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Health and Fitness

Oct 10 2014

Fed Up or Fulfilled

by Rebekah B

Hello readers,

When I was a little girl, my mother claimed that tea tasted so much better when drunk out of a beautiful porcelain cup. She would get out her best tea set dishes, Royal Crown Derby to be exact, and she trusted me and my sister to be careful not to break them. Although there are many subjects on which my family and I don’t agree, I think there was a great deal of wisdom in my mother’s approach to the proper enjoyment of tea. tea_royalcrownderby

As I muse over a selection of my recent readings and viewings of films, I find a common theme running through most of them: Fulfillment, health, and finding balance in life. Recently, my son showed me a Buzzfeed article showing school cafeteria meals from around the world. It is interesting to see how various countries present their meals, many of them using “real” dishes, silverware, and glass goblets. Whole foods, prepared with care, and the importance of care and beauty, attachment to traditions…these seem to be aspects of life too often ignored by our culture of convenience in America. What if the quality of care taken in the preparation of our meals, the way we grow our foods, and the way we treat one another actually enhances the nutritional value of the food we eat and the ability of our bodies to better process these foods?

school lunch france

I often feel that it is an integral part of American culture to be (in my opinion) highly competitive and dissatisfied. This state of incompleteness gives us goals, things to do, things to buy to improve our condition and lot in life.  We are all about fixing things without taking into account that perhaps our enhancements are not always needed. Although few of us actually stop to consider this aspect of our culture, there exists a concerted effort by factions of all kinds to make us feel as if we are somehow not good enough as we are right now. Doing and accomplishing is generally considered more important than simply being and joyfully accepting reality exactly as it is. This predominance of masculinity, that in order to be worthy, we must constantly modify ourselves and our environment, weighs me down.

urgency

After living in France for nearly 18 years, and after 10 years in the U.S., I have realize that France seems a much more balanced yet more conservative culture than ours. The conservative aspect is the feminine, an attachment to tradition and rituals of life that keep the people and the country stable and fairly happy. The attention to the quality of food, of conversation, and the devotion to agricultural traditions, preventive health care, abundant vacation time, and family life are all aspects of nurturing that counter-balance the rush of modern life and the constant changes brought about by science and technology. Both aspects of life are necessary for balance.

kids playing

In the United States, our mainstream culture has cut most of us off from many of the nurturing and artful traditions that fulfill us and that connect us to nature, to our ancestors, and to our own nature as human beings. Without a constant connection to our inner source–which can be personal or collective–we may feel untethered, and the results of the imbalance are evident throughout our primarily masculine-driven society. Anyone who watches the evening news will observe an excess of violent and anti-social behaviors, and if you look around your neighborhood, more than likely, you’ll observe a growing lack of community. People are addicted to work, to sugar, to their electronic devices. Everyone seems to be driven to perform, and yet no performance ever seems good enough. Social media promotes endless chatter, and yet there seems to be little or no time for real conversation, for cooking or eating meals together as a family, for finding meaning in the simple acts of daily life. Instead, we are offered entertainment to distract us from our discomfort and sense of disconnection. Convenience reigns, yet disease is also equally prominent. Our American lifestyle is out of balance.

While I personally believe that culture is not the answer to everything, and that there is no ideal collective or individual way to be or to live, I do find it interesting to observe and to compare how various societies deal with what it means to be human. As creative and complex beings, it is challenging to be human, as we are continually required to reinvent ourselves. The biggest challenge of all is self-awareness and self-love. In the meantime, why not try to use your best dishes every day, celebrate any occasion with a long dinner around the table, without any scheduled activities or events, and observe what it’s like to simply enjoy whatever happens during your day, without any expectations.

Here are some of my recent reads and views…some in progress:

Fed Up, a 2014 documentary by Stephanie Soechtig with Katie Couric.  I definitely recommend this film for viewing by all parents and anyone who feels concerned about the obesity epidemic, the omnipresence of sugar in the diets of our children (and adults), and the state of public health in the United States.

Year of No Sugar: A Memoir, by Eve O. Schaub.  The story of a mom who grew up with a deep and abiding love of home-baked desserts and for whom sugar was the chemical equivalent of true love. She basically transformed her own life and that of her family after viewing a documentary about the evils of sugar in our diet. She decided to embark on a year-long experiment to mostly ban all added sugar from her family’s diet, with the exception of a monthly treat and birthdays. The book details the emotional roller coaster of the experiment. What impressed me in particular was that new family closeness grew, as well as creativity and cooperation. The children seemed to adapt well for the most part, and they learned to cook and create new recipes. When the year came to an end, to some extent sugar was re-incorporated in various ways into the family’s diet. All of the family members were transformed by the experience of trying to find ways to compensate for their sweet tooth.

Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size, by Julia Cameron, 2007.  This is a book for the creative person who feels that he or she is not sufficiently fulfilled creatively-speaking, and who is probably compensating for that frustrated feeling by eating too much.  Ms. Cameron noted in many of her other workshops that participants were leaner going out, and she began to examine the connection between frustrated creativity and weight gain. She explains that the more we express our feelings with the written word, the less we are driven to eat for unhealthy reasons. The fulfillment that comes from expressing the inner self satisfies the hunger, and the weight is lost without real effort.

Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, To Near Death, To True Healing, by Anita Moorjani, 2013. This book is a highly personal account of one woman’s inner transformation. Ms. Moorjani grew up in Hong Kong. Exposed to multiple cultures in her youth, she was pushed to conform and to repress her individual dreams and desires for her life. She describes how she believes fear (specifically the fear of cancer) and repression (of herself in order to obtain approval by her family and peers) led her body to rebel, causing her to develop lymphoma, from which she very nearly died. After all of her organs began to shut down and she drifted into a coma, Ms. Moorjani was not expected to recover, and yet she experienced a miraculous withdrawal of the disease which doctors had given a terminal diagnosis. The experience also transformed her thinking and freed her to live according to her true nature and personality. I was personally more drawn to her choice to fully love and embrace herself and all of life without judgment–and to her realization that heaven is not a place, but a state of being–than to the near death experience and healing, of which I have read many similar accounts. I have observed that people who have touched the extremes of human experience enjoy a refreshed view of the real. While it is not necessary to experience near death in order to live life with the awareness that we are all inter-connected and that everything we think, say, or do affects everything and everyone else, it is nice to know that there are others who are able to appreciate life and reality for what it is, simply and without judgment of self and others.

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Sep 19 2014

Eating Right…The Debate

by Dea Anne M

Battling a cold virus recently, and suffering defeat, brought me to wonder–can the way we choose to feed ourselves really help to keep us healthy? For myself,  when I feel the very first ticklings of a cold coming on I can sometimes fend it off by eating dishes heavily laced with garlic and ginger. Even just slurping up good old chicken soup can help. Sometimes. Maybe.

My regular diet is fairly omnivorous and marked by ongoing attempts to get as many vegetables into it as I can. (I’m glad I like them!). But is there really an optimal diet for human beings? Leaving aside issues around unequal distribution of wealth and resources, industrial versus sustainable farming (which my fellow blogger Rebekah has written about quite admirably here), and the possible moral issues posed by the consumption of animals and their products, is there one correct way to eat in order to maintain health? As with so many things, there’s more than one opinion about this question and plenty of advocates for any stance that you can imagine. Let’s investigate some of these through resources available at DCPL. Be aware that some of these titles refer to weight loss, but I suspect that this marketing slant may come more from the publishers than the authors. The primary emphasis in these books seems to be the restoration, and maintenance, of optimal health through a “correct” diet.

First up is the Traditional Foods diet. This school of thought advocates a return to the diet of our ancestors and incorporates pasture-raised meats, wild fish, and organic fruits and vegetables along with whole grains. The idea is nourishingto eliminate from our diet all overly processed food and, basically, anything that–as Michael Pollan would say–our grandparents (or great grandparents!) wouldn’t recognize as food.  A typical meal of Traditional Foods will probably look a lot like your childhood Sunday dinner–that is, if you grew up as I did with a mother and grandmothers who cooked from scratch. Where the advocates of Traditional Foods may lose some people is with their emphasis on organ meats. That can be a hard sell if you didn’t grow up consuming them–as we don’t much in this country. An even more controversial aspect of Traditional Foods is its advocacy of raw milk consumption. The Food and Drug Administration warns that raw milk can pose serious health risks and retail availability of raw (i.e., unpasteurized) milk for nourished kitchenhuman consumption is strictly controlled in most states with many banning it altogether. Raw milk’s defenders argue that processed milk lacks key nutrients and helpful bacteria that keep people healthy.  In any case, the debate rages on. If you want to find out more about the Traditional Foods diet, you would do well to start with Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. This book is encyclopedic in scope and depth and includes not only many recipes, but also a vast amount of background information to help get you oriented. For an updated approach to the topic, check out Jennifer McGruther’s The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle. The author lives in the mountains of Colorado and her specific approach and choice of local ingredients will vary from what is available here and in other parts of the world. Regardless, the book is very informative and is packed with stunning photographs.

