Foods, Uncategorized

Oatmeal Banana Cookies: 3 Ingredients

Health And Wellness Associates

 

Oatmeal Banana Cookies :  3 Ingredients

oatmealbananacookies

I am one of those people who really want to live and eat healthy but I can’t go long without the need of something sweet. For those weak moments I have collected quite a few healthy recipes to take away the cravings. These banana oatmeal cookies are the ones I have found myself reaching towards for a lot lately so I thought why not share them with you lovely bunch!

 

I know these include dark chocolate so probably not everyone considers these as healthy snacks but I always use a chocolate that contains at least 80% cacao. It’s better than milk chocolate at least hehe. Well enough rambling, let’s get into the easiest recipe you have ever seen!

 

Ingredients

 

Two ripe bananas

100g dark chocolate

2½ dl gluten free oats (all-purpose and whole wheat oats work too)

threeingredients

Method

 

Using fork, smash the bananas in a large bowl. The batter doesn’t have to be smooth, there can be blobs of bananas. Then roughly chop the dark chocolate using a knife. Add dark chocolate and oats to the smashed banana batter and mix them together.

 

Make about twelve round balls out of the cookie batter and place them on a baking sheet. Gently press down each ball so it flattens into a round disc. The cookies won’t spread during baking so there does not have to be much space between them.

 

Bake the cookies in 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

A special thank you to Bob Dalton for sending this in to us!

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Foods, Uncategorized

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

Tomato and Broccoli Broiled Top Breakfast Frittata

 

If you’re like me and a big fan of hitting the snooze button, then you know that making a nutritious and filling breakfast can be a challenge. Prepare this veggie packed frittata on the weekend and enjoy a slice for a grab-and-go breakfast. Your stomach will thank you!

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen broccoli florets, defrosted
  • 1 ounce goat cheese

Preparation

  1. Beat eggs together with salt and pepper in a large bowl until well combined. Place rack in the middle of the oven and preheat broiler.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large, ovenproof skillet on medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli.
  3. Pour in beaten egg and move around until it covers the pan completely. Cook the frittata until it’s starting to set around the edges, then sprinkle the top with goat cheese. Place the frittata under the broiler to cook through. It should only take a minute and keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

I love to make frittatas as an easy and satisfying breakfast throughout the year and switch things up based on what vegetables are in season. Try heirloom tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella in the summer, kale and cheddar in the fall, cauliflower and feta in the winter, and asparagus and goat cheese in the spring.

If you’d like to reduce the amount of cholesterol in this recipe, replace some of the whole eggs with egg whites. You’ll need whites for every egg. You could also replace 2 eggs with ½ cup milk or unsweetened, unflavored plant milk.

To make this dairy free, simply leave out the goat cheese.

If you like your eggs with hot sauce, stir a teaspoon into the beaten egg or douse generously with your favorite hot sauce to serve.

I also like it topped with fresh herbs, like chives, green onions, or parsley.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Another fun option is to turn this recipe into mini-frittatas baked in a muffin tin. They’re perfect for snacks or sandwiched between a whole grain English muffin or mini-bagel to make a breakfast sandwich.

To make, crack an egg into 8 wells sprayed with oil, season with a bit of salt and pepper, then whisk together with a fork. Divide the sauteed onions, tomatoes, and defrosted broccoli between the wells then bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

To include a serving of healhty carbs with this meal, serve this with a slice or two of whole grain toast or English muffin, a side of fresh fruit, or add cubes or slices of steamed sweet or white potatoes to the frittata.

This frittata also makes a delicious dinner. Serve with whole grain bread or roasted potatoes and a side salad dressed with a quick dressing of equal parts lemon juice, olive oil, and a teaspoon of mustard to emulsify.

This frittata will last 5 days covered in the refrigerator. Serve warm, reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds, or at room temperature.

Archived
Dr P Carrothers
Director of Personalized Healthcare
Preventative and Restorative Medicene
312-972-9355 ( WELL)
HealthWellnessAssociates@gmail.com

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Health and Wellness Associates

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Cheesy Cauliflower Cakes

Want to eat more cauliflower but just not sure what to do with it? These tasty cakes are a must-try recipe even if you’re thinking cauliflower isn’t for you.

Boil, steam, saute or roast the cauliflower ahead of time for extra fast meal prep and serve the cakes with salad or a piece of fish for a light and satisfying meal. Cauliflower and lower-fat Parmesan cheese are usually well tolerated by those who experience heartburn since they are baked instead of fried. There’s no extra grease, either.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl combine cauliflower, egg, cheese and breadcrumbs.
  4. Mash ingredients with a fork until well mixed.
  5. Using clean hands form into 8 cakes.
  6. Place cakes on prepared baking sheet and spray the tops with cooking spray cooking.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you can’t find fresh cauliflower at your local market, use frozen as it is just as nutritious as fresh.

