Who says you have to be serious? Learn how to love life early to find joy.

My sister and I were sitting around the living room, chatting about aging and getting old. She had it all planned out. She knew who she was going to be and was excited to get there. “I’m going to be one of those eccentric old ladies when I get old dressing up in a fur coat and sweats to go shopping.” We started laughing. A memory of our aunt surfaced.

O.k., let me tell you about my aunt. My aunt was the definition of eccentric until she got old. Then she became the docile, homebody, trudging around in age-appropriate clothing and driving a clean car. But up until then, she was the crazy, non-conformist aunt. Of course, my sister and I were in our late teens and early 20’s and had the good fortune of staying with her up on Tai Shen Mountain.

How her home got the name “Tai Shen Mountain” is a different story, and maybe I’ll find time to tell you about it sometime.

My aunt had hit that milestone in life where her doctor labeled her as obese. You might know about that milestone. It kind of sneaks upon you, and you are unprepared for it. One day you are in the doctor’s office, and she is taking notes. You know you’ve gained weight, but all your friends are great liars and say you look great.

Your doctor has to check on something and steps out, giving you the necessary time to flip the computer screen and look at her notes. Since it’s about you, and you can get a copy, everything seems fine until you read the notes, “Patient is obese.”

Excuse me?

Well, my aunt had hit that milestone in life where weight made non-elastic pants too restraining. Her wardrobe had graduated to clogs and sweats. Not even nice sweats. The thick, bunch-at-the-ankle sweats you bought at Costco in a variety of colors. Like the colors would make them stylish or something. Top it off with white sweat socks and a pair of Birkenstocks, and she was up and running for the day.

I can remember her yelling out to us as we sat on the back porch doing nothing of importance, “Kimmy, Lisa, do you want to go to Costco?!” It wasn’t until she was much older that she was comfortable doing things by herself. But my sister and I had nothing better to do, and a ride to Costco might be a nice change.

Sitting idly and chatting in the car on that warm fall day in Southern California, we waited for my aunt. It was weird. You could almost feel her presence before looking up from whatever had captured our attention.

I felt a small gasp leave my throat. My aunt stood blocking the sun, casting her face into shadows and highlighting the threads of her tightly curled, dry, frizzy hair, making it appear as if electricity was running through it. There was an air of defiance in her stance.

But that wasn’t the only thing that was disturbing. She was bigger than she should be. She was much bigger. There was this massive blob with a small frizzy globe on top.

My sister and I waited. When she was sure she had captured our attention and punctuated it with a period, she sauntered to the driver’s door. That was when I saw it, what was making her so huge.

It was an old, 3/4 length, mink fur coat. What? It was California and warm. It wasn’t fur-wearing temperature. In fact, it was never fur-wearing temperature in Southern California.

I could feel myself start to sweat, watching her as she pushed herself behind the steering wheel. It was amazing. Pink sweats, sunglasses, Birkenstocks wrapped up in an aging mink coat, and carrying a purse.

There was no getting out of it. We had said we were going, to try and jump ship now would have ignited her indignation. We would have paid for it in creative little ways that even we couldn’t have imagined. Like maybe dinner would be peas and liver. Or, she would consume the only television for days with Rural Farm Delivery (RFD) and livestock auctions.

So, facing forward with windows rolled up and air conditioner blazing, we took off.

“So, what made you decide to wear that coat?”

“It’s my coat, and I can wear it if I want too,” a small smirk traveled across her lips. “Why, don’t you like it?”

Ah, defensiveness, obviously she knows there is something wrong with her decision-making skills. And that’s when it got even better. Suddenly, small tufts of black hair got caught up in the gale-force wind coming out of the air-conditioning vents. My aunt swiped across her face to remove the little hairs capturing her nose. Some managed to get caught in her mouth as she was talking. Flicking her tongue, she tried to spit them out.

The coat was so old and so poorly taken care of, it was shedding.

We stared at her, not saying a thing, and just as suddenly as she appeared, she started laughing. She was all in.

I got to give her credit. She was creative, and life was a band with everyone playing a separate tune.

My sister and I would laugh every time we remembered that crazy Costco adventure with my most gifted aunt. I learned a lot from my aunt. I learned life didn’t have to be defined by anyone else, and everything you do is going to make a memory. Try to make them fun. I learned there was no point in taking yourself too seriously. And under all this, I learned about joy.

