Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Aug 5

    When I went looking online for information regarding natural remedies for shingles and pain relief for shingles, I did not find a great deal.

    It seems that there are many ways that people experience shingles and it can manifest at any number of sites on our body which may explain why the experience is so diverse. Since I got my dose I have been told of people who have it on their leg, groin, shoulder, head and face. The most common site is on the torso, where mine is. One friend told me that he ended up in hospital on morphine for 3 days… and it took a week for the docs to discover what was wrong with him.

    I am writing this post to describe my experience and what I did to help myself (as well as what was suggested to me), in the hope that it may help others. However I do not wish shingles upon anyone.

    I had experienced a dose of shingles about 20 years ago. From memory it wasn’t that painful back then, just annoying. I thought it only occurred once. So when I was woken by an odd pain in my back, and then found a blister type thing on my torso the following day, shingles did not enter my thoughts. It started on a Thursday night, I thought I would get better over the weekend, and it didn’t improve.  I phoned the doctor on Monday but couldn’t see anyone until Tuesday.

    As I described my symptoms to the doctor, she said she thought she knew what it was, and then I showed her the blisters that had started to replicate, and she immediately diagnosed shingles.

    Skin rash  and blistering from shingles

    Day 3

    The shingles had begun the night of the 2nd July and I am still in pain today (it’s 5 weeks now). But it has eased off greatly. Initially, there was intense pain oozing all over my torso on the right hand side and there was no relief. How did the pain feel? I find it hard to describe as it is the worst pain I have ever experienced. I imagine it felt like I had been continually kicked and kicked and then the bruising was being kicked. The pain was all happening on the inside of my body. The pain takes different forms in a range of sharp needle-like pain to dull thuds. It moves around a lot, like a train leaving its tracks, from the front, back, side randomly. The pain has since subsided with a remaining tight feeling happening just beneath my right breast. That pain worsens in the evenings and the early morning.

    My skin looked awful but it was not itchy, sensitive or painful. I gently applied Firming Body Nourisher (a Usana Health Sciences product) daily. And I was told that coconut oil can be applied too. My skin is healing up beautifully.

    Pain relief for shingles

    I was told by the doctor who I saw initially, that I had presented too late (beyond 72 hours of the rash appearing) to be prescribed Aciclovir. Without any explanation, I was presented with a prescription for Nortriptyline HCL (an anti-depressant), Paracetamol and Ibuprofen.

    Meanwhile I was struggling to sleep due the pain in my torso. No matter what position I laid in, the pain was immense. Going to bed at night was not something I looked forward to. I was up several times at night taking pain killers. I stopped taking the Nortriptyline HCL because it made no difference. I ran out of Paracetamol and Ibuprofen and ended up taking OTC Nuromol (a combination of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol) plus my husband’s Gabapentin CA. It was the Gabapentin that helped me get to sleep, but I would still wake at 2am, 4am and 6am seeking pain relief.

    Natural remedies for shingles

    So that was the story with pain relief. But me being me, I was also after a natural remedy to help heal.

    I contacted my very good friend (an experienced and highly knowledgeable holistic doctor)  Dr Bernard Willis and he suggested that I get some IV Vitamin C and B12 injections.

    I found a doctor who would give me the IV Vitamin C and who also prescribed me Aciclovir (he said it would still help with the shingles). He also advised me to take L-Lysine – which inhibits the replication of the herpes zoster virus. After 3 lots of the IV vitamin C over several days, I was released.

    Note: If you are unable to find a doctor who will administer IV Vitamin C, then you may wish to order Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C  a high dose oral vitamin C available from

    (Dr Willis also suggested the following to me:
    use masses doses of vitamin C,up to 20,000mg orally ,or 50gms IV if poss,
    with sublingual B12 5-10,000mcgm daily
    with thiamine 1800 mg daily
    plus capsaicin cream locally.
    Useful drugs are gabapentine, amitryptiline and tegretol.)

    During that time I had started chiropractic treatment for another matter. Dr Rosina Walker at Hawke’s Bay Chiropratic mentioned that aloe vera juice (one cup daily) was meant to be soothing for shingles.

    Another friend mentioned a warm honey drink to help heal skin, and to increase vitamin D3 dosage to deal with the virus. Another friend suggested a homeopathic remedy. It was also suggested to try turmeric for pain relief. Another suggestion was “Body Talk“.

    I had already increased my Vitamin C intake, as well as my trusty favourite, olive leaf. I also added in a new immune support product from Usana Health Sciences. And continued to take my usual daily supplements.

    I began what Dr Bernie Willis had suggested – 2 or 3 vitamin B12 injections daily until the pain has gone. Getting the B12 vials was a challenge. Even though they can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription the pharmacists were reluctant. I did get them, and my poor husband injected me (they do sting going in).

    In Summary

    No-one could tell me how long I would take to recover from shingles.

    Pain relief is a matter of trial and error.

    Natural remedies may or may not work.

    The knowledge I have since gained would have been more helpful to me at the very beginning.

