Archive | January, 2009

Heart-Friendly Exercise Advice

27 Jan

 Regular exercise is good for the waistline but great for the heart also.  Exercise can help you increase your longevity by decreasing your chances of developing heart disease.
   The word out there is to be active. Sedentary lifestyles means illness and early death.  We have to move.  We have bodies and legs that are mean to be in motion not in stagnation.

 

And you do not have to be anal about it, just get moving either go dancing twice a week, walk around the shopping mall another couple times a week for about half hour a session, lift some can of beans you have lying around the kitchen for about 20 minutes once or twice a week and that will make a huge difference in your life.

    In 30 minutes or 20 minutes sounds daunting, you can make up the time at different intervals during the day e.g. 10 minutes  morning, noon and night.  Start off slowly then pick up your pace.  You will know when it is time, the body lets you know when you can move a little faster.

 “Although aerobic exercise can include bicycling, swimming, jogging, and aerobic classes, walking may be one of the best activities. That’s because you can do it anywhere, and you need little equipment outside of a good pair of shoes”  says one expert in the field.

As usual it s always recommended to check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen.

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Still continue to watch the Salmonella Outbreak

22 Jan
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) — The number of people sickened in the salmonella outbreak involving peanut butter products has now climbed to 486 in 43 states and Canada, with possibly six deaths, U.S. health officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Federal officials also confirmed Wednesday what they had first reported Sunday — that the outbreak had been traced to a plant in Blakely, Ga., owned by Peanut Corp. of America. The company has suspended operations at the plant.

Meanwhile, peanut butter products continued to disappear from store shelves, as the weight loss company NutriSystem and one pet food producer joined the growing list of grocery chains and specialty companies issuing precautionary recalls.

The flood of recalls followed a U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning over the weekend that consumers should avoid peanut butter products containing peanut butter or peanut butter paste while the widespread salmonella outbreak probe continued.

The U.S. health warning is focused on products made with peanut butter or peanut paste, like crackers or cookies or ice cream.

Jars of peanut butter on store shelves appear to be safe, the agency said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, these were the latest precautionary recalls:

  • NutriSystem Inc., of Horsham, Penn., is recalling its NutriSystem-branded Peanut Butter Granola Bar, sold on its Web site but not in retail stores.
  • Ready Pac Foods Inc., of Irwindale, Calif., is recalling certain vegetable products that contain peanut butter, including Trader Joe’s Celery with Peanut Butter, which are sold in retail stores in 13 states.
  • PetSmart, of Phoenix, Ariz., is recalling seven of its Grreat Choice Dog Biscuit products, sold at its stores.
  • Premier Nutrition, of Carlsbad, Calif., is recalling select Twisted and Titan brand nutrition bars that contain peanut butter, sold nationwide and over the Internet.
  • Nature’s Path Organic Foods of Richmond, British Columbia, Canada is recalling peanut butter-flavored Optimum Energy Bars.
  • Country Maid, of West Bend, Iowa, is recalling two-pound packages of Classic Breaks Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, which were distributed nationwide to fund-raising groups.
  • Ready Pac Foods, of Irwindale, Calif., is recalling apple and celery with peanut butter packages that were distributed in 13 states.
  • Clif Bar & Co., of Berkeley, Calif., recalled Clif and Lund brand bars made with peanut butter and sold throughout the United States.
  • Abbott Nutrition of Columbus, Ohio, recalled ZonePerfect Chocolate Peanut Butter bars, ZonePerfect Peanut Toffee bars and NutriPals Peanut Butter Chocolate nutrition bars. The products were sold in the United States, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.
  • Kroger Co., of Cincinnati, recalled Private Selection Peanut Butter Passion Ice Cream, sold in some but not all of their stores.
  • Safeway, of Westmont, Ill., recalled Ready Pack Eating Right Kids Apples with Peanut Butter and Orchard Valley Harvest’s Organic Bark Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream, according to the Associated Press.
  • Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products Inc. of Downer’s Grove, Ill., has recalled all Food Lion and Wal-Mart Bakery brands of peanut butter cookies, peanut butter no-bake cookies and peanut butter fudge no-bake cookies. It is also recalling its nationally distributed Lofthouse brand versions of those cookies as well as Parco Foods’ Chuck’s Chunky brand of peanut butter cookies and Pastries Plus gourmet cookies.
  • Meijer Inc. of Grand Rapids, Mich., is pulling back two types of crackers and two varieties of ice cream sold in five states at its stores and at gas stations.
  • The South Bend Chocolate Co., of South Bend, Ind., is recalling assorted chocolates, valentine hearts, peanut butter fudge and peanut butter chocolate fudge.
  • General Mills of Minneapolis is recalling two flavors of snack bars: Larabar Peanut Butter Cookie snack bars and JamFrakas Peanut Butter Blisscrisp snack bars.
  • McKee Foods Corp. of Collegedale, Tenn., has recalled Little Debbie Peanut Butter Toasty and Peanut Butter Cheese Sandwich Crackers.
  • Hy-Vee Inc., of Des Moines, which distributes in several states in the midwest, recalled various bakery products containing peanut butter.
  • Food Lion, of Salisbury, N.C., with stores in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states, has removed Bake Shop peanut butter cookies from its shelves.
  • Perry’s Ice Cream, of Buffalo, N.Y., announced a voluntary recall of select ice cream products containing peanut butter sauce, which were distributed in five states.

