Keeping the Boo-Boos Out of Halloween


Halloween has become one of the most popular holidays of the year. But it’s also a time that leaves our little ones vulnerable to all types of injuries.

We want to keep you and your family in-Health so watch for these Halloween hazards!

Candles
Candles create that perfect spooky environment but they also create the perfect opportunity for burns. Consider switching to battery-operated candles. You can now find them in all colors and sizes to suit your décor. Before you take your little ones out, make sure that their costumes are fire retardant and that they know and have practiced, “Stop, drop and roll”!

Candy
Razor blades in apples are more of an urban legend than a reality but it’s still important to check your child’s treats. Throw out anything not securely wrapped. Even better, let your trick-or-treater choose a dozen pieces of candy and then trade the rest in for a special outing or treat. This will prevent the Halloween overconsumption that hurts the tummy and the scale (what parent can overlook their favorite childhood candy bar?)!

Cars
Children are four times more likely to be hit on Halloween than at any other time of year. Half of these incidents occur at non-intersections when kids dart out between cars. It’s always best to go out with your children to ensure that they stay on sidewalks and cross the street only at cross walks.  Using reflective tape on costumes, wearing light-stick jewelry and carrying flashlights will make your goblins more visible to drivers.

Pumpkin Carving
Nothing screams Halloween more than a carved jack ‘o lantern. But knives are not child friendly and it’s not really much fun for kids to be only observers. Instead, grab some poster paints or markers and let the kids at it! No cuts and no soggy pumpkin rotting on your front porch.

Dogs
Animals don’t share our enthusiasm for Halloween costumes. Really. And the constant ringing of the doorbell and children yelling “Trick or Treat” can make even the friendliest pup a bit sassy. Do everyone a favor and leave Rover at home in a quiet room with a special treat. He won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

Costumes
Costumes should be safe first, and cute or scary second.  Falls are a leading cause of Halloween injury.  Little ones can take a tumble when they, or someone else, step on a long costume. Over-sized or high-heeled shoes create instability compounding that risk. Masks can block vision. Aerosol sprays for hair color or décor can be toxic and give you a headache. Halloween make-up isn’t the same quality as what women typically wear. Make sure to test make-up in a small spot well before Halloween to check for allergic reactions. Then, no matter how tired, make sure your child is clean-faced before heading to bed. For the older kids, set expectations early and draw a line at contact lenses which can damage eyes if not prescribed by an eye-care professional.

If your kids are beyond trick or treating age, you can still contribute to a happy and healthy Halloween for your neighbors. Be a trick or treat friendly home by clearing your yard of hazards like hoses and slippery wet leaves and turn on your lights to give kids a big welcome!

Top Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget


Summer is here and our Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with the best organic produce.  Eating organic means avoiding the nasty pesticide residue that can be left on our food.  Pesticide residue isn’t healthful for anyone but is of greatest concern to pregnant women and young children. Unfortunately eating organic can be challenging to your food budget. Here are a few tips to make healthful eating a little easier on your pocketbook.

Shop at one of our many beautiful Bay Area farmers’ markets. If you are particularly happy with a vendor ask about seconds, discounts for bulk purchasing or how to buy their produce when the market is closed.

Consider joining a CAS (community supported agriculture program). Your money goes toward a local farm’s operating expense and in turn you’ll get weekly boxes of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables

Grow your own fruits and vegetables. Gardening is a great family activity and you may find that your kids become more adventuresome in their food choices. There is something exciting about eating the fruits of your labor!

Become an expert freezer or canner to get great organic taste in the winter months. Take advantage of summer’s bounty and buy bulk at a cheaper price.

Buy organic where it really counts. The Environmental Working Group’s annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” foods can help you decide where to go organic. The EWG estimates that you can decrease your pesticide exposure by 80 % by switching to organic when buying these 12 foods. For more information check out http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/

The Dirty Dozen:

  • Apples and apple products such as apple sauce and apple juice

  • Celery

  • Sweet bell peppers

  • Peaches

  • Strawberries

  • Imported Nectarines

  • Grapes

  • Spinach

  • Lettuce

  • Cucumbers

  • Domestic blueberries

  • Potatoes

  • Green beans and kale (not on the list but exercise caution)


 

The following foods have been determined to be so clean that the added expense of organic isn’t worth stretching your weekly food budget:

  • Onions

  • Sweet corn

  • Pineapple

  • Avocado

  • Asparagus

  • Sweet peas

  • Mango

  • Eggplant

  • Cantaloupe (domestic)

  • Kiwi

  • Cabbage

  • Watermelon

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Grapefruit

  • Mushrooms


 

 

 

Just Because the Shoe Fits Doesn’t Mean You Should Be Wearing it!

It’s that time of year when ladies love to pull out the cute strappy sandals and flip flops of spring and summer and flaunt lacquered toes and beautifully sculpted calves.