    As I have recently moved areas, I have not found a holistic doctor in my locality who would carry out my instructions (I thought I had found one, but he did not 100% comply).

    I have not found a time line for shingles e.g. how long the virus attacks, how long to recover, how to prevent.

    Read more

    Surviving Shingles by Chris D Meletis

    Tips for managing shingles

    Natural Treatments for shingles (including what foods to avoid)

    Shingles Pictures Slideshow: A Collection of Photos on Shingles

  • Oct 28

    Is a low carb high/healthy fat diet (LCHHF) a healthy option? Diets are always big news.  From Scarsdale, Atkins, South Beach, Ornish, Zone, flexitarian, pescatarian, and paleo ….

    But shaking up the diet world this year is the idea that fat is healthy; grains and sugars are unhealthy. For as long as I can remember, there are continual contradictions in the media about what we should be eating.  It becomes very difficult to work out who is correct. On the one hand we have the Heart Foundation and the Dietitians Association telling us that we should be eating wholegrains and low fat food, and then on the other….

    When I was in my twenties, I became a vegetarian for five years – not out of concern for animal welfare, but because I lived in England and meat was expensive. Then I met Simon, who came from a sheep farm in New Zealand, and for a while we alternated vegetarian and meat meals until we had our first child.  From then on, we roughly followed the so-called Mediterranean Diet – meat, veggies, fruit and whole grains.

    However this did not serve us well. We both started becoming larger. And my husband suffered a minor heart attack at the age of 47. Once I hit 50 years of age, I was very unhappy about my size and wasn’t cheered by my husband telling me that it was because I was getting old!

    Then in July 2012, we changed to a Low Carb HEALTHY Fats diet.

    After my husband had undergone a five bypass heart operation (and was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2), we both began following Dr Steven Gundry’s program “Diet Evolution”.  In hospital the dietitian gave the same old advice which was to eat whole grains and low fat foods (ref:Low carbohydrate diets: going against the grain). Which we ignored because that’s what we had been doing, and it hadn’t stopped my husband getting heart disease and diabetes type 2.

    My husband has since reduced his weight by 20 kgs and I have dropped from a size 14 to size 12. We both feel well and my husband’s blood test results are continually improving. We both have always thought we had a healthy diet, but it wasn’t until I stopped eating my wholemeal bread sandwich for lunch (which I thought I could get away with) that I started to lose my “wheat belly” and my sticking out backside. We haven’t had to do a whole lot of exercise either – we both walk (and could do with lifting weights).

    Some of the “problems” we experienced and our solutions:
    Constipation – we increased our magnesium supplements, took probiotics and ate fermented foods (constipation is due to the previous damage caused by the fibre in grains).

    I wasn’t losing weight initially – I got my tape measure out and found that I was dropping inches before pounds. I had about 5kgs that I wanted to release, and eventually over about 6 months that occurred.

    Low thyroid – fortunately I was able to get treatment for a low thyroid before embarking on our new eating programme. I would have found it difficult to reduce weight if this hadn’t been resolved (ask your doctor to be tested).

    Low blood sugar – My cousin’s husband was taking medication for high blood sugar. Unfortunately he was not monitored by his doctor and suffered a scare when his blood sugar became extremely low. If you are taking blood sugar and/or blood pressure medication, be sure to continually monitor with your doctor as you may need to decrease your medication.

    We have stopped eating low fat foods, cooked root vegetables, all grains, all sweeteners. We have very rarely eaten processed foods and very little take-away foods. We eat heaps of fresh veggies as well as healthy fats –  avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil; and a small amount of animal protein. We do have to continually read labels on food products like dried herbs, spices and chili sauce to watch out for added wheat and sugar! We eat fruit very occasionally, and Simon is a big fan of fresh lemon juice (which is “allowed”). Food is now interesting and nutritious.

    More and more evidence is pointing to how our high grain/high sugar diet is causing major health issues and obesity. It’s not how much we are eating, it is what we are eating. There are now many studies pointing out that our diets need to change. My husband is a dentist and is also aware of the damage that the current dietary guidelines have on our oral health.

    Since we changed to a low carb healthy/high fat diet my husband and I do not have the cravings, the hunger pains and the blood sugar swings that we used to have, and we have heaps more energy. Take a look as you walk around the streets at the damage our current dietary guidelines are doing to people.

    Get familiar with the science – read the books (I have read the books listed below) and watch the videos to learn what Dr Steven Gundry , Dr David Perlmutter (Video 1 and Video 2), Dr Jeff Volek and Dr William Davis and so many other health professionals have to say about the recommended food pyramid.

    Suggested Reading:
    Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution: Turn Off the Genes That Are Killing You and Your Waistline (read my review here)

    Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health (read my review here)

    Wheat Belly Total Health: The Ultimate Grain-Free Health and Weight-Loss Life Plan

    Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers

    The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet

    Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life

    Other resources:
    Prof Grant Schofield
    Sugar: Hiding in plain sight – Robert Lustig (video) 
    Saturated Fat Phobia Lacks Scientific Basis – Dr Joseph Mercola
    Chef Pete Evans (for paleo recipes) and The Paleo Mom

    Christine Cronau – Author of The Fat Revolution

    Diet Evolution friendly recipes on my Pinterest page.

