Review Category : Contributors

Health Tip of the Week: The seven minute workout

By Ian Hart

Many people have this idea about working out: You have to spend hours at the gym and work out five to seven days a week. This is true if you want to be a bodybuilder, a professional athlete or compete in certain events, but the reality is that you can get a lean, toned and attractive body in less than 90 minutes a week. Yes, you heard that right, only 90 minutes a week.

Many people find it hard to believe but when we introduce them to people who have achieved dramatic results only doing 70-90 minutes of training a week and have lost 60 to 70 pounds and between 10% and 15% of body fat, their skepticism quickly turns to belief, motivation and excitement about the future of their own health and bodies.

The key is knowledge — knowing what exercises to do and how much of them to do. Ostensibly, if you just did a 7-10 minute workout each day, seven days a week, that is approximately 50-70 minutes of training a week, and I am sure you will see great results.

Here is a quick routine to do at home:

• Run a set of stairs (30 seconds)

• Squats (30 seconds)

• Push ups (30 seconds)

• Walking lunges (30 seconds)

• Jumping Jacks (30 seconds)

• Jog In Place (30 seconds)

Do three sets for a total of 9 minutes of working. You can do this pretty much anywhere, anytime and it takes less than 1 percent of your day. No excuses!

Ian Hart is creator of EarthFIT Transformation Systems and co-creator of the Back Pain Relief4Life Formula. Contact him at or 800-718-7FIT.

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Suffering, struggling or barely surviving? Then change states

By Martha O’Regan

Depending on your current life disposition, some of you may hear this statement as “pack your bags and move to Nebraska” if life isn’t happening as you had always hoped. Hopefully, more of you heard, “if you want something different to occur in your life, change your state of being.” How you heard this statement will speak volumes about your level of awareness and how you are thinking. So, without judgment, simply “check in” to where your mind took you when you read the headline of the article.

Martha O'Regan

Martha O’Regan

While listening to one of my quantum science gurus, I received a major “ah-ha” that I intend to share in a way that creates immense change in many lives immediately, so here goes. Your personality is your personal reality and if you wish to create change, you must create a new personality, otherwise you continue to create your same reality.

OK, so what does that mean? Our personality is the cumulative repetition of the way we think, act and feel based on our environment, circumstances and conditions in our personal reality.  When we repeat the same thoughts, we make the same choices, generate the same behaviors, have the same experiences, produce the same emotions, which in turn form the same thoughts — and around and around we go for days, weeks, months, years, and decades creating the same personal reality. So we wake up one day and decide we are ready to create change in our life, yet we don’t change our habits then we get frustrated that change isn’t occurring. We humans are so quirky, aren’t we? But, we come by it honestly because we were never taught to do it any differently … until now.

So, without moving to a new state in the Union, we have to create union with a new state of being; one that will create change in our patterns, habits and reactions.

A state of being is when mind and body are working together to align with a specific destiny. Let’s look at some basic concepts. Thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings are the language of the body.  Our thoughts produce an immediate chemical reaction in the brain which then stimulates a feeling in the body which then creates a similar thought producing the same feeling, creating the thought, then the feeling and over time creates memorized behaviors, emotional reactions, habits and our personal state of being.  So, if we are to create any change in our life, we have to create new thoughts in order to create new feelings, etc.  But how?

The first step is to shift the paradigm of “cause and effect” into “cause an effect.”  We have been raised in a culture that when good things happen, then we can be happy.  What if we could just be happy and begin to observe what happens in our lives?  Quantum law tells us that our environment is an extension of our mind and that if we want our environment to change, we have to change our minds or our thoughts.  This is contrary to the old way of thinking that we are a victim to what is happening to us externally.  Feels quite different, don’t you think?

The brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real or what is imagined, so if you are ready to create change, begin by imagining a new state of being.  If time, money and circumstances were not a factor, what would you love to be, do or have in your life?  Allow yourself to dream big, visualizing with full color and features, until you can feel it in your body and repeat as often as you can.  Creating new thoughts and patterns will create new feelings, producing new thoughts, stimulating new feelings, and so on and so on, until new patterns, attitudes, and behaviors emerge. Now, we have a new state of being. Give it a try.

