Today I ran across the published Purdue University artificial sweetener study from February, 2008. The study, which received a lot of press, compared two sets of rats: those fed yogurt with zero-calorie saccharin, others fed yogurt sweetened with glucose (a simple sugar with 15 calories/teaspoon, the same as table sugar).

When both groups were later given a sugary snack, the rats accustomed to artificial sweetener ate more. In fact, the rats that consumed the zero-calorie saccharin later consumed more calories, gained more weight, put on more body fat, and didn’t make up for it by cutting back later, all at levels of statistical significance.

The study theorized that problems with self-regulation might explain in part why obesity has risen in parallel with the use of artificial sweeteners. Quite disheartening, when you consider the number of people using diet drinks as a way to control calories and weight gain.

“Our bodies have ways of judging how many calories a food has from how it tastes, and artificial sweeteners may mess up that natural regulating process,” reported Susan Swithers, Ph.D., associate professor of psychological sciences at Purdue and one of the study’s lead authors.

Well, what about aspartame? I Googled “aspartame” and found a very lengthy research article posted on http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/dangers.htm. The headline reads:

 “Aspartame is, by far, the most dangerous substance on the market that is added to foods.”

 Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure.

The article reads:

“Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.

A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.”

Even scarier is the following cited information:

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:

1) Brain Tumors

2) Multiple Sclerosis

3) Epilepsy

4) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

5) Parkinson’s Disease

6) Alzheimer’s

7) Mental Retardation

8) Lymphoma

9) Birth Defects

10) Fibromyalgia

11) Diabetes

 Hmm, steep price to pay for all those good tasting diet drinks?

Today (so that I preserve my own adrenals in the throws of all my book release deadlines <grin>), I’d like to spotlight a web site that addresses adrenal health. The author, Rosanna Commisso, made me aware of her site in response to one of my blog articles – http://www.chiyolife.com.au.

 From personal experience, Rosanna states:

“If you, like me, have been diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue, you need to really start taking care of yourself and become aware of every decision you make.

Everything you do affects your adrenal health and, therefore, your overall health in either a positive or negative way so it’s important to know what impact your lifestyle is having on your health.”

 According to Rosanna, the most important things affecting your adrenal health are:

  •  The amount and quality of sleep that you get
  • The food that you eat
  • The physical activities that you participate in
  • The amount of stress – both positive and negative in your life

Rosanna developed an Adrenal Care Daily Checklist and Diary to help keep her on track…“As it is so easy when you are having a good day to forget that you have a serious health condition and to go back to your normal way of living which unfortunately means that when you relapse you will feel worse than ever before.”

Rosanna uses her Adrenal Care Daily Checklist and Diary to remind herself what she needs to do each day to take care of her adrenals.

It also allows you to record what you have and haven’t done and then rate your overall well-being based on your behavior. By keeping track of what you do on a daily basis and rating your overall energy,  you can pinpoint what factors affect your adrenal health the most.”

 In summary, her diary “ helps give you a picture of what is happening with your adrenal health and how the choices you make regarding food, exercise and sleep affect you.”

Over and over we hear the same message: sleep, food, exercise, and stress. At the end of the day, it is those four basic factors that make such a huge impact on our health.

Thank you, Rosanna for sharing your site and your information with us!  :  )

I knew it wasn’t right to go to bed commiserating over a problem I am dealing with, nor was it right to refocus on it upon awakening. It is so easy to know that that technique is not effective, but getting oneself to stop the chattering in the mind, when faced with a tough situation, is quite another.

 Looking for words of wisdom, I sorted through my morning affirmations. Waa laa, look at the first message I read:

“Tell you what, Rosie: If you can get happy right now, in spite of any problems, challenges, and circumstances that now seem to taunt you, I’ll take care of those problems, challenges, and circumstances, as well as ‘ever-after.’

Agh-hmm… Please, do the math, take the bait, and never look back.

    The Universe”

How much happiness, how much life, is squandered away by focusing on problems, which only attracts more problems and more negative energy? Not to mention the stress inflicted on the adrenals as they struggle to keep us in balance.

The following quote jumped out from another early morning message:

“Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age.”

