Is Success Money? Happiness? Survival? Promoting Change?

The definition of success varies for different people. As a public health educator I always felt successful when I heard ideas I had recommended being recommended to me – smile and nod and say What a great idea, do you mind if I share that with others?

Survival with health issues or other types of crisis often means making changes to old ways of doing things. Learning what works for some people in some situations can help others in similar situations or may be the idea that leads to their own adaptation of the idea to better suit their needs. I’ve had health problems all of my life, not too severe but often effecting my daily ability to breathe or think or move comfortably. I’ve had to make many changes and recognize when something is better for me to avoid than to try. Reading about the experiences or research of others has helped me improve my own health.

Many people can have similar great ideas, thinking and trying things is free. Sharing great ideas can help increase the number of people or places benefiting from the information.

My goal for success is survival of the planet and as many of its species as possible. Tragedy is occurring too often. Wildfires are part of the natural cycle of forest growth but become more dangerous when more people live in the area. The risk of wildfires occurring in Southern California and elsewhere in the dry areas of the southwest are expected to double by 2050 with the changes occurring in climate patterns. “The risk of devastating fires in Southern California will double by 2050. Southeastern states will also see more wildfires in the coming years.”  See: 13 Dire Impacts Outlined in the New Climate Report, politicalchange.org.

  • Building or rebuilding with more disaster or wildfire resistant construction and landscaping (including a perimeter of no vegetation around the building) is a topic with more information available, some links available here: Peace is privacy and shelter from weather.  Learning from a children’s story – don’t build with straw or wood, build with brick if you want durable construction. Buildings are made with fire alarms and sprinkler systems to reduce risk of fire spreading. Watch towers are placed intermittently throughout forests with a person to watch for signs of fire. In the days of early settlers townpeople or individuals would make fire breaks around settled areas to reduce the risk of wildfires spreading into the settled area. Sod construction was messy but less of a risk for fire except for the thatched roof. (Sod House/Wikipedia) Building in floodzones risks frequent flooding, more people in those areas are building on stilts or building floating houses, or the areas are being rezoned for other construction or are being restored as wetlands which help protect nearby areas from flooding. Adapting to the changing times in advance saves money and trauma later. (Knightsen Wetland Restoration and Flood Protection Project, Balance Hydrologics)
  • Links regarding trauma and recovery here: Peace is recovering from trauma.
  • This month’s tragedy was also a previous year’s tragedy and the goal is to have better plans in place for the future as the risks increase with warmer drier weather patterns. Information about volunteering or donating money to help with the current wildfire crisis in California can be found here: (California Volunteers).
  • Ideas about improving the early warning system for wildfire risk is discussed in this article: Response to California Fires: A New Warning System?, Guy on Climate.
  • How climate change can affect wildfire risk on the west coast of the U.S. and severe snowstorm risk on the east coast at the same time is discussed in the article: Consequences of the November Dipole, Guy on Climate. It isn’t discussed in detail in that article but the air mass over the west coast is likely increasing drought (Causes of Extreme Ridges That Induce California Droughts, Journal of Climateit is complicated).

The human impact on the planet and its species is undeniable. Just how fast or how severe and whether the rate matches predictions or not is splitting hairs. The fact is extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity and the ocean is becoming warmer and more acidic and pollution is showing up basically everywhere on the planet that has been monitored.

Currently the air quality is not very safe for breathing in many areas of California where wildfires occurred. For my personal health it wasn’t that good to begin with in some areas. I was congested within six hours visiting the Los Angeles area – I later spent a lot of time thinking and then writing down some ideas of my own and others regarding large air purification systems: Imagining Windmills – Solar Sail Revolving Ones. I can’t think well when I don’t have clean air, let alone breathe well, or do any other activities. My favorite places to visit in California included some national forests and a shady countryside walk along a creek.  I cannot survive well in a polluted area or where it is too hot, dry and sunny. Heat adds to inflammation for people with autoimmune problems. People are unlikely to enjoy themselves if they are overheated or disoriented from bad air conditions.

Some points from previous posts about health and air quality:

