Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bocas Bound and Red Frog Beach, and now we are in Bocas Town!!!

We are glad to be out of Bocas Bound and Red Frog Beach on Bastimentos Island. I am sure the island is pretty when there is sunshine and blue skies, but unfortunately we maybe saw the sun for about 30 minutes during our 2-day stay there.

We also are a bit disturbed regarding the customer service, and the attitude of the people there. Yes, we stayed at Bocas Bound, not the fancy, high priced resort. We were anticipating staying on the beach all day, so no need for a fancy room, right? And, we never stayed at a hostel type place before, and while we didn't stay in the dorms, we had a private room, we expected more.

First, we expected the place to be cleaner. There was a HUGE amount of black hair in the shower. In both showers, in fact. Even though the room was a private room that sleeps 5, we still had dormitory style bathrooms, with 2 toilet stalls (one without toilet paper) and two shower stalls.

There was water leaking into the two toilet stalls... from the walls? From the toilet seal? I don't know.

They gave us only 2 towels, which never dried since it was so humid. After the first day they smelled moldy.

And since we had a bad time getting up the hill with "the giant" (that is what I am nicknaming our HUGE piece of luggage), and since it had been raining off and on, we requested an hour in advance, a ride down the hill to met the boat taxi today. It never came so we walked down ourselves. Steve carried the 64-lb luggage on his head. It is crazy.

The bar and grill we went to yesterday, on the beach, took forever to get our orders. It seems that everywhere it takes forever to get an order. I don't like that. Time is money, and good customer service! And, it started pouring down rain so everyone on the beach ran to huddle under the covered bar and grill area. We found out later that the owner of the bar was there... rumor has it that he is from Michigan, but not sure... anyway, he stood up and yelled at everyone that in fact, there was a fire code (this was an open building, no walls at all) and that everyone needed to leave unless they were going to buy something. What a crock. So basically the fire code says you can have as many people as you want as long as you buy something? Definitely not impressed.

But we are off the island. We needed to experience that, however painful it was. We arrived in Bocas Town today, on Island Colon (the main Island in Bocas Del Toro) and a big town with a lot of rastafarian and Jamaican influence. I like it so far. The couple that we met at the above mentioned bar yesterday are staying here. It was a trip... I can't believe it!! We started talking to them right next to us, and when we asked where they were staying, they told us Bahia Del Sol, in Saigon Bay, and we said "We are checking in there tomorrow!!" so we came around 1:00pm, our room wasn't ready but we went to Bluff Beach with them today, and then to Las Coralina (spelling?) restaurant and hotel, for lunch.

The funny story about that was when the other couple, Brian and Becky, ordered, they got their food right away... the waitress put the food down in front of Brian and he started eating the french fries. He opened up the bun on his chicken sandwich to check if it had cheese.... well, the waitress came running back out and took the plate from him. It wasn't HIS order! It was for the next table. He had a french fry in his mouth and we thought she was going to take that, too. We were amazed that she took it right from him and set it down 3 feet from us. The other table's occupants didn't even seem to notice. it was pretty funny.

One thing I noticed that wherever I go here in Panama, the bed heights are very low. It is just an observation, and so once I swing my legs over the edge of the bed to get out, I have to re-learn this. I have kicked the ground a few times.

There were bugs every place we went. So far the worst was at Bocas bound. But I haven't even seen a mosquito yet!!

Oh, here is a cute story about the local children on Bastimentos Island. They catch the red frogs from the island and put them in big leaves. They then offer to show us gringos the red frogs, for 25 cents. Very entrepreneurial. Becky asked them what they were going to use the money for, and they said pens and crayons so they can color and draw. Don't know if that is true, because later the kids bought soda pop with some of the money, but it is still cute.
I took lots of pictures but haven't downloaded them yet. Probably will just add them to my Facebook Photos.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wet. Rain. Moisture. Humidity. Clouds. No Sun. Panama.

I think maybe we can get tired of our vacation. Sounds weird, huh? But the past 3 days of nothing but rain with only peaks of the sun, really wore us down. Yesterday morning we left Boquete at 8:30am and Patryck and his wife drove us back down through David (which was sunny, by the way), and then around and up through the mountains, to the Caribbean coast, and Bocas del Toro, where we are now.

We were tired from sleeping not so well in the uncomfortable beds at Colibri Lodging (don't get me wrong, it was a steal for the price, but had we known that Boquete would have basically NOTHING to do when it rained, and restaurants that ddn't stay open after 7pm, and locals that didn't really like us gringos, well, we would have gone for a more inclusive hotel with a gym and spa, etc, or we would maybe have only stayed one night).

