Update: Hepatitis A in Martin County

The Health Department in Martin County is urging good handwashing and vaccination to stop the spread of Hepatitis A in the community. Today, the Health Department confirmed 19 cases of Hepatitis A in Martin County and 3 deaths associated with complications from the virus.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease. While normally not fatal, persons with chronic disease, compromised immune systems and senior citizens are more likely to experience a severe illness, leading to liver failure and possible death.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider for evaluation and testing. The Health Department in Martin County is offering the vaccine to persons who are uninsured and underinsured.

The investigation into the possible modes of transmission for Hepatitis A in Martin County continues. The Health Department is utilizing local, regional and state resources in this investigation. An investigation includes interviews with confirmed cases to gather lifestyle information, including food histories, that can help to pinpoint common links.
There have been more than 1,200 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A statewide. The Florida Department of Health considers a community “high risk” when the confirmed number of cases reaches 5. Martin County reached high risk status with 5 confirmed cases as of Monday, April 1.

What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread person to person through objects, food or drink that are contaminated by small amounts of fecal matter transmitted from a person with Hepatitis A.

What are the symptoms?
Symptoms usually start within 28 days of exposure to the virus with a range of 15-50 days. Symptoms can include:

Jaundice (yellowing skin and whites of eyes)
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Stomach pain
Dark-colored urine
Pale or clay colored stool

What should Martin County residents do?

Seek medical attention if any person experiences symptoms of illness.
Contact a healthcare provider or primary care physician with questions or concerns. Underlying health problems such as existing liver disease or clotting-factor disorders can make you more likely to get sick from hepatitis A.
Visit for detailed information and printable resources.
Exercise good hygiene – handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food.
Vaccinate. The Hepatitis A vaccine is available in the community via health care providers and local pharmacies. Vaccine supply is arriving daily in the county.
The Hepatitis A vaccine became part of the standard vaccine series for children in 1995. If parents have questions about their child’s vaccination status, they should contact their child’s pediatrician.
To ensure adequate access to the vaccine, the Florida Department of Health in Martin County will provide the Hepatitis A vaccine to those who are uninsured or underinsured. For an appointment, call 772-221-4000, then press 2 for Immunizations.

Hepatitis A virus Vaccine-Preventable Form of Infectious Hepatitis

Martin County Officials Share Information on Hepatitis A

Martin County officials met this morning to plan and share information related to recent confirmed cases of Hepatitis A in our community.

Since January 2019, there have been 13 confirmed cases in Martin County. There have been 1,200 confirmed cases of Hepatitis A statewide. The Florida Department of Health considers a community “high risk” when the confirmed number of cases reaches 5. Martin County reached high risk status with 5 confirmed cases as of Monday, April 1.

What is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease usually spread person to person through objects, food or drink that are contaminated by small amounts of fecal matter from a person with Hepatitis A.

What should Martin County residents do?

Seek medical attention if any person experiences symptoms of illness.
Contact a healthcare provider or primary care physician with questions or concerns.
Visit for detailed information and printable resources.
Exercise good hygiene – handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, after using the bathroom and before preparing or eating food.
Vaccinate. The Hepatitis A vaccine is available in the community via health care providers and local pharmacies.


Why Salt Therapy?

Salt Therapy, also known as Halotherapy, is a holistic treatment which reproduces the unique microclimate found in natural salt caves. Salt Therapy is effective in treating a variety of upper and lower respiratory tract disorders and skin conditions such as COPD, Asthma, Bronchitis, Emphysema, Cystic Fibrosis, Eczema and Psoriasis.

The salt particles can help to open up the airways, increase oxygen intake and cleanse the airways of smoke, dust, pollutants and other allergens. When the salt lands on the skin it can also help to relieve sore, flakey, red and irritated skin. Consistency is key – regular salt therapy can make breathing become easier, while shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, congestion and irritated skin may gradually be alleviated.

It is important to understand that salt therapy is not an alternative therapy, but a complementary one. It can help relieve the symptoms of a condition and work in conjunction with existing medication, resulting in even greater relief.

Schedule a salt session today and breathe easy!

(772) 266-9961
422 SW Akron Ave – Stuart, FL 34994

8 Bedtime Snacks You Can Eat Overnight To Help With Sleep

Article by: Brandon Marji
In order to keep your body healthy so it can function at a high capacity, you need adequate sleep. According to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends that adults between the ages of 18-60 should get at least seven hours of sleep. According to an article published on PubMed, researchers conducted a study that aimed to find out the consequences of sleep deprivation.

For the studies, healthy adults were subjected to limited hours of sleep; randomized into 4, 6, and 8 hours. Caffeine usage was carefully restricted as well as their sleep and wake time. After subjecting the participants to 14 days of sleep restriction, researchers found that when given tests to complete, those with only 4 or 6 hours of sleep scored significantly lower. The tests focused on attention, cognitive thought, working memory, mood and reaction time.

With that said, getting adequate sleep can depend on many variables, with food being one of them. What you consume before going to bed can either aid your sleep or hinder it. Below you will find the best bedtime snacks that will help you sleep and provide optimal health benefits as well.

Almonds. According to the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, almonds are an excellent source of magnesium, providing you with 19% of your daily needs with just one ounce. The journal also mentions that almost 50% of older adults are suffering from insomnia. In addition, researchers believe that the natural N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) antagonist and GABA agonist, Mg2+ play an essential role in the regulation of sleep. So a study was conducted to determine if magnesium could help improve insomnia in the elderly. 46 elderly subjects were chosen and were either given 500 mg of magnesium or a placebo daily for 8 weeks. Activity and sleep logs were completed in order to monitor the efficiency. After the 8 weeks, results showed that the group supplementing with magnesium had a statistically increased sleep time.

Chamomile Tea. This powerful herbal tea can also help you sleep at night. Chamomile tea contains the flavonoid apigenin. What this does is bind to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. To back up this claim, a study that is published in BioMed Central had researchers examine the efficacy and safety of chamomile for improving participants sleep and any daytime symptoms for patients suffering from chronic insomnia. So researchers performed an efficient, yet small, double-blind study in 34 patients that were between 18-65 years old with DSM-IV primary insomnia for six months. Each patient was given a random dose of 270 mg of chamomile twice a day, or placebo for 28 days. Results from the study showed that the group that was given the dose of chamomile fell asleep 15 minutes faster and experienced a reduced awakening time during the night.

Kiwi. According to an article found in Mediators of Inflammation, abnormal levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, and insufficient antioxidants can affect sleep duration. To test their hypothesis, data was collected from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The data included 10,000 people and the data was collected from personal interviews, standardized physical exams, and laboratory samples. Results in regards to inflammation, oxidative stress, and insufficient antioxidants, researchers found that participants who were administered a kiwi diet, which was two kiwis a night for four weeks, improved their sleep onset and duration. One of the beliefs as to why kiwi had such a strong effect on the sleep onset and duration is because it contains high levels of vitamin C along with serotonin, which helps regulate your sleep cycle.

Tart Cherry Juice. Self Nutrition Data states that an 8-ounce serving of tart cherry juice contains 37% of your daily needs for vitamin A, 9% for vitamin C and 9% for manganese. In addition to its incredible health properties, it can also promote a good night’s sleep. In the journal Mediators of Inflammation, experts state that tart cherry juice can have the same effect on inflammation oxidative stress and insufficient antioxidants as Kiwi does. The reason why tart cherry juice has such a strong effect is because it contains melatonin, according to a meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine. The meta-analysis consisted of two weeks and results showed that subjects experienced an improvement in insomnia symptoms when compared to the placebo group. In addition, the study also concluded that one of the reasons why tart cherries have such an impact on sleep time and duration is because they influence cytokines, which is associated with the sleep cycle. So in essence, it could be melatonin that helps fight inflammation and oxidative stress, all of which are associated with poor sleep. Or it could be the influence it has on the sleep cycle, either way, the science and facts are present which cannot be ignored.

