Healthy Holiday Treats for all

20 healthy treats the entire family will love this holiday season.

20 Happy Healthy Treats for the entire Family. During the holidays we sometimes get a little too filled-up with holiday cheer and our waist line also expands. Here are 20-healthy treats that are simply delicious to eat and easy to prepare.


  1. watermelon chunks
  2. fruit salad
  3. veggies and pesto dip
  4. almonds or raisins
  5. baked zuchinin chips
  6. organic fruit or nut bars
  7. fresh delicious fruit/veggie smoothies
  8. plantain chips
  9. fresh blueberries, strawberries and cherries
  10. kale chips
  11. dried mango slices
  12. pumpkin seeds
  13. sunflower seeds
  14. celery filled with Almond butter – delish
  15. mixed nuts – a holiday tradition
  16. sweet potato chips
  17. hard boiled organic eggs – full of protein
  18. organic beef jerky
  19. sliced English (seedless) cucumbers
  20. bananas with almond butter.


Recognizing and dealing with Male depression

Male depression is hard to recognize because the male stereotype is to be strong and silent, however, these could be signs of depression.

Emotions are part of being human and men are no different. Of course, the male stereotype is to be strong and silent, however, there are physical and mental signs that something is not quite in balance – these are signs that something needs to change.

Sleep disorders can be an early sign for depression. Taking a natural amino acid such as L- Tryptophan or 5-HTP can help with your mood.

In the course of any given year, an average of 3% of men experience a major depressive episode and 1 in 10 men will experience major depression at some point in their lives. This article describes how men must recognize and come to terms with their depression and helps them to cope and where to get support.

What is balance…and the signs of male depression

Balance’ is elusive and it is often recommended to follow the concept of doing your best with the knowledge you have and the supports that are accessible. Men may feel they are ‘broken’ or ‘overwhelmed’ – if you had a broken bone, however, you would seek help to get it set straight and checked regularly. The mind can seem broken as well, which may include a variety of negative thoughts and beliefs and the related emotions of anxiousness about the future and a feeling of feeling down and depressed. Your mood and mental thoughts can shift and improve, not with a physical cast, but a cast of the right supportive factors.

General signs of depression

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed, like former hobbies and social events
  • Appetite or weight changes
  • Sleep irregularities – either sleeping too much or too little
  • Concentration problems or too many negative thoughts
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Anxiety – research has shown a strong link between anxiety and depression.

Depressive signs more common in men

  • Physical issues– backache, headaches, sexual dysfunction, digestive problems
  • Anger and agitation– being sensitive to criticism, losing your sense of humor and having a short temper, being physically aggressive/violent, abusive or controlling
  • Reckless behavior– participating in risky activities such as drugs, excessive alcohol, gambling or participating in unprotected sex
  • Suicidal thoughts – older men are at the highest risk and most doctors dismiss symptoms – depression is not normal when we age.
Talk with a good friend, a clergy member or call a crisis hot-line.

Taking an omega-3 based supplement such as fish oil or flax-seed oil can also improve neurological functions including mood balance.

A fundamental point to realize is to be patient with yourself -this is not a quick-fix. If it is an urgent, call 9-1-1 or go to your local hospital Emergency room or call a local crisis support hot-line. Otherwise, try and keep a positive attitude and give yourself some time – self-care and attention will gradually improve your state of mind.

Next, you need someone to open up with – it’s important not to be alone since your mind may be full of negative thoughts and negative self-perceptions. Make a list of people you can open up with and make contact – it could be a good friend, a close family member,your clergy or priest, your primary health care provider.

Taking daily – an omega-3 based supplement such as fish oil or flax-seed oil can also improve neurological functions including mood balance as well as the natural – amino acid 5-HTP or L- Tryptophan can help with mood.

Many work places offer confidential counseling services – by phone or in person. If you prefer to be anonymous, contact Crisis Text Line, a non-profit organization providing free crisis intervention by SMS messaging.