I think that adventure made a lasting impression on my sister. That carefree freedom, I don’t care what you think. My sister was going to be that crazy grandmother and torment her daughter and grandchildren in the same way our crazy aunt tortured us.

Here’s the thing, joy isn’t waiting for you at the end of your journey. Joy only happens in the here and now. You can’t dream your way to joy. I think that is important for you to know because you see, my sister and I were having that conversation three months before her passing.

We were pretending those dreams were a possibility when we both knew they were never going to happen. We were pretending what clothes we would wear and where we would go drinking our mixed drinks on the deck overlooking the ocean. And I loved sharing her dreams with her and learning who she was deep inside. Learning what her desires and wishes were and how she had wanted her life to go.

Two weeks before she passed, when her body was failing her, and she could no longer climb the stairs, we sat on her bed feeling the ocean breeze waft between the bedroom curtains talking about what she wanted her funeral to be. Before, she had always said she had never thought about it.

But she had. She had thought about it a lot. “I want my ashes scattered in the ocean.”

“What about the forests of the Northwest?” I remembered our last trip to the ancient Doug Fir forests in Canada. If I wanted to, but she wanted some of her ashes shared with the ocean.

“Why do you want to be shared with the ocean?”

She paused, capturing her breath and thoughts. The tiredness was making it hard for her to focus and breathe. “Because I’ve always felt so constrained in this life, and I can go anywhere in the ocean.”

I thought about our conversation three months earlier and how she wanted to be that eccentric grandmother who threw caution to the wind.

You don’t get to plan for joy. If you want joy in your life, you have to see it right now in everything you do. If you think you’ll be that person someday, you won’t. If you want to be that person, you better start practicing now.

Test it out. Wear outrageous shoes. Put on a headband and braid your hair with multi-colored yarn. See how it fits you. Everything in this life is your creation. Who knows what is really going on out there.

Let’s say you try it out and feel a bit embarrassed or insecure, but still want to do it. Then come in, and let’s open up your chakras and release your old programming. Let’s open up your heart again and find the joy that brought you into this world.

Seven months later, I was able to honor her request and release a part of her into the ocean. I watched her ashes quickly spread to the currents. It was almost as if I could feel her sigh of relief.

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How to beat the allergy season with these five supplements

Watch the vlog here!

Crude, it’s allergy season, and I haven’t had allergies for years, but I have them this year. I don’t know if you saw my vlog on Finding your meditation rhythm, but the first scene! Did you see those pollen clouds light up behind me as I walked through the field? That’s pollen today. And the Cottonwoods have been on fire. I was driving down the road the other day, and it looked like it was snowing. I wanted to film the blizzard, but I didn’t have my camera.

I haven’t had allergies in about 20 years, and I have them now. Twenty years ago, my allergies were much worse. I was taking Allegra. I would step outside and could feel my head and sinuses instantly swell shut. I would get a headache, and it would feel like I was swimming in cotton. I’m running around Mount Hood today because I don’t have allergies up here in the mountains.

The last time I went about eliminating my allergies, it was all based on supplements. I was facing the same situation I’m facing today. Long term stress had gotten the best of me. My digestive health was weak, and I had gained weight that I couldn’t get off. I was experiencing a lot of inflammation, and the allergies were just one more step in the inflammation process.

What happens when you have a histamine reaction in the body? The simple response is the body identifies a substance as a foreign invader and mast cells covered with the correct IGe antibody move to the scene. These mast cells attack the invader and start a response to remove the invader from the body. Part of that response is releasing histamine at the site. Histamine causes an inflammation response to remove the invader from the body. Histamine would cause your sinuses to inflame, your nose to run, and to sneeze. These are just three inflammation strategies your body can use to eliminate a foreign invader.

When you’re looking for supplements, you’ll want supplements that support two strategies. The first is to reduce the histamine reaction. The second would be to support the overall immune system. All of the information here is supported by research, and you can find links in the video description below or click on the link to my blog, and you can find the research information there.

Let’s look at four supplements that fit that bill.

The first is vitamin B3 as nicotinamide. There are two types of B3, niacin, and nicotinamide. Now to make this crazier, niacin is also known as nicotinic acid, and nicotinamide is also known as niacinamide. So, the one ending in “amide” is the supplement. The research on this supplement has shown this supplement taken internally reduces symptoms of bronchial asthma. Nicotinamide has been reported to reduce asthma and hay fever in people. You can also use B3 nicotinamide topically, and it has shown to have anti-inflammatory effects with acne and reduce signs of aging.