A subject of recent debate is the Paleo diet, which seems to have as many passionate detractors as defenders. The Plaeopersonal diet takes the idea of eating only what our ancestors ate even further back than the Traditional Foods diet does. Basically, if an ancient hunter-gather didn’t eat it, then you shouldn’t either. The diet guidelines call for meat, fish, non-starchy vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. A strict interpretation of the diet eliminates all grains, potatoes, and dairy products. The lack of processed food in the diet seems more than laudable, but the sometimes staggering quantities of animal protein might give some (including myself) pause. If you think the Paleo diet might be for you, pick up Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life by Chris Kresser. Kresser’s approach is a bit less strict than some and his guidelines allow you to tailor your diet to include some grains and dairy. For a somewhat stricter interpretation of the Paleo approach, try The Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson with Jennifer Meier.

The central tenet of the Raw Foods diet is that any food cooked at 115 degrees or above has lost much of its nutritional value and may actually be harmful to consume. Advocates for this way of eating recommend raw, or minimally bradprocessed, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Some variations of the diet can include eggs, dairy products, fish, meat and some fermented foods like sauerkraut or kefir. The diet sounds great for those of us who adore fruit and vegetables. Less entrancing, at least to me, is the idea of consuming raw animal protein. I consider myself a relatively adventurous eater, but I have never summoned the courage to order steak tartare and I find the prospect of consuming sashimi without its usual pillow of rice more than a little daunting.  Still (and keeping in mind that most raw foodists do include a small percentage of cooked food in their diets) boosting our intake of vegetables and fruit is probably a good idea for most of us. If you’d like to try this approach, check out Brad’s Raw Made Easy: The Fast, Delicious aniWay to Lose Weight, Optimize Health, and Live Mostly in the Raw by Brad Gruno for an in-depth look at the thinking behind the diet and tips on using it successfully. Also popular with the Raw Food crowd are the books of Ani Phyo. Wellness coach and host of the popular YouTube show “Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen Show,” Phyo presents her take on the Raw Foods lifestyle in Ani’s Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Foods.

How do you eat for health? What are your thoughts about an optimal diet?

 

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Jul 18 2014

What Are You Hungry For?

by Rebekah B

hot pepper

Hello readers,

Deepak Chopra’s “not a diet book” What Are You Hungry For: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul is, by consensus of Goodreads readers and reviewers, a common-sense holistic solution to weight loss.  Don’t eat when you are not hungry, learn new habits by re-training your brain and increased mindfulness, eat quality foods, get enough sleep and exercise, and find ways to self-fulfillment by doing satisfying work, maintain a positive attitude, and relish meaningful social connections.  Dr. Chopra recommends eating foods from all six taste groups as recommended by Ayurvedic tradition: sweet (includes grains and meats), salty, sour (acidic–citrus and fermented foods), bitter (green and yellow vegetables), astringent (tea, coffee, beans, apples, berries), and pungent (spicy). The variety of flavors inherently creates a balanced nutritional intake.  An appendix includes a variety of recipes utilizing the entire range of recommended flavors.

wayhf

What Are You Hungry For focuses primarily on personal commitments to change, which makes sense in that social revolution begins with our personal decisions and choices. This book is a helpfully refreshing holistic approach to health and diet.  I do appreciate how the author repeatedly insists that deprivation will never work when it comes to diet, as we are all ultimately best motivated by pleasure, and most of us are at least somewhat terrified by the shame of cellulite and the tantalizing guilt inspired by the likes of chocolate cake or ice cream sundaes.  Dr. Chopra shares comforting strategies on how to handle sugar cravings in the most gentle of manners. However, he does not seem to spend much effort discussing how our culture is devoted to keeping us unfulfilled and permanently dissatisfied…in order to stimulate the economy.  A lack of self-love is necessary for this process. The pressure to keep feeling guilty is very powerful and deeply seated.  This includes pushing individuals to neglect personal talents and desires from an early age, and to conform to social and economic expectations in choice of careers, in particular.

baby with spaghetti

While small children intuitively understand how to enjoy life by being playful and by being themselves, adult humans have been molded to conform to a certain mindset and sadly most often lose this ability early on in life. Adult life would be so much more enjoyable for all of us if each individual were embraced from the start as a unique and valuable asset, born with specific gifts, talents, body type, and personality quirks, then raised to be a responsible steward of these gifts. What might our world be like if our societies were built upon that simple principle: to support the need for each person to feel happy, energetic, and an active contributor to the group by being him or herself!  We organize our societies in a manner that is not balanced, and then we work hard to tease people into thinking that by buying a wide array of products and services we will become more attractive, successful, healthier, etc.

