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Location: Southlake, TX

Eileen Silva, Ph.D., N.D., CTN, is a doctor of Natural Health and Naturopathy, in Southlake, Texas, with a practice in metabolic health, weight, and body balancing. She has been treating patients and teaching workshops on integrative medicine for over 18 years. Eileen has appeared on TV and radio talk shows coast-to-coast, lectured extensively, and has developed a breakthrough technology, colored bar-graph, computerized body analysis program. Her newly-released book, A HEALTHIER YOU, joins her best-selling, FAT CHANCE AT LAST! ---HOW TO GO BEYOND WILLPOWER, in offering lifestyle changes for better health results. As CEO of Hegan Center, Eileen has trained and certified medical doctors and chiropractors for almost a decade. Her innovative wellness techniques have been used to help thousands of individuals achieve weight loss and better fitness. Eileen's programs have also brought enhanced energy, weight balance, and longevity to professionals in corporate wellness programs. Eileen is an active member of the American Naturopathic Medical Association, the American Holistic Health Association, and the Health Sciences Institute.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Is Your Body Equipped to Fight the Toxic War? © Dr. Eileen Silva 2006

Do you realize how much of your body is dedicated to detoxifying? You have a highly developed system that works non-stop to rid your body of unhealthy and damaging toxins. Your liver strains your body’s poisons, and your kidneys filter toxins out of your blood. Your skin eliminates waste into the air, and your colon eliminates digestive waste. Your immune system fights both foreign and self-made toxins in blood and cells, and your antioxidants seek and destroy free radicals that damage and age cells. It’s an amazing process, this ongoing detoxification of your body!

Your natural detoxification system is quite adequate for the healthy environment that it was designed to live in. Unfortunately, you don’t live in that healthy environment. You are exposed daily to so many toxins through air, water, food, and substances that touch your skin that your natural system cannot keep up. As a result, your cells absorb not only oxygen, water, and nutrients, but harmful toxins, as well.

You should know that toxins cause a wide variety of health problems like diminished body-system capacities, premature aging, birth defects, premature infant death, and cancer. Unfortunately, you are surrounded by sources of these toxins.

You are exposed to air pollutants that can cause chronic respiratory problems, infections, and cancer. Your toiletries, cosmetics, deodorants, and cleansers may clog your skin pores which prevents toxins from leaving your body through the pores. Some toxins can even pass through your skin and poison your systems.

Chemical toxins are all around you in cleaning supplies, pesticides, herbicides, and food additives. You may suffer from headaches, depression, confusion, mental illness, muscle weakness, and other problems caused by these toxins.

In addition, you may be part of the estimated 25% of the population that suffer from heavy metal poisoning from industrial pollution, tin or aluminum cans, contaminated fish, cigarettes, smoke, and cosmetics. Do you have any of these signs of heavy metal poisoning: headaches, anemia, dizziness, confusion, indigestion, hair loss, muscle pains, heart disease, brain damage, or cancer?

Your body even has to fight pollutants from your food and water. Rancid food (especially fats), chemically-laden foods (which form deadly free radicals,), and contaminated foods (which form toxic bacteria and yeast in the stomach) can cause liver cancer, allergies, colitis, asthma, low immunity, and auto-immune disorders during which your body would actually attack itself. Your body can also ingest agricultural waste, bacteria, viruses, and industrial pollutants through the water supplies and food chain.

As you can see, your body needs your help in fighting this toxic war. Educate yourself on the toxins around you, and prevent as many as you can from entering your body. Keep your colon and liver cleansed to promote their optimum operation. Drink plenty of pure water, and be careful what you eat. Keep your environment as free as possible of these damaging toxins. Help your body as it tries to give you a toxin-free life.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Are You Winning The Stress Battle? © Dr. Eileen Silva 2006

Traffic! High prices! Unemployment! Terrorists! Stress! Stress! Stress! Battling stress is a common problem in America today. But, how well do you recognize this enemy’s effects? Have you prepared good battle plans?

I’m sure you recognize that people who suffer from headaches, chest pain, pounding heart, high blood pressure, clenched jaws, angry outbursts, and grinding teeth have unhealthy amounts of stress in their lives, but there are other symptoms that you might not so readily associate with stress. For example, would you think of stress if you experienced forgetfulness, insomnia, tight and sore muscles, hyperventilation or shallow breathing, fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, hives, decreased sex drive, binge eating, depression, or loss of appetite?

With these, and many more, unhealthy and traumatic results on your daily life, stress is indeed an enemy to battle. I suggest that you battle it on two main fronts: the Pre-stress Front and the Post-Stress Front.

While you cannot avoid all instance of stress, you can prevent some attacks by adopting the “regular habits” approach to life. Whenever possible, create regular habits for yourself like regular wake and sleep hours, mealtimes, exercising schedules, work and play schedules, dietary habits, housekeeping habits, and health maintenance. In addition, avoid sweets, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, overtime, and self-doubt or self-condemnation. These steps may reduce the amount of stress that you have to battle.