  • Sep 4

    What does it take to release weight? Do you have one of these at home?  For years I have been wishing for my husband to downsize, and instead he just kept on piling on the weight.  It wasn’t that he ate junk food, it was more that he ate too much meat, too many relishes, sauces and chutneys, and too much food generally. Combine that with lack of exercise, and slowly a health scare began forming.

    (He also takes advanced quality nutritional supplements that include heart healthy CoQ10, Omega-3 and magnesium plus others. But that’s not all that is required for prevention: 10 Healthy Aging strategies).

    He didn’t tell me that over the last 15 months he had been experiencing angina upon exertion.  But I did know that he was putting himself at risk of becoming diabetic (and it was getting very challenging finding size 3XL shirts).

    What does it take to release weight? The bingo experience.

    It took the death of his much-loved 55 year old cousin (a sudden fatal heart attack) in May this year, to wake him up (not his wife’s nagging…).  He contacted his cardiologist and told him to forget the treadmill, take him straight in for an angiogram. And the results were grim.  As the cardiologist said, ‘a bit of mischief has been going on’ (my husband had two stents placed in 1997 so was on the heart watch list).

    Four weeks later it was into hospital and 5 bypass grafts were performed.  (If you know anything about bypass operations, they do not perform a graft unless there is a 70% or more blockage.)  For the next 7 days, the pain of recovering began.

    Back home again and then a visit to the GP’s nurse to check the stitches and get a blood test done.  Diabetes Type 2 was diagnosed.

    30/7/2012 Blood test results:
    Total Cholesterol 5.8 mmol/L
    HDL: 0.87 mmol/L
    LDL: 3.8 mmol/L
    Chol/HDL Ratio: 6.7 (high)
    Triglyceride: 2.5 mmol/L (high – normal < 2.0)
    Glucose: 8.0 mmol/L (High – normal 3.5 to 7.7)
    HbA1c: 56 mmol/L (high – normal 20-40)

    Meanwhile, I had recommended that hubby reads a book – Dr Steven Gundry’s Diet Evolution.

    Bingo!  The time has come to release weight. Now he is on a “no grains, starchy vegetables, sugar and fruit” regime.  And boy, is it working!  The day of the operation he weighed 125 kgs and now he weighs just under 113kgs.  In less than 6 weeks. He has found it easy to do because he enjoys growing and eating vegetables, and importantly he doesn’t feel hungry. Here is a list of Heart Healthy Food Groups.

    We are now waiting for next set of blood to be taken and tested. (Last weekend he had a home blood sugar test done and his result was 6.3 – normal!).

    “The research actually shows that it’s the sugar and grains (which turn to sugar in our bodies) that cause high cholesterol as well as weight gain and type 2 diabetes, NOT the animal fats. If you eat animal products along with sugars and grains, that *will* cause your cholesterol and blood sugar to rise.”

    And yet when we look at the food pyramid we have grains taking up the large portion.  What if we put vegetables where the grains are, and put grains in with the sugars at the top.  And how about including more healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and nuts in our diet? Do you think that would solve many of our chronic health issues?  I believe it would.

    “Apparently wheat causes all sorts of issues, even if you don’t have a known allergy or intolerance to it….or I guess, you just don’t realize it is wheat causing trouble.”

    When you visit the supermarket, how many aisles hold products based on wheat? – breads, biscuits, cakes, muffins, crackers, bagels, pasta, pizzas, cereals, ready made meals, sauces…wheat is everywhere – you could even say… “ingrained”.

    “Check out the book Wheat Belly by William Davis MD.  He says the (very) genetically modified strains of wheat used everywhere these days cause havoc worldwide with the human immune system which has not been able to keep up with the change in structure of wheat products.”

    “It’s interesting information at worst and very enlightening at best.  Dr Davis says going wheat free leads to weight loss, alleviation of things like diabetes, colitis and celiac disease, improvement in cholesterol, reduction of inflammation and arthritis pain.., and so on.”

    Meanwhile, I began supporting my husband on the 8th August by following the same eating regime. I do have about 5kgs that I would like to release, and I have been fighting a pot belly for the last 10 years. So far, I have released 1kg and 3cms from my waist – the pot belly is flattening out!


  • Sep 4

    I would normally be skeptical about a book with a title of “Wheat Belly” by Dr William Davis. As you would all know by reading this blog, I am a health conscious person with a healthy lifestyle and diet, but I was finding it difficult to shift about 5kgs of visceral fat.

    Earlier this year I read the fascinating book Diet Evolution by Dr Steven Gundry.
    Dr Gundry advocates removing all grains from our diet (“a healthy grain is an oxymoron”) and so I was open to what Dr Davis had to say about wheat.