Once we got to Almirante, we were in a shanty town area with a dock. Barely anyone spoke English, but we needed to take a "water taxi" to Bocas Town, on the Island of Colon, and then another water taxi out to Bastimentos Island, to our current place of lodging at Bocas Bound on Red Frog Beach.

The water taxi ride was an adventure in and of itself. We had 19 people on the boat with all our luggage. The water was choppy and it was about a 30 minute ride. Waves were splashing up into the boat, and I was worried our suitcase was going to flop out of the water. Finally, though, we arrived in Bocas Town. It reminded me of a busy Jamaican town. Lots of Rastafarian influence. I had to run to the bank to get cash, since we didn't have any for our boat ride to Bastimentos Island. Somehow the price of our ticket from Bocas Town went from $3 each to $10, we were suckered. Oh well! Next time we will know better.

We finally arrived at the Marina at Red Frog Beach, and ended up walking up a steep hill, maybe half a mile, to Bocas Bound, in the pouring rain. We were not happy campers. Tired, exhausted, and wet. Our room was not ready yet, but finally we got some food, got into some dry clothing, and last night, got a good nights sleep.

This morning the weather looks a little better. Possibility of some sunshine today. We are looking forward to it!!!


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How to get Diabetes: The Zero-Calorie Hoax

I am not affiliated with Dr. Sears at all, but sometimes I really like what he has to say. I LOVE Stevia, and avoid diet beverages at all costs... and I wanted to forward this on. I wish he had a link to a website with this information (or at least one easy to find), but nonetheless, good information...

Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
December 28, 2010

Did you know we drank over 43 billion cans and bottles of diet soda last year?

Diet soda’s been on my mind lately because I’ve been reading the latest studies on diabetes. Did you know drinking diet soda leads to diabetes?
One recent study says point blank that if you drink diet soda every day, you’re 67 percent more likely to develop diabetes.1
And the more you drink, the worse it is. Another study found that those who drank the most diet soda had a 34 percent greater risk than those who drank the least.2
Even the famous Framingham Heart Study found that people who drink more than one diet soda a day have a 56 percent increased chance for developing metabolic syndrome – that’s the group of risks that give you a greater chance for diabetes, as well as coronary artery disease and stroke.3
But if you want a sweetened drink, a good alternative to diet sodas are drinks sweetened with stevia. This herb has been used for hundreds of years as a natural sweetener without problem and can be found at your local grocery store. Just keep in mind that it’s 200-300 times sweeter than sugar.
The best thing about stevia is that it’s a natural extract. It has no calories, and doesn’t spike your blood sugar. In fact, it might even help increase insulin sensitivity.4 And increasing your insulin sensitivity – that is, keeping the amount of insulin you need to process sugar low – is the key to reversing diabetes.
There are other sweeteners you can use, too, like sorbitol and xylitol. These sweeteners are made from alcohol, and don’t cause an insulin reaction. They’re natural laxatives, though, so you might want to add them to your drinks little by little.
These are just two ideas you can use to get away from drinking diet soda and get off the road to diabetes. For more ideas like this, I found a report that’s full of real-world, easy-to-follow advice. It also gives you tips on foods to steer clear of, and tells you about little-known blood tests like Hemoglobin A1c and fructosamine. To get the report, go here.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Nettleton, J.A., Lutsey, P.L., Wang, Y., Lima, J.A., Michos, E.D., Jacobs, D.R. Jr., "Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA),” Diabetes Care Apr 2009; 32(4): 688-94
2 Lutsey, Pamela L., Steffen, Lyn M., Stevens, June, "Dietary Intake and the Development of the Metabolic Syndrome. The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study," CIRCULATION AHA Jan 2008; 107.716159
3 Dhingra R, Sullivan, et al, “Soft drink consumption and risk of developing cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in middle-aged adults in the community,” Circulation 2007; 116:480–488
4 Gregersen S, Jeppesen PB, Holst JJ, Hermansen K., "Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in type 2 diabetic subjects," Metabolism Jan. 2004; 53(1):73-6

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Rain Rain go AWAY!! It is not supposed to be the rainy season here in Panama!!!

Today was another rainy day with lots of wind. We were very cold here in Boquete. However, there were a couple hours of sunshine that peaked through the clouds. We walked all around town, and ended up eating tacos from a whole in the wall corner cafe for lunch. Very good.

Then, we ended up at Isle Verde resort for some massages. They have a spa inside the resort, where you can get massages here in Boquete. We paid $45 plus tip for a deep tissue massage that lasted an hour. She was very knowledgeable and we feel SO good now!

