Health Talk Today


How Fast are you Aging?

Have you ever noticed that some people age faster than others? Scientists are learning that we may actually be able to slow the aging process by changing some of our unhealthy habits.

To find out what your aging speed might be, take our quick quiz:

Quiz: Just How Fast are you Aging?

Scientists who study aging have found there are many things that can speed your aging:

High Stress
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life and usually aren’t a problem until they become an everyday event. Stress raises many hormones, including cortisol, which can impact the way we look and how fast we age.1 In a recent study, women with a high level of anxiety had biological markers of women who were six years older.2

When you look at the faces of people who are long-term smokers you can see that smoking destroys our skin and is associated with many chronic diseases including heart disease and stroke, as well as lung cancer.3

Too Much Sun Exposure
While the sun is good for us as a great source of vitamin D, ultraviolet radiation is well known to age skin.4

Poor Sleep
Short-term sleep restriction (such as having a bad night’s sleep) has a variety of adverse effects including aising blood pressure, impairing blood sugar control, and increasing inflammation which all accelerate aging. But when people don’t sleep well over a long period of time (less than 7 hours of sleep) they are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and all-cause mortality. 5

Eating Poorly
Many foods seem to increase aging including trans-fats, processed and hydrogenated oils.6 Refined sugars produce a chemical reaction called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in our bodies and these have been tied to diseases including cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.7

Obesity has been called a state of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress8 and is associated with a variety of diseases, including diabetes, colon cancer, gallstones, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke (men only).9,10

Not Exercising
Sedentary lifestyles have long been associated with being less healthy. People who don’t exercise are more likely to be overweight, have higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.11

What’s your score?
Leave a comment.

1 Wikgren M, Maripuu M, Karlsson T, et al. Short telomeres in depression and the general population are associated with a hypocortisolemic state. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 15;71(4):294-300. PMID: 22055018.

2 Okereke OI, Prescott J, Wong JY et al. High phobic anxiety is related to lower leukocyte telomere length in women. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40516. PubMed PMID: 22808180.


4 Polefka TG, Meyer TA, Agin PP, Bianchini RJ. Effects of solar radiation on the skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2012 Jun;11(2):134-43. PMID: 22672278.

5 Alvarez GG, Ayas NT. The impact of daily sleep duration on health: a review of the literature. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2004 Spring;19(2):56-9. PMID: 15133379.

6 Stender S, Dyerberg J. Influence of trans fatty acids on health. Ann Nutr Metab. 2004;48(2):61-6. Epub 2003 Dec 16. PMID: 14679314.

7 Luevano-Contreras C, Chapman-Novakofski K. Dietary advanced glycation end products and aging. Nutrients. 2010 Dec;2(12):1247-65. doi: 10.3390/nu2121247. Epub 2010 Dec 13. PMID: 22254007.

8 Vincent HK, Innes KE, Vincent KR. Oxidative stress and potential interventions to reduce oxidative stress in overweight and obesity. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2007 Nov;9(6):813-39. PMID: 17924865.

9 Hubert HB, Bloch DA, Oehlert JW, Fries JF. Lifestyle habits and compression of morbidity. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002 Jun;57(6):M347-51. PMID: 12023263.

10 Field AE, Coakley EH, Must A, et al. Impact of overweight on the risk of developing common chronic diseases during a 10-year period. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Jul 9;161(13):1581-6. PMID:11434789.

11 Kruk J. Physical activity in the prevention of the most frequent chronic diseases: an analysis of the recent evidence. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2007 Jul-Sep;8(3):325-38. PMID: 18159963.

© Shaklee Corporation 2000-2014

Make Preparations to Keep a Healthy Diet When You Go on Vacation

Guest post by Cole Millen, an avid traveler and foodie.

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Going on vacation is an event that most families look forward to all year long.  For many people, family vacations are only possible once a year due to available finances and work and school schedules.  When vacation time rolls around, there are numerous outings and activities to look forward to.  Many people enjoy eating out and enjoying some of their favorite foods while they are away from home as part of their favorite activities.

Healthy Fruit

Plan Your Travel Time Meals and Snacks in Advance

In order to prepare yourself and your family to stick to a delicious but healthy diet, it is a good idea to plan out the majority of your snack and meals for your travel time.  If you will be spending a lot of time in a vehicle, taking along a cooler and packing healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, trail mix and homemade granola bars will help you to stay away from fast food restaurants and convenience stores for snacks.

Staying away from convenience stores while you are on the road will eliminate the temptation to purchase fat-filled foods such as candy bars and potato chips.  For family meals on the road, consider adding deli sandwiches consisting of BLTs or turkey sandwiches on whole wheat with lettuce, mustard and cucumbers. 

