Distilled vs. Purified Water

With all of the varieties of bottled water and water filtration systems that are Water Drinkerscurrently available, it can be confusing to know which water is really the best to use as everyday drinking water.  Understanding the differences between distilled vs. purified water can help clear things up a bit.

In some respects, all water is the same – it all contains two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule.  The differences are in the minerals and chemicals that are also found along with the water.  Sometimes these minerals and chemicals are naturally occurring, while other times they are added for a variety of reasons.  Some of these are harmless, some are helpful, and some are dangerous when consumed in large quantities.

Distilled water is water that has gone through a specific process to remove all minerals and contaminants.  The water is boiled, and then the water vapor is cooled and collected.  Because the minerals and contaminants are heavier than the water vapor, they are left behind as the vapor forms. When the vapor is cooled, the water that remains is pure.  Distilled water is great for using any time minerals in water might cause stains or build-up – for example in your iron for ironing your clothes, or in cleaning products.  Unfortunately, distilled water doesn’t taste good, and may not be very good for you due to its lack of mineral content.  This makes it a less than ideal choice for daily hydration.

The term “purified water” is not as specific as distilled water; in fact, technically speaking, because the distillation process is a form of purification, distilled water would fall into the category of purified water.  Most of the time, purified water refers to water that has undergone some form of purification process, though there are no established standards for the actual process that is used.  It could mean that the water has been forced through a charcoal filter, treated with ultraviolet light, deionized, or ozonated.  Each of these processes removes some of the contaminants found in the water, and can make the water safer for drinking.

Different than distilled or purified water, electrolyzed or ionized water is usually in a category of it’s own, although it can include the benefits of purified water through the use of a one or two stage filtration process. The advantage of ionized water is the ability to control the water’s pH levels to maintain alkalinity while adding antioxidant properties.

In order to determine which water is best to drink, it is important to research the type of process used for purification, consider the benefits of ionization and alkalinity, and decide which water is right for you.



Guide to Starting Your Weight Loss Program

Congratulations on your committment to living a healthier lifestyle.  Today, I

Weight and height are used in computing body m...

Weight and height are used in computing body mass index, an indicator of risk for developing obesity-associated diseases. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

am going to share five short tips on starting your new weight-loss program.

1. Set a realistic weight goal. Research has demonstrated that a weight loss of only 10% can help mormalize blood pressure, blood fats, and blood sugar levels. Try to maintain a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 26.

2. Adopt a More Active Lifestyle.  Begin walking everyday.  Become more active as your fitness level improves and as your health allows. If you can’t do anything else, walk to the end of your driveway. Some activity is better than no activity.

3. Be Accountable.  Join a support group, and if you can’t find one in your neighborhood, then start one and invite others you know who are also on a quest for uncompromising health. Make sure to weight yourself at the same time and day every week. Only weigh yourself weekly! Do not depend on the scale as the only way to measure your success. Keep a journal of your activity; you don’t have to share it with anyone.

4. Learn Healthy Eating Habits.  I have found that it helps me in the beginning stage of a new weight loss program to keep a food diary. Learn about carbohydrates, sugars, and proteins.  Knowledge is power. Make sure you never skip meals. I know this sounds crazy; but, one has to eat to lose weight. Isn’t that a cool concept?  Lastly, drink more water. Try to drink 1/2 fl. oz. for every pound you weigh.

5. Discover Vollara Products For Your Uncompromising Health.  Put enzymes to work on your behalf.  I have found this is a big help. I have lost a large portion of my excess weight  with the Vollara 5-7-5 program.  I like Vollara because they have the CAeDS system.  CAeDS is a patented, proprietary nutrient delivery system. It is a highly refined and sophisticated system that provides the necessary nutritional co-factors and patented amino acid chelated minerals for full activation and assimilation of all of the Vollara products, without “robbing” from your body’s limited supply. CAeDS can also double the absorption of nutrients.

Relish your healthy appetite and enjoy your food when you eat. Do not punish yourself  if you deviate from your diet. Calories are cumulative. Just get back on the plan – it is for life and your health.  Learn more about Vollara’s supplements and super food nutrition products at http://www.myvollara.com/raines

REMEMBER: You are taking the first steps to a new, healthier you. The Vollara 5-7-5 Plan is “designed for a lifetime.”

Come back next week and I will be discussing the benefits of exercise.

My Internal Hunger

In today’s blog I want to uncover some of my compulsive eating roots.  Ever

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

English: Managing emotions – Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

remember a time when you had a high school class reunion to attend, or a wedding, or how about a family reunion? 

