Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Avoid Getting a Cold or the Flu without taking a flu shot

Jackie and her students in Taiwan gear up for the Christmas season, but most came down with the flu

My daughter, Jackie is gearing up for the cold and flu season in Taiwan without subjecting herself or students to the potential dangers of the flu vaccine, but too late as most of the kids in the photo, including Jackie came down with the flu bug just before Christmas.

 But there are natural ways to boost our immune system and reduce our risk of getting sick. Here are a few to discuss with your doctor.

Vitamin C: A study of 715 people showed that flu symptoms were decreased by 85 percent when people took 6 grams of vitamin C as a one-time loading dose, then continuing with 1 gram three times a day, compared with people taking only the 3 grams daily. The message here is to take a lot of vitamin C the first day you feel symptoms or the first day people around you are getting sick, and then take 3 grams daily after that. Keep in mind that vitamin C can loosen stools, so be careful if you are predisposed to this.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D has exploded in research and popularity the past few years. Most of us are familiar with its bone-building properties, however new research suggests it improves the immune system as well. Have your doctor test your vitamin D levels before supplementing. Research suggests 2,000 IU daily is safe for most adults and children. Higher doses are safe and effective, but must be monitored by your doctor.

Elderberry: Elderberry (Sambucus) was researched in a group of 60 people and found to alleviate symptoms four days earlier compared with controls. Elderberry helps boosts the immune system and is great-tasting for kids. Start taking as soon as symptoms manifest.

Gingseng: Panax quinquefolium (ginseng) was studied in a large group of 323 patients as a preventive natural medicine. The group that took panax experienced 30 percent less colds compared with the placebo group (people who didn’t take ginseng), and average number of sick days were 11 compared with 16 in the non-treatment group.

Oscillococcinum: Last, but not least, the well-known oscillococcinum is a homeopathic flu treatment that is created new every year. Tough to pronounce, but effective; a Cochrane review of all oscillococcinum studies showed that it reduces the length of illness compared with placebo.


December 25, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

KMS P.E. Teacher, Randee Arkin, Healthy & Fit

A Disciplined Arkin Keeps Busy and Fit (Dec. 13, 2003)

What does it take to stay with a fitness program?

For those that exercise on a regular basis, the key to self-motivation lies in one’s determination to be self-disciplined.

In the sleepy little village of Honomu lives such a person.  A woman that is admired for her dedication to a healthy and fit lifestyle.

Randee Arkin, a middle school physical education teacher at Keaau, embodies the values of a focused and dedicated individual that believes in taking care of herself.

Randee Arkin

Arkin, who practices what she preaches, eats healthy on a daily basis in a diet filled with a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Her yard produces an abundance of avocados, papayas, oranges and bananas, and Arkin often trades her excess for other healthful foods with neighbors and friends.

She also supplements her diet with eating flax seed, oat and wheat bran for breakfast and then uses brewer’s yeast with her dinner salad.

At school, she reminds her students of the importance of eating properly and makes suggestions as to the types of foods that produces a healthy and balanced diet.

Arkin regularly rises at 5 a.m. and leaves for school by 6.  “I’m a morning person,” she said, “and I like getting things done early.”

She arrives at school by 6:30 and begins her day.  At 7 o’clock, she has the Shipman gym door open and provides supervised play for dozens of kids.

“Usually there are about 75 kids who want to come in and play basketball and dodge ball,” Arkin said.

Every day after work, Arkin heads home where she will spend 60 to 70 minutes working out on the treadmill.

On weekend, Arkin adds two hour walks, early in the morning, with her German Sheppard dog named Vegas.

Arkin begin in earnest, her healthier lifestyle when her daughter Bre was 2 years old.  Now, 18 years later, Arkin reaps the rewards by looking younger, feeling more energetic and living life to the fullest.

Arkin knows full well the value of exercise and a healthy diet – she lost her father when she was only 10 years old.

“My dad, whom I adored, died of a massive heart attack at age 36,” she said.  “I know that I need to take care of myself if I want to avoid the hereditary effects of heart disease.”

Arkin combines her brisk walking with light jogging to keep her heart rate up, thus maximizing the benefits of aerobic training.  She schedules regular physical examines and has made herself knowledgeable of all her numbers, including her cholesterol.

Besides her school activities, Arkin has also volunteered to help with the Big Island International Marathon and for the past two years has served as the starting line official out in Pepeekeo.

Arkin also volunteers as a Red Cross worker and is on call whenever East Hawaii comes under the wrath of Mother Nature.  Just last month, during one of our winter storms, Arkin was called upon by the Red Cross to help man one of the shelters, giving up part of her weekend with her sweetheart to do so.

A big part of her success comes from loving what she does.  “I love to teach and I enjoy all of my students,” she said.


Arkin is a magnet for student affection as she always makes herself available.  She can often be found sitting amongst a group of kids, answering the many questions this age group has in life’s growing circumstances.

For many years Arkin has volunteered to train the Keaau students in track and field.  “I like to get kids to participate in the Parks and Recreation program,” she said.

Arkin has prepared many middle school students for the rigors of high school athletic program, encouraging and training some of the top prepsters today.

And she follows up with her kids by volunteering as a coach at Keaau High School and attending all of the track meets held in East Hawaii.

You can also find Arkin at many P & R basketball games as she is a big supporter of youth activities.

Arkin is an excellent role model in our community who works hard every day to give our youth the support and positive directional push in motivating everyone she comes into contact with.

She is a real life person that practices the values of self-motivation and self-discipline in her quest to live a full, healthy and active life.

We all could benefit from the Randee Arkins’ of the world.

Editors Note:  This Big Dog column was written seven years ago.  Big Dog was so inspired by Ms. Arkin that he married her four years ago.   Merry Christmas Randee Arkin-Joseph as you continue to bring inspiration into my life! 

KMS track team with Randee Arkin Joseph in the center of photo

December 25, 2010 Posted by | Profiles | , , , | 1 Comment