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With love and gratitude,
This is a great article that focuses on one of our Primary Food needs. Relationships. Connection, community and belonging are mighty powerful nutrients that override beauty, wealth and power. Feeling alone is as toxic as smoking.
Check on your elderly neighbors. Touch base with your loved ones. A little outreach goes a long way.
Always with love...
POSTED JANUARY 13, 2017, 9:40 AM
Charlotte S. Yeh, MD, Chief Medical Officer, AARP Services, Inc., Guest Contributor
All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
—The Beatles, “Eleanor Rigby”
"A few years ago, when I was the attending emergency physician working in the emergency department, the senior medical resident asked permission to discharge an older man. The resident was convinced the patient was a malingerer, having been seen multiple times in the last week at the medical clinic with “shortness of breath.” The patient had multiple tests, scans, and more — all normal — and yet here he was again, in the emergency department complaining of continued difficulty breathing. “Wait,” I said. “There must be a reason that he keeps coming back. Let me take a look at him with you.”
We entered the room, and saw an old man, shrunken in the corner with no animation in his face. He looked forlorn, so I asked, “Are you sad?” He burst into tears and told me that his partner of more than 20 years had died a week ago; he was devastated.
His real condition? Not shortness of breath, not crying wolf to get attention, and certainly not a malingerer. What he had was pure and simple: loneliness.
The medical resident was stunned. As he admitted to me later, he learned a powerful lesson that day: that the pain of loss can be as profound as not breathing. And sometimes the symptom comes not from the body, but is a cry from the soul.
The epidemic — and health dangers — of loneliness
Loneliness affects 25% to 60% of older Americans and puts millions of Americans 50 and over at risk of poor health from prolonged loneliness. Loneliness is almost as prevalent as obesity. In a survey of members of the AARP Medicare Supplement Plans, insured by UnitedHealthcare, 27% to 29% were lonely; about 9% were severely lonely. Among those members representing the top 5% with the most chronic conditions, spending 5% of the healthcare dollar, loneliness rises to 55% of that population, half of whom suffer with severe loneliness.
Notwithstanding the impact on quality of life and life satisfaction, loneliness has an equivalent risk factor to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, shortening one’s lifespan by eight years.
Per the Harvard Study of Adult Development, a 75-year longitudinal study of men, loneliness is toxic. The more isolated people are, the less happy they are, and brain function declines as well as physical health. Note that isolation is the objective measure of how large your social network is, whereas loneliness is a subjective perception of how one feels. In other words, you can have many friends and be lonely, or no friends and not be lonely. Isolation, whether from becoming homebound, loss of mobility, absence of transportation, or losing a spouse or partner, are all risk factors for loneliness. Hearing loss, too, can foster isolation and miscommunication, and set the stage for loneliness.
Loneliness also can be contagious, just like a cold. According to a recent study, “Alone in a Crowd: The Structure and Spread of Loneliness in a Large Social Network,” lonely people tend to share their loneliness with others. Over time, a group of lonely, disconnected people move to the fringes of social networks. The problem is compounded because lonely people, those on the periphery, tend to lose the few contacts they have.
According to the UK Campaign to End Loneliness, more than half of lonely people simply miss having someone to laugh with. Their research also showed that simply being together with someone is missed most of all (52%), and 46% miss having a hug. Older people experiencing loneliness also miss simple everyday moments, such as sharing a meal (35%), holding hands (30%), taking country walks (32%), or going on holiday (44%).
Back to my patient. He was classically lonely, having lost his dearest friend of 20 years. We had to allow him to share his grief, support him in his loss, and acknowledge the pain, so he didn’t have to substitute a physical ailment to say he needed help. There is a huge stigma to admit to loneliness, and yet it is such a profound human condition that we all recognize, and yet so often turn our faces away.
Social connection helps us thrive and gives us resilience. The support of family, friends, colleagues, and caregivers allows us to celebrate our experiences, weather our pains, and face each day as we journey forward.
AARP Foundation recently launched a social isolation platform called Connect2Affect. The goal is to create a network that not only builds awareness about social isolation and its impact, but also identifies solutions. The Connect2Affect website features tools and resources to help users evaluate isolation risk, reach out to others who may be feeling disengaged, and find practical ways to reconnect to the community.
Now that the holidays have come to an end, our friends and family have returned to their everyday lives while others have retreated into hibernation during these cold months. As you ponder these next few weeks and months, think about who you know who recently lost a loved one, who might be going through a divorce, an empty nester, or someone who might still be lonely even though surrounded by friends and family. They may well be sad, isolated, or feeling lonely. Reach out to them. As the old ad jingle says, reach out and touch someone. You can ease the loneliness and isolation and be a bright spot in their lives. You can laugh with them, reminisce, and thank each other for just being there.
Let us not forget, now that the holidays have ended, the power we each hold in our hands — the power of connection, friendship, and being human. Hold a friend’s hand today and every day. You will have just contributed to life itself."
Set up your day with Intention...Every Day!
Did you know that you can even set an intention to have a great day?
Rather than diving into your morning and hoping you’ll achieve your day’s big goal, why not take a moment and set yourself up for success?
Try this “Setting An Intention to Succeed” exercise used by professional athletes, speakers, politicians, and performers:
Call me for a free one hour Health History to further your intention to feel better now!
Learn. Live. Thrive.
Always with love,
Happy New Year my lovelies! I'm excited for a kick-ass fresh start and many new adventures in 2017.
I've let my blogging go down the drain but am happy to get back to that too. So let's start with...
The Magic of Vitamin D
In the early 20th century Vitamin D was on of the 13 vitamins discovered by doctors studying nutritional deficiency disease, although it is techinically not a vitamin.
