Did You Know…
Golf courses are the fifth most common place for people to suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). SCA is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops functioning. According to the American Heart Association, a golfer is one of over 380,000 people in the United States each year to suffer from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest… and less than seven percent survive. The other four most common places for SCA are airports, shopping malls, stadiums, and jails.
How to Be Prepared
The worst case scenario is having a cardiac event on a distant hole. On your next golf outing, it’s a good idea to do the following when you schedule your tee-off time: Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Cardiovascular Health, Exercise, Fitness | Exercise, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Lifestyle, Longevity
Tagged ♥ DAILY DOSE, cardiac health, cardiac rehab, CPR, defibrillator, golf, Karen Owoc, SCA, sudden cardiac arrest
February is American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month — an annual reminder to raise your awareness about heart disease and how you can prevent it.
Here at The Health Reporter, you can find a variety of posts related to cardiac health that can help you and that you can share with people important to you.
It’s easy! To find heart-related articles and videos, go to Categories (left column of this blog page) then scroll down to “Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab” and click on it. You’ll be able you to share any post via email, Facebook or other favorite social media sites.
“Do not give up. The beginning is always the hardest.” For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/karenowoc/quotes-that-move-me/
If you were to ask how you could quickly reverse the aging process, I would advise you to develop your “core”. Your core spans muscles, bones, and joints in your abdomen, back, buttocks, sides, and hips/pelvis. Weak, tight or unbalanced core muscles can affect your ability to move, function independently and enjoy physical activities.
The major core muscles to strengthen are your:
- Abdominals – Stabilize your core, twist your trunk, and allow you to bend forward at the waist and to each side.
- Back - Stabilize your core and allow you to straighten up, bend backward, forward, and to each side.
- Hip Adductors - Pull your thigh towards the midline of your body.
- Hip Flexors – Stabilize/rotate your pelvis, stabilize your body when you stand, and allow you to bend at the waist and hike up each leg.
- Gluteals or “glutes” - Extend/rotate your hip, rotate/abduct your thigh. (Abductors push your thigh away from the midline of your body.)
Why You Need a Strong, Stable Core:
- Makes it possible to stand upright and move on two feet which enhances your balance and stability.
- Is essential to sit and move (e.g., walk, jump, dance, and run).
- Helps prevent falls.
- Distributes the stresses of weight bearing which protects your back and reduces back pain.
- Improves athletic performance. (Powerful, rapid muscle contractions start from the center of your body out.)
- Improves posture.
- Enhances arm and leg function which helps build powerful arms and legs. Continue reading
If you’re a cardiac patient, dieter or diabetic on a low-carb eating plan and you CRAVE pasta, House Foods® Tofu Shirataki is a tasty (and gluten-free) alternative you can get excited about. It has a unique texture, but it’s still very ‘noodle-like’ and satisfying to the pasta-deprived palate.
Shirataki noodles are Japanese slippery glass noodles made with konnyaku (a member of the Japanese yam family). “Tofu Shirataki” is made by blending tofu and the flour of konnyaku to soften the texture and make it more appealing to traditional pasta fanatics.
So if you’ve missed eating noodles, you can eat them now – guilt free. I have to agree with the products’ marketers on this one in that Tofu Shirataki is a “pasta lover’s dream”. It has little flavor on its own which makes it a versatile element in any dish. They’re packed in water and there are four different shapes to choose from: fettuccine, elbow, angel hair, and spaghetti. (I prefer their larger, flat fettuccine shape over the spaghetti.)
Tofu shirataki has the following nutrients per 4-oz. serving: Continue reading
One of the problems with using a prepared spaghetti sauce is that they contain added sugar and are high in sodium. Here’s a Fit Find you can use on anything that needs sauce, such as your favorite pasta, fish, or chicken.
The Monte Bene® Farm Fresh Tomato Basil, Garlic Marinara, and Spicy Marinara Pasta Sauces are delicious as well as truly “all natural” — just tomatoes, Italian San Marzano tomatoes, fresh onions (not dehydrated), extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil and garlic, and seasonings.
Each sauce contains just 240 mg sodium per 1/2 cup serving, less than 1 g sugar, and 40 calories. Other commercial sauces can contain up to three times the sodium and up to 10 times the sugar.
Monte Bene® sauces are also reasonably priced ($4.99 per 24-oz jar at Whole Foods). To find out more: http://www.montebene.com. Click here for more Fit Finds.
Question: What’s your take on Stevia as a sugar substitute? I use a flavored coffee creamer (French vanilla or Irish cream) in my coffee and would like to add some kind of sweetener. From John S., San Ramon, CA
Answer: First, the flavored coffee creamers are already sweetened. The primary ingredients of commercial creamers are oil, sugar and artificial flavor/color. See my post on Creaming Up Your Coffee for healthier alternatives.
