Improve the Health of All Americans with Healthy People 2020…

Healthy People 2020

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For 3 decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time in order to:

  • Encourage collaborations across communities and sectors.
  • Empower individuals toward making informed health decisions.
  • Measure the impact of prevention activities.

What is Healthy People 2020?

Healthy People 2020 continues in this tradition with the launch on December 2, 2010 of its ambitious, yet achievable, 10-year agenda for improving the Nation’s health. Healthy People 2020 is the result of a multiyear process that reflects input from a diverse group of individuals and organizations.


A society in which all people live long, healthy lives.


Healthy People 2020 strives to:

  • Identify nationwide health improvement priorities.
  • Increase public awareness and understanding of the determinants of health, disease, and disability and the opportunities for progress.
  • Provide measurable objectives and goals that are applicable at the national, State, and local levels.
  • Engage multiple sectors to take actions to strengthen policies and improve practices that are driven by the best available evidence and knowledge.
  • Identify critical research, evaluation, and data collection needs.

Overarching Goals

  • Attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
  • Achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.
  • Create social and physical environments that promote good health for all.
  • Promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all life stages.

Four foundation health measures will serve as an indicator of progress towards achieving these goals:

  • General Health Status
  • Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-Being
  • Determinants of Health
  • Disparities

It’s important for ALL Americans to know and understand how Healthy People 2020 can help the health and well-being of this nation.  For more information and details of Healthy People 2020, visit

We owe it to our families, friends and communities to learn and implement the topic of Healthy People 2020.

“Eat Healthy, Live Healthy”


My Top 8 Favorite Fresh Foods to Grill

The warm summer days are made for grilling.  When you think of grilling, most people think of hot dogs, hamburger, chicken, and steaks.  But it’s time to break out of your normal habits and try grilling something new.

1. Polenta

– Grilled polenta makes for a quick side dish or a perfect solution for vegetarians at your barbecue.  Cooked and cooled polenta can be cut into thick squares or rounds, brushed with olive oil and reheated for 3-5 minutes on each side on a very hot grill.  Top with bruschetta, pesto, or other veggies of choice and you have a savory treat.

2. Pizza Crust

– Believe it or not, the grill is probably the best appliance you have to make pizza.  The high, dry heat is ideal for turning a thin crust into a crisp and delicious base for your favorite toppings.  Place your dough on a clean, oiled and preheated grill.  Fire up the pizza crust for a couple of minutes until the bottom is brown.  With tongs, gently flip it over and grill for an additional 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and let it cool.  Top with your favorite ingredients and return to the preheated frill for about 2-3 minutes.

3. Salsa

– Spice up your store-bought salsa routine with a fresh, smoky homemade version.  Head to the grocery and pick up a few colorful tomatoes, jalapenos, a red onion, garlic, and cilantro.  Cut the veggies in half, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt, and toss them in a slotted grill pan.  Crank up the heat on the grill and let your veggies cook until they’re tender and charred.  Pulse them in a blender with a handful of cilantro until your salsa is the consistency you want.  Serve warm or cold with your favorite tortilla chips.

4. Peaches

– Peaches are a must for the grill, where quick cooking brings out juiciness and intensifies sweetness.  Start with peaches that are firm with just a little give when you gently squeeze them.  then, cut the peaches in half and pit them.  You can grill entire peach halves or cut them into wedges.  Cook them over a medium fire on both sides until grill marks show and the peaches are tender.  Serve as is, or turn the grilled peaches into a refreshing dessert by pairing them with coll yogurt, whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream.

5. Pineapple

– Grilling does wonderful things to pineapple.  It caramelizes the sugars, making it even more juicy and delicious.  Cut the fruit into spears and place them over direct heat for about 2-3 minutes per side.  You’ll know they’re ready when they are tender with a golden brown color.

6. Tofu

– Tofu is another go-to option for a vegetarian or vegan cookout.  it’s low in fat, high in protein, healthy and tasty.  When barbecuing tofu, you’ll always want to make sure it’s well-pressed before you start.  Flavor the tofu in your favorite marinade for at least 30 minutes before grilling.  And don’t forget; Tofu tends to stick to grills, so prepare your barbecue with a non-stick cooking spray.

