Born out of one mom’s desire to help ensure that children with food allergies would not feel left out on Halloween, the Teal Pumpkin Project®, now in its fourth year as a national awareness campaign led by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), has spread far and wide – reaching millions across the U.S. and beyond — in an effort to help create a happier, safer Halloween for all.
For millions of children with food allergies and their parents, the Halloween trick-or-treating tradition can sometimes be fraught with anxiety because many candies that are handed out contain major food allergens such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters by encouraging people to provide non-food treats on Halloween. A pumpkin painted teal, the color for food allergy awareness, signals that children will find a fun, non-food treat that anyone can enjoy.
“One in 13 children in the U.S. has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years,” said Lois A. Witkop, Chief Advancement Officer at FARE. “It’s clear that food allergies are a serious public health issue that we all must take seriously. The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded. We would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block – and it’s a terrific way for communities to come together to celebration inclusion.”
For Westlake, OH mom Vikki Meldrum, the Teal Pumpkin Project has already provided an unforgettable experience for her and her 4-year-old daughter Lyla. Meldrum spread the word about the initiative among her neighbors, who have now shown their support for the last two years, with at least 30 teal pumpkins in her own neighborhood. Read more
SELF shared that if you’ve had a really stressful week/month/year, there’s a chance that you could feel the effects physically just as much as you do mentally and emotionally. And those physical symptoms of stress can often be mistaken for other health conditions.
“The brain and body connection is complex and multilayered,” Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety, tells SELF. “Everyone feels stress and anxiety differently, but gut issues, skin issues, even arthritis and circulatory issues can be affected by how we interact emotionally with our environment and its many demands.”
These are real symptoms—the fact that they may be caused by or exacerbated by stress does not mean that they’re all in your head. There are a wide range of physical symptoms that can be triggered by stress, but these are some of the most common ones you might experience:
1. You feel wiped all the time.
As part of the stress response, your brain produces the hormone cortisol and releases it into your bloodstream. “It is a fantastic hormone that can offer our bodies and brains boosts of energy and protection when we need it most,” Dr. Clark says. Short bursts of cortisol with rests in between (think: feeling frazzled when you’re running for the subway, but calm once you make the train) are better than chronic production (constantly being stressed due to work and life pressures), she says. And being stressed on a regular basis can wear your body down and make you feel tired all the time because you’re often in a hopped-up state of cortisol, Dr. Clark explains.
2. You have bad cramps.
It’s easy to write off cramps as being related to your cycle in some way, but they can actually be due to stress, Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director of the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU Langone Health, tells SELF. Stress increases the production of cortisol and fellow stress hormone epinephrine in your system and, when released, these hormones can mess with your gastrointestinal system, causing cramps.
On Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. the Lombard Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 14th opportunity in 7 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Lombard Police Department at 235 E. Wilson Ave. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last April, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Edward-Elmhurst Health reminds everyone that your health is the most important thing you’ve got. A primary care physician (PCP) is your own personal doctor and go-to person for all your health care needs.
When you have a symptom or concern, your PCP is your first point of contact. Not only does your PCP diagnose and treat illness, he or she will counsel and educate you about how to maintain your health and prevent disease. Your primary care physician ultimately becomes your long-term partner for a healthy life.
You know you need a PCP, but with hundreds to choose from, how do you find the right one?
Look for a doctor who meets these five criteria. Don’t settle for less.
- Specialty. Not all PCPs are alike. Choose one that matches you and/or your family’s needs by first knowing the difference between the types of PCPs:
- Family medicine physicians see people of all ages, from infants to seniors.
- Internal medicine physicians (internists) typically treat adult patients ages 18 and up.
- Pediatricians are physicians who treat newborns, children and teens.
- Once you know the type of PCP you’re looking for, you’ll want to learn about the doctor, including education, credentials, clinical interests, philosophy of care, insurances accepted, etc.