Second, almost all of my patients with type 2 diabetes are hooked on calorie-free sugar substitutes, struggling with their weight and have cardiovascular disease. Coincidence? Maybe not. Studies on artificial sweeteners show these compounds contribute to weight gain, sugar cravings and obesity. Also, compared to people who avoid diet or regular soft drinks, diet soda drinkers also appear to have elevated risks for:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome (the name of a cluster of risk factors that occur together and increase your risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes)
But It’s “Natural”…
For centuries, stevia was used medicinally as a cardiac stimulant.
Stevia is a plant native to South America, also known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf, and is processed to produce a calorie-free sugar substitute. Because it’s derived from a plant, food companies market stevia as a “natural” sweetener to appeal to dieters, diabetics and health-conscious individuals who presume it must be healthier and safer than those originating in a lab. But unless you are eating stevia in its whole-leaf or crude form (which is NOT FDA-approved due to possible health effects), it isn’t all that “natural”. Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Additives, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Longevity, Nutrition, Weight Control
Tagged artificial sugar, artificial sweeteners, ♥ DAILY DOSE, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes, Karen Owoc, stevia, sugar substitutes, weight control
When you walk or climb stairs, do you have… cramping, pain, aching, or tiredness in the muscles of your calves, thighs, buttocks, or hips? If so, you could have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a narrowing of arteries (blockages) in your pelvis and legs.
Other symptoms can include:
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Cold legs or feet
- Sores on lower extremities that won’t heal
- Toenail color change
When PAD worsens, it’s typical to develop ‘exertional leg pain’, known as claudication. It occurs when you’re exerting yourself and feels like a muscle cramp. These symptoms usually go away after resting, but return when you walk again.
Do NOT try to “walk off the pain” or “tough it out”. Your limbs need to reoxygenate. Claudication does NOT go away if you continue to walk — it is only relieved by rest.
The pain is no different from ischemia (lack of oxygen) of your heart in that the delivery of oxygen does not meet the metabolic oxygen demand of working muscles. What makes it worse when you’re walking is your blood has to move ‘upstream’ through narrowed arteries in your lower extremities to get back to your heart for more oxygen. Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Anti-Aging, Cardiovascular Health, Fitness | Exercise, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Longevity
Tagged ♥ DAILY DOSE, blockage, cardiac health, cardiac rehab, Karen Owoc, leg cramps, PAD, peripheral arterial disease
For good health, aim for getting in 40 gm of fiber every day — but all fibers are not alike. If you’re a diabetic, cardiac patient or at risk for heart disease, it’s a good idea to know the difference.
Dietary fibers are found naturally in plants. They’re the parts that don’t break down in your stomach and pass through your system pretty much intact. Fiber is separated into two main types: soluble and insoluble. They’re both important, but they have different properties (how they react with water) and have a different effect on your body.
NOTE: Since some fibers absorb water, be sure to drink more fluids as you increase your fiber intake.
Oat fiber helps lower bad cholesterol and control blood sugar.
- Dissolves in water and forms a viscous gel in the intestines which slows down digestion.
- Helps lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol.*
- Slows the emptying of food through the G.I. (gastrointestinal) tract, so it helps control blood sugar and diabetes.
- Makes you feel full longer which helps control body weight.
- May reduce blood pressure and inflammation.
*LDL cholesterol is needed to produce hormones and provide structure to cell membranes, but because excesses can accumulate in the blood vessels and promote atherosclerosis, it’s been branded as the “bad” cholesterol.
Did You Know…
Soluble fiber acts like a “cholesterol sponge“. It soaks up cholesterol-laden bile salts in your intestine and eliminates them with other waste. To produce more bile acids (compounds needed to transport and absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins), your liver must use the LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream. That means there’s less to collect and harden on the walls of your arteries! Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Anti-Aging, Anti-cancer, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Heart Healthy, Longevity, Nutrition
Tagged ♥ DAILY DOSE, bran, cardiac health, diabetes, insoluble fiber, Karen Owoc, soluble fiber, whole oats, whole wheat
Here’s a nutty alternative to using white or wheat flour… almond meal/flour. It’s lower in carbohydrates and high in fiber which makes it better for diabetics (won’t spike your blood sugar).
Almonds contain nut phytonutrients and are a good source of fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin E. Nut phytonutrients (plant nutrients) have been shown to help fight free-radical damage, prevent inflammation, and lower blood cholesterol. That is, nuts can reduce your risk of death from major chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. See ♥ Daily Dose | What’s Your Nut I.Q.?
Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour is nothing more than super finely ground whole, blanched sweet almonds. That’s it…. no other additives! But besides being super healthy, nuts are also calorie dense, so almond flour is higher in calories than regular flours. If you want the benefits of the nuts with fewer calories, you can substitute a 1/3 of the flour in your favorite healthy muffin or cookie recipe with almond meal/flour.
