Safely Easing into the Senior Years

So you feel as though the calendar years keep zipping off….But wait! Did you know that persons 65 years or older represent over 12.9% of the U.S. population? That comes to about one in every eight Americans. By 2030, there will be around 72.1 million older persons, more than twice their number in 2000 ~ a whopping 19% of our population.

And here’s some more good news. Many Americans are able to age in good health and remain active participants in society throughout their lives. But now I’m going to shock you…

You probably consider our U.S. health system as the best in the world for living a long healthy life. Unfortunately, you’re wrong. Based on a stunning new report, Americans die sooner and experience higher rates of disease and injury than people in other high-income countries (a disadvantage which extends to age 75). “We were struck by the gravity of these findings,” said Steven H. Woolf, professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond and chair of the panel that authored the report. ‘Americans are dying and suffering at rates that we know are unnecessary because people in other high-income countries are living longer lives and enjoying better health’.

senior_years

The report represents the first comprehensive look at multiple diseases, injuries and behaviors across the entire life span, comparing the United States with 16 peer nations – affluent democracies that include Australia, Canada, Japan as well as, many western European countries.

You’re probably wondering just how the US has cultivated this less than prestigious ranking. The panel’s inquiry noted several possible explanations. See which one you feel is the culprit:

Health Systems – The US, unlike its peer countries, has a comparatively large uninsured population and less access to primary care. Americans are more likely to find their health care inaccessible or unaffordable and to report lapses in the quality and safety of care outside of hospitals.

Health Behaviors – While the findings do show an upside – (Americans are currently less likely to smoke and also to drink alcohol less heavily than people in the peer countries), we have the honor of consuming the most calories per person, have higher rates of drug abuse, are less likely to use seat belts, are involved in more traffic accidents that involve alcohol, and are more likely to use firearms in acts of violence.

Social and Economic Conditions – Here too an upside doesn’t quite play in our favor, for while the average income of Americans is higher than peer countries, the US also has higher levels of poverty, income inequality and lower rates of social mobility. Other countries are outpacing the US in the education of young people, which also negatively affects health. Additionally, the panel found that Americans benefit less from ‘safety net’ programs that can buffer the negative health effects of poverty and other social disadvantages.

Physical Environments – U.S. communities are more likely than those in peer countries to be designed around automobiles, and this luxury discourages physical activity and further contributes to obesity rates.

Now, get ready for another shock…

Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide.

Age is one of the key risk factors for falls. Older people have the highest risk of death or serious injury arising from a fall and this risk increases with age. 20–30% of older people in the US who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruises, hip fractures, or head traumas. This risk level may be in part due to physical, sensory and cognitive changes associated with ageing in combination with environments that are not adapted for our aging population.

For older individuals, fall prevention programs can include a number of components to identify and modify risk, such as:

  • screening home environments for fall hazards;
  • identifying risk factors, such as medication, treatment of any correctable visual impairments and implementing appropriate assistive devices to address physical and sensory impairments; treatment of low blood pressure, the health supplements Vitamin D3 and Calcium, as well as the kind of balanced nutrition to be found in our Joint Vibrance formula version 4.0 with type 1 and type 2 collagen for improved bone health.
  • muscle strengthening and balance retraining facilitated by a trained health professional;
  • community-based group programs which may incorporate fall prevention education and Tai Chi-type exercises or dynamic balance and strength training; use of hip protectors for those at risk of a hip fracture due to a fall.

With good nutrition, consistent movement activities, stimulating brain games, meaningful daily interactions as well as, a bit of attention to the make-up of our surroundings we can all safely ease into the senior years.

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org

Raspberry-Omega 3-Cacao-Juice-“Summer Smoothie”

raspberry

raspberry

We often are asked if you take Green Vibrance, do you need to take another vitamin? The answer in most cases is no, however we usually suggest adding an omega supplement to get your essential fatty acids. This juice tastes absolutely delicious, masking the algae taste that can be so hard to handle, while offering omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from hemp milk, electrolytes from coconut milk, added magnesium from cacao, and a hefty antioxidant boost from all the ingredients, especially the diversely beneficial Green Vibrance.

