Thursday, April 18, 2013

Are You an Effective Leader?

Do today¹s younger female generations have the skills and knowledge to become effective leaders?  Do they have the skills necessary to survive today¹s choppy business waters? 

The answer is yes.  Over the last few years, more women have become highly successful senior-level executives and business owners.  More women are also entering male dominated professions every day.  However, there are still women who are just entering the workforce, settling into senior level positions, or just launching a business who lack the appropriate leadership skills. 

As a way to help women develop the leadership skills they need to navigate today¹s complex business environment, best-selling author and career coach, Gail McMeekin wrote the book, The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women.  Broken down into twelve secrets, Gail teaches all of the things that women need to know to develop and sharpen their leadership skills to get ahead today.  Throughout the book, she offers insightful and informative tips on:
·       Easy ways to increase self-confidence
·       Advice on setting boundaries and developing strong negotiating skills  
·       The real keys to overcoming challenges and setbacks in today¹s business world
·       Tips to make career changes fueled by passion and purpose 
·       And other ideas.
The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women is a must-read for anyone looking to achieve success and get ahead today. 
Gail is also the author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, The Power of Positive Choices, and 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life.  She also been featured in the Wall Street JournalThe New York Times, and the Chicago Tribune.  

Gail McMeekin is the founder and president of Creative Success, LLC, and the author of The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and The Power of Positive Choices.  Her work has been featured in Redbook, The Boston Globe, Health, Investor's Business Daily, The Sunday New York Times and other national publications, and she is a frequent guest on radio and television. 

McMeekin holds an MSW from Boston University, a certificate in Human Resource Management from Bentley College, and completed the coursework for the Coaches Training Institute.  She lives in the Boston area with her husband, Rusty.  For more information, please visit her at

All natural bug spray for healthy living

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Can’t You Lose Weight?

