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Judith Silfrene

Judith Silfrene

Drinking Water: Decisions, Decisions, Is Alkaline Water Right for You?

The Benefits of Alkaline Water

The ocean is the last place most people would go to for their drinking water. Ocean water is salty and would probably send us straight to the emergency room. Most people would also think twice about getting their water from the local lake or river because instinctively we don't fully trust it.

On the other hand, the easily accessible water bottles in supermarkets and the tap water in our homes can make it easy to think that because the water is safe then it must be pure. But how pure really is your bottled water? And how pure is your tap water? Knowing can mean the difference between standard health and quality superior health.

The pH scale, which ranges from 1 through 14, measures whether drinks are acidic or alkaline (it also can measure the acidity and alkalinity of food but for the sake of this article, we'll focus on drinks). The pH scale essentially measures how acidic or alkaline a drink is.

pH-ScalepH Scale

The lower the number on the pH scale, the more acidic the water is (not a good sign).

The higher the number on the pH scale, the more alkaline it is (and this tends to be a good thing).

Our bodies love alkaline substances! With pH levels within the neutral number 7 range, our bodies generally enjoy having neutral and alkaline substances inside of it! Why? The simple answer is that most alkaline foods tend to be healthier for us. Alkaline drinking water (water with a pH above 7) is great for digestive health because it helps food travel faster through our colons. It also neutralizes the acidity in our bodies from acid-forming foods such as processed foods and red meat. Alkaline water equips our bodies to better fight diseases and boosts our immune system.

There is one caveat regarding alkaline water. If you have stomach dysfunctions like GERD or ulcers that are largely related to having too little stomach acid, long-term use of alkaline or ionized water can interfere with your body's natural digestive process by reducing the acid needed to properly break down and absorb food. This could then lead to an upset of your body's good bacteria, which can then open the door to parasitic infection, ulcers and malabsorption. So, check with your doctor before drinking alkaline water long-term.

For the rest of us, the best drinking water that you can give to your body is pure alkaline water.

But how can you know if your water is alkaline? Fortunately, you can test the pH levels of your drinking water by using a pH tester.

pH-testerLiquid pH Tester


pH-tester electronicElectronic pH Tester 


Using either the liquid or the electronic tester, anyone can determine if the water they're drinking is acidic or alkaline. I love the liquid pH tester because you can actually see the colors of the liquid change when you add the solution. Just to give an example, adding pH tester liquid to Sprite soda will produce an orange color indicating that the drink is very acidic. Adding pH tester liquid to tap water will produce a green liquid indicating that it is clean water. And yes, alkaline water will turn out to be very blue!

So if you've tested your water and found that it is not alkaline, purchasing a water filter is a great first step. Water filters connect with your tap water to filter out acidic substances and produce the purest water for your body's needs. Water filters can be expensive, but they are worth the buy.

Purchasing bottled alkaline water is a less expensive alternative. There are many brands to choose from as the market for alkaline water has expanded and demand has increased. So, choose a brand based on your budget and your preference. You can find them at your local health food store.

Time tested and old-fashioned, but it does the work, boiling water and letting it cool also purifies your drinking water, making it more alkaline.

By making these simple changes, you will ensure a healthier you – a stronger and energetic mind and body.

So here's to better health and more purity in our water!

Weight Loss Options: Which is the best way to lose weight fast?

Which is best for weight loss exercise or diet?

When trying to lose weight, which is more effective? Exercising or eating right?

Interestingly enough, there is one that proves more effective than the other and provides faster results. And that is eating right!

Yes! Consuming a considerable amount of seasonal vegetables and less sugary seasonal fruits is the best and most efficient way to lose weight if you are seeking to get rid of belly fat or trim your waist.

Vegetables and fruits are naturally low in calories, therefore, when combined with exercise or weight training, the effect is you burn more calories than you've taken in, and this is a powerful way to lose pounds.

On the other hand, if you are exercising but continue to consume heavy carbohydrates – bread, rice, pasta; processed foods – fast food, pastries; and sugar which are higher in calories, it will take more energy to burn the calories that are in these foods. More than likely, progress – though present – will be minimal.

Woman-doing-thigh-and-arm-exercises 700x499

New York Times Best Selling author and renowned celebrity trainer and nutritionist, Harley Pasternak's solution to successful weight loss is to change our eating habits. Pasternak writes books that have more to do with how people eat than how much they work out – although he very much does advocate walking and daily physical fitness. Pasternak advocates both but it is clear which he holds in high regard.

So if you answered the question with both exercise and eating right, you are partially right. Together, working out and consuming the right foods create the best environment for healthy weight loss. But if you had the option of choosing faster results, with little investment, and little strain on your will, then eating right is your best choice.