If you do use frozen, simply thaw in the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well to remove any excess liquid and then allow to cool slightly before mixing with other ingredients.

These cakes are tremendously flavorful as they are but you can add an extra dimension of flavor by mixing in a handful fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or chives.

Cooking and Serving Tips

To make the tops of these cakes extra crispy, broil for 2 to 3 minutes before removing from the oven. If you do choose to broil, keep a close eye on them to be sure they don’t burn. Serve over a bed of fresh greens for a vegetarian lunch or as a side dish with a piece of lean meat or fish.

 

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Dir P Carrothers

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Uncategorized, Lifestyle

Dangers of Cell Phones

Health and Wellness Associates

dangersofcellphones

 

In 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cellphones as a Group 2B “possible carcinogen,” and the evidence supporting the theory that electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation from cellphones can trigger abnormal cell growth  and cancer just keeps growing and getting stronger.

In February, the findings of two government-funded animal studies were published. Curiously enough, the published interpretation of this $25 million research (conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), an interagency research program currently under the auspices of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) significantly downplays the actual findings of the studies.

Cellphone Radiation Linked to Brain and Heart Tumors

Cell Phone Radiation cause of heart attacks, strokes, tumors, Crohns disease and many other digestive problems, along with prostate cancer and many more diseases with abnormal cell growth.  

 

The NTP research includes two studies: one on mice and one on rats. Male rats were more likely to develop heart tumors, while female rats and newborns exposed to high levels of radiation during pregnancy and lactation were more likely to have low body weight. DNA damage and damage to heart tissue were also observed in both male and female rats, but not mice. Other types of tumors did occur in both types of animals, though, including brain, prostate, liver and pancreatic tumors.

According to the researchers, if these results can be confirmed, then cellphone radiation may indeed be a “weak” carcinogen. As you’ll see below, that confirmation was delivered last month, in the form of published research by the Ramazzini Institute.

The animals in the NTP studies were exposed to cellphone radiation for nine hours a day for two years (basically the full life span of a rat). As noted by The New York Times, the heart tumors (malignant schwannomas) found in male rats are “similar to acoustic neuromas, a benign tumor in people involving the nerve that connects the ear to the brain, which some studies have linked to cellphone use.”

The scientists also expressed surprise at the finding of DNA damage, as the conventional belief is that nonionizing radiofrequency radiation cannot harm DNA. “We don’t feel like we understand enough about the results to be able to place a huge degree of confidence in the findings,” John Bucher, Ph.D.,  senior scientist at the NTP told reporters. Such statements fly in the face of warnings issued by NTP researchers two years ago.

NTP Whitewashed Its Conclusions

Partial results from these studies were initially released in 2016 because they were deemed too serious to hold back. After all, the health of hundreds of millions of Americans, let along billions of users worldwide, is at stake. At the time, Christopher Portier, Ph.D., retired head of the NTP who was involved in the launch of the study, insisted the findings showed clear causation. “I would call it a causative study, absolutely,” he told Scientific American.  “They controlled everything in the study.”

David McCormick, Ph.D., director of the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Institute where the study was conducted, was equally clear, telling reporters,  “What we are saying here is that based on the animal studies, there is a possible risk cellphone RF [radio frequency] is potentially carcinogenic in humans. These are uncommon lesions in rodents, so it is our conclusion that they are exposure related.”

As noted by Microwave News, while some of the pathology data was updated since the initial release in 2016, the changes are minor. The interpretation, however, changed dramatically. Now, even though the findings are identical, the NTP insists it’s “not a high-risk situation” and that the risk to human health is negligible.

Microwave News lists a number of possible political reasons for the sudden turnaround, including new NTP leadership, the current White House administration’s disdain for science that threatens big business, and the overarching power of the major telecommunications players of today: Apple, Google and Microsoft. There’s no doubt there are incredible amounts of money at stake.

Ramazzini Institute Duplicates NTP Findings

Whatever the reason, it’s quite clear the NTP is now downplaying findings that a mere two years ago were considered of significant importance for public health. The whitewash was made even more obvious with the March 7 online publication of a lifetime exposure study  by the highly respected Ramazzini Institute in Italy, which like the NTP shows a clear link between cellphone radiation and Schwann cell tumors (schwannomas).

But, contrary to the NTP, Ramazzini researchers are now urging the IARC to re-evaluate its carcinogenicity classification for cellphones. According to Fiorella Belpoggi, director of research at the Ramazzini Institute and the study’s lead author, RF radiation from cellphones should probably be classified as a “probable” human carcinogen rather than a “possible” carcinogen. In an interview with Microwave News, Belpoggi said:

“The [Ramazzini Institute] findings on far field exposure to RFR [radio frequency radiation] are consistent with and reinforce the results of the NTP study on near field exposure, as both reported an increase in the incidence of tumors of the brain and heart in RFR-exposed Sprague-Dawley rats … The two laboratories worked independently at many thousands of kilometers’ distance, using the same strain of rats, and found the same results. It cannot be by chance.