We had dinner at as local pizza joint. I think the pizza was so-so, but Steve LOVED it.

We are still cold, huddling under the blankets in bed, haha, this will be the joke part of our vacation. We are worried about Bocas del Toro now, I snuck a peak at the weather forecast and it will be wet and rainy for the next few days... at least it will be warmer though!

On our way to the spa tonight we saw a young couple whose car was stuck (see attached picture) so we helped them unstuck their car. (is that a word, unstuck? hmmm).

I also included a picture of the San Juan Bautista church, and some horses. 2 horses were inside the fence, but one was outside, they were just hanging out, like friends chatting. The other picture included is a picture of the town square, or city center.

We are leaving early tomorrow morning and so most likely I won't be able to post again until tomorrow evening. We will see.

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Now we are in Boquete, Panama!! Freezing our butts off!!!

I have a few things to write about, regarding Panama.

First, everyone who knows me knows I LOVE animals and do a lot of animal rescue. It is hard for me to see the way animals are treated out there. I don't know if they just don't know any better, or just feel that us humans are at the top of the food chain, so we can do what we want to those below us. Here is what I have noticed... There are a lot of chickens / roosters just walking along the roads. That is very common. Same with dogs. They are all scrawny. I bet you won't ever see an overweight animal here. And, there are a lot of cats, too. I would be afraid to have them get hit by a car. But I can just see that none of the dogs are neutered, no collars on them, etc. I hope the dogs are happy. Even the cows are scrawny. Maybe it is a Panamanian thing, because they can just eat more grass, right? And there seems to be plenty of it around them.

But cockfighting is big here, and that disturbs me. The value they place on these beautiful creatures is based on how well they can fight.

And, as we were driving up to David from Boca Chica, we saw multiple people out there on the side of the road with birds, parrots, cockatiels, etc. on a piece of wood or stick, they were just holding them, wanting to sell them to just anyone passing by. To me, pet ownership is a responsibility. I don't think that just anyone should be a pet owner. In fact, many folks I know should NEVER have a pet.

Now that we are in Boquete (pronounced Bo ket ay), in the mountains, we are experiencing some bad weather. Strong winds, heavy rains. It may not be so bad if we weren't nestled in a little mountain valley... but I am not sure. We have been cold. We checked in to the Colibri Lodge, which is basically a house that a family lives in, and they have rooms on the side and back, maybe 4 rooms in all, with private entrances. Very inexpensive, about $25 per night for two people. It includes a private bath, and supposedly hot water. Last night the shower was hot, as I used it to wash my face. The sink doesn't have hot water though. And the power has been going on and off. Right now I have been wanting to take a shower, but apparently there is no hot water left so I am going to wait awhile. The poor weather in Boquete has really put a damper on our plans, it is freezing outside (well, rainy and windy) and we don't have the proper attire.

We thought more of the locals would speak English here, and it is frustrating for me to try to communicate. I know it isn't their fault at all, it is my lack of preparation by not learning Spanish well enough to communicate. Heck, we didn't even bring a Spanish to English / English to Spanish dictionary with us!!

When we first arrived, our driver, Patryck, took us to The Rock restaurant. I accidentally ordered fish and a soup. I even ate some of the fish without knowing what it was. haha. I quickly stopped once I found out what it was. Yuck. Steve says it is all psychological. Oh well.

Tomorrow morning our driver, Patryck, will pick us up, take us to the Caldera hot springs, and then on to Bocas del Toro, where we will spend the next 5 days in two different locations there.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where we are in Panama

I am telling you the story of our trip to Panama, and all our experiences from my normally outgoing, positive viewpoint. But now I will share some things that I don't like.

First, they aren't anything against Panama, they have to do with my body. Nope, it isn't going to be me complaining about how I look in a swimsuit, hehe!! The first thing is that I have a cut on the bottom of my right foot... from our first full day here, when we went kayaking. (In the picture of the boca chica area, we stayed right next door to Seagull Cove Lodge, and the "X" is Boca Brava, a backpacking hotel in Panama, where we ate lunch when kayaking. The "smudge" (which was supposed to be a heart, haha, is our "deserted island" where we saw the iguana, etc.

But the tide comes in quickly, and goes out quickly here. When that happens, rocks are along the shoreline, and I cut my foot walking up to shore. It hurs. But I have colloidal silver and some pure iodine drops that I brought with me, and have been cleaning it out. Nonetheless, it is right on my arch. And since I have flat feet, every step hurts. Steve has one, too, but he has high arches and he says it doesnt bother him. Lucky Steve.