  • Information about smog: (Causes and Effects of Smogconserve-energy-future.com)
  • Having adequate B vitamins which are important for all aspects of metabolism and energy production in the body may help reduce the harmful health effects of breathing smog-laden air: (Could a Daily Vitamin Curb Smog’s Health Effects? webMD.com)
  • Banning indoor smoking helps a lot. Some states have banned indoor smoking in all public places but some still allow. I’m updating this post in a location that allows it in a section of the building and the odor is obvious to me throughout the main area of the building. It is a health risk that may be worse for people who have deficiencies or metabolic differences in B vitamins such as folate and B 12 which are discussed in more detail later. Other tips for reducing formaldehyde are discussed in this post: formaldehyde-health-risks-and-environmental-and-dietary-sources/
  • Formaldehyde is a common chemical in polluted or smoky air and folate is needed to help the body detoxify and excrete formaldehyde. It may be an underlying factor in risk for autism development as housing with poor air circulation and/or some types of new vinyl flooring is associated with a greater risk for autism in the family. Other pollutants that may effect children are included in this post: environmental-toxins-and-neurodevelopmental-disorders-in-children/
  • Genetic screening might be helpful for people living in smog areas -methylation differences can leave people unable to use the common supplemental type of folate called folic acid or vitamin B12. Methylated forms of both are available or both can be found in some typically used foods but if you did have a genetic difference in ability to methylate then it is better to avoid using the supplemental folic acid or un-methylated B12. It is like filling the body with puzzle pieces that fill the receptor spots that are open but which then can’t connect properly to other pieces. The unusable forms compete with any methylated vitamin that was available from dietary sources of B12 or folate that had been eaten that day. (Selfpay, for research purposes onlygenetic screening panel that I have used – meaning it isn’t approved as a diagnostic tool that you could get your health insurance to cover or doctor to prescribe.) We need to try new strategies if we hope to get different results.

People value different things, and that is valuable and looking at different ways to do things can help us adapt to a changing world.

Experience nothing – Visit Padasjoki, Finland. (Padasjoki.fi/fi)

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes

Water and proton tunneling

To revisit a recent post – and my mentioning an exquisite website about the science of water – why is it important? We are about 65% water by mass held together with oil based membranes that contain the water and a mineral rich skeletal structure that helps give us form and support the muscles for moving around. The number of water molecules is far greater though (98.73%) because they are small molecules compared to other proteins or lipids. (Composition of the human body, Wikipedia)

So how the water molecules act as groups and as a fluid containing other minerals and larger molecules is chemistry and physics essential for health. Water also conducts electricity and minerals can act as magnets or carriers of electric charge so the study of electric fields and electric signals is also of importance. Many people are likely aware of surface tension, the faint electric charge of electrons shared between water molecules which help it to cling together in the form of rain drops or to provide a surface on which water bugs can skate or on which car tires may hydroplane in a rain storm. Fewer people may be aware that protons from the more solid interior of atomic structure may also be shared between molecules when uniformly arranged in ordered stacks or rows.

  • It is called proton tunneling and several pages on the water website include description and discussion of the physics. Water Structure and Science by Martin Chaplin, BSc PhD CChem FRSC, (about), pages including: “proton tunneling,” (Table of Contents).
  • Another website author studying quantum biology and health also recommends reading Martin Chaplin’s site, see: Tensegrity 5: The Quantum Cell Membrane, Dr Jack Kruse, a neuroscientist, jackkruse.com.  (Tensegrityinbiology.co.uk/definition)
  • Advances have been made in the study of water structure and quantum electric fields. Snowflakes may be so intricate because of the special ability of water molecules to share electrons and protons: Large Structured Water Clusters Caught on Camera.

From a dietary and health perspective and a world culture perspective it is common to have shared mealtimes and include prayer or positive conversation and studies suggest it is more beneficial for digestion to avoid negative conversation at mealtimes. The information about proton tunneling between organized groups of water molecules could explain somewhat how or why positive energy is effecting health and digestion beneficially and negative energy and electro-magnetic fields (EMF) from wifi and smartphone type devices may be effecting health negatively. (EMFs, previous post) The electrical/magnetic wave energy have been found to disrupt hydrogen bonding (Magnetic and Electric Effects on Water, Chaplin) and may also be disrupting the organized proton tunneling of the stacked water molecules. Many areas of the body are organized in layers including the skin and inner mucous membranes of the digestive system and also the cells of the brain are generally organized in layers that are then folded to fit within the skull.

Western medicine typically does not include a study of energy health practices that are traditional or more recent in some nations or cultural groups. Acupressure/acupuncture is based on energy fields of the body and benefits have been substantiated with medical research. Chakra energy fields are studied in yoga and health in India. Eastern and Western are rough descriptors for the two basic groups of health philosophy. Bringing together the Western biochemical approach and the energy field approach of the Eastern therapies might help improve health care for prevention or treatment of illness.

The physical landscape may also benefit from a study of electro-magnetic fields and health. Violence in urban areas has been found to be reduced in areas near trees – odd? (1) Maybe, other studies have found being around nature has relaxing and de-stressing effects on the body. (10.4, 10.19, 10.20, 10.21) Studies of trees as a potential buffer for the very large high power electric line towers has shown a reduction in the EMF radiation in the region of the treeline. (2)

A walk in a natural setting may be more beneficial to health than a walk in an urban setting (10.19, 10.20) but even looking at images of nature has been found to help reduce stress levels – more than taking a walk in a busy urban setting, (10.21) suggesting that while exercise has health benefits, exposure to nature also has health benefits. 