The first thing that comes to mind when you think about Vitamin D is SUNSHINE. :)
Vitamin D is found in 2 forms. Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is made by plants. You can find it in foods that have been fortified, such as juices, milk, or cereals (not really the best source). However, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), the most complete form of Vitamin D, is made when the skin is exposed to sun.
We’ve been somewhat “brain-washed” by the media to think that all sun exposure is bad. This is NOT TRUE! Getting 15 minutes of direct sunlight on unprotected skin can get in your daily dose. Nature is your best bet for Vitamin D. Including foods in your diet that contain vitamin D, like any oily fish (wild salmon is good), cod liver oil, milk, eggs, fresh fruits, and vegetables will also help. Unfortunately, most of us cannot get enough Vitamin D through food sources or sun exposure.
Doctors recommend taking a suppliment by mouth.
It is estimated that up to 2/3 of the population is Vitamin D deficient and needs to take a Vitamin D3 supplement. Keep in mind that it is a fat-soluble vitamin and should be taken with a meal for the best absorption possible. Check with your doctor about the right dosage for you.
So what are some of the benefits?
As you can see, Vitamin D is absolutely necessary for good health & the list of benefits just keeps on GROWING.
How do I know if I am getting enough?
Have a blood test called 25(OH). It is the ONLY blood test out there that measures the amount of Vitamin D to determine if you are getting enough or not. This test is especially important if you have family history of cancer or autoimmune disease.
Take good care of this beautiful body you have and it will take good care of you!
Talk soon -
How does food make you feel?
Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out. Makes sense doesn’t it?
Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine. It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy. When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.
Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and, when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell. Pretty cool, huh? Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.
Here are some other highly energizing foods for you to try:
1. Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.
2. Non-green veggies
3. Raw Cacao – chocolate in its pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.
4. Try Artichokes. They support liver detoxification.
5. Cultured and Fermented Foods –a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.
I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind. Don’t just take my word for it. We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food? By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.
Love your body with caring and compassion.
Ate to much? Feeling stuffed with turkey and pie?
Here are a few tips to settle that packed and bloated belly:
Thank you all for supporting me and aDandeLife.
My mission and intention is to shine a bright light on the many paths to healthy, balanced and happy living. I'm grateful to those how have shined that light for me and continue to do so.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving.
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Forever and sincerely,
Hunger and Fullness Continuum Scale
After toddlerhood, when eating and appetite are most natural, determining hunger and fullness can become complicated. While it is extremely important to listen to internal cues for hunger and satiety, social factors, previous experiences with foods, and environmental cues often override the internal ability to eat when hungry and stop when full.
For those who need to relearn how to monitor feelings of satiety, a scale can help to impart perspective. This tool is especially helpful for those recovering from an eating disorder, where internal cues were dramatically overridden.
To help you in recognizing which type of hunger you are feeling, seriously think about and study this hunger-satiety rating scale as you eat your meals:
Satiety (how full/satisfied)
10 =Stuffed to the point of feeling sick
9 =Very uncomfortably full, need to loosen your belt
8 =Uncomfortably full, feel stuffed
7 =Very full, as if you have overeaten
6 =Comfortably full, satisfied
5 =Comfortable, neither hungry nor full
4 =Beginning signals of hunger
3 =Hungry, ready to eat
2 =Very hungry, unable to concentrate
1 =Starving, dizzy, irritable
Evaluate where your habits fit using this scale. If you wait to eat until you are “starving,” irritable, or unable to concentrate, you will be likely to eat beyond a comfortable feeling of fullness just to get rid of those bad physical feelings. The goal is to start eating when you have early signals of hunger (4) and to stop when you are full (6).
While it is sometimes challenging in the beginning to figure out where you fall on this scale, it will get easier over time. As recovery progresses, feelings of hunger and fullness will become clearer than at first. However, normal feelings of hunger and fullness are still closely tied to eating disordered thoughts and feelings.
References and recommended reading
Albers S. 7 mindful eating tips. National Eating Disorders Association website. http://www.uhs.berkeley.edu/eda/7Mindful.pdf. Published 2004. Accessed September 8, 2015
Hinzey EM. Mindful eating log. Nutrition411 website. http://www.nutrition411.com/content/mindful-eating-log. Updated March 1, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2015.
Hunger satiety rating scale. Bariatric Support Centers International website. https://www.bsciresourcecenter.com/SGLUpdates/Portion%20Control%20Lessons/Hunger%20Satiety%20Rating%20Scale%20Handout.pdf. Published 2013. Accessed September 8, 2015.
Updated and created by Nutrition411.com
Quick Quiz: How many portions are in a bag of snack-size whole grain crackers? Or a small bottle of locally- pressed juice? Or a lunchbox pack of granola bars?
Hint: it’s not “one.” Often, the above products contain two or two-and-a-half servings per package.
Can YOU Eat Just One?
Sure, you could go ahead and enjoy just half the bag, but are you really going to do that?
Don’t beat yourself up if the answer is no: If you place food in front of most people, they tend to eat it all. It’s just the
way we’re wired.
The Perils of Supersizing
Eating too much food in one sitting is hard on your body. Here’s why:
GET EVEN HEALTHIER!
Are you curious about how easy-to-make changes (such as chewing your food more thoroughly) can make a big difference in your health? Would you like help in making healthier food choices? Let’s talk! Schedule a complimentary health coaching consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!
Danielle Anderson is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, who's passion is brain and body wellness. Certified in Mindfulness and Integrative Mental Health. NAMI teacher, QPR Instructor, mom of 2, Zumba instructor, lover of cats, the ocean and books!