Your local state or province or territory offers local crisis lines that you can access online or by phone – Support in the United States is accessible from

Other important things you can do now

A proactive step that will help your mental health is to shift your lifestyle and diet to one that is healthier. A regular exercise routine will boost your mood, improve your sleep and provide a physically satisfying way to shift your body and mental state. Try to go outdoors daily such as to a local trail in a park or just a walk around the block. Fresh air and observing nature can get you out of your own head and give you perspective that is greater than yourself. Eat small, regular, balanced satisfying meals, including protein with each meal (eg: meat, poultry, or legumes) with some vegetables. Avoid sugar and alcohol

 A multivitamin and a B-complex can be very helpful for the nutrients your brain requires to promote healthy neurological balance. 

Taking an omega-3 based supplement such as fish oil or flaxseed oil can also improve neurological functions including mood balance.

L- Tryptophan and 5- HTP are supportive amino acids that increase the body’s production of serotonin. However, they should NOT be used with other anti- depressants!


GMO corn fed rats die early from cancer tumors

(Natural News) Shock findings in new GMO study: Rats fed lifetime of GM corn grow horrifying tumors, 70% of females die early.

Eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. That’s the conclusion of a shocking new study that looked at the long-term effects of consuming Monsanto’s genetically modified corn.

The study has been deemed “the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats.” News of the horrifying findings is spreading like wildfire across the internet, with even the mainstream media seemingly in shock over the photos of rats with multiple grotesque tumors… tumors so large the rats even had difficulty breathing in some cases. GMOs may be the new thalidomide.

“Monsanto Roundup weedkiller and GM maize implicated in ‘shocking’ new cancer study” wrote The Grocery, a popular UK publication. (…)

It reported, “Scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females.”

The Daily Mail reported, “Fresh row over GM foods as French study claims rats fed the controversial crops suffered tumors.” (…)

It goes on to say: “The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. The researchers said 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group.”

The study, led by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, was the first ever study to examine the long-term (lifetime) effects of eating GMOs. You may find yourself thinking it is absolutely astonishing that no such studies were ever conducted before GM corn was approved for widespread use by the USDA and FDA, but such is the power of corporate lobbying and corporate greed.

The study was published in The Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal and was just presented at a news conference in London.

Findings from the study

Here are some of the shocking findings from the study:

• Up to 50% of males and 70% of females suffered premature death.

• Rats that drank trace amounts of Roundup (at levels legally allowed in the water supply) had a 200% to 300% increase in large tumors.

• Rats fed GM corn and traces of Roundup suffered severe organ damage including liver damage and kidney damage.

• The study fed these rats NK603, the Monsanto variety of GM corn that’s grown across North America and widely fed to animals and humans. This is the same corn that’s in your corn-based breakfast cereal, corn tortillas and corn snack chips.

The Daily Mail is reporting on some of the reaction to the findings:

France’s Jose Bove, vice-chairman of the European Parliament’s commission for agriculture and known as a fierce opponent of GM, called for an immediate suspension of all EU cultivation and import authorisations of GM crops. ‘This study finally shows we are right and that it is urgent to quickly review all GMO evaluation processes,’ he said in a statement. ‘National and European food security agencies must carry out new studies financed by public funding to guarantee healthy food for European consumers.’ (…)



Vitamins and supplements are not created equal

By Alexandra Lundahl

Seminole – Even though she sells vitamins and supplements for a living, pushing products is not her priority. Her customers’ overall health is.

“I personally think that the public should know that the best vitamins sit in whole food,” said Sybille Rischmeier, certified nutritional counselor and owner of Sunshine Health Foods, 6989 Seminole Blvd, Seminole Florida.

“Everything I have on the shelf, when it comes to normal vitamins, is second-best. And when they choose a vitamin, then they should go with a whole food-based vitamin. One that’s not made in the laboratory. That’s very important.”

Rischmeier said the body in essence knows the difference between vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in food and those that were produced in a lab setting.

One problem with he vitamin and supplement industry, Rischmeier said, is that it is not regulated by the FDA so consumers must be careful about what they buy and use. Some use fillers and sub par products, and some are misleading about what they actually contain, she said. One example she uses is fish oil.

