shutterstock_165713165-4288

Road salt means safe roads

(BPT) – State and municipal departments of transportation are gearing up their winter maintenance plans to prepare for snow and ice. In addition to plows, road salt is an important tool to keep roads clear. Every year these agencies stockpile sufficient salt to last the winter season and store it in strategically placed barns.

“Snowfighters” (those responsible to clear snow from roadways) are out in force in salt trucks before snow and ice is expected. They pretreat the roads with salt brine, a mix of road salt and water. This brine sticks to the road surface and helps prevent ice from forming in the first place, making winter travel safer. And the safety issue is a substantial one. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show that there are about 115,000 people injured every year on snowy, slushy or icy pavements and more than 1,600 people killed each year on winter roads.

The good news is that a Marquette University study showed that a good winter maintenance program that uses road salt reduces accidents on winter roads by about 88 percent and can reduce injuries by up to 85 percent.

A key goal for many agencies is tracking their winter maintenance actions in great detail and ensuring that their actions are optimized to meet their goal of safe roads for the driving public. In Idaho, for example, new salt-spreading units allow them to track how much salt they apply to the road, and other sensors allow them to check that the road is responding as expected to the salt application, and is not getting slippery. This also helps reduce costs. They have seen a 29 percent reduction in annual winter maintenance costs since introducing the new technology.

Maintaining mobility is also a big concern, as people need to get to work or the grocery store and kids need to get to school. Clear roads allow ambulances and other emergency vehicles to perform their life-saving services. A study for the American Highway Users Alliance found that the cost of having roads closed down is substantial — between $300 million and $700 million a day for a state in direct and indirect earnings. One study suggested that the costs of maintaining the road system during a winter storm are completely recovered in the first 25 minutes of winter-maintenance activities, because of the improvements in safety and mobility that the improved road conditions bring about.

Care for the environment is also a key issue in safe and sustainable snowfighting. Several studies have shown that when road salt is properly applied at the right time and place to keep roadways safe and passable, environmental impacts can be effectively managed and minimized. Modern roadways are not a natural feature of the environment and are specifically engineered to satisfy our demand for personal and commercial mobility — factors that are basic to the quality of life.

A comprehensive study by environmental researchers at the University of Waterloo and Environment Canada found that when best practices, as outlined in Canada’s Road Salt Code of Practice, were used, chloride levels were reduced by half. Another study by the Guelph University Research Review found that recycling stormwater runoff could reduce chloride peaks in streams without adversely affecting road safety. In cooperation with the city of Toronto, researchers used the EPA Storm Water Management Model to design computer-controlled stormwater containment systems to serve as a guide for future mitigation applications.

Salt is our most important winter resource, because it saves lives and protects the economy. It is economical and extremely effective.

Read more

Breathe easier with smart tips for an allergy-free home

(BPT) – Stuffy and runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose and eyes — having fall allergies can be miserable. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), more than 60 million Americans suffer from asthma and allergies, and nearly 70 percent of U.S. households are affected by indoor allergens.

While you can’t control Mother Nature, you can help control the indoor environment. On average, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, where the concentrations of some pollutants are two to five times higher than typical outdoor concentrations.

Your home should be a haven for you and your family, not a trigger for allergies and asthma. To help everyone breathe easier and increase indoor air quality, consider these smart and simple ideas:

Be smart with bedding

To ensure you sleep well and can breathe easy all night long, invest in allergen-barrier bedding and pillow covers. Wash all sheets, blankets, pillowcases and bedcovers in hot water that is at least 130 F to kill dust mites and remove allergens, recommends the Mayo Clinic. For items that can’t be washed (e.g., some children’s stuffed toys), place in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at a temperature above 130 F.

Buy confident and seek certification

From vacuums to cleaning products, flooring to humidifiers, look for the asthma & allergy friendly(R) Certification Program seal of approval. The program, administered by AAFA in partnership with the international research organization Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), is an independent program created to scientifically test and identify products that are better for people with asthma and allergies.

Install a whole-home air cleaner

Home air cleaners work with your existing duct work to filter out nearly all allergens. For example, CleanEffects(TM) whole home air cleaner from Trane(R) removes up to 99.98 percent of allergens like household dust , mold spores and certain bacteria and viruses so you don’t have to worry about breathing in harmful bacteria or allergy triggers. What’s more, it’s the first whole home air cleaner to receive the asthma & allergy(R) Certification.

Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum often

No matter the type of flooring in your home, vacuum regularly with a HEPA-filtered vacuum to remove the maximum amount of allergens possible. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends vacuuming daily in high-traffic or pet areas, vacuuming twice weekly in medium-traffic areas and vacuuming weekly in light-traffic areas, using attachments at carpet edges.

Hire professional carpet cleaners

Many people with allergies choose to remove carpets and replace them with hardwood or tile flooring that doesn’t collect allergens as quickly. However, this is not always possible, so if you have carpet in your home, regularly hire professional carpet cleaners to deeply clean carpet to remove embedded particles and other allergy triggers lurking within.

Choose VOC-free paints

Craving a new wall color? When buying paint, look for VOC-free options. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds and these can trigger allergies. To ensure nobody in your family gets itchy eyes or a runny nose when they spend time in your remodeled space, shop smart and always choose VOC-free paints.

These simple tips should dramatically impact your indoor air quality. That means every time your family is at home, everyone can breathe deep and feel their best.

Read more
Friends-5184

Busting myths and misconceptions about osteoporosis

(BPT) – One in two women over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture caused by osteoporosis in her remaining lifetime. Despite its prevalence, there are many myths and misconceptions about this “silent” disease. These myths may be a reason why osteoporosis is underdiagnosed and undertreated.

A fragility fracture (breaking a bone by falling from a standing height or lower) can impact day-to-day life, but it can also be an indicator for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. When you have osteoporosis, even daily tasks such as taking your dog for a walk can put you at risk for a fragility fracture of the wrist, leg or even hip. But, a startling 82 percent of postmenopausal women did not identify such fractures as a possible risk factor for osteoporosis, according to results from a recent online survey of over 1,000 postmenopausal women conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Radius Health, in partnership with HealthyWomen and the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

That first fracture should be your cue to talk to your health care professional about treatment options that may lower your risk of breaking a bone again.

“It is critical that postmenopausal women do not dismiss seemingly insignificant fragility fractures as ‘clumsiness,’ but instead see them as an important indicator for bone fragility, disease progression and the need for intervention,” says Dr. Andrea Singer, MD, FACP, CCD, clinical director and trustee of the National Osteoporosis Foundation.

This is just one myth about osteoporosis. There are many others, including:

Myth: Osteoporosis only affects the elderly.

Truth: Osteoporosis often affects women after menopause. Natural menopause can occur as early as age 50. The rate of bone loss after menopause is increased with the accompanying loss of estrogen. Osteoporosis is a progressive disease that lowers the density of bones over time, making them weaker and more likely to fracture.

Myth: Osteoporosis isn’t very common.

Truth: Ten million Americans are estimated to have osteoporosis, and more than 8 million of those are women.

Myth: Osteoporosis isn’t that serious.

Truth: More women over the age of 55 were hospitalized in the United States for osteoporosis-related fractures than for stroke, heart attack or breast cancer. Yet, according to the survey, postmenopausal women were more likely to be concerned with a diagnosis of stroke, heart attack and breast cancer than osteoporosis.

Myth: Health care providers will tell you when it’s time to test for osteoporosis.

Truth: Research suggests only 2 in 10 older women in the United States who suffer a fracture are tested or treated for osteoporosis. Furthermore, according to the survey, 96 percent of postmenopausal women who have not yet been diagnosed with osteoporosis and who suffered a fragility fracture were not told by their health care provider it could be linked to osteoporosis.

Myth: Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is enough to treat osteoporosis.

Truth: About 3 in 10 postmenopausal women incorrectly believe that drinking milk or taking calcium supplements alone will prevent osteoporotic fractures/breaks, the survey found. While getting enough calcium and vitamin D is critical to keep bones strong, it may not be enough when it comes to treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, especially after a fracture. It’s important to learn about osteoporosis and talk to your health care professional.

Myth: There is no way to build new bone after menopause.

Truth: About one-quarter of postmenopausal women incorrectly believe there is no way to build new bone at their age, the survey found. The truth is that certain types of treatment for postmenopausal osteoporosis can help build new bone, while others help slow bone loss.

Separating the truths from the myths is an important step in pursuing appropriate care for bone health after menopause. To get more information about osteoporosis, visit the Fractured Truth website at www.fracturedtruths.com. To learn more and find a community of supportive women, visit the Fractured Truth Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FracturedTruth.

Read more
430_3309502-1300

People with reduced kidney function miss this important warning sign

(BPT) – Anyone with a chronic disease knows the importance of monitoring personal health data to keep on top of one’s disease. If you suffer from heart disease, for example, you watch your cholesterol and blood pressure closely, and if you are diabetic, you monitor your blood sugar.

