The Importance of Vitamins D and K

When I was diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago, I decided that I must be missing something.  As I worked through my nutrition, one thing that really jumped out were my Vitamin D levels – they had consistently been too low.  You really don’t want something such as cancer to come along and hit you over the head with a scary diagnosis to think about supplementing with Vitamin D.  Recent research has shown that most people are deficient in Vitamin D.

As I began to research Vitamin D and my family history, some things became more clear  to me: Vitamin D is linked with the immune system, bone health and heart health – my family has a history of osteoporosis and heart disease and, lo and behold, cancer.  So, the genetic predisposition to these diseases was there as was the deficiency. Because of the predisposition to cancer – especially skin cancer, I have a light complexion, and so being in the sun is not a viable method of obtaining Vitamin D for me.  I had also struggled with calcium absorption for most of my life until Isotonix Calcium returned my bone mass to normal – and, I realized that I also was getting Isotonix D, which was enough to rebuild my bones but I needed more for my immune system.

Vitamin D3 is the metabolically active form of Vitamin D, is water soluble, and, therefore, does not have the toxicity issues that one has with other forms of D.  Then there is  Vitamin K, specifically K2, that supports vascular health (elasticity of blood vessels) and calcium utilization.  K2 is also the form of K that does not interfere with anticoagulant medications.  So, the forms of Vitamin D and K are very important in the supplements you take!  You can take calcium all day, even a good form, but it won’t work if you don’t have the Vitamins D and K to go with it.

I use isotonic supplements whenever I can (Isotonix from Market America) because of the bioavailability: this means that they come as a powder and when mixed with the right amount of water make a solution that is equivalent to one’s body fluids.  They go right through the stomach with no digestion needed, are absorbed in the small intestine almost immediately, and with very little loss.  So, what is in the bottle is very close to what I get in my body.  Tablets contain binders, fillers, and unless it is a professional supplement line like Market America’s, potency is not guaranteed.  I also hate most Vitamin D supplements because they taste fishy – I’m a vegetarian and so that is not something I enjoy.

The great news is that when I began supplementing with Isotonix D3 with K2, my blood levels became good for the first time in my life.  I started with 15,000 units and have since dropped to 5,000 units.  This is just a 2 ounce serving for me and actually tastes good.  My doctor is happy and tells me to keep doing whatever it is that I am doing.

I feel great, have lots of energy and, most importantly, cancer is something in the past that I plan to do everything in my power to keep in the past.  We have lots of carcinogenic elements in our lives today: stress, toxins in our food/air/water, food that is deficient in nutrients compared to what we had 50 years ago.  It is hard to eat right all the time with our busy lifestyles and, even when we do, most of us just cannot get everything we need from our food.  Our health is something that we carry with us every moment of every day and we don’t realize what we have until we lose it.  Fortunately, I have had the chance to regain my health – and not just for my sake, but for my family, as well.   If you have questions or if I can help you to stay healthy, please contact me.

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Sometimes, Life is Hard

Sometimes, life is hard.  We have to do something we thought we would never have to do, wish we never had to do.  Sometimes, it’s in our business; sometimes, it’s with our children; sometimes, it’s an elderly parent; sometimes, it’s telling a friend something hard.  To be responsible, to handle a difficult situation, we may have to do something we are afraid will hurt someone’s feelings – but, it has to be done for the greater good.  Jagat Singh, an Indian mystic, said, “Never hurt the heart of any man.  God lives there.”  Even though we try to live our lives this way, it seems that sometimes, we can’t prevent it.

My dad loved to shoot.  He would “target practice” almost daily.  He was left-handed and could throw a walnut up and hit it with a handgun.  He was a very good shot.  We lived on a farm out in the country and so having a gun was necessary for protection and he kept one beside his bed.  Other than potential intruders, we had wild boar, rats, etc., that occasionally had to be dealt with.  Dad made sure that everyone in the family knew how to safely handle a gun – something very important if anyone is going to have a gun around.  He was adamant about gun safety, taught me how to shoot and handle a gun.