If you’re like me, probably one of the first things you thought to yourself was , “I’ve got to lose some weight.”  If you can relate to this, then today’s blog may not be comfortable for you.

Since I was a young boy, I have always done a lot of eating at night, and especially in front of the television.

When I was younger I got a little exercise but it usually only involved getting up to change the channel on the television.  I’m not sure I have ever really been hungry in my life. I feel I have been empty, lonely, depressed, and too many other things to mention. I have accepted the fact that my compulsive eating has always been about feelings. 

I can’t speak for you; however, if I ever felt what I call a bad emotion, I would put food in my mouth. I did not allow those feelings to linger for long, except for the depression and it always seemed to hang around.

According to certified nutritionist and psychotherapist, Marilyn Migliore, in her book, The Hunger Within,  “children that grow up in negative or emotionally confusing environments, who don’t receive enough intimacy, nurturing, and love in ways that imprint on them, will invariably emerge with a very different sense of themselves.”  Growing up, I felt  sad, angry, isolated, and empty.  The more I ate the more weight I gained, and the more weight I gained, the more I felt the negative emotions.

Food was always my drug of choice.  When I felt as if no one was there for me, then I turned to my food. The food was always there and it never let me down. I always felt comfortable when I could get away by myself with my food.  As a young boy I had no clue what feelings I was sitting on.  Sadly, I learned that it was safer for me to have a relationship with food than it was with people.  I used humor a great deal, and my music skills to handle my relationships.

All of this reminds me of my days as a stockbroker.  Being a stockbroker is just like being in the house I grew up in.  Every day, one can’t predict if the market is going up or down.  And if it went down, there were always plenty of people to blame me. At least when people made money with me, I got paid very well and I got praised.  When I got in the entertainment industry, I got the same praise when I performed. This is something I never got deep inside from my family. Now, I no longer perform musically and I’ve  left the financial industry.

If you have a weight problem as I do, I’m going to leave you with one serious question. What would your life be like if food were not the focus? 

Ponder this question and leave your comments.  I’d like to know your struggles and just know that you stopped by and spent a few moments of your time.  Be blessed!

“There are no conditions to which a man cannot become accustomed, especially if he sees that all those around him live the same way.” – Leo Tolstoy

Eating Healthy and Losing Weight: Part 2

  Several days ago, I posted Part 1 of this article about my healthy weight loss

Living with Uncompromising Health!

tips. Today, I am happy to bring you the final installment of this post. Please leave a comment so I will know you stopped by! 

  1. Do not weigh every day. If your body is like mine, and I certainly hope it isn’t, your weight will fluctuate daily. If you weigh daily, you will find yourself getting discouraged. I suggest weighing once a week at the same time each week. I have found that Monday morning immediately upon waking is the absolute best time for me. You find what works best for you.

  2. Set realistic goals. Ladies, unfortunately men usually lose weight faster than women. Do not try to lose too much weight too fast. And, do not compare yourself to everyone else. Everyone’s body is different and will respond differently. I always like to have a goal of losing ten percent of my body weight as my initial goal. This doesn’t mean you have to do that; this is merely what I like to do. You may not need to lose that much weight.

  3. Don’t always depend on your bathroom scales. I like to judge much of my weight loss by how my clothes fit. I suggest you take photo’s of yourself prior to beginning your weight loss program, and also take full measurements. Many times, your clothes and measurements will show better progress for you than the scales.

  4. If you find you need a cheat night, then by all means have a cheat night. I like Friday night for my cheat night. If you have done well on your program in a given week, go out and have your favorite meal. You don’t have to eat all of it, and you don’t need to go completely overboard; however, one treat meal once a week will probably be good for you – it certainly breaks the monotony for me.

  5. Finally, when you reach your goal weight, determine that you will never go back over a certain weight. For me, I want to reach 215 pounds. When I reach this goal, I will never allow myself to go back over 220. If I weigh and I have gained to 220, I will immediately start back on my program until I am back to my 215. Do not allow yourself to go much more than five pounds – this is often a recipe for a disaster, and trust me, you do not want to keep losing the same weight over and over.

 Lastly, make sure you are taking the proper nutritional supplements. I have a daily routine and when I miss I can really feel a difference in how I feel. I hope these tips have been helpful for you. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I would also like to share in your success. Send me your photo’s and your story. I can be reached via e-mail at rainesorganization@myvollara.com Become a big loser like me! Be blessed.