As Mr. Chopra explains in What Are You Hungry For, balance is a necessary and natural part of being alive. All of nature seeks balance and intuitively knows what to do to acquire this agreeable state of being. Fulfillment and balance are not quite the same thing. Balance can include suffering, loss, and grief. Achieving your individual destiny does not mean you will be happy or successful.  It just means that you will have led a life of meaning and purpose, using your individual skills, character, and integrity (or lack thereof) to fulfill your personal potential.

creating balance

Being human is not easy, nor is it always pleasant.  We all struggle with conflicting desires, and our personal wishes are not always in harmony with the group ethic or plan.  So how do we get to a place of peace, in spite of all of the complexity?  I do think that simplifying one’s life, as Dr. Chopra suggests, is a good start.  As more individuals begin to choose wanting less stuff and less confusion in their lives, it just might get easier to see the bigger picture.  We just might feel hungry when our bodies actually need nutrition.  With simplicity will hopefully come more time to enjoy real, flavorful and home-made meals, prepared lovingly with savory, locally grown ingredients.  Perhaps people will take the time to sit down together and delight in excellent conversation.  What feeds the heart and soul is meaning, connection, and beauty.  When we are disconnected from ourselves, from other humans, and from all of life, we lose balance, and we feel lost, alone, anxious.

picnic-in-provence-646

While Dr. Chopra discusses strategies to right the feelings of emptiness and to find balance in life and diet, I feel that a greater movement is necessary to help people feel connected, useful, and loved.  Food is often used by parents to reward children for good behavior, and food is also something that is readily available in order to reward ourselves when we feel lonely, drifting, sad, or without purpose.  Food does not abandon or betray us…most of the time.  It is comforting and an anchor in a busy, fast-paced world that often seems not to care.

The greater question that needs to be addressed is how to create a world that does care?  Our post-industrial global society has been built on the values of efficiency and profits (for a few), and it has largely neglected the well-being of most.  A turn-around in core values will be needed before the hunger of the first world will begin to be satisfied, and for a return to balance that we all instinctively crave.

Suggested reading on your path to fulfillment from our DCPL collections:

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh, 2010

“Tony Hsieh–the widely admired CEO of online shoe retailer Zappos.com–explains how he created a unique culture and commitment and service that strives to improve the lives of its employees, customers, vendors, and backers. Even better, he shows how creating happiness and record results go hand in hand.” (book summary)

Survival of the Nicest: How Altruism Made Us Human and Why It Pays to Get Along by Stefan Klein, translated by David Dollenmayer, 2014

Klein synthesizes an extraordinary array of material: current research on genetics and the brain, economics, social psychology, behavioral and anthropological experiments, history, and modern culture. Ultimately, his groundbreaking findings lead him to a vexing question: If we’re really hard-wired to act for one another’s benefit, why aren’t we all getting along?

Klein believes we’ve learned to mistrust our generous instincts because success is so often attributed to selfish ambition. In Survival of the Nicest, he invites us to rethink what it means to be the ‘fittest’ as he shows how caring for others can protect us from loneliness and depression, make us happier and healthier, reward us economically, and even extend our lives.” (excerpt from description on Goodreads)

The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling by Dr. James Hillman, 1997

Plato and the Greeks called it ‘daimon,’ the Romans ‘genius,’ the Christians ‘guardian angel.’ Today we use the terms heart, spirit, and soul. To James Hillman, the acknowledged intellectual source for Thomas Moore’s bestselling sensation Care of the Soul, it is the central and guiding force of his utterly compelling ‘acorn theory’ in which each life is formed by a unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny, just as the mighty oak’s destiny is written in the tiny acorn.(excerpt from description on Goodreads)

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May 21 2014

Old Lady Blues

by Hope L

hopscotch-ladies“You can only be young once.  But you can always be immature.”  Dave Barry

I woke up this morning and looked in the mirror and saw an old lady looking back at me. When I was a youngster, let’s say a pre-teen, I thought  “old” was around fifty.  And fortyish was middle age because most people live until age 80-85.

But now, having turned 51 this past January, I notice I’m feeling older physically but my mind still feels quite young–juvenile even.  But I remember the truth when I see my AARP card.  Or my gray hair.  You get the idea.