By Eduardo Castro, MD

Are you among the growing number of distressed people who do not lose weight when they diet earnestly? Or you may lose just a few pounds, nowhere near the amount you expected to lose. And easy weight gain after dieting is common, even when your diet is good.
If so, you likely have Fat Loss Resistance Syndrome (FLRS). FLRS is a chronic medical condition that prevents, or minimizes, weight loss when you diet. It is the result of triggering survival mechanisms that allowed man to live through lengthy periods of searching for food, back in time when a next meal was not a certainty.
These survival mechanisms can be inappropriately triggered today in our world of plenty, and the result is FLRS. It usually has three underlying factors that can be corrected:
  1. Disruption of the hormones that regulate fat storage and energy   utilization
  2. Excessive inflammation
  3. Unhealthy genetic expression
We have in our genetic blueprint an exquisite ability to assess and regulate precisely how much energy we store. We do not store protein and we store enough sugar for only a burst of activity. But we adapted to store enough fat to fuel the hunt for food for weeks.
As energy stores begin to deplete, it activates a cascade of hormonal changes that preserve fat by both decreasing metabolic rate and by making more fat whenever possible. Hormones can even direct the breakdown of muscle and organ tissues for energy to preserve fat stores.
If this cascade of hormones, meant to save us from starvation, gets triggered when we have more than sufficient fat stores, the picture of FLRS emerges. The first step in correcting FLRS is to regain proper hormone regulation. The usual suspects are insulin, leptin, thyroid, and cortisol, and adrenalin and estrogen can also play a role. Typically, the following must be addressed to overcome FLRS.
  • Insulin resistance
  • Leptin resistance
  • Low thyroid functioning even with normal blood testing
  • Elevated cortisol levels
  • Adrenalin resistance
  • Excessive estrogen activity
By the way, although the causes of FLRS can get complicated, the solutions are straightforward. Plus, the causes of FLRS are interrelated so working on one often has a favorable effect on the others.
Inflammation is an important part of healthy immune functioning. It is a defense against invading microoragnisms and impedes the spread of infection, cleans up cellular debris and dead cells, and promotes healing. But like a nice bonfire getting out of control, excessive inflammation damages. Excessive inflammation is not only present in FLRS, it is the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, autism, arthritis, auto-immune disease, and severe allergies. It promotes asthma and cancer.
Excessive inflammation results from poor diets and from toxic substances. But in this world dominated by multinational corporations whose only concern is the bottom line, clean, high quality food is expensive and difficult to find, and avoidance of toxic substances is impossible. This means if you have FLRS, you are going to have to work harder than most people to eat well and to minimize your toxic exposures. And some will need to work at detoxification as well.
An additional problem with inflammation and FLRS is that there is a vicious cycle present: excess fat increases inflammation and inflammation promotes the hormone disruptions that lead to obesity. It is well worth the efforts to eating healthy and reducing toxic load to break the cycle.
Genetic Expression
The notion that our genes largely determine our fate has been substantially modified. It has become clear that genes can be active or inactive and that various combinations of active and inactive genes can result in markedly different outcomes.
The field of science that studies what affects gene expression is epigenetics. To our great advantage epigenetics research indicates that there are several factors within our control that significantly affect our gene expression. Since FLRS becomes established via unhealthy gene expression, take particular note of these:
  • Diet – eating the foods we are genetically adapted to turns on healthy gene expression
  • Bowel health – microbes that inhabit our bowels influence weight, energy levels, sleep patterns, emotional regulation
  • Toxic burden – avoidance and improved detoxification are key
  • Vitamin D level (specifically, the 25-OH Vitamin D level) – Vitamin D affects at least 20% of our gene expression and should be optimized to a blood level of 60-80 ng/ml
  • Physical activity -   
  • Beliefs – not just being optimistic or hopeful but choosing to conduct yourself (thoughts and actions) as though your chosen belief is already in the process of becoming reality and having the feelings of profound gratitude (in the case of FLRS, the gratitude, relief, and joy you will experience when you are at a healthy body weight)
  So how do you overcome FLRS and become able to lose weight?
  • Eat healthy food, i.e., foods man is genetically adapted to, but do not restrict calories until FLRS is corrected
  • Reduce your exposure to toxic substances
  • Enhance your detoxification processes
  • Avoid foods that cause an inflammatory reaction in your gut
  • Achieve optimal thyroid functioning
There are other considerations that, when addressed, help overcome FLRS:
  • Stress Management – particularly important since FLRS itself is highly stressful physically, emotionally, and psychologically
  • Medications – avoiding those that cause weight gain
Treating FLRS allows people to overcome the array of physiological problems that prevent them from losing weight. By helping people determine what the most likely underlying problems are, they are able to focus their attention and effort on correcting the problems and then they can begin losing weight.
Eduardo Castro, M.D. is the owner and Medical Director for the Mount Rogers Clinic in Troutdale, VA where he has worked for twenty years. He attended Dartmouth College, did an internship at Georgetown University Hospital and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Virginia Hospitals. Dr. Castro is the co-author of two books on neurofeedback with Robert Hill, PhD, Getting Rid of Ritalin and Healing Young Brains. For more information on his newest book, When Diets Work: Overcoming Fat Loss Resistance please visit:

Weight Loss Program

Admitting Addiction in Private: Expert Provides Advice on Finding Discreet Help for Substance Abuse

The Importance of Discreet Drug Rehab

By Justin Daniels

Privacy and discretion are important considerations when entering drug or alcohol rehab. Substance abuse, while a recognized mental disorder, still carries a social stigma. You don't want the world to know about your personal struggles, and you have a right to privacy.

When you enter a drug rehab center, your only concerns should be healing and recovery. Worrying whether your boss, parents, or business clients know where you are distracts you from your most important task: healing.
Anonymous drug rehab takes away these worries so you can focus on your path to recovery.

Confidentiality and Anonymous Drug Rehab

Privacy is, of course, one of the key benefits of discreet drug rehab. All doctor-client relationships are confidential, and any communication or treatment agreed upon between you and drug rehab staff is also a matter of strict privacy.

