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Organic produce becomes mainstream

(BPT) – The organics category is becoming mainstream, as it is purchased by shoppers across all demographics. Recently, the category grew in just about every measurable way: in volume, dollars spent, and even in conversations in the media.

When consumers dabble in organic produce, they are more likely to purchase organic goods throughout the entire store and outside the store—like organic snacks or organic cotton sheets. This means it is important for retailers that sell organic products across departments to pay attention to trends in organic produce.

The organic shopper

Casual shoppers are the segment adding growth to the organic category, meaning that sometimes they purchase organic produce, and sometimes they purchase conventional.

“Organics are becoming mainstream, and shoppers are beginning to choose organic items over conventional items,” says Michael Castagnetto, vice president of sourcing for Robinson Fresh. “In our survey with U.S. consumers who buy produce, we found that 51 percent of respondents purchased organic produce and of those, 73 percent purchased both conventional and organic produce during the same trip.”

Research indicated that the organic shopper of today is most likely under the age of 35 or has young children living at home. Organic purchases are also highly correlated to household income.

When it comes to tailoring a shopping experience, it’s important to target Millennials because of their enormous commercial force, but consider the preferences of all generations. Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers all show a preference for organic produce as a destination within the store.

Why organic is becoming mainstream

“In the past, purchasing anything organic was an emotional-based purchase,” continues Castagnetto. “However, for today’s casual shopper, organic purchases are increasingly becoming more of an impulse purchase. The way that produce is merchandised makes a difference in how consumers make purchasing decisions.”

How organic produce is purchased

Organic items are an impulse purchase more than 30 percent of the time. Within the organics category, impulse purchases are two times more likely on items that index higher as healthy snacking options—such as berries and grapes. Here are the top 4 factors driving impulse organic purchases:

* The freshness and quality of the produce: 73 percent of respondents ranked this as a top driving factor

* The price of the produce: 61 percent of respondents rank this as a top driving factor

* The packaging the produce comes in

* Whether the organic produce is locally grown

To learn about who is buying organic produce and gain insight into the reasons why those consumers are choosing organic, Robinson Fresh(R) conducted a survey with U.S. consumers who buy produce—both conventional and organic. The full survey results can be found at www.robinsonfresh.com.

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Family in kitchen preparing breakfast

How to build healthy habits for the school year and beyond

(BPT) – Bells are ringing across the country as kids settle into classrooms for a year full of fun, friendship and plenty of learning.

While exciting, adjusting to new school schedules is a hectic time. Healthy habits are often forgotten as the focus shifts to studies, assignments and extracurriculars.

“Parents and caregivers can make a big difference in helping kids lead a healthy lifestyle during the back-to-school season and beyond,” says Deanna Segrave-Daly, a mom and registered dietitian. “A few proactive steps can set kids up for success in and out of the classroom.”

Segrave-Daly offers six easy ideas you can try to help encourage your kids to build healthy habits that last a lifetime:

Prioritize sleep

Sleep is something families often sacrifice due to busy schedules. Remember, kids need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development, according to the National Sleep Foundation. School-age children should strive for nine to 11 hours of sleep each night. Establish a nighttime routine and prioritize sleep every night.

Eat breakfast

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — especially for our kids. Help them jump-start their day with a quick breakfast of healthy foods like fruit, eggs and whole-grain cereal. For those busy mornings, grab fridge-free, GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ, made with real low-fat yogurt and fruit, for a wholesome option they can easily eat in the car or bus with a banana, toaster waffle or whole-wheat toast.

Encourage exercise

Kids should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hopefully some of this physical activity can take place during the school day, but there are lots of easy ways to build healthy activity into daily life at home. Make a habit of going on a family walk after dinner (a great chance to unwind and reconnect) or challenge kids to bring their books up the stairs or to another room one at a time. Take 10-minute “dance party” breaks during homework or see who can jump rope the longest.

Manage screen time

It’s important for families to be mindful of screen time for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids ages 2-5 limit screen use to one hour per day of high-quality programs. For children 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media and monitor the types of media used.