Both findings are also consistent with the epidemiological evidence, where an increased incidence of tumors of the same cells (Schwann cells) of the acoustic nerve had been associated with the use of mobile phones.

We and NTP have evidenced the hazard of RFR exposure, as regards the risk we have to consider that about seven billion of people are exposed on the planet, and even if the risk is to be considered low, due to the large number of exposed individuals, we could expect thousands of people affected by serious diseases like cancer of the peripheral nerves and brain.”

Indeed, a recent analysis ,reveals the incidence of glioblastoma multiforme, the deadliest type of brain tumor, more than doubled in the U.K. between 1995 and 2015. According to the authors, the dramatic increase is likely due to “widespread environmental or lifestyle factors,” which would include cellphone usage. Véronique Terrasse, spokesperson for the IARC, has stated the organization will look into it once the NTP has delivered its final report, which may take several months.

NTP and Ramazzini Show Effects Are Reproducible

The NTP-funded studies found rats exposed to RF radiation began developing glial cell hyperplasias — indicative of precancerous lesions — around week 58; heart schwannomas were detected around week 70. Ramazzini’s study confirms and reinforces these results, showing RF radiation increased both brain and heart tumors in exposed rats. This, despite the fact that Ramazzini used much lower power levels.

While NTP used RF levels comparable to what’s emitted by2G and 3G cellphones (near-field exposure), Ramazzini simulated exposure to cellphone towers (far-field exposure). In all, the Ramazzini Institute exposed 2,448 rats to 1.8 GHz GSM radiation at electric field strengths of 5, 25 and 50 volts per meter for 19 hours a day, starting at birth until the rats died either from age or illness.

To facilitate comparison, the researchers converted their measurements to watts per kilogram of body weight (W/kg), which is what the NTP used. Overall, the radiation dose administered in the Ramazzini study was up to 1,000 times lower than the NTP’s — yet the results were strikingly similar. As in the NTP studies, exposed male rats developed statistically higher rates of heart schwannomas than unexposed rats.

They also found some evidence, although weaker, that RF exposure increased rates of glial tumors in the brains of female rats. As noted by Ronald Melnick, Ph.D., a former senior NIH toxicologist who led the design of the NTP study and current senior science adviser to the Environmental Health Trust:

“All of the exposures used in the Ramazzini study were below the U.S. FCC limits… In other words, a person can legally be exposed to this level of radiation. Yet cancers occurred in these animals at these legally permitted levels. The Ramazzini findings are consistent with the NTP study demonstrating these effects are a reproducible finding. Governments need to strengthen regulations to protect the public from these harmful non-thermal exposures.”

The NTP’s conclusion that there’s no cause for concern is also challenged by an independent review panel, which concluded its review of the two NTP studies March 28. According to this panel of experts, there’s “clear evidence” linking RF radiation with heart schwannomas and “some evidence” linking it to brain gliomas. It remains to be seen whether the NTP will accept or reject the panel’s conclusions in its final report.

Why Evidence of Rodent Schwannomas Could Spell Trouble for Human Health

As explained by Louis Slesin, Ph.D., editor and publisher of Microwave News, the increased incidence of schwannomas in rodents exposed to RF is no mere coincidence, and is of great concern for public health:

“Schwann cells play a key role in the functioning of the peripheral nervous system. They make the myelin sheath, which insulates nerve fibers and helps speed the conduction of electrical impulses. There are Schwann cells just about everywhere there are peripheral nerve fibers. They are present in most organs of the body — whether mice, rats or humans. Schwann cell tumors are called schwannomas.

The NTP found schwannomas in many other organs, in addition to the heart, of rats chronically exposed to cellphone radiation. These included a variety of glands (pituitary, salivary and thymus), the trigeminal nerve and the eye … The NTP also saw schwannomas in the uterus, ovary and vagina of female rats. The brain has no Schwann cells —the brain is part of the central nervous system. There, glial cells play a similar function. In fact, Schwann cells are a type of glial cell …

Tumors of the glial cells are called gliomas. The NTP also saw an increase in glioma among the male rats exposed to GSM and CDMA radiation. Higher rates of glioma have been reported in a number of epidemiological studies of cellphone users. The other tumor linked to cellphone radiation in human studies is acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the auditory nerve … formally called a vestibular schwannoma.

While schwannomas and gliomas are commonly noncancerous tumors, they can develop into malignant schwannomas or glioblastomas … The implication is that instead of searching for consistency in RF’s ability to cause cancer in specific organs, the emphasis should now be on specific cell types — beginning with Schwann cells in the periphery and glial cells in the brain.”

Mitochondrial Damage Is an Even More Pressing Concern

I believe it would be a serious mistake to consider cellphones safe simply because we’re not seeing a dramatic uptick in brain (and/or heart) tumors. Remember, cellphone radiation has already been acknowledged to be a carcinogen, and most all carcinogens, like cigarette smoking, take decades to increase cancer risk. Cellphones are indeed the cigarettes of the 21st century and we won’t see the epidemic of cancer for another decade or two.