When my dad was elderly, however, his hands were shaky and he couldn’t hold a gun the way he used to.  His eyesight was to the point where he couldn’t read the big E at  the eye doctor’s office with his glasses on.  At 88 years, glaucoma and diabetes and just advancing years took their toll.  Dad thought he saw an intruder and shot over my mother’s head.  That’s when I knew that it was time that  I had to do something very hard – I had to put away my dad’s guns. 

There was no way other than to tell him the truth – that he taught me everything I knew about gun safety, and that it wasn’t safe for him to handle guns anymore.  That had to be one of the hardest things I ever had to do. This was a clear-cut issue – for safety of everyone in the household and for his own safety, we had to put the guns away.   There have been other tough things with my kids, in business, in my personal life – but, taking away something from a parent that they love was the hardest. 

 When we have to do something hard, we can still do it with love and kindness.   We feel the pain, we know it’s hard for the person receiving it, and we hurt along with them – but, do everything with love.  That’s what makes us human.


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Dry Mouth – Wintertime Curse, Air Conditioning Curse, and How to Survive!

I have become somewhat of an unwilling expert on dry mouth these last few years since a major surgery required removal of my left salivary gland.  There are still minor glands on that side that have come back somewhat; however, wintertime and air conditioning – especially at night sleeping or traveling in a car – have me feeling as though I’m traversing the Sahara Desert at midday with rolls of cotton in my mouth.

One of the best things I have found is a quiet humidifier for use day and night.  (Did I also mention that I HATE noise, such as fans blowing, especially at night???)  We have a large Holmes humidifier with dual tanks for dumping water into the air during the daytime and a Crane for use at night.  The Crane can be purchased in many colors, even in the shape of animals for children, and is the quietest on the market.  It will also last all night.

The second thing that I use is aloe.  My favorite is Market America’s Ultimate Aloe in Strawberry Kiwi.  I get the liquid to sip on during the day, sometimes mixing it with sparkling water or regular water.  I keep the dry packets in my purse to mix with water when eating out or to put in a bottle of water if I am out and my mouth is dry – almost always!  When I am in a meeting or working with a client, I couldn’t talk for more than a few minutes without coating my throat with aloe.  You can read about Ultimate Aloe and Ultimate Aloe Powder here:

The other thing that I have found very helpful is mouth rinse and mouth/vocal spray – and let me tell you, I think I have tried them all!  I am somewhat of a challenge because I am a vegetarian and don’t want any animal or egg products in what I use.  One of the leading brands, Biotene, contains eggs.  My favorite mouth rinse is Orazyme both for flavor and consistency.  Some of them leave an icky feeling in your mouth; but, Orazyme has a nice flavor and feel.

I finally hit upon vocal sprays for singers.  I have always loved singing – but didn’t think about looking for sprays to help my dry throat in that section.  I have tried Thayers, Stoppers, Vocal Eze, Entertainer’s Secret – and my favorite by far is Clear Voice.  Clear Voice comes in various flavors so that I can choose my favorite or get a variety and the bottle is small and light enough to fit in my purse or in a pocket.  I think my second choice is Entertainer’s Secret; but, the cap is a bit cumbersome to get on and off in the middle of the night.

For the car, Slique gum made by Young Living is my favorite.  It is a Frankincense resin that I can chew on for hours to stimulate saliva, and it is not sweet or sticky.

I don’t wish this condition on anyone and hope that these suggestions help.

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My Grandmother's Bowl

My Grandmother’s Bowl


Halloween comes
on little ghost feet.

It meanders
place to place, ‘Trick or Treat’ing
for candy kisses
and childlike fun.
                                – Ann Marie Byars, 10/27/2015

My grandmother loved Halloween.  She loved all holidays, I think mainly because she loved to entertain, make people feel welcome and loved, and just make people feel good in general – especially children.  My life is richer for having known her and the things she taught me.

I learned at an early age from my parents and grandparents that people don’t always have the same beliefs, even people in the same family; however, one can still honor and respect those individuals and their beliefs – even if one does not agree with them.