Ingredients

1/2 cup hemp milk

1/2 cup coconut water

1 serving Green Vibrance®

1.5 cups raspberries or about 4.5 oz

Handful of grapes (large grapes, approx. 1/2 cup)

1 tsp. cacao powder or nibs

Directions: In an electric blender, combine all ingredients until smooth, serve immediately.

When I’m “On The Go”

By Rachel Louchen, Guest Contributor and Writer

When I had an eight-hour desk job, I used to dream about days when I could be out of the office, and going to different locations everyday, but it really isnt as glamorous as it sounds. Between irregular lunch breaks, overall running around, and work sometimes taking precedence over sleep, the appeal of travel wears pretty quickly and worse of all, so does my body.

Poor food choices happen frequently and meetings tend to offer lots of caffeine and sugary breakfast desserts, but partake in either of those and your downward spiral of exhaustion finally ends in a sugar crash. Maintaining a busy work schedule is impossible without proper nutrition (and, in my experience, a solid eight hours of sleep).

onthego

Vibrant Health offers great nutritional supplements that help me maintain my body, so it can handle what I put it through. On my busiest days, I add protein to a liquid beverage, because I can always make time for a vitamin drink. Pure Green Protein Mixed Berry and Chocolate are really delicious and make me feel full and energized.

Another problem with traveling, as much as I hate to admit it, eating in the car happens a lot. In between meetings, and driving from one location to the next, it’s often my only chance to sit down and put some food in my stomach. I always bring a Green Vibrance or two in my purse because it has all the organic nutrients I need, and the packets make it so easy for traveling. When faced with little time, the best route to go is an all-in-one, which is why my absolute favorite is Field of Greens. It packs in super foods that my body needs to maintain the work I am putting it through, and it saves so much time (and money) that I can get greens like kale, broccoli, and spinach in one sitting. After every time I have my raw food drink, I feel really healthy, and invigorated, like I did something good for myself. Vibrant Health offers really convenient packets that can be grabbed on your way out the door, slipped in a pocket, and used at your earliest, once again, convenience, perfect for anyone on the go.

 

Rachel Louchen is a writer based in Great Barrington, MA. She enjoys covering the Berkshires and taking advantage of all the area has to offer…except camping. Follow @fancyrachell

Sunblock Smoothie

sunblocksmoothie

sunblocksmoothie

There is no actual sunblock in this smoothie, don’t worry. However, this smoothie is rich in Vitamin E and Vitamin C which, according to The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, when consumed regularly people saw a reduction in sunburns caused by exposure to UVB radiation, as well as a reduction of factors linked to DNA damage within skin cells. According to Dr. William Campbell Douglass, skin cancer is rising by 4.2% annually despite the fact that we spend less time outside and wear more sunscreen. With this knowledge, we must turn to nutrition. Lycopene, found in tomatoes (also in your Green Vibrance) and Astaxanthin (found in Rainbow Vibrance) have been proven through research to act as internal sunblock and prevent wrinkles.

Vitamin C (found in spinach & kale) also encourages collagen production, which is what gives our skin elasticity and firmness. Additionally, beta-carotene (found in kale, carrots, & spinach), and vitamin E (found in spinach & carrots) help eliminate age spots and ease psoriasis. Zinc and selenium also found in this smoothie help decrease inflammation and additional detoxifying agents and enzymes help promote clear skin. The antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals from this smoothie in conjunction with a broad spectrum sunblock, provide protection for your skin and DNA by preventing sunburn cells from forming. Enjoy your summer healthfully and vibrantly!

Ingredients

4-6 Kale Leaves

1 tomato

Handful of Spinach

2 Carrots

2 Celery Stalks

1 Small Cucumber

Dash of Ginger (optional)

1 serving Green Vibrance®

1 serving Rainbow Vibrance®

 

Directions: In an electric blender, combine all ingredients until smooth, serve immediately.