The next thing that is killing me is the bed. It is very uncomfortable here, sleeping. Sure, we have A/C in the room, the temperature is ok, but maybe I am so spoiled with my ultra plush luxury mattress at home. I have back issues as it is, and shoulder issues. But it feels like sleeping on the floor. The pillows are hard, as well. I understand it keeps them usable longer, but it doesn't make them more comfortable. So I have woken up every morning stiff, and toss and turn during the night.

But, we are leaving today for Boquete, for 2 nights. Then we will be off to Bocas Del Toro -- first, spending 2 nights on Bastimentos Island, and then the next 3 nights in bocas Town. I will insert more images of those areas when we are there.

We leave for boquete in about 3 1/2 hours.

I included a picture of the country of Panama, as well. boquete is right above Boca Chica, and then Bocas Del Toro is above Boquete, on the Carribean side of the country.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Private Island, White Sand Beach, Crocodiles and Dolphins... Feliz Navidad!

What an adventure today! We went with the resort owners son, Cedar, and one of his local friends, out on the boat today. What a perfect plan for a warm and sunny Christmas day in Boca Chica, Panama


Cedar and his friend

As we started out on our trek, we went toward a private island that a friend of Cedar's owned. It was very  reclusive. We landed on a gorgeous beach, I mean, it was amazing! Black sand beach, a little hut could be seen off the beach a few hundred yards, and two dogs came out to greet us. Here are some pictures:



What was extraordinary about this place was that it had sort of a swamp or a lake not too far from shore (the tide didn't reach it) and in this "swamp" there were about a dozen young crocodiles!! With names!! [[posterous-content:btfcFxjIqydjhGHntvHc]][[posterous-content:hwamlzhzBDttmqJDazyI]]

We played with them for awhile, and I took a movie, I am very poor at taking movies, will never be a good photographer. So we will just deal with that and be forgiving. But I got a few photos, too.[[posterous-content:EyIeabkIyHcjtJtyBaeJ]]

Then, we walked along a stone path through the jungle on this private island... from my understanding, this guy who owns the island has an all inclusive place where he will take wilderness lovers (and folks who don't need to stay in a 5-star hotel) out on treks and adventures in Panama, and they stay in a hammock in a little open hut. Very quaint and outdoorsy. And expensive. Apparently you can rent the whole island for $1,100 per night.

Once we finished THAT adventure, we went to a white sand beach island that took about 30 minutes by boat to get to. On our way, we saw DOLPHINS!! Unfortunately all I had was my camera on movie, not photo setting, so I have a very horrible movie of about 5-7 dolphins frolicking and playing alongside our boat. That was so cool.


And on to our white sand beach. The inlet / cove was perfect. Water was warm, waves were calm, I wasn't afraid of drowning. (Yes, normally I am afraid of drowning).[[posterous-content:pBGhnbbuIEamqodyqIDk]]




We got a LOT of sun, and relaxation. What a wonderful Christmas, the white came from the sand, not the snow. Yes, this is the life. I am sick of snow! I don't want to go back to Minnesota!

Here is a picture of the Pacific Ocean. Amazing!!! Just water for thousands of miles. Makes me feel small!


Here is a picture of Steve, and one of me, on the boat during our adventure today:


[[posterous-content:IqvjItnHphlBmraFJArw]]And here is a picture of Donna (the owner of the resort) and I when we got back and after we showered so I don't look like a drowned rat.


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2nd day in Panama

Yesterday we ended up kayaking to some deserted island. Well, no one lives there but it is accessible to anyone who wants to land there. The tide here in the bay is a big one, ranging from 18 to 20 feet. When the tide is out, you can see many more islands and rocks. But when the tide is in, they disappear. I am out here on the veranda at Gone Fishing Panama, and am viewing the island that we kayaked to yesterday. It seems so much closer than I remember when I was actually out on the water kayaking.

Maybe that is because I am SUPER SORE today. My upper back muscles and shoulders are killing me. Steve says he did most of the work paddling, but he is a liar. It was 90% me. And I am sticking with that claim.

It is so peaceful and gorgeous here. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! What a wonderful day to wake up on Christmas morning just outside the city of David (about 20 miles away). I know it is a different city than Bethlehem (Steve has pointed that out to me many times), but the symbolism is still there for me, I think it is Luke 2:10 that says "For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord". How cool is that. It may not be THE city of David, but it sure has the same name!!! :)

I am definitely not dreaming of a white Christmas. I have been keeping up with the news back in Minnesota, and they got dumped with another 4-6 inches of snow yesterday morning, and two more storm systems will be coming through in the next week. Hopefully it will all be done snowing for the rest of the winter by the time we get back. haha!! So much false hope there!