Unless you authorize contact, a discreet rehab center refuses to give out any information in response to inquiries. The center will politely explain that their clients are protected by strict confidentiality and staff cannot give information on who is or is not receiving treatment.

Putting Yourself First

Knowing drug rehab staff respect and ensure your privacy allows you to focus entirely on what's important. At Clarity Way, we offer complete confidentiality.

We can arrange for your arrival and departure at our local airport that has a private runway. We can also arrange for a discrete limo ride to and from the airport. For those wanting the maximum amount of privacy, we offer individual rooms for the duration of your stay at our rural and secure treatment center.

After inpatient treatment, privacy remains important. There's a reason most 12-Step programs and support groups are anonymous: your struggle with substance abuse is your concern. You decide who should or should not know about this very personal aspect of your life.

Justin Daniels owned and operated a disaster restoration business, a construction company, a flooring company, a daycare business and other real estate holdings.  His ServiceMaster franchises aided in the restoration at the Pentagon after 9/11, and the hurricanes in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and Florida.  In spite of all his success, Justin's personal struggles were the catalyst to conceive Clarity Way, a rehab facility, in York, PA, that offers a fresh compassionate, perspective to addiction treatment. His first book, No More Vodka in My Orange Juice, provides insight into his own storied history and shares Clarity Way's mission to help those struggling to find their path to recovery.

No More Vodka in my Orange Juice is now available for purchase in hardback or ebook on and iTunes. 

Order Zeal energy drink from Melanie Fisher

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Arkansas Medical Dental Pharmaceutical Association, Inc. and the National Medical Association Region V Collaborate to host 2013 Conference

The Arkansas Medical Dental Pharmaceutical Association, Inc. (AMDPA) and the National Medial Association Region V partner to host conference on healthcare reform and health disparities June 6-8, 2013. The conference takes place at the Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center. Theme of the conference is "Thriving vs. Surviving in the New Healthcare Reform System: Practice, Policy, Research."

The conference brings together healthcare providers, academia, researchers and stakeholders to elaborate on current challenges and opportunities in the new reformed healthcare system. It will include current research in healthcare operations research and analytics; presentations by leading researchers and practitioners; a cross-cultural view of healthcare systems and the impact of health disparities has on the healthcare system.  The climax of the conference is the banquet, Saturday, June 8 celebrating Arkansas Medical Dental Pharmaceutical Association 120 years of service to the state of Arkansas. AMDPA has been one of the great leaders in addressing health policy, health disparities, and health equity for the communities of Arkansas.

There will be several mini-symposiums within the conference: health policy, stroke, obesity, asthma, women’s health and HIV. Information on registration and the conference is available by contacting the AMDPA office by phone at (501)-265-0156 or by email at

The Arkansas Medical, Dental & Pharmaceutical Association, Inc. (AMDPA) is the largest minority health association in the state of Arkansas. The organization of health professionals, primarily physicians, dentist and pharmacist, has been serving Arkansas for 120 years. AMDPA's mission is to serve as a resource for its members and their patients toward ensuring professional excellence, promoting social justice, and realizing health equity in Arkansas. AMDPA is the state society for the National Medical Association, the National Pharmacy Association and the National Dental Association. Derek Lewis, M.D. is current President of AMDPA.

The National Medical Association (NMA) promotes the collective interests of physicians and patients of African descent. NMA carries out its mission by serving as the collective voice of physicians of African descent and a leading force for parity in medicine, elimination of health disparities and promotion of optimal health. NMA mission is to advance the art and science of medicine for people of African descent through education, advocacy, and health policy to promote health and wellness, eliminate health disparities, and sustain physician viability.  Region V of NMA consists of nine states: Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. Joia Crear-Perry, M.D. is the current NMA Region V President.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Artichokes in the ‘heart’ of Texas

BROWNSVILLE — While more than 95 percent of U.S. artichoke production is currently in California, Mike Ortiz and his business partner, Jed Murray, of MO Produce in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, have been giving the artichoke a home where the armadillo and roadrunner roam.

