Do You Know What’s In Your Flu Vaccine?

I was reviewing my emails this morning and came across some headlines about new flu vaccines that shocked me…see below.

The following is taken from Mercury News’ article Scientists Seek a Better, Longer-Lasting and More Effective Flu Vaccine.

“We could persuade many more people in the United States
to get vaccinated, if indeed we had a better vaccine,” said
Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of the department of
preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical School.

The word persuade stood out to me as I was reading this piece, “why would the public need to be persuaded to do anything?”  If I need to be persuaded to undertake any type of action, is it really wise?  Just my own opinion.

In November, the Food and Drug Administration approved
Flucelvax, manufactured by Novartis, the first U.S.-licensed
flu vaccine that uses cell culture technology. The virus is
grown in dog kidney cells, instead of eggs. The cells can be
frozen, ready to go quickly into vaccine production if a new
virus is discovered. As Schaffner put it: “You don’t have to
wait for the roosters and hens to do their thing.

Reading that this flu vaccine is grown in dog kidney cells disturbed me.  I am a dog lover and just wonder how many dogs are used and/or harmed in this fashion?  Again, just my own thought process and opinion.

In January, the FDA approved Flublok, by Protein Sciences.
It is made in insect cells using a protein from the
virus — hemagglutinin, instead of a live virus. Most antibodies
that prevent infection are directed against hemagglutinin.

Insect cells?  I have problems killing insects in my house, much less wanting to have anything that is derived from insect cells injected into me.  Again, strictly my own opinion.


For additional reading on the new flu vaccines, visit Natural News to read FDA Approves First GMO Flu Vaccine Containing Reprogrammed Insect Virus

Knowledge is power when dealing with your own health.  Make your own determination after educating yourself about flu vaccines if you wish to be injected with a vaccine or boost your body’s immunity naturally to fight off infection as our bodies are engineered to do.

Some simple strategies to naturally boost your immunity, view iVillage’s article on 20 Natural (and Amazingly Simple!) Immunity Boosters,

If you are not able to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, get a good night’s rest, or reduce your stress, consider looking into supplements that will boost your body’s immunity.  One supplement you can consider is Isotonix that is rapidly absorbed into the body.  Visit Why Isotonix for more information.  Another suggestion is to visit your local health store and ask the knowledgeable staff on immunity boosting supplements to take.  You want a high quality supplement that your body will process and use, not something that will just pass through and be deposited when you use the bathroom.

The unpleasantness of being sick is something I believe most of us, if not all, want to avoid or minimize. See the other two articles below that also provide information on preventing you from getting the flu.

How Informed Are You About The Flu Vaccine?

Flu Season



Improve Your Memory

Did you know that vitamins can help improve your memory? Watch the following interview with natural health expert Dr. Mark Mincolla to learn more.

Also read Omega-3 Diet + Vitamins Help Keep Brain From Shrinking from PsychCentral.

Be sure to incorporate a diet focused on fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably organic, in addition to using supplements to enhance your specific nutrient needs.

Ready to improve your memory, check out the convenient Optimal Wellness Kit complete with a high quality Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin B, and Omega help keep your memory in top shape.


Sugar…not as good as you think


Sugars (Photo credit: QuintanaRoo)

I usually have many links with my posts, but only because I feel more information gives more power to make informed decisions.  I hope the supporting information provided below helps you to understand better why sugar is a danger to your diet.

Have you tried to stop consuming sugar or reduce your sugar intake? Wow, how challenging! I’ve been researching the effects of too much sugar in the diet and what I learned convinced me to stay away from it, but it is not easy.  What I learned is that sugar contributes to cancer, skin issues such as eczema and acne,  inflammation, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and so much more.

My reason for sugar consumption was for energy, you get that slump in the afternoon, visit the vending machine at work and yummy cookies, pop tarts, or some type of candy or other sugary product calls to you for a pick-me-up.

Who regularly consumes soda as their energy source? Watch the video below and you might rethink what you drink.

Sugar, The Dangers

Interested to find alternative options to get the energy you need, click here.

Following is great information from Dr. Mercola about sugar dangers.

Want to know how much sugar is contained in popular foods or beverages consumed and what your daily sugar intake should be?  The following article from Nutrition Action Health Letter provides this information.

Below is a video that clearly shows how too much sugar affects a child’s behavior.

So, with all this information about how bad sugar is for you, how do you start eliminating it from your diet?  Following is an article from Whole Living on kicking your sugar habit, Inflammation Intervention: Cure Your Sugar Cravings.