Compare the nutritional information from a 1/4 cup serving of these different flours: Continue reading
Posted in Fit Finds, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Heart Healthy, Longevity, Nutrients
Tagged almonds, cardiac health, cardiac rehabilitation, diabetes, Karen Owoc, nut phytonutrients, nuts
Are you running on an empty tank? People who start their day without an a.m. meal often feel depleted, overeat later in the day, and make some not-so-smart decisions as they go along. Eating a good breakfast sets the stage for making healthy choices that will power up your body as well as your brain.
Why Eat Breakfast?
As you sleep, your body works hard to digest last night’s dinner. By the time you wake up, your body and brain demand fuel.
Three Breakfast Components
Morning menus are filled with options — from breakfast wraps to smoothies in every color — and need not be complicated. Breakfast can be simple, quick and satisfying. Be sure it includes a heart-healthy mix of whole grains, protein, and healthy fat to satisfy you as well as sustain you. Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Anti-Aging, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Heart Healthy, Longevity, Nutrition
Tagged almond milk, ♥ DAILY DOSE, breakfast, cardiac rehab, healthy fats, high fiber, Karen Owoc, protein, whole grains
Mended Hearts, Inc. is a national non-profit cardiac support group that is dedicated to inspiring hope, offering encouragement, and improving the quality of life for heart patients, their families and caregivers. The organization was started by Dr. Dwight E. Harken, a heart surgeon, with three of his open heart surgery patients in January 1951.
Over 60 years later, there are 300 Mended Hearts chapters in the U.S. and Canada where heart patients meet monthly for ongoing social, emotional and practical support. They are partners with over 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics. Mended Hearts offers services to heart patients through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums.
A few months ago I had the honor of speaking to an engaging group of heart patients at their Oakland chapter (#188) that meets one Saturday a month at the Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. I talked about the “Keys to Cardiac Health” and covered the top eight strategies to living a longer and stronger life.
Since then, I have been invited to speak at the following Mended Hearts chapter meetings. Continue reading
DID YOU KNOW…. clams top the list as a source of vitamin B12? In fact, just one serving of clams (three ounces) has 14 times more vitamin B12 than a fortified breakfast cereal with 100% DV!
100% DV (Daily Value) of a nutrient is based on a 2,000-calorie diet and means a serving of the food contains 100% of your daily needs. This water-soluble vitamin plays a key role in cell metabolism, the formation of blood, and the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system. (See ♥ Daily Dose | Vit. B12 Deficiency)
Clams are also an excellent source of heme iron. Believe it or not, they’re right up there with beef liver. Heme iron is found in animal foods and derived from hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen). The body absorbs the most iron from heme sources of iron. Iron is essential due to its oxygen-carrying capacity.
An iron deficiency can impair muscle function, normal function of the nervous and immune systems, and can limit your work capacity during exercise. So, if you have a cardiac condition, it’s important to get enough iron each day. Patients with congestive heart failure (CHF) are prone to develop iron deficiency and iron supplementation improves functional status and quality of life. Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Antioxidants, FIT FOOD, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Heart Healthy, Longevity, Nutrition, Pescetarian, Recipes | Soups
Tagged ♥ DAILY DOSE, antioxidants, cardiac rehab, clams, Karen Owoc, lycopene, soup, tomatoes, vitamin B12
Did you ever think being deficient in one small vitamin could do so much damage? Unfortunately, B12 deficiency and borderline deficiency are relatively common — especially among older adults. Cardiac patients need to be especially aware.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and plays a key role in cell metabolism, the formation of red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system. A severe B12 deficiency can lead to:
- Nerve damage
- Memory loss
- Loss of taste and smell
- Deep depression
- Paranoia and delusions
- Severe neurologic problems
- Blood diseases
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Anti-Aging, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Nutrition
Tagged ♥ DAILY DOSE, beta-blocker, calcium channel blocker, cardiac rehab, GERD, Karen Owoc, vegan diet, vegetarian, Vitamin B12 deficiency
According to a large 30-year study, eating a handful of nuts every day could lower your risk of dying by 20 percent. Researchers report a decreased risk for most major causes of death like heart disease and cancer. Nuts are rich in healthful unsaturated fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients*. Here’s how you can benefit and enjoy them.
- Eat nuts seven or more times per week. Eating nuts just once a week lowered the risk of dying by 11 percent.
- Eat one ounce of nuts per day — approximately 1/4 cup or one “handful”.
- Beware of canned and packaged nuts (e.g., in Trail Mixes) that have been processed with oil and salt. It’s healthier to buy them raw and roast them at home without the additives.