    And after reading “Wheat Belly”, I took action! Within two weeks, my waist size dropped by 2 inches. And I am slowly releasing weight. I am following Dr Gundry’s recommendations, but it was the bread at lunchtime (I was in denial) that was putting the brakes on, and they are now off!

    I am a bit of a ‘how do the cells work’ person, and Dr Davis helped me to understand the role of cholesterol more thoroughly – I like the detail he gives on our body’s biology. This extract explains LDL particle size : how large LDL particles increase the LDL reading, but the large particles are healthier than the small particles.

    Last year, my Naturopath told me to go on a gluten-free diet – and I have done more than that and I am feeling great! (And for more information about wheat and gluten this is an interesting article by Dr Mark Hyman: “Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat“.)

  • Aug 27

    17 TIPS on How to Keep Your Skin Beautiful

    written by Bea Kinnear Your Skin & You 5th Edition.

    1. Your skin protects your body, but that’s not all. It’s the face you present to the world. When healthy, it’s a source of beauty. The choices you make every day — what you eat, where you go, how you feel — affect how your skin looks.

    2. Want good skin? Watch your diet. Higher intakes of vitamin C and a lower intake of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better appearance as your skin ages. Changing your diet will help your looks. Eat more fish, fruits, and vegetables to help protect against wrinkles and dryness in aging skin. To avoid breakouts, go for complex carbohydrates (like whole grains and pasta) and healthy protein. (Better still, remove all grains and sugars from your diet and be amazed by the results! Helen Wenley).

    3. Your anti-aging cream may contain vitamin C or E. Put these antioxidants to work from the inside, too. Eating foods rich in these vitamins, plus the mineral selenium, can help protect your skin against sun damage. They may even help reverse signs of aging, like wrinkles and skin discoloration. Taking high quality USANA vitamins should be the top of your list.

    4. Exercise benefits every part of your body — including your largest organ, the skin. Working out improves circulation, flushing toxins from your skin. Better blood flow also brings more oxygen and nutrients and may help your skin produce collagen, which staves off wrinkles. Don’t fret about sweat — exercise may actually help unclog pores. Wash your face right after a workout and avoid tight headbands, which can trap sweat and irritate skin.

    5. Burn the candle at both ends for a few nights, and you may see it reflected in your face: Effect dark circles under the eyes, pale skin, and puffy eyes. Getting 7-8 hours a night will keep your body and skin in top shape. It matters how you sleep, too — rest your face on the pillow in the same position for years, and you’ll get wrinkles where the skin is pressed against the pillow. Solution? Sleep on your back, if you can. (Although we realize you cannot control your body movements when sleeping)

    6. Stretch marks — 90% of pregnant women get them. They should fade after delivery. Weight gain can also cause them. Moisturizers might improve the appearance of stretch marks. Prescription Vitamin A creams or laser therapy can help. Acne is another common skin problem, caused by the extra hormones in your body. Your best bet for avoiding breakouts is to wash your face twice a day and use a mineral oil-free moisturizer. Ask your doctor before using any acne over the counter (OTC) products. (For acne: Again, remove all grains and sugars from your diet and be amazed by the results! Helen Wenley).

    7. Some women develop dark patches — melasma, or the “mask of pregnancy” — on their faces when they’re pregnant. An increase in melanin, the substance that gives skin its color, is responsible for these dark patches. Use makeup or concealer to help cover the dark spots. Melasma usually fades after delivery. Reduce pigment changes by wearing sunscreen at all times and avoiding the sun.

    8. Whether you were a sun worshipper in your teens or now catch some rays inadvertently while gardening, walking, or even driving, chances are your skin has sun damage. Some 90% of all skin damage is due to the sun. As your time in the sun goes up, so does your risk of skin cancer. Protect skin by always wearing sunscreen — even in winter. Hats and long sleeves help, too. Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when rays are strongest. (To be sure that you do not suffer Vitamin D deficiency, be sure to take a good quality vitamin D3 supplement. Helen Wenley)

    9. As you age, your skin changes. Your body doesn’t produce as much collagen, and the elastin that allows skin to spring back into place gets weaker. You don’t get rid of dead skin cells or produce new ones as fast. To boost aging skin, exfoliate to remove dead skin, use a non-drying soap, and moisturize often. Use an over-the-counter retinoid to reduce fine wrinkles or ask your doctor about a prescription version. Most of all, stay out of the sun.

    10. Caffeine in coffee and tea is dehydrating, so it may cause your skin to dry out. But a study found that when applied topically to skin, caffeine may help reverse sun damage and lower risk of some skin cancers — in mice, at least. Researchers are now trying to see if topical caffeine protects human skin, too.

    11. Too much alcohol is bad for your skin as well as your body. Alcohol is a diuretic; it causes the body to lose water. That can contribute to dry skin. It also dilates blood vessels. That’s why drinkers often have red, flushed faces — which makes rosacea worse. Over time, these blood vessels can become permanently damaged, so that skin stays red.