Meanwhile, Kellogg of Battle Creek, Mich., said Monday that tests confirmed salmonella bacteria in a single package of one of its recalled peanut butter crackers.

According to the Associated Press, Kellogg said U.S. health officials confirmed the finding in a packet of Austin Quality Foods Toasty Crackers with Peanut Butter. The company had issued a major recall late last Friday for 16 of its products made with peanut butter, including Keebler cheese and peanut butter sandwich crackers and Keebler and Famous Amos peanut butter cookies.

All the recalls followed a request late last week from the FDA for salmonella testing by food companies that may have bought peanut butter or peanut paste from the Peanut Corp. plant in Georgia.

On Sunday, the FDA said sources of salmonella contamination had been traced to the plant.

“At this time, the FDA has traced a source of Salmonella Typhimurium contamination to a plant owned by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), which manufactures both peanut butter that is institutionally served in such settings as long-term care facilities and cafeterias, and peanut paste – a concentrated product consisting of ground, roasted peanuts — that is distributed to food manufacturers to be used as an ingredient in many commercially produced products including cakes, cookies, crackers, candies, cereal and ice cream,” the agency said.

Peanut Corp. issued a wider recall over the weekend for more products and lot numbers relating to peanut butter and peanut paste products manufactured on or after July 1, 2008, at the plant.

“The products being recalled are sold by PCA in bulk containers ranging in size from five to 1,700 pounds. The peanut paste is sold in sizes ranging from 35-pound containers to product sold by the tanker container,” an FDA statement said.

The FDA urged companies to inform their customers whether their peanut butter products have peanut butter or peanut paste obtained from the factory.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Tuesday that the latest salmonella illness was recorded on Jan. 9 and that the victims range in age from younger than 1 to 98. Forty eight percent are female.

The strain of salmonella involved with the outbreak has been identified as Salmonella Typhimurium, the most common of the more than 2,500 types of salmonella bacteria in the United States.

The recalls come two years after ConAgra recalled its Peter Pan brand peanut butter, which had been linked to at least 625 salmonella cases in 47 states.

On Sunday, ConAgra issued a notice that none of its products were at risk this time because the company does not buy from Peanut Corp. of America.

On Monday, J. M. Smucker, of Orville, Ohio, and Russell Stover Candies Inc. both said none of their products were at risk either for the same reason.

More information

For a detailed and searchable list of the recalls, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Peanut butter sandwich cracker recall

19 Jan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The company that sells Little Debbie snacks announced a recall on Sunday of peanut butter crackers because of a potential link to a deadly salmonella outbreak.