Today we have planned to go with the resort owners son, Cedar, and a bunch of locals, to an island about 12 miles away, have a picnic lunch packed, and just lay on the beach, party, swim, etc. Another couple that is staying at this resort, from Switzerland, (an older couple) have befriended us and the gentleman (I think Verner is his name?) cautioned us with fatherly advice about how much closer the sun is than we are used to. So be sure to use the sunscreen. I like the fatherly advice!! :)

Here are some pictures of the deserted island from yesterday, along with my footprint and Steve's footprints. You can tell how flat footed I am. Thankfully I have sandals with custom made orthotics built in, so my legs and hips don't hurt as much anymore.

Adios!! Will write more later!!! FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Here we are!!!

Our trip from Minneapolis to Panama was eventful but smooth. Here are the highlights:

We woke up at 2:30am to make it to the MSP airport by 4:15am. I was expecting to go through the "body scan" units at the airport, but found out that only a few of the security checkpoints have those body scan units. So, we went through just the metal detector, and I did get a little pat down from a matronly lady, but she didn't touch any of my private parts.

We flew into Miami to catch the flight to Panama City. We were excited we got upgraded to an exit row, but dismayed when we realized we couldn't lift the arm rests (my favorite way to fly is sprawled against Steve, sleeping, which was impossible on this segment). Sure, we had great leg room, but we also couldn't recline our seats.

We had a dog in the row in front of us, who behaved very well. No barks or anything. The lady told us the dog was a seasoned traveler. 

Much different (peaceful) than our journey from Miami to Panama City. That flight was full and 5 people got bumped. We sat in regular seats (with no leg room) but our arm rests moved, and our chairs reclined. I tried to sleep but didn't get much shut eye. There were 2 children in our immediate vicinity that were screaming (I would guess around 2-3 year old). they could talk but also could throw major tantrums).

Once we landed, we got through customs quickly (yay) and got our luggage. We had one piece of checked luggage that weighed 64lbs so we had to pay extra for it. But, at least everything made it in one piece.

We then had to rush (via taxi) to the regional airport in Panama City to catch our flight to David. Our flight was scheduled for 5pm but when we arrived at 4:10, they said "no". We were worried a bit, but decided to just go along. We found out they meant to put us on the 4pm flight that was JUST leaving. So we rushed, and made it onto the tiny plane. We flew Aeroperlas. The "stewardess" was a friendly young man and we got free cookies and beverages on the 40 min flight. Even the beer was free, although I don't drink.

When we arrived in David, we were in a very small airport. In fact, they only had one room where passengers board. (one gate, I should say). The small Panama City one had 2 rooms. Airport parking is free (even for weeks), and it is nestled on the outskirts of David, which is a bustling town of maybe 200,000 residents.

When we were driving to catch the flight, we drove through the toll roads right in the middle of Panama City, and noticed LOTS of garbage, dumpsters were FILLED with trash and other debris. We found out that the government is taking over the garbage collection and they just haven't gotten up to speed yet.

So, we arrived in David, and Connie, our host (her and her husband own the cute boutique hotel in Boca Chica named Gone Fishing Panama) was there to pick us up. It is about a 50 minute drive from David to Boca Chica. Her Excursion wouldn't start (you need 4WD on these roads out here). Finally we got it to start and went about 1/3 of the way to the resort before the vehicle start spewing out smoke from both ends. We parked at a gas station to cool the engine off, put oil in, and some water in the radiator (once it cooled off), and waited. We couldn't get it to start again, so we taxi'd it to the resort.

We didn't mind this little adventure at all. It was what we wanted to experience. What life really is like living here. Boca Chica is a town of about 250 people, a little fishing village. David is I think the 2nd or 3rd largest city in Panama. It is not a nice looking town, but it is absolutely beautiful in its own way. People walk down the middle of the street, no cares in the world, which makes it frustrating for drivers. There are malls, shopping places, etc but very different from what I am used to back in the states.

We finally got to the resort. We got to drive on the Trans American highway, which in my mind would have been an 8-lane bustling freeway. Nope. Try a 2 lane windy road without any center divide. The drivers are brave (or stupid)... we had an 18-wheeler pass us at 100 kilometers per hour!! Many cars have only one headlight working. I dont think any of them have shocks on their cars. We finally get to the steep,windy DIRT road leading to the resort (we are in a taxi -- a small car). Steve and I are in the back seat with a cooler in between us, he has a box of food on his lap (big box) and towels. When Donna came to town she went shopping, too, so we had to not only load the taxi with our 64-lb luggage, our carryon suitcase, backpack and purse, we had to load it with groceries, too. So all the weight in the car made it impossible to get to the resort. We kept bottoming out. We had less than half a mile to go, but Donna's son came and got us with his 4X4.


