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Old 07-21-2010, 08:35 AM   #1
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My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

I constantly am changing my menu, trying to make it more palatable. It is not the greatest, most tasty diet a person can eat, but it helps to keep my blood pressure and blood sugar at very healthy levels, and also helps reduce the possibility of my Heart Failure worsening. I figure, it is either stick to a diet similar to this one, or experience worsening health.

I've had to struggle with Chronically High Blood Pressure, Heart Failure and Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes for over two decades. Over this time, the only help I got from the medical profession was in emptying my wallet, and throwing all kinds of nasty, ineffective medications my way.

Over the many years of frustration, anxiety, stress and nasty side effects from the medications and my health problems, I slowly discovered that the most effective "medication" available to me was DIET! I was amazed, after experimenting with almost everything in my environment and lifestyle, that a partial cure to all of my health problems potentially dealt with what I ate and drank, PERIOD!

I started posting on HealthBoards about my diet back Jan 13, 2005, entitled: Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?, Direct Link: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229; when I was first starting to link my diet to Chronically High Blood Pressure, and it's association with Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes.

Since that first fateful thread linking my diet to most of my health problems, I've been on a road forward, towards age 70 and towards better health.

Following is a picture of my current, ever-changing menu, offering it up for discussion and/or criticism, or perhaps even some suggestions! (I find that the best way for me to look at the menu is by right-clicking on it, and opening it in a new window or new tab).

My current menu:

Menu 100721.jpg

You will notice that the top line of the menu contains the total calories for 6 meals, 7 meals or 8 meals, depending upon how many meals I eat that day. It also contains the calorie balance for the day, which is currently 52% Carbs (-fiber), 23% Protein and 25% Fat.

My daily menu has been a work in progress, over the years, as I suffer the effects of aging on my Immune System and my Metabolism. It is surely not the type of diet that others will run towards in a crazed, desirous ravenous way. I would guess that most people would HATE having a daily menu like the one I'm showing. Buts...... I have no other choice if I want to survive with a reasonably good quality of life.

Any comments? Any suggestions? Any potential improvements?
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

 
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

If I'm seeing your diet correctly (the format is a little confusing), it doesn't look like you're getting enough protein. And, believe it or not, the fat could stand to come down a little. Also, I'm suspicious of anything that comes in a bar and especially anything that's called "Granola". ;-)

Why don't you try a small adjustment as follows: Carbs 50, Protein 30 and fat 20. The main thing is to not be short on protein.

Good for you for realizing that diet/lifestyle is the all important thing rather than just depending on doctors/medications.

Last edited by JohnR41; 07-22-2010 at 08:04 AM. Reason: to add a thought

 
Old 07-21-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
If I'm seeing your diet correctly (the format is a little confusing), it doesn't look like you're getting enough protein.
Thanks for your response to my post! I'll try and address your concerns.

Regarding protein? Actually, I need to reduce the protein. If you go back and look at the top line of my menu, you will see that the diet contains 91 grams of proteins, which greatly exceeds the recommended protein load for me by 92%!

I have to be VERY careful about calories because Heart Failure does not handle calories too well, and eating too much of any of the calorie types can result in serious health problems for me.

So..... I am extremely careful about exactly what I eat with each meal and for the day.

Quote:
And, believe it or not, the fat could stand to come down a little.
I take less than the recommended daily grams of fat by 33%! How many grams of fat do you recommend?

It has been sooooooo very difficult for me to balance carbs, calories and fats and keep the total calories per meal and for the day within healthy limits.

Quote:
Also, I'm suspicious of anything that comes in a bar and especially anything that's called "Granola". ;-)
Criticism of Granola Bars accepted. Thanks for the thought!

Quote:
Why don't you try a small adjustment as follows: Carbs 50, Protein 30 and fat 20. Or, Carbs 45, Protein 35 and fat 20. The main thing is to not be short on protein.
I've spent years trying to find a diet that helps me to survive Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation and Insulin Resistance. This diet works for me. I've got more energy and feel better than I have felt in DECADES! Because of my dietary struggles and diligence, I now feel like I have significantly slowed the progression of my Heart Failure, and my Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes is totally under control.