Live Awake … Have Fun!

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A Northern’s perspective on the Lowcountry

By Lee Scott

“Welcome to Beaufort!”

I have heard that phrase so many times since moving here. It is often said with a warm, friendly Southern inflection that I enjoy hearing.

Lee Scott

Lee Scott

“Thank you!” I say enthusiastically because I love hearing it.

Then it is usually followed by the phrase, “Why did you move here?” I’m sure it is one of those questions easily asked, but sometimes hard to answer.

The response that I usually give is, “We like the area. We love the waterways, the food and the greenery.”

But the truth is that Beaufort reminds me and my husband of Annapolis, Maryland, our hometown, but the Annapolis of 25 years ago before people discovered the city and before Baltimore and Washington, DC, started to spill their population into our small town. The historic buildings, the old churches and cemeteries and the art are all very familiar to me.

We moved here because it is beautiful, the weather is wonderful, the people are friendly and the community has the small town flavor that we love, an atmosphere that we find comfortable.

After only a few months here, I am slowly getting familiar with the town. I have learned that I don’t leave the house without a hat, my suntan lotion, my Skin So Soft or some other bug spray.

I have learned to use one of those silly window shades for my front window if I am going to be leaving my car out in a parking lot for long. (No, I don’t have the ones with the eyes, but feel free to let me know where I can get one!) I seek shaded spots in the parking lots. I have learned to keep my windows open a few inches to let the heat out of the car while I am in the grocery store.

I have learned that no matter how much my cocker spaniels whine about going with me for a ride, I cannot take them in the car when the temperature is 90 degrees.

I have learned not to fake a Southern accent because it just sounds horrible. Speak normal and the Southern accent will slowly slip into your life. I know this because I am originally from Rhode Island and I know how accents can change. You can pick up the local accent fast enough, don’t’ push it.

I have learned that I have to carry a sweater with me because of the transition from the heat to the air conditioning. There is so much I have learned and so many things that I want explore.

The first few months have been wonderful. The people have made all the difference. And from this Northerner’s perspective, I feel welcomed to Beaufort.

Lee Scott, a writer and recent retiree, shares her everyday observations about life after career.  A former commercial banker responsible for helping her clients to reach their business objectives, Lee now translates those analytical skills to her writings. She recently moved to St. Helena Island with her husband and two cocker spaniels. She enjoys boating, traveling and reading. 

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Connecting body, mind and soul

By Takiya Smith

In my opinion, most things don’t compare to the sense of achievement one feels when the body is in complete health, the mind is at total peace and the soul, a matter of the heart, is cleansed by absolute freedom.

However, the catch and trickiest part to reaching optimal alignment of body, mind and soul is intricately, but with all simplicity, found within.

No amount of input, action or exterior party gesture could begin to point you in a direction that will ultimately begin within you. What and whom makes you happy is a matter of inner self that exudes an outward expression. Where you want to go and when and how you get there are paths to be personally chosen for a journey that you should determine.

From head to toe, mind to soul, learn to allow to give self control. Look for peaceful moments in your day to sit and just listen to the quiet. Search for matters in life that allow you to feel energized and plan for connections that refresh, revitalize and lift you. Day by day, it’s the small things that will make monumental impacts. It’s called life, and no matter what, it’s certainly worth living.

Takiya La’Shaune Smith, mother, licensed cosmetologist, mentor and owner of Beautique Lash & Brow is an author and beauty columnist promoting inner and outer beauty, self-esteem, preservation and awareness. For more information, visit her blog at or call 843-263-0426.

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By Tracie Korol

Last summer an email appeared unexpectedly in my inbox. I thought it was a hoax. No such luck. Topic: Forbes magazine published an interview with Royal Canin’s president, Keith Levy. Levy was introducing the new “anallergenic” formula kibble made with ground up chicken feathers. No, really. The title of the article was Dog Food Made From Feathers: A Win-Win for Royal Canin.