Snack well

Kids love to snack, and it’s important to keep nutritious options on hand for when hunger strikes — it helps them avoid emergency vending machine stops. Stock your pantry with healthier snacks like GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches. These fridge-free pouches, made from natural ingredients, are easy to grab on the way to soccer practice, music lessons or the playground. They’re also an easy lunchbox addition!

Adjust the attitude

Mental wellness is part of overall wellness. Keep in mind the power of a positive attitude toward education. Encourage kids to look at issues from different angles, appreciate diversity and be resilient. Have conversations with children and truly listen to their concerns to build trust and solve problems.

Finally, it’s the adult role models in a child’s life that really set them up for success.

“If you model healthy habits, your child is likely to follow your lead,” says Segrave-Daly. “Try to routinely eat well, sleep well, exercise and have conversations about the good and bad parts of your day. Your kids are paying attention even when it seems like they aren’t!”

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My Experience with Dog Flu: A Dog’s Point of View

(BPT) – Recently, I got really sick. I had just spent a fun-filled week with all my friends at doggie daycare while my family was on vacation. Shortly after they brought me home, I started coughing a lot. It was really hard to breathe and I started vomiting. I didn’t feel like eating anything and I was tired all of the time. I was miserable. One of my family members missed a couple days of work to try to nurse me back to health. One time we spent the whole night in the bathroom hoping the steam from the hot shower would help my nasty cough. I know it was hard for her as she has a busy job, but she was as scared as I was. When it was clear I wasn’t getting any better, my family decided to take me to my veterinarian, who ran some tests and found that I had contracted H3N2, a new strain of canine influenza (CIV), also known as dog flu.

What We Learned About Dog Flu

My family didn’t know anything about H3N2, but my vet said she was happy that they brought me in to see her. My vet knew a lot about dog flu and was able to answer all of our questions. We were surprised to learn that even though a lot of people don’t know about it, H3N2 has been spreading rapidly across the United States since the first case was reported in 2015. My vet also shared that:

* Social dogs like me, who go to doggie daycare, dog parks, groomers, or really anywhere that dogs, cats and humans come into contact with one another, are at the highest risk for exposure to and contracting dog flu

* Because most dogs have no natural immunity to this highly contagious disease, nearly every dog who comes across it will become infected

* H3N8, a relatively less intense strain of dog flu, has been in the United States for more than 13 years, but it can also spread very quickly, like the H3N2 strain

* In most dogs, dog flu manifests as some coughing, a runny nose and a slight decrease in appetite and energy

* H3N2 can also cause respiratory problems and vomiting, and serious cases of either strain can lead to pneumonia and even death in severe cases

* The common kennel cough vaccine doesn’t protect against dog flu

Dogs Are Social Animals – That Puts Us At Risk

One of my favorite things in the whole world is running around and playing with my friends at doggie daycare and at the dog park, as well as when I go get my bath, haircut and nails trimmed. My vet told us that this was probably how I got sick. Because we can have trouble letting our families know when we’re not feeling well, people may accidentally take contagious dogs out and about, inadvertently causing CIV to spread between dogs that come into contact. Even drinking out of the same water bowl or chewing on community dog toys can expose us to the disease.

However, my vet told my family that because of how contagious the dog flu is and because it can be contagious for up to three weeks, it was important that I stay home from the dog park, groomer or doggie daycare for a while. She compared it to how my little family members stay home from school when they’re sick, in order to keep their classmates healthy. I’m so glad my family listened to my vet—I certainly didn’t want to get any of my friends sick!

Prevention Is the Best Approach

When my vet gave us my diagnosis, she also said that there is no specific treatment or medicine for dog flu, so the best protection is vaccination. Most veterinarians recommend the dog flu vaccine. There is even a combination vaccine that helps to protect against both strains of dog flu, H3N2 and H3N8, which means one less shot for me!

If This Dog Could Talk: Tour to Prevent Dog Flu

Before we left my vet, she told us about the If This Dog Could Talk: Tour to Prevent Dog Flu and we downloaded a copy of the new tour album, created in collaboration with Merck Animal Health and The Dogist photographer Elias Weiss Friedman. The album contains hundreds of beautiful pictures of dogs and shares important information with pet parents about the dog flu. My family and I had so much fun looking at all of the photos and sharing them with our friends—many of whom also had never heard of dog flu before. We all learned about dog flu the hard way, but hopefully you won’t have to!