    12. Simply put, smoking is bad for your skin: It’s second only to the sun in causing wrinkles and dry skin. In fact, under a microscope you can see wrinkles in smokers as young as 20. Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin and contributes to the breakdown of collagen. Less collagen means more wrinkling. And yes, pursing your lips repeatedly encourages wrinkles, too. You can’t reverse the damage, but you can stop it by quitting smoking.

    13. Every day, your skin comes in contact with pollution — cigarette smoke, car exhaust, or smoggy air. Keep skin healthy by keeping it clean. Each night, exfoliate with a gentle AHA serum and toner to remove dead skin cells, cleanse with a gentle soap or wash, then apply a quality cream with moisturizers. (Oily skin still needs a moisturizer; look for mineral oil-free products.) Exfoliation might not be possible every night for those with dry/sensitive skin or sensitive skin, but exfoliation should still be done when possible to help the skin.

    14. Cold weather and wind bring on dry, flaky skin and can make eczema and rosacea worse. It’s not just the weather outside — dry heat indoors is harsh on skin, too. Fight back by using a humidifier at home, drinking lots of water, and applying moisturizer throughout the day. Remember the sunscreen when you go out.

    15. Want a tan? Get a safe one: use a bronzer or self-tanner. (But most don’t contain sunscreen, so they don’t offer any protection from the sun.) Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours. And unless you have persistently dry skin, switch to an oil-free moisturizer to avoid breakouts in humid weather. It’s a good idea to rinse off after being in the pool to get rid of any chlorine on your skin.

    16. It doesn’t take long on a plane for skin to start feeling dry and tight, thanks to low humidity in the re-circulated air. Have a travel plan for your skin that includes drinking water — not coffee or alcohol — and moisturizing before, during, and after your flight. Don’t wear makeup on the flight if you can help it. Keep Intensive Hand Therapy lotion in a clear plastic zip-top bag with your other carry-on items.

    17. Hollywood lives by it: Changing the lighting can change the way you look. Fluorescent lighting can make skin tone appear more red or yellow, while incandescent lighting softens colors and imperfections. Use mirrors with varied lighting to view your skin and makeup under different conditions. That way you won’t look overdone or sallow as lighting changes. You can go more dramatic at night, when lighting is lower.

    For Beautiful skin, use the Beautiful Science of Sensé, because Sensé just makes sense!

    Have a Sensé-tional Day!

    Your Skin and You by Bea Kinnear

  • Dec 7

    I have been immersed in Dr Gundry’s book ‘Diet Evolution’ for 2 days.
    Dr Steven Gundry is one more highly qualified medical specialist who is on the prevention (not survival) wave.

    Dr Gundry explains clearly how our genes work in relation to our need for food.  He explains why our genes have responded to our changed diets in our Western world, which has created so much chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, arthritis, strokes, diabetes). He advocates removing grains (eg flour and cereals) sugar and sugar substitutes from our diet, and to eat more raw food.



    The book is optimistic – it is possible to trick our genes into reversing chronic disease.  Dr Gundry provides patient testimonials of people of all ages – some with obesity and some ‘normal’ weight.

    Dr Gundry provides eating plans for each phase, as well as what I think is the most crucial – an eating plan for the rest of our life.

    Dr Gundry recommends that we eat meat that has grazed on plant food (not factory fed grain) to ensure that we humans get all the nutrients we need.  You may be surprised to learn that we not only get protein from meat – plant food contains protein too. He also advises topping up with nutritional supplements and provides dosage recommendations.

    This is a book for people who are serious about getting healthy for life and/or longevity because it does take dedication and willpower to change from our lazy habits.  But it is so worth it, because the people who have already made the change are not only enjoying true health, they have more energy and are getting more enjoyment from living.

    Watch this: 11 minute video of Dr Gundry explaining why he wrote the book. Dr. Gundry explains that he was once an obese heart surgeon with pre-diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

    Here are links to videos of Dr Steven Gundry:
    Contour Dermatology: Body, Mind, Spirit Seminar – Dr. Gundry (1/4)

    Contour Dermatology: Body, Mind, Spirit Seminar – Dr. Gundry (2/4)

    Contour Dermatology: Body, Mind, Spirit Seminar – Dr. Gundry (3/4)

    Contour Dermatology: Body, Mind, Spirit Seminar – Dr. Gundry (4/4)

  • Nov 2

    They Live Longer by Harry Mouratidis, MSc and Dr George Price, FRCPCHealthy Aging Resources

    Earlier this year, Harry Mouratidis asked me to review his book, They Live Longer – the secrets of healthy 90 year-olds. For anyone who is searching for the “elixir of life”, then this book certainly provides some answers.  Reading about people who are in the 90’s and 100’s and are still healthy, active and enjoying life is an inspiration.

    One of the main stand outs of this book for me is that most of the wonderful youthful nonagenarians who were interviewed have an engaging attitude – and I believe that it is mainly the strength of their beliefs that have kept them youthful for their age.