My grandfather was a Primitive Baptist and my grandmother was a Methodist.  Primitive Baptists, at least in his church, did not believe in Sunday school.  My grandmother taught Sunday school and she was really good at it.  I loved her class because she made the Bible stories come alive.  She would build models, tell the stories with games and plays, and they were anything but dry and boring!  I never wanted to go to Sunday school before or after her class.

Since the Methodist church was only a half-block from where my grandparents lived, they mostly went to the Methodist church; but, they would occasionally go to my grandfather’s church – especially when there was “dinner on the ground” or some special event.  It was told that on this particular Sunday, the Primitive Baptist preacher was criticizing Sunday school and my grandmother took this rather personally.  So, after the service, my grandmother handed my grandfather the fried chicken and said, “Stay as long as you want.  I’ll be right here in the car when you get through.”  It was told that she never went back.

My father also did not believe in Halloween.  We lived out in the country where there was no “Trick or Treating”.   My grandparents lived in town and my grandmother always had some sort of party or festivities going on for Halloween.  So, my mother took me over there to spend the evening or the night.  My grandfather always carved the pumpkin, my grandmother made pumpkin pies, and she bought me some kind of costume.  When I was still quite young, she gave me an Indian brave costume and I frankly told her that I would rather be a princess (she remembered because the next year, she got me a princess costume).  One year, my grandmother had a party complete with a small monkey in a little red hat and coat that a friend of hers owned.   Then, there were the neighborhood kids in their costumes that she made over.  She always gave 2 pieces of candy per person and there was the running count of how many came to the door.  I have her Halloween bowl.  Just like my grandmother, it is a classy, fluted glass bowl (see picture). . . .

She taught me to pick up my heels when walking – no shuffling – and I remember to do this every time I walk somewhere to this day.   One is always supposed to be respectful of others, send “Thank you” notes, and always – always – make people feel welcome and cared for.   I think of her often because of what she taught me – especially on Halloween because of the joy that it brought to her and the joy she shared with others.

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My Walmart Shopping Experience

I just had a great Walmart shopping experience – online!  They now have free shipping if you buy $45 or more.  Some things are delivery only, some are in-store only, some are either.  Those products that are either, you can click buttons at checkout to choose to pickup any of those that you want – right from your shopping cart. 

Walmart is only about 3 miles from my house – but, I hate GOing to Walmart.  Their parking is horrendous . . . I don’t understand why because it is very similar to the malls or other department stores.  Maybe it’s just fighting the traffic and the mobs of people. 

This time, I shopped in my living room.  I got things we needed and was not tempted to purchase things I didn’t need.  And, I got cash back.  And, I didn’t have to GO to Walmart.

Come shop with me:

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I Am Not A “Guy”

Too often lately it seems that we go into a restaurant or other establishment and the attendant, waiter, etc., will say, “This way guys” or “How are you today guys?”.  I am not a “guy”.  I certainly don’t look like a guy.  Maybe it is my Southern upbringing, maybe it is my love of the English language because my dad taught English and made sure that I knew the nuances between “pen” and “pin”, maybe it is simply because I endeavor to be a lady – whatever the reason, I am not a “guy”.

To me, a “guy” is someone of the male gender, likely in his 20s to 40s, non-specific – but, definitely, male. How would a man feel if the attendant said, “This way dolls”?

I supposed that I should be grateful.  In some circles, they refer to each other as “dog”.  So, at least, they do not say, “This way dogs”.

Regardless of the venue, I would just simply appreciate being referred to as “folks” or some other respectful, yet generic, term.  That would suit me.  “Folks” is generic, it’s homey, it’s non-specific – it is not “guys”, “dolls”, “dog(s)” – just simply “folks”.

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Cancer and Hope

I am one of those people who should never get cancer – except for what must be a genetic predisposition to it.  I don’t have any of the other risk factors: I don’t smoke, chew, etc., and never have; I don’t drink and only drank socially years ago; I don’t drink soft drinks – except for the rare Coke in a 6 ounce glass bottle like my grandmother used to serve . . . there are just some vices in which one must indulge on rare occasion!  However, in 2010, six months after my mother died with cancer at 82, I had a cancerous lesion on my tongue.  Then, 6 months later, I had a cancerous lump in my throat.  I had a very small chance of contracting cancer in the first place and about a 2-3% chance of recurrence.

