Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

To Take or Not to Take Supplements: This is the Still the Question

posted by Linda Mintle

I’ve been reading a number of articles and recent studies on whether or not multivitamins and dietary supplements help us.  I spend money on supplements and believe they have benefit. The supplement industry is certainly booming! But the question is, do all these pills really help us? And is there a placebo effect (we think they help so we feel better!) to taking these supplements?

Two large scale human studies published in October in leading medical journals indicated that the supplements don’t do much and may even be harming us. The studies point out that if you don’t have a specific nutrient deficiency or chronic illness, you may be wasting your money and adding a health risk.

The first study found one supplement that improved mortality in older postmenopausal women –calcium.

The second study looked at vitamin E and selenium supplementation in men. The claim that Vitamin E prevents prostate cancer was not supported and was associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.

Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at New York University says, “It’s fair to say from the research that supplements don’t make healthy people healthier.”However, researchers are still recommending dietary supplements for people with certain nutrient deficiencies, medical conditions and malnutrition. One example given was the use of folic acid supplements for pregnant women in order to reduce birth defect. Micronutrients like antioxidants (e.g., vitamin C, D and metals) can help in small amounts but too much can cause problems.

To the lay person, these studies are confusing. To take or not to take…this is still the question.

So,  if you take supplements, work with a knowledgeable doctor who is up on research. He or she can look at your health and help you weed through all the data. For now,  I don’t have answers as to what is really helpful. And in these economic times, I don’t want to waste money on unnecessary things. So if you find solid research on this topic, please pass it on. We all need more information to make informed decisions. And when the information keeps changing, it makes decision making even more difficult.

My best advice: Work on eating a balanced diet!

 

Could Kardashian Marital Trouble Been Predicted?

posted by Linda Mintle

It was big news yesterday. E! News released this statement from Kim Kardashian regarding hubby New Jersey Nets player Kris Humphries . “After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage,. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned. We remain friends and wish each other the best. “

Kris’ statement (according to TMZ), “I’m committed to this marriage and everything this covenant represents. I love my wife and am devastated to learn she filed for divorce….I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. “

“Irreconcilable differences”were cited as the reason for divorce after 72 days of marriage. According to celebrity sites, the wedding cost around 10 million dollars. According to TMZ, the only specific given for the split had to do with where the couple might live. Reports indicated that she wanted to stay close to her family in California and he wanted to move back to Minnesota. If this is the case, isn’t this something you would have agreed upon before you married?

So what is going on here? Of course, we really don’t know, but marital researcher John Gottman has learned to predict which couples will eventually divorce with 91% accuracy early in the marriage. Here are the six signs:

1)   The way a discussion begins predicts how it ends 96% of the time. If one partner uses a harsh start up (negative, accusatory, etc.), the marriage has a chance of failing.

2)   Negative interactions that contain criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling lead to divorce.

3)   Being overwhelmed by the negativity of one person causes the other to become flooded by intense feelings of negativity and then to disengage emotionally.

4)   The physical body becomes overwhelmed and the person can’t maintain the discussion. Thus they opt out physically and emotionally.

5)   The partner’s attempts to repair conflict fail.

6)   The past is recalled with a negative view.

So while we don’t know what really has happened with the Kris and Kim, we do know the early signs of an ailing marriage. Let’s hope the two see a martial therapist and give the relationship a bit more of a chance.

 

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What To Do With Halloween

posted by Linda Mintle

OK let me just say, I am not a fan of Halloween. I find it creepy. I hate horror movies. They give me nightmares and our family has purposely avoided those movies.  I never understood the benefit of giving my kids nightmare material.

Personally, I have researched the Celtic origins of Halloween. Knowing it has to do with sacrifices to summer gods in Druidic tradition simply makes me uncomfortable. More poignant, knowing that Wiccans view this day as a sacred day to actively engage in the dark side of the spiritual world, sends me to prayer.

Thus, we have talked to our children about the reality of evil spirits. They are not some Harry Potter fantasy, but real. People engage in the occult. The devil is real and destructive. He prowls the earth to kill, steal and destroy. This is what the Bible tells us and so we don’t want to promote the darkness as fun. However, Jesus overcame all evil so we don’t have to fear. He overcame the darkness (1 John 4:4). It is important to know that Jesus triumphed over death and evil. And every day His overcoming power works in us when we are one of His. So we let our kids know that they are covered by that precious blood of Christ (not scary but comforting).

We don’t do ghosts, vampires and dark spirits. We don’t try to scare each other because fear is not our friend (I Timothy 1:7). We opt for the power of love and a sound mind.

And we are part of our culture so we don’t hide out and get mad at people who celebrate Halloween. We engage with our neighbors. When my kids were young, they dressed up in fun costumes and scoured the neighborhood for candy. We had many conversations about spiritual things with them and decided this was an opportunity to talk about the spiritual world with others. Most times, the kids opted for church alternatives and we hung out with the neighbors and discussed our various views.

So tonight, I will hand out the candy, thank God for being powerful and pray for those who need to know Him. And my kids will be reminded that evil exists, the devil deceives and wants people to believe nothing much happens tonight. But all around the world, there are those who will meet and celebrate spirits.So tonight is a reminder that evil exists, but we have nothing to fear.

 

3 Quick and Easy Stress Reducers

posted by Linda Mintle

Are you feeling stressed? Signs include craving food, irritability and even a racing heart. But reducing stress is easier than you think once you are intentional. Try these three easy tips:

1) Phone a friend. It not only works on game shows but in real life. Simply talking to a friend can release oxytocin, known as the connection hormone. A blast of the hormone is thought to help with coping by taking stress and converting it to social bonding. This can lower cortisol levels associated with stress.

2) Smell lavender. Japanese researchers (2008) found that the smell of lavender reduced stress in a study that looked at people solving difficult math problems. So purchase a vile of lavender oil or lotion and take a whiff whenever you feel overwhelmed.

3) Drink black tea. OK not my favorite but scientists at the University of London found lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in people who drank black tea versus other hot beverages after a stressful event.

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