So..... even though your suggestions might be completely valid for you, they are not changes that I would readily do. But thanks for your efforts on my behalf. I do appreciate it!

Quote:
Good for you for realizing that diet/lifestyle is the all important thing rather than just depending on doctors/medications.
It works for me! My laborious, difficult, somewhat bland diet is basically responsible for, not only saving my life, but greatly improving my health; despite having life threatening, chronic illnesses.

So...... I agree with you about changing one's lifestyle and diet rather than just depending upon doctors and popping pills to solve our health problems.

Take care...........
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 07-21-2010 at 02:34 PM.

 
Old 07-22-2010, 09:45 AM   #4
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machaon View Post

Regarding protein? Actually, I need to reduce the protein. If you go back and look at the top line of my menu, you will see that the diet contains 91 grams of proteins, which greatly exceeds the recommended protein load for me by 92%!
When you stated 23% protein that seemed a little low to me because I remembered the Zone diet calling for 40-30-30. But now that you state it in terms of grams (91g), it does seem very high. I would guess it should be somewhere around 45 grams for the average woman. But you say you are exceeding the recommended amount by 92%. Who's making the recommendations? And if you followed the recommendations, what would your percentages look like, if not 52-23-25?

Quote:
I have to be VERY careful about calories because Heart Failure does not handle calories too well, and eating too much of any of the calorie types can result in serious health problems for me.
Dr. Dean Ornish has written books about how to reverse cardiovascular disease and I believe he recommends taking the fat down to about 10% of calories. So (for your condition) if you want to cut back on calories, it seems like a logical place to cut.


Quote:
I take less than the recommended daily grams of fat by 33%! How many grams of fat do you recommend? It has been sooooooo very difficult for me to balance carbs, calories and fats and keep the total calories per meal and for the day within healthy limits.
Again, I suppose it depends on who's making the recommendations. I wish I had Dr. Ornish's book with me now. I can remember some statements he made but I'm not sure it would be of much help. I believe he doesn't recommend oils or nuts for those with heart related health issues. He's very strict on fat consumption. When I get back to where the books are, I'll check it out.


Quote:
I've spent years trying to find a diet that helps me to survive Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation and Insulin Resistance. This diet works for me. I've got more energy and feel better than I have felt in DECADES! Because of my dietary struggles and diligence, I now feel like I have significantly slowed the progression of my Heart Failure, and my Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes is totally under control.
Sounds good. If it's not broke, don't fix it. However, as with my own diet I'm always in the habit of looking for possible improvements.

Quote:
So..... even though your suggestions might be completely valid for you, they are not changes that I would readily do. But thanks for your efforts on my behalf. I do appreciate it!
I'm in good health but my dietary goals are basically the same as yours. I try as best I can to practice the CRON diet. That's Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition. It's no different than what you're trying to do. It can be done with or without animal protein. I choose to do it without animal protein. But I do have a small amount of fish, so that makes me a pescatarian.

Quote:
It works for me! My laborious, difficult, somewhat bland diet is basically responsible for, not only saving my life, but greatly improving my health; despite having life threatening, chronic illnesses.
Yes, I understand what you mean by "bland diet". I eat lots of vegetables, measured amounts of whole grains, legumes, lentils, fresh fruit and very little fat. I don't eat any processed foods. Thankfully, I do like what I eat. But at the same time, I realize it's not as tasty as the standard American diet.

I'm trying to save my life too, as there has been a lot of cancer in my family. Will it work? So far I'm doing very well and I hope to keep going strong for many more years.

I think the CRON diet represents what we are striving for and we're both actually doing it in our own way. Well, that's the way I see it.


Last edited by JohnR41; 07-22-2010 at 09:50 AM.

 
Old 07-22-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
When you stated 23% protein that seemed a little low to me because I remembered the Zone diet calling for 40-30-30.
One should not look at percentages ONLY, and ignore the actually calorie load.

Quote:
But now that you state it in terms of grams (91g), it does seem very high.
Plus..... as I have previously stated, with Heart Failure my metabolism does not process calories too well, so my diet is dictated a lot by how well I react to the calorie levels. I get different nasty reactions depending upon if I consume too high a level of carbs, proteins or fats.