- Limit your intake of Brazil nuts to one per day or only occasionally due to their unusually high levels of selenium (an essential mineral). One Brazil nut contains 200 mcg of this mineral and the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is 80-200 mcg. Continue reading
Posted in ♥ DAILY DOSE, Anti-cancer, Antioxidants, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Heart Healthy, Longevity, Nutrition
Tagged ♥ DAILY DOSE, cardiac rehab, heart healthy, Karen Owoc, nut phytonutrients, nuts, omega-3's, walnuts
When was the last time you were totally immersed in the moment and not worrying, reminiscing or planning what you’re going to do next?
Live in the moment. Don’t multitask. In today’s high tech world where you can follow multiple browser tabs at once while tweeting and listening to your favorite playlist, you’ve been trained to fragment your brain into various compartments, scatter your attention, and demand instant gratification. Multitasking has become a way of life, addiction and/or survival. But that practice can lead you down a road to unhappiness.
Pets are great teachers of living in the moment
Immerse yourself in an activity and you’ll find greater happiness. Studies report people are happiest when they’re so focused on an activity that virtually nothing else exists. That is, they aren’t interrupted by extraneous thoughts and hours pass like minutes. Continue reading
Posted in Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Lifestyle, Longevity, Men's Health, Women's Health
Tagged Anti-Aging, cardiac rehab, fulfillment, happiness, Karen Owoc, Longevity, pets
The holiday feasting is finally behind us. Since Thanksgiving seemed to roll right into Christmas this year, perhaps it was especially challenging for you to control your eating and manage your weight. If you consumed more calories than you expended, you may be starting the new year with a wider waistline and a guilty conscience. Well, don’t fret because here are 10 humane ways to get back on track.
1. DON’T beat yourself up for “being bad”. Avoid dwelling on having gone back for seconds (or thirds) and/or indulging in Aunt Clara’s irresistible tray of homemade cookies. Beating yourself up because you “went off your diet” will only bring on feelings of failure.
2. DON’T starve yourself or overly restrict your calories to “make up for being bad”.
3. DON’T vow to “go on a diet” and here’s why… Continue reading
Posted in Exercise, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Lifestyle, Longevity, Men's Health, Weight Control, Women's Health
Tagged binge eating, dieting, emotional eating, healthy eating, overeating, weight loss
When shopping for medical identification jewelry or tags, consider the following features:
1. Appearance. You must like it enough to wear every day and all day. Medical IDs now come in stretchy silicone wristbands, stylish beaded bracelets, and tattoos, but keep it simple. If it looks too much like jewelry or an adornment, emergency responders may not recognize your tag as a medical ID. Continue reading
If you’re suddenly unaware of your surroundings or unable to help yourself due to symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, or disorientation from high or low blood glucose, a medical ID can tell your story when you can’t speak for yourself. The purpose of a medical ID is to alert paramedics, EMTs and medical professionals to your condition when they only have precious seconds to begin lifesaving care.
Wearing a medical ID 24/7 can save your life. When you have a potentially life-threatening health condition and/or have a cardiac device, emergency responders need to know for various reasons. Many cardiac patients also have other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or dementia that can affect treatment.
Medical Condition(s) Alert
Consider wearing a medical ID if you have any of the following:
- Chronic or history of coronary heart disease, including:
- Heart transplant
- Coronary artery bypass graft
- Previous MI (myocardial infarction/heart attack)
- Previous SCA (sudden cardiac arrest)
- Stroke risk: hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, atrial fibrillation (A-fib), tobacco smoking, metabolic syndrome
- Chronic disease, such as diabetes or dementia
- Cardiovascular device, such as:
- Coronary artery stent
- Artificial heart valve
- Pacemaker or ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator)
- Food, drug or insect allergy that can cause an anaphylactic reaction
- Sensitivity to medications
- Rare blood type
Implanted Medical Device Alert
Alert emergency personnel to metal implants
Certain metals used in implantable devices, such as a stent, artificial valve, pacemaker, and ICD, may be “ferromagnetic” which means they are attracted to magnets. This may mean you cannot have an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) if you are injured. MRIs are becoming more widely used as a diagnostic tool since they use large magnets and radio-frequency waves (not radiation) to produce pictures of your body’s internal structures. Continue reading
Posted in Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Longevity, Men's Health, Type 2 Diabetes, Women's Health
Tagged anti-coagulants, cardiac stent, coronary artery bypass graft, coronary heart disease, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, ICD, medical ID, MRI, pacemaker
Is there something you’ve always meant to do, wanted to do, but just … haven’t? Matt Cutts, an engineer at Google, suggests: Try it for 30 days. This short, lighthearted talk offers a neat way to think about setting and achieving goals.