Suzanne Somers, yes, the creator of the “ThighMaster” (or Chrissy, as those of a certain age will remember) says the key to slowing the aging process is, among other things, bioidentical hormones.   In her book Ageless: The Naked Truth about Bioidentical Hormones, she claims:

“By adding back to my system what stress and toxins have depleted, I am reversing the aging process by making myself younger on the inside.  I am staving off disease so that even while growing older chronologically, I am restoring and preserving internal youth and energy.  The number of my age has become irrelevant.  It’s about having young energy.  I have it … you can, too!”

Young energy!  That’s what I’m missing!  Bring on the hormones.

Oh, and also my memory is slipping.  Can’t Remember What I Forgot: The Good News from the Front Lines of Memory Research by Sue Halpern compares ordinary age-related memory loss to diseases like Alzheimer’s:

“Here are some numbers:  Eighty-three percent of us are worried about not being able to remember one another’s names.  Sixty percent are concerned about our tendency to misplace the car keys.  Fifty-seven percent of us are disturbed that we can’t recall phone numbers a few minutes after we’ve heard them.

“When researchers from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands queried four thousand people, one in two people over sixty-five said they were forgetful.  While that may not be surprising, the researchers also found that one in three people between twenty-five and thirty-five reported memory problems, too.  Invariably, though, the younger folks attributed their lapses to stress, while the older ones thought that they were caused by disease.”

OMG!  (The juvenile in me coming out.)  Just last night I was getting ready for bed and started to spit mouthwash into the trashcan instead of the bathroom sink. I knew immediately it was a mistake, of course, definitely not an old-age thingy (juvenile language, again!). Perhaps I was just tired or preoccupied. Maybe getting old is on my mind lately because I just helped my parents move into an independent living facility here in Decatur.

I’m convinced, though, that exercise is the answer.  In Fitness After 50 by Walter H. Ettinger, MD,  Brenda S. Wright, PhD, and Steven N. Blair, PED, the authors claim the benefits of exercise include:

“Increasing physical activity improves longevity, flexibility, function and independent living, bone strength, restful sleep, weight control and well-being.  Increasing physical activity decreases risk of heart attack, stroke, developing type 2 diabetes, some cancers, fractures, depression, obesity, memory loss and dementia, and gall bladder disease.”

That’s why I see septuagenarians and octogenarians at the gym tearing it up!

“Old is always 15 years from now.”  Bill Cosby

Now, I don’t want to sound dumb, but the one good thing I must say about getting old is that some things are finally making sense.  For example, in my younger days I never understood why the signs on 285 sometimes said north, south, east or west–but now I know it is because it is a circle.  Hence the name “The Perimeter.”   I’ve also just learned that not only are both “baldfaced” and “boldfaced”  lies  acceptable terms for shocking behavior, but that actually most Anglophones in the world  use  “barefaced.”

By age 80, I might just get algebra …

“In youth we learn; in age we understand.”  Maria von Ebner

 

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May 9 2014

Deadly Adventure

by Hope L

everestGeorge Mallory and Andrew Irvine disappeared trying to do it in 1924.  Some believe they were actually the first. Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary finally did it in 1953 and had the film footage to prove it.

Many have since climbed to the summit of Mount Everest, but almost 200 have died trying–most recently 16 Sherpa guides who were killed in an avalanche in April while hauling supplies on the mountain.

Into Thin Air:  A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster, written by Jon Krakauer and published in 1997 (which I had read a few years back and read again now after the April tragedy) tries to explain why so many, including the author,  have found climbing Everest irresistible.

But the rewards of the endeavor of summiting Everest (the beauty, the awesome thrill of the senses, and the feeling of accomplishment of this amazing feat) are eclipsed by Krakauer’s vivid account of the danger, the ethical dilemmas, the ego trips and the sometimes gruesome effects of climbing at 25,000 feet.  As the recent avalanche in the news and previous tragedies prove, the book’s cover also relates a dark side of the mountain:

“When Jon Krakauer reached the summit of Mt. Everest in the early afternoon of May 10, 1996, he hadn’t slept in fifty-seven hours and was reeling from the brain-altering effects of oxygen depletion. As he turned to begin his long, dangerous descent from 29,028 feet, twenty other climbers were still pushing doggedly toward the top.  No one had noticed that the sky had begun to fill with clouds.  Six hours later and 3,000 feet lower, in 70-knot winds and blinding snow, Krakauer collapsed in his tent, freezing, hallucinating from exhaustion and hypoxia, but safe.  The following morning he learned that six of his fellow climbers hadn’t made it back to their camp and were in a desperate struggle for their lives.  When the storm finally passed, five of them would be dead, and the sixth so horribly frostbitten that his right hand would have to be amputated.”