Fatty Fish. Before you say anything, let me just explain that I am not telling you to eat fatty fish before bed. What I am suggesting is that you consume it in the evening if you are having trouble sleeping. As I have mentioned earlier in this article, serotonin helps regulate a large variety of brain functions and behaviors, which can help enhance sleep quality. With that said, fatty fish like salmon contain exceptionally high levels of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help produce serotonin, according to an article published in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. To prove this claim, I was able to find a study that is published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine that examined the association between fatty fish consumption and sleep. The study consisted of 95 male patients who were randomly assigned to a fish or control group. The fish group received Atlantic salmon three times a week from September to February, and the control group was given an alternative meal. From pre-test, the control group reported a better sleep latency. But when they compared the post-test results, the fish group had a higher level of vitamin D. This resulted in better sleep efficiency and a more positive wake time.

Walnuts. Self Nutrition Data states that walnuts contain over 19 vitamins and minerals which includes almost two grams of fiber in just a one-ounce serving. They also state that walnuts are rich in magnesium, copper, manganese, and phosphorus. In addition, a study in Food & Research explains that melatonin, which is widely known as a sleep-regulating hormone, can be produced by consuming walnuts. In fact, an article published in the journal Clinical Psychopharmacology and Neuroscience explains that the fatty acids in fatty walnuts provide ALA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that is eventually converted to DHA in the body. The article also suggests that DHA could potentially increase the production of serotonin.

Passionflower Tea. Anxiety can really hinder someone’s sleep. It can cause a person to stay awake for long hours of the night, or it can even cause someone to sleep all hours of the day because they don’t want to wake up and face their anxiety. The good news is that passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) contains apigenin, which is an antioxidant that can potentially reduce anxiety, according to an article called Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in Mexico, which you can find on PubMed. In addition, for those who do not suffer from anxiety but would like a good night’s sleep, a double-blind study that is published on PubMed investigated the effects of Passiflora incarnata and sleep quality. The study included 41 participants who were between the ages of 18-35 and were exposed to two treatments. One was a controlled group and the other was an order of treatments (passionflower vs placebo tea). Researchers measured six sleep-diary measures, and out of the six, sleep quality showed a significantly better increase for passionflower compared to the placebo group.

White Rice. Again, it needs to be noted that I am suggesting you consume white rice as a meal right before you sleep. Always give yourself enough time before bed to digest. According to an article published in the journal Sports Medicine, high glycemic index foods such as white rice should be consumed one hour before bed. The article also suggests that because white rice has a high glycemic index, it could also promote better sleep. In fact, a study published in PLoS One examined the association between high-glycemic index foods and good sleep quality. The study consisted of 1,848 men and women who were between the ages of 18 and 60. Rice, bread, and noodle consumption were evaluated using a series of self-administered diet history questionnaires. Sleep quality was measured by using the Japanese version of the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. A global score of less than 5.5 was considered to be a poor sleep score. Results showed that high rice intake was associated with a better sleep which included a longer sleep duration. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Don’t Be D-Railed by Short Winter Days

Article by: Life’s Abundance

Even though the days are growing longer, we’re all coming off months of reduced time in the sun. While snuggling in the warmth of cozy dens holds appeal, there are some drawbacks to limited solar exposure. When it’s colder and darker, outdoor activity is typically limited, too. Medically speaking, it also means we might start experiencing a dip in our vitamin D levels. The reason? According to the National Institutes of Health, most people need at least some of their vitamin D minimum requirements to be self-sourced through exposure to sunlight.

It’s by no means a small problem. Approximately one billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency. This fat-soluble vitamin helps us absorb calcium, grow strong bones and maintain our immune system. Those who are deficient in vitamin D might find themselves at greater risk for such troubling diseases as rickets (especially in children), osteoporosis (especially among the elderly) and even autoimmune disorders. Vitamin D deficiency is even increasingly linked to seasonal affective disorder, that feeling of sadness or anxiety that expresses itself during the winter months.

So how do you keep your vitamin D levels ramped up even during winter? Here are three suggestions to help keep your body nourished.

1. Boost Your Diet: Vitamin D naturally occurs in very few foods. Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are likely your best source, although you can also find it in smaller amounts in egg yolks, cheese and beef liver. If the thought of beef liver or mackerel doesn’t quite do it for you, and you’ve had your quota of salmon for the week, look for fortified foods on your grocery shelves. A lot of cereals are loaded with vitamin D, and dairy products started adding vitamin D in the 1930’s to fight rickets. If you’re trying to figure out how to create a menu containing the 600 IU of vitamin D an average adults needs, the USDA has compiled a comprehensive list of food sources (visit

2. Go Outside: People who live farthest from the equator are at the highest risk of experiencing a vitamin D deficiency. That’s why it’s so important that you make sure you expose yourself to sunshine every day, if at all possible. Even though we all know we’re supposed to use sunscreen, doctors recommend that we all try to spend a few minutes outside without sunscreen so that those ultraviolet rays can soak into your skin, mix with your cholesterol and transform into vitamin D. You can keep your face covered, and just have your arms uncovered for 10-30 minutes a days. Healthline reports that midday is the best time to get some sunshine: “[A] study found that 30 minutes of midday summer sun exposure in Oslo, Norway, was equivalent to consuming 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D.” Be forewarned that melanin in darkly pigmented skin can act as a barrier that prevents vitamin D production. So, if you have darker skin, you might need to spend a little extra time outside. Try to schedule lunch breaks that coincide with the brightest time of day, especially during the winter months, to ensure that you’re soaking up prime rays.

3. Pop a Multivitamin: Because so many people do live far away from the equator and struggle to meet their requirements with food, dietary vitamin D supplements are the best and easiest way to boost your health in this regard. Just one serving of our plant-based Life’s Abundance Multivitamin will provide you with the full recommended 600 IU of vitamin D.

Here’s to a bright and D-lightful New Year for all of us!

“Drain & Cover” for Mosquito Bite Prevention

Mosquito-Borne and Other Insect-Borne Diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases are diseases that can be spread through the bite of mosquitoes. These diseases may be caused by a virus, also known as arboviruses, or can be caused by parasites. Several of the mosquito species found in Florida are capable of transmitting diseases to humans, horses, and other animals. Symptoms of these illnesses can range from mild to very severe.

Mosquito-borne diseases found in Florida include West Nile virus disease, Eastern equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. Many other mosquito-borne diseases are found in different parts of the world, and can be brought back to Florida if infected people or animals are bitten by mosquitoes while in Florida. Some examples of these diseases include chikungunya fever, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, and Rift Valley fever.
Drain and Cover

Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.
Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

Stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business. Protect yourself from mosquito’s bites and the diseases they carry.

Maintaining Joy: Ways for Seniors to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Finding the Right Balance

The older we get, the more intense the holiday season seems to become, with an increasing number of responsibilities. There are parties to attend, relatives to visit, dinners to cook, gifts to buy and wrap – all within the span of just a few weeks. While these activities serve a greater purpose in celebrating with others, they still can be taxing on the body and mind. One of the primary reasons for this is that it’s more difficult to balance the rigorous holiday schedule with our own, and as a result, our health tends to go on the backburner.

The consequences of pushing ourselves to “do it all” during the holidays can become more severe with age. Without taking the proper precautions, seniors can experience everything from mental exhaustion to physical illness. Fortunately, there are steps that they can take to preserve their health and ensure their holiday season is full of comfort and joy.

Tips for Staying Healthy During the Holidays

Dress appropriately: Even if it’s for less than five minutes, having protection against even mild cold temperatures is imperative. Seniors should wear layers of light, warm clothing, along with gloves, scarves, and hats. In extreme cold, seniors should avoid going outside altogether.