To get inspired, click on the image above to watch Matt Cutts on TED Talks. “The next 30 days are going to pass whether you like it or not, so why not think about something you have always wanted to try and give it a shot for the next 30 days?”
Fit Tip: Try something new that’ll benefit your health and heart.
Need some healthy fast food? Here’s a high-protein, high fiber dish that you can enjoy as a side, salad or to-go lunch. Why quinoa? It’s protein dense, rich in B vitamins and omega-3 fats which means it’s not only healthy for your heart, but nourishing for your bones and skin. It’s also gluten-free if you’re sensitive to wheat. The frozen red quinoa and brown rice combo is already cooked which makes preparing this power salad simple and quick! Continue reading
Working with a team of physicists, Dr. Deborah Rhodes developed a new nuclear medicine technique for tumor detection called MBI (Molecular Breast Imaging). It’s three times as effective as traditional mammograms for women with dense breast tissue and uses a third the compression force.
The life-saving implications are stunning. So why haven’t we heard of it? Rhodes shares the story behind the tool’s creation, and the web of politics and economics that keep it from mainstream use.
Watch Dr. Rhodes’ compelling TED Conference talk on evox Television.
Posted in Cancer, Health Care, Longevity, Screening Tests, Women's Health
Tagged breast cancer, dense breast tissue, early detection, Evox Television, Evox TV, mammogram, MBI
“Every day is a new beginning, so treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been and look at what can be.” For more inspiration, follow me on Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/karenowoc/quotes-that-move-me/
Nearly sixty percent of men suffer from varicose veins, so it’s not just a problem for women. These ballooned veins develop a gnarled bluish/brown appearance, but they’re not just a cosmetic concern.
Varicose veins afflict young men as well as grandmas
These weak bulging vessels can rupture and bleed as well as cause swelling and throbbing which can cut into your daily activities.
To avoid varicose veins, exercise. It’ll keep your vessels strong which will promote healthy venous return and cardiac output. Poor cardiac output results in an inadequate delivery of oxygen to your muscles and vital organs.
Be sure your exercise routine involves working out the often neglected, but very important, calf muscles. Gravity causes blood to pool in your legs which expands the vein walls. Sitting or standing for long periods exaggerates this problem and over time, the veins don’t return to their taut condition.
When your calf muscles contract, they actually act as a ‘pump’ and are essential for maintaining blood flow from your legs back up to your heart. Keep the blood vessels in your lower extremities in optimal condition with the following six exercises: Continue reading
Posted in Anti-Aging, Fitness | Exercise, Heart Health | Cardiac Rehab, Longevity, Men's Health, Women's Health
Tagged calf exercises, cardiac output, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise, Karen Owoc, varicose veins
“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because the trust is not on the branch but on its own wings. Always believe in yourself!” For more inspiration, visit http://pinterest.com/karenowoc.
Two weeks ago I had a biopsy and yesterday I found out I have cancer. Not pre-cancer… the real deal. Basal cell carcinoma. I’ve learned it’s one of the most common types of skin cancer, but knowing that I now join 2.2 million other Americans diagnosed each year doesn’t make my diagnosis any less daunting or serious.
I’m still dazed in disbelief. It’s not because I’m not a likely candidate. I admit it, I am. I grew up in the sun. As an active athletic kid, staying indoors was not an option. I can still hear my mom’s repeated warnings at the sight of my golden tan or raging sunburn, “You better stay out of the sun. You’ll get freckles. Worse yet, you’ll get skin cancer.” Well, once again, Mom was right.
As a youngster and young adult in my 20′s, I spent my summers on the tennis courts, by the pool, or on a boat or bike. Winters didn’t keep me from being a UV target either. I lived on the mountain and skied competitively, so in reality, I clocked in thousands of hours under the sun on the glorious slopes of Lake Tahoe.
What actually shocks me about the cancer diagnosis is the benign nature of the tumor. I’ve read the rules for skin cancer and examined the well publicized graphic photos, but my lesion doesn’t resemble any of the textbook examples. There is NO discoloration. It’s not brown, black or red. In fact, my doctor described it as “translucent”.
It’s one of those things I noticed while putting on my makeup some time ago. I casually thought about getting this small ‘bump’ removed someday, but considered such action as purely cosmetic and neither a big deal or urgent. However, during a routine head-to-toe skin cancer exam, my dermatologist regarded the bump as suspicious. Continue reading
Posted in Cancer, Men's Health, Screening Tests, Technology, Women's Health
Tagged basal cell carcinoma, carcinoma treatment, Mohs surgery, Mohs technique, self-exams, skin cancer, sun protection, UVA, UVB
Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, can now be seen on the Evōx Television Network. Karen’s article and appearance on the Jen and Barb Mom Life Show discussing “How Active Do Your Kids Need to Be?” can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1cS0T5C
Evōx is a new kind of television — the next evolution in entertainment – that puts caring about the planet and the people at the center of what they do. They are an online entertainment television network and a conscious marketplace with original television programming on health, wellness, global and social issues, food, wine, travel, community projects, and conscious consumerism. Evōx Television inspires positive changes in the way people live and work.