The next supplement is Vitamin C. Here is the neat thing about vitamin C. The research on this supplement suggests vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. A research study reported after taking 2g of vitamin C, blood histamine levels reduced by almost 40%. And the exciting thing about histamine in this study was the study found excess histamine levels slowed the movement of immune protection cells called neutrophils to the site of injury. So, histamine is a critical messenger molecule in the body, but when in excess, it harms the body like when we have an allergy response.

When I first managed my allergies with supplements, vitamin C was the last supplement I added to my regime. And that was the icing on the cake. I was finally able to eliminate all symptoms of allergies.

There is an enzyme in the body that breaks down histamine, and that enzyme is Diamine Oxidase or DAO. Click here to learn about enzymes and dosing. Every enzyme in the body needs specific raw materials. One of the critical elements required for Diamine oxidase is B6. There are many common medications that we take today that interfere with the function of Diamine Oxidase, some through the reduction of B6. Medicines that may reduce B6 in the body are high blood pressure medications, tuberculosis, asthma, and arthritis medications. Other substances impact the ability of Diamine Oxidase to function effectively because they release more histamine into the body. Aspirin is one of these substances. Chronic inflammatory concerns like IBS release more histamine into the digestive tract. Things we consume daily impact vitamin B6 levels like alcohol.

And being that B6 is water-soluble, we don’t store it in the body. If you are not using supplements, B6 is dependent on food choices. Our food processing has impacted the nutritional content of foods. We know that, but we don’t look at food processing impacts as additive. So, using nitrogen fertilizers instead of nutrient-rich soil to grow foods reduces the nutrient value. Sterilization methods, such as heat, irradiation, pasteurization, reduce nutrient content. Shelf life reduces nutrient content. Cooking reduces nutrient content. When we start to look at it this way, the numbers look different. If each loss was only 2%, we might say that by the time we get the food to the table, we’ve lost 10% of the nutritional value, and that’s o.k. But that’s not what happens. Some of these processes can lose 50% of nutrition. That’s where supplementing becomes effective.

Now, there are also a few companies that produce Diamine Oxidase from pork kidneys. Diamine oxidase (DAO) is a digestive enzyme naturally produced in your kidneys, thymus, and the intestinal lining of your digestive tract. You need to take this enzyme right before you eat as it has a short half-life. This enzyme won’t reduce the amount of histamine your body produces. Nor will it replace the amount of Diamine oxidase your body produces. What it does is provide more Diamine Oxidase in the intestinal tract to help break down the histamine your body produced and reducing the amount of histamine that can enter your intestinal tract.

This supplement is taken for food sensitivities. Click here to learn about food sensitivities. And that could be foods that you think don’t work well in your system and cause gas, bloating, upset stomach, heartburn, diarrhea.

And then the thought is if I’m supplementing with the enzyme, why do I need B6. B6 is a coenzyme. B6 does more than create Diamine oxidase. To have enzymes, all coenzymes must be present. A coenzyme is a non-protein substance needed to have functioning enzymes. So, if you’re short on B6, you will never make enough Diamine Oxidase. But, being a coenzyme, B6 is needed in the production of critical neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin, supporting the central nervous system, and assisting with creating the myelin sheath that encases nerves.

O.k., what’s another supplement? Calcium.

Calcium is a critical component of liver function. It regulates almost every liver task we know. And many of us learned the liver is responsible for detoxing in the body. Low calcium levels in the liver can dysregulate critical functions in the liver, including bile acid secretion. Problems with bile acid secretion can aggravate IBS and reduce the effectiveness of digestion. We’ve already seen inflammation in the digestive tract increases histamine levels.

Calcium is also critical for the stress response. Studies have shown that more calcium is released into the system when presented with a stressor. The aftermath of the stressor has shown a slight decrease in tissue calcium. The reduction in tissue calcium can compound over time, and low calcium can increase stress, anxiety, irritability. All these things increase histamine release in the body.

What to learn how to detox your liver naturally? Click here.