Afternoon Mood Booster Green Smoothie

mood booster

mood booster

Sometimes we are just cranky. There could be a million reasons why, but we crave a pick-me-up and we often reach for the coffee or other vice. This smoothie is a savory and smooth green drink rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B6 and B12, protein, natural anti-inflammatories, and much more. No one could be in a bad mood after this mood booster.

Ingredients
1/2 cup brewed green tea

1/2 cup almond milk

1 scoop Pro Matcha Protein Natural

1 tbsp. wildflower honey

1 1/2 tbsp. flax seed ground or whole if you like some grit

1 tbsp. Chia Seed

1 banana

1 cup chopped pineapple

1/4 cup chopped pineapple

1/2 cup chopped mango

1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt

Dash of grated ginger

Handful of ice

Directions: In an electric blender, combine all ingredients until smooth, serve immediately.

Eat Your Broccoli to Help Your Eyes!

Nerve cells in your eye require Vitamin C in order to function properly — a surprising discovery that may mean Vitamin C is required elsewhere in the brain for its proper functioning, according to a new study by scientists at Oregon Health & Science University recently published in the July 14, 2011, Journal of Neuroscience. “We found that cells in the retina need to be ‘bathed’ in relatively high doses of Vitamin C, inside and out, to function properly,” said Henrique Von Gersdorff, Ph.D., a senior scientist at OHSU’s Vollum Institute and a co-author of the study. “Because the retina is part of the central nervous system, this suggests there’s likely an important role for Vitamin C throughout our brains, to a degree we had not realized before!”

Your brain has special receptors, called GABA-type receptors that help modulate the rapid communication between cells in your brain – sort-of like a traffic cop. GABA receptors in your brain act as an inhibitory “brake” on excitatory neurons in the brain. The OHSU researchers found that these GABA-type receptors in the retinal cells stopped functioning properly when Vitamin C was removed.

Because retinal cells are a kind of very accessible brain cell, it’s likely that GABA receptors elsewhere in the brain also require Vitamin C to function properly, von Gersdorff said. And because Vitamin C is a major natural antioxidant, it may be that it essentially ‘preserves’ the receptors and cells from premature breakdown, Von Gersdorff said.

broccoli eye

What Does this Mean for Your Eye Health?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble Vitamin which is essential for the normal functioning of every cell in your body. Benefits of Vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease and even skin wrinkling.

Unlike most mammals, we humans don’t have the ability to make our own Vitamin C – We must obtain Vitamin C through our diet. Because it isn’t stored in the body either, you should eat foods high in Vitamin C every day. Although citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C, other not so obvious foods contain Vitamin C as well:

· Eat more Broccoli! A ½ cup serving provides 45 mg of Vitamin C.

· Add a slice of Tomato to your sandwiches. A small Tomato provides 25 mg of Vitamin C.

· Slice up a Papaya or Mango for dessert. ½ a medium Papaya or Mango provides 95 mg of Vitamin C.

· Think peppers! Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers have about twice the Vitamin C of Green Peppers.

· More obscure vegetables, like Kohlrabi and Jicama, provide about 45 mg of Vitamin C per half cup. Just grate each into a green salad.

· Believe it or not, Potatoes contain Vitamin C, too! A small baked Potato has 25 mg.

· Kiwi fruit, the fuzzy little brown fruit with the deep green interior, has about 55 mg of Vitamin C.
The dietary supplement and functional food market for eye health is being driven by several major forces: An aging population, unhealthy diets, an increased demand for natural ingredients and rising healthcare costs. “It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do,” says researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. He further states: “The more we study Vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity – to living longer.”

Since getting enough through your diet can be challenging when you’re on the go, at Vibrant Health we’ve carefully developed products to keep you on track.