The NTP’s research also reveal DNA and cellular damage. The researchers claim there’s no explanation for this, but that’s far from true. A number of scientists and EMF specialists have presented evidence for a number of different mechanisms of harm. Among them:

Allan Frey, Office of Naval Research, showed cellphone radiation weakens cell membranes and your blood-brain barrier. Some of his experiments demonstrated that dye injected into animals was able to penetrate into the brain when exposed to pulsed digital signals from microwaves.

Today, these findings are particularly notable since cellphones are held close to the brain. The take-home message is that radiation from your cellphone weakens your blood-brain barrier, allowing toxins in your blood to enter your brain, and into the cells of your entire body.

Martin Pall, Ph.D., has published research showing that low−frequency microwave radiation activates voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) — channels in the outer membrane of your cells. Once activated, the VGCCs open up, allowing an abnormal influx of calcium ions into the cell, which activates nitric oxide (NO). NO is the only molecule in your body produced at high enough concentrations to outcompete other molecules for superoxide and is a precursor for peroxynitrite.

These potent oxidant stressors are thought to be a root cause for many of today’s chronic diseases. Peroxynitrites modify tyrosine molecules in proteins to create a new substance, nitrotyrosine and nitration of structural protein.Changes from nitration are visible in human biopsy of atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia,inflammatory bowel disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosisand septic lung disease.

Significant oxidative stress from peroxynitrites may also result in single-strand breaks of DNA. This pathway of oxidative destruction — triggered by low-frequency radiation emitted from mobile devices — may partially explain the unprecedented growth rate of chronic disease since 1990, and is a far greater concern than brain tumors.

According to Pall’s theory, the physical locations where VGCCs are the densest are indicative of the diseases you might expect from chronic excessive exposure to EMFs. As it turns out, the highest density of VGCCs are found in your nervous system, the pacemaker in your heart and in male testes. As a result, EMFs are likely to contribute to neurological and neuropsychiatric problems, heart and reproductive problems.

Paul Héroux, Ph.D., professor of toxicology and health effects of electromagnetism at the faculty of medicine at McGill University in Montreal, stresses the impact EMFs have on the water in your body. The mechanism of action he proposes involves the enzyme ATP synthase, which passes currents of protons through a water channel.

ATP synthase basically generates energy in the form ATP from ADP, using this flow of protons. Magnetic fields can change the transparency of the water channel to protons, thereby reducing the current. As a result, you get less ATP, which can have system wide consequences, from promoting chronic disease and infertility to lowering intelligence.

Will Findings Affect 5G Rollout?

We’re now facing the rollout of high-speed wireless 5G technology across the U.S. How might the NTP and Ramazzini findings affect this transition? According to Melnick, “It should most likely lead to a reduction in exposure limits.” He also hopes the findings will compel public officials and telecommunications companies to not promote the use of 5G devices for children.

In a recent investigative report for The Nation, Mark Hertsgaard and Mark Dowie reveals “the disinformation campaign — and massive radiation increase — behind the 5G rollout.” The evidence for harm goes back more than two decades. By early 1999, findings from more than 50 studies were already raising “‘serious questions’ about cellphone safety.” This evidence was shared in a closed-door meeting of CTIA’s board of directors, which is the trade association for the wireless industry.

Epidemiologist George Carlo, hired by CTIA  in 1993 to defuse concerns about cellphone radiation, was unable to give the industry the clear evidence of safety it desired. Instead he found the converse. Among this evidence was findings of “correlation between brain tumors occurring on the right side of the head and the use of the phone on the right side of the head.”

Research also suggested that cellphone radiation was capable of causing “functional genetic damage.” Carlo urged the telecom industry to “do the right thing: Give consumers ‘the information they need to make an informed judgment about how much of this unknown risk they wish to assume,’ especially since some in the industry had ‘repeatedly and falsely claimed that wireless phones are safe for all consumers including children.'”

Safety Has Taken a Backseat to Profit

The reason nothing ever came of Carlos’ investigation is because the CTIA refused to accept the findings and publicly discredited him for doing the work he’d been paid to do in the first place. In 1999, wireless technologies were nowhere near as ubiquitous as they are today. Now, the stakes are higher than ever, and there can be little doubt that profit is still weighing heavier than science.

“This Nation investigation reveals that the wireless industry not only made the same moral choices that the tobacco and fossil-fuel industries did; it also borrowed from the same public-relations playbook those industries pioneered.

The playbook’s key insight is that an industry doesn’t have to win the scientific argument about safety; it only has to keep the argument going. That amounts to a win for the industry, because the apparent lack of certainty helps to reassure customers, even as it fends off government regulations and lawsuits that might pinch profits,” Hertsgaard and Dowie write.