I marry supplements with Chinese Herbs, especially when I’m having symptoms that just suddenly appeared. It takes a long time for supplements to work. You’ll be able to see some improvement in a month. Yet, to replace all your current cells with new, healthier cells will take time. The average lifespan of a blood cell is three months. And there is the timeframe needed to uptake the nutrition and incorporate the nutrients in the body. Chinese Herbs can work quickly and support your supplements, decreasing the time to improve from a year to months. The thing about Chinese Herbs is they are usually specific to you. So, the herbs you take for your allergies may be different than the herbs your friend takes for allergies. If you want to add in Chinese Herbs, make an appointment with a Chinese Herbal practitioner and get herbs specific for you. You can similarly use herbs and supplements. You can take herbs for the symptoms during allergy season to get immediate relief and change formulas to build up your immune system after the allergy season. Or, you can take vitamin and mineral supplements to build up your immune system. Vitamins and minerals are usually a long-term solution to get all the materials your body needs to make the enzymes and stuff to protect your body. The vitamins and minerals don’t typically offer you immediate relief. You may have to do either herbs or supplements for a couple of years rigorously and then intermittently for spot therapy.

That’s it you guys, until next time, I’ll catch you on the other side.

CITATIONS

Bekier E, Wyczó?kowska J, Szyc H, Ma?li?ski Cz: The Inhibitory Effect of Nicotinamide on Asthma-Like Symptoms and Eosinophilia in Guinea Pigs, Anaphylactic Mast Cell Degranulation in Mice, and Histamine Release from Rat Isolated Peritoneal Mast Cells by Compound 48/80. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1974;47:737-748. doi: 10.1159/000231265

Gehring W. Nicotinic acid/niacinamide and the skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2004;3(2):88-93. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00115.x

Johnston CS, Martin LJ, Cai X. Antihistamine effect of supplemental ascorbic acid and neutrophil chemotaxis. J Am Coll Nutr. 1992;11(2):172-176.

Johnston C.S. (1996) The Antihistamine Action of Ascorbic Acid. In: Harris J.R. (eds) Subcellular Biochemistry. Subcellular Biochemistry (Ascorbic Acid: Biochemistry and Biochemical Cell Biology), vol 25. Springer, Boston, MA

https://www.bmhsc.org/health-and-wellness/education-support/health-library/drug-interaction-tool?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000992

Matsuo H, Yokooji T, Morita H, et al. Aspirin augments IgE-mediated histamine release from human peripheral basophils via Syk kinase activation. Allergol Int. 2013;62(4):503-511. doi:10.2332/allergolint.13-OA-0536

Fabisiak, A., W?odarczyk, J., Fabisiak, N., Storr, M., & Fichna, J. (2017). Targeting Histamine Receptors in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Critical Appraisal. Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility23(3), 341–348. https://doi.org/10.5056/jnm16203

Tiratterra, E., Franco, P., Porru, E., Katsanos, K. H., Christodoulou, D. K., & Roda, G. (2018). Role of bile acids in inflammatory bowel disease. Annals of gastroenterology31(3), 266–272. https://doi.org/10.20524/aog.2018.0239

Malinovská V, Matonoha P, D’Andrea V, Malinovský L, Zechmeister A. Uloha kalcia v mechanismu p?sobení stressogenních hormon? [The role of calcium in the effect of stress hormones]. Cas Lek Cesk. 1991;130(22-23):631-634.

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How I use Taoism to Create the Life I Want Every Day

For me, one of the most substantial parts of Taoism is the effort to disengage while still participating in life. If I look at every spiritual leader each of them participated in the world with an opinion of right and wrong. Even the Pope consistently takes stances. What it means to “not engage” is to stop reacting to the world. Sure, you can think things are right or wrong, yet the reactions on Social media and our personal lives have taken a whole new turn of hostility and aggression. 

I was working in Puerto Rico during one of their elections. It was crazy. The country has a 95% participation rate in elections versus about 50% in the United States. Everyone had an opinion. It was terrific listening to them talk about their stances. They would talk about their reasons for supporting one candidate over another. I never saw one of these discussions turn into a name-calling, stone-throwing brawl. They were out on the streets with cars revved, voices cheering, crowds gathering interacting with each other. It was very different.

Here’s the thing about this year. Last year I was a perfectly reasonable, highly educated, individual running a business. This year, I turned into a hot, angry, sweaty mess, spewing conspiracy theories. I got caught up in the hype. 

I was sitting at my computer, amid social distancing, and internet chatting with friends. I was getting ready to type out the latest conspiracy theory when I caught myself. Who knows how that happened. The energetics of this year has been so overwhelming. The forced social distancing, additional responsibilities, and economic issues have pumped up the volume on our stress making it difficult to remain emotionally balanced.

