Archive for February, 2018

Healthy Living: It’s All About the Feet

As odd as it may seem, your feet may be the window to your overall body health. Here are some things to look for that will give you clues that there may be other important body issues to consider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No hair on your feet or toes –

If your feet or toes are lacking hair, it can be a sign of having poor circulation because of vascular disease.  If you notice that your feet and toes do not have any hair on them, you will want to consult your doctor to find out ways to improve your circulation thereby reducing your risk of acquiring vascular disease. 

A wound that won’t heal on your foot – Wounds on your feet that just won’t heal could be an indication of diabetes.  Over time, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to serious nerve damage in your feet that you may not feel when you have a sore or a wound on your foot.  If your wound continues to go unhealed there could be major problems, including amputation.  If you notice a wound that won’t heal on your feet be sure to contact your doctor to discuss your wound.  If you are currently living with or being treated for diabetes, be sure to check your feet often and mark any changes.

Thick, yellow toenails –

Toenails are not supposed to be thick and/or yellow.  Thick, yellow nails are most often an indication of a fungal infection living beneath your toenails.  People that have other medical conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and other immune deficiencies are more likely to get a fungal infection than those that do not have these conditions.  To treat thick, yellow toenails, you will need to consult a podiatrist.  By the time your nails are already discolored and thick it is too late for any over-the-counter creams or medicines to work.

An enlarged big toe –

Gout is the condition when the big toe suddenly swells up to an uncomfortable size. Gout is a form of arthritis due to the buildup of uric acid. This condition typically shows up in your big toe because it affects the part of your body with the lowest temperature, which is often the big toe.  It can also occur in your knees, elbows, Achilles tendon and the instep of your foot.  If you discover that your big toe has swollen to an abnormally large size, contact a foot care specialist, who with diet recommendations and medication, can help to cure this condition.

In the News: Bottled Water Versus Tap Water

At one point or another in our lifetime we have been given the choice of bottled or tap water. Which did you choose? Why did you make that choice? Could you taste a difference?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Studies show that most people have made the switch from tap water to bottled water in the last four years. But tap water is just as safe as bottled water research from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows.

Because of the rigorous standards placed on tap water by public health organizations, under normal circumstances bottled water is not necessarily any safer or cleaner than tap water.   Plus tap water does not come with any additional waste or cost that is associated with bottled water.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop drinking bottled water all together.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) governs the quality of bottled water and the regulations are as stringent as the EPA standards for tap water.  But since bottled water can get costly, here are some suggestions to make sure your tap water is of the finest quality.

  • Consider using a filter like Brita or ZeroWater, that specifically targets the contaminants in water.
  • Find out where your tap water is drawn from – if it’s a private well, then it isn’t regulated as strictly as a public well.
  • Find out what kind of pipes your home has – if it was built before the 1970s, your home may have lead-lined pipes that could throw off the quality of your water.

Fitness for All: Recreational Workouts… and the Calories They Burn

Tired of your typical gym routine? Day in and day out you are hitting the gym and getting bored. If you still want to be active and burn calories, without the hum drum of being indoors at the gym every day, you can try one of these recreational activities that are not only fun and exciting but great calorie burners!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Cycling is one of the best non-weight bearing exercises and depending upon your speed you can be burning around 300 to 400 calories in just a half hour.  Cycling provides a great cardio workout and builds your calf and leg muscles.
  • Swimming is an excellent overall body workout burning up to 360 calories in a half hour time depending upon what swimming stroke you are using.  The best swim workout is interval training – swim two lengths, take a breather, and then repeat.
  • Because rock climbing relies on quick bursts of energy to get from one rock to the next, your strength, endurance and flexibility will significantly improve, plus you will be burning about 370 calories every half hour.
  • Running is a great cardio-respiratory workout, burning about 450 calories every 30 minutes – based on an 8-minute mile.  Your leg strength and endurance will also benefit greatly from a good run.
  • Racquetball is a great recreational workout burning 300 calories in simply 30 minutes along with building your lower body strength, endurance, and back and abs flexibility.  Just be sure to warm up first to avoid twisting an ankle!
  • Because of the non-stop action of basketball, you will burn more than 285 calories every half hour that you play.  Basketball also helps to develop flexibility, cardio-respiratory health and endurance. You also need to warm up properly before an intense game of hoops, so you don’t get injured.
  • Rowing burns about 280 calories every half hour and is a great way to burn extra energy. It also builds up endurance, strength and muscle in your shoulders, thighs and biceps.  In the same vein as rowing, but not as high in calorie burning are kayaking and canoeing, which each burn about 170 calories in a half hour.

Eating Healthy Spotlight on: Plums

  • Plums, and their dried version known as prunes, are very high in phytonutrients, which function as an antioxidant and provide much benefit to the body.
  • Eating plums, which come from the same fruit family as cherries and peaches, helps in the production and absorption of iron in the body, thereby leading to better blood circulation leading further to the growth of healthy tissues.
  • Consuming plums on a regular basis will help prevent macular degeneration and other eye infections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Chicken Breasts with Plum Salsa and Basmati Rice

1 ½ cups of water

1 cup uncooked basmati rice, rinsed and drained

¾ pound plums, pitted and chopped

½ medium red onion, minced

3 habanero peppers, seeded and minced

3 tablespoons fresh minced cilantro

1 teaspoon sugar

¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Place water in medium saucepan and stir in rice. Bring to boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and fluff with fork.  In a bowl, mix the plums, peppers, onions, cilantro and sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Season chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium-heat. Place chicken in oil and brown 1 minute per side.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 additional minutes per side.  Serve over rice with plum salsa.

Recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad

½ cup water

2/3 cup sugar

3 cups thinly sliced rhubarb

15 seedless grapes, halved

½ orange, sectioned

10 fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1 apple, cored and diced

1 peach, sliced

1 plum, pitted and sliced

15 pitted Bing cherries

¼ cup fresh blueberries

Bring water and sugar to boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the rhubarb, turn heat to low, cover and simmer until rhubarb is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.  Mash and chill in the refrigerator about one hour.   To serve, mix the grapes, orange, strawberries, apple, peach, plum, cherries, and blueberries with 2/3 cup of the rhubarb sauce.  Stir gently, but thoroughly to coat.  Refrigerate for at least two hours for all of the flavors to blend well.

Heart Health 101: Obesity and Heart Disease

It’s a well-known fact that being overweight increases your chance of being at risk of many chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.  But research shows that even a small amount of weight loss can lessen your risk of falling victim to these deadly diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research also shows that, unfortunately, eating just 100 more calories a day than you should, can cause your body weight to be in the obese category and not just the overweight category.

To determine whether you are overweight or obese, use a BMI Calculator.  A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight; a BMI between 30 and 39.9 is considered obese.  If your BMI is greater than 25 and you are older than 30 years old, you should strongly consider losing weight to reduce your risk of heart disease and other life-threatening conditions.