Additionally, Steve Nash shares how kicking the sugar habit has helped with his NBA career and performance on the basketball court.

Steve Nash, NBA Basketball Player on living sugar free

If you have made it this far reading the above information, what are your thoughts…will you change your habits with sugar or have you already?

How Informed Are You About The Flu Vaccine?

I believe we all know the pluses of getting a flu shot, to avoid or reduce flu symptoms, but do you know about the negative side effects?  Below are two articles from and the National Vaccine Information Center to help you understand what they are: Article

Analysis Finds Flu Vaccine Efficacy Lacking, as Flu Vaccines are Suspended Across Europe and Canada

  • A recent review found that flu vaccines may not offer protection as previously thought. The elderly, in particular, do not appear to receive measureable value from the flu shot. Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines also didn’t offer much protection to children over the age of seven
  • While infants and young children are at greatest risk, no one is exempt from the potential serious complications of flu vaccination, one of which is Guillaine-Barre syndrome. Early symptoms of GBS include sudden muscle weakness, fatigue and tingling sensations in the legs, eventually ending with either partial or total paralysis
  • A unit of U.S. drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, recently suspended delivery of their seasonal flu vaccine, Inflexal V, destined for Italy and other European countries, after discovering “problems” with two of 32 lots
  • Two weeks ago Italy banned the sale and use of four flu vaccines manufactured by Novartis, following the discovery of white particles in the vaccines. Over the next two days, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, France, Germany and Canada also suspended use of Novartis’ flu vaccines
  • ACIP recently changed their recommendation on Tdap during pregnancy. According to new recommendation, a Tdap booster vaccine is to be given to pregnant women during each consecutive pregnancy. The vote was unanimous despite the fact that neither safety nor efficacy data exists for women given multiple consecutive Tdap vaccinations during every pregnancy.

To view the full article, click here.

The National Vaccine Information Center Article

Forcing Flu Shots on Health Care Workers: Who Is Next?

Even health care workers are reluctant to receive the flu shot. The article  states that 60% of health care workers do not want to get an annual flu shot because they know of the negative side effects and do not want to take the risk.  

To read the full article click here.

Additionally, using supplements to strengthen your immune system naturally can provide your body with more ammunition to effectively fight off any virus.  See a previous post Flu Season that shares how Vitamin D is very good at preventing the flu. Also,strengthening your digestive health can boost your immune system as shown in an article from Science Daily, Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthen Immune System.  

Arm yourself with knowledge how the flu vaccine can affect you or a loved one and make an informed decision how you are going to get through this year’s flu season.


Flu Season

The flu season is near with the dreaded symptoms that prevent you from engaging with life.  In your efforts to prevent the flu, there are new studies that show Vitamin D is better than vaccines.

Vitamin D proven far better than vaccines at preventing influenza infections

Also, in an article from WebMD Health News, researcher Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, of the University of Colorado, Denver, Division of Emergency Medicine, states “The findings of our study support an important role for vitamin D in prevention of common respiratory infections, such as colds and the flu,”. See article Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Colds.

Be sure to visit Cold and Flu Symptom Checker from to help you determine if you have the cold or flu.

Take steps to prevent the flu this season and not have your life derailed.  Stock up on your Vitamin D to keep you healthy this winter.

Are you allergic to eating?

Food sensitivities affect many people with symptoms presenting themselves as digestive issues, skin issues, wheezing and runny noses.  Additional symptoms might include fatigue, gas, bloating, mood swings, nervousness, migraines and eating disorders.  I have lived with food sensitivity since I was a child due to IBS (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) — sugar, chocolate, caffeine, onions, milk, fried foods, and artificial sweeteners are my triggers.  Easter, Halloween, and Christmas were difficult times to not indulge in the delectable treats of the season.

The FAAN (The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network) shares the following food allergy facts and statistics for the United States below:

  • Food allergy is a growing public health concern.
  • As many as 15 million people have food allergies. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    • An estimated 9 million, or 4%, of adults have food allergies. 2, 3, 5
    • Nearly 6 million or 8% of children have food allergies with young children affected most. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
  • Boys appear to develop food allergies more than girls. 5
  • Food allergies may be a trigger for or associated with other allergic conditions, such as atopic dermatitis9 and eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases. 10
  • Although childhood allergies to milk11, egg12, wheat13 and soy14 generally resolve in childhood, they appear to be resolving more slowly than in previous decades, with many children still allergic beyond age 5 years. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish15 are generally lifelong allergies.

Visit their site by clicking here to view additional information and references supporting the data shared above.