It was almost 9pm by this time, and we had been up since 3:30am Panama time (Eastern Standard time). So we ate a quick dinner and went to bed.

Our room is gorgeous, our deck is beautiful, the view is phenomenol, the ladies who work here are so sweet and adorable. I know one of them is named Lupe. They call her Loopy. We walked on the beach this morning (low tide) and Steve is right now sleeping in the hammock as I am on the veranda / porch overlooking the ocean.

The most interesting thing? I am at peace. I am relaxed. This just rocks. I LOVE Panama so far.

Our plan for today? Relax, swim in the pool, maybe try some kayaking. Later we can walk into town (only one restaurant, which Donna didn't recommend, she said it was dirty and the hygiene was an issue), a pool hall / bar, and a mini-mart. But we still want to check it all out, and it is about a mile away.

Other observations... it is HOT here. And humid. It is just changing into "summer" here, and they say they never get rain in the summer in this area of Panama, but yesterday it rained a little, and they received more rain than ever before, these past few weeks.

I can't wait to write more about our adventures tomorrow, and post more pictures.

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New warning over poisoned fillings

This article is from Dr. William C. Douglass, MD. I subscribe to his newsletters, but unfortunately he doesn't have a link to a website to click on his email newsletters so I can post a link to the article. So, I am copying it below and attributing it to him. Mercury is very bad for you, we all know. And many of us have it in our mouths. I removed all my amalgams (not personally!) years ago, and have only composite fillings. Unfortunately my dental insurance doesn't cover them. They cover the cheaper, silver fillings. So, I just take care of my teeth and hopefully won't face any cavities in the future. And while I got the amalgams removed from my mouth, I used my detox foot pads to remove the heavy metals. I do feel a lot better and am not afraid of chronic diseases anymore!

New warning over poisoned fillings

Got fillings? Of course you do... but you might want to rip 'em out -- teeth and all -- when you hear about how they're slowly poisoning you.

Dentists like to call these things "amalgam," which is a fancy way of saying "mercury mixed with silver."

But of course, if they put it that way, patients would run screaming from the clinic... so "amalgam" it is, and by some estimates these poisoned fillings now line 180 million unsuspecting American mouths.

Now, a new report finds that those fillings send 67.2 million Americans beyond safe mercury exposure levels, as defined by the EPA.

What's more, the report by the International Academy of Oral Medicine finds that if the more rigid California exposure standards were used, 122.3 million Americans would exceed safe levels.

And if you use Douglass standards, all 180 million Americans with mercury fillings are in dangerous territory -- because there is NO safe level of exposure to this toxic heavy metal.

Yet here you are, probably being exposed as you read this. It happens every time you chew, chomp, grind, bite or even brush.

And if you're pregnant, your unborn baby is exposed to all that mercury, same as you, putting your kid at risk for autism and other development problems... all because your dentist filled your teeth with a toxic heavy metal -- and probably never even bothered to tell you.

The feds have insisted that a mouthful of poison is perfectly safe, but that claim is based only on useless short-term studies. There's strong evidence now that slow-but-steady exposure to mercury over a lifetime can lead to degenerative disorders such as lupus, multiple scleroris and Alzheimer's disease.

And if that's not enough, take a look at the effect it's having on a type of wetland bird...

Researchers fed male white ibises pellets with different levels of mercury to simulate what they might get from eating contaminated shrimp and crayfish.

Boy-birds who ate the most mercury stopped showing interest in girl-birds and paired with other males instead.

Could this be true for humans, too?

Judging by the number of "alternative arrangements" springing up around the country, I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

Friday, December 17, 2010

No more blogging about my shoulder surgeries!!

It has been 18 weeks yesterday, since my left shoulder surgery. I had my final PT and post op visit with my orthopedic surgeon this past week. I feel great. Well, I have a long road ahead of me still. Sometimes after laying on my left side for hours at night, I wake up with a stiff, sore shoulder. Sometimes I over use it and it is very sore for a few days. Sometimes (like recently) I don't stretch every day like I am supposed to, and it gets tight.

But, overall, My pain is FINALLY less than before I had my surgery. I honestly never believed this possible, only in my wildest dreams. Speaking of wildest dreams, I need to look up that Moody Blues song, it was one of my favorites about 22 years ago!

I won't be posting updates weekly. I think maybe in the spring, or a couple months down the road I will post how I am doing, but overall I am very pleased.