7. Romaine Lettuce

– Want to change up you Caesar?  Rinse and pat dry a head of romaine, and cut it in half lengthwise.  Brush the surface of your grill with olive oil and place the lettuce over the heat for about 4-5 minutes total, turning occasionally.  With a little freshly grated Parmesan, this is an excellent way to start a summer meal al fresco.

8. Asparagus

– Nothing beats the flavor of asparagus coated in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and/or your favorite seasonings, and quickly grilled.  The smoky flavor.  The char marks.Tender but still with a little crunch.  These are seriously good.

It’s time to get grilling and try something new!!!

“Eat Healthy, Live healthy”

Treating your Thyroid Naturally..

Recently I posted an article regarding hypothyroidism and how it affects your metabolism.  I have had a request for information on remedies for hypo and hyperthyroidism.

These remedies may not cure the disease but they are known to help treat it.

Treating Hypothyroidism

  •  Eliminate Soy: Soy suppresses thyroid function, imbalances hormones and has been shown to cause goiters (an enlargement of the thyroid gland) in previously healthy individuals.
  • Adhere to an Alkaline Diet: This is extremely helpful when curing any chronic disease.  Use a pH food chart to guide you on alkaline/acidic foods.
  • Balance Estrogen Levels (Women): Excess estrogen slows down the thyroid gland.  This means eliminating birth control medications, increasing the fiber in the diet, and avoiding all non-organic meats.  Growth hormones in meats lead imbalance in the hormones.  Reduce dairy intake, because milk often contains lots of estrogen; primarily because cows are milked frequently during pregnancy.
  • Exercise: Without regular exercise, optimal health can never be reached.  Find a physical activity that you enjoy, and do it often.  Exercise could cut your treatment time in half.
  • L-Tyrosine: Tyrosine is a natural amino acid which helps the body produce its own thyroid hormone.  This is also known to help with the depression, which usually accompanies hypothyroidism.  Most naturopaths recommend 500 mg. taken 2-3 times day.
  • L-Arginine: Arginine is known to stimulate the thyroid and its hormones. It also improves immune function, improves fertility, and alleviates erectile dysfunction.
  • Avoid ALL SOURCES of Fluoride:  Fluoride suppresses the thyroid, and is likely to be the leading cause of hypothyroidism.  Drink spring water, avoid soft drinks, use fluoride-free toothpaste, use a shower filter, and throw away your non-stick pans.
  • Eat a natural diet:  To help your body to heal itself, you need to remove strains on its immune system.  This means that all processed foods, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, white flour, white sugar, “table” salt, hydrogenated oils, aluminum, high fructose corn syrup, and etc. should be eliminated from the diet.  Organic food is always the ideal.  Do not trust marketing that reads “All Natural”, because this phrase is unregulated, and thus anyone can use it for practically anything.  Read the ingredients to verify.
  • Iodine: The thyroid needs iodine to function properly, and lots of people now suffer from iodine deficiencies.  This is especially an important precaution for those with Hashimoto’s.  Iodine can be found in may foods, such as cranberries, organic yogurt, organic navy beans, and organic strawberries.
  • Pears: The ancient Chinese discovered that pears have a powerful tendency to balance hormones; especially in women.
  • Red Marine Algae: Red Marine Algae will increase your iodine intake safely.
  • Zinc and Selenium: Studies indicate that severe zinc or selenium deficiencies can cause decreased thyroid hormone levels.  Never take zinc on an empty stomach.
  • Coconut Oil: You should buy organic, cold pressed, coconut oil from a health food store.  Take around 1 teaspoon of it daily.  You can also use it to cook with, but be warned that it smokes at low cooking temperatures.  Unlike most modern oils, its smoke is not poisonous.  Coconut oil speeds the metabolism, encourages production of the thyroid hormone, and kills candida.
  • Avoid Canola Oil: Canola oil interferes with the production of thyroid hormones, amongst its many other dangers.