Did you know that our Green Vibrance not only contains 200mg of a natural Vitamin C called Acerola, it also contains 100mg of certified organic freeze dried Broccoli sprouts? Why Sprouts? In this early stage of plant development the plant starts to multiply in its nutrient content to get ready to become full-sized plant. This results in a fiber-rich food packed with vitamins and minerals. Sprouts are also far easier to digest than the original seed.

So consider getting enough Vitamin C an important part of your daily nutritional program to improve not only your overall immune system health but, especially your eyes.

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org

Some Simple Tips to Keep You Safe in the Summer Sun!

Guess what? Your sunscreen has an expiration date!

That’s because “a sunscreen’s active ingredients break down and don’t work as well,” says Francesca Fusco, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. So keeping the same bottle of sunscreen for years, while cost effective, is doing little to actually protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun.

sunIf you really want that perfect tan PACE YOURSELF! Progressively build-up the time you spend in the sun. Don’t try to cram all of your sun exposure into a 2 week vacation and expect to experience the benefits.

Did you know that early morning is the best time to sunbathe? If you have not already built up a base tan, you’re less likely to burn in the mild morning sun. Also, it’s best to sunbathe when the temperature is a little chillier than you might expect (below 68 degrees). Why? So, that you don’t overheat. It’s also important to treat your tanning the same way that you do important medicines i.e. control your dosage; frequent, short periods of exposure are best. You don’t want to overindulge.

Not all skin types are alike. You know from experience that some of your friends naturally tan more easily than others or burn more easily than others. What are termed Skin Type 1 people have fair skin, red hair and freckles – will burn easily, resulting in peeling and blistering, without any indication that he or she has actually tanned. But on the other hand, a Skin Type 4 person with dark hair and olive skin will tan very well and quite easily, even with a minimal amount of sun exposure. While people with medium to darker skin tend to tan more easily, they can also get very serious sunburn. For these skin types it is still important to shorten exposure times, use sunscreen and observe recommended exposure times.

Green drinks are a great way to get optimum nutrition. There are some dietary compliments that can also assist in keeping your skin healthy as you tan which you’ll find readily available in Green Vibrance.

Vitamin E (Tocopherol Acetate) You probably already know that Vitamin E is essential for healthy skin. But did you know that this is true whether it is naturally occurring (via sun absorption), topically applied or ingested? Vitamin E is an all-around amazing skin protector.

• protects your skin from early stages of UV damage

• Can increase the success of sunscreens

• Can reduce risk of sunburns… even if applied after sun exposure!

Vitamin C: Is a major factor in the maintenance of normal connective tissue, and promotes regeneration of skin. Most important for sun worshippers, it is an antioxidant agent which quenches free radicals caused by UV light, therefore slowing down the long term effects of exposure to UVR.

L-Tyrosine (400mg): It’s a strange word but a simple amino acid from which the pigment Melanin is formed through a process, called Melanogenesis. This is actually what is responsible for your “tan”, or darkening of your skin, upon exposure to UVR. Without Tyrosine there would be no melanin.

B-Complex Vitamins: Specifically the B vitamins (B1,B2,B3, B5,B6,and B12) which assist in the conversion and metabolism of amino-acids, regeneration of red blood cells, and skin cell growth. All of these functions figure prominently in the process of melanogenesis.

Remember to be especially cautious when you are in or on the water. Those breezes and the lower water temperature they blow over keep your skin temperature a little lower. The sun can easily give you a bad burn without any warning signs.

So, always remember that repeated exposure of unprotected skin while you are tanning will increase the risk of skin aging, skin cancer and harmful effects to your skin even if your skin is not ‘burned.’ No tanning product can help you if you’re not practicing safe and effective sun sense.

About the author: Jeanne Ricks is a Holistic Health Coach & Clinical Hypnotist who provides personal diet, wellness & nutrition coaching combined with Hypnosis to help you achieve your personal best. www.NuDay.org

The Ultimate Stomach Soother

stomach soother

stomach soother

Put down the bottle of Tums! This smoothie is simple, savory, soothing, and can even aid in weight loss regimes. Oh, and it’s a fantastic treat for those pregnant mommas out there because it’s got plenty of folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and Cran-Max to support healthy urinary tract function. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and is full of niacin, which is important for digestion as well as maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. Peanut allergy? Replace it with a different nut butter or change it up and add carrots for another source of niacin – this is a killer smoothie even without the PB. You will feel like you’re drinking something bad, but without the guilt and instead of a stomach ache, your stomach will thank you profusely. Drink up!