2. Convenience. You’re busy. Finding time in your busy day to visit your PCP can be a challenge. A doctor’s office that’s close to home or work makes a big difference. Look for access to an extensive network of physicians who are conveniently located and affiliated with the hospital of your choice.
3. Transparency. You can look up reviews for hotels and restaurants, but wouldn’t you like to read about your healthcare providers too? Some healthcare sites post doctor reviews and ratings based on objective patient feedback. It’s nice to know what actual patients say about their experiences with the doctor so you get a balanced view.
Kim Hayes wrote for AARP’s Health News that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and conventional wisdom traditionally has been that fresh is best. But recommendations are changing as more studies show there is no significant nutritional difference between fresh and frozen. Here are five reasons why you may want to stock up on healthy treats while in the frozen food aisle.
New research from the University of Georgia found that frozen fruits and veggies are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts — and some even retained more nutrients, especially when it comes to vitamin A.
In a separate comparison cited in the New York Times, researchers at the University of California Davis found that vitamin content was higher in some frozen foods, including broccoli, corn, green beans and blueberries. The freezing process typically keeps the nutrients of freshly picked produce intact, while fresh produce may sit in transport or grocery stores for days, losing nutrients along the way.
A recent study conducted by the Frozen Food Foundation found people who buy frozen fruits and veggies consume more produce overall than those who don’t. This finding mirrors what nutritionist Cynthia Sass learns from her own clients, according to her story on Health magazine’s website. “While I’m a big fan of fresh produce, I’m also serious about helping people fit in at least five servings of fruits and veggies per day every day. I’ve found that when my clients keep their freezers stocked with frozen produce, they’re much more likely to hit that mark.” Frozen veggies are usually prewashed and precut, making heating them in the microwave or pan fast and easy.
Frozen produce can be cheaper than fresh, making it accessible to more people. Frozen organic spinach costs about 50 cents less than fresh organic spinach — for twice the volume, Sass says. Similarly, a 10-ounce bag of frozen organic raspberries is the same price as six ounces of the fresh fruit.
ISADORA BAUM from Extra Crispy said figuring out what to eat to lose weight and making lifestyle changes is the very first step when determining how to lose weight. Waking up with a healthy breakfast can help regulate your appetite and enable you to carefully cut calories for weight loss. Of course, all bodies differ, and some people have naturally fast metabolisms, while others have slow metabolisms. However, no matter your age or metabolism, Dr. Charles Galanis, a board certified surgeon in Chicago, and Robert Dorfman, Research Fellow at Northwestern Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, advise that a healthy breakfast generally includes the same foods, with serving sizes varying based on athletic regimen, body type, and sex.
“When attempting to lose weight, it’s better to be conservative with your calorie cuts, and give yourself an extended time period to achieve your desired results. It is far better to cut 100 or 200 calories from your baseline and lose one pound per week for six months than to cut 800 calories from your baseline and lose all that weight in one month,” Galanis and Dorfman explain.
What should you be eating for breakfast to lose weight?
“Eggs are one of the best sources of protein and essential amino acids in existence, with 94 percent net protein, as opposed to approximately 70 percent for meat and poultry. High protein content means that you stay fuller for longer,” say Dr. Galanis and Dr. Dorfman.
Lean meats, coupled with eggs, can further increase protein and iron content. “Pork sausage is high in calories and unhealthy fats. Chicken sausage is lower in calories and fat, but equally high in protein,” Dr. Galanis and Dr. Dorfman say.
“Almonds, pecans, and walnuts are great sources of healthy polyunsaturated fats. Remember that nuts are very calorie-dense foods, so limit yourself to no more than a handful,” Dr. Galanis and Dr. Dorfman advise.
Fresh fruit is “low in fat and calories, but high in fiber and other key nutrients, including vitamin C. Avoid canned or frozen fruit, as these typically contain additives and are generally less nutritious,” Dr. Galanis and Dr. Dorfman recommend.
Roger Sims from www.locostmedicalsupply.com shares that arthritis sufferers experience joint pain that can make some physical movements difficult. You may worry that exercising with arthritis will only intensify your pain and possibly cause more joint damage.