According to Mr. Levy, This “anallergenic” line was 10 years in the making, using feather meal (FM in industry parlance) as the main source of protein. It is designed for intensely allergic dogs for which even novel protein diets (buffalo, kangaroo, rabbit) don’t seem to work. There are 47 ingredients in this product. Here are the top 10: Corn starch, hydrolyzed poultry by-products aggregate [feather meal], coconut oil, soybean oil, natural flavors, potassium phosphate, powdered cellulose, calcium carbonate, sodium silico aluminate, chicory

The lead item in any list of pet food ingredients is, according to AAFCO regs. The Association of American Feed Control Officials is the organization that calls the shots for pet food and NOT a governmental entity — 70% of what’s in the bag.  So, most of this product is cornstarch. The next ingredient on the list is hydrolyzed poultry by-products aggregate, which is a technical name for feather meal. According to Levy, feather meal is “not only nutritious but can also be made very palatable to dogs.” The feathers are broken down to an amino acid level, and palatizers are added for taste so it doesn’t taste of … feathers?

Levy says one of the benefits to using feather meal is that it supports the company’s efforts in sustainability.  “Ultimately we’ll have an issue with finding protein for the human food chain. By using alternative sources of protein, we’re using something that would otherwise end up in a landfill,” says Levy. “It’s the best of both worlds: You’re not competing with the human food chain, reducing waste and providing an incredibly nutritious protein.”

Now, I’m all for recycling and all for seeking sustainable food sources, however, I cringe at the thought of my dog friends eating things that should be made into pillows or, even better, thrown out.

The question, beyond the gross-out factor, comes down to protein quality. What would you rather feed your pet — 4 ounces of real chicken meat or 4 ounces of ground chicken feathers and corn starch? All three ingredients contain protein, but they are definitely not equal. Ounce for ounce, the real chicken provides more protein, and the protein is highly digestible and usable. Pets can eat smaller quantities to receive the optimal level of protein when it is a digestible protein. In contrast, the ground feathers contain protein, but in a non-digestible form, as in they’re FEATHERS. Real meat offers highly digestible protein — protein that can be easily broken down by your pet’s body. Your pet cannot digest and cannot live on the protein contained in feathers. It simply passes through the digestive system unused.

Levy continues, “We’re looking for lots of different sources of protein for our foods: hydrolyzed soy; we are currently researching worm meal as a potential protein source for some of our foods in China,” he told the interviewer. “Few brands are more expensive than us,” Levy bragged in the interview.

And once again, we are faced with the really naive belief that just because a dog food is at the top of the price range, it is not necessarily because the quality of the food is, too. Then, there is the added concern about sourcing in China.

And the kicker? You can only purchase the food from specialty retailers with a veterinary prescription. Add another layer of authenticity. Currently, on, a 19.8 pound bag of RC Anallergenic Formula runs $86.99. Bonus: shipping is free.

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Understanding pregnancy and your dental health

By Jennifer Wallace, DMD

Congrats on the soon-to-be new addition to your family. There will be a lot of changes to plan for in the next few months. Let’s see, there’s a name to pick, a nursery to get ready, diapers/blankets/clothes to buy — but don’t forget to also plan to take care of Momma during exciting this time.

The old wives tale that warns a woman to expect a lost tooth for every baby is false. If the mother’s intake of calcium is inadequate during pregnancy, her bones — not her teeth — will provide the calcium her growing baby needs. This calcium loss is quickly made up after breastfeeding stops. However, the demands of pregnancy can lead to particular dental problems in some women.

Ben Franklin said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that certainly applies to this subject. You are less likely to have dental problems during pregnancy if you already have good oral hygiene habits like flossing, brushing with fluoridated toothpastes, eating a healthy non-sugary diet and visiting your dentist regularly. Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women, including gum disease and increased risk of tooth decay from cravings of sugary foods, vomiting from morning sickness and gagging when brushing.