Since 2007, Ortiz and Murray have been consulting with Dr. Daniel Leskovar of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde on various aspects of artichoke production. Leskovar and fellow researchers have provided them research-based information and assistance on variety selection, transplantation, irrigation and various production methods so they might produce artichokes that will meet or exceed consumer expectations.

"There is currently some fledgling commercial artichoke production in the Rio Grande Valley and Winter Garden area, with additional small-scale production in the Hill Country and in the Austin and Dallas area," said Leskovar, an AgriLife Research vegetable physiologist and the Uvalde center's resident director. But the artichoke as a commercial crop is still a relative newcomer to Texas."

"From a production standpoint, artichokes are a reasonably low-maintenance crop," Ortiz said. "In general, they require about the same amount of effort as say cabbage or onions. Plus, they have a much better profit potential than most of the traditional crops produced in the Valley."

Murray, who also is president of the Texas Vegetable Association headquartered in nearby Mission, said they frequently receive compliments and expressions of gratitude from their customers.

"Our customers tell us they like the freshness, the nutty flavor and the big heart of the artichokes we grow here," Murray said.

But it's not just Rio Grande Valley-area consumers who are delighted with their artichokes, he Murray said. MO Produce can now count Whole Foods, as well as another Texas-based supermarket chain, among its artichoke fan — and customer – base.

In addition, celebrity chef Jesse Griffiths, owner of Dai Due Butcher Shop and Supper Club in Austin, is another fan of their artichokes.

"I've been buying artichokes from Mike and Jed for three or four years now and they have always been very high quality," Griffiths said. "I would describe them as sweet with a nut-like or slightly 'woody' taste and excellent texture. I enjoy using them in my dishes and look forward to the times when they're available to me."

Another positive aspect of artichokes their role as a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which has been scientifically proven to have exceptional health benefits.
"Artichokes are high in dietary fiber and low in calories, plus they're rich in antioxidants and potassium," said Dr. Sharon Robinson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service nutrition specialist in College Station.

She noted that a recently completed 5-year study in Spain showed participants with heart-risk health issues following a Mediterranean-type diet had a 30 percent lower combined rate of heart attack, stroke and death from related causes than those following a typical low-fat diet.

"Our research on artichoke production, which began in 2005 at the Uvalde center and in conjunction with the Food for Health Program, has shown the artichoke to be a viable alternative crop for many areas of the state," Leskovar said. "We have studied crop yield, quality and nutritional aspects of several different varieties of artichoke in relation to different irrigation regimes and nitrogen fertilization rates. We also focused on water-use rates as this region is water-limited and prone to drought, as well as on the heat tolerance of artichoke varieties."

Leskovar said center research is also investigating how to extend the spring growing season so operations can take advantage of the higher off-season prices.

"Development of year-round management strategies focused on producing artichoke heads in the spring and fall in areas of the state will give producers with a positive market opportunity to
sell their product at the best possible price," he said.

Leskovar said the nutritional value to the consumer and profit potential to the producer make the artichoke a stand-out alternative crop for many parts of the state.

"Early indications of new field variety trials are showing  good commercial potential for early and late variety selections with  traditional green heads and also red to maroon color heads," he said. "These too may provide some more interesting opportunities for Texas producers."

Zurvita Challenge for Life

Directions for cooking an artichoke

Fill the pan with just enough water to cover bottom. Bring to a full boil over high heat. While water is heating, trim and discard the stems and tough outer leaves of artichokes. As an option, tuck slivers of butter and slices of garlic into artichoke leaves.

When water is boiling, place steamer insert in pot and set artichokes in steamer, stem-side down. Cover pot with lid and allow artichokes to steam for approximately 20 minutes, until tender.  Add salt to taste.

Directions for eating an artichoke

Begin with the outer leaves of the artichoke and eat by dipping the soft tender inside end in mayonnaise.  Eat each leave the same way until you get to the heart, where you remove and discard  the inedible fuzzy part (called the "choke") covering the artichoke heart. Eat the heart adding mayonnaise to taste.