Why Married To Medicine Star and Entrepreneur Genise Shelton Is Dedicated To Living a Healthy Life: Her Story

Written by Genise Shelton

I’d like to begin by telling you a story. About eighteen years ago, an African American woman in Chicago was living the somewhat typical life of an American married woman.  Some would say that she was living the American dream.  She and her husband owned their own home.  His income was sufficient to take care of the family so she didn’t have to work outside of the home.

She was a homemaker and she was good at it. Taking care of her husband and children was her full-time job and she put everything she had into it.  Her oldest daughter was away at college.  The four youngest were at home, including a one-year old.  The woman’s days were long and filled with all the duties that are required of a wife and mother…dozens of loads of laundry each week, changing diapers, running errands, caring for her husband, cooking meals, cleaning, checking homework etc. In addition to these duties, the woman had to look after her mother. Although her mother lived in her own home, she required some help due to an illness. But overall, life was pretty good for the woman, until 2003.  That’s when everything began to change.

In February, the woman’s brother died of a stroke.  In August, her mother passed away and in September her husband left her for another woman all in the same year.  After her mother’s death, the woman moved herself and her children into her mom’s home, while her husband and mistress took over the family home.

In addition to fulfilling all the duties required of her, she had to find a way to put food on the table now.  She had to go to work. This was especially difficult since she possessed very few marketable skills and little-to-no job training.  Eventually, she found work at UPS during the night shift.  She had no choice but to leave her baby at home with her other children because she simply couldn’t afford daycare.

The job only paid $9 an hour and obviously wasn’t enough to take care of her four children.  The financial pressure was too much for her to bear, so her oldest daughter began to send money home to help with bills and food.  Her daughter also drove her car to Chicago and left it with her mother to make it easier for her to get to work. During this transition, the mother was under a great deal of stress and worry…not just because she was working a low paying job and caring for the kids.  She also had to begin caring for her aunt, who was childless and had developed a serious illness.

And just as it is with many mothers, this woman was so consumed with taking care of her family that she failed to take care of her own needs. After all, that’s what most mothers do…. especially African American woman.  She was in survival mode and didn’t have the energy or the wherewithal to do anything other than to make sure that she took care of her responsibility to others. Unfortunately, the woman’s choice to neglect her health had far reaching consequences that she never expected.

One day in 2006, while talking to her oldest daughter on the telephone, her speech began to slur and she became confused.  The daughter became alarmed and insisted that her mother call 911. By the time the mother was taken to the emergency room, she had suffered a major stroke and a huge pulmonary embolism.  Her condition was so dire, she spent several months in the hospital.  The effects of the stroke left her partially paralyzed, very weak on the right side and unable to walk.  At the age of just 48 years old, this woman no longer was a caregiver. Instead, she became the one who had to be cared for. This story is very tragic, but it is more than that to me. It is personal.  You see, the woman that had the stroke is my mother and I was the daughter who was away at college.

These devastating life altering events led to my passion of health and fitness.  I began to educate myself and found that my own risk factors for obesity, high blood pressure and stroke are very high.  As I thought about my family members; my mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins…all are obese!

I had seen what high blood pressure could do to a person.  After all, my mother had never been treated for it because she refused to go to the doctor. And since she didn’t go to the doctor, her condition went undetected. High blood pressure caused my mother’s stroke.

I also saw what havoc obesity could wreck on an individual.  My youngest brother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure at the age of 12.  My mother refused to curb his overeating habits due to her misguided guilt over the dissolution of her marriage and her now disability.  She didn’t understand that she was not helping my brother by refusing to insist upon a healthy lifestyle.

I was determined to change this generational curse of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and strokes that haunted my family. I began to read everything I could about living a healthy lifestyle.  I began to eliminate various foods from my family’s diet and incorporate those foods that promoted health. We hired a personal trainer and he began pushing us to meet our goals of fitness.  Most weeks, I worked out 3 to 4 times a week.  However, my goals quickly changed when I saw my trainer’s girlfriend, who was a figure fitness competitor. When I saw her, I made a promise to myself that I was going to look just like her one day.

From that point, I began to train to be a competitor.  Working out went from 3 or 4 times a week to 6 to 7 days a week.  Instead of working out for an hour, my workouts were at least 2 hrs. Since I was small, my regimen was primarily weight lifting, hit cardio, and a strict diet. I placed second in my first all natural fitness competition.  I won 1stplace and overall in my 2ndfitness competition, which promoted me to professional status where I received my pro card as a Pro Bikini Fitness Competitor!

