News And Tips

Is there a Hack for Happiness?

Is there a Hack for Happiness?

Is happiness genetic?  Does more money make you happier?  Are more physically attractive people happier? What do happy people do with their spare time?

According to Sonya Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness, 50% of happiness is genetic, 40% is intentional and 10% is life circumstances (job, family, health etc.).  So quit blaming your spouse for your mood.  Blame your parents!

For folks who earn $60 to $75,000 a year, people are happier the higher the amount of income.  Less than this, and a loss of happiness is definitely income- related.  It’s hard to be happy if your roof is leaking.  Surprisingly, there is no correlation between happiness and money for those who take home over $75,000.

Also good to know–physical attractiveness doesn’t confer more happiness.

But here’s what does–happier people put more time and energy into relationships with people, and pursue things intrinsically rewarding such as children, friends and hobbies. And if you’d like to improve your health and your happiness, there’s growing evidence that those who volunteer enjoy both benefits (Harvard Health, 2013.)

By |September 24th, 2017|Therapy|

The Magic Green Bullet

Mad at yourself because you can’t lose weight? Obesity may not be your fault. In fact, according to Dr. Devin Spelman PhD, environmental factors may play a large part in many health issues, including obesity.

I attended the Northwest Herb Symposium this summer, where Dr. Spelman lectured on mitochondrial dysfunction. He explained that patients with metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, have a 40% reduction in mitochondrial function.  This means 40% less energy in the building blocks of cellular function. No wonder it’s hard to lose weight or improve our health, with our cells functioning at 60%!

Because metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors, including insulin resistance, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and obesity, it is unlikely the pharmaceutical approach of giving a drug with one function will be able to address all of these issues. For example, a disease such as diabetes can cause many different diseases such as heart, kidney, eye, and neurologic diseases.  To be effective, a treatment needs to treat more than one issue. More about that in a minute.

We can partially blame fast food for our nation’s ill health and obesity.  I was amazed to learn one in three adults eat at a fast food restaurant every day.  People who eat at fast food restaurants more than twice a week gained 10 pounds over 15 years and were more likely to become insulin resistant. Remember, all but the best restaurants will use cheap oils such as corn oil.  Consuming cheap oils contributes to inflammation and a host of diseases.

17% of plant species provide 90% of the world’s food supply, of which most are grains.  75% of the […]

By |September 24th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Extra Protection Against Skin Cancer for Pennies a Day?

This simple vitamin can decrease risk of non-melanoma skin cancer by up to 35%. Niacinamide (a form of niacin or Vitamin B3) at 500 mg per day decreases the risk of non-melanoma skin cancers by up to 35%.

It costs pennies per day.  Niacinamide doesn’t cause flushing like niacin and has a good safety profile.  Now that is prevention we can live with!


By |August 16th, 2017|Cancer|

How smart are Smart Meters?

There are many problems with these power meters including increased power bills (they were touted as vehicles to save power and money), violations of privacy (the power companies are gathering data of power usage and selling this information to third parties), and possibility of cyber-hacking of the power grid with the ability to turn off our power.

The electromagnetic frequencies from the meters are in the range that may cause cancer, and health effects of smart meters include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, insomnia, palpitations, and decreased fertility in men.


Take Back Your Power–

Wi Fried–

By |August 16th, 2017|Electromagnetism|

Drinking Soda During Pregnancy Raises a Child’s Risk of Obesity

The Danish National Birth Cohort from 1996 to 2002 asked 900 Danish pregnant women with gestational diabetes about food they ate during the 25th week of pregnancy.  Approximately 9% reported consuming at least one diet beverage a day, and their children were 60% more likely to have an elevated birth weight compared to women who didn’t drink diet beverages during pregnancy.

They also discovered that women who drank at least one artificially sweetened beverage per day were twice as likely to have a child who was overweight or obese at age 7, as compared to women with gestational diabetes who drank water during pregnancy.

Furthermore, women who substituted water for sweetened or diet beverages reduced their child’s obesity risk by age 7 by 17%.



By |August 16th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Some Not So Sweet News about honey

More than three-fourths of the honey sold in U.S. grocery stores isn’t exactly what the bees produced. Honey is one of our main choices for its healing antioxidants and downright deliciousness. But it’s also one of the most common fraudsters.

You can find honey adulterated with moisture, fructose, glucose, beet sugar, rice sugar and “honey from a non-authentic geographic origin.”  Some honey can also be laced with illegal Chinese antibiotics from abroad, pesticides and heavy metals.  (Food Safety News)

In addition to the above, honey is also considered adulterated if the pollen has been removed.  Also, without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources.

If you’re worried that the bear-shaped container of honey in your kitchen isn’t real, you can easily find out with this at-home test.  Spread some honey on a slice of bread, and wait a couple of minutes—if the top of the bread becomes crunchy, your honey is real. If the bread gets soggy, your honey is fake.

To avoid honey fraud, choose small-batch honey, and buy from local sources.

Additionally, there is the ultimate honey superfood called Manuka, a go-to germ fighter.  It’s antibacterial and bacterial resistant.  It is said that Manuka honey is effective for treating everything from a sore throat to clearing up blemishes on your skin.  Other benefits may include helping to heal cuts and scrapes, clearing infections, easing stomachaches, improving digestion, boosting the immune system and providing energy.

(Note: Diabetics should consult a doctor before using.)