At the end of a long day of work, running errands or having fun with friends, our feet can be downright painful, a symptom NOT to be ignored. Prevention Magazine recently conducted a study to see exactly what our favorite fashionable shoes did to our posture, muscles and joints. Here is what they found.

Flip-Flops
Did you ever realize that the way we keep flip-flops on our feet is by gripping our toes? This constant gripping keeps arches from flexing normally and sets off a chain of events requiring more work for your hips and knees and less for the back of your legs and butt where the action should be! The end result is a shortening of your stride that can fatigue your lower body.

There are alternatives that can look deceptively similar! Look for something with support and a structured arch. Podiatrists often recommend Chaco, Reef, Orthaheel and Dansko for supportive yet fashionable footwear.

High Heels
We all love the way heels give our legs a lovely, sexy and elongated look but you wont love what they can do to your body like increasing your risk of osteoarthritis six fold!  In order to compensate for the tipped forward position heels put you in, it’s natural to bend your knees and arch your back. Not only does this tighten your quads but the bent knee position puts 200% more stress on your kneecaps which can wear away cartilage and inflame existing arthritis. Add shin splints and shortened calf muscles (13% shorter than non-heel wearers!) and wearing heel doesn’t feel quite so pretty.

If you just have to wear those Jimmy Choos then make sure to stretch out your claves and rub down those shins before and after wearing.  You can also pretend you live in city. City-dwelling women often grab a low-heeled commuter shoe, saving the high heels for short stints. If your fashion sense can tolerate it, choosing a 2-inch heel over a 3-inch will reduce stress by 29 %.

Ballet Flats and Canvas Casuals

Unfortunately flats can be as problematic as other shoes if you fail to choose a supportive variety. Most flats lack arch support and without it, ligaments and tendons along the bottom of your foot can overstretch and collapse leading to plantar fasciitis. Additionally choosing a shoe with less interior padding can trigger pain in the heel or ball of your foot, especially if you have high arches.

If you just have to have those cute jute espadrilles make sure that you exercise your feet by doing toe lifts—yes, really. Lift just your big toe and this will work the muscles that support your arches. Do 20 toe lifts on each foot! Another great answer is to buy insoles or over the counter orthotics for your shoes. When you’re shopping for flats, look for a supportive pair that only bends easily at the ball of the foot. If the shoe bends in the middle or rolls up easily, put it back on the shelf and keep looking. There are plenty of great fashionable food friendly shoes out there.

Rocker Shoes

Rocker soles were marketed as a great work out for your legs and butt. Unfortunately the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website is full of complaints about injuries from tendinitis to broken bones. Instead, hit the gym for your leg and butt workout and buy a great pair of well fitting and supportive athletic shoes.

InHealth’s advice? Your shoes are an investment in your health, not just in your fashion quotient. Instead of buying three pairs of fun and fashionable shoes, buy one pair that is comfortable, cute and foot-friendly; the kind that you’ll look forward to wearing. Your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, butt, hips and back will thank you!

 

 

The other Grain’s

 

The buzz has been al about Quinoa and Rice, but there are a whole host of grains that we would like to recommend you try.  They vary in healthy ingredients with some having more fiber and other’s having more protein.  But all will give you a healthy boost and are less harsh than their wheat counterpart.  We are going to share just a few, to get a complete list stop by our office and pick on up in the waiting room.  All the grains can be cooked in a rice cooker for easy and efficiency.

 

Barley non hulled is a great breakfast or dinner dish and is helpful for modulating blood sugar levels.  Barley is below a 55 on the Glycemic index without much of a bitter taste to it.  It also does contain Fiber and is a great source.  Not only does is have fiber but it contains vitamin’s B1, B3, minerals selenium, iron, antioxidants and phytochemicals.  One negative is that Barley does contain Gluten at 5-8% so people with extreme intolerance to gluten should consult their doctor before eating it.

 

1 cup Barley pearled

3 cups of water

Cook time 50-60 min

Yield 3 ½ cups

 

 

Amaranth is an herb as well as a grain and is from South America it is been used by many people for their belief in its supernatural powers.  We like it for it’s super vitamins (A,B6, C), Minerals (Calcium, potassium and manganese), protein (30% higher than wheat), Fiber.  Also it is gluten free so a great option for gluten intolerant people.

 

1 cup Amaranth dry

2 ½ cups water

Cook Time 20-25 min

Yields 2 ½ cups

 

Millet is a less used grain but a great one that our ancestors used frequently it’s origin’s are from China and it is packed with nutrients.  It looks like a small version of quinoa and a little like birdseed.  It is great cause it not only has packed with vitamin’s ( B) and minerals (magnesium, calcium, phosphorus) it also; acts as a prebiotic for your micro flora nourishing and feeding them, provides serotonin to make you feel calm, hydrates the colon, is alkaline and contains no gluten.