Visit dogflu.com to download the free tour album for you and the dog you love to see some amazing doggie photos and learn how to keep your pup safe, happy and healthy!

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A mother’s loss sheds light on need for better asthma control

(BPT) – For people living with asthma, managing the condition becomes part of their daily life. But some may not know that, in spite of their best efforts, their asthma may still be uncontrolled.

Benjamin Buckley was one of those people. Ben, as he was known, was just 7 years old when he died from asthma-related complications in 2014. Now, Ben’s mother, Cristin Buckley, is sharing his story in an effort to help raise awareness of just how serious asthma can be.

According to Cristin, it was a normal Saturday morning in the Buckley household. Ben went to his sister’s basketball game with the rest of the family, but when the game ended, Ben asked if he could go home and use his nebulizer, as he was experiencing an asthma attack.

Later that day, Cristin received a frantic call from her husband and daughter and came home to find Ben had collapsed in the driveway. Police and paramedics were already on the scene performing CPR. They were able to start Ben’s heart, but he was unconscious and not able to breathe on his own. He remained in a coma for five days until he passed away.

“What we didn’t realize was that Ben was using his rescue inhaler way more than he should have been. We were refilling it once a month,” said Cristin. “The pharmacy just kept refilling the prescription, so we didn’t think it was an issue. Looking back now, we know his asthma was uncontrolled.”

And it appears the Buckley family is not alone, as studies indicate that asthma is responsible for deaths every day in the United States, most of which are believed to occur in patients with uncontrolled asthma.

“Uncontrolled asthma can have a huge impact on a patient’s health,” said Dr. Purvi Parikh, a New York City-based allergist and immunologist and national spokesperson for the Allergy and Asthma Network. “Patients may not know the signs — but if someone is using their rescue inhaler more than twice a week, and their asthma is interrupting daily activities and sleep, they should really talk to their doctor immediately to assess if it is uncontrolled.”

Cristin’s number one priority today is that Ben’s asthmatic twin brother Adam, now 11 years old, is equipped to handle an attack on his own. To ensure he is prepared, Cristin takes Adam for his annual check-up with his allergist before the school year starts.

“Make sure their doctor takes the time to sit down and teach them how to properly use their inhaler,” Cristin said. “People think they can just put it in their mouth and take a few puffs and it works just fine, but so much medicine is wasted or doesn’t get into the lungs because they’re not taking a deep enough breath.”

Another one of her main priorities, particularly before school starts, is to make sure all of Adam’s inhalers have enough medicine in them. As such, Cristin relies on inhalers fitted with dose counters to help both her and Adam better manage his asthma. A dose counter works by showing the user exactly how many doses are left in the inhaler — similar to looking at a bottle of pills to see how much medicine is left.

“I think dose counters are one of the best things ever invented,” Cristin said. “Before they were integrated into inhalers, you were blindly leading your child. You had no idea how much medicine was left.”

Dr. Parikh also noted that the addition of a dose counter to asthma management can create a helpful dialogue between patients and their doctors. She explained how the dose counter allows the doctor to see how much medicine has been used since the previous visit and determine if a patient is using their rescue inhaler too frequently.

“When using an inhaler that does not include a dose counter, you really are taking a gamble on your life,” said Cristin.

For additional information on the importance of dose counters, visit KnowYourCount.com, and for more on Ben and Cristin’s story, visit www.BenWasHere.org.

Mrs. Buckley has been compensated for her time in contributing this program.

RESP-41523

August 2017

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3 activities to help you move safely after knee surgery


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(BPT) – Most patients undergoing knee surgery want to know when they’ll be able to return to a pain-free, active lifestyle and do the things they once enjoyed before knee pain took over. For 58-year-old Kathleen Cohan, this meant a desire to return to mountain biking, hiking and skiing — activities she had always loved to do as a youth and continued to enjoy with her husband in their hometown of Golden, Colorado.

Cohan recently participated in a clinical trial to treat persistent knee pain caused by a meniscus tear. After receiving the NUsurface Meniscus Implant — the first “artificial meniscus” — she completed a six-week rehabilitation program and was ready to return to doing the things she loved.