# # #


Never Complain About Being Overweight if You Permit It!

Obesity Campaign Poster

Obesity Campaign Poster (Photo credit: Pressbound)

Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing about my personal struggle with obesity.  I still  have a long journey ahead; but, I am taking the trip day-by-day.  I didn’t get this problem overnight, and I won’t lose it overnight.  I acknowledge right up front, my topic today isn’t going to sit well with most people — especially my friends who share a weight problem.

I disagree with most people who say that addictions are illnesses.  I was born overweight at 10 pounds 8 ounces; however, that does not mean I was born to “always be obese.”  From childhood through adulthood, I made choices. I made choices about what I ate, what kind and how much activity I received, and how I spent my time.  By this I mean, did I spend my time being outside and active, or did I choose to be inside watching television or being idle. I have not always made the right choices. I’m sure I won’t always make the right choices in the future.  I firmly believe if one continues to do what they have always done, then one will always get what they have always gotten.

My circumstances are not permanent. My current weight is not permanent. While I realize there are those who have health issues that cause them to be obese, the vast majority do not. You and I have permitted our present circumstances or they would not exist.  My friend, Dr. Mike Murdock says, “What you tolerate, you authorize to exist.”  Are you tolerating your obesity? If so, you have authorized it to exist in your life.  Now, this brings us back to choices…

Either accept the present obesity without complaint or make a decision to use your strength, your faith, whatever you must use, and make a change. One can accept a miracle from God — the miracle of life, health, and prosperity.

If you are overweight like me, you can start today to make permanent changes in your life.  Most of the time, very small changes can make large differences and impact in and on our lives.  Will you make the necessary changes? Will you make the right choices? Will you make that change?

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth,” (Mark 9:23).

Let me hear from you. Love and blessings to each of you.

Brian Raines

P.S. I use the nutrition products made available from Vollara in my daily health and weight loss regimine. For more information, or to order Vollara nutrition or green technology products, visit their website.


Hello again, precious friends! I am very thankful to each of you for all of your support as I engage in this second leg of

Amazing for energy and appetite suppression

my weight loss journey.  I’m calling it my Uncompromising Health Weight Loss Challenge.  Although it has been tough posting “morbidly obese” photo’s on public websites, it has been worth it because I have had so many people tell me that it has motivated them to stop procrastinating and get to losing weight. I did not start this as a resolution for the new year — I started this because I want to live life to the fullest!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, exercise is not my favorite thing to do, especially in a gym.  I prefer to do outdoor activities so the scenery changes.  I used to get up everyday at 5 AM and hit the gym, and one cold winter morning when my alarm sounded, I looked at my wife and said, “Na, I ain’t doing this!”  Now I will admit, I did get rather addicted (can you believe me, addicted)? to walking once. My wife, Joyce, and I used to walk five miles everyday. I have to admit, I really felt great then…and I was younger too…that helped!  In my job, I spend time listening to conference calls, so I have started using my Cardio-Glide while listening to the calls. 

This morning, I decided I needed something different, so while I was listening to some phone calls on my iPhone, I took my little Maltese, Ariel, and went for a walk. The weather here in South Carolina is very unseasonal right now. I walked one and a half miles, and burned-up over 457 calories. I was excited!

I want to make sure I keep my energy levels high.  My company, Vollara, distributes an amazing supplement, Re: Activate.  Many of you have asked me if I take something to help curb my appetite and give me energy, well this is the secret product. It is amazing!  I am going to give you some additional information at the end of this blog about Re: Activate in case you want to know. Anytime I find a product that helps me, I use it. I am very loyal; therefore, I use only Vollara products.  Obviously I have made a great decision because many Major League Baseball teams use our products. I have testimonial letters if you would like to have copies.

Well, I need to wind it down, as I have other things to do.  Thank you for the phone calls of support. Thank you for stopping me on the street and letting me know you’re following my success. I truly appreciate the support. I certainly hope my struggle with weight, and now my victory with the loss of my weight is also an encouragement for you as well. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you cannot lose your excess weight…you can!  If you need someone to help you, and support you, do not hesitate to call on me.  I would love for you guys to leave your comments below. Tell me about your success, and also feel free to let me know what you’re struggling with. If I can’t help you, my wife is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and she can reply to your comments.  If you would like to correspond with me privately, feel free to e-mail me at rainesorganization@myvollara.com

I have posted my before and after photo’s again since so many of you have asked for me to do so in one place.  Below is also the information on Re:Activate. Order yours today on my website.