                                                       ~ Christopher Morley, 1890-1957

 OK, how to be happy, no matter what, is the battle cry for the day! Having gone to bed with an achy leg (go figure – did that not match my mood?), I was next drawn to the following article in the http://www.mercola.com newsletter this morning:

 Use Quantum Physics to Send ‘Messages’ to Your Body to Get Well

Dr. Mercola interviewed Richard Bartlett, D.C., N.D., developer of Matrix Energetics, a powerful new paradigm one can harness to transform your life. “Your right brain can give you information that is normally blocked by your conscious attention.”

Consciousness Technology to Help Transform Your Life

As stated in the article, “Dr. Bartlett’s Matrix Energetics is a form of ‘consciousness technology’ that involves your right brain and the field of your heart. Your right brain is capable of processing 11 billion bits of information per second, while your conscious left brain processes about 15 bytes of information per second.

Your right brain can actually access information that is normally blocked by your conscious attention, if you allow that information to come through and pay attention to it. So, as Dr. Bartlett is fond of saying, ‘notice what you notice,’ without any rules or preconceived notions about what it might mean.”

I found myself very much drawn to the following subheadline and paragraph:

Practical Tips to Help You Access Your Subconscious Abilities

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do when your heart tells you differently, and pay attention to what shows up in the next moment and realize every moment is full of grace, miracles, majesty and possibility.”

I also appreciate Dr. Mercola’s advice: “I encourage everyone reading this to print out that passage, put it someplace prominent, and read it several times a day. As you begin to deconstruct the rules of society and life in general, you’ll begin to become open to the powers of your subconscious, or what some may call your ‘instincts.’”

Hmm, when faced with a problem, perhaps a smarter approach is to simply listen to your heart? It sure beats commiserating about a problem, turning it over and over and over a thousand times in your mind.

Perhaps the message for today is, “Follow your heart..be happy.”

It was exciting to watch Peyton Manning at the Colts’ game yesterday, but Peyton gave the lingering crowd an added bonus as he walked off the field at the game’s end.

Peyton was the last player to leave the field. A crowd had gathered on the bleachers near the exit off the field. As Peyton looked up to the crowd, he waved his hand, his face radiating sincere appreciation and warmth for his lingering fans.

Suddenly a young boy somehow broke out of the stands and ran onto the field to encircle his small arms around Peyton’s leg. Peyton reached down, tossled his hair, and hugged him back. Just then, out of the corner of his eye, Peyton must have caught a glimpse of someone (probably his stunned mother or father) trying to snap a quick picture.  

Peyton paused to pose. Picture taken, Peyton’s eye caught something else, and the next thing we saw was Peyton motioning as if to say, “Come on, quickly. It’s OK.” Now another little boy ran to Peyton to hug his other leg, and Peyton patiently posed with the two boys while another camera flash ensued. Then, with a turn, he exited the field.

As we ascended the stairs to exit Lucas Oil Stadium, I’m pretty certain we weren’t the only ones commenting about Peyton’s kindness to those two little boys, or the genuine glowing warmth that radiated from his eyes as he acknowledged the crowd. Every single person seemed to be engaged in a similar discussion. We had just received an important lesson about gratitude and kindness.

Grandma used to say, “What goes around, comes around.” The sincerity and kindness expressed to the crowd and those two little boys makes it easy to understand why his fans love him and support him. Gratitude and kindness extended to others is surely to find its way back to the sender.

Research has demonstrated that when someone merely witnesses a kindness extended to another person, the observer equally benefits physiologically. In that one minute of Peyton’s kindness, the benefits rippled out to every single person in the crowd.

Kindness has a way of melting away stress, slowing the breathing, relaxing the body…and the adrenals get a breath of fresh air.

When you find yourself stressed, two wonderful techniques for adrenal health include:

1)      Stop what you are doing. Make yourself pause and express gratitude for the situation you find yourself in, or for other parts of your life for which you are most grateful.

2)      Stop what you are doing. Take a quick break to do something nice for someone else. Make a phone call, send an email, or just walk around to someone’s cubicle and say something nice.

Gratitude and kindness are two tools for adrenal health that have a reciprocal benefit to the sender as well as the receiver. Thanks, Peyton, for reminding us of that lesson.