    As Harry states, synergy – the result of more than one factor certainly does have an influence.  A combination of a healthy diet, daily exercise, participating in their community and with their families, hard work, expectations, avoiding stress, being a master of your own destiny and positive thinking all does have an effect.

    The authors back up the delightful wisdom provided by the interviewees with scientific research – which provides the reader with the knowledge to incorporate into their own life. Included are the 7 steps of THE MASTER LONGEVITY STRATEGY.

    How many longevity factors can you tick? The Longevity Pyramid

    This book may be purchased from They Live Longer

  • Sep 11

    We do have to take care that what we believe is correct.  So to help you wise up, this article titled Thirty-one Skin Care Myths has been written by Bea Kinnear Your Skin & You 5th Edition.
    Your Skin and You by Bea Kinnear

    1. Facial exercises tone facial muscles and make a person appear younger.

    The face is the only part of the body where muscles are attached directly to the skin;  there are no facial ligaments and tissue. Constant facial exercise and tugging contribute to additional lines. Actually, wrinkles often form along expression lines caused by facial movements.  You would never want to do anything that moves the facial skin, or over manipulate the skin, especially as it ages.  It would create more wrinkling, increasing the loss of elasticity in the skin.²

    2. Vitamin E minimizes scarring.

    Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps build skin, but there is no evidence that it does anything to help with scarring. There is even some research that suggests it may have a negative effect on scarring.

    3. Cucumbers help reduce puffiness around the eyes.

    The principle ingredient in cucumbers is 90% water with the balance being inert fiber.  They can be soothing and, with moisture, hydrate skin temporarily. The same results can be obtained from a cold compress without the mess of the cucumber.  You are better off to eat it rather than put it on your face.

    4. Skin pores open and close.

    Pores are openings in the skin that allow oils (sebum) to reach the surface. If pores are larger, this can be due to dead cells, genetics or scarring from squeezing blemishes.

    5. The higher the skin protection factor (SPF) rating, the better.

    SPF ratings, soon to be revised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), only refer to protection from UVB rays. A person needs sun protection that has chemical and physical blockers, plus antioxidants. A higher SPF also gives a false sense of security and introduces more chemicals to the body. Plus, an SPF of 50 is only marginally more protective than a 40 or a 30SPF. Sunscreens need to be reapplied every 90–120 minutes.  People just don’t do that and pick higher numbers thinking it will give them more time in the sun with more protection.  Don’t forget sweat and water removes  sunscreen.

    6. Layering several products with SPF ratings increases protection.

    You are only protected to the extent of the higher rating of one product. A foundation with an SPF of 10, moisturizer with an SPF of 15 and a sunscreen with an SPF of 20 does not yield an SPF rating of 45.  In this example the SPF 20, if put on last, is the protection.

    7. Topical creams containing collagen can replace collagen.

    There is a lack of impartial, empirical evidence that the topical application of collagen or elastin can penetrate the dermis, even when using nanotechnology. They can provide moisturization to the epidermis, but only injections are conclusively effective.  Don’t always trust the advertising.

    8. Preservatives in skin care products are bad.

    Preservatives help prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and other organisms that can not only deteriorate a product’s effectiveness and spoil the product itself, but also allow harmful bacteria to get on or in the skin.  Checking out the preserving used is very important especially if the products are all natural or organic.

    9.  Packaging is not important.

    Packaging in skin care is vitally important—not for aesthetic reasons—but to protect the efficacy of the ingredients. Wide-mouth jars, transparent containers and pumps that are not airless all pose problems in keeping ingredients safe and potent.

    10.  Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.

    Eating chocolate does not cause acne. Hormonal factors, bacteria and skin cells are at the root of problematic skin, and stress can exacerbate flare-ups. Some individuals may have allergic reactions to foods  that could cause inflammation, as well.  The main key is controlling increased levels of the enzyme, 5-alpha-reductase that does or will produce excessive sebum in the pores.

    11. Natural and organic products are always better.

    Buyer, beware! Many natural and organic products are not as they claim. Plus, many times, active ingredients have to be synthesized to be bioavailable and efficacious.  Synthetic compounds can actually be identical to those found in nature and be more effective. Natural vs. laboratory-processed should not lead to an up or down decision about whether a product is good or bad. Not all chemicals are bad, and not all natural or organic ingredients are good.

    12. Using larger quantities of a product will yield better results.

    Less is more. Normally, a pea-sized amount of facial product will do the trick. Excessive amounts can cause your skin problems and waste money.

    13. Blackheads are  caused by improperly cleansed skin.

    Blackheads or comedones are caused by clogged pores, and excessive scrubbing can irritate and further inflame skin. Blackheads often contain, bacteria, oil, and dry and dead skin cells that need to be removed. Products that help dissolve sebum are the most effective.

    14. Drying problematic or oily skin clears up acne.

    The opposite is true. When skin becomes overly dry, an environment is created in which the skin is signalled that is too dry and produces more oil. Use drying products sparingly, and look to lightly moisture oily skin. The goal is to keep skin balanced.