The voluntary recall came one day after the government advised consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods with peanut butter until health officials learn more about the contamination.

The announcement by the company, the McKee Foods Corporation of Collegedale, Tenn., about two kinds of Little Debbie products was another in a string of voluntary recalls after the most recent guidance by health officials.

The South Bend Chocolate Company in Indiana said Sunday that it, too, was recalling various candies containing peanut butter from the Peanut Corporation of America, which is at the center of the inquiry into the outbreak.

In suburban Chicago, Ralcorp Frozen Bakery Products recalled several brands of peanut butter cookies it sells through Wal-Mart stores.

McKee said it had not received any complaints about illnesses from people who ate any size peanut butter toasty sandwich crackers or peanut butter cheese sandwich crackers. The recall covers crackers produced on or after July 1.

Officials are focusing on peanut paste, as well as peanut butter, produced at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by the Peanut Corporation. Its peanut butter is not sold directly to consumers but distributed to institutions and food companies.

The peanut paste, however, is an ingredient in cookies, cakes and other products that people buy in the supermarket.

The outbreak is blamed for at least six deaths. More than 470 people have been sickened in 43 states, and at least 90 had to be hospitalized.

The Kellogg Company, which listed the Peanut Corporation as one of its suppliers, has recalled 16 products. McKee said Kellogg manufactured the Little Debbie crackers covered by the recall.

Most peanut butter sold in jars at supermarkets appears to be safe, the Food and Drug Administration said Saturday.

To a healthier you – Check out Dr. Oz’s advice

16 Jan
 
Know the 5 Ingredients to Avoid
To make your diet more healthy, Dr. Oz says to remember his “rule of fives.” Look at the labels of the foods you eat. If you see one of these five ingredients listed as one of the first five things used to make it, don’t eat it.

High fructose corn syrup
“We most commonly get this in soft drinks,” Dr. Oz says. “It’s an inexpensive sugar, which means we’re getting a lot of it in our diet.”

Sugar
Dr. Oz says when you eat sweets, your brain receives schizophrenic messages. “It says: ‘I got calories, but I didn’t get any nutrients,'” he says. Your body will keep craving food until it gets those nutrients.

“Enriched”
Also watch out for products made with “enriched” flour, like white bread. “Why would they take bread and have to enrich it? Because they take all the important vitamins out of it, and they sprinkle just a little bit back in there,” Dr. Oz says.

Trans fat
Also known as hydrogenated fat, these are fats that were once in liquid form but have hydrogen added to make them solid at room temperature. “It extends the shelf life of the product,” Dr. Oz says. “But it shortens the human life.”

Saturated fats
These fats come from four-legged animals like pigs and cows.

Step 3: The healthy foods to add to your diet

 
The Healthy Foods to Add to Your Diet
Dr. Oz suggests starting with foods that don’t need a label, like fresh fruits and vegetables. “If they’re coming out of the ground looking the way they look when you eat them, they’re good for you in general,” he says.

Antioxidants
You should also fill your grocery cart with items that are high in antioxidants, such as tomatoes, broccoli, kidney beans, blueberries, artichokes and prunes. “Whatever has that deep color like a blueberry, you know it’s rich in antioxidants,” he says. Try to eat five to seven servings of these foods every day.

Omega-3 Fats
Increase your intake of omega-3 fats to 3 grams a day. “Remember, 80 percent of our brain is fat,” Dr. Oz says. “We need to have the right kinds of fats in our body to make sure our brain is the most resilient to stress and can learn the fastest.” Some good sources include ground flaxseeds, walnuts, salmon, scallops, soybeans and squash.

Fiber
Dr. Oz says the average American gets about 12 grams of fiber a day, but he recommends double that amount. Oatmeal, 100 percent whole grain bread, lentils, pine nuts, peas and raspberries are all great sources of this nutrient.