“Funding friendly research has perhaps been the most important component of this strategy, because it conveys the impression that the scientific community truly is divided … The wireless industry has obstructed a full and fair understanding of the current science, aided by government agencies that have prioritized commercial interests over human health and news organizations that have failed to inform the public about what the scientific community really thinks.”

5G Will Dramatically Increase Radiation Exposure

The transition to 5G will dramatically increaseRF-EMF radiation exposure as it will require the installation of small antennas every 250 feet or so to ensure connectivity. Some estimates suggest millions of new antenna sites will have to be erected in the U.S. alone.

In September last year, more than 180 doctors and scientists from 35 countries signed a petition to enact a moratorium on the rollout of 5G due to potential health risks, noting that “RF-EMF has been proven to be harmful for humans and the environment.” The petition also points out that:

“5G technology is effective only over short distance. It is poorly transmitted through solid material. Many new antennas will be required and full-scale implementation will result in antennas in every 10 to 12 houses in urban areas, thus massively increasing mandatory exposure …

More than 230 scientists from 41 countries have expressed their “serious concerns” regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices already before the additional 5G roll-out …

Effects include increased cancer risk, cellular stress, increase in harmful free radicals, genetic damages, structural and functional changes of the reproductive system, learning and memory deficits, neurological disorders and negative impacts on general well-being in humans. Damage goes well beyond the human race, as there is growing evidence of harmful effects to both plants and animals.”

Protect Yourself From Excessive EMF

There’s no doubt in my mind that RF-EMF exposure is a significant health hazard that needs to be addressed if you’re concerned about your health, and the roll-out of 5G would certainly make remedial action all the more difficult. Late last year, California governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill to establish statewide standards for 5G networks.

Senate Bill 649 sought to restrict the ability of local government to block antenna placement, which led to opposition from local officials across the state. Brown decided to let local leaders have control over 5G infrastructure. In time, we’ll likely see similar legislation in other states, so keep your eyes and ears open, and be sure to get involved whenever an opportunity presents itself. In the meantime, here are several suggestions that will help reduce your RF=EMF exposure:

Connect your desktop computer to the internet via a wired Ethernet connection and be sure to put your desktop in airplane mode. Also avoid wireless keyboards, trackballs, mice, game systems, printers and portable house phones. Opt for the wired versions.
If you must use Wi-Fi, shut it off when not in use, especially at night when you are sleeping. Ideally, work toward hardwiring your house so you can eliminate Wi-Fi altogether. If you have a notebook without any Ethernet ports, a USB Ethernet adapter will allow you to connect to the internet with a wired connection.
Shut off the electricity to your bedroom at night. This typically works to reduce electrical fields from the wires in your wall unless there is an adjoining room next to your bedroom. If that is the case you will need to use a meter to determine if you also need to turn off power in the adjacent room.
Use a battery-powered alarm clock, ideally one without any light. I use a talking clock for the visually impaired.
If you still use a microwave oven, consider replacing it with a steam convection oven, which will heat your food as quickly and far more safely.
Avoid using “smart” appliances and thermostats that depend on wireless signaling. This would include all new “smart” TVs. They are called smart because they emit a Wi-Fi signal and, unlike your computer, you cannot shut the Wi-Fi signal off. Consider using a large computer monitor as your TV instead, as they don’t emit Wi-Fi.
Refuse smart meters as long as you can, or add a shield to an existing smart meter, some of which have been shown to reduce radiation by 98 to 99 percent.
Consider moving your baby’s bed into your room instead of using a wireless baby monitor. Alternatively, use a hard-wired monitor.
Replace CFL bulbs with incandescent bulbs. Ideally remove all fluorescent lights from your house. Not only do they emit unhealthy light, but more importantly, they will actually transfer current to your body just being close to the bulbs.
Avoid carrying your cellphone on your body unless in airplane mode and never sleep with it in your bedroom unless it is in airplane mode. Even in airplane mode it can emit signals, which is why I put my phone in a Faraday bag.
When using your cellphone, use the speaker phone and hold the phone at least 3 feet away from you. Seek to radically decrease your time on the cellphone. I typically use my cellphone less than 30 minutes a month, and mostly when traveling. Instead, use VoIP software phones that you can use while connected to the internet via a wired connection.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How Friends Impact Your Health

How Friends Impact Your Health

How Friends Impact Your Health

 

There is a strong connection between friendship and health. Recall the happiest times of your life, and those memories likely include friends celebrating with you. Just as important, true friends support you through the bad times that happen in every life, from everyday disappointments to the heartbreak of loss. That’s what good friends do.

Friendship enriches our existence and makes life’s journey more enjoyable. Friends give us a sense of belonging and bolster our self-esteem. Yet, our closest friends will “tell it like it is” and encourage us to change bad habits or adopt good ones. Best friends assume the role of trusted confidante. Who better to listen to your rant in a non-judgmental way than your best friend? Having someone with whom you can talk about anything promotes healthy stress management.