More and more gluten-free products are taking up valuable real estate on grocery and health food store shelves. This is great news for people who suffer from celiac disease and cannot eat foods that contain gluten. But many people who do not have the disease perceive a gluten-free diet as healthier and for that reason, gluten-free diets have become a growing lifestyle trend.
Why Go Gluten Free
This diet excludes all foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malts, and triticale. The G-free up side is that this diet is essential for people with celiac disease or a gluten allergy or sensitivity. By eliminating gluten from the diet, many popular processed snack foods, cookies and cakes that are high in calories and void of nutrients are off limits. Note that opting to drop junk food from your diet alone can make your feel better, but it’s not necessarily because you’ve eliminated gluten. Continue reading
VIDEO: Healthy skin needs essential minerals and fats to do its job and to look its best. Find out which ones you need and where to get them. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, provides an overview of the key minerals and essential fatty acids necessary for healthy, youthful and radiant skin. Producer/Editor: Karen Owoc. Director of Photography: Michael Davich. TheHealthReporter.tv
Posted in Anti-Aging, Antioxidants, FIT TV | VIDEOS, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Nutrients, Skin Care, TV | Healthy Aging
Tagged healthy skin, Karen Owoc, omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, selenium, zinc
Summer is synonymous with baseball, tailgate parties and picnics but that means careful attention to menu planning and coordination. Since you’re without a refrigerator and running water, keeping your food safe all day requires safe food handling practices.
What to Pack
- Lots of clean utensils for preparing and serving safely cooked food.
- Insulated coolers to keep food protected and cold.
- A food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are cooked at high enough temperatures to destroy harmful bacteria and foods are reheated to safe-to-eat temperatures.
- An appliance thermometer for coolers.
- Clean, wet, disposable cloths and paper towels for cleaning hands and surfaces.
- Water for cleaning. Continue reading
GMO stands for genetically modified organisms which are specifically, genetically modified (GM) or ‘biotech’ crops, used to produce genetically modified foods. These GM plants are created in a laboratory by altering their genetic material (DNA). Scientists can introduce various modifications into the genes of crops, dairy products and animals.
So why and how do GMOs get into your food? Are they safe to eat? Here are some tips to avoid them if you choose to keep them off your plate.
How Crops Are Modified
Genetic modification (GM) is usually accomplished by adding one or more genes to a plant’s genome using genetic engineering techniques. GMO foods are generated using various methods to transfer foreign cells into animals and plants, such as: 1) Gene guns (particle guns) which inject cells with genetic information or 2) Bacterial carriers (a benign bacterial or viral infection).
Why Foods or Food Crops are Genetically Modified
Foods are modified to: Continue reading
Posted in Additives, Chemical Additives, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Lifestyle, Organic
Tagged certified organic, Dole bananas, genetically engineered food, genetically modified, GM food, GMO, GMO-free, non-GMO, Organic
The skin needs essential vitamins to function and look its best.
Discover which ones you need and where to get them. Karen Owoc, The
Health Reporter, provides an overview of the foods to eat to get the key
vitamins necessary for healthy, youthful and radiant skin. Producer/Editor: Karen Owoc
. Director of Photography: Michael Davich
Posted in Antioxidants, FIT TV | VIDEOS, FOOD ED| NUTRITION, Longevity, Nutrients, TV | Healthy Aging
Tagged Anti-Aging, anti-aging foods, antioxidants, beauty foods, collagen, elastin, wrinkles, youthful skin
The chance of you being in an airline accident may be slim, but here are some things to consider before you board your next flight.
Get in Shape
This is not so much a question of looking good, but in an emergency evacuation, you will need considerable strength, agility and balance to save your life. Remember, if the cabin fills with smoke, you’ll need to be able to get down on the floor and crawl to get to an exit. This can be a problem if you’re not very flexible and can’t move quickly.
Pay Attention to How You Dress
What you (and your children) wear matters when flying. Keep a copy of these tips in your suitcase as a reminder when preparing for your next trip.
- Don’t wear synthetics, such as polyester, nylon, rayon or poly-cotton blends. Even though you may be far enough from the fire to avoid serious injury, the heat alone will melt your synthetic clothing and adhere to your bare skin. Melted fabric that sticks to flesh can result in a critical burn and infection. However, at the same distance away from the heat, a cotton jacket or pair of pants won’t begin to char or catch fire. The bottom line is, natural fibers are safer, plastic is dangerous.