    15. Get a base tan to prevent burning before going on vacation.

    Any tan is a scar, and there is no such thing as a healthy, safe tan. Self-tanners are the safest way to obtain tanned skin, if that is your desired look.

    16. All sun damage to skin occurs before 18 years of age.

    Sun damage continues to occur throughout life, although recent information suggests less than 50% of sun damage happens before a person is 18. ² It is never too late to protect your skin.

    17. Indoor tanning is safe.

    The argument that tanning beds and booths do not cause skin mutations that may cause cancerous lesions to develop is patently false. UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not need to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.  Tanning beds or lamps puts your skin within inches of the harmful rays.

    18. Antioxidants reverse wrinkles.

    Antioxidants are essential in fighting free radical formation and are important in helping prevent skin damage, but they cannot make present wrinkles go away.

    19. Skin damage and signs of aging can be cleared up quickly.

    If a product sounds too good to be true, you can bet its claims are false. The damage did not happen overnight, and it cannot be magically repaired. Expect at least three skin cycles—a cycle can be between 21–40 days, depending on age—to begin to see measurable results. 3

    20.  All alcohol in skin products is bad.

    Some compounds that contain alcohol can act as emollients, which can decrease the skin’s water loss. Cetyl, benzyl and oleyl alcohol are examples of good alcohols. It is important to know what comes before the OH in chemical compounds.

    21. Sun exposure will improve acne.

    Sun exposure can hide the appearance of acne for awhile, but will lead to skin damage, pigmentation and drying that signals the skin to produce more oil.

    22. Alcohol abuse can cause your nose to become red and bulbous.

    The intake of alcohol can temporarily dilate blood vessels and make skin appear flushed, but in most cases, a large, inflamed, red and bulbous nose is a result of rosacea.

    23.  Skin repair only happens at night.

    A good night’s sleep is certainly helpful to skin health; however, skin repair is ongoing. Inadequate sleep can cause stress, skin puffiness and can slow the natural development of collagen.  Although a well formulated night cream will assist is providing skin repair.

    24. Skin care products can last three or more years.

    Despite a number of claims to the contrary, most skin care products lose a great deal of their potency within 12 months. It is best  to use the entire contents within one year because preservatives do not last forever  and ingredients can get contaminated with bacteria, or they can evaporate.  Especially in jar lid type containers.

    25. Strong scrubs, soaps and abrasives are good for your skin.

    Be careful how you wash your face. Too much scrubbing or too many abrasive products can remove protective oils, create tiny micro tears and contribute to aging, irritated skin. Less is more, and a gentle detergent free cleanser and light moisturizer work well for most people.

    26. Vitamin A thins the skin.

    Actually, the reverse is true. Skin can become thin due to the lack of vitamin A because it helps to create new, healthy and normal skin cells. Vitamin A is arguably one of the most important skin care ingredient. It is one of the few—if not the only—ingredient that is backed by more than 50  years of objective, scientific research supporting its efficacy.

    27. The only form of vitamin C that works is L-ascorbic acid.

    L-ascorbic acid only remains in its most potent state for a limited time. A new era in vitamin C formulations, one of the best antioxidants for your skin, has arrived. There are several forms that have been developed that are not water-based, which means they can better penetrate the skin and remain more potent for longer periods of time.

    28. There is one antioxidant ingredient that is the best.

    Every year, there is a hot, newly discovered antioxidant that is touted as the best, but this is not true. A cocktail of antioxidants provides better results than just one. Seek products containing a plethora of antioxidants.

    29. Skin care products don’t need all those ingredients we see on the labels.

    An inert cosmetic product (no real efficacy) based on one or a couple of ingredients at the most turns out to simply not being well-thought-out.  Where would all the innovation be?  Where would all the efficacy be?  Where are the ingredients your skin needs to help it be healthy?

    30. All Chemicals are dangerous.

    Our bodies, themselves are composed of chemicals and everything we put in or on our body is composed of chemicals. With the right knowledge of chemistry, Cosmetic Scientists can find out which of these chemicals are safe, effective and actually good for us.

    31. Cosmetic Claims are Always True.

    As a consumer you need to be a “Super Detective”.  You need to look at all skin care product advertising as a super sleuth finding clues to a crime.  Why; because ads are not always honest about their claims or the impression they want planted for your mind to receive.  A classic example of this is a product “lifting” your skin.  No skin care cream anywhere can lift skin.  Only a plastic surgeon can do that for you.  Yet over and over again we see advertisements that will offer this or leave you with that impression as part of the creams name.  Some will come right out and declare their cream will lift your skin. That is not true or legal.  One would suspect they find the risk, the massive sales are worth the fines.  You will also see other bold statements that loose the wrinkles without the need of injections, or your eye wrinkles (crows feet) are gone in seconds.  They even show pictures to prove this!  They are not gone, the ingredients inflame the skin to swell and when that swelling has gone down the wrinkles are still there. As the consumer you need to be smarter than the Marketing Agency’s that get paid huge amounts to twist and fool the public with words of promise that public so wants to hear.