“chewing (food) properly is extremely important”

“You can buy a fish, a big old fish, and squeeze the heck out of it,” Rischmeier said.

“You will get some fish oil. But how much omega do you get? This is what you’re after. You’re after the omega 3’s, not the fish oil. And there are a lot of companies out there that don’t even give you the amount of omega 3.”

Since, these things are not regulated, it’s crucial that people educate themselves so they know what is in the pills they take and what quality the substances are, she said, because the general label alone often is misleading.

When one does get quality products, there are so many ways that vitamins and supplements can help the body, Ruschmeier said. In the case of fish oil and omega 3s, this is used to help with on’s mood, in the immune system, and to help one’s brain and heart function better, she said.

The body in essence knows the difference between vitamins and minerals that occur naturally in food and those that were produced in a lab setting.

Additionally, a good vitamin is an excellent energy source, she said. For instance, one way a multivitamin can help is to ease digestion, which can lead to more energy.

“A good whole food multivitamin, which mostly has things like chorella, spirulina, barley. Those are not only super foods, they also cleanse,” Rischmeier said. “If your liver is running smoothly, you produce enzymes and a quality bile, I would say. Quality bile breaks down your food. The problem with the body is that digestion is always taking so much energy away, so the easier you make it on the body to digest, (the more energy you’ll have.)”

Healthy digestive track is essential to good health.
it is important to maintain a healthy digestive track. If you are taking an antibiotic – you must take a probiotic measured in the billions of cultures

Additionally, chewing properly is extremely important for this same reason, she said. Most people swallow far too quickly before their teeth have really been put to the proper use, Ruschmeier said. The better one chews, the less work the digestive track will have to work and more energy will be saved for other things.

“Digestion is an assemble line.” Ruschmeier said. “If you don’t chew your food, you give the big load to the belly. That what the teeth are for. And a lot of people with bad digestion problems they have bad teeth or related problems.”

“probiotics should be measured in the millions and billions”

Magnesium is another essential nutrient that can be found in vitamins, Ruschmeier said. Magnesium is needed for sleep, digestion, heart rhythm, to ease headaches and to prevent constipation, she said.

Ruschmeier said that co-enzyme Q-10 is very important for everyone over the age of 35, and that everyone should also get  enough of vitamin D3. Additionally, sh said, lutein vitamin can help delay muscular  degeneration, MSM vitamins can help as a painkiller an d to rebuild cartilage, and turmeric and bosweilaa can work as anti-inflammatory agents. Hawthorn is good for the heart, while pumpkin seed oil is good for the bladder, she said.

“There are so many herbs and spices that all have had a place for hundreds of years,” Rischmeier said. “I’m from Europe, and there that’s what people do first. Everybody has a natural health bible at home, and that’s how we grow up and that’s what we first do.”

“if your has no air in the tires, you wouldn’t first buy a new motor and expect it to run better – you’d fill up the tires”

Rischmeier notes that it is important not to rely on vitamin as a way to receive all of one’s essential nutrients. They are meant to be supplemental, in addition to eating well.

There is so much information about vitamins that it can be overwhelming and difficult to know here to start. The following is a top 10 list that Ruschmeier views as some of the most important things people should do and know about vitamins and supplements.

Make sure the vitamin is whole food-based. Also, look for a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) stamp on the label to help ensure there are no fillers, preservative and other “garbage” added in.

Make sure the vitamin A is 100 per cent beta-carotene.

Vitamin E should always say d-alpha – which is natural, not dl-alpha – dl-alpha is synthetic Vitamin E – made from petroleum, she said.

Vitamin D should be D3. Vitamin K should be from natto. Ruschmeier said this vitamin can go into the arteries and wash down calcification, but it has to be from natto.

Look for specific amount of Omega 3 content, not just labeled as “fish oil.” Example: 1 tsp – 1,600mg of Omega 3.

A probiotic should show the units in billions, not in milligrams. Probiotics are not measured in micro-grams but in the millions or billions of cultures, she said.