What really is befuddling is that I am one of those health nuts.  I’m a vegetarian, try to eat organic as much as possible, watch toxins in my home and environment, go to the doctor regularly for the obvious checkups and blood work, etc., etc.  Yet, I am here to tell you that you can do everything you know to do, that the medical community knows to do, that the alternative health community knows to do and still get an imbalance leading to some condition that you are genetically programmed to contract.

There are ways to mitigate those risks.  We now know some genetic markers in DNA that cause genetic predispositions to certain diseases. We have genetic testing to determine if we have these risk factors so that we can target nutrition.  When I took this test, for example, I found that I had (drum roll….) THE COFFEE GENE!  In some people, coffee inhibits the body’s ability to absorb calcium.  My mother had severe osteoporosis and I grew up with her sipping coffee all day.  Fluoride is also implicated in leaching calcium from the bones, and my mother also grew up drinking “city water” containing fluoride.  My father, conversely, grew up on a farm with spring water, plenty of weight bearing exercise, and didn’t drink coffee.  At age 88 shortly before his death, he had no bone loss.   I already had bone loss in my 40s, according to bone density tests, even though I had been taking mainstream forms of calcium most of my life.  This prediction of where I could be headed genetically really made sense to me because of what I saw in my parents and, thus, this looks like something that I can prevent.  Now, I am careful to take isotonic calcium that is readily absorbed and I severely restrict my coffee intake.  This has led to increased bone density back into the normal range.

So, why did I get cancer???  I have had many well meaning people give me suggestions – some sound and some not so much.  The type of cancer I had was a squamous cell carcinoma, generally found in the mucus membranes, such as the mouth or colon, and often caused by an irritation.  In my case, I had an old crown, probably over 30 years old, that had a sharp ledge no longer covered by my gum line.  My symptoms were innocuous to my doctors and dentist for years: the left side of my mouth burned when I ate spicy food.   I am not one to get what one would call really spicy food.  At a Thai or Mexican restaurant, I go for 0-1 on the spice meter.  And, nothing looked out of the ordinary.  I had a very stressful job, I had family stresses, but, I was healthy.  Then, in 2010, a round white spot developed on my tongue.  We tried pastes, balancing hormones, watching what I ate, to no avail.  My dentist consulted with an oral surgeon who said that it was probably nothing – but maybe we should take it off as a precaution.  Everyone was completely surprised when the diagnosis came back that it was a carcinoma.  I was just not in a group of people with lifestyle risk factors for it and I didn’t look ill nor was I rundown, sick, etc.

For those of you who do smoke, chew, etc., and have a choice to lower your risk factors, I am going to be honest with you that recovering from an operation on your tongue is about the most painful thing I have ever experienced.  I had 3 babies, 2 who were born naturally with no drug intervention, and I have a high pain threshold.  Regarding using your tongue – notice how often you move it . . . You breathe and swallow multiple times a minute, your tongue is a muscle that moves food, drink and saliva around all the time, and every time it moves, it hurts – and it hurts continually.  Loritab didn’t help that much and just took the edge off, Percocet did help more; and, the side effects of both drugs were not pleasant.

Six months later, I found a lump in my neck.  Could I have prevented this by getting a diagnosis on my tongue earlier? Maybe.  Maybe not.  However, I was not able to diagnose the root cause of the problem until I had a bite plate made to help my tongue heal.  My tongue had been so inflamed that I could not feel it catching on the old crown.  When I wore the bite plate, I could feel my tongue catching on the crown when I removed the plate.  A bite plate is a soft, plastic mold that a dentist makes from an impression of your teeth.  It is comfortable to wear and costs around $100 even if your insurance does not cover it – mine did.  If you have some strange irritation on one side of your mouth and cannot determine what is causing it, it is well worth your time and money to invest in a bite plate to help you determine if it is one of your teeth that has so inflamed the area.