During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque (the layer of germs on your teeth). During pregnancy, about half of all women (60 to 70 percent) experience a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums that is caused when plaque accumulates in the spaces between the gums and the teeth. The accumulation of bacteria can lead to the loss of bone around the teeth and can eventually lead to tooth decay and tooth loss. Pregnancy Gingivitis is caused by an increase in hormone levels, which can exaggerate a woman’s response to dental plaque in the mouth. This extra plaque may cause swelling, bleeding, redness and/or tenderness in the gums. Changes in the gums are most noticeable from the second month of pregnancy, reaching a maximum in the eighth month.

In women with severe morning sickness, frequent vomiting can erode the enamel on the back of the front teeth. If you are vomiting frequently, contact your dental office for information on how to prevent enamel erosion. It is important not to brush right away after you vomit, since the stomach acid in your mouth will only help erode the teeth as you brush. Wait about an hour before brushing your teeth after vomiting. While the teeth are covered in stomach acids, the vigorous action of the toothbrush may scratch the tooth enamel. DO rinse right away with water, or a fluoridated mouth wash.

Research has found a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight. Babies who are born prematurely may risk a range of health conditions including cerebral palsy and problems with eyesight and hearing. Estimates suggest that about 18 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease, which is a chronic infection of the gums. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother can reduce the risk of premature birth by more than 80 percent, according to one study.

Another old wives tale is that an expectant mother shouldn’t visit the dentist until after birth. Of course, the best approach to dental care is to see your dentist before you get pregnant for an exam and cleaning. During your pregnancy, the second trimester is the best time to receive routine dental care. During the last trimester, it may become uncomfortable for you and baby to sit or lay for longer dental appointments.

Pregnancy does not automatically damage your teeth. With proper hygiene at home and professional help from your dentist, your teeth should remain healthy throughout pregnancy. So be sure to share the good news with your dentist ASAP to prevent and prepare for a happy, healthy momma and baby.

Jennifer Wallace, DMD, practices on Lady’s Island at Palmetto Smiles of Beaufort, 843-524-7645.

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Eating green

By Tracie Korol

Dogs are remarkably flexible in their tastes. They’ll polish off a bowl of dried dog food, then walk over to see if there’s anything tasty in the trash. If they’re still hungry, they’ll head to the laundry room to see what’s in the cat box. Basically, they’ll eat, or at least sample, whatever they find.

There’s a good reason for their liberal tastes. Unlike cats, that evolved solely as hunters, dogs survived by scavenging. When they couldn’t catch live prey, they’d eat the ancient equivalent of road kill. They didn’t care too much if had been lying in the sun for a week or was moldering under old leaves. It was food, and they weren’t going to pass it up. When meat wasn’t on the menu, they’d rummage around for tender leafy stalks, berries, grasses, fruits, flower blossoms, seeds and even a few roots, They simply weren’t fussy, and dogs today haven’t gotten any fussier. They’re predisposed to eat just about everything.

In addition, there’s some evidence that dogs get cravings for certain foods. It’s possible that dogs occasionally get a hankering for greens, just as people sometimes go to bed dreaming about Mom’s fried chicken. It’s not as strange as it may sound. There is also a theory that dogs may not always be seeking food, but are intuitively seeking medicine. Each spring, Moses, my Bassett hound friend, would pull himself along the ground, upside down underneath the pea-vine supports, and pluck the first tiny pea pods right off the vine.  He had equally arcane methods for harvesting the first asparagus shoots, parsley, blueberries, mint, garlic and baby carrots. Moses ate a fairly clean diet but would occasionally need to visit the garden.

For example, in early spring, dogs like Moses, may be attracted to the first shoots of common quack grass (Elytrigia repens). Each blade of this “dog grass” contains silicon for strong joints and connective tissues, essential fatty acids for clear skin and shiny coat, enzymes for digestion, chlorophyll for antioxidant support and soap-like saponin constituents that combine with the stringy fibers to help cleanse the digestive tract and keep parasites at bay. After a season of low grade kibble, a dog may feel his system needs a boost.