Combat germs and the flu: It isn’t just the holiday season; influenza gets the spotlight this time of year as well. To help reduce the risk of getting the flu, seniors should wash their hands frequently throughout the day, with soap and warm water (for at least 20 seconds) and use hand sanitizer while in public. Although the best time to get a flu vaccine is in mid-October, getting one in November and December can still help with risk reduction.

Stay active: If the summer sun inspires us to get out and exert energy, the gray overcast skies and snow do the exact opposite. Keeping a consistent workout schedule can be difficult during the holidays, but dedicating at least 30 minutes to moderate physical activity (with physician approval) can help keep the immune system strong.

Eat wisely: What goes better with good company than good food? There’s always plenty of rich foods and snacks to enjoy at holiday parties. However, seniors – especially those with existing health conditions – may want to think twice before overindulging so as not to create or worsen any short-term or long-term health problems. Seniors should opt for healthier options whenever possible, even if it’s just taking from the veggie tray instead of the bowl of chips.

Get plenty of rest: With the holiday season representing such a unique opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, there’s an ever-present temptation todo everythingand soak up as much of the time as possible. However, it’s just as important that the time that is spent together is quality time, and to that end, seniors should make sure they are well-rested. They should maintain a consistent sleep schedule (allowing for 8 or more hours) and take breaks throughout the day.

Keep the immune system strong before flying: The last thing anyone wants to do before a flight is more prep work. That being said, giving the immune system a little boost before flying can help reduce the risk of illness and exhaustion. In the days leading up to air travel, seniors should do whatever they can do de-stress, even if it’s just practicing meditation or taking soothing baths. This will add extra protection against the plethora of germs from fellow passengers.

Out2News.comComfort Keepers®Can Help
At Comfort Keepers®, we understand that hope, joy, and purpose are all central to senior wellbeing – especially during the holiday season. Our compassionate caregivers will foster these qualities for senior clients throughout the holidays and year-round, seeing that they have what they need to stay healthy and safe.

Kittens Offer Cheer to Nursing Home Residents

In Photo: Sally Booth looks on as Stuart Lodge resident, Edith, cuddles a cat

Article by: Shannon Borrego

Petting a soft warm kitten has a calming effect on people both young and old. For years Caring Fields Felines has invited youngsters to cuddle with our sanctuary cats and now, thanks to volunteer Sally Booth, we’re able to connect cats with seniors, as well.

Sally has been taking kittens to visit local nursing homes for almost ten years. Through her volunteer work with Dominos House she developed a program that gives residents the opportunity to interact with cats without leaving the nursing home. Sally has now joined CFF as a volunteer, and we are delighted that CFF cats are now part of the program.

Over the years, Sally has learned the best strategies to ensure a successful visit. She discovered early on that taking adult cats for her nursing home visits didn’t work well. The cats were usually reluctant to enter a carrier for the journey, and often arrived feeling unsociable. Kittens, on the other hand, are unfazed by carriers. She also learned not to allow the kittens to scamper about freely after one crawled up into the springs under the bed of a resident.

For her visits, Sally takes two kittens. One kitten takes a break in the carrier while the other is either held by the nursing home resident or held by Sally while the resident pets him. Even the residents who don’t appear to be very alert respond positively to feel of the kittens’ soft fur and the sound of their contented purrs. Sally says of these seniors, “They come alive and start talking about their cats. I’ve gotten people to talk that haven’t spoken in a year.” What a testament that is to the therapeutic power of cats!

Although Sally doesn’t adopt kittens to the residents, several staff members have adopted cats. Most recently, one of the staff at Martin County Rehab fell in love with a kitten during Sally’s visit. The woman ended up stopping by CFF’s sanctuary in Palm City and adopting 2 cats of her own.

The demand for Sally’s services is great. Every year when she participates in the Alzheimer’s Walk, she gets requests from a least five facilities to visit with cats. Unfortunately, the demand far exceeds the time she can devote to the project. Consequently, CFF is looking for new volunteers to join the program and help Sally. Please call 772-463-7386 for more information.

Photo by: Sally Booth

How Aging Affects Our Feet

What Changes with Age?
Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” From sunup to sundown, we rely on our feet constantly to get us wherever we need to go. They are undoubtedly the unsung heroes of the human body, but over time, age-related changes – not to mention normal wear and tear – can take their toll. And for some older adults, being able to walk at all is a blessing in and of itself. So, what exactly changes with our feet as we get older?

To start with, there’s a decrease in collagen production which causes the natural cushioning of the feet to diminish. Without this padding, the feet lose their ability to absorb shocks, often leading to severe soreness and pain when walking. Blood circulation can also begin to slow as we age, especially for those dealing with diabetes, vein disease, or other conditions. Proper circulation is crucial in keeping the human body healthy, and when the feet don’t get the blood supply they need, several problems can arise – severe swelling being chief among them. Arthritis, particularly in the big toe or top of the foot, can lead to stiffness, dull aches, and decreased range of motion.

While all of these changes are certainly common, seniors should not assume that foot pain is to be simply tolerated. Seniors can take steps to care for their feet, reduce their risk of the aforementioned problems, and maintain their independence. With these tips, seniors can embrace Thoreau’s words and enjoy all that the day has to offer.

Foot Care Tips for Seniors

Invest in proper footwear that conforms to the foot (not the other way around). Comfort is certainly key, but flexibility is also important. It’s highly recommended that seniors buy shoes that have a half-inch gap between the tip and the longest toe.

Take regular walks, paying particular attention to proper posture (head erect, back straight, and arms swinging).
Have feet checked frequently by a podiatrist, especially if diagnosed with diabetes.
Wash feet thoroughly with soap and water, especially between the toes. It’s also imperative that they are dried thoroughly to help prevent fungal infections.

Use lotion after washing/drying to reduce the risk of the skin becoming dry and cracked.
Avoid walking while barefoot, to help avoid cuts and scrapes.
Ensure proper toenail maintenance by cutting across the nail and avoiding trimming the corners.
Promote proper circulation by stretching daily, keeping the feet propped up, and wiggling toes after sitting for long periods of time.
For any acute foot pain, apply the RICEtreatment: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Seniors should get off their feet, put ice on the injury for 20 minutes every hour, wrap it with a bandage, and keep the foot above the knee.

Out2News.comHow Comfort Keepers®Can Help
It’s easy to take our feet for granted, but there’s no denying that they play an essential role in maintaining our overall independence. At Comfort Keepers®, our goal is to help seniors and other adults live happier, healthier lives and enjoy the things that give them joy. Our caregivers can help clients care for their feet by reinforcing the best practices listed above. And if walking is difficult, we can provide mobility assistance as well as transportation to and from places around town.

We Know What We Want. Why Don’t We Have It?“Break out! Move past the cage of fear that confines and paralyzes the mind.
Push through self-imposed limits and boundaries.
Beyond the mental bars, freedom awaits.”
Donna McGoff, Life Coach

We have a goal. We know exactly what we want. We can see it on the screen of our mind. In our imagination and through our senses, we can see ourselves already in possession of it. Maybe it is attracting a healthy romantic relationship, starting a business, or writing a book.

We have everything in place and are ready to go for it. We know the time is “Now”. As we take the leap and go for the goal; suddenly, we can’t move forward. It is as though an invisible hand is holding us back. We feel stuck. We feel an inner struggle. As we strive to go after what we want, an overwhelming feeling of dread and extreme discomfort sets in. The feeling is so unpleasant and unnerving that it paralyzes us—stops us in our tracks. As a result, we go back to where we started–the place that is familiar and safe. Then we make excuses to convince ourselves that it is all right to stay where we have always been…

What is that uncomfortable feeling? It is called a paradigm. A paradigm is a habit, pattern, or belief system that is deeply imbedded in the subconscious mind. Think of the mind as two parts—the subconscious and the conscious mind. Up until the age of seven, some researchers say even earlier, the conscious mind is not fully developed yet. At that early age, we have had limited experiences and perceptions. As a result, we are not sophisticated enough to take the data we have and make informed, conscious decisions. So during those early years, our mind is like a sponge that takes everything in which goes right into the subconscious mind. Consequently, our environment, experiences, and genetics give us our belief system; and therefore, our habits and behaviors give us the results we are getting in our lives. Paradigms can cause limiting beliefs and mental blocks preventing us from achieving our goals. Because they are in the subconscious mind, oftentimes we don’t even know they exist until we ask the hard questions to discover them.