So when I walk that stage competing, winning a trophy isn’t the most important thing for me…what’s most important, is the commitment, discipline and determination that my kids see in me to live a healthier lifestyle in return a long fulfilling life. My prayer is that through competing I can break my generational curse for the future of my children’s children and their children.

For those who do not know my story, I have a blended family. My husband’s former wife died from a rare cancer and left behind three small children. I told my husband that I was dedicated to making sure that we were healthy so that, if possible, our children didn’t have to suffer through losing another parent to illness. I hope that my story inspires you to become a better and healthier you!

Genise N. Shelton

How to Eat Healthy Without Giving Up Sugar?

Written by Benjamin Roussey

After salt and fat, sugar is the big no-no in today’s diet charts. You are encouraged to bid adieu to of all types of sweeteners—table sugar, honey, maple syrup, refined flours, condiments,  fizzy drinks, desserts, even select fruits. 

The diet gurus are right. The excessive intake of sugars can cause obesity that increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart ailments, and certain cancers. 

The average American consumes as many as 20 teaspoons of added sugar every day! Though White Goodman at the end of Dodgeball was blowing that number out of the water. It is amazing how entertaining that movie was compared to ridiculous movies like Jurassic World, Thor III, The Force Awakens, and Neighbors II but this is another topic. 

Consequences of sugar-free living 

Giving up sugar altogether is far less effective than avoiding processed foods that contain excess added sugars. There is no scientific basis to abstain from sugar completely. In the worst-cases cenario, it can lead to fear of foods and other such health issues. 

The dieting mindset 

Having a list of what you can and cannot eat leads to creating a diet mindset. The people who have concerns about food—relating to weight or effect of food on body—are more likely to diet. 

The body’s resistance to diet

Research has proved that in the long term, dieting causes weight gain. The brain interprets diets as periods of famine and accumulates fat for future use. 

Dieting leads to stress because of which the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to fat accumulation in areas such as abdomen. 

Apprehensions about food can cause tension, fear, and depression, the primary symptoms of orthorexia—a condition similar to an eating disorder where the person obsesses over the merits of eating and not eating each item. An estimated 7% to 58% of the population may have this condition. 

Choose good food 

Fruits are fiber rich and dairy products have natural lactose which are both great for the body. Risks of cancer and osteoporosis increase in absence of fiber rich foods. The best alternative is to eat healthy. Plants, whole grains, and fruits are good for the body. Choose them over “sugar-free” foods. 

Millions of Hearing Impaired Could Benefit From This Breakthrough Drug

 Written by Benjamin Roussey
A loss of hearing is categorized as a public health epidemic in the US. This seems apt given the fact that at least 15% of the adult population is suffering from hearing loss, which is almost as bad as the economic situation going on in New York and California as those states continue to make the wrong decisions.

There are plenty of reasons why people start losing their hearing. It could be prolonged exposure to loud noise, a one-time occurrence due to standing right next to the loudspeakers at a rock concert, or a result of aging.Irrespective of the cause, the remedies currently available are cochlear implants and hearing aids. These are known as limited solutions as they cannot set right the damage caused to the inner ear nor bring back regular hearing capabilities. However, quite a few biotechnology firms are in the race to come up with a drug that can actually mend damage to the inner ear.

Decibel Therapeutic, a start-up based in Boston, Frequency Therapeutics founded by a pair of biomedical engineers, Swiss biopharmaceutical company Auris Medical, and Otonomy of San Diego, are some of the names engaged in pursuit of this wonder drug.

  • Decibel is looking at developing medication that can heal the damage caused to hair cells and neurons inside the cochlea or the auditory nerve. The company is also getting financial backup from Regeneron as well as access to its sophisticated research tools.
  • Frequency is focused on the search for small molecule drugs that can re-energize progenitor cells which are dormant to mend cochlear hair cells. The company has completed Phase 1 of the human study successfully and is likely to start on Phase 2 later in 2018.
  • Auris Medical is targeting redressal of tinnitus and hearing loss in the inner ear. Tinnitus is when there is a constant buzzing or ringing in the ears. The research is at an advanced stage of clinical development.
  • Otonomy, meanwhile, is using a three-point approach to the drug development. It aims at curing hearing loss caused by chemotherapy and earlier-stage hearing impairment which is often not pronounced enough to be detected on a hearing test. The third program aims at developing drugs to restore loss of hair cells.

It might take many years before these drugs are available for widespread use, but the progress being made is a definite ray of hope to the 360 million affected people across the globe.