People suffering from reduced kidney function have important health measures to monitor — key among these is their potassium level. Not knowing and keeping track of this important health measure could have serious, and even fatal consequences.

The dangers of high potassium

A naturally existing mineral, potassium is an essential nutrient that helps your body regulate its fluid levels, balance other minerals in the cells and contract your muscles. Potassium can even help lower your blood pressure by warding off the potentially harmful effects of sodium.

However, like sodium, potassium can be harmful to the body if levels in the blood become too high. Because 90 percent of all excess potassium is released through the kidneys, people suffering from reduced kidney function or chronic kidney disease are at an increased risk of suffering from the complications of high potassium. The condition of high potassium is otherwise known as hyperkalemia, and failure to treat it can result in abnormal heart rhythms and even sudden death.

Raising awareness

Despite the potential for serious complications, awareness and understanding of the dangers of high potassium remains low. A new online survey of 488 patients conducted by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) and Relypsa Inc. finds that 50 percent of the respondents — all of whom have chronic kidney disease — said high potassium was very important to them personally, ranking ahead of heart disease and anemia, diabetes and high cholesterol. Yet while patients said their concern over their potassium levels was real, 80 percent stated they did not know their potassium level. Thirty percent had never heard the term hyperkalemia and 53 percent had no idea what it meant.

In addition, there was a clear gap in perception of the treatment needs associated with high potassium. Although 68 percent of those surveyed had been living with high potassium levels for more than a year, 71 percent felt that managing their high potassium levels was a short-term issue.

Establishing a baseline for future treatment

High potassium poses a potentially serious threat, and 38 percent of respondents report they have needed emergency care because of high levels of potassium in their blood. However, despite potential danger, symptoms of high potassium can be difficult to spot and are sometimes nonexistent. In cases where warning signs do appear, a person may feel shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea or vomiting, heart palpitations or muscle paralysis. However, an absence of any of these symptoms does not always mean a person’s potassium levels are within healthy guidelines.

Patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease and other reduced kidney function complications are at an increased risk for high potassium complications and cannot ignore this potential danger. If you suffer from such a condition, talk to your doctor about the dangers of high potassium. A simple blood test can determine your current potassium levels and your doctor can help you develop a treatment regimen to lower and/or manage your potassium levels.

Make the call today. Because your potassium levels are simply too important not to monitor.

Read more
35115227163_2375494fc3_o-3000

4 ways to take back control from breast cancer

(BPT) – It is no secret that dealing with breast cancer is hard. It can turn lives upside down, inspiring concerns on topics as wide-ranging as maintaining daily routines, paying for treatment and life expectancy. Underlying it all is its emotional toll. According to a survey by Ford Warriors in Pink, 44 percent of breast cancer patients report needing help maintaining a positive outlook, while 43 percent report needing help maintaining their self-confidence. As supporters, we want to alleviate the burdens on our loved ones, yet only 28 percent of Americans say they know how to best support a patient during and after treatment.

Although the emotional journey of cancer is complex and there is no one-size-fits-all solution, there are ways you can help those experiencing it feel more in control of their situation. Encourage your loved ones to engage in activities that nourish their spirit and support them in pursuing avenues for self-care to help them maintain a positive outlook on life.

Expand your world. Many patients feel as though breast cancer takes hold of their life as its own. Remind your loved one that cancer is not the center of their world by encouraging them to pursue their passions. “Amidst chemo and radiation, you’re constantly finishing battles. But when life is constantly pushing you down, you need more wins. So I decided to hike through the rainforest in Colombia immediately post radiation,” says breast cancer survivor Lara Mehanna. Participating in new experiences — even those in your own hometown — can allow those who have been touched by breast cancer to refocus on their spirit. Treat your loved one to an experience that aligns with their interests, like a local pottery or cooking class, to provide a much-needed outlet as they continue their fight.

Create peace of mind. Mindful meditation is one method of self-care that helps lower anxiety and stress. As part of her “integrated care” treatment plan, breast cancer survivor Ana Mostaccero practiced meditation and visualization exercises prior to surgery. “Doing these exercises helped me to not only reduce stress, but to begin practicing an all-around mindful life with heightened perspective and appreciation for what my mind and body were experiencing.” Help your loved one tap into their own inner peace by making meditation easily accessible to them. Popular personal meditation app Headspace offers meditations specific to every phase of the cancer journey.