Olive Oil
The last item to add to your shopping list is virgin or extra-virgin olive oil. Ideally, Dr. Oz says you should consume about a tablespoon every day. One nutritious—and delicious—way to eat olive oil is with tomatoes, made into a pasta sauce. “If you get that into your diet a couple times a week, you’re getting these nutrients naturally.”

Step 4: Take a multivitamin every single day

Take a Multivitamin Every Single DayWith so many variations to choose from, how do you what vitamin is right for you?

Get Dr. Oz’s complete vitamin guide for every age.

If you’re a young, premenopausal woman, Dr. Oz says to look for a multivitamin that contains iron. “If you’re menstruating, you’ll need the iron to make new red blood cells,” he says. “And you don’t want more than 5,000 units of vitamin A.”

If you’re a postmenopausal woman or a man, Dr. Oz suggests a multivitamin without iron and no more than 2,500 units of vitamin A. “You don’t need the iron, because you’re not bleeding every month,” he says.

Before you add this step to your daily routine, consult with your doctor. Dr. Oz says people who are taking medication to lower their cholesterol may need a different dosage.

Step 5: Know your numbers

 
 Know Your Numbers
Waist Size
Suck in and measure your waist at your belly button. It should ideally be less than half your height—about 40 inches for men, 37 inches for women.

Blood Pressure
The ideal blood pressure is approximately 115 over 75. “If the systolic or first number is 140 or above or if your diastolic or second number is 90 or more, alert your doctor,” he says.

Cholesterol
This ratio is the third number you need to know. “You want your LDL, or lousy cholesterol, to be less than 100,” Dr. Oz says. “You want your HDL, or healthy cholesterol, to be greater than 40.”

Resting Heart Rate
Take your pulse when you get out of bed in the morning and strive to get it as close to 60 as possible.

Blood Sugar
A simple finger stick can help you discover your blood sugar levels. “When your blood sugar is high, it’s like if I take [a] glass and crack it on the ground and take the glass shards and scrape the insides of your arteries,” he says. “That’s what those sugar molecules do inside of you.”

Vitamin D
You should also know your vitamin D levels—more Americans are deficient in vitamin D than any other vitamin. Vitamin D can help a person prevent cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, autoimmune ailments and thyroid problems. You can get enough through 15 minutes a day of sun exposure during the summer or a daily vitamin D supplement with 1,000 units.

C-Reactive Protein
This is a way to tell if your body is full of inflammation and irritation. “If you’ve got gingivitis, prostatitis, vaginitis—if you’ve got any of these inflammations in your gut—they can elevate the C-reactive protein,” he says. “C-reactive protein tells us how much of a battleground there is inside of you.”

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, or TSH


As Oprah learned the hard way in 2007. “If you have unexplained weight gain. If your hair has changed. If you don’t have the get up and go. If your libido’s off, the number one thing that we check is thyroid stimulating hormone,” Dr. Oz says. “It tells us whether your thyroid gland is functioning normally.”

Step 6: Find a health advocate

Get the Medical Tests You Need
 

First things first, Dr. Oz says everyone should get an annual checkup, see their dentist every six months and get an eye exam every two years.

The rest of your health test schedule depends on your age and gender.

Step 9: Start exercising

 

Start Exercising

There are four main exercise goals you should be aiming to achieve this year.

Start Walking
Your goal is to get up to 10,000 steps a day, but Dr. Oz says it’s okay to start by walking for 30 minutes a day. This will make for 3,000 steps. Get your steps in with a pedometer and simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator. “Societies that have 10,000 steps under their belt every day don’t have much under their belt,” Dr. Oz says. “It’s one of the best ways to stay thin.”

Get Your Heart Rate Up
Besides walking, you need some more strenuous exercise as well. You should work out hard enough to be sweating for at least 60 minutes a week.

Flexibility
Stretch for at least five minutes a day. “If you’re not flexible, you’ll get hurt and you’ll stop exercising,” Dr. Oz says.