Despite your best efforts, you will experience stress in your life . . . at home, at work, out in the world, or just watching the evening news. When these attacks come, recognize them and retaliate swiftly to minimize the effects on your body. When you realize a situation is stressing you, step away from the problem and relax a few minutes, calm yourself, and rethink the situation. Avoid stressful relationships, situations, and places when you can. Regularly take action to get rid of stress and to prevent its buildup in your body. Exercise, dance, run, climb, breathe deeply, play racquetball, have a good cry, visit your favorite spa, or go shopping; do whatever relaxes you, works out unhealthy stress hormones, and takes your mind off stressful things for a while.

Don’t forget one of the best stress-busters – laughter. I’ll never forget that when I was a Home Economics teacher, one of my students invented a recipe which erroneously listed “1 cup of chicken breath” as a key ingredient. I first read the recipe at 2:00 AM and burst into hysterical laughter. I shared his chicken breath recipe with the other teachers, my students, and my family. To this day, I smile when I think of it.

Don’t let stress catch you unaware. Be ready to attack and defeat this ever-present enemy.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

When’s the Last Time You Went out to Recess? © Dr. Eileen Silva 2006

Remember recess? Remember playtime outside? Remember hours of running and climbing, swimming and playing ball? You didn’t call that work . . . you called it play! Yet now, it’s the dreaded work-out that you schedule and force yourself to do. What happened to the pleasure of play, of outdoor exercise, of companionship?

Forcing yourself to diligently face the 1-2-3-4’s, the sweaty gyms, the lonely hours of driving yourself to complete that exercise program may finally get you in shape, but could there be a more cheery way to get there? Could you accomplish your goals with the same pleasure and companionship that you enjoyed as a child at play? Here are a few ideas that might help you regain those happy feelings.

When taking your children to the playground, PLAY! Race them around the obstacle course, do chin-ups on the bars, push the merry-go-round, run races with the kids, ride bikes, and play ball with them. Your children will be thrilled with your attention and participation, and you will burn calories.

Try teaming up with a child or a friend for yoga classes, dance classes, or hiking. Join other parents and kids for team events, walking tours, or skating parties. Take part in three-legged races at picnics, swimming races, and bicycling tours with your kids.

Who says only the little leagues can play ball? Join an adult ball team or swim team, tennis team or bowling league. You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy a good game, and you can learn to play that game you have been watching for so long on the sidelines.

Allow yourself to play . . . and to enjoy playing. Why “work-out” when you can accomplish the same goals by going “out to play?” Changing your attitude towards your exercise time can also change your attitude towards your health. Remember running through the meadow with the soft grasses brushing against your legs and the butterflies and birds fluttering up before you? Remember the wind racing through hair as you bicycled down a hill? The hills are still there, and the wind still races. You can still enjoy those feelings, that euphoria of feeling good, playing hard, and enjoying the world of outdoors.

Escape some of those dreaded work-outs! Schedule yourself some play-outs! Play yourself healthy!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Turn Housework into an Aerobic Workout © Dr. Eileen Silva 2006

Are you a busy homemaker and mother with no time or money for gyms and workout trainers, but you still want to lose weight, keep fit, and get your cardio workouts? You can intensify and adjust your housecleaning chores to create a unique and cardiovascular routine that fits your schedule and your situation. While just regular housecleaning alone won’t keep you in shape, an intense routine that raises and keeps your heart rate in its target zone for at least 20 minutes a day will help you slim up and get fit.

You can use your housecleaning activities for a great aerobic workout by combining brisk activities with muscle contractions and correct breathing. Warm up with light dusting, straightening, and tidying. Then build up intensity and speed to raise heart rate to your workout zone. Remember to keep your heart rate up as you work by filling in the gaps of activity with dancing, exercises, or running in place.

Mop, sweep, or vacuum swiftly, breathing and lunging, switching sides to work out both arms. Lunge and bend when loading the washer and dryer and do squats, push-ups, or other exercises while cooking food in the microwave or waiting for the dryer to finish. Put your whole body into mopping, scrubbing, or stair climbing including swinging arms, pumping legs, and exaggerated movements.

If you live in a two story house, make good use of the stairs, taking as many trips up and down as possible. Alternate upstairs and downstairs chores, carry small loads of laundry at a time, and take the stairs at a run. When unloading the dishwasher, bend and stretch, changing sides to balance muscle work. Clean bathrooms aggressively, walk briskly when taking out garbage, bringing in groceries, getting the mail, or walking the dog.

Turn on music that energizes you, dance your way through your chores, and keep your heart rate up as you work. Always exercise your abdominal and torso muscles as you work, stretch your body in every direction, and alternate sides to keep exercise evenly spread out.

If you have children around, take time for small races and chases around the house or yard in the midst of the chores. The children will enjoy it, and you will add to your workout. Wearing a pedometer can encourage you to take extra steps; try walking up to 10,000 steps a day. Cool down with lighter chores. Enjoy your personalized workout, your clean house, and your slimmer fitter self.