In August, 2011, because of where the cancerous growth was, I had a radical neck dissection to remove 19 lymph nodes, part of the muscle going to my arm, my left salivary gland, and the internal jugular.  Testing after the surgery revealed that my body contained the cancer in ONE lymph node, it was on my left side, and I’m right handed.  I elected to forego chemotherapy but did opt for radiation.  I lost my voice for a while and was able to get through it without the burning and the severe reactions many have.  All treatments have now been completed and I have a very good prognosis.  Still, I will have to watch for side effects down the road, such as a low thyroid.  There is a small risk of secondary cancers from radiation.

Because of my nutrition and, thus, general health status, I would go in for checkups and the receptionists would ask me if I was a patient!  That really made me feel good.  I was often told, “You don’t look sick!”  Well, I’m not and I wasn’t – I just had a tiff with cancer.

My supplement regimen:

I used Isotonix supplements exclusively during radiation because I could not swallow pills. Isotonix are powders mixed with liquid to form a solution that is the right pH and pressure that does not require breaking down by the body.  This means that the body receives close to 95% of what is in the bottle.  I used lots of Beauty Blend (2 caps 3 times per day), which is a potent antioxidant combination of pycnogenol, calcium, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid which are all good for the skin and tissues.  I took multivitamins/minerals, CoQ10 (2 caps), lots of extra C (1-3 grams daily), D with K2 (15,000 units – 3 caps), Bs, calcium, resveratrol and acai for energy. I sipped Ultimate Aloe all day mixed about half with water – it comes in natural as well as nice flavors that are quite pleasant.  My favorite is strawberry kiwi flavor.  It coated my throat so that it wasn’t as dry and sore.  I still had to use the “magic mouthwash” that the doctor prescribed, however, because of my body’s reaction to radiation.  Now, because my mouth is dryer due to the loss of one salivary gland, I drink more water, run a humidifier at night (the Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist Humidifier is very quiet and works well), and I still use aloe daily to coat my throat.  I have learned that it helps to use more aloe and glutamine the day before I will be talking more than usual, as well.  Aloe comes in dry packets that I keep in my purse, too, so that I can put it in water when we go out to eat.  Because of my experiences, in my business, I carry Isotonix supplements brokered by Market America.  Because of how much Holographic Health helped me during my recovery, I have become a practitioner to help balance the body and use some of those supplements containing glutamine.  I also use RBCs Microhydrin.

My skincare regimen:

I used and still use Pentaxyl on my face and neck twice daily.  Pentaxyl contains botanical ingredients to help to calm the skin and to soften scar tissue.  While I was going through radiation, I used a Cellular Laboratories mask every evening on the radiation area.  This helped to calm and hydrate the skin, and removed burning. I followed the mask with aloe and then Pentaxyl.  Pentaxyl is great support for people with rosacea and psoriasis, too! I have had people tell me that it works better than prescription medications and is cheaper.  I have added a Holographic Health remedy, CamphoRub, to my regimen on my scar that helps tremendously with the discomfort.

Everyone is different and may have different nutritional and skincare needs.  I provide complimentary consultations to folks with challenging disorders. I know how hard it can be to find the right products that are gentle on the skin and body and so I work with folks to find what works for them.

Because I work for myself, I am so fortunate that I don’t have a job that I have to go to every day.  My friends who have recovered from cancer and other life threatening conditions have had it so hard trying to keep up with jobs, careers, and families.  I have my office in my home to keep my costs low for my clients.  Of course, my income depends on how much work I do . . . During my recovery, I could plan and take days off if I needed rest – and still have to do this 6 months later. My husband says that when you work at home you’re always at work – and so, I have had to learn to balance that better, too. My neck is somewhat of a “You’ve overdone it!” barometer.

The important things start going through your mind when you get a life-threatening diagnosis.  Will I be here to spend Christmas with my family?  Will I be able to watch my children have children of their own?  Will I be there for my children when only a mother’s love and help are enough?  Will I be there to take care of my husband the next time he is sick as he is taking care of me now?  Will we ever be able to go on that vacation we have had to put off because of my illness?  We all know that we are going to die one day.  But, when you face cancer or some other life threatening illness, you come face to face with your mortality today.

