Slavery: We Have a Choice, They Don’t

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Human Trafficking (TV miniseries) Human Trafficking (TV miniseries) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week I started Part 1 of a two part blog on supplement safety. Part 2 will post next Monday. Today, as we observe Martin Luther King Day, I wanted to post on an important topic that should never go under the radar.

My blog is one that is dedicated to health. Although much of what I write about is related to lifestyle and choice. The issue of human trafficking is about health, the physical and mental health of victims whose right to make choices have been stolen and lack of care results in anything but good health for the victims, the community and the world.

This blog is dedicated to the victims of human trafficking and slavery. Abraham Lincoln fought to abolish slavery and Martin Luther King, Jr. (the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his peaceful leadership for…

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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in Uncategorized


Supplement Safety (Part 1 of 2)

Image result for image fish oil

While there may always be a debate on the “best” diet, there is no question that no matter what diet you eat you are likely supplementing it with some sort of dietary aide. There are 170 million supplement users in this country. According to a 2016 survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition,

  • 40-70% of athletes use supplements.
  • 49% of adults used a supplement within the last month: 54% of women, 43% of men.
  • Age influences supplement use: 34% aged 20-39, 50% age 40-59, and 67% over age 60.
  • Health insurance coverage influences supplement use: 53% of those with health insurance  purchased supplements compared with 31% without insurance.
  • Health status can influence supplement use: “excellent” or “very good” health (55%) versus “good” (47%) or fair/poor (44%)
  • Physical activity level parallels supplement use: “low” (43%); “moderate” (54%) ; “high” (56%).

So you see across the board there are a variety of groups of people who take supplements and each group has unique reasons as to why they feel they need to use supplements,

In general, aging, fitness and self care seem to top the list that has created a 37 billion dollar supplement market,

37 billion dollars is not small potatoes. Why has the supplement industry grown to this size? Because those who use supplements believe it benefits them. Otherwise why would they spend the money? In fact, surveys suggest that 78% of Americans are confident in the safety, quality, and effectiveness of the products they use,

Yes 78% of Americans are confident in the safety, quality, and effectiveness of the supplements they use.  A very large percent considering supplement manufacturers themselves are responsible for ensuring that a product is safe and effective and that the supplement facts label and ingredient lists are accurate before it is marketed.

Relying on the FDA or supplement manufacturers may not be a good idea. The FDA manufacturing standards allow additives, fillers etc… (such as  FD&C dyes, sodium benzoate, dextrose, ethycellulose, and propylene glycol) in supplements that can be hazardous to your health over the long term.

Take fish oil for example, According to Dr. Mercola, 25-50% of fish oil supplements sold may not be safe or effective for a few reasons.

For one, “The quality of fish supplements can be affected by contaminants (such as mercury, PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyls ), dioxin, cadmium, lead, chromium and arsenic Radioactive substances like strontium, PDEs (Phosphodiesterases) and PCP’s (pentachlorophenol)”.

Two, Preston Mason, MBA, PhD, Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, at the Harvard Medical School explains “fish are crushed and the oil is exposed to air, it oxidizes which can trigger changes inside human cells that lead to health problems like cardiovascular disease”.  Oxidation (oil reacts with oxygen and initiates an undesirable series of chemical reactions that eventually produces rancidity in oil) during processing may prove to cause more harm than good.

Three, studies have found discrepancies with supplement labeling and actual content; “over 60% of the store brand supplements tested had incorrect labeling, and more than 50% of those tested didn’t contain the advertised ingredient”, this is a very telling image from,


So does this mean avoid Omega-3, or any, supplement?

NO! It means Americans purchasing supplements have a NEED and responsibility to themselves to be educated customers.

There is an abundance of scientific evidence supporting the role of supplements and its relationship to a multitude of health benefits especially when guided by a knowledgeable healthcare professional and when used appropriately.

Keep in mind all supplements have unique positive characteristics or conflicting concerns that should be considered.

Always speak with your doctor about using supplements.

How do you know which supplements are better than others? What are the benefits of omega-3 supplements? Next week I continue the supplement talk to give you the answers you want to know.

