With cool, dry weather fast approaching, I thought it may be good to re-post this blog from February 2012…

Are you getting shocked every time you touch something in your home… or scaring a pet when you reach to pet them and they get hit with a bolt of electricity… or is your hair out of control because you can’t rid it of static electricity… or are your clothes clinging in all the wrong places? Well, the answer is simple to de-electrify your home or office… simply put moisture in the air, better known as humidity.

During the cold winter months when the air in your home or office is too dry, in addition to static electricity you may experience a dry throat and nose, respiratory problems, nagging cough, dry skin, and have uncomfortable pets because of itchy skin. Adding moisture to the air will solve all these problems and make everyone more comfortable.

The process of adding moisture to the air is simple, a small humidifier is all you need. There are many models available at Walgreens, Walmart, Target, or any general department store. The unit doesn’t have to be big or intrusive, but can be small enough to be out of the way on the floor or set on a small table.

Most problems begin to occur in October or November when the weather turns cold and will continue until things warm up again around March. I run my humidifier in my bedroom during the night for these winter months to help me sleep better and wake up feeling hydrated and ready for the day. Humidity in your home should be 30% to 50% and you can measure this if desired. But, you’ll be able to tell when the humidity is right because the problems will disappear and you’ll be comfortable. (If you reach the point where you have moisture collecting on your windows, the humidity is probably too high and you can cut back on running the humidifier).

So, if you’re experiencing some of the symptoms of dry air this winter, use a humidifier to make yourself, your pets, and everyone in your home more comfortable.

Strive to be healthy!


Those who struggle with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) need no definition or description of the condition. But, for others who are not exactly sure what it is or are curious about symptoms, please read on:

perrier_sparkling_mineral_water-400-400RLS is a strange condition typically described as a tingling, aching, or burning sensation in the thighs and calves when lying down, causing involuntary movement of the legs. RLS is not a major illness, but is uncomfortable and can lead to other issues because of lack of sleep.

Several years ago, I thought RLS was a fact of life I had to accept and had no control over. I never thought of it as a medical condition… just an annoyance leading to insomnia and frustration. Very often I felt sluggish and irritable during the day because of the interrupted sleep during the night.

When I began addressing my health issues, I had appointments at Innerworks Holistic Health Center on a regular basis. While discussing my lack of energy and general fatigue, I mentioned losing sleep due to RLS. The health care worker shared a simple remedy I believe was a major turning point in my health care routine. I was told to drink a 4-ounce glass of mineral water within 5 to 10 minutes of going to bed each night. I know… you think this is crazy and question whether it will work, but if you suffer from RLS, I urge you to give it a try. Again, you must drink at least four ounces and it must be within a few minutes of turning out the light to go to sleep.

RLS can also be a symptom of dehydration. So don’t depend only on the mineral water. You need to hydrate adequately throughout the day, as well. Keeping your body supplied with water will reduce (if not eliminate) leg cramps during the night and help with RLS.

Drink plenty of water during the day, top it off with mineral water before bed, and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Strive to be healthy!

Image courtesy of ImageWiki

NO PARABENS by Vickie Kline

paraben freeAre you familiar with parabens? If not, you should be.

Parabens are a class of chemicals widely used as preservatives by the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries to prevent the growth of bacteria and extend the shelf life in products. Parabens are the most widely used preservative and appear in personal care products that contain significant amounts of water, such as, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, cleansers, and deodorants. Parabens are absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and other health conditions since they have some toxicity, which is used to kill bacteria in water-based solutions. I, personally, have allergic skin reactions to products that contain parabens.

So, what to do? Well, check product labels and look for those that are paraben free. I have found a nice line of cosmetic products called La Roche Posay. They don’t carry make-up, but they do have every type of skin care product imaginable. The great part is I can use these and have no reaction. I am also confident that the growth of bacteria is not a concern because other natural, plant-derived ingredients are used to prevent this.

If you have reactions to make-up and skin cleansing products, try going paraben-free. You may be surprised at the results.

Strive to be healthy!

image courtesy of body systems


mosquitoes_187x154I believe most of you are hopefully reaching the end of mosquito season… but here in Kansas they are still healthy, hearty, and as big as a small bird. My husband and I recently took a vacation to get away from them.