 

 

Magic Leaf: The Aloe Vera Plant and Its All Natural Healing Properties

Written by Antwan Hamilton

Aloe vera plant is often a stemless or sometimes very short-stemmed juicy plant that grows around 60–100 cm (24–39 inch) in height and the offsets spread out wide. The leaves of this plant are thick and fleshy and the color varies from green to gray-green. This medicinal plant offers an influx of healing properties that will keep you physically and mentally young. The aloe vera plant has compounds such as mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones that are extremely beneficial for human health.This translucent gel is made up of around 96% water, some organic and inorganic compounds, a type of protein which contains 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body and lastly, vitamins A, B, C and E.

I personally make aloe vera shakes at least three times a week for myself and my kids. You want to take the leaf and slice it on the side all the way down with a small knife. Scrape the gel with a spoon into a blender and mix it with water. Im going to warn you the taste is very bitter. I usually blend mine with some type of fruit or orange juice. People often ask me about my youthful appearance and I direct them immediately to the leaf. Here are some health benefits from using aloe vera:

Boosts Immunity– When the blood is oxygen-rich, it automatically provides nutrients within the cells more proficiently. These healthy cells ensure your body’s ability to ward off infections, thereby strengthening your immune system.

Skin Care – after you have scraped the gel from the inside of the leaf for blending keep the leaves. At night before you sleep take the leaves and put them on the soles of your feet. Put a pair of socks on and while your’e sleeping the remainder of the gel will extract toxins from the bottom of your feet. You also have the option of rubbing the leaves on your face and body.This method will prove to be far better and more effective than many expensive skin creams on the market The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf helps diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions.

Weight Loss-According to Britt Brandon, the author of The Everything Guide to Aloe Vera for Health, “Aloe vera can improve the effectiveness of your diet and maximize your weight loss potential. With ample amounts of vitamins and minerals that contribute to weight-loss, as well as amino acids, enzymes and sterols, aloe vera ensures your diet is not only supportive of weight-loss, but also improves the body’s absorption and utilization, improving overall health as well as weight loss success.”It’s also an excellent source of protein so it helps muscle development and gives you abundant amounts of energy. As a matter of fact as soon as your’e finished ingesting it you can feel it working instantly. I try to make sure I’m at home at least an hour after consuming because it works very well as a natural laxative. It would suck to drink it and then take off. Trust me.

Treats Constipation-The use of aloe latex as a laxative is well-researched; the anthraquinones present in the latex create a potent laxative that increases intestinal water content, stimulates mucus secretion and increases intestinal peristalsis, which are contractions that break down food and mix the chyme

Reduces Inflammation– Most of us are already aware that inflammation is the general and leading cause to all diseases. Many people experience this through arthritis and what is called carpal tunnel. Aloe vera can easily replace many different pharmaceutical drugs to eliminate pain and swelling. In some studies, it’s been shown that people who consume aloe vera regularly experience a significant improvement in inflammation issues.

​As you can see this magical leaf takes pride in healing the body both inside and out. The benefits are limitless.You can usually find this leaf in the grocery store, international market, or anywhere that sells plants. This ancient leaf has been around for hundreds of years and is becoming more popular around the world because of its extensive healing properties. If you do decide to buy a plant the upkeep is minimal. The plant can survive temperatures of 40 degrees F and can easily be grown in a container indoors all year long. Aloe prefers plenty of sunlight but survives in light shade as well. So start dumping the pills and start your aloe journey to better health and a better you!

Best Calorie Burners to Boost Your Fitness in 2018

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Like every year, 2018 is no exception to fitness fads. From cryotherapy to electric stimulators that measure your activity levels as you work out, there is no dearth of premium priced fitness trends that have surfaced. However, the areas that have seen significant growth are those that have been around for quite a while.

• Basic body weight training notched up the most growth at 20%. This kind of training involves no equipment and comprises of squats, push-ups, and pull-ups.

• Aerobics follows close behind with various subsections recording notable increase in popularity. According to a survey by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, cross-training was up by 14% while high intensity interval training grew by 10%. Figures were higher by 9% for good old stair climbing.

• Treadmills are recapturing their popularity base among millennials while aquatic resistance workouts are the newest routine on the block for this age group. It is thought that aging baby boomers find water workouts uncomplicated due to vulnerable bone joints, thus making them popular.

• The focus is gradually shifting to low intensity training with a healthy dose of mindfulness. This has been fueled by the view that it doesn’t hurt to spend a little more time exercising than quick fire sessions.

• As a result of the preference for low intensity workout, Pilates and yoga are continuing on their forward march.

