Tag Archives: Health

Finding Joy and Happiness in Self-Reliance


by Sister Denise Cottrell – Stake Relief Society President

As I thought and thought and read and prayed about what to write regarding Self Reliance, I came to the conclusion that this is a topic that is very broad and encompasses much. Many articles can be written and still not cover it all adequately.

The basic understanding might be different than what you thought it was. Do you think Self Reliance is simply putting extra food in a cabinet each time you shop? Perhaps you thought it means to have a job that sustains you and your family or a combination of the two; food storage and making a living? President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, said “The Lord’s way of self-reliance involves, in a balanced way, many facets of life, including education, health, employment, family finances, and spiritual strength. One of the blessings of work is developing self-reliance. When you are self-reliant, you use the blessings and abilities God has given you to care for yourself and your family and to find solutions for your own problems. Self-reliance does not mean that you must be able to do all things on your own. To be truly self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength” (For the Strength of Youth, Work and Self Reliance). The gospel of work is part of ‘the fulness of the gospel’. Though joyful, missionary work is work. Though joyful, temple work is work. Ministering our ward, community or family members, involves work.

Sometimes the reward is realized with thankfulness but often it is just done by the Spirit and with love, never knowing if what you have done has made a difference. But the Lord knows. You know. That should be enough. It is part of teaching our children and others to walk in the ways of truth and soberness and to love and serve one another.

Let us all go forward developing and sharing our talents, becoming truly self-reliant in a way that draws us closer to God. As we strive to do this we will find joy and happiness and understand what it truly means to become ‘self-reliant’.


The Word of Wisdom

by Dr. Stan Brewer
An essential part of healthy living is diet.  The benefits of healthy eating have been established over and over.  As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints we have been blessed with the Word of Wisdom revealed to Joseph Smith in 1833 as a guide to a healthy diet.  The benefits of not smoking or drinking alcohol have been thoroughly established through extensive scientific research.  However, there is more to the Word of Wisdom that are also being validated by current research and recommendations.
One of the first recommendations is to eat “every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof” (Doctrine and Covenant 89:11).  The new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) food pyramid places added emphasis on eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that eating the right amounts of fruits and vegetables can deacrease the risk of cancer and other chronic illness.  It is also a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help fight disease.  If you want to see how much you should be eating each day try this tool here.  For example I should be eating 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables.
Another recommendation regards grains – “All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life” (Doctrine and Covenant 89:16). Grains are a staple that provide carbohydrates, one of our main sources of energy.  Currently the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and USDA recommend increasing our whole grains consumption (to at least half of the grains we eat).  Whole grains include brown or wild rice, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, triticale, cracked wheat, and popcorn in addition to whole-grain wheat, barley, corn, rye, and oats.  Whole grains provide “good carbs” which are more complex and nutricious sources of carbohydrates.  They also have fiber and other essential nutrients.
Finally, the Word of Wisdom encourages us to eat meat “sparingly”.  Studies have shown too much meat (especially red meats or meats with lots of fat) can be detrimental to our health.  Diets with lots of red and fatty meats have been associated with various cancers, high cholesterol, and obestiy.  However, there are also important nutrients in animal products.  Eating meat sparingly will provide these nutrients without the detrimental effects of excess meat.  Diets that use meat sparingly and focus on white meat or fish (such as the Mediterranean diet) have repeatedly been shown to have significant health benefit.  One food pyramid that I really like from the Universty of Michigan suggests eating meat only a few times a week, click here to visit the site, as well as eating losts of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
In summary, the scientific research in nutrition validates the diet encouraged in the Word of Wisdom – eat lots of fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains, and minimize our meat consumption.  It is also important to remember to drink plenty of water, eat healthy fats, and get regular exercise.  Doing these things will help us to reap the health benefits outlined in the Word of Wisdom and established by modern science.

Healthy Resolution

by Dr. Stan Brewer

I am sure many of you, like me, made a resolution to be healthier this year.  As February rolls around, I think it is a good time to reevaluate our resolutions and recommit to them.  My resolutions this year include eating healthier and exercising more (and hopefully loosing a few pounds along the way). A lot of research has shown that a healthy body mass index (a measurement that uses both your weight and your height) is one of the best means of preventing serious illness such as heart disease, diabetes, and countless others diseases.  The same is true for eating healthy and for exercising.  With all the diets and exercise programs out there, it is hard to decide which one is right for you and even which are healthy.  However, most of the research shows that being healthy is pretty simple.  The new food pyramid is an excellent guide to what healthy eating looks like (whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables, fat free dairy, and a small amount of healthy fats).

As for exercising, even a little walking can have great benefit.  Just 30 minutes of walking a day has significant health benefits and an hour or more has been shown to help with weight loss. So, what is the best way to start eating healthy and exercising more?  The most important part is motivation; you can only do as much as you are motivated to do.  Start with something you know you can accomplish. Try to eat at least one more serving of vegetables each day.  Start walking 15 minutes a day or a few days a week.  Remember, it will take a while to develop new habits and sometimes it will require some adjustment to your goals. The important thing is that as long as you are making progress your body will thank you for it.  February is a great time to recommit to our resolutions, or to make some new ones.