“The NUsurface Meniscus Implant changed my life. It feels great to not have to worry before I choose an activity about how much pain I’ll be in afterward,” Cohan says. “My husband and I recently went on a 100-mile mountain bike trip, and I climbed a 14,000-foot peak last month and my knee didn’t bother me at all. The implant gave me a chance to extend my activity level as long as I possibly can.”

Three months after surgery, most patients have completely recovered and are able to return to many activities that were too painful or difficult previously. Once you’ve been cleared by your doctor, the safest way to restart activity after meniscus surgery is to find activities that avoid placing unnecessary stress on your knee joint. Here are three activities to help you move safely after knee surgery:

1. Walk (don’t run!). Experts say walking outside your home three to five times each day is one of the best ways to regain your knee strength. While you may need to adjust the length of your step and speed, you will be able to spend more time walking for exercise once your muscle strength improves.

2. Dance. While you should avoid high-impact moves like jumping or lifts, ballroom dancing and gentle modern dancing are great ways to use leg muscles, engage in aerobic activity and have fun! Just be sure to avoid abrupt movements or twists that could potentially put your knee out of alignment.

3. Swim. Once the wound has healed, many people choose swimming as their exercise of choice as it’s not a weight-bearing activity and therefore reduces stress to the joints. If your knee is still a bit tender, opt for water aerobics or pool walking.

Want to mix it up? You can feel safe doing many other recommended activities such as yoga, golf, boating, aerobics or rowing. If you have experience prior to your surgery doing more intense activities, like Cohan, your doctor may give you the go-ahead to resume cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing and doubles tennis. Whichever activity you choose, remember that rushing into activities before you’ve recovered sufficiently may put you at risk for complications, so be sure to check with your doctor first before resuming any activity after meniscus surgery.

To be eligible for the NUsurface Meniscus Implant clinical studies, you must be between the ages of 30 and 75, and have pain after medial (the inside of the knee) meniscus surgery at least six months ago. To find a study site near you, visit www.activeimplants.com/kneepaintrial.

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Integrated care team gives hope back to dialysis patient

(BPT) – Six years ago, Francis Hogan was doing what he loved most: playing golf. After his usual game, his ankle was swollen and painful. When he visited the doctor, he discovered the swelling wasn’t because of an injury. Something was seriously wrong.

Hogan’s kidneys were failing. He was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a condition that scarred his kidneys, leading to kidney failure. He needed to start dialysis or receive a transplant to survive. After a failed transplant, Hogan began dialysis treatments.

“Dialysis patients like Mr. Hogan typically spend 12 hours a week on a machine that cleans their blood because their kidneys can’t,” said Bryan Becker, MD, a nephrologist who leads DaVita’s integrated kidney care (IKC) programs. “This will likely be his reality for the rest of his life.”

With kidney failure, Mr. Hogan’s risk for hospitalizations increased: Most dialysis patients spend about 11 days a year in the hospital. Hogan also struggled to track his more than 20 pills — the average daily number of pills for dialysis patients.

Hogan gained access to DaVita’s ESRD seamless care organization (ESCO), an IKC program for Medicare patients, in Warminster, Pennsylvania. ESCOs are groups of dialysis centers, nephrologists and other clinicians working together to coordinate care across the health care continuum for dialysis patients.

Hogan’s care team includes a nurse practitioner and registered nurse in addition to his nephrologist and dialysis center staff. Care team coordination is an essential aspect of the ESCO care model, especially for interactions between dialysis center staff and care team members outside the center.

Teams have frequent meetings to discuss each patient’s health and mitigate potential issues. For example, Hogan’s team was able to reduce his daily pills in half by coordinating with his other specialists to create a better prescription plan.

DaVita, in particular, focuses on caring for the whole patient, a benefit Hogan saw after transitioning back to his dialysis center from a routine surgical procedure. In addition to managing Hogan’s post-discharge follow-up for a seamless transition, the team noticed something was different about him.

“He wasn’t interested in conversation and wouldn’t say his usual ‘Good morning!’” said Debbie Abbonizio, Hogan’s nurse practitioner. “He often lost his words, wasn’t hungry and couldn’t walk short distances without stopping.”

