What do I get out of it?

giving-pat-on-backIt is the season of giving. Should there be a specified season of giving. When we give something should we expect to get something in return. Sure it is nice to receive something in return even if it is only gratitude. But should that prevent us from being generous. Helping someone out even if you consider it very minor may mean so much to someone else. Research has shown that volunteering helps alleviate boredom giving-elephantand loneliness by making new social connections. Giving back to your community can show an appreciation of your surroundings. Giving can help gain a new perspective on those less fortunate which can help one grow and develop as a person. The feeling of being needed by those you are helping can sometimes be overlooked and taken for granted in your daily routine. Volunteering can help you explore other avenues and in turn open you up to a new career by helping you explore your likes and dislikes. If giving is something that is encouraged at an early age, it can instill in children how one person can make a difference.  The idea of sacrificing a portion of a child ‘s recreation time can help children understand that there are other things more important than self-gratification. So giving-childrenshould we expect to get something back from giving or does it seem that we actually get a great deal back. Exposing ourselves to different backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities, ages, education and income levels can make us more comfortable and understanding of the world that surrounds us. What a gift!

Smart Contact Lenses…

Researchers at Google have come up with a chip that can be inbedded in contact lenses. smart-contact-lensesThe purpose of the chip will be to measure levels of glucose in tears. This tiny glucose sensor can help patients with diabetes check their glucose levels without pricking their finger. They are experimenting with tiny LED lights which would light up and appear as a fleck of glitter whenever there are fluctuations in glucose levels.

Smog Eating Structures…

smog-eating-structuresScientists and architects are actually creating buildings that are giant air purifiers. This is accomplished by covering the façade of the building with titanium dioxide which can break down pollutants into less harmful chemicals. Researchers claim it can neutralize pollution from 1000 cars daily. Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital in Mexico is one example of this type of construction. Plans are being made to construct smog consuming buildings in Milan and London. There is also great interest in the US at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Since smog causes one in eight deaths, if this type of architecture becomes common practice, it can possibly put a dent is world pollution. 

Photosynthesis and Hunger…

A decade ago scientists started playing with the idea of manipulating the process of photosynthesis to produce more food. The Gates Foundation has been funding the research as a possible solution to alleviating world hunger. After years of research, vegetables-photosynthesisheadway has been made working with the tobacco plant. It is not that they are interested in increasing tobacco production but the fact that the tobacco plant is relatively an easy and fast plant to grow. Results of manipulating photosynthesis have shown an increase by as much as 20% growth. Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to produce oxygen and glucose. The thought behind the technique is that nature is more concerned with survival and reproduction of plants rather than maximum production. The process involved transferring genes from a common house plant known as mouse cress into a tobacco plant. This increased the level of a protein already existing in a tobacco plant. When plants take in more sunlight then is needed they often expel it in the form of heat. The goal is to turn off this heat producing mechanism sooner, have the production of glucose increased thereby producing larger plants.

Magnesium Rich Foods…

There are over 600 chemical reactions that depend on magnesium. Fatigue, anxiety,magnesium-foods muscle cramps and even respiratory problems can be caused by a deficiency. The daily requirement for adults and teenagers ranges between 310 to 410 milligrams daily. Addition of certain foods to your diet can provide you with an adequate amount of this mineral. 

–       Almonds 75 mg. 1 oz.
–       Banana 32 mg.
–       Dark leafy green veggies 157 mg. 1 cup
–       Avocado 58 mg.
–       Yogurt 47 mg. 1 cup
–       Pumpkin Seeds 325 mg. ½ cup
(enough to fill your  daily requirement)


Dial in the Amount you are Eating…

If you are extremely active and follow a regular exercise routine, an injury can set your dial-inmetabolism operating at a different speed. If your body is accustomed to pre-workout snacks and after workout shakes, it can be helpful to modify some of these smaller meals. In addition, cutting back on alcohol, since it is extremely inflammatory, can also make injuries heal faster and enable you to get back to your desired activity level sooner.

Do You Know Your Blood Type?

blood-cellWhy is blood considered the lifeline of the body. Simplified, it is a combination of plasma (a watery liquid) and cells that float around in it. It is extremely specialized and supplies the body with essential substances and nutrients as well as carrying away waste from all of our organs. The first transfusion was attempted in 1492 to save the life of Pope Innocent VIII in Rome but it proved to be unsuccessful. In the 1800s, in Canada, Drs. Bovell and Hodder started intravenous transfusions with milk believing that the fat molecules in milk could be translated to white blood cells and in turn be converted to red blood cells. This also provedblood-types unsuccessful. It wasn’t until 20 years later that the first successful transfusion was done on a patient in England. At present there are about 32 different types recognized with the most common being O, A, B, AB. Belief systems have evolved that certain blood types would build stronger armies and also determine personality and behavior. Others have proclaimed that certain diets would benefit certain blood types. In Japan it has even gone so far as dating services seeking potential mates and employers interviewing possible workers presenting their blood type before making any decision can be made about their employment. In addition, students blood-manboth in sports and study groups are placed together according to their blood type. Type O is believed to be the oldest type dating as far back as 30,000 to 25,000 BC. Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon primates are believed to have this blood type. This is the period in which the populations were hunter gathers. It is estimated that around 63% of humans presently have Type O. In South America it approaches about 100%. Type A dates back to around 25,000 to 15,000 BC. About 21% of all people have this type blood-farmingblood. Records show that this is about the time that cultivation and settling into farms began. The introduction of this blood type probably had a lot to do with the cultivation and additions of new and different food sources. Type B is less common with only approximately 16% of the population. It dates back as far as 10,000 to 15,000 and is common in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Type AB was first discovered in the Middle East around 2500 BC and became more common around 1000 years ago. Fortunately, we are now able to receive blood tests which can indicate deficiencies and prevent disease. Request a copy of your blood tests, keep a file on them. You will be surprised at how interesting and informative they can be.

Compression Sleeves…

Compression sleeves and garments may help recovery after strenuous exercise.compression-sleeves They augment the movement of blood flow through muscles after exercise when it would have otherwise slowed down. This can help flush out lactic acid, a by-product of a heavy workout, in turn reducing inflammation and muscle aches. The downside is that they must be worn for several hours after exercise and since they are tight can become uncomfortable for some.

Vitamin D and Asthma…

sunshine_vit-dAccording to an analysis published by The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Vitamin D may lower the risk and severity of asthma attacks. The study involved 435 children and 658 adults most of whom had some degree of asthma. 400 to 4000 units of the supplement reduced symptoms in 37% of the participants. Severe attacks requiring emergency intervention decreased by 60%. There is the possibility that vitamin D triggers antiviral and anti-inflammatory responses which decrease the risk of lung infection. Of course before you add any supplement to your regiment you should speak to your doctor first. However, taking a little dose of vitamin D from the sun can’t hurt.


Great for endurance and contains a healthy vegetarian source of iron, Teff originated some 3,000 years ago in Ethiopia. North Africans consume about 15% of their diet from this teffgrain. It is the size of a poppy seed and provides slow burning energy especially for runners. Iron deficiency is especially high among female runners and Incorporating Teff into a diet may be the solution. This ancient whole grain has been showing up in pastas, protein bars and pancake mixes. It also has a high protein content and can be eaten by people who are gluten intolerant. Try substituting it for a hot cereal in the morning.