To begin healing, it is advisable to eliminate the food irritant from your diet and to focus on diet and nutrition to begin your journey to being healthy.  My investigation with this topic stems from health issues I’ve been dealing with — skin issues and tiredness (more than just not getting enough sleep the night before).  I’ve noticed since I have begun taking supplements specific to skin and energy related issues, these two concerns have improved greatly.

If you too have food sensitivities or allergies, how are you dealing with it?

Following is a video from FAAN that I think helps those of us who do not have true life threatening food allergies understand how our daily food preparations can affect those with food allergies:

If you would like to learn more about the Isotonix supplements I use, visit “Why Isotonix?”

Additional resources:

Food Allergies & Food Sensitivity (

WHFoods: Food Sensitivities. The World’s Healthiest Foods is a not-for-profit organization to inform and educate people about healthy eating.

My Real Food Life blog provides recipes that are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Sugar Free, Corn Free, Gum Free, and Preservative Free.  A great site to visit.

Another helpful article from USA Today with Food Allergy Survival Tips for Travelers.  Learn tips to safely eat while traveling with suggestions on communicating to airlines, restaurants, and hotels if any ingredients you are sensitive to is present in your meal, understand the food culture of where you are traveling and how the food preparation may include ingredients you would have a reaction, and other tips to help you navigate the unfamiliar locale  you are traveling to.

Meals that Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk R.H.N. provides information, advice, and recipes for controlling inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, asthma, and allergies, with diet.  People dealing with food sensitivities or allergies can experience nutritional deficiencies, Ms. Daniluk suggests supplementing your diet with high quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement (p.106) as well as incoporating probiotics into your health regime.

Meals That Heal Inflammation : Embrace Healthy Living and Eliminate Pain One Meal at a Time

You can also find this book at Barnes & Noble a store you know and trust.  Receive CashBack on your purchase and also qualify to receive Free Shipping through Barnes & Noble.  Consider becoming a Preferred Customer to receive exclusive offers. Click on “Sign-in” at top right of screen.  Enter when asked for referral source.


Heidi Hoefler

Energy Booster Tips

If you are in need of some extra energy, below are suggestions to try:

3 Ways to Boost Your Energy (from SUCCESS magazine newsletter)

If you’re feeling worn out, tired and exhausted regularly, here are some simple ways you can channel hidden energy you didn’t know you had.  Spoiler alert: They’re not caffeine.

  1. Don’t Hold Your Breath When we are stressed, we tend to inhale quickly and hold our breath. Don’t do that. Really, it’s bad. Try “diaphragmatic breathing”; it’s the same technique taught by yoga instructors worldwide. Simply sit straight up with good posture, put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. As you breathe, you’ll feel your stomach expand, meaning your diaphragm is filling your lungs with air. Good job. Now rest and repeat.
  2. Ditch the Second Cup Coffee is notorious for being the fuel behind a quick pick-me-up, but drinking several cups a day can lead to burnout. As in crash and burn. Wean your way down to one cup a day. If you’re hooked on the flavor, try a great-tasting tea blended with chicory, carob or roasted barley.
  3. Recharge Your Batteries Which means eat more alkaline-forming foods. Good eats like figs, leafy greens, almonds and cantaloupe are staples of alkaline-based diets and have been proven to prevent ailments like kidney stones and osteoporosis. Plus, they’re often recommended to treat a lack of energy. Oh, and they taste good—which is always a plus.

Caffeine never has agreed with me, a natural way I found to increase my energy is with Isotonix® Activated B-Complex and Intense FX quick release energy tablet.    Both these products help me to have sustained energy, not feel jittery, and still be able to sleep at night.

Related articles

Nutritional Wellness

Wellness as defined by The Foundation for Wellness Professionals is considered care without drugs that can not only eliminate health problems but prevent them.  I have always been a supporter of natural health and eating fresh fruits and vegetables.  Sometimes though it isn’t always possible to maintain a balanced diet and nutritional supplements may be helpful to achieve the recommended vitamin and mineral requirements our bodies need to function well.  How do you know what is a good supplement to purchase?  I came across a web site,, which provides helpful information regarding nutritional supplement effectiveness.  This guide is provided by VitaLab which is an independent organization providing unbiased information on nutritional supplements.  They did a study of 100 multivitamin brands to analyze their effectiveness and value for your money.  Visit their web site to see how your multivitamin rates.

Keep in mind it is recommended to still maintain a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables while taking nutritional supplements.  Be sure to include these on your grocery list.