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Category Archives: LifeCycles

Welcome spring with fresh seasonal superfoods

(image by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(image by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

As the darkness and cold of winter comes to an end, new life begins to flourish and revel in the expanding sunlight bringing an abundance of seasonal foods making even the local grocery market a shopper’s paradise.

Some of the healthiest foods are available at this time of the year and health-conscious shoppers are eager to fill their grocery carts with the delicious and wholesome bounty of spring.

A superfood is a food product that can be included in a meal or eaten by itself while providing supplement-like benefits and Health.com highlights their top 10 superfood choices for spring.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Making a joyful noise: The beauty and sounds of birds

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Springtime is almost here, and with it comes a variety of lovely birds joyfully singing in trees and building nests for their future young ones.

Many species of songbirds fly northward from faraway lands imbued with migratory passion.

Gracing humanity with their melodious symphonic sounds, North American songbirds call attention to the advent of springtime.

This predictable migratory event is fueled by their desire to find plentiful food supplies, suitable mates, and ideal nesting places for female birds to lay their eggs and tend to offspring.

According to Wikipedia, there are approximately 4,000 species of songbirds worldwide, with evidence suggesting they evolved over 50 million years ago.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

The promise of rebirth: Looking ahead to springtime cleaning

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

With spring’s promise of rebirth and new beginnings, few can deny the experience of pure joy created by seeing melting snow, blossoming leaves, or blooming flowers and hearing the sound of nature’s melody created by birdsong, croaking frogs, or the wind in the trees.

Spring’s warmer days and increasingly brighter sunlight brings with the anticipation that there are new possibilities for enjoying more of everyday life.

According to Dr. John Sharp, in The Emotional Calendar,, there is an increase in metabolism and turnover of the neurotransmitters of the brain during spring, which provides the basis for spring fever and an increase in energy.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Being purpose driven is good for mind, body and soul

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

What is your purpose in life? Finding one’s life purpose gives meaning to existence and the motivation to create goals which accomplish it. It is what makes us reach for the stars!

Researchers are finding that having a higher purpose in life, extending beyond mere day-to-day survival, has major health benefits and could also provide protection against many forms of dementia.

Discovering what a true calling and purpose in life might be has been perceived by Dr. Jonas Salk, published in The Center for Spirituality and Healing, as “essential for all living beings.”

In fact, Salk stated that, “To have no calling, no responsibility, no hopes or aspirations, is to be outside of life.”

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

February is Heart Health Month: Give your heart some love

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Valentine’s Day may be over, but your ticker still needs some loving care.

A human heart requires nurturing, attention and care if it is to be healthy and fully functioning.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both women and men in the United States.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, heart disease accounts for one out of every four deaths in the United States.

The proliferation of heart disease in the U.S. has been taken notice of by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, resulting in a plan of action to help eliminate it through the establishment of their Million Hearts initiative.

Determined to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. by 2017, they have begun their educational program with an emphasis on lowering blood pressure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention focus on the signs and symptoms which cause high blood pressure due to their belief that it is a major cause of heart disease.

Read more on Laurie’s at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Valentine’s Day: The gift of love

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Billions of people worldwide open their hearts while engaging in a variety of Valentine’s Day expressions of love.

February 14th is the traditional day, dating back to the Middle Ages, in which people from all over the world celebrate Valentine’s Day.

According to Wikipedia, it is thought that the first American mass-produced valentines were created and sold in the 1800’s by Massachusetts entrepreneur Esther Holland.

With her fondness for English valentines, replete with fine laces and floral designs, Holland sparked a revolution in the greeting card industry, setting new standards which led to an annual greeting card award given in her name.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Tasty ways to get your probiotics

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

Have you ever wondered what probiotics really are? Probiotics are “friendly” microorganisms which are similar to those naturally living in the human body. You can find them in many of the foods we love to eat, from yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup and even dark chocolate according to GlobalHealingCenter.com.

The trillions of friendly bacteria which exist in and on the human body are those bacteria our bodies depend on to help digest our food, produce some vitamins we depend on, maintain the health of our skin, inhibit the growth of bacterial pathogens, and numerous other tasks in the human microbiome. The word “probiotic” is derived from the Latin “pro,” meaning for, and “biota,” meaning life.

Probiotic literally means “for life.”

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Coping with the loss of a pet

image via Wikimedia/Rainbow Bridge Heaven/Maris Stella (assumed)

image via Wikimedia/Rainbow Bridge Heaven/Maris Stella (assumed)

You’re not just losing a pet when your furry and feathered friends pass away; you are losing a family member and the loss can be just as devastating.

Over 70 million pet dogs in the U.S. are a testament to the natural bond between humans and dogs.

According to a Japanese research team led by Takefumi Kikusui at Azab University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, dogs are the only animals that have a neurological connection to man.

It is believed that it is the result of thousands of years of co-evolutional human-dog-bonding.
Upon gazing into each other’s eyes, both human and dog produce the hormone oxytocin, which creates a feel-good response.

Very few humans could deny the pure joy experienced as their family dog barks for joy, wags its tail and generously supplies wet kisses upon their return home.

Dogs provide companionship, protection and unconditional love to those they consider their people.

Many dog owners believe that their canine is a member of their family and include him/her in their daily activities, outdoor adventures, special events, birthdays, holiday celebrations and family vacations.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Maintaining a healthy weight could prevent Alzheimer’s

Image via pixabay/Gerault

Image via pixabay/Gerault

There is a surprising link between being overweight in mid-life and early development of Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of a 14-year study known as the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), researchers from the National Institute on Aging evaluated the body mass index (BMI) of 1,394 volunteers, utilizing an estimate of what it would have been for each person at the age of 50, regardless of their BMI at the beginning of the study.

Every two years, each participant underwent cognitive testing.

At the end of the study, researchers conveyed the following findings, published by the National Institutes of Health and online in the Sept. 1, 2015, edition of Molecular Psychiatry.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Going gluten free doesn’t have to be boring

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(photo by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate)

If you are one of the millions of people affected by gluten intolerance there are alternatives that are not only tasty, but healthy that you can add to your diet. A trip to your local farmer’s market can provide inspiration for preparing gluten free meals.

Gluten intolerance is caused by consuming any product containing wheat, barley, rye or triticale.

Wheat additives also contain gluten and are commonly found in fresh and frozen foods, soups, breads, pastries, desserts, beverages, vitamins and medications.
There are two primary and more common forms of gluten intolerance–celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance.

Considered an autoimmune disease, celiac disease attacks the small intestines in response to the consumption of gluten.

Celiac disease is also considered the most common genetic disease affecting populations worldwide.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News