Treating Hyperthyroidism

  • Cruciferous vegetables:  Increase the intake of cruciferous vegetables. Foods like cabbage, cauliflower, kale, turnip and broccoli are also termed as goitrogenic foods since they interfere with the body’s ability to utilize iodine effectively. These foods would reduce the utilization of iodine and thereby aid in reducing the excessive production of thyroid hormone, responsible for hyperthyroidism.
  • Goitrogens:  Millet, Sorghum, Soy and Cassava also act as goitrogens and block the availability of iodine.
  • Zinc:  Zinc supplementation is crucial especially in individuals suffering from hyperthyroidism. Overactive thyroid gland tends to deplete the zinc content in the body. Include foods like garlic, almonds. Peanuts, walnuts and pumpkin seeds in your diet. These foods are loaded with zinc.
  • Calcium:  Calcium supplementation is also important among individuals with hyperthyroidism. Increase the intake of prunes, dates, figs, turnips, sesame seeds which are good sources of calcium. Avoid diary food products.
  • Vitamin E and C:  Vitamin E and Vitamin C are powerful antioxidants that can help fight oxidative stress and help in effective management of hyperthyroidism.
  •  Canned and processed foods:  Avoid canned and processed foods. These foods are loaded with chemicals, coloring agents and preservatives and tend to interfere with the normal production of hormones in the body.
  • Refined foods:  Avoid refined foods like refined flour, white sugar, trans fats and pasta.
  • Iodine:  Avoid foods that are high in iodine content namely seafood and certain medication. Limit the intake of iodized salt, instead try using sea salt or non fortified salt.
  • Drinks:  Avoid tea, aerated beverages, alcohol and coffee. These foods interfere with the absorption of vital nutrients and further complicate the problem.

“Eat Healthy, Live Healthy”

The Power of Papaya

Once called “the fruit of angels” by Christopher Columbus, the papaya is the USDA’s featured fruit for the month of June. Learn a little bit about why this fruit is so amazing!


There are several types of papayas. In the U.S., we typically see the Hawaiian papayas in our grocery stores. The Hawaiian papaya is approximately one pound, whereas the Mexican fruit can weigh up to 10 pounds!


Papaya is one power-packed fruit, offering benefits to your whole body.

· Antioxidants. Papaya is known to be rich in antioxidants and can benefit the immune system because of its high levels of vitamin A      and C.

· Fiber. High-fiber fruit can help improve cholesterol. One cup of chunked papaya contains 2.5 grams of fiber.

· Enzymes. The papain enzyme, found in papaya, aids in digestion. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect that speeds up the healing process.

How to Eat It

First, you should wait for the papaya to ripen fully so that it offers the most antioxidants. Papaya can be added to anything to give your meal a boost. Some suggestions are:





Papaya is a great treat and fantastic when added to any dish or meal.

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“Eat Healthy, Live healthy”

Your Thyroid and How it Affects Your Metabolism

If you have been reading my blogs and have read my “About Wendy” page, you know that I have medical conditions that I deal with on a daily basis.  The medical condition that I have been dealing with most lately is my hypothyroidism.

If you have a thyroid condition whether “hyper” or “hypo”, you know when there are changes that have occurred.  I have been working out faithfully for the past two months and have been eating healthier and watching what I eat now for several months, not losing a single pound (actually gained).  I have also been feeling more fatigued, muscle fatigue and weakness, anxiety, and been having mood swings.  So, I decided “Wendy, you need to get to the doctor and have your thyroid levels tested because something is definitely not right”.   Well, I was correct!!   The doctor’s office called me today and my thyroid levels are too low again and they need to increase the dose on my medications.  SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!!  Because the thyroid affects your quality of life and I’m struggling with mine right now, I have decided to talk about it.

Thyroid 101: What is the thyroid and what does it do?

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the front of the neck just below the Adams apple. The gland wraps around the windpipe (trachea) and has a shape that is similar to a butterfly formed by two wings (lobes) and attached by a middle part (isthmus). The thyroid gland works like a tiny factory that uses iodine (mostly from the diet in foods such as seafood and salt) to produce thyroid hormones. These hormones help to regulate the body’s metabolism and effects processes, such as growth and other important functions of the body.  Picture of the thyroid gland

The two most important thyroid hormones are thyroxine (T4) andtriiodothyronine (T3), representing 99.9% and 0.1% of thyroid hormones respectively. The hormone with the most biological power is actually T3. Once released from the thyroid gland into the blood, a large amount of T4 is converted to T3 – the active hormone that affects the metabolism of cells throughout our body.