In Wednesday’s article, Staying Calm in the Midst of Chaos, point #9 was: Plan something fun. I commented, “I need help with this one. Last week my friend suggested we take a mental health break and go to Nashville. It sounded good at the time. Now that it is tomorrow, and I have this huge list of uncompleted tasks, it sounds like a dumbass attack to me. BUT, I am going, and I am sure I will be better off for it.”

And even though there couldn’t have been a worse time, I did go – and I was better off for it. Somehow it was as if the heavens opened up to provide a spectacular day, full of memories. Miraculously, even the never-ending volume of calls and email messages on my blackberry stayed at bay.

When I returned home late last night, it came as a shock to me that I was no worse off by taking the day off despite all the impending deadlines surrounding the launch of my book – and I was actually better for it. The only problem – I had to tell myself it was OK that I didn’t get my blog article written for the day.  I have to really practice the rule, “Don’t should on yourself!”

Do you, too, get caught up in the pressures, responsibilities, and spiraling vortexes that seem to be spinning out of control in your life? When was the last time you acted like a teenager again, frolicking happily through the day? Is it time for you to plan a long overdue fun day?

Your adrenals will thank you if you do. The overwhelming stress in today’s world is exhausting our adrenals. When the adrenals are exhausted, the trauma ripples over into the thyroid and into the sex hormone balance. You can’t push on one without affecting the other two. Our body will try and try to compensate to keep us in balance, but before we know it, our whole being out of balance and ill health ensues.

One additional note…point # 4 in Wednesday’s article said, “Three nutritious meals a day are a requirement. The body can’t keep up its strength and energy without the proper ingredients to provide the fuel. A car won’t run if the gas tank is empty.”

Traveling on the highway to and from Nashville, we gave thought to where we could eat. The exits were littered with all sorts of fast food restaurants. My friend suggested stopping at the Cracker Barrel. My first reaction was, “Ohh, I want healthy food – and we surely won’t get it there.

I was pleasantly surprised to find they have a whole menu section devoted to healthy food. We liked it so much that we stopped there for breakfast as well as lunch.

I am becoming a disciple of Joel Fuhrman, MD. Listen to Joel’s work, and you will quickly see that the very best food group you can consume is deep leafy greens and vegetables. I never thought I would be so excited to put those items in my mouth on a daily basis. It is worth your while – and your life – to get his Eat to Live and Eat for Health.

As Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D. teaches:

“If you want to feel your best, you have to eat the best.”

Today is Friday. It is almost a weekend! Why not take a couple minutes and see if you can’t dream up something fun to do this weekend? Your adrenals will love you for it!  :  )

I was just on the phone with my friend, giving her a rundown of my day. At the tail end of the list, I mentioned I had not yet written my blog article for the day, but I am working to stay calm in the midst of chaos. She said, “Well, there it is! That’s your article!”

Sure enough, I guess it is! What a day – what a week! My books are printing on the presses in Utah today. It seems surreal. All the edits were finished as of late last night. 1,000 copies of Stop the Needless Suffering, The Complete Woman’s Guide to Balancing Your Hormones are due to be on my doorstep on Monday, October 12. My first book signing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 13 – before and after a seminar I am giving titled, “Stop the Needless Suffering!” Nevermind that the PowerPoint still has to be created!  :  )

 I told my friend that another friend is in process of arranging a book signing at our local Barnes and Noble. The gentleman asked her if my book was in the “Bookmasters System” (a cataloging system they use). She sent me this message: “And guess what??  It IS!!  He told me the title, print date of Oct, etc.  How ’bout that Rosie!” My friend replied, “Rosie, you are an author!”

 An author? Me? That sounds so very weird! It seems that I have been laboring endlessly with no end in sight for forever. In reality, it was only a year ago that I started on it, but I took writing classes several hours per week for 6 months prior to beginning the project.

 For the past year and a half I have been hearing and commiserating over “foreign” terms like Aweber, autoresponders, clickbank, Paypal, sales pages, news releases, ebooks, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, APS, Sales Sheet, LLC, SEO, web site creation, 800#s, taking credit/debit card sales “at the back of the room” – till I thought I would go mad! And now, guess what? Each one of these entities must be in place by October 13. I feel like I am caught in a spiraling vortex!