“If someone who is on a antibiotic or who was recently on an antibiotic they should take a refrigerated probiotic and not a shelf-stable probiotic measured in the billions,” Ruschmeier said.

She said, if you car has no air in the tires, you wouldn’t first buy a new motor and expect it to run better – you’d fill the tires up with air first. Rischmeier said the same is true about one’s health. Start by eating more vegetables and fruits, going for a walk, and then one can work on fine-tuning things like adding specific supplements to address individual nutritional needs.

Keep in mind that the body changes as it gets older, and sometimes things that you  could always eat with no problems will become less compatible with your body. Once such common thing is lactose. Pay attention to your body and its reactions.


first published in: Beacon Newspaper


Cancer victim turns to Church for Inspiration

Faith helps to deal with cancer
Doreen Leadley

PELHAM – Doreen Leadley has terminal bone and lung cancer, but the 53-year old mother of four says she is going to fight the disease to the bitter end.

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“My year is up in July and there is no way I’m going to die . . . .  I know that and the Lord knows that,” she says.

As she sits in her favorite spot and gazes at the tranquil setting of the Niagara Escarpment, she says: “I accept what I have because the Lord has a lot more in store for me.”

Leadley’s doctor informed her last August that she had terminal lung and  bone cancer and that it would be unlikely she would see another summer.

Since then, she has devoted her time to bible study and performing various church duties.

A devout Christian, Leadley says she could never have been able to accept her illness without the help, support and companionship of her family and congregation.

“When I was first diagnosed I said to myself  ‘why did you do this to me Lord’  but he told me through prayer that I would find out,” she says. “There are a lot of people out there who have been helped by my illness. This is not a tragedy but a blessing because of my positive outlook and attitude,” says Ledley, as she joins her thin boney hands in silent prayer.

“Did you know that I was a size 18 before my cancer and even that was a bit tight for me,” she says.

Today, Leadley is a petite size six.

When the pain becomes too intense to endure with mediation Leadley travels to McMaster-Chedoke Hospital in Hamilton for radiation and pain treatments.

‘there is no way I’m going to die.’

Before these trips, Leadley was taking more than 30 pills per day – mostly morphine – to ease the intense pain.

“It costs about $500 per month for the prescription drugs that I now take,” she says.

Even though she accepts death as part of life, she says she will miss the little things that make life worth living.

“If my life is shortened it is for a good reason. My husband and I have had a wonderful life together and I will really miss him and I will miss the moment when my two children have their children.”

She says she has been blessed to know how much time she does have to live because it has allowed her to visit, comfort and talk to those she loves.

“I have thrown my love where I have wanted to and talked to those people that I will miss most dearly. I tell my husband how lucky we really are that I have time and opportunity very few people have.

“There are a lot of people killed instantly in car accidents who will not be able to say goodbye to their loved ones. I was thrilled to death to have this time to prepare myself.”

Dorie Ellen Leadley, Doreen’s youngest daughter, says, “You always hear about it happening to other people. You can either accept it and make the best of a bad situation or crawl into a hole and hide.”

Tragedy is nothing new to the Leadleys.

‘I will Miss the little things’

“I had to break the news about my cancer to my oldest daughter right after the funeral of her sister-in-law’s baby daughter. That was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” says the intrepid woman.

Today, she weights only 88 pounds. She doesn’t appear strong enough to perform daily tasks, but her strong mental will and determination counters her physical impotence.

She spends most of her time making crafts or watching birds, wolves and foxes run freely along the escarpment from the sun porch of her Killman Road home. Her newest project is designing the center piece for Dorie Ellen’s wedding.

“It is not the receiving of gifts but the making and giving them away to people is the enjoyment,” she says.

“I enjoy giving and I have a lot of love in my heart to give to people. I couldn’t have lasted as long as I have without the church praying for me. We have prayer groups all over North America praying for me.”

She says her final wish is to die in her own house, listening to the birds sing, feeling the sun’s warmth on her face, and hearing the fresh water creek flow freely in the background – for that last time.

“I pray every day that I can spend my remaining days in my sun room overlooking the escarpment because I love the outdoors and I loved to camp.”