We are heading out to Panama in 6 days. I will miss the dogs but am thankful my friend and her family will be house sitting for us over Christmas.

Carpe Diem!!!

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Week 17 Bicep Tenodesis surgery and Subacromial Decompression - my story

Yesterday was 17 weeks since my bicep tenodesis surgery on my left arm (and subacromial decompression / distal clavicle excision). And it was 12 weeks since the subacromial decompression and distal clavicle excision on my right shoulder. So, time is creeping by, and I am HEALING!!

I knew that week 17 would be the magical week. I can honestly say now that I am in LESS PAIN than before my surgeries. This is fantastic (as I am leaving for Central America in 2 weeks).

I am still tender and sore. My muscles still aren't 100% strong. But I can do practically everything that I try to do. I even painted my condo (with help from a friend).

I have to admit I haven't been doing my regular physical therapy, and here I am, at 5:30am admitting this when I see my physical therapist in an hour... shame on me! But I had a tenant move out of my condo, and need to get it ready for a new tenant, I need to find that tenant, and my truck heater broke and it is like 12 degrees F outside, and Steve is sick with the flu, and my dogs need attention, and I am exhausted. So, with a lot going on in my life, there is an immense amount of stress right now.... and so much to do. So I have been doing my stretches maybe about 1x per day at least, and I have been foregoing my strengthening lately. I will talk to the PT today, but since I have been working (i.e. painting, scrubbing, cleaning, carrying boxes) I think that he might say that constitutes strengthening!!

So that is my update for this week. I think maybe now I will wait a few more weeks to report back, as I am on the path to being fully healed, and it probably isn't fun reading minute details every week, with nothing new to say really.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why Skim milk will make you fat -- a blog post from Sarah, the Healthy Home Economist

Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease

by Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist on February 28, 2010

in Healthy Living,Most Controversial

Joke: How do you dramatically increase sales of a new or unpopular food product to the American public?

Answer: Call it a health food!

This joke, while funny, is also very sad as it illustrates with humor what common sense, logic, observation, and facts cannot for the vast majority of Westerners. Time and time again, Americans are completely duped by the clever marketing of a food product, falling all over themselves to buy it just because it has been touted in the media and by their (equally duped) doctors as a food that will improve their health.

Don’t believe it? How about margarine? Americans, in the span of just a few short years after World War II, all but completely shunned butter and this behavior pattern continued for decades because saturated fat was supposedly the demon of heart disease. See my blog which explains the truth about butter.   Americans are finally waking up to the fact that butter is a wonderful, truly natural healthfood and it is margarine that ironically causes heart disease!

What about soy? This is another supposed “health food” that has been proven to do nothing but cause an epidemic of hypothyroidism is the Western world (you know the symptoms: overweight, losing your hair, depressed, tired all the time). Soy in Asia, as it has been consumed for thousands of years, is always fermented for long periods of time before it can be safely consumed – and even then – in very small quantities! The modern processing of soy which involves grinding up the leftover soy protein, the waste product in the production of soy oil, and putting it in all manner of food products which line our grocery store shelves makes for a dangerous and health robbing line of consumer goods.

I also blogged recently about the latest healthfood scam: agave nectar. Here again is an example of a new food that was marketed using the “health food” label. This approach to selling to the American people is obviously working as these products are readily available in most health food stores despite the fact that this product has a more deadly concentration of fructose than the high fructose corn syrup in soda!

Now, On to Skim Milk!

Hopefully, you are now convinced that labeling an item as a “health food” is a frequently used approach for selling something to the American public. Skim milk falls into this same category.

Prior to World War II, Americans didn’t ever drink skim or lowfat milk. Drinking such a product to stay “thin and healthy” would have been laughable. Americans would only drink whole milk. In fact, the larger the creamline on their milk, the higher quality the milk, and the more likely the consumer was to buy it. Milk wasn’t homogenized in those days, so a consumer could easily see the distinct creamline on the milk to determine quality.

Cream has been considered a true health food for centuries. In Ancient Greece, Olympic athletes drank a bowlful of cream to give them strength and endurance before competition. Why? Because cream steadies blood sugar for an extended period of time. No ups and downs in insulin when your diet has lots of wonderful saturated fat in it. It is only when you eat lowfat that blood sugar issues such as diabetes and hypoglycemia tend to arise.

