories of protein and carbohydrate; one gram of fat provides nine calories, whereas proteins and carbohydrates have four calories. Department of Health recommends that 33 per cent of our total calories should come from fat. Because you cannot avoid to consume saturated fats they should account for no more than 10 per cent of our total energy (calories): the rest of the fat calories should come from monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, because these are more beneficial to health. If you are eating 2,000 calories a day, 33% of fat amounts to 73 grams of total fat daily. If your daily calorie intake is 1,500 calories, 33% of fat amounts to 55 grams of total fat daily.

Although there are numerous names for different types of fats, they fall into two groups: saturated and unsaturated.

--Saturated fat is generally solid at room temperature, is usually from animal sources and found mainly in lard, butter, margarine, cheese and whole milk. It's also the white fat you see on red meat. The less saturated fat you eat, the better. Eating saturated fats has been linked to coronary heart disease.

Hydrogenated fat is made by taking an oil and pumping hydrogen into it to make it hard. Manufacturers use this primarily because it's cheap and better shelving life. The intakes of trans fatty acids have been associated with raised blood cholesterol levels, one of the risk factors associated with developing heart disease. All we can do is look for the words partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and if we see these words simply avoid the product. Many food manufacturers are now replacing these hydrogenated fats with fats that are less harmful to our body, but still not great. Some of these are Palm Oil and Coconut Oil. Also watch for these fats in fast food places and restaurants.

--Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and generally come from vegetable sources. Mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats are both included in this group.

Unsaturated fats are healthier and can be found in cold pressed vegetable oils such as olive, hemp, rapeseed, peanut, sesame, sunflower, canola and soy oils. Also are found in coldwater fish: sardines, salmon, and albacore tuna and Small fish like mackerel, sardines, pilchards and fish oils. They are also rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids, with flaxseed oil being the best. All kinds of Nuts and seeds; Walnuts, Almonds, pistatues, sunflower seeds. Half an avocado every other day, olives are very healthy fat foods to eat.

You can, of course, also get polyunsaturated soft margarines, like Smart Balance. Watch the labels of these products they often contain partially hydrogenated fat - the fat we need to be most wary of and on the package they say no Tran Fat.


Blood PH Level

PH (P for Potential of and H for Hydrogen)) is a scale that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The scale ranges from 1 to 14 with 1 being very acid, 7 neutral and 14 very alkaline. Human blood pH has to be alkaline and in range of 7.20 to 7.6 than acid (1 to 6.999) or neutral (7). Below or above this range means you are inviting disease to your body. If blood pH moves below 6.8 acid or above 7.8 alkaline, cells stop functioning correctly. If you ever took care of a fish in an Aquarium, you will notice that you had to make sure they were always living in a correct PH range. If the water went below or above the specified range you will see that the fish will show the symptoms and will catch a disease and shortly will die. Human are the same way! If the correct PH is not supplied for our body; it will continually strive to balance the pH. A diet high in acid-producing foods such as animal protein, process sugar, soda, caffeine, and processed foods very quickly will throw out our body out of balance. This in turn will put pressure on the body’s regulating systems to maintain the pH that our body likes. Then the body will seek alkaline from our body parts and before you know it you will be deficient in alkaline minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. This in turn make the person prone to chronic and degenerative disease. Minerals are borrowed from vital organs and bones to buffer (neutralize) the acid and to remove it from the body. Because of this strain, the body can suffer severe and prolonged damage; a condition that may go undetected for years unlike those little fish.
In order to maintain this level, it is important to consume at least 65% alkaline-producing foods in our diet. We need plenty of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables (alkaline-producing) to balance our necessary protein intake (acid-producing). Although many foods are alkaline-producing by nature, because of being processed and added many other ingredients, they become acid-producing. We need to avoid processed, sugary or simple-carbohydrate foods, not only because they are acid-producing but also because they raise blood sugar level too quickly (high glycemic index), plus they tend to be very low in needed nutrient for our body.
There are some strips that you can buy and you can measure your PH very quickly by Saliva. But if you get to eat healthy as I mentioned above, you really do not need to do this test.

Build your immune system

You be surprised to find out that a few germs vs. no germs will build stronger immune system and therefore will guarantee us less sicknesses. If you are one of those people obsessed with germ-fighting products, you have to understand that our bodies are better off to get accustomed to some germs than none. Trying to get rid of every single little germ in our house could actually be putting our family’s health at risk. There are lots of germs we can encounter in our daily lives. If we make our house and ourselves germ free, our body will not know how to protect itself by encountering the inevitable germs we encounter at work, school, restaurants, and outside. Regular soap is just as effective cleaning agent and is probably better for development of a healthy immune system.

ABC signs of a healthy person!

When my parents used to go to the Doctor; the doctor would look at them and take their heart beat from their pulse, and he knew what was wrong with them. I think the doctor mostly would deduce his findings from their physical presence. The following are some of the attributes of a healthy person. You can find the reasons and cures for all these items in this blog now or in the future.

BMI Calculator

BMI stands for Body Mass Index. It measures the ratio of one's body weight to their height. It also tries to give an idea of the amount of body fat a person has. Two people can have the same BMI but different levels of body fat(because Muscle weighs more than fat). A high percentage of body fat increases the chances of heart disease, Type II diabetes, and cancers. *******************************************