Try Dr. Oz’s morning yoga routine.

Strength Training
You need to do some kind of weight lifting or resistance training for at least 30 minutes a week. “If you don’t rebuild those muscles, you get frail,” Dr. Oz says. “And that’s what aging is all about.”

Step 10: Get seven to eight hours of sleep a night

 

Get 7 to 8 Hours of Sleep a Night

While steps 1 to 9 are important, you could lose all of the benefits if you skip sleep. “If you don’t get sleep, you’ll crave other things like carbohydrates,” Dr. Oz says.

 

Are you missing any of these power foods from your diet?

15 Jan

 

According to Nutritionist and author Johnny Bowden, these are some of the foods that should be on your list.  They are good for you and tasty too!

 

  1. Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
    How to eat: Asian-style slaw or as a crunchy topping on burgers and sandwiches.
  2. Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.
    How to eat: Fresh, raw and grated to make a salad. Heating decreases the antioxidant power.
  3. Swiss chard: A leafy green vegetable  packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes.
    How to eat it: Chop and saute in olive oil.
  4. Cinnamon: May help control blood sugar and cholesterol.
    How to eat it: Sprinkle on coffee or oatmeal.
  5. Pomegranate juice: Appears to lower blood pressure and loaded with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Just drink it.
  6. Dried plums: Okay, so they are really prunes, but they are packed with antioxidants.
    How to eat: Wrapped in prosciutto and baked.
  7. Pumpkin seeds: The most nutritious part of the pumpkin and packed with magnesium; high levels of the mineral are associated with lower risk for early death.
    How to eat: Roasted as a snack, or sprinkled on salad.
  8. Sardines: Dr. Bowden calls them “health food in a can.” They are high in omega-3’s, contain virtually no mercury and are loaded with calcium. They also contain iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese as well as a full complement of B vitamins.
    How to eat: Choose sardines packed in olive or sardine oil. Eat plain, mixed with salad, on toast, or mashed with dijon mustard and onions as a spread.
  9. Turmeric: The “superstar of spices,” it may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer
  10. How to eat: Mix with scrambled eggs or in any vegetable dish.
  11. Frozen blueberries: Even though freezing can degrade some of the nutrients in fruits and vegetables, frozen blueberries are available year-round and don’t spoil;
    How to eat: Blended with yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkled with crushed almonds.
  12. Canned pumpkin: A low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber and immune-stimulating vitamin A; fills you up on very few calories.
    How to eat: Mix with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pick up some or all of these healthy foods and start off your New Year right.

A cheap and simple help for coughing

8 Jan

Yesterday a friend left work because of too much coughing. A co-worker advised her to put some vicks on the sole of her feet then put on a pair of socks and go to bed.

My co-worker returned to work this morning and said that the tip worked. She slept well and when she woke up this morning  felt that herair passage had cleared.   Here is some more information about this from someone who experience the cure first hand:

To stop night time coughing in a child (or an adult, as we found out personally), put Vicks Vapor Rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime and then cover with socks. Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about five minutes and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. This works 100 percent of the time and is more effective in children than even very strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly. I heard
the head of the Canada Research Council describe these findings on the

part of their scientists when they were investigating the effectiveness
and usage of prescription cough medicines in children as compared to
alternative therapies like acupressure. I just happened to tune in to
a.m. Radio and picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in
kids often do more harm than good due to the chemical makeup of these
strong drugs, so I listened. It was a surprising finding and found to
be more effective than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime and
in addition to have a soothing and calming effect on sick children who
then went on to sleep soundly. My wife tried it on herself when she had
a very deep constant and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100 percent! She said it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her.
The coughing stopped in a few minutes, and believe me, this was a deep
(incredibly annoying!), every few seconds, u ncontrollable cough, and
she slept cough-free for hours every night she used it. If you have
grandchildren, pass it on. If you end up sick, try it yourself and you
will be absolutely amazed by the effect.

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