Be blessed!



Reenergize with Re:Activate!

Fatigue and low energy levels can make you feel chronically tired in both body and mind. Lack of quality sleep, stress, limited physical activity, dehydration, and poor eating habits are big contributors to feeling tired and mental fatigue. Kick up your energy and mental acuity with Re:Activate, an all-natural, vegetarian energy supplement.

Re:Activate contains ingredients designed to boost your energy, suppress your appetite and elevate your mood. Three proprietary blends combine to create Re:Activate, providing you with all the benefits of increased mental and physical energy.

Benefits of Re:Activate:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Possible decrease in appetite
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Boost energy levels without the fear of crashing

Take Re:Activate if:

  • You need physical and mental energy
  • You feel fatigued
  • You suffer from low motivation to exercise or work

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

Natural Ingredients to Boost Your Energy

Re:Activate contains a Proprietary Energy Blend, Proprietary Appetite Control Blend and Proprietary Support Blend for a complete, energy-increasing supplement.

  • Relieve mental and physical fatigue with ingredients in Re:Activate
  • Green tea leaf extract provides caffeine and antioxidants to raise energy levels and mental alertness
  • Ingredients in Re:Activate provide an appetite suppressant to help control cravings and overeating
  • Increase your energy during exercise and everyday life to achieve optimal results
  • A Proprietary Support Blend helps prevent the crash associated with traditional energy supplements
  • Naturally trigger the body’s ability to produce energy with powerful antioxidants from quercetin and green tea leaf extract

Consult with your health practitioner and/or pharmacist if you are using any medications.

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



2004 – in excess of 555 pounds and a size 74 waist and a BMI of 75+

Most addictions whether they be alcohol, sex, drugs, or in my case food, usually have some degree of secrecy.  I personally feel that those with food addictions tend to have more secrecy.  Alcoholics for example can go to a bar and feed their addiction right in public with their friends. Sure, food addicts can go to restaurants and eat with friends; however, usually in this setting, food addicts will not eat as much food as they would in private. Alcoholics usually get noticed for their addiction – they are loud, obnoxious, get in trouble with the law, and God forbid, some even kill others.  Food addicts to some degree go unnoticed.  I always tried to make people feel I was strong and “all-together.” I can assure you when I weighed close to 600 pounds, I was NOT all together. I was falling apart!

In their book, The Don’t Diet Live It! Workbook, Wachter and Marcus say, “At the core of food, weight, and body issues is a deep well of shame.”  Shame is what you feel when you believe that you are a failure as a person or that something is fundamentally wrong with you. When you feel shame, there is a tendency to isolate yourself (or your true feelings) from others. You may believe that you don’t deserve support, so you keep your problems to yourself. Or you think your pain will “bring people down” so you hide it where others won’t see it. The more secretive you become, the more alone you feel. The more alone you feel, the more your feelings of shame seem confirmed.
According to my wife, family therapist Joyce Raines,  “reaching out to others is essential to recovery, it is important that the people you reach out to are Safe People.” Joyce describes safe people as those who respect you and are good listeners. They don’t try to fix you. Safe people welcome you and all your feelings, no matter what your feelings happen to be at the time. For me personally, when I talk with Joyce, I feel heard and cared about.
On the other hand, unsafe people are those who criticize, interrupt, try to “fix” you, give unsolicited advice, relate everything you say to themselves, or reveal your confidences. Sadly, most people turn to unsafe people due to a fear of intimacy. We tend to go to unsafe people because their rejection and criticism, though painful, is familiar.
I urge you to find a safe person to reach out to. It will mean being honest. It will mean calling them or being with them when you are in pain or feeling bad about yourself. It means telling the truth when you are angry or hurt. It means asking for help when you don’t know what to do. It means trusting people who are trustworthy.
Joyce and I will be your safe people. I know the pain you experience being overweight. Joyce is trained to help you deal with the underlying feelings and emotions that are causing you to react by over-eating.  I urge you to contact us. I am thankful I found Vollara. Vollara has one of the absolute best weight loss and nutritional programs in the country. They have a medical advisory board that is unmatched anywhere.  As I’ve said before, Vollara’s RE:PLACE is at the core of my successful weight loss, along with other key nutritionals.
Thank you for reading today. I’ve lost 35 pounds in 40 days, and I would love to help you get on the same path. Let me hear from you.
 Your friend,
Brian Raines