Channel your chi. Breast cancer often brings feelings of being betrayed by your body. “It took a long time to learn to trust my body again,” says survivor Amber Tumbow. “For so long it felt like my own body turned against me in a constant state of battle. I began practicing yoga, and slowly but surely I was able to feel more in control.” Because yoga is a gentle exercise with a variety of modifications, it can be a manageable exercise for patients at different stages of their journey. Start a regular yoga practice with your loved one to encourage regular activity, keep them motivated, and help them reconnect with their bodies. Look for programs like the Wanderlust 21-Day Challenge that can be done at home and are designed especially with breast cancer patients in mind.

Empower with community. Cancer can feel alienating. While patients undoubtedly appreciate the support of family and friends, they can also feel like no one understands what they are going through. Connecting with others who have also experienced cancer can help patients feel less alone. “The greatest blessing was support from fellow survivors, the Models of Courage community,” shares survivor Jessica Ayers. “Being diagnosed so young, I felt alone. Hearing the stories of those who had gone through the same thing as me, and seeing their strength as they offered support, advice and love completely changed my outlook on my disease. It turned me into a warrior.”

No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to let your loved ones know that you are there to support them, on days good and bad. By doing so, you can provide vital support for making your loved one’s journey just a little bit easier. For free patient support resources such as Headspace meditations and the Wanderlust 21-day yoga challenge visit www.fordcares.com.

Read more
Organic-becomes-mainstream-robinson-fresh-8000

Meet today’s organic shopper

The organics category is growing 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 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
“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.
Millennials, Generation X and baby boomers all show a preference for organic produce.
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
Here are the main factors people cite when asked why they go organic:
* 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 information on the buying habits surrounding conventional and organic produce, visit the Robinson Fresh website at www.robinsonfresh.com.

(BPT) –

Read more
BYP Sept. Release Photo-2199

You need more fruits and veggies: 5 easy ways to get there

(BPT) – Most Americans understand the importance of including a variety of fruits and vegetables into their diets, but finding inspiration and fresh ideas for incorporating them into everyday meals can be challenging.

Research shows that only 10 percent of Americans are meeting the MyPlate recommendations for daily intake of fruits and veggies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a rule of thumb, half the foods you eat for any given meal should be made up of fruits and veggies — preferably ones incorporating a range of different colors and nutrients.

Daily meal planning is made easier if you turn to your freezer for a little help. Balancing your plate with frozen meals and pizzas and adding fresh side dishes is a simple solution that can help make you feel good about what you’re eating, even with a hectic schedule. Choose your favorite frozen prepared foods and pizzas as the foundation, add side dishes made with fresh fruit and vegetables and you have a balanced meal that is both delicious and nutritious.

Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate educational program aims to help you put together delicious and nutritious meals that incorporate frozen and fresh foods. The website, www.nestleusa.com/balance, provides information, tips and recipes to help consumers create easy, balanced meals that meet dietary guidelines.

Here are some quick and easy tips for including more fruits and veggies in your diet:

1. Chop, eat, repeat. Not into cooking? Simply buy whatever looks good, wash it, cut into slices and enjoy, perhaps dipping it into salad dressing or a yogurt dip.

2. Shop the frozen-food aisle. Delicious and easy-to-prepare frozen foods such as DiGiorno pizzeria! thin Margherita pizza or Lean Cuisine Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Ravioli provide your family plenty of wholesome meals without requiring lengthy prep time. Simply pair with tasty side dishes made with fruits and vegetables for a balanced meal.

3. Divide and conquer. Each Sunday night mix your favorite veggies into a big salad bowl with a cover, combining Romaine and iceberg lettuce with darker green varieties and throwing in other tasty ingredients that will motivate you to want more; consider slices of grilled meat or shrimp, boiled eggs, or small amounts of nuts, cheeses, dried fruit, etc. Then divide the mix into individual plastic containers for the week’s lunches.

4. Top it off. As soon as your favorite frozen pizza comes out of the oven, boost its nutrient punch by adding pieces of fresh tomato, basil, pineapple, spinach or arugula.

5. Stir it in. Add complementary veggies to your favorite comfort food, like Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese. Suggested stir-ins: roasted broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots or butternut squash.

Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate offers two delicious side dish recipes that, when served with your favorite frozen prepared foods, create a perfectly balanced meal you and your family will love.

Arugula and Roasted Pear Salad with Toasted Walnuts

Pairs well with DiGiorno pizzeria! thin Margherita

(Recipe from Hungry Couple of Tasting Spoon Media)

Recipe

4 cups arugula

2 pears

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

* Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

* Slice the pears vertically and scoop out the seeds with a spoon or melon baller. Spread the walnut halves on one side of the baking sheet and layer the pear slices on the other. Place in the oven for about 5 minutes, toss the nuts and flip the pears. Continue roasting for an additional 5 minutes.