Even self-described loners need interaction with people. Appropriate doses of companionship are especially helpful to prevent loneliness if you live by yourself. The never-married or single-again adult can too easily fall into the trap of staying home too much and eating solitary dinners off a tray in front of the TV. A tendency toward reclusivity may become more pronounced after retirement. Finding one still wearing pajamas mid-day is a red flag that it’s time to get out of a rut.

Many people carry friendships from high school or college into adulthood. New friendships are formed with compatible individuals met through work or after moves to new neighborhoods. Sometimes, life changes—increased workloads, rearing children, caring for aging parents—interfere with existing friendships, and we let them slip out of our lives. Career moves may require relocation and leaving friends behind.

Extroverts—naturally outgoing and sociable— find it easy to meet people and form new friendships. They are often described as, “She never meets a stranger,” or “He makes friends everywhere he goes.”

The naturally shy, socially anxious, or introverted person does not meet people or form new attachments easily. Social events are often avoided. Small talk is dreaded like torture. Without coaxing from others to join in or a personal effort to overcome inhibitions and fears, this individual may let friendship slide—perhaps forever.

It takes effort to make friends and nurture friendships. While social networking can provide connections and relieve loneliness to some extent, making 100 new “friends” online does not take the place of face time in offline relationships. Meeting new people and discovering common interests and values requires getting off the sofa and going out there….Go where you will find other people doing things you are likely to enjoy.

If you like to read, join a book discussion group. Think about those things you really enjoy—cooking, gardening, crafts, music, live theater—and search for groups that share your interests. Volunteer your time with a charitable organization where you’ll come together with others whose compassion for these issues matches your own. Take a continuing education class at your local community college—inexpensive, short-termed and a broad variety of topics. Learning something new enhances conversation.

Friendships—whether existing or new—must be nurtured to last and grow. In order to have (and keep) friends in your life, you must also be a good friend. Forge a positive attitude, practice tolerance, and don’t be judgmental. Friendship is a two-way street, and both parties in the relationship must be willing to give, not just take. Cultivate active listening skills. (Some of the best listeners are those who don’t like to talk, but make a great audience for the more talkative.)

Cultivating and cherishing friendships can affect anyone’s longevity. A ten-year Australian study of 1500 senior citizens by Flinders University’s Centre for Ageing Studies found that the participants who had a large support group of friends outlived those with the least friends by 22%. As one’s social connections decrease, the risk for mortality increases. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, states the mortality risk is nearly as great as that created by smoking.

So…fill the friendship “prescription” for good health. It’s a renewable prescription for life!

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The High Cost of Ignoring Your Intuition

The High Cost of Ignoring Your Intuition

 

The High Cost of Ignoring Your Intuition

 

Cindy met Bill through her tennis club. He was charming, good-looking, and he swept her off her feet in a whirlwind courtship. Pushing for a quick marriage, he proposed after only two months. Though she felt a few flutters of anxiety, Cindy accepted, hoping for true love. Six months later, she deeply regretted the haste. Bill turned out to be both alcoholic and verbally abusive, with the threat of physical abuse lurking in the volatile atmosphere. Frightened, she moved out and filed for divorce. Later, she reflected on how she had gotten herself in such a painful place.

Something deep inside Cindy had sent up warning flares, telling her that she was moving too fast. But she’d plunged ahead, repressing her own better judgment, which was trying to get her to slow down. Why had she ignored the signals?

“I was afraid that if I told him I wanted to slow down, he might lose interest. He was so passionate, so full of life, and I felt so flattered that this great looking guy wanted me. All the women liked him. It wasn’t hard to imagine that he might drop me and move on to someone more willing.”

The high cost of ignoring your own signals? High-risk relationships and the likelihood of divorce. But most of all, the cost is to your own self-esteem, because the bottom line is that you let yourself down. You failed at your most basic job in life: taking care of you.

These days, Cindy is reluctant to accept even the most seemingly safe dates. She doesn’t trust herself, fearful of repeating the past and making another disastrous mistake. Self-forgiveness is the hardest when we know we didn’t protect ourselves.

The lesson is simple: never let your desire for a particular person override your common sense. When your gut is screaming at you, listen, honor what it is telling you, and proceed with caution. And this goes for any area of your life, not just relationships – trust your intuition, go with your gut.

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Recover From an Affair – When You’re the Cheater

How to Recover From an Affair – When You’re the Cheater

cheater

I addressed people whose spouses have cheated on them and tried to offer some guidelines for surviving the crisis. In this post I’d like to speak to those on the other side of the equation, namely, the cheaters. In particular I will be speaking to folks who have already been caught and who would like to save the marriage – if you are planning to leave the marriage anyway, that is a whole different kettle of fish, and if you haven’t been caught, you have a major moral decision to make. Perhaps we can tackle this in a future post.