What signs and symptoms can occur if thyroid function is affected?

If the thyroid is under-active, symptoms of hypothyroidism may occur. The signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism vary widely, depending on the severity of hormone deficiency. Some of the complaints experienced by patient’s with hypothyroidism include:

  • fatigue
  • mental fogginess and forgetfulness
  • feeling excessively cold
  • constipation
  • dry skin
  • fluid retention
  • non specific aches and stiffness in muscles and joints
  • excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
  • depression

Hyperthyroidism is suggested by a number of signs and symptoms. Patients with mild disease usually experience no symptoms. In patients older than 70 years of age, the classical manifestations may also be absent. In general, the symptoms become more obvious as the condition worsens. The symptoms are usually related to an increase in body metabolism. Common symptoms are listed below:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Heat intolerance
  • Increased bowel movements
  • Tremor (usually a fine shake)
  • Nervousness; agitation
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased concentration
  • Irregular and scant menstrual flow

Weight Loss is Regulated by the Thyroid

The thyroid gland is the primary regulator of your body’s metabolism. If it does not function properly people can have weight loss as well as weight gaining issues.

It plays a distinct role in maintaining body temperature, can adjust the metabolic rate of every cell, controls neurotransmitters in the brain altering your moods, appetite, behavior and emotions.

When the thyroid isn’t doing its job, many people have significant hair loss, or feel cold even though it is warm.  When emotions aren’t regulated the result is often depression, forgetfulness, irritability and weight loss problems.

An underactive thyroid can’t regulate your body’s rate of metabolism and you become overweight, suffering with weight loss problems, even if you only eat a little food. If you have an underactive thryroid, without treatment weight loss seems hopeless.

Weight loss isn’t possible when your metabolism slows to a crawl.  You feel fatigued, and your mind acts like it is in a fog.

Most people do not realize how much thyroid imbalance can effect and change their quality of life.  If you are one of those who has struggled with weight loss for many years, you may find relief when you get the proper hormone testing.

So, my suggestion is….  If you have any of the above listed symptoms, I recommend you making an appointment with your physician to make sure that your thyroid isn’t awry.  I look forward to feeling myself again in the near future and hopefully I will start losing the unwanted pounds again.  

If anyone has any suggestions regarding the thyroid and/or thyroid diseases, nutrition related, other symptoms, treatments, etc please post a comment below.  Comments are always welcome!!!

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Have a fabulous day and as always,

“Eat Healthy, Live healthy”

A Collective Call for Higher Vitamin Intake


In 2002, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) began advising all adults to take multivitamins to help prevent such common chronic illnesses as cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

“Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone. It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements,” according to the JAMA statement. “Recent evidence has shown that suboptimal levels of vitamins, even well above those causing deficiency syndromes, are risk factors for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and osteoporosis. A large proportion of the general population is apparently at increased risk for this reason.”

JAMA’s recommendation that all adults take multivitamins underscores the growing concern that the recommended amounts for many vitamins are set too low.

Getting the 411 on RDI

RDI, or Reference Daily Intake, is a set of nutrient reference values that show adequate intakes for healthy people. The RDI has replaced the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) in the United  States and the Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) in Canada.

Experts Weigh In

Many researchers think the RDI, which generally recommends higher nutrient amounts than the old RDA, is still too low and doesn’t reflect current research.

For example, the Independent Vitamin Safety Review Panel (IVSRP), which includes physicians, academics and researchers, says: “Government-sponsored nutrient recommendations, such as the US RDA/RDI, are not keeping pace with recent progress in nutrition research. While current official recommendations for vitamin A, iron, calcium, and some other nutrients are generally adequate, the public has been asked to consume far too little of many other key nutrients. Inadequate intake, and inadequate standards to judge intake, have resulted in widespread nutrient inadequacy, chronic disease and an undernourished but overweight population.”

Citing physician reports and clinical studies, the IVSRP continues: “Clinical and sub-clinical nutrient deficiencies are among the main causes of our society’s greatest healthcare problems. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, and other diseases are caused or aggravated by poor nutrient intake.

The good news is that scientific evidence shows that adequately high consumption of nutrients helps prevent these diseases. Raising the RDA/RDI will save lives and improve health.”