At first, you’re just numb.  It’s like living in a dream where things just happen and nothing seems real . . . Then, you find out your diagnosis, decide what you are going to do, and you start working with it.  This is the point where you really start living.

Every day becomes the most important day of your life, every moment the most important moment.   The things that you really want to say to your family and friends, you say them today.  The things that you really want to do and accomplish in your life change.  You assess and reassess your goals and really think of what you most want to accomplish while you are here.  You start living in the present and living each day to the fullest because tomorrow really is a dream out there in the future that may never become a reality.

You learn to accept help and you learn to trust.  I had never been good at accepting help, and help came to me from my family, from my friends, and sometimes in the smallest but most important ways – a phone call or kind words in a card that kept my spirits up, some warm soup that was easy to swallow.  I have some dear friends for whom I shall always be grateful who covered for me at my BNI business meetings and took care of my clients during my recovery.  A mutual friend called to offer help and recommended Holographic Health – for this, I shall always be grateful.  I always trusted in God; however, this time, I really had to totally let go and trust completely.  And I did.  In the hospital before my surgery, I was at peace.  They told me that I looked calm and asked me if I needed a sedative – I didn’t.  My husband did!  But, I was fine.  Most important of all, I learned how much I matter, how much others care, and how much my life touches others.

There will be things that you cannot do, have trouble doing, or should not do for a while – even ever!  – such as, carrying heavy bags of groceries, lifting heavy objects, etc.  There may even be other things that you have always done that are now very hard or impossible.  For me, it was driving, anything requiring reaching up with my left arm: fixing my hair, fixing dinner – things that I had taken for granted and had always been able to do.  So, you find other ways to do these things, you learn to be patient with yourself, and you learn to ask for help when you need it.  You exercise, stretch, rest, and work at it a little more each day.  You must understand that this is a healing process and you work on the most important therapy – your attitude.  Then, one day, you find that you can drive home from town, and then from Knoxville, then from Charlotte, you have fixed your hair and it wasn’t painful or difficult, you have talked for a couple of hours without your voice breaking up, and you’re not even quite so tired.  These are days to celebrate just being normal again!

And, most of all, I learned that I had choices.  The worst part was waiting and not knowing.  When I finally had the diagnosis, I had something to work with.  I could learn about the condition, the treatments, and the side effects.  I have a wonderful doctor who helped me to understand what all of the choices meant, and that – most of all – I had those choices.  Some things, such as the surgery, had to be done post haste.  Other things, such as radiation and chemotherapy, I had decisions to make.  Once I understood the consequences and made my choices, I was at peace with my decisions.  Some people prefer to put their lives in the hands of doctors – I have always felt that my life was in God’s hands, my hands, and the doctors’ hands, and we should decide how to proceed together.  I had to feel good about saying “no” to chemotherapy and to ask the right questions of my surgeon, radiation oncologist and hematologist.  My hope is that others will do what feels right to them – whether that is just doing what their doctors say or seeking their own alternatives.  Ultimately, for me, it is my life and I need to be the one deciding how to proceed.

As long as we’re breathing, there is hope.  Each of us matters.  Whether we live one day, one month or a decade, what we do with our life and our time matters.  Live each day as if it’s your last but plan each day for a lifetime of tomorrows.  Do first what is most important and the rest falls into place.  Love yourself, love God, and love humanity – we need all the love we can get.  We can’t control everything that happens to us; but, we can control our attitude.

After the waiting, the tests, the surgery and all of the treatments that Eugene my wonderful husband took me to, my wonderful daughter Rachelle took me to a scrapbooking weekend.  All of the love, cards, and cartoons I received are now captured in this book.  I wrote the following poem as a reminder for the book to put cancer in its proper place.  This poem doesn’t mean that we will always recover from an illness or to minimize its impact – we all have a date with our Maker and cancer is a difficult, life-threatening condition to go through. It means that we define an illness or it defines us.  We are so much more powerful and there is so much more to us than any illness.  The human spirit overcomes all – and even on our deathbed, we must keep life and death in the proper perspective. Trust, keep a good attitude, and let God take care of the rest.