Ingredients

1 serving Green Vibrance®

8 oz. almond milk

2 tbsp. organic chunky peanut butter

Handful of baby spinach leaves

1 banana (or papaya if you can’t eat bananas)

1-2 emptied capsule(s) Cran-Max

Dash of fresh ginger

1/2 tsp. wildflower honey

Ice

Directions: In an electric blender, combine all ingredients until smooth, serve immediately.

Staying Vibrant in the Summer

What do We Need to Watch out for in Summer? Excess Pitta

What is Pitta? According to Ayurveda, Pitta is the transformative, metabolic energy in the body, often described as the fire element in the body. Pitta can flare up in the summer causing irritability, skin inflammation, acid indigestion and summer colds.

Number one tip to help your body and your furry friends stay cool in the summer;

Hydration…… Hydration….. Hydration.

Think bubbling brooks, lush greenery, and full deep breathing to bring the body into a peaceful and naturally calm state. Saturate your cells with oxygen, water and nature!

You are not just looking for something that is cooling but more importantly, something that is refreshing to your body on a cellular level. Iced latte is cold to the tongue but the caffeine is very stimulating and dehydrating, long term this causes burn out on many levels. Your best bets for truly refreshing and hydrating beverages are;

1) Fresh juiced vegetables

2) Fresh coconut water

3) Hibiscus tea or just purified water with fresh cucumber slices and mint leaves.

Fresh Juiced Vegetables are incredibly hydrating on a deep cellular level. With so many of us traveling and on the move in the summer time we don’t always have time to juice our own vegetables. The closest thing I have found to fresh vegetable juicing is Vibrant Health’s Field of Greens. With 14 different types of organic grass juices and freeze dried greens that are all domestically sourced you just can’t beat the quality, absorbability and superior nutrition of Field of Greens.

Ayurvedic tip for cooling your body in a healthy way: If you do want to cool your drink with ice then wait until the ice melts before enjoying it, since room-temperature beverages are best.

susan bassWhat is Pitta? In Ayurvedic Medicine, Pitta is the principle of transformation energy and governs heat and metabolism in the body, is concerned with the digestive, enzymatic, and endocrine systems, and is eliminated from the body through sweat and the bowels.

What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is the oldest continuously practiced health care system in the world. It originated in India and comes from The Vedics Texts.

 

About the Author: Susan Bass is a Digestion & Detox Specialist who works with people who want to support and heal their bodies naturally; drawing on the knowledge of the oldest continually practiced health care system in the world, Ayurveda www.TheArtofDigestion.com

 

Rebecca’s Story – “…I tell them how Vibrant Health can help them LIVE again”

Rebecca, "Raw Foodist"
Click Here to learn more about the author

I used Vibrant Health in my own personal journey in 2011. Since eating more plants, juicing, and using Vibrant Health products, I have lost 45 pounds (size 14 to size 2) and was able to get off 12 medications, at age 32. A plant strong diet and good supplements, like those offered by Vibrant Health, worked wonders for me. So it's easy to advocate this product when I share that information (and my before-and-after photos) with people. 

So many people are slowly dying. I tell them how Vibrant Health can help them LIVE again 🙂 I also tell them that since I started this journey, I haven't been sick with so much as a sniffle. I was a VERY sickly person my whole life. Every year, I got very sick 3-4 times, with bronchitis every winter that lasted for 6 weeks.  I no longer have migraines, IBS or allergies. I went from a tired and depressed medical mess to a healthy and happy young woman. This month (March 2013) marks 2 years, 1 month with good health and no illnesses. 

 

Follow Rebecca on Facebook and Twitter!