Here is an example. Sydney has worked her way up to a top position in the company she presently works for. Secretly, she wants to start her own company. Sydney is smart, fair, and is well-liked. Deep down, she feels that she could really be a huge success on her own. She can see it in her mind. Somehow, she just can’t get herself to go for it. Sydney needs to discover the paradigm that is holding her back and replace it with a new one so she can move forward. Here’s an exercise to discover the paradigm that is holding her back from achieving her goal.

Sydney writes down all the positive reasons she could think of as to why she should start her own company. Next, she writes all negative feelings/thoughts that come to mind when she thinks of going for this life-changing goal. The negative associations, particularly the strongest one, will reveal what her paradigm is—what is holding her back. In her case, it was the fear of failure. It is not necessary to go digging in the past and analyze why there is a fear of failure. All she needs to know is that there is that fear. Once she knows the paradigm, she can begin to do the work to change it so that she can move forward. How does she change the paradigm? The same way it got there in the first place—THROUGH REPETITION. There are several ways to change paradigms but the most commonly used one is to change the negative paradigm replacing it with a new, positive one. Through repetition, the neuro pathways to the subconscious mind will eventually push out the old paradigm and replace with the new. How does she do it?

She creates an affirmation. What is an affirmation? It is a positive statement that is repeated over and over that describes how one wants to be and feel. Bob Proctor has come up with a great way to start an affirmation. “I am so happy and grateful now that…”

This is her affirmation: I am so happy and grateful now that I accept challenges with enthusiasm and confidence and will find a way to succeed”.

She repeats the affirmation over and over again every time she feels that uncomfortable negative feeling start to come to the surface. Eventually, through repetition, the new affirmation is passed on to the subconscious mind and becomes a part of her belief system. She begins to believe it…

Sydney was able to discover when the old paradigm would surface by becoming aware of how she felt inside. If she started to feel anxious or fearful, it was the internal signal that she needed to push the old paradigm aside and repeat the new affirmation over and over again. She would paste the affirmation on the mirror in the bathroom and on the refrigerator door. She also kept one in her wallet and one in her pocket. As a result, she was constantly reminded of it, and it began to play over and over in her mind. Eventually, she accepted it as her truth as it became part of her belief system.
The rest is history…

We can achieve any goal we desire. Once we discover what holds us back, the anxiety, fear, and uncomfortable feeling will be replaced with confidence and a driving force that comes from the power within. As a result, we will have access to a belief system that will enable us to go over, under, or through any obstacle that gets in the way basically because we believe we can.
It is really that simple. All it takes is desire and discipline.

Donna McGoff, M.S. is a Life Coach in Stuart, Florida. She is a retired teacher/counselor. She is the inventor of board games published by the Creative Therapy Store. She is also the author of The Power of Goal Setting for children. She is currently writing her next book called Living Above the Ordinary.

Digestion Dos, Don’ts, and Maybes

Article By: Cheryl Myers

You really are what you eat. I know that is an overused axiom, but think about your body for a minute. You started life as a tiny infant, and your food built every bit of your body, providing the raw materials for more skin, more bones, more hair, more muscle–more everything. If you use substandard building materials, you may have problems with your structure.

You are What You Eat

There has been a renaissance in the appreciation of the incredible importance of quality nutrition. There is more emphasis on organic practices, non-GMO produce, the elimination of trans fats, and other healthy measures striving for the best nourishment.

I imagine many of you reading this grew up on sugary breakfast cereals, skim milk, white toast with margarine, and orange-flavored powdered drink mixes each morning. Parents believed it was part of a healthy breakfast–the TV commercials said so. Now we know more, and are (thankfully) making choices to live better–and longer–lives.

However, it is not just about your food choices and quality nutrition. You are not only what you eat–you are what you absorb. And that brings us to a discussion of digestion, and the role it plays in utilizing nourishment from the food we eat to build–and rebuild–our body.

How Digestion Works

Naturopathic physicians and integrative practitioners often state that all health begins with the gut. Our gastrointestinal system is a miracle of design. Not only does it process the food we eat, it also:

Allows water to pass into our body
Is a powerful immune entity
Houses our microbiome
Has its own “brain” that creates neurotransmitters that influence mood
Detoxifies waste

Suggestions to Improve Digestion

Regardless of whether you are in search of more optimal health, or are trying to address a specific condition, a powerful first step it to improve digestion. Here are some simple dos and don’ts for great digestive function–and a maybe or two at the end.

Digestion Do’s

Spice it up. Not only are most spices very healthy, some improve digestion. Good spices to include are cumin, fennel, coriander, ginger, and if you like the hot stuff, cayenne peppers.
Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Whatever you don’t properly chew adds strain to your digestive system that has to work a little harder to break it up.
Consume fermented foods and other foods that contain healthy bacteria (probiotics).
Save it for last if you eat bread. Eating bread first (as it is often served in restaurants) stimulates a larger insulin response and blood sugar spike than consuming it at the end of a meal, where the effect is blunted by the proteins and fats you have already consumed.

Digestion Don’ts

Don’t drink large amounts of icy beverages with meals. Some integrative practitioners are concerned that by chilling the stomach and intestines, you could reduce enzyme activity and slow digestion.
Don’t go to bed right after you eat, as you will have an increased risk of heartburn and indigestion. Gravity rules!
Don’t reach for the over-the-counter acid-reducing drugs and antacids on a regular basis. If you had a challenging meal–say, a chili cheese dog with onions at the ball game–it is fine to use a chewable antacid to reduce your distress. Using once or twice a month is fine, but more than that constantly suppresses your stomach acid, which sets you up for a myriad of health problems and can make your indigestion even worse.
Don’t exercise strenuously after a meal. OK, you probably won’t drown if you go swimming too soon after you eat, but it is true that exercise temporarily diverts blood from the digestive tract to feed the muscles what they need, which in turn impedes proper digestion.
Don’t eat meals while watching scary movies, especially if you react strongly and feel tense during horror flicks. Popcorn at the theater may be fine, but being startled and fearful triggers adrenal activity. Your body can’t tell if the threat is real or not, so it slows down blood flow and energy to the digestive tract to divert to other areas if needed to fight off a threat or run away.

Digestion Maybes: Supplements for Support

Consider supplements! If you have problems with digestion, whether temporary or chronic, there are many supplements that can make a big difference. Talk to your healthcare practitioner to make sure supplements are right for your specific issues. Here are some of the best.


Purified boswellia with a minimum of 10% AKBA is very powerful for all kinds of gut inflammation, whether irritable bowel, Crohn’s, or colitis.


Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, called DGL, has the part of the plant removed that might increase blood pressure. What remains is an excellent, clinically studied choice for ulcers or gastritis.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil should be enteric coated for proper release in the intestines. It relaxes smooth muscle and resolves intestinal cramps, gas, bloating, and slows transit time to reduce loose stools.some formulas also include the oil of caraway, cardamom, and coriander for an even higher level of benefits.


Probiotics are not all created equal. Look for one that does NOT have to be refrigerated, because that means the probiotics are shelf stable. Make sure the probiotics are guaranteed to be alive at time of purchase. Some of the best and clinically studied for colon and bowel problems are Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. If you have issues with milk products, make sure the probiotics are grown on a nondairy culture.