First Lady Michelle Obama also understands the importance of good nutrition as a factor in combating childhood obesity. Although her campaign is called "Let's Move," she states, "I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition." She recognizes that healthy eating habits and not simply exercise is the cornerstone to achieving a healthy body.

So definitely, "Let's move!" but equally important, "Let's eat right!"

And as one weight training guru once said, "You cannot out train a lousy diet!"

The key to fueling the body for optimal efficiency is a nutrient-dense diet.

Foods to Avoid to Prevent Breast and Prostate Cancers

Unraveling the connection between food and cancer

Buckle your seatbelts. This is going to be a controversial post. This post is going to answer the question, what causes breast cancer and what causes prostate cancer. The answers may make you angry, they may make you skeptical, but if you give it a chance, they may make you reflective and eager to learn more. So let's dive in.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United Sates (the first is heart disease). Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the US and the leading cause of cancer death among African American men. Both cancers are reproductive cancers – affecting the cells of human's reproductive organs – and appear to be influenced by eating habits that occur before and during puberty. *

A brief look at the history of the Western diet reveals that as the Western diet shifted to an increase in meat and dairy consumption, by the early 1900s adolescents reached the age of puberty at an earlier age than previous centuries. Boys and girls were growing faster and entering puberty at younger ages. Among female adolescents, this was clear, as the arrival of their first menstruation was at an age remarkably lower than girls of previous generations – age 17 in 1840 compared to ages 11 and 12 in the 21st century. This link between diet and onset of puberty showed that there was a relationship between food and rapid growth in humans.

Joel Fuhrman is a doctor and the author of a book titled "Eat to Live." In the book, he describes how rapid growth affects reproductive cells. When the consumption of animal food increases, "it leads to a higher level of sex hormones...these levels cause hormonal and cellular abnormalities which [if continues] persist into adulthood, setting the stage for cancer many years later."

Fuhrman continues by writing that "ovarian hormones play an [important] role, at all stages, in the development of breast cancer." While these are obvious markers for women, in terms of their reproductive organs and cells, the same is true for men. The earlier boys enter puberty, the greater the risk they have of developing prostate cancer in the future. In essence, "the rapidly we grow and mature, the greater our cancer risk."

This is the part of the post that may make you feel angry because for so long, doctors and researchers have told us that breast cancer and prostate cancer are genetic cancers. The truth is genetics play a very minor role in the development of breast and prostate cancer. In fact, although there are many contributing factors to cancer, diet and food are the number one factors, and specifically, in the cases of these two cancers, how we eat before and during puberty. It is the "unhealthy nutrition" habits of childhood and adolescence that creates the environment for cancer.

Again, a diet of animal consumption leads to rapid growth, which leads to high hormone levels, in turn leading to abnormality in the cells and creating an environment where cancer can develop.

Let Food Heal Thyself

The "cure" then, for reversing damaged cells formed from unhealthy eating habits is to significantly reduce or eliminate our animal consumption as early as possible – while simultaneously increasing our fruit and vegetable intake. To everyone who loves their meat, yikes this is hard, but it isn't impossible. Fruits and vegetables – nature's medicine – offer protection against diseases such as cancer.* As we decrease our animal consumption and increase our fruit and vegetable intake, we can reduce our risk of breast and prostate cancer.

Even those with cancer currently and undergoing treatment can see a reduction in the spread of the cancer as they make changes to their eating habits.*

The good news is, it is never too late to reverse the effects of past eating habits.

Judith Silfrene is not a licensed medical professional, however, she is an avid reader of health and nutrition books written by PHDs and MDs.

*The studies and statements referred to in this post can be found in Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, "Eat to Live."

Should Achieving Overall Health and Wellness Be Our Goal?

What is Wellness?

Is having good health not enough anymore? And, what is wellness, anyway?

Wellness is a state in which all the dimensions of a person's life are satisfied and whole, producing feelings of happiness, joy, satisfaction, and peace.

There are eight dimensions of a person's ability to live as outlined by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and they are:


When each of these dimensions are fulfilled to their highest levels, this ensures that a person's personal state of wellness can be reached. These dimensions are not isolated from one another and many times, they overlap and have the ability to positively or negatively affect one another. For instance, a low state of environmental wellness (messy home, cluttered office, poor neighborhood) can have an effect on a person's emotional wellness.

Similarly, one's low physical wellness (disease, illness, disability) can negatively affect one's occupational wellness. On the other hand, a high level of social wellness (great friendships, encouraging spouse, engaged mentors) can have a ripple effect and produce high level spiritual, emotional, and intellectual wellness.

While health has often leaned toward the physical dimension of wellness, wellness encompasses the myriad dimensions that make a person life's fulfilling. Our goal should not be to simply achieve health, but health and wellness.

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