But, I saw my crazy participation. I took a breath, paused for the cause, and backed away. It was like backing away from a bear. You see the bear, and you know the bear saw you. And you start backing up calmly, no sudden moves, just back away.

The energy this year is crazy. But, the energetics are changing. I wrote a great blog on the energetics. Here is the link

In the meantime, here are some thoughts from Taoism on staying grounded and not caught in the fray,

The first thing Taoism gave me was a goal. It helped identify what a peaceful existence could be. And again, that doesn’t mean not participating. It means staying emotionally balanced even during charged interactions. It meant being so solid in who I am, that I don’t falter when presented with adversity or disruption or confusion. It meant understanding human nature so well that I could understand a person’s reaction to a situation and accept that. 

You know, our kids start as a baby and grow up. They learn more and more lessons on what it means to be human and to participate in this world. Do you remember learning to tie your shoes? How complicated was that? It took me a few times to get that right, and then I would forget and would need help again. Yet, as the adult, you can understand where your kids are in their learning and can accept that and continue to help them until they get it on their own. 

That’s compassion. That’s the second thing Taoism has taught me, compassion. Compassion is understanding and acceptance. I don’t know if you can get to compassion without these two items. I look at all the fantastic people I know in my life, all the compassionate people, and each of them has a healthy spiritual practice. The first genuinely compassionate people I met were Nazarenes. I spent time watching them, being around them. I wanted to understand how they became so kind. It was their spirituality that took them to that place, a belief in something more than themselves.  

I bet you wouldn’t guess this, but I watch gaming channels because they can be such a great distraction. One of the channels on Youtube I like is HRBSFrank. The channel does story-line games. You can unplug and watch a terrific story. I think what surprised me the most was how thoughtful these stories are. The people putting these stories together all have something to say, and all found a way to deliver their message through games. 

But, when I talk about being human, there is one game on the channel called “Detroit, on becoming human” that touches on aspects of being human. It highlights the complexity of our emotions and our biases, which make disengaging difficult. This game brings home introspection into becoming human. 

The third thing Taoism taught me is introspection. It’s introspection of everything including each emotion and feeling you experience. When you’re happy, when your sad when you’re angry, each time you experience an emotion, take time to think about it. Weigh it against your idea life and determine if that emotion promotes your concept of life or detracts from your idea existence. 

Becoming aware of our emotions can be tough because we are so noisy. Everything going on in our head is just so loud. Practicing meditation to the point of being empty, blank, clear, without thought – the point where you are thinking about nothing and are completely present with all the sights and sounds around you allows you to understand the lack of reaction.  

For me, just coming back from the stress that culminated in anxiety due to years as an at-home caregiver completely exhausted me. I’ve worked on my health for two years, and it took two years before my meditation was able to get to that point of emptiness. Even though I finally got there, it was impossible to stay for any length of time. 

Before life happened, I could sit for 1/2 hour at a time in complete silence and bliss. The silence shows you how it feels when your emotions are not responding to the world around you. It makes it easier to identify when you are reacting. 

The fourth thing is there is no right answer when it comes to living. If there were, we wouldn’t need environmental diversity to survive on this planet. Not everyone can be good at fixing cars because then no one would be growing food. 

I genuinely wonder how life will work for the generation coming up through high school right now. All the programs and measuring we’ve implemented have created a whole generation that thinks they have to excel at everything. And they’re right. 

I went back to the high school I had the privilege of attending as a teenager. I was impressed, and I was disheartened. I was so impressed with what they had become in the decades since I left school. It was the coolest thing to realize I had been part of it. 

But, I was also disheartened at how kids were qualified to be members of the community. They had to excel at everything, academics, sports, extra-curricular activities, social justice, and volunteering. They had to be in every one of these categories. It was like a whole school of savants running around, and where is the diversity in that? I think about the game, “Detroit, becoming human.”

The fifth thing Taoism taught was self-compassion. I’m a recovering perfectionist, the whole generation coming up right now are practicing perfectionist. Self-compassion is really low on the perfectionist list of most important things to do. It wasn’t even on my list. 

The problem with being a perfectionist is… you’re not. No one is. So, you’ve given yourself a goal you can’t attain. Which means you’re playing a game of never good enough. You’ll win the jackpot sometimes. But…environmental diversity! Everything plays a part. And perfectionists have been twisted up in everyone else’s idea of who they should be. A perfectionist doesn’t even know what they like anymore. 