Learn, and Listen to Your Body

Our diet and subsequent digestive health is crucially important to all aspects of well-being. Taking the time to learn about ways to improve the function of the gastrointestinal system will have a multitude of benefits, both immediately and for years to come.

Aromatherapy Essentials: 4 Facts That May Surprise You

Scents are everywhere. When you intentionally turn to them to improve your well-being, you’re practicing what’s called aromatherapy.

What is Aromatherapy?

A form of herbalism, the therapeutic use of fragrance relies on a plant’s oils, which are extracted from the leaves, bark, roots, and seeds. Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. Today, plants’ oils are bottled as “essential oils,” and nearly 300 different kinds are available.

Whether in a peaceful lavender-infused bath or a perky peppermint moisturizer, scents relax and refresh, relieve and restore. They also can repel mosquitoes, neutralize body odor, or seduce a lover.

Four Surprising Aromatherapy Facts

Maybe you use aromatherapeutic essential oils regularly. But here are four things about them that might surprise you.

Aromatherapy is Backed by Science.

When absorbed through the skin, essential oils enter the bloodstream and affect the nervous and lymphatic systems, among others.

“The molecules of an odor interact with the receptor proteins of cell membranes, thereby creating physiological changes,” such as relaxation or stimulation, says Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, scientific director of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in San Rafael, CA. Schnaubelt is the author of the forthcoming book The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils. When you breathe in a scent, neurons in your nasal cavities send messages to your brain, triggering emotions or memories.
Caution is Critical When Using Essential Oils.

In their book, Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, Kathi Keville and Mindy Green warn: Start with oils made from plants, not synthetics (look for the botanical, or Latin, name on the label). Don’t dab undiluted essential oils directly on your skin; and keep them away from eyes, mouths and children. Use too many drops and the oil may irritate or burn your skin, damage your liver and/or kidneys, or affect your nervous system. If you’re pregnant, elderly, or have serious health problems, see an aromatherapist before trying essential oils.
Essential Oil Extraction Matters

The most common way to draw out the oils from plants is steam distillation: Steam from boiling water pulls out the plant’s odor molecules, which then float on top of the water as it cools. It’s also possible to press the oil. Flowers that contain a small amount of oil are sometimes processed using solvents such as petroleum ether, hexane, toluene, and acetone (to name a few). The downside of these chemical solvents is that they can lead to headaches and allergic symptoms; they may even be carcinogenic. According to David Schiller, cofounder of the International Aromatherapy and Herb Association, the best methods are carbon dioxide extraction–a clean and efficient method that uses high pressure and low heat–and steam distillation.
Aromatherapy Shifts Your Mood and Attitude

“Aromatherapy can be a great way to change your life for the better, if you open yourself up to it. You have to want to make a positive change,” says Schiller, who is also the coauthor of Aromatherapy for Life Empowerment. Conversely, “If you don’t believe in aromatherapy, you can make it not work for you.”

Certain scents can change the way you perceive and deal with your thoughts and feelings. Aromatherapy also helps you reflect. “Put on some soothing music, rub in the oils, relax, and let them take their course. They’ll help you clear away the noise and lead you to what’s most important to you in your life,” says Schiller.

Whether it’s from a bottle of rosemary essential oil or the rosebush in your own backyard, a sweet fragrance wafts in the world. And maybe, just maybe, that breath takes you somewhere you never expected.

State Budget Cuts Threaten the Futures of ALS Clinics in Florida

The Florida Legislature has again cut funding in half this year for the Bitner Plante ALS Clinic Initiative of Florida, providing just $250,000 to ALS clinics around the state that provide patients with comprehensive ALS care. The Bitner Plante ALS Clinic Initiative is funded by The State of Florida Department of Health and this dramatic cut puts ALS clinics in jeopardy of the ability to provide the critical care needed by people living with ALS in Florida.

What started out as $1M in original funding in 2013, the Bitner Plante ALS Clinic Initiative provided the necessary resources to expand the services of Florida clinics offering the highest level of comprehensive multidisciplinary ALS care, allowing some clinics to double the number of patients seen. Continued support enables clinics to maintain this crucial service. Since 2013, the state has dramatically decreased its engagement with the ALS community, dropping funds to $500,000 for 2016 and 2017, and dropping yet again in 2018 to just $250,000.

Leigh and Vu 2018″The ALS clinics are very labor intensive. We count on the additional revenue to support the extra clinic days and may be in jeopardy of having to eliminate the extra clinic days given the drop in funding,” said Dr. Michael Pulley, Director of the UF Health Jacksonville Multidisciplinary ALS Center. “In our case, the extra funding allowed the addition of an afternoon clinic which we have used for patients who live farther away, making morning clinics very difficult.”

With more than 1,600 people living with ALS in Florida alone, there is a critical need to not only maintain, but increase the current capacity of Florida’s ALS multidisciplinary clinics to provide care to more patients. Even though ALS is still currently incurable, studies show that patients who attend an ALS multidisciplinary clinic experience an improved quality of life and extend life by almost a year, sometimes longer.

“At least for us, I think there is a real RISK that we will need to reduce services – either clinic days or spectrum of specialists available,” says Dr. Michael Benatar, Director of the University of Miami Kessenich Family ALS Center of Excellence. “I agree with what Michael said. Also, we use the funding to pay for services not reimbursable by third party payers (dietitian, orders and care organization done in between clinic),” said Dr. Tuan Vu, Director of the ALS Center of Excellence at USF. “We also use the funding to provide care to patients who have no insurance coverage.”

People living with ALS in Florida need your help. Continuation of the Bitner Plante ALS Clinic Initiative funding is critical for people living with Lou Gehrig’s Disease in Florida. Financial support of our ALS multidisciplinary centers is essential to the future of critical care needed by people living with ALS in our state. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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As chiropractors, we get to help people who suffer from a variety of health issues. Naturally, chiropractic helps traditional neck and back problems, but chiropractic has also produced wonderful results with a variety of organic and systemic problems. Chiropractic is safe. Chiropractic is natural. And Chiropractic works!

Find out why other Stuart-area residents prefer the chiropractic care that we provide at Grassam Spine and Wellness.

Call to arrange a consultation today and find out if you’re a good candidate for today’s chiropractic care!

Contact us at 772-286-5433

Fight Mosquitoes with These Simple Tips!


Martin County, FL–The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is partnering with the Martin County Library System and the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment to offer free cooking classes for children and famil

ies this summer.The classes support the 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go initiative, a national model for reducing obesity rates, which promotes increasing physical activity and intake of fruits and vegetables,while

reducing screen time. The hands-on classes are led by Marybeth Peña, a nurse program specialist with the health department and certified diabetes educator. “Our goal is to help children and families

understand that food is fuel for our bodies.” said Peña. “Through meal and snack preparation, we are educating and inspiring families to make choices that support wellness and reduce the risk for chronic diseases

such as diabetes and heart disease.” Each class will highlight different topics including:

Media Smart Families, Families & Food Culture and an Introduction to Vegetable Gardens. All the classes are free, but registration is required.For a list of classes, log on to:

Reducing obesity rates is a priority area in the Martin County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and the 5-2-1-0initiative was adopted by the obesity sub-committee to address this chronic health issue.

Swim it, Shore it, or Dodge it!

Child Abuse Prevention

The Florida Department of Health is proud to join organizations and agencies across the state in recognizing April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels are the national symbol for child abuse prevention and serve as a reminder of the safe and nurturing environment desired for every child. Pinwheels for Prevention, coordinated by Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Florida, Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida and the Florida Department of Children and Families, is Florida’s statewide campaign that includes promotion of child abuse prevention.