* Make the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and mustard until fully combined. Season with salt and pepper.

* Assemble the salad by adding the arugula to a large bowl or platter. Top with the roasted pear slices, sprinkle on the walnuts and drizzle with the dressing.

Simple Kale Salad

Pairs well with Lean Cuisine Ricotta Cheese & Spinach Ravioli

(Recipe from Loop88)

Recipe

2 medium bunches kale, stemmed and roughly chopped

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

Sea salt

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions

Dress kale with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt, then top with red onion, feta cheese and toasted walnuts.

For more recipes, information and meal ideas, visit www.nestleusa.com/balance.

Read more
Eugene Ahn-4288

Clinical trials and the vital role they play in furthering cancer research

(BPT) – The world of health care is one of constant innovation and discovery. New drugs, treatments and ideas are needed to combat the various health problems Americans face every single day. It is an ever-evolving challenge, and as health concerns are conquered, one constant threat remains: Cancer.

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), cancer will be the leading cause of death by 2030. Even as advances in radiation, chemotherapy and surgical procedures have improved outcomes immensely, now more than ever, additional research is needed. This research comes from many sources, but the most effective way to obtain such valuable information is through clinical trials.

What is a cancer clinical trial?

Cancer clinical trials help researchers determine if a treatment option or drug is safe and effective against certain cancers. Today’s drug development strategies typically incorporate precision medicine approaches into their research platform. Clinical trials are traditionally conducted in four phases.

In phase I trials, a small group of participants are tested to determine the safety of a drug as well as the appropriate dosage and side effects. Phase II trials are similar but involve more participants and test how well a treatment works. Phase III trials enroll even more people—typically in the hundreds or thousands—and usually compare a trial drug to the current standard of care treatment. In many cases, this is the last step before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves the drug as a treatment option.

Finally, phase IV trials are undertaken after the FDA has approved a drug. This final stage continues to research the long-term side effects or benefits of drug use.

The latest trials spur the latest advancements

While many trials research specific drugs targeting specific cancers, the possibility exists to conduct such research in a broader format.

“The Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization Registry (TAPUR) Study is the first-ever clinical trial by ASCO,” says Eugene Ahn, MD, medical director of clinical research at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Midwestern) in Zion, Ill. “This trial aims to improve our understanding of how commercially available anti-cancer drugs perform on a broader range of cancers by matching drugs to tumors with specific genomic mutations that the drugs are designed to target regardless of their location in the body.”

Each of the targeted therapies included in the study has already been approved by the FDA to treat specific cancers. This trial will collect data on how these anti-cancer drugs perform on patients with advanced cancer types when used outside of their FDA-approved indications. The hope is that by studying these drugs—which are provided at no cost to the study participants—researchers will gain new insights on the drugs’ potential uses.

Taking an active role in a clinical trial

Clinical trials like TAPUR are important for the advancement of cancer care and treatment. If you are considering enrolling in TAPUR or any other clinical trial, its important you know that enrollment is voluntary and a decision between you and your medical oncologist. Ask questions to find out if enrolling in a trial is right for you.

CTCA at Midwestern is one of five CTCA sites and the first location in Illinois enrolling patients in the ASCO TAPUR trial. You can learn more about the TAPUR study by visiting clinicaltrials.gov. The study is registered on the site (NCT 02693535), which includes a list of inclusion/exclusion criteria and other information. You can also learn more by contacting the clinical trials team at clinicaltrials@ctca-hope.com or by calling 888-841-9129.

Read more
31196473_wide.jpg

Winning routines for warding off winter weight gain

(BPT) – With cold weather and short days, it’s easy to fall off healthy eating and exercise routines. Here are tips on how to eat right and stay motivated to exercise during the winter months from a leading nutritionist and a top celebrity trainer.

EAT RIGHT

Dr. Michael Roussell holds a degree in biochemistry from Hobart College and a doctorate in nutrition from Pennsylvania State University. He is a nationally recognized nutrition consultant and nutrition adviser to Men’s Health, as well as the best-selling author of The MetaShred Diet (2017).

“It’s easy to fall into eating calorie-loaded or nutrient-empty comfort foods in the winter, but take time and plan ahead. The optimum winter foods for weight loss and maintenance are packed with nutrients and filling fiber, so we feel full longer and eat less. Here are five suggestions for your shopping list.”