Likewise, dogs will occasionally chew on berries, bark, pods, seeds or leaves that contain healing properties. The red or purple fruits of raspberry, rose bushes and hawthorn all contain flavonoid constituents that are good for the cardiovascular system.

The oils contained in the raw seeds of flax, currants, wheat, pumpkins and squash may be relished for an extra measure of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals that are needed for skin and coat health.  Pumpkin seeds are also a natural and gentle vermifuge — expels intestinal parasites.

Even certain kinds of algae (“pond scum”) contain a cornucopia of nutrients and disease-fighting chemicals that wild dogs may seek in time of need. But how do we provide these things for our “suburban wolves”?  When do they need these things and in what amount?

By serving a daily helping of nutritive herbs and “green food” at mealtime your dog will be provided added measure of nutritional or systemic support. Good “greens” are flaxseed, spirulina, garlic, dandelion root, kelp, alfalfa and nettle.

Before you “go for the green” on behalf of your Best Friend and head to the store for supplements, it is important to realize that green food supplements only serve to round out a good diet. They cannot be expected to replace nutritional elements that are missing from poor quality, bargain basement, supermarket kibble.

But, if you’re a do-it-yourself type and are conscientious about what goes into your dog, adding a commercial green supplement or a combo-mix of the beneficial herbs or even providing your Best Friend with his own tray of barley or wheat grass can only increase his energy, shine up his coat, float some anti-cancer antioxidants in his system, reduce the pain and swelling of arthritis and tidy up his digestion.

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Enjoying an impromptu candlelight dinner

By Lee Scott

Last night, my husband and I enjoyed a candlelight dinner. He cooked hamburgers and corn on the grill. I marinated tomatoes and cucumbers we had picked up from our local produce stand. We ate at our dinner table with multiple candles shimmering in the darkness. It was so romantic.

You guessed it: Our electric was out.

With the temperature at 88 degrees and the heat index at 105 degrees, we  anticipated some kind of rainfall. Of course, associated with bad storms, there are the occasional power outages. The clouds across the creek from us started to mushroom around noon and they grew darker as the day went on. The thunder and lightening in the distance sent the dogs under the bed. Then it got closer. There was a piercing lightening followed by a particularly loud clap of thunder. That did it: The house grew dark.

It’s amazing how quiet the house is when the electric is out — no air conditioning, no refrigerator whirring in the background, no television blaring. The only sound was the ticking of the battery operated clock and the sound of matches as we lit candles.

We still had our iPads and cell phones so we could check out the weather radar and contact SCE&G about the outage. But, in the meantime, we sat in our under-utilized living room with candles and hurricane lanterns and just chatted.

We had a few hours of peace and quiet before the noise returned. Ceiling fans started to turn, the air conditioning kicked on and the television came alive. We were back to normal once again.

Too bad it took a thunderstorm for us to have a romantic dinner.

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The Baby Diaries: Celebrating one year with joy, disbelief

By Pamela Brownstein

I don’t know if there’s a scientific phenomenon that causes the earth to spin faster and the hours and days to go by so quickly, or it’s just a symptom of getting older, either way, I feel like the past year has flown by.

This time last year I was sitting in my hospital bed at Beaufort Memorial holding a one-day old baby girl in my arms, grateful for her beauty and perfection, and even more grateful to be done with the nine months of pregnancy.

Although I remember details about that day with surprising clarity, I feel like I can’t remember specifics about the entire year that followed. Seriously, I can’t believe my baby just turned 1. She always looked so little compared to her big 2-year-old brother, but now she’s so close to walking, she’s right there with him defending her territory, taking his toys, trying to eat his food off the plate, and looking up at her parents with her big bright eyes and adorable smile filled with four teeth.

My sweet Selah has gone from an easy-going infant to a spunky chick seemingly overnight. I would describe her as a pistol, a character, energetic, silly and so smart. She has so many looks and expressions, you can just see the wheels turning inside her fuzz-covered head.