Forest air may provide health benefits from essential oils and other nutrients in the moisture rich air and electrically active ions. (G.Shinrin-Yoku Forest Medicine), (G.thescienceexplorer.com)

Why is water blue?  – because it scatters blue light rays and absorbs other colors.                 (Water Absorption Spectrum)

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

  1. Tree Cover Protecting Against Violent Assault, SpaceTimeEpi Group, dwiebe@upenn.eduJuly 17, 2017,  http://spacetimeepi.net/portfolio-item/tree-cover-and-violent-assault/
  2. M. Suojanen, C. Lederle, R. Heim, T. Keikko, S. Kuusiluoma, L. Korpinen, The effect of trees on calculation of electric fields
    near 400 kV transmission lines, Transactions on Modelling and Simulation vol 30, © 2001 WIT Press, www.witpress.com, ISSN 1743-355X  https://www.witpress.com/Secure/elibrary/papers/CMEM01/CMEM01091FU.pdf
  3. Shinrin-Yoku, shinrin-yoku.org, http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html (G.Shinrin-Yoku Forest Medicine)
  4. Kelly Tatera, Scientists Reveal Why “Forest Bathing” or Going to the Beach Boosts our Well-Being, Feb. 3, 2016, thescienceexplorer.com, http://thescienceexplorer.com/brain-and-body/scientists-reveal-why-forest-bathing-or-going-beach-boosts-our-well-being (G.thescienceexplorer.com).

10.4: Byoung-Suk Kweon, Roger S. Ulrich, Verrick D. Walker and Louis G. Tassinary, Anger and Stress: The Role of Landscape Posters in an Office Setting, Environment and Behavior 2008 40: 355  https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Louis_Tassinary/publication/258132363_Anger_and_Stress_The_Role_of_Landscape_Posters_in_an_Office_Setting/links/0a85e5304d07b6d045000000.pdf (10.4)

Fennel Seed Diet

New/extra short term goal- regain health, reduce inflammation and lose weight by adding fennel seeds back to my daily diet. I ran out of them earlier this summer and since then hurt my knee and gained weight with the decreased activity, (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate (RICE) can help sprained ankles and strained ligaments but 6-8 weeks is expected for recovery).

Fennel seeds are used as an after meal dessert or breath freshener in India and elsewhere. They also are a digestive aid and may help preserve bone density/prevent osteoporosis from reading I did on the topic last winter when I first added them to my daily diet. It turns out they also are thought to help weight loss based on search results-(fennel seed weight loss). I love the internet. More specific information includes potential help with anxiety & depression and also mentions the possible help as digestive aid and weight loss as an appetite suppressant : “21 Health Benefits of Fennel, and Risks & Side Effects,”  selfhacked.com. Excessive amounts daily are not recommended however the crunch and taste are lasting and a pinch, ~ 1/2 teaspoon, is a little like chewing minty gum for little while.

So my simple plan – try to eat my healthy meal choices and have a teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals and whenever I feel like snacking in between meals – and just see if that helps curb the desire for more snacking. /Day one, already feeling some positive effects./

Fennel seed are an alkalizing food – meaning after digestion the body system is more alkaline than acidic which promotes health more and may help reduce cancer risk: Alkalizing foods refers to the alkalinity after digestion.

From my wintertime notes: 

A gift from nature to help us build Nrf2 (10) and which may improve digestion  (11) and bone density (12) are the licorice flavored Fennel Seeds that might be served in a tiny dish as an appetizer or after a meal at an Indian food restaurant. The tiny crunchy seeds can be eaten directly raw or may be toasted.  A few pinches, a teaspoon or two are a reasonable digestive health aid and even seem to freshen the breath somewhat as there is also a slight minty flavor to the more predominant licorice flavor. They are sold in larger quantities, (400 gram package), in India food markets but may be found in a one ounce jar in the spice section as they are also added to soups in Western recipes.

One interaction caution is for women using estrogen based birth control pills. Fennel also contains estrogen like phytonutrients which may interfere with the use of the birth control pills as a pregnancy preventative. (11) Regarding quantity for health benefits – a study on bone density effects in post menopausal women did not find 300 mg per day effective (12) – that would be less than an 1/8th of a teaspoon. I have seen a portion described as “a handful” in an unlinked source, which is about 1/4 – 1/2 cup, and which would be a lot compared to what I eat in a day but an 1/8th teaspoon wouldn’t be much at all. I eat a pinch or two, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time several times per day. So a tablespoon (three teaspoons) to an 1/8th cup (two tablespoons or 6 teaspoons) might be consumed throughout the day when snacking from an open dish as seen in the image below. They do seem to help settle my stomach after a meal.

Not as conducive to weight loss, but delicious – putting ground fennel powder in cookies – they were incredible: Fennel Cookies-lightly licorice.

Fennel seeds, raw.

Looking to any food to resolve weight gain issues may be too simple if the problem is actually too much exposure to EMF, electromagnetic frequencies, in your environment from laptops, smartphones and other WiFi devices, and/or problems with poor sleep or oxygen intake; discussion by a neuroscientist who got curious about his own health: Tensegrity 5: Your Magnetic Sense, Dr Jack Kruse, jackkruse.com.

/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./