Probably my most challenging task was to learn a little self-compassion. If you can’t be compassionate with yourself, you can’t be kind to anyone else. Watch how you think and treat others because that is what you say to yourself every day. When you laugh at someone when they try to do something new probably means you refuse to try anything new, fearing the ridicule of not being perfect. 

If you’re hanging around people who spend more time judging or criticizing others, laughing, or ridiculing others, you may need new friends. 

But, if you’re a practicing or recovering perfectionist, learn to say good enough. I still have to do that all the time. I’ve spent two weeks writing and re-writing this. Left to my own devices, I’d probably wear out my keyboard writing this blog. At some point, give yourself a break and say, “Good enough.”

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The Science Behind 3 Powerful Supplements You Can Take to Quickly Stop Joint Pain

I went on a search for joint pain supplements after being sidetracked by Glucosamine. You can read all about that in my article, “Glucosamine, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”   Here are three powerful supplements that help eliminate joint pain without side effects. All of the supplements surprised me at their effectiveness. Two of them completely eliminated my symptoms, and one of them substantially reduced the symptoms. 

Let’s start out with one people don’t think about: vitamin C. What got me hooked on vitamin C is my family history of rheumatoid arthritis. I think I’m the only one in the family who doesn’t have the rheumatoid arthritis nodules on my fingers. Yet, I was starting to get these nodules. Concerned and not feeling really positive about potential finger joint arthritis, I began researching what I could do to help reverse them. 

Soda, pop, soft drinks

Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant and is excellent for immune support. But, did you know it can also help with joint pain? Joint pain can come from high uric acid levels in the blood. Typically, your kidneys will remove uric acid from the body. Protein and high fructose corn syrup breakdown in the body into purines, and purines form uric acid in the body. To see more how high fructose corn syrup impacts the body, check out this article.

High intakes of protein or high fructose corn syrup can form more uric acid than the kidneys can remove. The excess uric acid can be deposited in the joints causing inflammation and pain. Vitamin C helps reduce uric acid levels in the blood and can reduce the joint pain and swelling due to uric acid levels in the blood.

The second way Vitamin C can reduce joint pain is through the synthesis of collagen in the body. This vitamin is critical to the synthesis of collagen in the body, and the only way we can get Vitamin C is through consumption. The body does not make vitamin C. 

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen is especially plentiful in cartilage, tendons, and bone. The first signs of a deficiency in vitamin C are skin manifestations such a bruising and slow wound healing. These symptoms are due to a reduction in collagen synthesis. 

The second supplement which can help reduce joint pain is Omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are another supplement well known for their anti-inflammatory effects and ability to raise high-density lipoproteins (HDL’s), the good cholesterol. 

Studies of Omega 3 supplementation indicated an ability to slow disease progression in arthritis or chronic, long-term joint pain. 

There are three types of Omega 3’s. DHA and EPA come from cold-water fish, and ALA comes from seeds and nuts. Research indicates DHA and EPA Omega 3’s may suppress the protein responsible for the arthritis inflammation response in individuals. 

The last supplement to help with joint pain is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is one of the three commonly used supplements for joint pain. The other two are Glucosamine and MSM. Glucosamine has potential side effects, which will preclude its use in some individuals. I’ve never had much success with MSM. Because MSM is a methyl-donor, it seems this supplement would be beneficial in individuals needing a methyl-donor. Hyaluronic acid appears to be helpful in all users. 

This supplement is highly correlated with the quality of the supplement. Quality is the truth of all supplements. Yet, I found hyaluronic acid to be even more demanding in its requirement for quality. I had taken many hyaluronic acid supplements and found little benefit. 

My sister had recommended a product called Lubrisyn.  Check out their website for research and testimonials. My sister and her clients swore by it. My sister was a horse person. If you know anything about horse people, horse people find their pharmacy in their tack room. A horse person’s adage is, “If it works for my horse, its gonna work for me.” Lubrisyn had started out as a product for horses. The product was highly successful, and the company formulated the product for humans.

I tried Lubrisyn and was surprised at its effectiveness. I’ve ridden horses my whole life. The most common complaint in riders is their feet. Every long-term, horse rider gets foot pain. That strange stiff walk horse riders have is because their feet hurt. The pain probably comes from those narrow stirrups placing so much pressure on the balls of the feet.  

After a month of taking this supplement, I was able to run across concrete with no pain. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been able to do that, and it was amazing to be able to run across concrete again. 