Quote:
I would guess it should be somewhere around 45 grams for the average woman.
Good guess.

Quote:
But you say you are exceeding the recommended amount by 92%. Who's making the recommendations?
My health dictates the recommendations. I get different nasty reactions depending upon if I consume too high a level of carbs, proteins or fats.

Quote:
And if you followed the recommendations, what would your percentages look like, if not 52-23-25?
The percentages could be close to what you post, or somewhat different, depending upon what is working at that time. I do make frequent changes depending upon my health. Buts...... unfortunately, I've got to be very careful.

Quote:
Dr. Dean Ornish has written books about how to reverse cardiovascular disease and I believe he recommends taking the fat down to about 10% of calories. So (for your condition) if you want to cut back on calories, it seems like a logical place to cut.
Actually, what I do, when I make changes to my diet, is plug the changes into my spreadsheet and see what percentages and information pops up, and then go from there. If it seem reasonable, I try the changes in my diet.

Here is my diet spreadsheet, just in case you, or someone else, is interested in seeing what I do:

Diet SpreadSheet: (Right clicking on the following image, and then opening it up as a new page or new tab, seems to work best for me).

Calorie Spreadsheet.jpg

The very top line has most of the foods that I use daily.

The second line has the measurement of those foods, like cup, 1/2 cup, etc.

Then follows most of the important calorie and mineral amounts in the foods.

Also included, in red, is the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of each food, to help me to limit those foods that have the most negative effect on my blood sugar.

Then follows the time for each meal, and the serving quantities.

Then follows the calories for each food, by time of the meal.

Then follows the breakdown of the calories into the separate calorie groups of Carbs, Carbs - Fiber, Proteins and Fats.

Anyways..... this is probably more than anyone else really wants to know, but there might be some enterprising soul out there that wants to give a spreadsheet like this a try, or is already doing their own type of spreadsheet.
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 07-22-2010 at 10:36 AM.

 
Old 07-22-2010, 12:51 PM   #6
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
Dr. Dean Ornish has written books about how to reverse cardiovascular disease and I believe he recommends taking the fat down to about 10% of calories. So (for your condition) if you want to cut back on calories, it seems like a logical place to cut.
Actually the basis for my current diet, that "originally" turned my life around, and had helped to greatly improve my health, Insulin Resistance, Blood Pressure and Heart Failure was a diet targeting Insulin Resistance created by Sheri Barke, MPH, RD from the UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center.

I started posting on HealthBoards about my diet back Jan 13, 2005, entitled: Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?, Direct Link: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229; when I was first starting to link my diet to Chronically High Blood Pressure, and it's association with Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes.
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 07-22-2010 at 12:52 PM.

 
Old 07-23-2010, 06:26 AM   #7
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR41 View Post
When you stated 23% protein that seemed a little low to me because I remembered the Zone diet calling for 40-30-30. But now that you state it in terms of grams (91g), it does seem very high. I would guess it should be somewhere around 45 grams for the average woman. But you say you are exceeding the recommended amount by 92%. Who's making the recommendations? And if you followed the recommendations, what would your percentages look like, if not 52-23-25?
I wanted to address this issue a little better.

The benchmark for dietary proteins, that is quoted most frequently on the web, is .8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight, depending upon individual needs. Athletes, of course, need more protein. Active people actually require between 1.6 and 1.8 grams per kilogram.

I am around 130 pounds, so..... 130 pounds at .8 grams of protein per kilogram = (130pounds/ 2.2 kilograms per pound) yields 59 kilograms of body weight. So.... (59 kilograms) * (.8 grams of protein per kilogram) yields 47 grams of protein per day, for minimum daily requirements.

A more active person, without Heart Failure could reasonably consume 1.6 to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram, or (130/2.2 * 1.6) to (130/2.2 * 1.8) or 95 to 106 grams of protein per day. I am currently at around 91 grams of protein per day, which I am hoping is not too much.

If I eat too much protein, I get nasty muscle problems, such as weakness, and numbness, and I lose muscle support for critical body structures such as my spine.

So....... once again, I don't really care what Dr. Dean Ornish has to say, or if I am at the correct percentage of Protein. My diet is dictated by my Heart Failure's intolerance of calories, whether or not those calories are proteins, fats, carbs or alcohol.