• Body bands used for stretching and bodyweight exercises are also doing well with this return to basics.

In an attempt to draw more clients, boutique fitness companies are coming up with attractive deals and offers. These include reduced rates in smaller cities as well as discounts of other kinds. The fitness industry is now focusing on the experience as a whole rather than just facilitating your exercise regimen.

Fitness studios offer a range of amenities such as state-of-the-art lockers, steam rooms, and saunas and with lower taxes Americans can do more things with their lives. Quite a few big names in the industry have also expanded into apparel with offerings being updated on a monthly and even weekly basis to counter the competition. It is now all about selling the workout and not just staying fit!

Disney Spends Millions to Make Hospitals Less Scary for Kids

Written By Aysha Chaudhry

Disney has always been a magical brand but they have a magical new cause! The media behemoth is using their famed “Imagineers,” the engineers behind Disney’s theme park designs, to re-invent hospital layouts so that they are less intimidating for the children staying there. They have pledged over $100 million for this global initiative.

Disney plans on incorporating their famous characters and stories into the hospital rooms and hallways to help ease stress, which can cause even more psychological and emotional damage to an already ill child. Interactive technology and customer-experience training are two of the biggest elements of the new plan and the first hospital to get the Disney treatment will be the Texas Children’s Hospital.

Combating Serious Illnesses With Bioengineered ‘Sonar’

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Medicine has reached a point where illness fighting microbes can be delivered deep into our bodies to fight the condition and inflammation caused by it. However, where do these microbe-sized warriors go? No one knows. There has been no way of finding out what these micro-agents are doing inside the body or how they are doing it. Until now!

Illumination with Sonar

A research team at the California Institute of Technology published a paper that tackled the lack of images and data in this situation. The experts regenerated the two most common bacteria – E. Coli and Salmonella, and integrated them with nano-sections of gas that act like sound waves underwater and produce ultrasound signals.

When placed inside a living being, these bacteria can be detected by ultrasound and reveal the precise location of microbes, just like sonar bouncing off underwater objects, explains Mikhail Shapiro, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Caltech.

According to Shapiro, there are many examples of genetically modifying a cell to go inside the body and treat the problem. Many companies are now receiving backing from investors to work on reprogrammed bacteria that can be used to detect gut inflammation or a tumor.

Mapping the Microbes

Nobody thought that these microbes could be mapped until the ultrasound, tissue-imaging method, was repurposed for this reason. Though no one thought The Force Awakens and Meet the Parents II were going to be that awful either. You never know how things are going to turn out!

So far, researchers monitored illness-fighting bacteria in the body by reprogramming them to glow in UV images. However, sometimes when microbes are buried deep inside the tissue, they are either blurry or not visible at all. Ultrasound makes it possible to precisely see these microbes as far as a hundred micrometers.

Shapiro and his research team members injected genetically re-engineered bacteria into the belly of mice. The results were far more specific, as compared to glowing bacteria that could only be located in the mouse’s stomach. Ultrasound picked up the precise location of gas-filled pouches in the mouse’s colon.

The researchers used the same experiment to map Salmonella bacteria that could be helpful in delivering cancer-fighting drugs directly to the infected tumor cells. This method can also be used to diagnose other illnesses in a non-invasive way.

Pack Your Diabetes Bag While On the Move

Written by Benjamin Roussey

For diabetics, there is a new acronym that is going viral – MSP, or Medical supplies, Sugar helpers, and Paperwork. The MSP is the magic bag of tricks that can quickly address sudden diabetes symptoms. Diabetics are familiar with the utter havoc that may occur due to unexpected blood sugar hikes or dips.

Consider these familiar situations if you are a diabetic: You have a busy day planned, and you suddenly feel acutely dehydrated; you are the life of a party, and the next moment you see yourself teetering towards a low mood; you are power walking your way to an active day at work, and you suddenly feel you are going to faint. These are the typical situations for a diabetic that can ruin an otherwise excellent day.

Well, with just a little bit of extra planning, you can navigate yourself around these annoying symptoms, and manage to get the best out of every day.

An MSP diabetes bag is your customized solution to give diabetes, or at least any unforeseen symptoms, the royal boot. First up are Medical supplies. It includes all sugar-regulating medication such as insulin shots with its props (sterilized needles or insulin pumps), metformin tablets, glucometers with test-strips, and a handy bottle of glucose tablets to immediately address those low-sugar driven faint spells.