There is more than enough concern to go around. The consensus among many climbers is that tour companies running the expeditions (obtaining permits, visas, supplying tents, food and guides) often present the experience as something for practically anyone who has the time and money.  Also, tourism is the lifeblood of the small towns in the area. Krakauer’s account is nothing short of amazing, filled with details and even quotes from criticisms of his own actions/inactions on that fateful expedition.

 

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Apr 7 2014

Nose Notes

by Hope L

sneezingSpring has sprung and so have the faucets for hay fever sufferers–our noses are running, ears draining, eyes itching, throats rasping and heads throbbing.

As I lay awake the other night, hacking and sneezing sporadically, with my arsenal of tissues with aloe, cough drops, and a cabinet full of drugstore attempts at fighting my misery, I wondered why someone had  not yet invented a way to cover the nose to prevent allergies in the first place. I mean, we put a man on the moon, right? A person could get rich. Hey!!! Wait a minute…

That person could be me! I could go on Shark Tank and the sharks would all fight over little ol’ me with my nose filter. (I could call it NasaStop or Hay-Free, or Cry No More.)

Well, somebody has beaten me to the punch.

Look what I found at WebMD:  “Could ‘Nasal-Filter’ Device Help Ease Allergies?”

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A new device that you wear in your nose — about the size of a contact lens and works like a miniature air filter for a furnace — might help filter out pollen and other allergens and keep them out of your sinuses.

A small study reports that this nasal filter could reduce daily sneezing by an average of 45 percent and daily runny nose by an average of 12 percent. The device, with the brand name Rhinix, is not yet commercially available.

“We found clinically relevant reductions in daily nasal symptoms with Rhinix compared to placebo, especially in sneezing, itching and runny nose symptoms,” said Peter Kenney, the study’s lead author.

Kenney, who’s a medical and doctoral student at Aarhus University in Denmark, is the inventor of the nasal filter. He’s the founder and CEO of the company that has filed an application for approval of the device by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Go to WebMD for the complete article.)

Shark Tank will just have to wait until my next great idea…

 

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Mar 24 2014

Athlete Wannabe

by Hope L

Born to RunI have never been able to run.

Sashay …  sort of.  Jog …  maybe.  Slog  …  definitely!   But,  RUN?  …   fogettaboutit!

Unless you count running to the bathroom during a really good movie or running across the street on a freezing-cold, wind-whipping day.  Then, I can and will RUN.

But, with the Olympics on television recently, I would still like to think of myself as an ‘athlete.’

Now, I have known people who have run 3 + miles (5k) and 6+ miles (10k), and I  hear there are people who can run 26 miles and change (in one outing!!!) in what we commonly call a ‘marathon,’  but I had never heard of a human running 50 or 100 miles (or more!!) in a single event.

But wait!  I had  heard of this before, a few years back on the television program “Live with Regis and Kelly,”  Regis was joshing with Dean Karnazes, an “ultramarathon” runner, via Skype.  (An ultramarathon is any sporting event involving running and walking longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometers: those that cover a specified distance, and events that take place during a specified time span.)

Phew!  My shin splints hurt just thinking about it!

[read the rest of this post…]

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paleoLike a lot of people my new year’s resolution was to eat better and exercise. Well, I don’t know about you, but I am not doing well. So I decided that I am going to try this new diet that I have been seeing. It is called the paleo diet or paleolithic diet. It is a nutritional plan based on the diet of the paleolithic humans. The premise is that human genetics have scarcely changed since the dawn of agriculture and that modern humans are adapted to the paleolithic diet.

The diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts. The diet excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. If you are thinking about trying the diet out, the library has a few books that could help you out:

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Oct 9 2013

Are You Ready for Read Pink?

by Jencey G

whataliceforgotOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. In the past three years, Penguin has offered selected special edition Read Pink titles that feature Read Pink seals on the cover and additional information in the back of the book underlining Penguin’s support of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s mission and urging readers to become actively involved in supporting the organization.

This is the fourth year of the program for Penguin, and they will donate $25,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation regardless of sales. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is responsible for many important discoveries in the fight against breast cancer. Some of the Read Pink selections are available at the library. Check them out:

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