    “Separate Truth From Hype”

    Have a Sensé-tional Day!

    Bea Kinnear, Author

    Your Skin & You 5th Edition


    1. LS Baumann and J Spencer, The effects  of topical vitamin E on the cosmetic

    appearance of scars, Dermatol Surg, 25(4), 311–5 (Apr 1999)

    2. WF Berfeld, A lifetime of healthy skin: implications for women, Int J Fertil Womens

    Med, 44(2), 83–95 (Mar/Apr 1999)

  • Aug 14

    On the 5th May 2011 I find out that I have an ‘under-active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism). This post explains the program I embarked on to overcome my under active thyroid.

    Read my post: How to support your thyroid

    August 2012: I have since learned the following from Dr Steven Gundry 





    My symptoms (and there are many others): Being overweight and feeling the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand).

    I had no idea that my thyroid was not healthy, but once I found out it explained why I find it difficult to release weight (my metabolism was not working correctly).

    Program for under active thyroid

    The program I was put on involved taking my usual nutritional supplements (advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C, Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules) and adding in Iodral (iodine). Once the Iodral is finished, I have been advised to eat seaweed (add to food, sprinkle on salads) to keep up my iodine levels.

    I set a goal to walk for one hour every day using wrist and ankle weights (I did not achieve that every day – more like 4 out of 7 days due to the winter weather and other commitments).

    I ensured that I was drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily.

    I avoided products containing soy.

    Three months later and my thyroid is ‘normal’.

    This means that I now will find it easier to release the 10kgs of fat that has been clinging to my body.

    My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.
    I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.

    Update April 2013 – I am slowly getting closer to my goal weight of 64kgs, currently just over 67kgs.  I am finding that it very easy to keep to Dr Steven Gundry’s Diet Evolution program. I have dropped a dress size.  My ‘wheat belly’ has shrunk. I can wear skirts again because my backside has shrunk! I have heaps more energy and I feel very happy.


    April 2013

    June 2011
    June 2011


  • Jun 30

    How do we find out if our thyroid is healthy?  I had given no thought to this question so was surprised to find out that I have an ‘under active’ or ‘low’ thyroid (also called hypothroidism). Learn what you can do to support your thyroid health.

    According to Doctor Ray Strand, Hypothyroidism or under active thyroid occurs when the thyroid gland is destroyed or is not producing needed amounts of thyroid hormone. This condition has also been called myxedema due to the potential harm possible to the body when there is no thyroid hormone. Patients can become edematous (filled with fluid), weak and fatigued, intolerant to cold, experience abnormal weight gain, notice changes in their skin and hair, and may suffer from total body pain. They can also develop congestive heart failure as well as significant increase in their cholesterol levels.

    Learn more:  What does the thyroid do and where is it located?

    My main symptom is being overweight (which of course leads to other problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer), the other symptom is that I  feel the cold terribly (it is now winter in New Zealand). There are other symptoms so the best thing to do is to get screened.  (List of symptoms from the Mayo Clinic here.)

    There are two ways to get the health of our thyroid checked out – the usual way is by a blood test.  But this may not be as accurate as a Thyroflex test  – in this video, Naturopath David Holden explains the Thyroflex test.

    The other test that I had done was the VLA Test and that indicated that I need to exercise more to build up more muscle.  My healthy low-glycemic diet and the supplements that I take have kept me in good health – so the ‘only’ thing I need to work on is exercise.

    The nutritional supplements to support a healthy thyroid are advanced quality multi minerals/vitamins, vitamin D3, CoQ10, vitamin C. Plus “Iodral” with supervision from your doctor or Naturopath.  I also take a Calcium/Magnesium tablet, grape seed extract and omega-3 capsules.  I am ensuring that I am drinking 1 1/2 litres of water daily and avoiding soy products for the time being.

    My blood test results showed that my blood sugar levels are slightly elevated – again exercise is the key here too.

    The exercise I enjoy is walking (so much so, I have a website ‘Short Walks in Auckland‘), however I hate walking in the cold and wet of winter.  But I must get out walking every day for one hour – so I will.

    For sufferers of Hashimotos, Dr Steven Gundry suggests the following: “Most gluten free foods are made from corn, rice, and potatoes, all of which are lectins which contribute to Hashimotos. Please eliminate all grains, all peppers, potatoes, milk and milk products. You can have goat and sheep products. No pseudograins like quinoa! No Advil or Aleve. No stomach acid suppressants like Prilosec or Nexium. You will start to heal.”

    My goal is to release fat so that I can reach a healthy weight by Christmas Day 2011 and then I can wear a beautiful dress I have hanging in my wardrobe, that at present is too small for me.

    I am looking forward to letting you know when I have reached that goal.

    This is a photo of me on holiday in Australia last week:

    Healthy Aging Resources