The care team met consistently to identify the root cause of his symptoms. After ruling out several possible diagnoses, the team realized Hogan’s recommended target weight for post-dialysis treatment was too high. Extra fluid was accumulating in his body and toxic waste was gathering in his bloodstream, causing his symptoms.

The care team slowly decreased the extra fluid in Hogan’s body. Hogan soon regained his health and began to greet his care team with a cheerful “Good morning!” again. Without the additional resources provided through DaVita’s ESCO, Hogan may have slipped through the cracks and been hospitalized repeatedly.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of the ESCO, where I have a team observing and supporting me daily,” Hogan said. “It gives me confidence about my ability to manage my condition. Every patient should get this kind of care.”

Hogan is grateful to feel better so he can spend more quality time with the love of his life, Carol, his wife of 57 years.

“Currently less than 10 percent of dialysis patients on Medicare have access to IKC programs such as ESCOs,” said Dr. Becker. “Yet these programs can make a significant impact on patients’ health-related quality of life. Why not make them available to all Medicare patients on dialysis?”

To learn more about DaVita’s IKC programs, visit VillageHealth.com.

The statements contained in this document are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CMS. The authors assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in this document.

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Are you safe from BPA? The answer may surprise you

(BPT) – Based on how much you’ve heard about bisphenol A (BPA) in recent news articles, it would be perfectly understandable if you concluded that BPA is public enemy No. 1. It’s apparently everywhere at unsafe levels, and there is no way to escape.

Or is there? There must be somewhere we can go to avoid being harmed, but where? You will find the answer in a peer-reviewed study that was just published in the scientific journal Environmental Pollution.

At the outset, the researchers note, “[t]o evaluate BPA’s potential risk to health, it is important to know human daily intake.” After all, too much of almost anything would pose a risk to health. What we need to know is how much BPA people are actually exposed to and whether those levels pose a risk to health.

What the researchers realized is that an enormous amount of data on exposure to BPA is already available. It just wasn’t all in the same place where it could be most useful, until now.

It’s well known that people quickly eliminate BPA from the body through urine after exposure. Measuring BPA in urine is considered the best way to evaluate exposure to BPA since what goes in (i.e., exposure) comes out in urine where it’s easy to measure.

What the researchers did was search the scientific literature for studies that measured levels of BPA in urine. They found more than just a few studies: “[i]n total, we obtained over 140 peer-reviewed publications, which contained over 85,000 data [points] for urinary BPA concentrations derived from 30 countries.”

The researchers then sorted the data by age group (adult men and non-pregnant women, pregnant women and children) and country to assess where in the world exposure levels were safe or unsafe. That assessment was done by comparison of exposure levels with safe intake limits set by government bodies worldwide.

The results may surprise you: “[i]t is evident that the national and global estimated human BPA daily intakes in this study are two to three orders of magnitude lower than that of the TDI [Tolerable Daily Intake]…recommended by several countries.” In other words, actual exposure to BPA is hundreds to thousands of times below the safe intake limit.

Due to the large volume of data, the researchers considered their results to be representative, meaning they can be relied upon as an accurate measure of exposure to BPA worldwide. The results also provide very strong support for the views of government bodies worldwide on the safety of BPA.

For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) answers the question “Is BPA safe?” with the unequivocal answer “Yes.” Similarly, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated “BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group (including unborn children, infants and adolescents) at current exposure levels.”

So, to return to where we started, where in the world are you safe from BPA? Based on the data, and a lot of it, the answer is very simple — everywhere.

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4 back-to-school basics for a successful school year

(BPT) – With the summer months starting to cool, one thing is certain — it’s time to store the beach toys for next summer and dust off the backpacks and notebooks for the upcoming school year. Whether back-to-school season means returning to the routine of nightly homework or packing lunches in the morning, one thing that helps ensure the school year starts off safely and successfully is polycarbonate plastic made from bisphenol A (BPA).

BPA is a building block chemical used to make a certain kind of plastic known as polycarbonate, which has properties that make many of the items we use throughout the school year safe, durable and reliable. Polycarbonate makes products, like lab goggles or eyeglasses, lightweight and clear. Plus, polycarbonate’s shatter-resistant nature makes it all the more useful to keep classrooms productive and safe.