The Florida Department of Health’s Children’s Medical Services Child Protection Teams (CPTs) are medically-directed, multidisciplinary, community-based programs, which provide assessments that supplement the child protective investigation activities of DCF and designated sheriff offices. Each CPT is led by a board-certified physician in pediatrics or family medicine with expertise in child abuse and neglect. CPT staff also provides training sessions for DCF, local sheriff’s office staff, emergency room and other non-medical personnel and other local agencies responsible for the detection or providing child protective services. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Martin County, FL–The Florida Department of Health in Martin County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This study highlights the many community factors that influence health and uses established data, much of which is available from the department at

“The County Health Rankings help us to understand some of the many factors influencing health in our community.” said Karlette Peck, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. “Healthy communities are built through partnerships and collaborations. In Martin County, we have enjoyed great success with our Oral Health Prevention program which provides oral health education for pre-school age children including dental sealants for elementary school age children. The program is funded in part by the Children’s Services Council of Martin County and has served more than 3,800 children since it began in late 2014.”

These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country and they emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners. The department works in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Martin County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

In Martin County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health that have been identified by the community. The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress. The CHIP can be viewed here: Martin CHIP

Public Health outreach efforts were enhanced in 2017 through a partnership with the Golden Gate Center for Enrichment, managed by the House of Hope. Based in the Golden Gate neighborhood in Stuart, the center has become a hub for programs that enhance health and support life skills. The Health Department offers school age Immunizations, HIV/STD testing, Hepatitis C testing, Family Planning and Nutrition/Cooking classes at the Golden Gate Center. A complete schedule of programs is available here:

“Bringing partners together in a unified effort is the foundation for our work.” said Rob Raneri, Chief Executive Officer for the House of Hope. “The Golden Gate Center provides us with a unique opportunity to meet people where they live and work. Through our many partnerships, we can offer the community life changing programs that support health, build life skills and support overall well-being.”

To explore more health indicators in your county, visit is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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How to Reduce or Eliminate Back Pain Naturally Feel Better Everyday

Article by: Justin Madigan- DC

“Sit up straight!”

Ever get told this by your teacher or parent? Ever think they were just being mean or authoritative just for the heck of it? I have some news for you, they were looking out for you. By sitting up straight, you will dramatically reduce the amount of dysfunction you are causing your spine. If you didn’t know, your spine begins at your head and ends at your bottom. That means that 75% of your body contains your spine! If you have a problem in your spine what could the effects be?

NEWSFLASH!!!! This could cause headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, jaw pain, arm pain, back pain, organ problems such as ulcers, IBS, GERD, kidney problems, back pain, leg pain, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, foot pain, balance problems, neurological problems, ringing in the ears, and many more! I am serious!

How many of you have had a pain in some area of the body and it spontaneously went away but soon after you had pain in another area of the body? That is because your body changes to protect you. If you had neck pain and once that went away you had back pain does that mean your neck no longer has a problem??? No, not the case. That means your body has now contorted to the point that you can no longer feel the neck pain because your back is now inflamed.

The number one complaint we see in the office is low back pain. The number one type of relief we get is low back pain. This usually happens after the first correction of the neck. No, I didn’t misspeak… by correcting the neck, the back will naturally swing back to its normal position, resulting in a normal stress where there used to be abnormal stress. Cool huh?

Want to know how you can help yourself? Sit up straight. This doesn’t mean once in a while. This means every chance you get. It will be difficult at first but once you routinely check yourself, you will find it easier and easier to maintain an erect posture. Want to get one-on-one training in posture and muscle balance? Make an appointment to come in for a free consultation. We will not only relieve your neck and back pain, but we will teach you haw to keep it permanently away. We will do this without twisting or popping the spine. Click the button up top to call and chat with me. I’m always willing to help. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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7 Tips for Healthy Digestion

Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Senior Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training 0 Comment

Reduce tummy trouble with better nutrition.

A smooth running digestive system relies on the right foods at the right time.

Of all our bodily functions, we probably focus more on our digestive system than any other. I’m sure one reason for this is that we have plenty of opportunities to touch base with our digestive tract and take a reading. After all, you get signals from your digestive system all day long—everything from “Feed me!” to “Could you loosen the belt a little!“ and “Air comin’ your way!” Your digestive system has a way of speaking up, and that has a lot to say about what you put in it as well as how much and how often.

Many of us eat too much or eat too fast. We don’t eat enough fiber. We skip meals and then subject our systems to a gigantic plate of food. Considering how much use and abuse our digestive systems have to withstand, it’s a wonder we don’t suffer more than we do. Gas, bloating, “having a hard time going”—not a day goes by that someone doesn’t complain to me about one of these common digestive problems. Let’s look at what you can do to ease any strain on your digestive system.
Common digestive system disturbances


Gas production is a normal part of the digestive process, and, unless it’s excessive, it usually indicates a healthy intake of fiber and a well-functioning digestive tract. Most foods that contain carbohydrate—anything from beans to bagels—are not completely broken down during digestion. So, the resident bacteria in your intestines take over, producing gas as they complete the digestive process. The average person passes gas about 14 times a day, releasing about a half liter of gas in the process.

Some people describe feeling bloated after eating—sort of a ‘puffed up’ sensation that comes on rather quickly, mostly in the upper abdomen. It’s often the result of air that gets trapped in your digestive tract, which can come from a surprising number of sources. Often, it’s simply a matter of swallowing a lot of air while you eat, which can happen if you eat too fast or do a lot of talking while you’re chewing. Sometimes carbonated beverages can leave you feeling bloated, since you’re taking in a lot of air along with your liquid. Some people get that bloated feeling when they eat a fatty meal. Fat delays the time it takes for food to leave your stomach, so it can leave you feeling uncomfortable.

Irregularity is one of the most common digestive complaints—it’s also one of the most misunderstood. Many people think if they don’t visit the bathroom on a daily basis, they’ve got a problem. But if things are moving smoothly—whether it’s three times a day or three times a week—you probably don’t have anything to worry about.

My Seven Tips for Healthy Digestion

Get enough fiber

Fiber is the structural portion of a plant, so it’s found in good-for-you foods like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. Adults should be eating in the neighborhood of 30 grams of fiber a day, but the average intake among adults in the U.S. is only about a third of that. Our busy lifestyles contribute to the problem. When we’re eating on the go, we’re less likely to find fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Aim to have a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack, toss some beans into a soup or salad, and choose whole grains over refined “white” breads, cereals, rice and pasta.
Get some “good” bacteria

Your digestive system is home to thousands of strains of beneficial bacteria that help to break down foods that are resistant to normal digestion. This allows you to obtain more nutrients from your foods. The bacteria in your system also help to keep the growth of other potentially harmful bacteria at bay, thus promoting healthy digestion. While the idea of consuming bacteria in your diet may not sound appealing, the probiotic bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented foods can promote digestive health. Aside from yogurt, you can pick up some of these “good” bacteria in other fermented soy products (miso, tempeh, kefir), as well as in pickled foods like cucumber pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Meet your fluid needs

Fluid helps the fibers in foods to “swell,” which helps to add more bulk to the material passing through the lower digestive tract. This keeps things running smoothly. Watery fruits and vegetables go a long way towards meeting fluid needs, but it’s still important to drink fluids throughout the day, too.

Get regular exercise

Exercise isn’t just for the muscles you can see—it’s good for the smooth muscles of your digestive tract, too. Exercise stimulates the muscles to contract, which keeps things “moving along.” Exercise is also a great stress-reducer, which makes it particularly good for those whose digestive systems act up when they get stressed out.
Don’t go too long without eating

When you go too long without eating, a couple of things are likely to happen: you’ll eat quickly because you’re so hungry, and you’ll eat too much because you’re starving. Either way, you could end up with a touch of indigestion. Your digestive system is likely to be a lot happier if you eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day.
Take your time…making dietary changes

Often when people are bothered by gas, they figure the best thing to do is to eliminate ‘gassy’ foods like beans or broccoli. But rather than eliminating these healthy foods, try eating just small amounts over several days to give your system time to adjust. Similarly, if you’re trying to add more fiber to your diet, work your way up to the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber gradually.
Take your time…eating and eliminating

When you eat too fast, not only does it lessen the enjoyment of your meal, but you’re more likely to swallow air which can lead to gas and bloating. When you eat too quickly, you’re more likely to overeat since it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to tell your brain that you’re full. And that can lead to further digestive discomfort. Lastly, when nature calls, be sure to listen. Too many people put off visits to the restroom if the urge to “go” strikes at an inconvenient time. Sure, the urge may pass, but if you put it off, you’re more likely to have trouble getting the job done. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Can Air Conditioners Cause Sinus Congestion?