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Posted by on January 9, 2017 in Supplements, Uncategorized


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New Year’s Resolution: Make the Goal Lose The Weight

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

If you are thinking about New Years’ and making a resolution or you have been trying to get back on the bandwagon after falling off a few times. Realize that “defeat is a path leading to success” and it is a sign “that something is wrong” with what you are doing. Evaluate what has not worked in the past and try something new this year.

Instead of a once a year pledge or a half *ssed effort to stick to a diet, make a vow and make it a priority every day. Create a goal. Make your goal more than just a mind game. Use tools to give your goal a daily (or more) presence. Checks and balances can give life to your plan.

Set an alarm if you need a reminder, hold specific times of the day in your calendar to eat and at the end of each month…

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Uncategorized


Don’t Get “Scrooged”, Get Happy For The Holidays!

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It


Christmas at Rockefeller Center, located in New York City, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The holiday season is upon us, Christmas and New Years are here! Family gatherings and social events create more responsibilities and pressures. Holiday cheer this time of year? Absolutely!

But, the holidays also create stress and unrealistic expectations that can put a damper on things. There are many people who enjoy the season but there is a reality  of the extra task of buying gifts, hosting the traditional celebration, stressing about finances, job security, and other pressures from various sources.

Holiday occasions should be like a breath of fresh air. Do not let outside worries or circumstances interfere with one day or a few hours of joy. It is meant for you to stop and allow yourself to feel love, happiness, hope and goodness, no matter what.

If things are starting to get out of control…

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Posted by on December 26, 2016 in Uncategorized


Soft Drinks Hit Health Hard (Part 2)

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Soft drink

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Last week I asked the question, “should soft drinks be considered unhealthy”? I’ll let you answer for yourself. No matter what “soft” drink you imbibe today, it is likely filled with ingredients that you do not know is lurking in the recipe. Today, the main ingredient (about 90%) of the beverage is carbonated water. Five to 10% of its content is high fructose corn syrup, sugar or non-calorie sweetener, acid (lowers blood PH) and other additives gums, pectins, caffeine, flavors, colors, and preservatives like BHA.

WARNING: The information below may contain material that is alarming but definitely worth reading. The information gives you a better understanding of why it is important to understand what ingredients you actually put into your body.

How can soda affect your health and weight?

1. Citric acid and phosphoric acid affect blood PH and natural stomach acid secretions interfering with…

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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Uncategorized


“Soft” Sugary Drinks Hit Health Hard

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Funny how the adjective “soft” describes non-alcoholic beverages in relation to “hard” alcoholic beverages. There is nothing soft about any soft drink in today’s world. The original soda may date back to the 13th century and consisted mainly of natural mineral water that came from springs. The original ingredients were much different, than today. It was consumed to improve health.

It was not until the 1800’s that soda water was created from “imitation” mineral water (sodium bicarbonate mixed with acid) and marketed by pharmacies as “medicinal”. An entrepreneurial pharmacist tried adding 2 stimulants to soda, coca leaves and cola nuts and this was the birth of Coca-cola. This timeline gives you a quick historical perspective,

Today, soda is hardly a beverage that would be considered “healthy” but should it be considered unhealthy?

Apparently, research connects obesity, heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver, gout, stomach issues, depression  and other medical…

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Posted by on December 13, 2016 in Uncategorized


3 Ways Eating Fat Increases Longevity

Valerie's Voice: For the Health of It

Clear your mind of “fat-free”, “low-fat” eating and you will live a long healthy life. It is not easy to overcome the low-fat brainwashing we have endured over all these years but it is a necessity for optimal weight, wellness and longevity.

Understanding the causative link between insulin and aging, metabolic health risk factors and weight and their connection with carbohydrates is a much more solid theory utilize than the eat less fat and calories and lose weight for weight loss and better health theory. The calorie theory is a simple math equation that when applied on a piece of paper: weight loss equals fewer calories consumed and more calories burned, seems logical. But, the math is too simplistic for it to hold much value in a complex body system for every unique individual with consideration to a variety of different environmental factors.

Food is in fact a fuel that has…

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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Uncategorized