When she doesn’t get what she wants and throws herself on the floor dramatically, it’s hard not to laugh. But then I see the future and know that we’re totally in for it because I also see the past and know that I used to do the same thing. My husband’s favorite phrase when she’s acting naughty or sly is “she comes by it honestly; she’s just like her mom.”

I can’t slow down time or reverse it, so I am trying to enjoy my amazing girl as she is now. I wish her all the happiness that can fill one’s heart with joy and wonder, just as she has filled my heart with love that grows deeper each day.

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Beating the bugs, naturally

By Tracie Korol

As summer settles in and the rains come every afternoon, the biting-sucking insects seem to become more prevalent, fierce and relentless. I have never been a fan of industrial, aerosol neurotoxins for me or for my dog friends. They smell funky, taste terrible if you happen to inhale while spraying, and the warning labels give me the willies.

Instead, I mix up my own essential oil spray, the main ingredient being Neem.

Neem is all-natural, nontoxic ammunition that stops molesting mosquitoes and ticks in their tracks. It’s the single most important thing you can keep on hand all summer, for your dog’s well-being and your own.

Neem, botanical name Azadirachta indica, is a slow-growing evergreen tree in the mahogany family that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for 5,000 years. Neem is native to southern India and northern Myanmar and is cultivated worldwide. The Sanskrit word for neem is nimba, meaning good health.

Ancient Sanskrit writings mention neem as veterinary treatment to be administered in feed or applied as liniments, oils, powders or liquids, using all parts of the plant.

Western medicine and technology ignored neem until 1928, when two Indian scientists published a report of neem used as a pesticide during a locust infestation. That same year, colonial administrators introduced the neem tree to Nigeria from Ghana, where neem was planted beginning in 1917. Neem was planted in Sudan for wood, firewood, shade and oil for lamps in 1916. By the 1960s, neem plantations were thriving in Africa and neem pesticides were studied for Western agriculture. In 1992, W.R. Grace, a chemical corporation based in Florida, was granted a U.S. patent for Neemix, a neem-based pesticide stabilized by a proprietary process.

So, it’s legit. You can find neem, in it’s pure form — which is what you want for you and your dog — in those upscale grocery emporiums and locally at Terra Cotta. Through the summer months, I keep a spray bottle of my neem-based concoction on the kitchen windowsill to arm my dog friends and myself against the mosquito menace.  (My current bug juice recipe includes neem, citronella, lemon-eucalyptus and a dash of peppermint in a neutral carrier oil.) Neem is a biopesticide applied topically, it repels mosquitoes (and fleas, too), it also kills them — naturally. It has absolutely no harmful side effects. To protect my dog friends, I dab spots on top of their heads, behind their ears, on their shoulders and flanks, and on their tails. During mosquito season, I do this every two to three days. I also suggest to their owners one capsule of neem “supercritical extract” supplement, mixed with their food twice weekly, to arm them from the inside out. I take the capsules, too and also spray on exposed skin, on each wrist, behind my knees, and on my knee pits (a popular mosquito target) when I go for walks.

Now, if you are in the company of folks who prefer their dogs to smell like hyacinths or “spring rain” or any other synthetic, artificial smell, then neem’s aroma may be a bit of a challenge. To me, it smells like mild roasted garlic, not at all offensive in light of its efficacy at bug management. It’s aroma can be mitigated with other, lighter, equally insect-repelling essential oils — rose geranium, peppermint, citronella, eucalyptus, palmarosa.  You can mix up your own personal blend.  A good double-whammy mixer, Opopanax myrrh, the myrrh of ancient Egypt (also available at Terra Cotta) has been shown to repel adults of the African brown ear, deer tick, black-footed, lone star and the good old American dog tick.

If you have a green thumb, know that neem is also prized by horticulturists for its efficacy at keeping pests away from prized plantings, so there’s no need to use poison in the garden, either!

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