There you have it. Here are three killer supplements that you can take to reduce or eliminate joint pain. 

RESEARCH

Effect of Oral Vitamin C Supplementation on Serum Uric Acid: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Find Out What Foods Chinese Medicine Says to Eat Weekly to Restore Your Gut Health

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for recipes I can use to improve my health and especially my gut health. Things got serious with my gut health two years ago. Age, irreverent eating, and lifestyle had sucker punched me. I had to start implementing my background in Chinese Nutrition on myself.

I’m not a great chief or even a mediocre chef. But, I do have great taste buds and love a creative flair to food. So, I cruise the web, restaurants, and cookbooks for recipes that knock it out of the park from a Chinese Nutrition perspective, try them out, and make them low effort and tasty.  

I want to share this recipe because it hit it out of the ballpark on all three categories. I found this on Youtube, and I wish I could remember the channel and the person because she knocked it out of the park when it came to developing healthy recipes. Maybe I’ll find that channel again someday.

I made a couple of modifications to make the recipe even more gut-friendly. I enjoy eating this once or twice a week. 

When I first saw this recipe, I thought it was going to have a horrible taste. I made the dish, and it is delicious. If you like a splashy, haute cusine taste sensation, this is going to be right up your alley.

Ingredients:

Japanese breakfast
  • 1/4 cup cooked Basmati Rice
  • 1 tablespoon Kimchi
  • 2 oz of Natto
  • 1 egg poached
  • 1-2 teaspoon of Ponzu
  • 2 teaspoons of chives or scallions

To plate this dish, put the warm rice in the bowl first. Place the Natto and Kimchi on top of the rice. Spread the Ponzu over the ingredients. Top it off with the egg and sprinkle with chives or chopped scallions.

Kimchi – fermented cabbage

I’m not a big fan of Kimchi, but I was in Victoria B.C. They have taken vegan cuisine to a whole new level, and I ran across how this aged food choice is getting a facelift in the vegan cuisine isle. Brand new dishes topped with Kimchi were showing up. These were some of the most exciting, tastiest dishes I ate.

Kimchi is a fermented food and loaded with healthy bacteria for the gut. If you’ve taken probiotics before, this food is loaded with them. It’s thought to lower cholesterol, slow aging, reduce weight, and repair the digestion. Ever wake up with that sluggish feeling? This food will help lift your energy. 

Besides Kimchi, this dish has Basmati rice. Rice helps reduce the sensation of nausea or bloating. Rice also helps with gastritis and a poor appetite. For those suffering from fatigued, it delivers a more level and sustained energy boost. I make a big batch of rice with tumeric and some other spices so I don’t have to make it every day. 

Natto – fermented soybeans

After the rice comes Natto. Natto is fermented soybean. The soybean has a mild taste. I found two Natto suppliers here in the U.S. Rhapsody Natural Foods in Vermont and NYrture in New York. 

You can make your own Natto just like you can make your own Kimchi. If your not into that or don’t have time, order from one of these suppliers.

Like Kimchi, Natto is full of probiotics. Part of Natto’s claim to fame is the fermentation process makes Nattokinase, an expensive enzyme. Nattokinase made a huge splash a few years back with its ability to help dissolve blot clots. The research has Natto consumption linked to a reduction in Cardiovascular Disease including reducing blood pressure, reducing cholesterol, and dissolving blood clots.

The Kimchi, rice, and natto are topped with a poached egg. You can cook the egg any way you want. I like the poached egg because when I break it, the yolk mixes with all the other ingredients. What I like most about eggs is the yolk contains a ton of phosphorus. To learn the benefit of phosphorus check out this article

Lastly, chives or scallions are spread on top. These two foods are great at helping lift your mood and energy. To find out more about scallions and their function in the body check out this video ! Pour on the ponzu and you have your meal.

There you have it. A great dish that is easy to make. All the ingredients except the egg can be or are pre-made. You just have to warm up the rice, poach the egg and have a quick and easy breakfast that is super healthy for you. This breakfast supports each of the yin organs. Chinese Medicine identifies five organs as the yin organs or the Five Lights of Illumination  . Not only does it support each yin organs, but every food used in this breakfast supports gut health. 

This little dish is the essence of Chinese Herbal formulations – a super simple recipe that packs a considerable punch to the primary issue of gut health and strengthens each organ that could be weakened by poor gut health.  Love it!

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