Cancer & I had a tiff.

Like our cats,

Who duke it out


Each trying to get the upper hand

(or paw)

Rolling on the floor

Biting, scratching

One emerges victorious.

I am victorious –

I won.

Sometimes, they stalk

each other.

Hiding, waiting

to pounce.

Wary now, like our cats,

I know what to watch for

I know how

To win

To stay on top

To remain


Ann Marie Byars

October 7, 2011



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Dad and Bees

My dad was a laid back type of fellow unless he got crossed. He was a junior high schoolteacher – English and Science. His students knew he meant business when he was crossed and some of the other teachers would draft him to keep order in their classrooms when they had rowdy students. Most of the time, however, he was telling stories about things that happened in the Navy, in schools, on the farm and joking with his dry sense of humor. There aren’t many pictures of him smiling because he thought he looked silly smiling in pictures – but, smiling was his natural state.

Dad also ran our farm. He was always up early year-round to build a fire in the winter to keep us warm and take care of the animals before heading off to school. Sometimes this meant breaking ice with his axe so the animals could drink during the coldest months.

Teaching also gave Dad the summers to work on the farm. We didn’t have air conditioning and so sitting on the porch or out under the trees where there was a cool breeze were our favorite spots. We also didn’t wear any more clothes than were necessary to look decent. So, Dad often took off his shirt with his overalls when it was especially hot or he was hot from working.

As I said, Dad was usually laid-back and didn’t get in much of a hurry. One day, however, I saw him running like a spooked deer through the backyard toward the barn. It seems that he had gotten into a nest of yellowjackets that subsequently got into his overalls. Never before or since had I seen Dad run so fast! Anyone stung by a yellowjacket knows that it is quite painful – it seems that they just keep stinging until one is rid of them – and he had his overalls full.

We can often be complacent about life until something happens to wake us up and get us moving. Hopefully, it won’t be getting your overalls full of yellowjackets; but, I had a wakeup call this past year with a bout of cancer.

None of us is immune to death – it happens to all of us eventually. What we can do is to make each day and each life as much the way we want it to be. That is our choice – to live each day fully, to take the best care of ourselves as we can – not to overdo, but to do the things today that we would wish we had done if something happens to us tomorrow.

When faced with your mortality, you think about the things you would miss, the grandchildren you might not see, the children’s marriages you might miss, waking up in the morning with your spouse or family, the Christmases and birthdays . . . Everyone’s list is different, and yet the same: It is a life unfinished.
I have dedicated my life and my company to helping people to reach their optimal health and beauty, to balance their lives and to be freer of stress. These concepts are also different for everyone. Everyone has their own needs and ideals of health and beauty and what stress means to each of them. So, I do individualized health programs, custom blended makeup, etc.

My dad often said, “Someday, I’m going to ___________.” The blank was things such as, hiking the Appalachian Trail, writing a book (although he often wrote poetry and prose), etc. Until one day, he said that he guessed he would never do those things. That was a sad day. While it is much healthier to be laid-back rather than a Type A personality and always be on the go and overdo, there is a balance in life. You must do what is important to you, and to take care of your health, to be able to feel that you have done your best to live the life you want. When the time comes to leave this life behind, you can remember those bees in your overalls as a fond memory.

Ann Marie Byars 

Balanced Lives Resources

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A Way of Thinking

Networking, Network Marketing, Entrepreneurism – this is a new way of thinking for many people. This used to be the norm for most businesses in America until the shift toward corporate business that started about 100 years ago. At that time, most people worked for themselves rather than someone else.

I had to learn a new way of thinking when I started my business, as I did in college when I started in Engineering and Computer Science. Engineering and Computer Science are very logical, full of theory, math, and then practical applications of each.

Networking and Entrepreneurism are creative, out of the theoretical and mathematical box, and seem impractical at times. You can use theory and math for statistical purposes to determine your best potential course of action based upon the analysis of your market, your target client base, etc. However, in this business, you mostly have to “get out there and do it” to verify what works for you.