Many people aren’t bothered by these nasty creatures, but I am not as lucky. Mosquitoes are drawn to me like moths to a flame. Once they bite me, I get huge, red welts that are bothersome enough to keep me awake at night. I am usually forced to make a choice whether I want to take part in deck parties and outside activities, or stay inside where it’s bug-free.

Thankfully, I found a solution that works for me. A tip for the next time you plan to be outdoors, and would rather not be a smorgasbord for mosquitoes. Lemon spray. Yep, it’s fairly simple.

I posted previously about placing lemon-scented plants, such as, lemon balm, lemon grass, and lemon verbena, on and around a porch or deck area to help keep mosquitoes at bay. When thinking about this, I wondered what would happen if I actually put the lemon scent on me? Would it be even more effective? I decided to give it a try.

lemon zum mistI found the perfect product in lavender-lemon Zum Mist. The mist is promoted as an aromatherapy room and body mist and it smells lovely. So, I tested it all summer long and actually had friends test, as well. It works.

The beauty of this mist is that 1) it’s made from 100% pure essential oils, and 2) it doesn’t interfere with my respiratory sensitivities. (Many sprays designed to ward off flies and mosquitoes cause me to wheeze and cough). The only down-side I’ve found with Zum Mist is it doesn’t last very long. This means I carry it with me and re-spray often. After spraying, I watch the mosquitoes fly close to me and then back-off. It’s wonderful!

Zum Mist also makes a lemon grass spray, but it didn’t seem to work at all. There must be something about the combination of lemon and lavender that works. I don’t know what part of the world you live in, but you should try this if you’re in an area that has a problem with mosquitoes. Be bite-free, itch-free, welt-free, and smell good… all at the same time.

Strive to be healthy.


rainbow foodThis phrase, “Eating from the rainbow,” is starting to show up more and more. So, take a second and think about it… and the benefits. A plate full of color is a plate full of nutrition. Each color (fruit or vegetable) we eat, provides something different and a specific benefit to our body.

There are a lot of unfamiliar terms listed, but concentrate on the benefits…

Reds: tomatoes, apples, beets, watermelon, red wine, grapes, chile peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, beans, red onions. Red foods contain resveratrol, capsaicin, and lycopene. These keep you from getting hungry, can relieve pain, and reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Orange: winter squash, lentils, obviously oranges, turmeric, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Orange foods contain curcumin, beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene,and hesperidin. The benefits from these foods are boosting the immune system, promoting bone cell growth, reducing inflammation, and blood vessel damage.

Yellow: pineapple, corn, papaya, tangerines, lemons, spaghetti squash, and yellow peppers. Yellow foods contain bromelain, limonoids, lutein, and curcumin. The benefits of eating these foods are a release of enzymes that ease indigestion and asthma, lower cholesterol, and promote eye health.

Green: spinach, artichokes, avocados, grapes, green onions, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, parsley, chard, all leafy greens. Green foods contain apigenin, luteolin, catechins, and isothiocyanates. We need these to help fight diseases like Alzheimer’s, to lower cholesterol, and purge the body of carcinogens. Fruits and Vegetables

Purple: purple cauliflower, purple cabbage, berries, eggplant, and purple radishes. Purple foods contain ellagic acid and anthocyanins, which help slow metabolism, improve brain function, and reduce risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

With all these choices, it’s easy to eat healthy and provide our body with nutritional value. Many of these foods will pick up the flavor of any spices or herbs you put with them, so you create the taste. More nutritional value exists if foods are eaten raw, but steaming or roasting are good preparations, as well.

Not sure you’re ready to give up your favorite foods? There’s no need to. If you decide to have pasta, stir in some green onions and spinach. With your rice, stir in purple cabbage and some artichokes. Or, when you prepare a salad, make it interesting with beets, broccoli, celery, and a yellow pepper. The possibilities are endless. You will not only create beautiful meals, but will be “eating from the rainbow,” and eating healthful meals to feel great.

Strive to be healthy!

Images courtesy Feels Like Home and The Top Five Reasons to Eat More Fruits and Veggies


blog-posting-tipsIt’s been a while since I’ve posted on my blog… in fact it’s been one season. That is, one season of my theatre arts organization job that lasts from June 1 through mid-August; we produce five Broadway musicals every summer. I work year-round, but the season is during the summer months. This was a busy season with much to accomplish and I simply couldn’t keep up with my weekly blog posts. And here’s the story: I now find myself about 10 pounds heavier, with a decreased energy level, a bulging disc in my back, and feeling generally cranky. This is a result of not properly caring for myself over the summer and ignoring my own advice on how to remain healthy and feeling great.