Pistachios. The fiber-rich green nut makes the perfect wintertime snack for many reasons. Research shows that pistachios promote healthy, stable blood-sugar levels and can help improve various risk factors for heart disease when snacked on regularly.

Winter squash. In season, butternut squash delivers a sweet, nutty flavor for fewer carbs and more fiber than you would expect. It is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, both antioxidants that will help keep your immune system in top shape. Add into soup and give your body what it craves: cold weather comfort.

Mushrooms. Mushrooms are a great cold-weather food that is in season all winter long. They are not only a unique source of a potent antioxidant called ergothioneine, but they are also a low-calorie, appetite-filling food that can be roasted, braised or sauteed.

Cabbage. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage are fibrous low-calorie foods that are perfect for the winter. They also contain powerful antioxidants like glucosinolates that help reinforce your body’s cellular detoxification pathways.

Green tea. Green tea is one of the few truly fat-burning foods. The antioxidants in green tea work to increase the amount of calories that your body burns as heat while also stimulating the liberation of stored fat in your body.

STAY FIT

Julie Diamond of Julie Diamond Fitness is a well-known, highly regarded personal fitness trainer with more than 20 years of experience empowering clients to reach their maximum fitness potential. She trains clients at all fitness levels and ages that run the gamut from celebrities to athletes to moms to anyone who aspires to live a healthier life.

“Every year as the weather gets colder, I hear the same thing: It’s too hard to get motivated to exercise on cold, dark mornings, and by nighttime I just want to get home and eat something warm. But there are tricks to staying motivated to move during the winter months.”

Set a new goal and reward yourself. Whether you want to lose weight, get stronger or move faster, set reasonable and specific goals that involve numbers or tangible accomplishments. Once you’ve attained your goal, treat yourself with a massage, new outfit or whatever tickles your fancy.

Find a workout buddy. Accountability is a great way to stay on track. Make a commitment with a friend or personal trainer for set times. This not only forces you to show up, but it can also make you push harder when you have someone cheering you on — and it’s fun!

Think outside the box. Do something different like a dance class, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class, join a running group, or grab friends and go ice-skating.

Dress the part. Invest in some new gear. It’s a known fact we all feel better and perform better in the appropriate attire. Invest in a couple of great pieces.

Amp up your playlist. Music motivates. Create a bunch of playlists that get you up and going. Play songs as you get ready.

Focus on nutrition. Food is fuel to get moving. Every week, set yourself up by preparing healthy snacks that you can just grab and go if needed, such as portable pistachios, hard-boiled eggs or chopped vegetables.

Read more
31575147_wide.jpg

Is BPA a thing of Halloween nightmares?

(BPT) – Now that fall is underway and you’re already growing tired of all the pumpkin-flavored treats, Halloween must not be too far away. That means it’s time to head to the store to pick up the trendiest Halloween decor to guarantee a shocked response from trick-or-treaters. But before you do, have you considered what some of these products are made of? Chances are, some may be polycarbonate plastic made with a safe, common chemical known as BPA.

BPA is a building-block chemical used to make a certain kind of plastic known as polycarbonate, which has unique properties that make products like flashlights lightweight and durable. And its shatter-resistance makes it ideal for use in LED lights to illuminate your Halloween-scape to guide trick-or-treaters to your doorstep.

Before heading to the store, take a look at some of the common ways BPA is used to keep trick-or-treaters spooky and safe on Halloween night:

* Flashlights – For trick-or-treaters, flashlights are a must-have to avoid losing their way. Polycarbonate gives flashlights their strong, shatter-resistant outer casing so trick-or-treaters can spook their way through their neighborhood late into the evening.

* Halloween decorations – Every neighborhood has one house that spares no expense when decorating for holidays throughout the year. But did you know many of those decorations would not be possible without polycarbonate? It makes those spooky plastic tombstones and skeletons durable and shatter-resistant.

* LED lights – To keep your jack-o’-lanterns burning bright into the night, LED lights have become the lights of choice. Polycarbonate plastic allows LED lights to be more durable and energy efficient as well as transparent.

Products made with polycarbonate help keep trick-or-treaters safe on Halloween night, 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 when it comes to BPA used in food contact materials, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) answered the question, “Is BPA safe?” with a clear answer — “Yes.”

With Halloween fast approaching, rest assured your trick-or-treater will have a safe and fun Halloween thanks to polycarbonate made from BPA — which isn’t so spooky after all!

Read more
1 2 3 4 66