Research shows that staying active and engaging in exercise can be helpful for maintaining mobility and managing pain. During exercise, there may be some initial mild pain that will recede as you start to improve your muscle strength, joint lubrication, circulation, and range of motion.
If you have arthritis and plan to use exercise as part of your wellness plan, participate in activities that will still be gentle on your joints.
As you use exercise to manage arthritis, start with the more gentle options and increase your activity over time to check your limits. If you experience moderate or severe pain, take a break from exercise and possibly consult with your doctor.
This guide highlights some of the best exercises for arthritis sufferers.
Exercises for flexibility allow arthritis sufferers to maintain or extend their range of motion. These gentle stretching movements can help ensure your joints will extend through their full motion. Stretching also helps to keep joints lubricated, which further enhances your range of motion.
Flexibility exercises are recommended for daily use. If you are using an exercise routine, stretching is a necessary warm-up.
During a stretching session, start with dynamic or active movements. Dynamic movements mimic those in particular sports activities. For example, if you intend to go running, practice some lunging movements as part of your warm-up.
Use gentle and rhythmic movements as part of a dynamic warm-up stretching session. These dynamic movements will prepare the body for activity by increasing blood flow and muscle temperature. Practice stretch and hold movements only after an initial five-to-ten-minute active warm-up.
Stretching at the end of an exercise session will also be helpful for flexibility. During this time, your muscles are still actively ready for this type of motion.
One great flexibility exercise is yoga. This is slow and gentle. It can help to increase your range of motion and does not place much stress or pressure on your joints. You may also find it emotionally relaxing, which also provides great body benefits. Read more
The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s (NOCC) updated Newly-Diagnosed Guide and Recurrent Guide offers invaluable information, guidance, and support to women who are newly-diagnosed or battling recurrent disease.
Their Faces of Hope® tote for newly-diagnosed women, that includes the Newly-Diagnosed Guide and comfort items, is distributed to women through nearly 300 accredited cancer facilities in the US.
Roger Sims from www.locostmedicalsupply.com shares that continuing to exercise into your senior years can be a challenge, as the aging process can naturally make you less energetic and less mobile. This is particularly true for wheelchair users, as this further limits your options for exercise and other physical activities.
However, this does not mean you must resign yourself to a sedentary lifestyle, as there are many exercises that are both beneficial for your health and suitable for those with impaired mobility.
The benefits of staying active into your senior years are enormous, helping to combat many medical conditions and diseases, such as muscle wasting, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Staying as fit as possible is also beneficial for improving mental health and maintaining independence, as well as boosting your immune system, vitality, and energy levels.
Regular exercise can improve your quality of life in many ways, keeping you healthier, happier, and more energetic well into your later years. Although wheelchair users have fewer opportunities for participating in physical activity, there are several ways to overcome the hurdle of limited mobility and achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Mobility equipment can be of great use to wheelchair users with some leg function, as it can make walking short distances and performing exercises from a standing position possible. However, there are also many highly effective exercises that can be performed from a seated position.
Here are five clever exercises to do from your wheelchair, which can all be of great help in strengthening your body and boosting your health.
Seated Cardio Workout
Cardio is a great exercise for burning calories and getting the blood pumping, promoting a healthy cardiovascular system, and helping to prevent illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. You may think that an effective cardio workout requires a high level of mobility, but there are plenty of ways to raise your heart rate from a seated position.
Experiment with exercises such as “picking fruit,” in which you raise alternating arms one at a time over your head, “chair marching,” where you raise one arm in time with the opposite leg before switching sides, as though you were marching in place, and rowing motions.
These are all great actions for an effective cardiovascular exercise routine and should be performed daily. Starting off small by dedicating ten minutes each day to cardio is a great way to begin, and you can increase the time you spend doing it as your fitness grows.
There are several excellent seated exercise videos available online which are easy to follow, and developed by personal trainers to deliver the best and most effective cardio workout from a seated position. Read more