Take a look at our list of back-to-school basics to see how BPA is used in popular items to start the school year off right:

Sports equipment
For aspiring fall sport varsity athletes, polycarbonate is especially important. Strong, shatter-resistant polycarbonate is used to make helmets, sports safety goggles and visors used in football and lacrosse to keep athletes safe and performing at the top of their game.

Eyeglasses
When hitting the books hard, sometimes your eyes need a helping hand. Polycarbonate is used in lenses, making them highly shatter-resistant and extremely lightweight. This means looking cool and having a comfortable wear, while being protected from accidental mishaps in a book bag.

Electronic equipment
Accidents happen, but thanks to polycarbonate, students can avoid disaster. Laptops, tablets and cell phones are durable and break-resistant, and polycarbonate films help to prevent scratches on the screens.

Lab safety goggles
To prevent accidental injury to the eyes, lab safety goggles are an essential part of every school’s science projects. Polycarbonate gives these goggles their clear, shatter-resistant and lightweight properties.

Products made with polycarbonate help keep us (and our students) safe and set for a successful school year, and using BPA to make the polycarbonate for these products is safe as well. BPA is one of the most widely studied chemicals in use today, and government agencies around the world, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have all agreed: BPA is safe in consumer products.

So clear out the cobwebs in your backpack, and stock up on these back-to-school basics to set yourself up for a successful school year.

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Age ferociously with this eating game plan

(BPT) – A healthy diet and lifestyle are our best weapons against age-related diseases, and for staying healthy and active throughout life.

Becci Twombley is sports dietitian for USC Athletics and Angels Baseball, overseeing the nutrition of 650 collegiate athletes and the 200 MLB and minor league baseball players within the Angels organization. The healthy practices she employs to keep her athletes fighting strong also apply as preventative measures for staying fit and active as we age.

“It’s vital at any age to adopt good habits to live a long and healthy life,” says Twombley. “Exercise and move 30 minutes a day and along with that, pay attention to what you put in your body.” Twombley’s prevention plan against age-related illnesses and conditions starts with a “food first” approach.

Diet has a profound impact on two of the leading causes of age-related illnesses and conditions: inflammation and being overweight, according to Twombley. “Maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels are two of the most important things anyone can do, along with keeping one’s weight under control.”

Eating a healthy diet does not need to be a chore, she claims. It is all a question of smart choices. Picking the right foods not only makes a difference in health risks, but also positively affects performance throughout the day at work and at home. While the answer is not in a single food, or even a handful, adding nutrient-rich foods like these Twombley recommends, and calls the “All Americans” of the functional food group, is part of a winning game plan.

Pistachios

Pistachios are a multitasking nut that has proteins and healthy fats, as well as three types of antioxidants. Those antioxidants help to decrease blood pressure and allow for good muscle recovery. Large population studies show that people who regularly eat nuts, such as pistachios, have a substantial lower risk of dying from heart disease or suffering a heart attack. Pistachios may protect from heart disease in part by improving blood cholesterol levels. Pistachios contain relatively high levels of the amino acid L-arginine, which maintains the arteries’ flexibility and enhances healthy blood flow by boosting nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes blood vessels. They’re also good for the eyes and skin, and have been found to positively promote weight maintenance.

Cherry juice

Twombley serves tart cherry juice to her athletes after their workouts as its targeted antioxidants help with muscle recovery, improving recovery time. In addition, it boosts sleep quality to help prevent anxiety and stress later on in the day.

Greek yogurt

Plain Greek yogurt is a nutrient-packed snack that has many health benefits. High in protein, it can boost energy and muscle mass, which decreases as we age. It can also benefit digestive health if it contains probiotics. Check the label to see if it contains live and active cultures.

Beets

The deep red root vegetable increases the size of blood vessels, thereby improving the flow of oxygen that can get to muscles and tissues. For anyone with high blood pressure or suffering from cardiovascular disease, this is a good food to include.

Milk

A good hydration beverage that has protein, vitamin D and calcium like we often hear, milk also contains electrolytes for good muscle contraction.