Manuka honey sources label their product with a unique Manuka factor (UMF) rating.  The higher the UMF number, the most beneficial the honey will be.  On a scale of 0-16, a sixteen rating indicates superior, high-grade Manuka honey.  If no UMF […]

By |August 16th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Want to Age in Your Own Home? There’s an organization for that:

Several Boise experts on aging have formed a non-profit organization, Boise at Home, to help seniors live and thrive independently. For an annual fee, Boiseans 50+ have access to a network of trained volunteers, as well as to local businesses which have agreed to offer their services at a discount.

Modeled after the “Beacon Hill Village” in Boston, Boise at Home helps Boise seniors stay at home for as long as they are able–into their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s. To find out more about this dynamic group, click here.


By |June 18th, 2017|Aging|

Enhance your summer with Essential Oil Recipes

Summer has its share of wonderful tastes and smells, and these solutions crafted with high quality essential oils can make nice things smell and taste even nicer. We stock many of these in our office, so be sure to ask about them at the front desk.

Pillow or linen Spray

One 2 or 4 oz glass spray bottle

A pinch of Epsom salt

10-15 drops of lavender essential oil

Distilled or filtered water

First add the pinch of salt and essential oil to your glass spray bottle
Top off with water
Give it a shake to mix it up
Spritz on your pillow each night to promote relaxation and better sleep, or use as a linen spray to refresh tired linens.

Refreshing lemon water–One of Dr. Huycke’s favorite summer drinks!

Mix together:

Sparkling water
Stevia to taste (about 4-5 drops per 8 oz.)
Essential oil “lemon drops” (can also add a couple drops of lavender or peppermint)
Slices of real lemon

Upset Stomach Helper

Summer is upon us! Time for family vacations, road trips, camping, and lots of barbecues. Which could also mean… upset stomachs, bloating, indigestion and heartburn.

Friends, meet “Tummy Tamer” or DigestZen®.

DigestZen® is great to have on hand for when any type of upset stomach occurs. DigestZen® is a healthy, natural, and gentle way to soothe an upset stomach or maintain a healthy digestive system.

Add a few drops to your water to take internally or rub on your stomach before flying or taking a road trip for a calming aroma.

Have DigestZen® on hand when enjoying holiday meals, eating out and barbecues to promote digestion. You can also add to water or tea to maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract.

Directions for Use:

Diffusion: Use three to four drops in a diffuser
Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. […]

By |June 18th, 2017|Healthy Eating|

Got Pests? Try these Natural Anti-insect remedies

Are you looking forward to summer camping trips and cookouts, but hate the thought of spraying yourself with toxic chemicals to prevent insect bites?

Vitamin B1– Supplement with one Vitamin B-1 tablet a day from April through October, and add 100 mg of B-1 to a B-100 complex daily during mosquito season. While this won’t prevent all bites, it can help decrease how good you taste to mosquitoes.

Avon Skin-so-Soft™–I grew up in the Midewest, and we frequently used this prevention remedy on camping trips.

Vicks-Vaporub™–according to Rodale’s Organic Life (, this remedy works well–if you and your companions can tolerate the smell.

Avoid bananas during mosquito season–there’s something about how your body processes the banana oil that attracts female mosquitoes.

To keep the pests away from your home or yard, plant marigolds. For outdoor gatherings, consider lighting up with Citronella candles.

Eucalyptus compounds can also work well. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers lemon eucalyptus oil as a top choice for protection against mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus.

Also consider mosquito dunks to keep larvae from hatching. Place around your home monthly anywhere you have standing water–ponds, water features, flowerpots, rain gutters, and birdbaths. These are made with the pesticide Bti, which is not toxic to plants or animals.


For more information:

Mosquito Dunks

By |June 18th, 2017|Air and Water|

How organic are your organic strawberries? The answer might surprise you…

By now we’ve all heard of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables that are best consumed without pesticides. Strawberries figure prominently on that list, and many stores provide organic strawberries with a hefty price tag. But how organic are these organic strawberries? Are they truly as pesticide free as they claim to be?

According to natural health education website, certified organic strawberries aren’t so organic after all. Although organic strawberries sell for 50% to 100% more than conventional berries, organic strawberries are fumigated with toxic chemicals, including methyl bromide, at the beginning stages of their life-cycle, and sometimes again after harvest.

Methyl bromide, a soil fumigant, isn’t sprayed directly on the fruit–it’s used to sterilize the soil before strawberries are planted. As many modern seeds can only grow in sterile soil, this fumigant prepares the soil by killing all the organisms natural soil contains.

According to, here’s another grey area– both Federal and state organic regulations allow organic farmers to purchase non-organic starter material when they have no other options, and still call their strawberries organic.

According to the NY Times, California, our country’s largest berry producer, doesn’t have a single organic berry nursery—hence the practice of relying on plants that grew on fumigant treated soil.

Want to make sure your organic strawberries aren’t tainted with harmful pesticides at any stage of their growing cycle? Grow your own (from organic heirloom seeds), or next time you’re at your local farmer’s market when organic strawberries are in season, ask the vendor if he grew his strawberries from organic heirloom seeds, or if he purchased the initial plant material from a conventional nursery.

For more information:

A Dirty Little Secret: Your “Organic” Strawberries Aren’t Really Organic


By |June 18th, 2017|Healthy Eating|
Western Independent Media Developers