Category Archives: Health and Wellness

September is National Preparedness Month – Know what to do

Know what to do when an earthquake happens

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Scientists say they already know how to reduce cancer deaths by half

Scientists say they already know how to reduce cancer deaths by half

No treatment required.

In fact, it wouldn’t take any drugs at all. All we need to do is get people to follow the recommendations that doctors have been making for decades: don’t smoke, drink moderately, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly.

At least, that’s the message from a new study that looked at the lifestyles of more than 100,000 doctors and nurses in the US.

This study made it clear right up front – lifestyle alone is never going to stop all cancers. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, the disease strikes totally at random, and it can happen to even the healthiest of people.

But the new study serves as a reminder that while we often focus all our money and effort on new treatments, there are already proven ways to reduce people’s risk of developing cancer.

“Even while we’re making new discoveries, that shouldn’t stop us from acting on the knowledge we already do have.”

So is the prevention issue really that cut and dry?

While the occasional study might find something random, the reality is that the vast majority of research is on the same page when it comes to risk factors for cancer – cigarettes, too much alcohol, obesity, and a lack of exercise are all bad.

Fitness and diet infographic

Fitness and diet infographic

(And that’s not to mention sun exposure, because this specific study only looked at carcinoma – which are most cancers except brain and skin cancers.)

To figure out just how much of a risk living an ‘unhealthy’ lifestyle really is, Mingyang Song and Edward Giovannucci from Massachusetts General Hospital looked at data on taken from a range of long-term studies on doctors and nurses in the US.

After looking at cancer rates, they found that up to 80 percent of lung cancer could be put down to lifestyle, as well as more than one-fifth of colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and kidney cancer cases.

When they applied those rates to the rest of the US population, they found that between 41 and 63 percent of cancer cases could be preventable, as well as 59 to 67 percent of cancer deaths.

That’s a pretty huge if you consider the fact that despite countless promising new treatments, we’re still no closer to a ‘cure’ for cancer – the more we learn about the disease, the more complex we realise it is.

“These findings reinforce the predominant importance of lifestyle factors in determining cancer risk,” the researchers write in JAMA Oncology. “Therefore, primary prevention should remain a priority for cancer control.”

From Science Alert.  Click here for full article.

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Cereal Psychology – AKA Talk to your kids about healthy eating habits EARLY!

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September is National Preparedness Month – Build a Kit

The following list provides the basic supplies you need to have on hand in case of an emergency. Keep these items in a rugged but easy to carry container such as a large covered trash can, overnight backpack or duffel bag. Keep smaller versions of the kit in the trunk of your car and at work. If you become stranded or are not able to return home, having some items will help you to be more comfortable until help arrives. Store your kit in a structurally sound location.

  • Water – one to three gallons per person per day, for drinking, cooking and sanitary needs.
  • Food – ready to eat, non-perishable, high-protein, high-calorie foods that you enjoy (peanut butter, canned meats, energy bars, canned fruits and vegetables, etc.).
  • First aid kit and first aid reference guide.
  • Portable battery-operated radio and spare batteries.
  • Flashlights and spare batteries.
  • List of emergency contacts.
  • Blankets, extra clothing, sturdy shoes and gloves.
  • Can opener (non-electric).
  • Five days or more of critical medications, an extra pair of eyeglasses, copies of important documents and comfort items such as toys, books and games.
  • Food and water for pets.
  • Map of local area in case evacuation is necessary.
  • Crescent wrench for utility shut-off.
  • Duct tape and plastic sheeting or large plastic garbage bags.
  • Extra cash and coins for emergency purchases and pay phones.

Here are a couple downloadable lists to get you started.

FEMA’s list

City of Portland’s list

September is National Preparedness Month – Talk about it!

The more you have planned out ahead of time, the calmer and more assured your family will be during a disaster or emergency.

  • Take the time to talk about potential disasters.
  • Establish emergency contacts.
  • Practice evacuating your home.
  • Determine two meeting places where your family will reunite.

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Download PDF here.

Visit the City of Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Management for other helpful, downoadable lists

September is: “Fruits and Veggies, More Matters” Month

I will be posting a series of articles relating to this topic.  Eating more fruits and vegetables every meal, everyday is an easy way to help decrease our obesity epidemics (in kids AND adults!) and to decrease the chance of other long-term diseases like diabetes and many cancers.

Let’s start here:

Fighting Disease With Fruits & Veggies…Today and Everyday!

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People who eat more generous amount of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and perhaps heart disease and high blood pressure.

Colorful fruits and veggies are dietary sources of important nutrients many people don’t get enough of, such as fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium.

Fiber: diets rich in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects, including decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Some fruit and veggie sources of dietary fiber are: Apples, Blueberries, Brussels Sprouts, Figs, Lentils, Onions, Pears, Pinto Beans, Raspberries, Spinach

Folate: healthful diets with adequate folate may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect. Some fruit and veggie sources of folate are:* Artichokes, Asparagus, Beets, Blackberries, Cantaloupe, Leaf Lettuce, Lima Beans, 100% Orange Juice, Papaya, Strawberries (*Folic acid from fortified foods or supplements is also recommended for women who may become pregnant.)

Potassium: diets rich in potassium may help to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Some fruit and veggie sources of potassium are: Bananas, Broccoli, Cherries, Kiwifruit, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, White Beans.

Vitamin A: keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps protect against infections. Some fruit and veggie sources of vitamin A are: Apricots, Cantaloupe, Carrots, Grapefruit, Leaf Lettuce, Mango, Spinach, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Watermelon

Vitamin C: helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy. Some fruit and veggie sources of vitamin C are: Bell Peppers, Blackberries, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collard greens, Kiwifruit, Oranges, Potatoes, Summer Squash, Strawberries

Magnesium: supports normal muscle and nerve function, a steady heart rhythm, and a healthy immune system. Some fruit and veggie sources of magnesium are: Artichoke Hearts, Black Beans, Lima Beans, Navy Beans, Okra, Spinach, White Beans

For more ideas on how to include more fruits and vegetables in your family’s meals, visit www. FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org. Helping moms and their families to be at their very best, today and everyday!

National Just Because Day

Every day we all do things that are expected or required of us or because we have to, well today that does not apply.  Today is a chance to do something without rhyme or reason.

Maybe surprise someone with flowers! Maybe surprise someone with flowers!

Do something different, out of the ordinary, something that you do not have to do but just want to do, that is what today is all about. Post on social media using #NationalJustBecauseDay.