Air-conditioners can cause or worsen sinus congestion due to allergies. It is important to be aware of how you can avoid sinus congestion by maintaining your AC unit.

First, walking into a cold, dry room can trigger a runny nose, just as walking outside on a cold winter day drives many people to reach for tissues, said Dr. John Ohman, chief of the division of allergy at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. The cold air seems to trigger nervous system reflexes in the nose that cause glands in the nasal membranes to produce mucus; the problem may be particularly common in those with allergies. But changes in temperature and humidity should trigger only brief congestion, Dr. Ohman said.

Those with allergies might develop congestion because small particles like pollen, mold spores, pollutants and dust mites can get trapped by air-conditioning filters and then released into the air when the machine is turned on, said Dr. Maria Garcia-Lloret, an allergist at the U.C.L.A. School of Medicine. Pollutants and bacteria wouldn’t cause an allergic reaction per se, she said, but could irritate the nose. Exposure to mold spores can cause allergic reactions that may be particularly long-lasting.

Dr. Richard Lebowitz, a rhinologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, emphasized the importance of changing air-conditioning filters regularly. “If you don’t maintain them well and everything you breathe is filtering through this gigantic sheet of dust,” dispelling dust into the air, “that’s not very helpful,” he noted. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Jump Start Your Day

A balanced breakfast should provide you with a decent amount of protein (20-30 grams is a good target). This helps satisfy hunger and supports muscle health, and along with some healthy carbohydrates can provide sustained energy and fiber. Carbohydrates should include, at the very least, some fruits or vegetables. If your calorie budget allows, add some whole grains as well.

With these simple guidelines, it’s easy to put together a healthy, well-balanced breakfast. Here are 10 healthy breakfast suggestions:

1. Cook some fresh or frozen spinach in the microwave, top with scrambled eggs or egg whites and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, fresh fruit on the side
2. Protein shake made with protein powder, low-fat milk or soy milk and fruit
3. Plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese topped with fresh fruit and cinnamon, or chopped raw vegetables and some fresh black pepper
4. Rolled oats prepared with milk or soy milk; stir in protein powder and fruit after cooking
5. Corn tortillas, heated and spread with black beans; top with grated low-fat cheese and salsa; fresh fruit
6. Whole grain toast spread with avocado and topped with slices of turkey breast; fresh fruit
7. Scramble extra-firm tofu, drained, crumbled in a little olive oil with fresh vegetables and herbs; fresh fruit
8. Whole grain crackers spread with nonfat ricotta cheese and topped with sliced berries
9. Salmon patty on a toasted whole-grain English muffin; fresh fruit
10. Leftovers: whole grains, protein and veggies make a great breakfast is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Save Time with These 8 Make-Ahead Meal Ideas

Posted by Susan Bowerman, M.S., RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND – Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training

Make-ahead food ideas help me stay organized, save time and always provide something healthy and delicious for when I’m hungry. I like to spend an hour or two on the weekend preparing some staple foods that I can use all week. Take a look at my top eight make-ahead food ideas.

Salad Greens
Pre-washed salad greens are convenient, but they can be pricey. Instead, I buy a variety of lettuces and greens, break them into bite-sized pieces for salads, then wash and spin them in my salad spinner. Then (don’t laugh) I put them in a pillowcase and store them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The salad spinner gets the greens really dry, and the pillowcase works better than plastic bags to keep them fresh and crisp. The greens don’t get soggy this way, and they stay fresh for a full week.

Pre-cut Vegetables
I pack a salad nearly every day for lunch, and I make a salad almost every night for dinner, too. To make it easy, I prepare a lot of different veggies and store them in individual containers in the refrigerator. My standbys are thinly sliced cucumbers, red onion and bell pepper, grated carrots and chopped parsley. To prep my food ahead of time, I often blanch some broccoli or cauliflower florets or roast some zucchini slices or asparagus spears in a hot oven and chill those. These veggies quickly and easily get worked into my lunch salad and dinners throughout the week.

Pan-Seared Chicken Pieces
Cooking some chicken in advance is a real lifesaver for me. Starting with about two pounds (1kg) of chicken tenders (goujons), I sprinkle them with a little salt, pepper and paprika. Then I brown them on one side in a little bit of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. I flip them over, add a few tablespoons of liquid to the skillet (white wine, broth, water, or lemon juice), cover the skillet and let them cook for 5-6 minutes until they’re done. I often add these to lunch salads, stuff some into whole grain pita pockets with veggies and hummus, or use them to make a quick soup or pasta for dinner.

Beans or Lentils
Slow cookers are great for making homemade beans or lentils. I like to slow cook black beans with onions, garlic and spices. Once they’re cooked, I keep them in the refrigerator to mix into my salad for lunch or use them as a base for a soup or chili.

Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are one of the best protein sources around, and it only takes a few minutes to hard boil them. I use hard-boiled eggs as a protein source in my salads, and I often grab one for a quick snack. I like to spread a rice cake with some grainy mustard then top it with a sliced egg and some of my sliced vegetables.

Tuna Salad
When I have tuna salad in the refrigerator, it’s a lot easier for me to work more fish into my diet. I mix flaked tuna with either mashed avocado or hummus, a little mustard and a lot of chopped vegetables (again, those pre-cut vegetables). It serves as a protein source for my salad at lunch, or I’ll use a little scoop for a high-protein snack on some whole grain crackers.

Hummus takes only a few minutes to make and will stay fresh in the refrigerator for a week. It’s also very inexpensive to make, compared with the price of store-bought versions. Start with a can of beans (garbanzos/chickpeas are traditional, but other beans work just as well). Drain the beans, rinse and drain again, then whirl in the blender with a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth. Hummus with raw veggies makes a great snack, but I also use it in place of mayonnaise in tuna or egg salad, or I’ll thin it down with a little vinegar and water for a delicious salad dressing or sauce on steamed vegetables.

Salad Dressing
Bottled dressings are expensive and often high in salt, sugar and preservatives. Making your own dressing is simple and allows you to control the ingredients. I mix two parts olive oil to one part acid (citrus juice, vinegar), then add salt and pepper to taste. I vary the acid and often use a blend, like lime juice and rice vinegar. You can experiment with adding dried herbs, mustard, garlic powder or onion powder. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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8 Food Safety Tips for BBQs and Picnics

Fresh air and exercise, friends and family, and coolers of favorite homemade dishes are the ingredients for a happy summer party.

But warmer temperatures help bacteria grow, so it’s more important than ever to practice food safety during the hot summer months.

Keep your food from spoiling by following these safety tips from the US Department of Agriculture:
Wash hands, utensils, containers, and work surfaces before handling food to prevent harmful bacteria from spreading.

Marinate foods in advance, in the refrigerator using a glass or plastic food-safe container.l.

Foods that need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry, and seafood; deli and luncheon meats or sandwiches; summer salads (tuna, chicken, egg, pasta, or seafood); cut-up fruit and vegetables, and perishable dairy products.

Separate raw meats, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods including fruits, vegetables, salads, cheeses, and desserts. Use separate coolers, plates, and utensils.

Keep cold food in an insulated cooler with plenty of ice or frozen gel packs. Transport the cooler in the passenger area of your car, not in the hot trunk. At the picnic site, cover the cooler with a blanket and place it in the shade.