In May 2012, I began eating gluten and wheat-free and found my quality of life improved greatly. I have continued this eating regimen, but soon discovered there are many choices in a gluten-free diet these days – some of which are not the best for my body. There are gluten-free pastas, breads, crackers, everything imaginable. The sad part is sometimes gluten or wheat free means more carbs and more sugar. Again, completely against my idea of how to maintain a health eating plan.

Personally, I feel best when I eat high protein with lots of veggies. The protein comes from beans and grains, paired with white fish and roasted veggies. It’s interesting how easily I drift from what I know is best… only to realize it’s time to begin again and find the perfect balance of diet, sleep, and exercise. This is my quest: to once again find that balance and feel great. Here is how I’ll start:

Step One: Clean out the refrigerator and pantry: This is a must when unhealthy eating habits have crept into my life. Get rid of all temptations and refill with healthy snacks that are easy and convenient.

Step Two: Prepare food ahead of time: I used to spend Sundays preparing my food for the week. I would make a broccoli and bean salad (find this is my recipe section) that I could easily grab a bowl for lunch. (Yes, I’m lucky and go home for lunch most days). Otherwise, I need to identify the restaurants and eateries that have a healthy menu containing items good for my system. Of utmost importance – begin each day with a good breakfast. An egg white omelet with some black beans on the side is the best and tastes great. This gives me energy and keeps me from getting hungry mid-morning. (Hint: rinse the black beans until there is no more foaming. This will eliminate any gastrointestinal problems).

Step Three: Find 30 minutes each day to exercise: If it’s only a morning walk or a bicycle ride at the gym, I will do something to get moving.

Step Four: Get back to my daily vitamin routine: I feel best when I take extra B, C, and D. The difference in the way I feel is immediate and wonderful.

Step Five: Regular sleep: I know my body requires 8 hours of sleep each night to feel good… 9 is even better. This won’t happen without planning. I need about 30 minutes to turn my brain off so I can sleep. This means being in bed by 9:30pm with a book, turning out the light about 10pm, and rising at 6am.

Step Five: Blog: This is good for my mind and keeps my healthful plan in front of me on a regular basis. It’s impossible to write about a topic and not research it and find ways to implement it in my life.

Some of you may be thinking this sounds like a lot of trouble – and who has time to plan your day around eating, sleeping, and exercising? Well, to me it’s well worth it. Following this type of plan helps me feel great and gives me energy to do the other things I want to do in my spare time. I quickly fall into a routine and it doesn’t take so much planning and thinking. It get easier the longer I do it. And if it’s a choice of feeling sluggish and lethargic versus feeling energized and healthy – it’s an easy choice.

I realize my plan doesn’t work for everyone. Each person’s body is different and needs different things to feel good. I found what works for me…but, maybe through this you will get some ideas of how to begin your own healthful plan. Take some time to research products, vitamins, foods, etc. Try different things. If something doesn’t work, please don’t give up – develop a new plan. You’ll be glad you did!

Strive to be healthy!

Image courtesy of The Weather Up Here


pills pictureNational Drug Take Back Day sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013 in cities all across the United States. Please take advantage of this opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinet, bathroom drawer, or kitchen shelf and safely dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are unwanted, unused, or expired. The most recent take-back day last October resulted in the disposal of more than 188 tons of unwanted medications nationally. Kansas returned 3,809 pounds all on their own.

Participating locations in my home town of Wichita, KS, will be accepting old/used prescriptions or over-the-counter medications from 10am to 2pm on April 27:

  1.      Oaklawn Activity Center: 4900 S. Clifton
  2.      Haysville Police Department: 200 W. Grand in Haysville
  3.      Household Hazardous Waste: 801 W. Stillwell
  4.      Sedgwick County Zoo: 5500 W. Zoo Boulevard
  5.      City of Bel Aire Community Room: 7651 E. Central Park
  6.      Maize Police Department: 10100 W. Grady in Maize
Disposing of medications may create a problem if not disposed of properly. If simply thrown away, the meds can seep into a water system, contaminate soil, or create risk of someone finding and taking them. Don’t risk an accident with old or unwanted medications. Dispose of them properly and safely through this free DEA program.
For more information or for cities outside of Wichita, KS, please check here: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

Strive to be healthy!

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