Setting a New Standard

The IVSRP called for a new standard called an Optimum Health Requirement, which recommends increases in daily intake of certain nutrients, particularly the B vitamins, vitamins C, D and E, and the minerals magnesium, chromium, selenium and zinc.

“In the past, over-conservative government- sponsored standards have encouraged dietary complacency,” the Panel says. For adequate vitamin and mineral intake, a healthy diet along with the intelligent use of nutritional supplements, is “more than just a good idea; it is essential.”

Vitamin E is a prime example. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has  established an upper intake level of vitamin E much higher than the current RDI. So what are the benefits of a higher vitamin E intake? Vitamin E functions as a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to aid in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation and immune enhancement.

Physicians are paying attention. Did you know that 72 percent of physicians personally use dietary supplements? Obviously, supplementing with highquality nutrition based on the latest science is an ideal prescription for health.

Nutrition Made Simple

Relìv products are formulated to give you optimal amounts of key nutrients. Together with proper diet and exercise, supplementing with Relìv provides the ideal support for an active, healthy lifestyle.

Relìv Stands Up for Quality, Safety and Optimal Nutrition

Nutritional supplements were recently in the news, but unfortunately it wasn’t a flattering portrayal. A magazine pinpointed certain ingredients that could be dangerous. It also claimed many supplements were “contaminated” and that the FDA has not inspected supplement factories in China.

Other articles have commented about the levels of nutrients in supplements: Some claim they’re too high to be safe; others claim the potency levels in the product are lower than what is stated. I’d like to address where Relìv stands in the nutrition arena that sets us apart. Let’s start with our manufacturing. Because we own our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, we are able to ensure product purity and potency in every can. We maintain tight quality control start to finish.

Relìv products contain only guaranteed quality ingredients that come from the most reputable suppliers. When ingredients come to our facility, they are quarantined and undergo rigorous testing before they are used. They are tested again at each step in the manufacturing process.

Another Relìv difference is that we strive for optimal nutrition in our products beyond minimum daily requirements. Optimal nutrition includes standards developed by researchers who have shown that higher levels of key nutrients are essential to good health. We select these nutrients to work synergistically to be the most effective. In fact, many of our products have clinical studies supporting their effectiveness.

Backed by strong science and unwavering ethical standards, you can feel confident in Relìv products — now and in the future.

Reliv offers great products to assist with your health and nutritional goals.  If you are interested in vitamin supplements, weight loss products, or disease specific products, you can visit!reliv_products/c1mhs for more information.

“Eat Healthy, Life Healthy”

Tips to Prolong the Shelf Life of Your Fruits and Veggies..

Lettuce & Salad Greens

This trick is great for extending the life of your bagged greens and heads of lettuce.  If using a whole head of greens, tear it apart into desirable pieces before starting the process.

  1. Rinse greens or lettuce in cold water and then give them a whirl in a clean salad spinner.
  2. Remove leaves and put into a large clean bowl along with 1 quart cold, clean water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar.  Swirl the greens around for a few minutes.
  3. Put greens back in salad spinner and take for a spin to dry off.
  4. Wrap the washed greens in a clean paper towel and put in a re-sealable plastic storage bag.  Partially seal the bag and store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.


Buy strawberries that are a vibrant, deep red color.  Look all around the container for damaged fruit.  Do not wash the berries until you are ready to eat them.  Never store wet berries.  If you wash too many, be sure to dry your berries carefully before putting them back in the fridge and eat them as soon as possible.

If you did go overboard during that strawberry sale, don’t worry – freeze!  Strawberries can be frozen whole, sliced, or crushed.  To freeze whole strawberries:

  1. Hull the strawberries, removing the stem and caps.
  2. thoroughly wash the strawberries and shake off excess water.  Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  3. Place clean strawberries in a single layer on a large, clean cookie sheet.  Freeze at least 12 hours or until completely solid.
  4. Place frozen strawberries into an airtight, freezer-safe container or in a re-sealable freezer storage bag.  If using a bag, take time to press all the air out.

Fresh Herbs

Lightly crush fresh herbs to release their essential oils, which will amp up the taste and smell.  Be sure to add them at the end of the recipe so the heat doesn’t destroy their flavor.

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“Eat Healthy, Live Healthy”