So, how did skim milk come to be recognized as a healthfood in America? It all ties back to the demonization of saturated fats that began shortly after World War II. Americans started to abandon butter and cream in droves about this time because studies had apparently shown that saturated fat was linked to the growing number of heart disease cases in America. Never mind that atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) was virtually unknown prior to the mid 1920′s when Americans drowned everything in cream and butter. Logic and observation clearly indicated that saturated fat could not possibly be the cause of heart disease – it was obviously something new that had been introduced into the American diet. Of course, this “something” is partially hydrogenated fats which were introduced around 1921 (Enter Crisco. Bingo! First heart attack in 1927). These factory fats are primarily responsible for the epidemic of heart disease yet saturated fats took the fall anyway.

With Americans abandoning whole milk due to its high saturated fat content, skim milk was touted as the new heart healthy food. Americans bought the scam hook, line, and sinker. Skim milk was the new king of the dairy aisle. This behavior pattern has continued for decades despite the average American getting fatter and fatter and the cases of heart disease showing no signs of abating.

In the 1990′s with the beginnings of the childhood obesity epidemic, doctors even started to encourage parents to switch their children to skim or lowfat milk around age 2. This foolish recommendation has done nothing but make kids fatter.

How does drinking skim milk make kids (and adults) fatter? This apparent paradox occurs when you reduce the saturated fat in a person’s diet and he/she turns to carbs (grains and sugars primarily) to fill in the gap. It is the grains and sugars that truly make you fat, not saturated fat. I’ve said before on this blog that the more butter and cream I eat, the easier it is to maintain my weight. MUCH easier. The same goes for all of us. If you drink skim milk, you will be missing out on the satiating, blood sugar and insulin steadying affects of saturated fat, so your body will automatically give you sugar and carb (grains) cravings to make up for it. The body is able to MAKE saturated fat out of sugars, hence the sugar cravings that are impossible to control when you eat a lowfat diet that includes skim milk. Try it! Eat tons of butter, whole milk yogurt and whole milk cheese for a few days and watch your sugar cravings rapidly diminish!

Another big secret is that Big Dairy adds skim milk powder to skim milk. Here’s an excerpt from “Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry” from the Weston A. Price Website:

A note on the production of skim milk powder: liquid milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form and the cholesterol in the milk is oxidized. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that cholesterol is your best friend; you don’t have to worry about natural cholesterol in your food; however, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. So when you drink reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which initiates the process of heart disease.

One parting fact: pig farmers love feeding skim milk to their pigs. Why? It makes them REALLY fat! Still want to drink your skim milk? I hope not.



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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Week 16 bicep tenodesis update / SAD / DCE

It is now 16 weeks since my major surgery. Last night during my strengthening exercises, I did 5lb weights on both arms, when I did the arm curl. It felt like my left arm was lifting 10lbs to the 5lb weight on my right arm, so we do have strength issues there. And I can't just power lift, because I am looking for toning. Then, once I get my muscle toned, I can start to do heavier weights. It was the first time I tried the 5lb weight on my left arm, and boy was it hard. I only was about to do 20 reps. I will shoot for 30 reps tomorrow. (I do strengthening every day).

On another note, my "sleeper stretch" is improving. I am almost able to put my arm all the way to the ground, just a few inches to go. I have my next physical therapy appointment in a week and a half, and I hope to be able to be close enough to show off!!

I am in pain still. A lot of movements in my left arm cause pain. But, I have to say that it isn't excruciating like it was before the surgery. And, I almost have full range of motion, which is nice. It is just that my arms are so weak that I have trouble with certain movements. Don't know how I am going to paint walls this weekend!!!

I am sleeping better. While I still have a lot of pain at night, and especially in the morning, it IS decreasing. slowly but surely.

Where I am most tender still is the tops of my shoulders, where the acromium is, where they cut off the end of the clavicle. This is very tender on both shoulders, and like I mentioned in a few earlier posts, it is because of the ligament that is up there, I can't remember the name. It is traumatized from the surgery and can realistically take up to 8 months (one person said 6 months, the other said 8 months, so what I want to hear is the 6 month one. That way in 3 months I can hope to have both shoulders back to normal!)

I can't wait. This is a struggle, a daily battle. I am exhausted from all the things I have to do, on top of the physical therapy. If I miss a day of physical therapy I REALLY feel it. It is amazing the difference that it makes. And, I THINK the pain is slowly going away. It is hard to tell when you live with it day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. I know my range of motion IS getting better, and my strength is getting better as well.

I will just keep on keeping on!

My ultimate goal is to be able to work my garden come spring, and not have ANY pain associated with my shoulders. I can't wait!

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My niece's version of her trip to Minnesota

Here is a picture my niece, Genesis (age 10) drew of her visit to Minnesota. I like the portrait she drew of me so much, I am going to copy it in Photoshop and make it my profile picture. I LOVE the hair! And the foot prints of my dogs, Aegis and Max.


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