Salmon and grass-fed beef

Both of these are high in omega-3, which is a really good healthy fat profile for overall heart health. They also decrease inflammation in the long term. Inflammation causes a lot of the diseases we fear as we age, whether it’s diabetes or cardiovascular health.

Beyond these foods Twombley identifies, the noted nutritionist has more tips for healthy eating.

* Look for different colors of foods at different times. Make sure they’re incorporated throughout the day.

* Eat often and in a good portion size.

* Shop for high quality whenever possible and pay attention to ingredients.

* Maintain balance. Make sure your plate has carbohydrate, protein and healthy fat in the correct amounts. Add fruits and vegetables to that to get the antioxidants.

* And finally, have a plan. Plan out what you’re going to eat that day and stick to it.

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How to Tackle a Dust-Free Renovation


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(BPT) – Kristen Johnson* loved her home, her family and their active lifestyle. She’d never want to change a thing — except for her foyer and adjoining dining room. When she and her husband first moved into their home, they had intended to refinish the hardwood floors in those areas in a darker stain to better fit their style, but life got in the way. Twelve years, two boys and countless birthday parties, pets and indoor soccer games later, their floors were covered in scuffs, scratches and stains, and some of their walls needed repair. To complicate matters even further, they had a wraparound staircase with a wood-tone banister that would also need to be refinished if they decided to change their floor.

With their big family reunion and a house full of people just weeks away, Johnson and her husband knew it was time to make a change. However, they couldn’t afford to disrupt their busy schedules, and they didn’t want to deal with the hassle of renovation dust getting all over their ceiling fans, cupboards or worse — especially with their son’s dust allergies. They knew if they decided to take on this renovation project, they’d need it finished quickly, and they’d need the entire project to be as dust-free as possible.

What’s the big deal about renovation dust? Beyond creating a huge mess, renovation dust is also a health concern. As any homeowner who has embarked on an interior renovation project knows, the resultant dust gets everywhere — even inside closed cabinets and in adjacent rooms. However, as problematic as the mess is, dust-related health hazards are of even greater concern, particularly to allergy sufferers. Traditional methods of mitigating dust usually involve extensive prep work, like hanging plastic sheeting and taping off doors, or doing a thorough post-renovation top-to-bottom cleaning. Both options are extremely time-consuming.

Is there a better way to handle renovation dust? There is a better way to handle renovation dust: by collecting it right at the source like the pros do. Professional contractors are used to dealing with renovation dust, and given the volume of work they do, they create dust far more frequently and in much greater volumes than the average homeowner or DIYer. Rather than spend valuable time on prep work or post-project cleanup or suffer through the use of uncomfortable dust masks, they use dust collection tools that capture and contain dust immediately as it’s created, before it can become a mess or airborne health hazard.

How Johnson tackled her dust-free renovation. Because of their tight timeline, Johnson and her husband decided to take on some of their renovation themselves using supplies purchased at their local hardware store, but they let the professionals handle the tricky floor/banister redo.

To repair their drywall, they patched the damaged areas using joint compound and a drywall sander, which together cost about $130. To make the sanding process dust-free, they added a Dust Deputy, which they connected directly to the drywall sander and to their wet/dry vacuum. They found that this combination captured virtually all the dust generated by the sanding. They noticed no dust in the air, and the Dust Deputy prevented the fine drywall dust from clogging their vacuum filter.

Even though they had the flooring contractor tackle the floor and banister, they saved a few dollars by removing the varnish from the banister and other hard-to-reach areas themselves. To do this, they applied a gel varnish remover using a brush (together about $20), then scraped the wet varnish residue using a Viper Scraper attached to their Dust Deputy and wet/dry vacuum. The scraper captured the residue, and the Dust Deputy contained it for disposal, without it ever reaching, or damaging, their vacuum.

Their big splurge was on the floor refinishing, which they left to the pros to tackle (about $2,500). To keep that process dust-free, they selected a dust-free contractor in their area who used a cyclonic Oneida Vortex dust collection system with HEPA filtration. In the end, they finished the project virtually dust-free and just in time for their family reunion, and they were very pleased with the results!

*Kristen’s last name has been changed for privacy.

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