Finding a Health Friendly Hotel

Not all hotels are designed with healthy living in mind, but there are some establishments that cater to a healthy lifestyle, which are terrific choices for anyone who wants to maintain their diet while on vacation. These hotels are often tough to find so it is important to do some research prior to traveling. I have found that reading reviews from other travelers on the hotels and areas provides the most unbiased and honest opinion. I stumbled upon a great site where I was recently able to find a list Las Vegas hotels with a number of amenities including a vegetarian restaurant primarily because of the reviews from healthy conscious travelers such as myself. Such hotels will not only offer exercise facilities, but there may also be healthy food options from restaurants and room service. In addition, some hotels will offer active gatherings such as aerobics classes or group sports for guests to remain active during their stay.

Eating Out

If you have been avoiding eating out lately, familiarize yourself with the restaurants you will be visiting on your vacation. If possible, review menus online so you have an idea of what is available. One of the greatest pitfalls that diners and travels may face is dining out at restaurants, which can be accompanied with fatty appetizers, wine and spirits as well as caloric masses of food. Avoiding heavy appetizers and skipping the breadbasket is the first way to prevent overindulgence. It can be very easy to eat an excessive amount while waiting for a meal to arrive and chatting with fellow diners. Starting the meal with water or seltzer water flavored with lemon can help prevent mindless eating while enjoying conversation. Many restaurants offer a section on menus where healthy options are highlighted, which can be extremely helpful for travelers looking to separate unhealthy options from their healthy counterparts. While a salad may seem like the best choice, heavy dressings, cheeses and croutons can make salads a tricky pitfall that many diners become confused by. Instead, seek out grilled fish and chicken surrounded by steamed vegetables. When in doubt, diners monitoring their nutrition while traveling should never hesitate to ask servers and wait staff about the method of cooking, dressing options and fats used in a dish. Simply questioning a prospective meal may help diners save hundreds of calories by allowing them to pick another option or request alternative cooking methods, such as steaming, baking and grilling.

Cole MillenCole Millen is an avid traveler and foodie who never forgets that life’s best memories are made through real life apprehension of legitimate “experiences.” Some people plan a trip to “get away,” while others realize benefit of adding something greater to their current repertoire of knowledge, thought and emotion. Through my writings, I hope to influence the earlier, and connect with the latter.

Visit Cole’s blog: Cole’s Mill.

Food Combining: A Way to Support Digestive Health

Guest post by Tara Alder, Internal Cleansing Specialist at Alder Brooke Healing Arts.

Alder Brook Healing ArtsMost people understand that it is important to eat a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables and a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. What most people do not know is that it is just as important to consider proper food combining.

Consider that fruits and many green vegetables are high in water, fiber and enzymes. These foods move through the digestive tract more quickly than other foods. Most fruits will only be in the stomach 30 to 45 minutes before they move on to the small intestine for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Starchy carbohydrates however are less fiber and water rich and may take 2 to 3 hours before they move from the stomach to the small intestine. Proteins are the most complex foods taking the most amount of time in the stomach. Some proteins will be in the stomach for 5 to 8 hours before they move on to the small intestine to complete digestion.

With this knowledge it makes sense to combine our foods to support this natural process.

Food Combining Chart Front Food Combining Chart Back

Helpful Hints for Optimal Digestion

  • Digestion is a complex process.  By combining foods properly the body encourages this process to take place as efficiently as possible.
  • There are three basic types of food: Concentrated foods (proteins and carbohydrates), high water content foods (fruits and vegetables) and fats.  Proteins are the most complex (concentrated) food and require the most time and energy to digest and assimilate, where as fruit is the least complex (high water content) and takes the least amount of time and energy to digest and assimilate.
  • In your digestive system, the process to break down proteins, carbohydrates and fruit are entirely different, requiring different secretions. Therefore, to insure the most efficient digestion possible, these three foods should not be consumed simultaneously.
  • Do not eat fruit with any other food. If fruit is eaten alone and on an empty stomach, it will have the effect of washing and cleansing the digestive tract leaving it more capable of absorbing nutrition and eliminating waste.
  • Proteins and starchy carbohydrates should not be combined. If a protein is eaten with a starchy carbohydrate, such as meat and a piece of bread or a potato, the different digestive juices in contact with each other will nullify each other’s effectiveness. The protein will putrefy and the carbohydrate will ferment. This causes bloating and gas.
  • If a concentrated food (proteins or carbohydrate) is eaten with a sugar, such as nuts with raisins, it will putrefy, and the sugar will ferment. Again, more bloating and gas.
  • Fermentation or putrefaction inhibits healthy cell structure and digestion. The gasses produced from fermentation and putrefaction is toxic to the body and can exhaust the other detox organs. (lungs, liver, kidneys, skin and lymphatic system)
  • Add steamed vegetables or a mixed vegetable salad with all concentrated foods (proteins and carbohydrates) for optimum digestion. The enzymes in raw veggies help digest difficult food combinations.
  • Drinking fluids along with or after a meal dilute many of the digestive juices from the stomach. This forces the body to secrete more digestive juices immediately, unnecessarily usurping energy.
  • Dairy products are highly mucous forming and difficult to digest. They do not combine well with anything. If they are eaten, they should be accompanied with a salad.
  • By adhering to proper food combining, the digestive system works much more efficiently, thereby conserving energy that can be utilized for cleansing the body of accumulated toxic waste.
  • Feel great about your body and eating habits. Slow down and enjoy each meal. The better your digestion, the better the body’s absorption and metabolism. Your body will automatically adjust to your optimal weight and remain there.