 On top of all this, I am OOT and away from computers for 5 of the 12 remaining days till October 13. I don’t want to calculate what percentage that is. Yikes! What do you do when chaos is spiraling all around you? Here are some of the techniques I am employing to help see me through…

1)       I meditate once in the morning and once in the evening, irregardless of how much time I think I don’t have to do it. Miracles happen when one slows the mind and connects with the flow of life.

2)      I work to make myself take a 10 minute break every two hours. To keep pushing ruthlessly is to usurp one’s energy till there is nothing left. I have to force myself to do this. Some people recommend setting a timer.

3)      Exercise must be included. For me, that is setting the alarm for the 5:30 am Jazzercise class – and squeezing in a walk out in nature with my two golden retrievers every few days. The air and blue sky is gorgeous this time of the year. If we don’t pause to notice, the crisp beauty of the fall will pass us by.

4)      Three nutritious meals a day are a requirement. The body can’t keep up its strength and energy without the proper ingredients to provide the fuel. A car won’t run if the gas tank is empty.

5)      Soft, relaxing music playing in the background provides a calming effect and subtly allows us to be more productive. Try it. It is amazing how soothing it can be.

6)      Working from a clear area, one thing at a time, keeps the mind quiet and not overwhelmed with a pile of uncompleted tasks. This is the hardest task for moi to master!

7)      Keeping a prioritized, organized list to work from is a must. There may be 40 things on the list, but each time I can check one off, I get such a sense of accomplishment. Plus, if it’s on the list, I can forget about it and not carry all the items in my head all at once. At the end of the day, it is far more productive to look over the list of checkmarks vs the list of uncompleted items. That’s what tomorrow is for.

8)      I plan a reward every week. For me, that is margarita night on Friday night. That’s my night to ingest toxins, if I need them or not.

9)      Plan something fun. I need help with this one. Last week my friend suggested we take a mental health break tomorrow and go to Nashville. It sounded good at the time. Now that it is tomorrow, and I have this huge list of uncompleted tasks, it sounds like a dumbass attack to me. BUT, I am going, and I am sure I will be better off for it.

10)   Just say “No!” This one is tough – but you simply cannot do everything. Take care of you first, and you and the whole world around you will be better off for it.

 Oh my goodness – I just checked the word count on this article…888 words. Time to stop and move to the next item on the list before my two hours are up!  <grin>

 But before I do, I am curious as to the meaning of “888.” Per Doreen Virtue, 888: This is a very auspicious sign of complete financial support from the Universe. Money is flowing in your direction!”

 Wow! Maybe I better add visualization and affirmations to the list!  :  )

Today I engaged my hairdresser in an interesting conversation about thyroid disease. She stopped the blow dryer and shared her very indepth knowledge about hair – healthy hair and unhealthy hair.

Every day, all day long she works on someone’s hair. It is incredible the knowledge she has. Four weeks ago when I saw her, I was so distressed about my hair. It was falling out like dead leaves from a tree on a fall day.  Previously, I was ecstatic about my hair. After starting on the Armour thyroid, my hair was becoming thicker, shiny, and full of life. What a change, and how exciting!

Then the FDA (and pharmaceutical companies?) made such restrictions on the natural thyroid supplement companies, that they had to shut down their operations. When my prescription ran out, I could no longer get my natural thyroid supplement. It was back to the synthetics. Any correlation to the changes in my hair texture?

My hairdresser told me the story of one of her clients. This client was on some sort of thyroid medication. My hairdresser kept telling her that something was not right with her thyroid. Her hair did not grow. It was dry and unhealthy appearing. At her urging, the client finally went to her doctor, and her prescription was changed. Shortly thereafter, her hair “started growing like crazy.”

Thyroid imbalance shows up in the hair, skin and nails. My ND recommended that I start applying “Biosilk” to my hair and to take “Hair, Skin, and Nails” supplement. My NP friend told me an active ingredient in “Hair, Skin, and Nails” is Biotin, which some health care providers use for hair loss.

My hair is limping along this month. My prescription has been changed to different synthetics, trying to find something that attempts to match where I was on the Armour thyroid. My prayer is that the natural supplement companies can overcome the restrictions placed upon them by the FDA. 

It is unbelievable what gets endorsed in this country. Please pray for the good to prevail in the end.