Photo source: US Navy/Public domain

How to Use an N95 Respirator

by LDS Intelligent Living

I have N95 respirators stored in a cupboard with the rest of my emergency preparedness gears. Now, I have to confess that when I got these respiratory protective devices, I looked at them, felt better for having them, and promptly put them away. However, I kept thinking that I needed to learn the proper way to use these masks. I found this great video produced by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). I encourage those of you who have these respirators, and don’t know how to use them or think you know how to use them properly, to watch this video.

General Instructions for Disposable N95 Respirators  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The US Department of Health and Human Services published the following information: N95 Respirators for Use by the Public An N95 respirator is a respiratory protective device designed to achieve a very close facial fit and very efficient filtration of airborne particles. In addition to blocking splashes, sprays and large droplets, the respirator is also designed to prevent the wearer from breathing in very small particles that may be in the air. To work as expected, an N95 respirator requires a proper fit to your face. Generally, to check for proper fit, you should put on your respirator and adjust the straps so that the respirator fits tight but comfortably to your face. For information on proper fit, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95% of very small test particles. If properly fitted, the filtration capabilities of N95 respirators exceed those of face masks. However, even a properly fitted N95 respirator does not completely eliminate the risk of illness or death. N95 respirators are not designed for children or people with facial hair. Because a proper fit cannot be achieved on children and people with facial hair, the N95 respirator may not provide full protection. People with chronic respiratory, cardiac, or other medical conditions that make it harder to breathe should check with their healthcare provider before using an N95 respirator because the N95 respirator can require more effort to breathe. Some models have exhalation valves that can make breathing out easier and help reduce heat build-up. ALL FDA-cleared N95 respirators are labeled as “single use”, disposable devices. If your respirator is damaged or soiled, or if breathing becomes difficult, you should remove the respirator, discard it properly, and replace it with a new one. To safely discard your N95 respirator, place it in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Wash your hands after handling the used respirator. FDA has cleared the following N95 respirators for use by the general public in public health medical emergencies:

  • 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8670F
  • 3M™ Particulate Respirator 8612F
  • Pasture Tm F550G Respirator
  • Pasture Tm A520G Respirator

These devices are labeled “NOT for occupational use.”  

For more information about flu pandemic preparation, visit the following websites:

Preparing for a Pandemic Influenza Outbreak click here to read

Seattle and King County has a comic book on pandemic flu, good for readers of all ages, click here to access the site 

Photo source: public domain

First Aid Kit for the Household

by LDS Intelligent Living

After doing some research about First Aid, I got motivated and decided to check my First Aid kits. I knew I hadn’t changed anything for years in the containers. It was time to update and add a few extra things too. Feeling more confident from my recent knowledge, I decided to do something about my neglected kits and involve my family in the process. tool box 001 I have kept the First Aid supplies for the house in a tackle box for years (an idea I got from a TV show) and used a pre-made kit for the car.            more first aid and more 002 I decided to upgrade the house container to a bigger size because I wanted to keep my supplies in one place and since I use herbal First Aid too I needed more space to fit everything in. I prepared a new First Aid kit for the car using the old tackle box.  Click here to read “Emergency Car Kit” by JoAnn K.  As I shopped around, I kept in mind the features I wanted the container to have:

  • Easy to carry
  • Simple to open
  • Durable
  • Roomy enough to contain the items needed for the family
  • Good visibility of contents

more first aid kit 001 I got my children involved in organizing the supplies in both containers. As we worked, we talked about each item and how to use it (the younger kids were excited about organizing the bandages by size).  First Aid Kit 010 Click here to view the recommended content of a First Aid Kit. We  spent a couple of hours as part of our elective for school that day (we home school) to talk about First Aid, which also helped my son pass off requirements for his Scout rank. We watched videos and discussed what to do in different emergency situations. We talked about the importance of having emergency phone numbers and made sure those we had were up-to-date and visible in the box. We checked that all medications were dated, added the First Aid manual, and wrote the date the supplies were checked on the lid of the container. We decided to update it twice a year along with our 72-hour emergency kit at General Conference time. We keep the First Aid kit within easy reach in one of the bedroom closet in the house (bathrooms are not ideal because of the humidity which shortens the shelf life of some of the contents of the First Aid kit).

Where are the bird-aids

If you do not have a First-Aid kit, and your budget is tight, build-up your supplies the same way you do with your food storage: gradually. A simple cardboard box will do to hold your items if that’s all you have, and ziploc bags to group and compartmentalize the supplies (keep wound supplies in one bag and medication in another). There is a wide selection of pre-made First Aid kits in many different price ranges. You need to shop around and decide what works best for you, to buy a pre-made kit or do it yourself.

Photos by LDS Intelligent Living