What are the things you need to know in order to repair the damage of your extremely poor choice? Note that I will not be mincing words here – if you cheated on your spouse, you did something wrong. Certainly you can change and seek forgiveness – we all make mistakes –but it was a mistake nonetheless. So that is our first point:

1. Take responsibility

If you are serious about saving your marriage, you will have to accept that you acted in error. Unfaithful spouses who blame their partner – even a little bit – for the affair are not going to be successful at rebuilding the relationship. (In a relationship that is already characterized by emotional abuse, the cheated-on spouse might be accustomed to being mistreated by their partner and then manipulated into accepting responsibility for it. This does not mean that the cheater is going to succeed in saving the relationship without taking responsibility. What it actually means is there wasn’t really a true relationship to save in the first place.)

It doesn’t matter if your husband was distant. It doesn’t matter if your wife was not being sexual with you. Nobody forced you to have an affair; there are many ways to deal with problems in your marriage (couples counseling, anyone?), and you made the choice to pursue this one. Only once you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions can you hope to achieve forgiveness from your spouse and re-enter into a balanced relationship. If you are still saying or thinking, “Well,if s/he hadn’t…” – you are not ready to fix your marriage.

2. Take appropriate steps to provide security to your spouse

I am assuming that – having accepted full responsibility for the infidelity – you have already apologized profusely, and will continue to do so for a while. That is certainly necessary, but not sufficient. Actions speak louder than words; if you say you’re sorry but keep your affair partner “as a friend,” you are not respecting your spouse. Your spouse needs an extra dose of commitment, trustworthiness, and respect at this point. You do this by cutting off all communications with your affair partner – all communications– to show your spouse that you value him/her above anyone and anything else. If you are concerned about the feelings of the person who you will be cutting off, then you are unconcerned about the feelings of your spouse.

This might become pretty drastic. If the person in question is a co-worker, you may need to change jobs. If it was a neighbor, you may seriously have to consider moving – if your marriage is that important to you, that is.

There are other important steps to take, all of which might very well be hard for you. You need to be punctilious about letting your spouse know your whereabouts. There are many apps these days that allow you to be located by your spouse at all times via GPS. If your spouse finds this reassuring, you should give him/her that reassurance without hesitation. Likewise, your spouse should have full access to your phone, texts, e-mails, Facebook account, and anything else s/he asks for. If you are concerned about your own need for privacy, then you are unconcerned about your spouse’s need for security at this time.

3. Take time

Even once you have accepted responsibility, apologized, and properly addressed your spouse’s need for security and respect, it will take time. You can’t expect that your spouse will be ready to forgive and forget just as soon as you check off all the things on the list. You probably have caused significant emotional pain, and that will take time to heal. If at any time you find yourself wanting to say, “Can’t you just get over it already?” or, “I said I’m sorry!” you need to check in with yourself and think about whether you are really seeking forgiveness, or demanding it. You are not entitled to forgiveness; it is something you must earn. And your spouse is not obligated to offer it. If you are truly remorseful and invested in repairing your relationship, that means giving your partner the time and space to recover at his/her own pace. (However, if you find yourself in a situation where your spouse is throwing your mistake in your face on a daily basis, or holding the grudge for years, professional help may be necessary.)

This article is just a short accounting of what a person who was unfaithful must do to save their marriage; it is not an exhaustive guide. Certainly seeking out a qualified marriage counselor would be of benefit for anyone in this situation. An affair does not have to mean the end of a marriage – but without appropriate repentance on the part of the guilty party, it is likely that it will be.

 

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Dad Can Pass on Ovarian Cancer Genes

 

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dadgenes

Dad Can Pass on Ovarian Cancer Genes

 

A gene mutation that’s passed down from a father is associated with earlier onset of ovarian cancer in daughters and prostate cancer in the father and his sons, a new study suggests.

 

Previous research had shown that sisters of women with ovarian cancer have a higher risk for the disease than their mother, but the reasons for this were unclear.

 

“Our study may explain why we find families with multiple affected daughters: Because a dad’s chromosomes determine the sex of his children, all of his daughters have to carry the same X chromosome genes,” said study author Kevin Eng. He’s an assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Buffalo, N.Y.

 

Eng’s team decided to look at whether genes on the X chromosome passed down from the father might influence a daughter’s risk of ovarian cancer.

 

The researchers examined data about pairs of granddaughters and grandmothers. They also sequenced portions of the X chromosome from 186 women affected by ovarian cancer.

 

The investigators discovered that women with ovarian cancer linked to genes inherited from their father’s mother developed the cancer much earlier than those with ovarian cancer linked to genes from their mother. In addition, the same genes from the father’s mother are also associated with higher rates of prostate cancer in fathers and sons.

 

Further investigation led the researchers to a previously unknown mutation on the X chromosome that may be associated with cases of ovarian cancer that develop more than six years earlier than average.

 

The findings suggest that a gene on the X chromosome may increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer, independent of other known risk genes, such as the BRCA genes. But the researchers did not prove that this gene causes ovarian cancer risk to rise.