- Wear natural fibers, such as cotton, pure wool, silk, or leather. Cotton is flammable, but in a truly massive and intense fire, whether your clothes are flammable or not won’t matter much unfortunately. NOTE: Some cotton shirts are sewn with poly/cotton thread (an ignition source), so you are still vulnerable. Continue reading
Building for America’s Bravest is a program to construct Smart Homes for our most catastrophically injured service members returning home. Each specially-designed home uses “adaptive technology” to help our most severely injured heroes live more self-sufficient, comfortable and dignified lives.
But for every home that’s built, another three veterans are added to the waiting list. You can make a real difference in the lives of our brave service members who made extraordinary sacrifices in our place. Please help give them a home where they can enjoy a quality of life that would otherwise be impossible. See the Smart Home and meet some of America’s bravest here.
VIDEO: Eating an apple a day is known to “keep the doctor away”, but eating one can have another interesting effect. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, hosts this short-form segment of health and fitness news in The Health Reporter Minute.
Here’s a sampling of some of Karen’s ‘quick health bites’ on nutrition, health and exercise. Click here to check out the current videos from The Health Reporter Minute and The Men’s Health Minute library of topics. More coming soon!
Mangos are in peak season, so find ways to include these refreshing tropical fruits in your daily eating plan. They’re filled with nutritious goodness, flavor, and antioxidants. Here’s why this colorful fruit makes the A-list of Fountain-of-Youth Foods. Pair it with avocados, an amazingly healthy superfood, that’s rich in fiber, healthy fats and phytonutrients and you’ll have a naturally creamy salsa for fresh fish, chicken or tortilla chips.
- 2 large ripe avocados, diced
- 1/2 medium red onion
- Juice from 3/4 of a whole lime
- 1-2 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/16 of 1 jalapeño, diced (use more or less based on your desired level of heat)
- 1 large ripe mango (not Manila), diced
- 14 oz. Pineapple-Mango Salsa* (see below)
1. Mix the above ingredients in a medium bowl and serve.
*Pineapple-Mango Salsa (Tastes great on its own!)
- 4 honey mangos (a.k.a. Manila or Ataulfo Mango), diced
- 1/4 of 1 small fresh pineapple, diced
- 1/16 of 1 jalapeño (to taste)
- 1/4 c. red onions
- 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
- 3/4 of 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Juice from 1 lime
Fit Tip: If you’re in a hurry, mix in your favorite guacamole (I like Whole Foods’ fresh guacamole) with the fresh mango, jalapeño and Pineapple-Mango Salsa.
VIDEO: New studies reveal that your eating habits can expand your waistline. Here are some tips to keep from shoveling down food too fast. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, hosts this short-form segment of men’s health and fitness news in The Men’s Health Minute.
This Collapsible Mini Colander is perfect for rinsing and draining berries, herbs, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots. It has a removable snap-on base to catch drips when it’s on the counter or in the frig. When not in use, the colander collapses to 1/3 its original size for compact storage in a kitchen drawer or cabinet! Three-cup capacity. For more Fit Finds, click here.
This stainless steel, vacuum-insulated lunch jar by Zojirushi allows you to pack a multi-course hot or cold lunch easily and securely. Comes with a zippered carry bag. For more Fit Finds, click here.
What is rapini? Also known as broccoli rabe, rapini belongs to the cruciferous, or cabbage, vegetable family and is highly nutritious as well as delicious. It is a cousin to other ‘super-veggies’ that include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, kale, and mustard seeds and is a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Being rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals, particularly sulforaphane, these healthy greens have potential anti-cancer properties.
‘Rapini’ is actually a culinary term for the edible leaves, stems, and shoots of cruciferous crops. So you can eat every bit of this plant! This vegetable has thick tender stems, flower buds, and mild peppery leaves. Rapini can have a bitter edge to it which gives it it’s characteristic flavor. The bitterness, however, may vary bunch to bunch and in season, but is toned down when cooked. A long-standing favorite in Italian cuisine, rapini pairs well with pasta and polenta.
Here’s a simple 5-ingredient recipe that makes an easy one-pot entrée or side dish: Continue reading
The Gluten-Free, Paleolithic (Paleo) and Raw Food diets have become trends, movements and lifestyles, but before you embark on any of them, here’s where they hit and where they miss.
This diet excludes all foods that contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, malts, and triticale.
The G-Free Up Side: This diet is necessary for people with celiac disease or a gluten allergy or sensitivity. By eliminating gluten from the diet, many popular processed snack foods, cookies and cakes that are high in calories and void of nutrients are off limits.
The G-Free Down Side: Many gluten-free products are not fortified or Continue reading
VIDEO: Research scientists have performed various studies on the valuable life-extending antioxidants in vegetables. These studies reveal whether it’s healthier to eat vegetables raw or cooked. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, hosts this compact segment of health news in The Health Reporter Minute.