For a handy reference see the Divine Way to Combine at

Tara AlderTara Alder is a nationally certified instructor with the International Association of Colon Hydrotherapy (I-ACT). She attends and teaches at health conferences and is an international speaker.Alder Brooke Healing Arts in Eugene, Oregon and Alder Brooke Healing Waves in Kona, Hawaii are beautiful garden spas, education and retreat centers designed to meet your special needs.

You are invited to experience the benefits of cleansing in our safe, comfortable and relaxed environment.

We can be reached by email at
Aloha, and blessings of health and vitality!

Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

Hellmann's MayonnaiseWe’ve always been a Hellmann’s Mayonnaise family.

Mom used Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, so when I started buying my own groceries, I bought Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, too. I can’t imagine a chicken or roast beef sandwich without it. My egg salad and potato salad can’t be duplicated without it. I don’t know any other mayonnaise or salad dressing that even comes close.

I was thrilled to read that Hellmann’s Mayonnaise is now made with cage-free eggs. Good, I thought. Hellmann’s is concerned with quality. Cage-free eggs are better eggs.

So, I would never even consider switching brands.

Until now …

For some unknown reason, Hellmann’s decided to switch from a glass bottle to a plastic bottle. I continued to buy the large, 64 ounce bottle at Sam’s Club, only because it was a number 1 recycled plastic. But, the mayonnaise started smelling and tasting like plastic. We use part of a bottle, then I throw out over half. I’m afraid the plastic bottle is leaching chemicals into the mayonnaise.

One of my rules is to never choose plastic if there’s another option. But, I don’t see another option with Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. I only find it in plastic bottles now, no matter which size bottle I check.

So, this time, when I bought a new bottle of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise, I transferred it to glass bottles. I’m still skeptical about the plastic that it’s been stored in, but there was no plastic smell in the newly opened bottle. I’ll pay close attention as we use the mayonnaise. If it starts to smell like plastic, even in the glass bottles, I’ll throw this out, too. And I’ll be shopping for a new brand of mayonnaise.

Do you love Hellmann’s Mayonnaise?

Leave a comment with your experience and opinion of plastic, recycled bottles.

Marilyn Kvasnok

The Important Role of Nutrition in Cancer Treatment

Guest post by Jillian McKee, Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Fruit and Vegetables

Good nutrition is instrumental in a cancer patient’s life because it makes a big difference in how the body responds to treatment. Sometimes treatments are very hard on the body. Eating a good diet will help the body replace damaged cells and will help in healing after surgery. If cancer patients continue to eat a good, nutritious diet during their illnesses, they will keep their strength intact. All of these issues are a concern when people are just being diagnosed, currently undergoing treatment, or recovering from cancer.

Weight is a highly important topic to doctors. As people lose weight after being diagnosed, they lower survival chances more quickly than those who can keep their weight at a healthy level. Similarly, when losing weight during their illnesses, enthusiasm and quality of life declines. By keeping their weight at a healthy level, energy levels are maintained. They can better maintain their normal lives and do not feel as hopeless as those who are feeling weak.

As people eat a nutritious diet, they can reduce the symptoms that they experience from their cancer treatments. If cancer patients are becoming malnourished, they often notice side effects that are more severe. These can be decreased by maintaining a healthy body weight. Side effects include:

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Constipation
• Diarrhea
• Fatigue
• Anemia
• Anorexia

Problems with getting enough nutrition present themselves when it’s hard to eat a sufficient amount of food. Those who are currently receiving mesothelioma cancer treatments, for example, may need to have a feeding tube. This way, they will receive a healthy mixture of water, proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. It can lead to these patients feeling much better than they did previously.

The medical staff will begin to take nutrition into consideration right after a patient has been diagnosed with cancer. They will want to identify any potential problems that could present themselves throughout the patients’ treatment. Then they can develop a plan to make sure malnutrition does not become an issue.

Jillian McKeeJillian McKee has worked as the Complementary Medicine Advocate at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance since June of 2009. Jillian spends most her time on outreach efforts and spreading information about the integration of complementary and alternative medicine when used in conjunction with traditional cancer treatment.

Leave a comment for Jill with your best nutrition ideas.

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