Make technology work for you. Gifts that are electronic, electrical or maybe just electrifying

On the Healthy by Nature show this week, we have a sort of health magazine with: a whistle blower (Kay Carlson, author of Diary of a Legal Drug Dealer), advice on avoiding holiday intestinal issues (Ann Louise Gittleman, author of The Gut Flush Plan), an innovative and non-invasive treatment for reducing wrinkles (Dr. Andrew Shepherd) and how to protect yourself from colds and flu (nutritionist Bryan Bradford). We’ll be busy, but it is a live show, so if you have a question, call us at 1-800-281-8255.

ALERTS: For 2 excellent responses to the Food and Nutrition Board’s recent pronouncements on Vitamin D and for first details on our upcoming HealthFest, check out Hot Topics at this link.

GIFTS OF HEALTH— maybe for you!

Smart phones: These devices are all the rage. (Thankfully, the newest generation phones emit low radiation.) Apple iPhones have the most applications (“apps”) which, if you are new to all this, are little software programs you run on the phone. Some are helpful to health seekers and the following are FREE once you have the device:

• iMapMyFitness. Keeps track of workouts. The function I find most fascinating is that it uses the phone’s GPS (Global Positioning System) to create a map of the route you’ve walked and can tell you the exact distance, time, pace and even calories burned. (Another approach*)

• Cures A-Z. A database of the best of conventional and alternative remedies compiled by respected physician and author, Jacob Teitelbaum, MD. (He has been on our show.) You can search by condition or nutrient.

• Epocrates. A reference database for information on prescription and over the counter drugs. Includes side effects, drug interactions and a pill identifier.

• Fast Food. Easily search chain restaurants for the nutrition facts about their menu items. Great if, for example, you are counting calories; are on a low sodium diet; or avoiding sugar.

• Podcasts. You can download health radio shows (like ours or People’s Pharmacy).

To get these apps, you can either do an internet search for the names from your phone or go to the app store and search for it. Similar apps are available for other phone brands.

Beverages: One of this year’s featured items seems just insane. It’s a gizmo that allows you to turn water into soda pop…like people aren’t already drinking too much of this stuff. (It’s one of the leading causes of obesity and diabetes.) Besides, the space-consuming unit retails for $100 and you then must depend on that company for charging supplies and suspicious ingredients. The stores have great stacks of those fancy coffee makers where you just plug in a little plastic container to make one cup. Without getting into the big discussion of the pros and cons of coffee that we will have soon, I worry about the potential for BPA (endocrine disrupting chemical) being leached out of that plastic by the hot water. A home water filter would be a much better choice and less expensive.

Smokers: Usually, if you go to the trouble to give gifts, you probably care about the recipients. So, you probably wouldn’t give them gift certificates to Cigarettes R Us, which would essentially speed them along to lung cancer, heart disease, dementia and an early death. If a smoker is on your list who wants to stop, you might consider giving them the electronic virtual cigarette. It is a safer approach (does have caffeine, but not the other toxic chemicals) and can be an important step on the way to quitting. Here is site that reviews various brands. Link.

Sounds: Noise-cancelling headphones seem like a good idea and they are handy for watching a movie on a plane. But they may not be helping your hearing because they don’t reduce noise. They actually add additional sounds that somehow override our ability to hear the background noise. A machine that produces relaxing nature sounds might be a thoughtful gift for someone who doesn’t sleep well. (Just suggest they avoid electronic smog by putting it on the far side of the nightstand, not next to their head.) Surely there is also a smart phone app for this purpose.

More ideas:

Back2Life is a nifty gadget that gently realigns and relaxes the back thereby reducing pain. (Bed, Bath and Beyond carries the machine and if you do a search for their coupons, I believe you can save 20%.)

• The Wii game machine isn’t just for kids. They have many sport and fitness modules (everything from bowling and tennis to aerobics and strength training) that allow players of any age to exercise in the comfort and privacy of their home and have fun while they are doing it. *If your budget won’t allow for a smart phone or your recipient isn’t the type, almost anyone can use a good pedometer to make sure they are sufficiently active. The Omron has a good reputation and one we’ve used keeps track of walks and some of the same data iMapMyFitness does. (It has no GPS though, so there is no map to get you back home.)

My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.

My latest book : Aloe Vera-Modern Science Sheds Light on an Ancient Herbal Remedy

Copyright 2010 Martie Whittekin, CCN

Healthy By Nature Show
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