OTOH, I realize that a healthy diet requires a healthy balance of Proteins, Carbs and Fats. So, as can be seen on my spreadsheet, I also keep track of the percentages of Proteins, Carbs and Fats in my diet and try to keep within healthy percentages. Having Heart Failure and Insulin Resistance, and finding a diet that works for me has been a very difficult and challenging task. What I am doing right now works for me. In fact, it works very VERY well! So....... I figured I would share it with others and get their comments. Thanks for your comments!

Thanks, also, for bringing up this interesting subject.

Have a nice day!
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CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 07-23-2010 at 06:37 AM.

 
Old 08-04-2010, 05:49 AM   #8
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machaon View Post
I constantly am changing my menu, trying to make it more palatable.
Oh well. I've changed my diet again. I've replaced the granola bars with salads. Granola bars are high in calories, and don't keep me filled up as well as a salad.

As I've said, I've got serious, chronic, life-threatening health problems; and I am astounded by the effects of a low calorie, frequent eating, balanced diet on my health. I am convinced that this diet, which targets Insulin Resistance, is the most powerfully effective "medication" for improving just about anyone's health.

Following is a copy of my current, ever-changing menu. (I find that the best way for me to look at the menu is by right-clicking on it, and opening it in a new window or new tab).

Current Menu:

Menu.jpg
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

 
Old 08-16-2010, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

So you are eating a vegetarian diet? Did you have a book to tailor your menu by? I have insulin resistance that cant be controlled by meds.
I have have chronic sinus and candida. I wonder if that is my other irritants making me have dangerous hbp.

Last edited by mod-anon; 08-16-2010 at 09:29 PM. Reason: removed quote

 
Old 08-17-2010, 03:07 PM   #10
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Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Quote:
Originally Posted by brebre View Post
So you are eating a vegetarian diet? Did you have a book to tailor your menu by? I have insulin resistance that cant be controlled by meds.
I have gone to a more vegetarian diet because it is the easiest way to keep my meals down around 200-250 calories.

Actually the basis for my current diet, that "originally" turned my life around, and had helped to greatly improve my health, Insulin Resistance, Blood Pressure and Heart Failure was a diet targeting Insulin Resistance created by Sheri Barke, MPH, RD from the UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center.

I started posting on HealthBoards about my diet back Jan 13, 2005, entitled: Does an "Insulin Resistance" diet improve blood pressure?, Direct Link: http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=242229; when I was first starting to link my diet to Chronically High Blood Pressure, and it's association with Insulin Resistance/Pre-Diabetes.

Quote:
I have have chronic sinus and candida. I wonder if that is my other irritants making me have dangerous hbp.
I discovered that my Allergies and Asthma were directly connected to my high blood pressure and erratic heart beat. The more allergens, irritants and stimulants that I avoided, the better the behavior of my blood pressure and health. However, the solution to high blood pressure is not always easy due to the many MANY irritants, allergens, stimulants, etc., that cause high blood pressure. If only "one" gets eliminated there may be many other things to be eliminated before we experience a significant lowering of blood pressure.

Buts..... the biggest impact on getting my blood pressure down to very healthy levels all the time was and is DIET!
__________________
CHF, A-fib, HBP, Insulin Resist & Asthma much better

⇒ I avoid common ordinary but unhealthy household items
⇒ Balanced, healthy diet
⇒ Exercise
⇒ I alter my Circadian Rhythm
⇒ I LOVE COREG!

Last edited by Machaon; 08-17-2010 at 03:11 PM.

 
Old 10-09-2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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Talking Re: My menu for good health despite Heart Failure, AFib, Insulin Resistance, HBP

Hi there, wanted to thank you for sharing your insights and success with diet. It really is true that we are what we eat. The only suggestion I have concerns a natural way to lower blood sugar. My late husband was a naturopath and had his patients drink raspberry leaf tea to help control their high blood glucose levels. I personally can attest to the usefulness of this tea in lowering blood sugar, as I saw it work many times. Only other suggestion is fresh home-made SALSA because it's good for you, low in calories and chock-full of vegetables, nutrients, cancaer fighting qualities, etc. Again, thank you and good luck

 
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