Next up is Sugar helpers. A diabetic knows that a sudden burst of activity (or even lack of activity like a nap) can send their blood sugar screaming up, or even down. This is where it helps to have safe, diabetes-friendly treats to quickly disarm any alarm signals. Here, dry-fruit trail mixes, sugarless crackers and protein bars are top recommended snacks to address sudden hunger cravings without jeopardizing your sugar levels.

Lastly, a diabetic must carry a basic amount of Paperwork to help during emergencies. This simply lists out the medication you take (with prescription), a brief on your medical history (covering any allergies) and emergency contacts so in the odd event you do succumb to that fainting spell, the people around you are still equipped to get you immediate care.

As with all good solutions, the success of this simple MSP Diabetes Bag is up to you. With a little bit of awareness, discipline, and your own personal touch to the bag essentials, your MSP bag can be the best armor you need against unexpected diabetes symptoms. So the next time they catch you unawares, don’t panic. Just dip into your MSP bag for life-saving supplies.

10 Distinctive Health Benefits of Walnuts

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Walnuts are an ideal inclusion in the daily diet of anyone who wants to maintain salient heart health, prevent diabetes, and improve constipation.

Keeps Your Heart Healthy

Walnuts will promote the production of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in your body, which is excellent for your heart. A daily intake of about 25 grams of walnuts will reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Though this may not be a big deal to you if you are the guard to the street hoodlum lawyer in the show Breaking Bad! Your health apparently is not a concern to you.

Boosts Immunity

Walnuts will boost your immune system against both viral and bacterial infections. This unique food even has anti-cancer properties to help you stay free from that dreaded illness.

Enhances IQ

Walnuts are powerful nourishment for your mind. As they contain high amounts of omega-3 unsaturated fats, they will nourish healthy cerebrum cells and enable the elimination of degenerated cells in the brain.

Builds Healthy Bones

Omega-3 works quietly to build mineralization and increases your bone strength. Additionally, omega-3 combines with manganese to improve the long-term resilience of your bones.

Counteracts Gallstones

Studies have demonstrated that walnuts play a vital role in counteracting gallstones, particularly in females.

Fights Insomnia

Melatonin, which supports healthy sleep, is found in walnuts. Eating a modest bunch of walnuts before heading off to bed will help in having sound sleep and fight off insomnia.

Lessens Unhealthy Cholesterol

Walnuts contain phenols, vitamin E, Gallic corrosive, and other agents that work to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels in your body. And if you are that large guy stuck on the island in Lost, you know your cholesterol is too high!

Keeps you Energized

Walnuts are an amazing source of proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. They also contain healthy fats and fibers to keep your vitality levels up.

Reduces Constipation

Walnuts are a rich source of fiber. They are useful in easing the blockages in the stomach because of their diuretic impact, and address chronic constipation.

Promotes Weight Loss

Walnuts are a key source of polyunsaturated fats, and include the alpha-linoleic corrosive compound. It helps to improve metabolism leading to weight loss and maintain a healthy gut system.

3 Ways Pregnancy Messes You Up

Remember the days you used to sleep in, make #2 without interruption, and actually have time for a (gasp!) manicure?

 

If those days seem like a distant dream, welcome to motherhood (because those are the key symptoms of a new mommy). Now you’ve got a bundle of joy—who seems anything but joyful—wailing in your arms, and you can’t remember the last time you brushed your hair…or your teeth.

 

Aside from stretch marks and sleepless nights, here are three other lesser known ways pregnancy might have stolen some of your sanity, not to mention dignity.

 

Your hair falls out like you’re living in a horror movie

You pull that hair band out of your hair and-eek!—it takes everything in you not to collapse at the sight of all of those precious locks. Unfortunately, severe hair loss post-pregnancy is quite normal. Fortunately, your hormones will return to normal…and so will your hair.

 

You’re an emotional wreck

Thought the waterworks would disappear once you popped that baby out? Well, aren’t you in for a pleasant surprise? Because your body is still becoming acclimated to the change in hormones post pregnancy, don’t be surprised to see that the water show hasn’t abated yet.

 

You hear crying all the time…everywhere

Not only do you cry, but you hear crying constantly—everywhere. Even if it’s not your own baby…or even anyone actually crying (like the neighbor’s cat meowing). Are you going insane? Definitely not. It’s just called being a mom and constantly being alert for any signs of distress from your baby.

 

Yeah motherhood comes with a lot of baggage, but in the end look at the amazing investment you got in return. We promise once the initial post pregnancy period passes, you’ll enjoy many, sweet blissful moments that you’ll one day in the (what may seem like distant) future miss!