You get busy and somehow exercise gets pushed down your ladder of priorities, or more often than not, it’s completely skipped over despite being scheduled on your calendar. Here’s how to stop the I’m-too-busy-to-exercise excuses and make working out a regular part of your daily routine.
Visualize yourself exercising and how you want to look. In order to create a change, you have to see it. If you don’t see what you desire, you can’t get it. Create a video screen in your mind and keep “turning it on”.
Victims give up all the benefits of being responsible. Realize that you are responsible for the choices you make. In this case, you either choose to exercise or not. By operating from this state of mind, you are accountable and take ownership of your actions. The benefits? Greater self-respect, time, and control of your life.
Put Exercise into Practice
Practice repetition and responsibility. Choose to exercise and establish a routine. Your brain has the ability to create new neural pathways. Therefore, you have the ability to do something different.
Choose Your Words Carefully
Don’t use the words “I need to” or “I should” exercise. Using these words means something is broken. Also, don’t tell yourself “I will try” to exercise. You either do or do not. There is no “try”. Tell yourself “I want to” or “I choose to” exercise.
Keep Your Word
“Something has come up” or “I’m too busy” are excuses for not following through on your commitment. Statements like “I have important things that need to get done” are justifications for not keeping your word. Give your word to your dreams and goals, then watch the effect.
If your New Year resolution this year was to lose weight, how are you doing so far? How many times have you resolved to lose weight at the start of each new year and the result just didn’t turn out like you had hoped? The key to making this year’s fitness resolution a successful one is to establish objectives that are S.M.A.R.T.E.R. than before. In other words, your goal is…
Specific and Sets a Simple Health Habit: Oftentimes, goals are too vague and/or too complicated a process. “I will lose weight” does not focus on precise details. And when the process to lose weight becomes too complex, such as “drinking a freshly made veggie protein shake three times a day” when you’re out in the field all day, then the likelihood that you’ll stick with your goal is pretty slim.
Measurable and Meaningful: First, losing weight should be YOUR desire and not that of someone else and your goal should have measurable objectives. Be sure you have concrete criteria for measuring your progress. Aim for quantifiable results. It’s easier to assess whether your objective has been met if you commit to a specific number. Continue reading
While food fuels your muscles, it also feeds your feelings. When eating is triggered by an emotion rather than physiological hunger, it’s known as ‘emotional eating’. It comes at a cost to your health and here are some of the causes, dangers and solutions.
Emotional hunger Emotional eating is distinctly different from physical hunger. It strikes suddenly, whereas the rumblings of physiological hunger occur gradually. Emotional hunger is a psychological need to fill a void and generally involves a craving for a specific food, i.e., a ‘comfort food’. On the other hand, physiological hunger can be satisfied by any variety of foods and isn’t focused on one particular item.
Comfort Foods Comfort foods are foods that you crave to obtain a good feeling when you’re in a negative mood, such as when you’re angry or depressed. But you may also reach for comfort foods to sustain good, positive emotions, such as when you’re happy, relieved or elated. Comfort foods become dangerous when they’re unhealthy choices. The most popular comfort foods for women are ice cream, chocolate and cookies, whereas men tend to gravitate towards pizza, steak, casserole, and chips. Continue reading
Why hasn’t science developed a vaccine that protects you against all strains of influenza — for life? Science magazine is running a live chat on the flu today at 3:00 p.m. ET. Click on this http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2012/12/live-chat-can-science-conquer-fl.html to discuss science and the flu with notable experts.
Exercise Guidelines for the Diabetic
If you have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), regular exercise and physical activity can help you control your blood glucose levels as well as improve cardiovascular health and reduce abdominal fat. The appropriate exercise prescription for a diabetic includes several key components: conditioning (aerobic-based exercise), strengthening, balance, and flexibility.
Blood Sugar Goals
The following values are a comparison of target blood glucose levels for diabetics and non-diabetics:
| Target Glucose Levels
|Before Meals (Fasting)
|1-2 hours After Meals
||<140 mg dL
ADA – American Diabetes Association
ACE – American College of Endocrinology
- If your HbA1c value is 7%, your blood glucose levels probably ranged from 123-185 mg/dL over the previous two to three months. This translates to an average blood glucose level of 154 mg/dL.
- If your HbA1c value is 6.5%, your blood sugar probably ranged from 112-169 mg/dL over the previous two to three months or an average level of 140 mg/dL.
Maintain an Exercise and Blood Glucose Log
Glucose response to exercise can fluctuate unpredictably with each exercise session just by changing exercise modes or by varying the duration or intensity of a session. By keeping a daily glucose exercise log, you can better understand how your body responds and adapts to exercise. Continue reading