Throw out leftovers that have been sitting out for more than 1 hour. Store the rest in a cooler that still has ice. If all the ice has melted, throw away the food.

Bring a food thermometer to be sure grilled foods are cooked enough.

Bring hand sanitizer if your picnic site doesn’t have hand-washing facilities. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Six Ways Your Pet Can Boost Health and Well-being

By Krisha McCoy

Arriving home after a long, stressful day at work, you are greeted at the door by an overexcited four-legged friend. It can’t fail to put a smile on your face. Pet ownership is undoubtedly one of the greatest pleasures in life, providing companionship and giggles galore. But the benefits do not end there; your pet could be doing wonders for your health and well-being.

Pets can offer a wealth of benefits for health and well-being.

The United States is a nation of animal lovers; more than 65 percent of households own a pet, with dogs and cats being the most popular choice.

It is no surprise that so many of us have a pet in our lives; not only are animals fantastic company, but they also teach us compassion and offer unconditional love.

As British novelist George Eliot once said, “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.”

Adding to pets’ indisputable charm is the wealth of benefits they offer for human health and well-being. We take a closer look at what these are.

Lower risk of allergies – Around 50 million people in the U.S. have nasal allergies, and pet dander is one of the most common triggers.

With this in mind, it may come as a surprise that pets could actually lower the risk of developing allergies.

Reduced anxiety and stress – The soothing sound of a cat purring or the feeling of “man’s best friend” tucked up against your feet is guaranteed to help one feel at ease, so it may come as no surprise that pets can help to alleviate stress and anxiety.

Better heart health – Heart disease is responsible for around 610,000 deaths in the U.S. every year, making it the leading cause of death in the country.

Many of us are aware that good lifestyle choices, such as a healthful diet and regular exercise, are key to reducing risk factors for heart disease. But did you know that your pet could be protecting your heart health, too?

Stronger relationships and social skills – Most pet owners have a special bond with their furry friends – in fact, statistics show that more than 66 percent of dog owners and 56 percent of cat owners consider their pet to be a family member.

But according to recent studies, this pet-owner bond may have a beneficial influence on our other relationships, too.

Improved mental health – Mental illness is estimated to affect around 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. in any given year, with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia being among the most common.

While having a pet cannot cure mental illness, studies suggest that it could certainly help.

Better sleep quality – Those of you who are dog owners will know only too well the frustration of your four-legged pal claiming the sheets at bedtime. But don’t kick them off the bed just yet; studies have shown that sharing a bed with your pet may actually lead to a better night’s sleep. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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The Link Between Sleep and Weight
By Krisha McCoy

We all know that diet and exercise are the cornerstones of a weight-loss program. But can sleep also help you maintain a healthy weight or even drop a few pounds?

“There are more and more studies showing that not getting enough sleep or not getting good quality of sleep can contribute to weight gain,” says Raj Kakar, MD, MPH, the medical director at the Dallas Center for Sleep Disorders in Plano, Texas.

Sleep and Body Weight: What the Research Says

Just as obesity has become a worldwide epidemic over the past few decades, more people have also become chronically sleep-deprived. According to National Sleep Foundation surveys, 35 percent of Americans were sleeping for eight hours a night in 1998, compared with just 26 percent in 2005. Researchers believe that the growing obesity and sleep deprivation epidemics may be related.

A recent study followed a group of 40- to 60-year-old women for five to seven years and tracked their weight and sleeping patterns. The researchers found that women who reported having trouble falling asleep, waking up frequently at night, or having trouble staying asleep were significantly more likely to have “major weight gain” (gain of 11 pounds or more).

Another study examined the eating and exercise habits of a group of young healthy men after sleeping for eight hours and four hours on two consecutive nights. The researchers found that the men ate significantly more (an average of 560 excess calories in their daily diet) during the day after they were sleep-deprived, compared to what they ate after having a good night’s sleep.

Researchers believe that sleep-deprived children may be at especially high risk of having weight problems. Studies have consistently found that getting less sleep than recommended is associated with childhood obesity. In fact, based on sleep studies in children, researchers have calculated that a child’s risk of being overweight or obese is reduced by about 9 percent for each additional hour of sleep per night. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Signs That Your Loved One Might be Suffering from Oral Cancer

Article by: Lee Borellis -Treasure Coast Home Health Care
In your role as a family caregiver, awareness is one of the most important tools that you can have. This awareness is vital not just for being able to detect issues that your loved one might be facing, but also how you can help them to manage these issues in the way that is right for them. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. During this month, take time to learn more about the potential signs and symptoms of oral cancers so that you can help to make sure that your elderly loved one gets the level of care that they need to manage their condition in accordance with their health, well-being, and wishes for the future.

As with most other forms of cancer, early detection is key to getting your parent on the most effective means of treatment and giving them the best possible benefits. Some of the early signs and symptoms that your aging parent might be suffering from oral cancer include:

Sores or swelling anywhere in the mouth or along the throat that do not correspond with other health issues

Thick patches or lumps in the throat or throughout the mouth

White or red lesions on the lips or in the mouth

Swelling that makes previously well-fitting dentures uncomfortable

Loose teeth that are not related to other dental health issues

Sore throat or hoarseness that is persistent and does not respond to usual treatments

Feeling as though there is something stuck in the throat or that there is a continuous lump in the throat

Numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the tongue

Pain or tenderness in the mouth or on the tongue

Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw

Difficulty with speaking

Pain in one ear that does not correspond with any loss of hearing

These symptoms can relate to other conditions, which makes it extremely important that if you notice any of them you get your loved one to the doctor or dentist as soon as possible so that your parent can get an appropriate diagnosis and get on the course of treatment that is right for them.

If your elderly loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting senior care for them. A senior home care services provider can be with your elderly parent on a customized schedule that ensures that they always have access to the support, care, encouragement, and assistance that they need when they need it, while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, autonomy, activity, engagement, and fulfillment as possible as they age in place. This includes devising a highly personalized set of services tailored to not just their specific challenges, limitations, and health condition, but also the wishes that they have regarding their care and lifestyle during this journey. As their family caregiver this can give you a tremendous sense of confidence and peace of mind knowing that they are getting everything that they need and that their wishes are being respected both when you are with them and when you are not.

If you or an aging loved one are in need of senior care in Vero Beach, FL or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Treasure Coast Home Health Care. Call today at 772-872-6983. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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The Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Do you count one or more dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, birds, or other animals as part of your family? Roughly 6 out of 10 US households include at least 1 pet. Many people love their non-human friends because they offer companionship. Our pets can also increase our opportunities for socialization, exercise, and outdoor activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can have positive effects on our physical health. They can decrease our blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.

But just like people, pets sometimes carry germs that can make us sick. That’s why it’s important to take your pet for regular veterinarian checkups to keep them healthy. You should also practice good hygiene around your pets to avoid transferring germs. This is especially important for people with weaker immune systems, including cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Stay Healthy during Chemo

Your pets can be an important source of emotional support while you receive chemotherapy. But some pets – including reptiles, chickens, ducks, hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets – are just not safe while you’re in cancer treatment. Most healthy inside cats and dogs are safe, but it’s still important to protect yourself from your pets’ germs while your immune system is weaker than usual. Talk to your cancer care team and your veterinarian about your pets, and the best way to care for them while you’re in treatment.

Precautions you may be advised to take include:

Avoiding scratches and bites. Get your pet’s claws trimmed often to make scratches less likely. If you are scratched or bitten, clean the area and call your doctor.
Avoiding pet urine and feces. Wear gloves when you clean up waste from outside or from a litter box. Wash your hands as soon as you’re done. Better yet, ask a friend or relative to handle this chore.
Washing your hands with soap and water after playing with, caring for, or petting animals, especially before preparing or eating food and drink
Not allowing your pet to lick your mouth, open cuts, or wounds
Keeping your pet clean, and keeping regular veterinary appointments for a healthy pet. is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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