This is a people business – but, so is life in general. And, because this is a people business, things are rocky at times. If you really care about people, however, are honest with them and yourself, and really set out to do the best for your clients while being fair to yourself, things always work out more favorably in the long run. Your clients get to know you, they trust you, and you have had a meeting of the minds, a meeting in your way of thinking and their way of thinking.

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Athletes Can Improve Performance, Healing

Secret’s of a Naturopath by Dr. Sheryl N.D.: ATTENTION All ATHLETES: Alberto Friedmann, Head Coach for US Martial Arts Team, endorses Torch – Secret’s of a Naturopath by Dr. Sheryl N.D.’s Notes.
ATTENTION All ATHLETES: Alberto Friedmann, Head Coach for US Martial Arts Team, endorses Torch. Today at 3:46pm
Alberto Friedmann is the Head Coach of the U.S. Martial Arts Team, a World Martial Arts Champion, and Medical Researcher. One of the top martial arts competitors and coaches in the world, Eighth-Degree Black Belt Grand Master Alberto Friedmann has won more awards than can be listed. Among the highlights of his career are induction into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame, 12 Gold Medals, one Silver Medal, and one Bronze Medal from the World Championships between 2000 and 2006. He was a Bronze Medalist at the 18th Maccabiah Games in Israel as part of Team USA, and Olympic Torch Bearer for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

His accolades reach well beyond sports. Due to his own rare disorder, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a degenerative joint disease, Alberto Friedmann went into medical research where he has made a name for himself studying hypermobility syndromes, recovery from chronic stroke and recovery from brain injury. Among other work, he teaches course for the American College of Sports Medicine, works with athletes with disabilities, and helps stroke victims recover their walking ability and self-sufficiency. He is a member of the 2009 SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame.

“Before and after training at the Dojo, I use Torch and since it is a powder, it is very convenient to take to tournaments. Torch After-burn makes a huge difference with my muscle recovery. I have even had success with recovery from pulled muscles by using Torch After-burn”

The Board of Directors for the US Martial Arts Team has approved Torch supplement products for use by its athletes. Members of the team currently preparing for the World Champion-ships in Sydney, Australia have been recommended to use Torch during their practice.

“There are a lot of companies and products out there,” said Head Coach Alberto Friedmann. “But none of them work as well for our elite athletes as Torch.”

“If you only want run-of-the-mill supplementation, just about anything will do. But if you are trying to keep optimum health and elite perfor-mance, you need a product like Torch.”

What Makes Torch™ After-Burn Unique?

Optimizing your workout means more than just powering through a few more reps, running an extra mile or signing up for one more aerobics class. Your physical performance depends on the strength and proper function of your muscles, your energy levels and the ability of your body to recover after workouts, and science is instrumental in determining and optimizing those factors.

To boost performance and realize your maximum athletic potential, muscle must meet science at two critical points: Immediately before your workout, and immediately after.

For body builders and serious athletes looking to add a few extra reps, runners who want to bump those three-mile runs to five, mothers wanting to get back into shape after having a baby, and middle-aged men and women starting to feel their age, we’ve combined the science of nutrition with the needs of athletes for a powerful pre- and post-workout supplement regimen. Designed to be taken as a complete workout supplement system, the Torch™ sports nutrition line will help you optimize your workout, increase muscle growth and aid in muscle recovery.

Torch: After-Burn is for anyone who has physically exerted themselves and needs to restore electrolytes lost and give their body the protein boost it needs. Torch: After-Burn is formulated to increase muscle cell hydration, stimulate muscle growth, help reduce muscle soreness, and provide the body with a cardiovascular defense and energy boost.

Primary Benefits of Torch™ After-Burn*:

· Antioxidant defense
· Helps increase lean muscle mass
· Inhibits the breakdown of proteins within the muscles during intensive exercise
(this may inhibit catabolism)
· Supports muscle recovery
· Promotes muscle growth by increasing muscle cell hydration
· Provides minerals to support recovery of muscle tissue
· Replenishes fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise
· Replenishes muscle glycogen after workouts
· Promotes muscle growth (by stimulating protein synthesis in muscles)

For more information on the Torch Sports product line look at

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.This product(s) is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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