 

Further research is needed to confirm the identity and function of this gene, the study authors added.

 

The study was published Feb. 15 in the journal PLoS Genetics.

 

“What we have to do next is make sure we have the right gene by sequencing more families,” Eng said in a journal news release.

 

“This finding has sparked a lot of discussion within our group about how to find these X-linked families,” Eng said. “It’s an all-or-none kind of pattern: A family with three daughters who all have ovarian cancer is more likely to be driven by inherited X mutations than by BRCA mutations.”

 

 

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Blood Thinners – Actually Cause Strokes

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Could a Blood Thinner Actually Raise Stroke Risk for Some?

bloodthinners

Taking blood-thinning drugs is typically thought to ward off stroke in people with the heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation.

 

However, new research out of Britain hints — but cannot prove — that the drugs might actually raise the odds of stroke in seniors with a-fib who also have kidney disease.

 

“Chronic kidney disease is common among older people, and one in three people affected also have atrial fibrillation, commonly called an irregular heartbeat — and for that, they typically get prescribed blood thinners to reduce their risk of stroke,” noted lead researcher Shankar Kumar, of University College London (UCL).

 

However, “we found that in this particular group, their medication seems to do the opposite of its intended effect,” Kumar, a researcher with UCL’s Centre for Medical Imaging, said in a university news release.

 

Still, one U.S. cardiologist said that patients who fall into this category don’t need to panic.

 

Dr. Michael Goyman directs clinical cardiology at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Forest Hills hospital, in Forest Hills, N.Y. He stressed that the new study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect and contained numerous limitations.

 

So, while the findings do need to be followed up in a more rigorous trial, “patients should not make decisions about the benefit of blood thinners without consulting their physicians,” Goyman said.

 

The new study included more than 4,800 British people, aged 65 and older, who had chronic kidney disease plus a recent diagnosis of a-fib.

 

Half of the patients were taking some sort of blood thinner for the heart condition.

 

Over an average follow-up of nearly 17 months, those taking blood thinners were 2.6 times more likely to have a stroke and 2.4 times more likely to have bleeding than those who did not take the drugs.

 

However, the death rate in the blood thinner group was slightly lower, and might have been due to a reduced risk of fatal stroke or heart attack, according to the study.

 

The findings were published Feb. 14 in the BMJ journal.

 

According to Kumar’s group, the new findings suggest doctors need to be more careful about prescribing blood thinners to seniors with chronic kidney disease, at least until more research provides a clearer idea of the risks.

 

“People with chronic kidney disease tend to have numerous severe complications, including cardiovascular illnesses,” explained senior study author John Camm, a professor of clinical cardiology at St George’s, University of London.

 

“As their blood clots more but they also bleed more easily, it is extremely difficult to strike a balance between different treatments,” he said.

 

Kumar added: “This is clearly a very complex area. We strongly call for randomized, controlled studies to test the clinical value and safety of anticoagulant drug therapy for people with both atrial fibrillation and chronic kidney disease.”

 

Dr. Satjit Bhusri is a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He wasn’t involved in the new research but reviewed the findings and agreed that — for now at least — patients shouldn’t be concerned.

 

“This observational study is just that, observational,” and as such can’t prove that the blood thinners are somehow causing more strokes, Bhusri said. He added that important details — the types of blood thinners used, for example — weren’t included in the study.

 

In the end, Bhusri agreed with Kumar and Giyfman that more research is needed.

 

In the meantime, he said, “the choice of blood thinner should be a patient-specific preference and risk-versus-benefit should be an active discussion. I would not rely on this study as a source of reference in that discussion.”

 

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How to Tell a Friend to Get Help

How to Tell a Friend to Get Help How to Tell a Friend to Get Help

We all have friends and family that are struggling and could benefit from therapy. I often hear people say “He/she really needs some help.” It can be quite obvious when someone needs additional support, but how can you possibly suggest that someone see a psychologist or therapist of some sort?

Recommending professional help is a delicate issue. You certainly risk being met with anger and resentment. However doing nothing can be even more harmful than having to encounter some resistance. When someone you know is showing obvious signs of being in distress, you can assume that they have been struggling for quite some time and might actually be desperate for some help and change.

Here are a few pointers that might make your conversation easier:

– Listen to their story and how they are doing

– Ask some questions and look for signs of hope for change

– Ask the person what they have tried to get better

– Offer some personal experiences with therapy (if you are willing to disclose)

– Ask what kind of change the person is hoping for in life

– Recommend therapy as a tool to find support, healing, and growth

It is scary and it might feel inappropriate to suggest to someone that they get professional help. You’d be surprised by how cared for and understood some people feel by such a suggestion. People don’t want to feel miserable and struggle, and they often don’t know how to create positive change. With a gentle nudge in the right direction you can have a big impact on someone’s direction in life and you might even be able to save a life!

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