 

1 cup Millet dry

2-4 cups water

Cook Time 20-25 min

Yield 3 ½ cups

 

 

 

Foods That Treat

It’s estimated that up to 60 percent of cancers are diet related. Being obese or overweight increases the death rate from several conditions including heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and several types of cancer.

That old adage, “You are what you eat,” isn’t far from the truth! Time and time again, studies show that choosing healthy foods can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer or other diseases. But we can take that one steep further. While a good diet is great preventative care we are finding that many foods can also help certain conditions. Here are some great foods that will get you on the road to feeling better!

Tired of the aches pains of arthritis? Think berries, ginger, pumpkin and red bell pepper.

  • The vitamin C in berries may help slow the wear and tear on your joints and its antioxidant activity may keep free radicals from wreaking havoc. Plus, vitamin C plays an essential role in the formation of collagen, a key component of cartilage and bone.

  • Ginger contains compounds that work similarly to some anti-inflammatory medications. You’ll want to have ginger everyday—try a few slices in hot water to make a great tea.

  • Pumpkin is high in antioxidants and can reduce inflammation. Pumkin puree can be added to almost anything like puddings, yogurt, sauces, and soups. Try to eat a can every week.

  • Red Bell peppers are rich in inflammation-fighting carotenoids and they have more than 250% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C. Try to eat three peppers a week.


PMS and cramps have you down and out?  Think dairy with cheese, pineapple, almonds and flaxseed.

  • Studies show that women with PMS have lower levels of calcium around ovulation than women who are symptom free. Adding dairy products, like cheese, is worth a try. Try to eat three servings of calcium-rich food daily.

  • Pineapple is a triple threat (in a good way)! It’s one of the best sources for manganese that can help prevent mood, swings, breast tenderness and cramping. It’s also water-rich which will help banish the bloat, and can satisfy your sugar craving in healthy way. Have a cup a day in the 10 days prior to your period.

  • Almonds are a great source of magnesium that can help with headaches, mood swings and bloating. Enjoy an ounce of almonds every day.

  • Flaxseed can inhibit the release of prostaglandins (what makes you crampy) by providing omega-3s. Try to have 1 or 2 teaspoons daily over cereal, a salad, or mixed in a smoothie.


 

Want to help control your Type 2 diabetes through diet? Think beans, egg whites and nuts.

  • Beans are a super food with a great combination of carbs, protein and fiber that help stabilize blood sugar. Add beans to your diet as much as possible.

  • Egg whites are low in calorie, high in protein and are cholesterol free. They will help you maintain your weight and keep your blood sugar levels in check. Eggs are the perfect addition to any meal. Try to have three or four egg-based meals a week.

  • Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein. This combination helps keep your blood sugar stable by slowing down the rate that your body absorbs carbs. They can also improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Grab an ounce of your favorite nuts every day.


Want to ensure a good night’s sleep? Think tryptophan-rich foods and carbs.

  • Tryptophan is nature’s sedative as it is one the ingredients necessary for the body to make serotonin. In turn, serotonin makes us feel calm and drowsy.

  • Combine tryptophan rich foods with carbs that help move the tryptophan into the brain where it will make you feel sleepy. Try cheese toast, cereal and milk, a turkey sandwich or cottage cheese and berries.


Worried about osteoporosis? Think broccoli, skim milk and yogurt.

  • For great bone building nutrition look to Broccoli, which is rich in vitamins C, and K, potassium and calcium. C and K help with bone density while potassium protects you against bone loss. Try for three servings a week.

  • A cup of skim milk contains 300 mg of calcium, which is a third of the recommended daily amount. You can use milk in almost anything that calls for the addition of water. Or, be a purist and grab a cold glass of milk and dunk some cookies!

  • Yogurt is great source of calcium and protein, a winning combination for bone strength. Check out Greek-style yogurt to get twice the protein.


Does heart disease run in your family? Think oatmeal, sweet potatoes and wild salmon.

  • Oatmeal is rich in soluble fiber which attaches itself to cholesterol and carries it out of your body. Studies show that eating 2.5 servings a day of whole grains will lower your stroke and heart attack risk by 21%. Try to eat oatmeal at least three times a week.

  • Sweet potatoes are fiber-rich and potassium-packed, which can reduce the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure. Eat them baked or mashed twice a week.

  • Wild salmon is high in omega-3s, which can lower the risk of heart disease and arrhythmia. They also can help lower triglycerides, raise your good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce inflammation that has been linked to an increased risk in Diabetes and heart disease. Try to eat salmon twice a week.


Do migraines take time away from your life? Think quinoa, ground flaxseed and spinach.

  • Quinoa provides 30% of your recommended daily amount of magnesium, a mineral that can be helpful in warding-off menstrual migraines. Try to eat quinoa at least three times a week.

  • Flaxseed is high in omega-3s that can reduce headache-causing inflammation. Sprinkle a tablespoon a day on your food or add to a smoothie. You’ll reduce menstrual cramps as well!

  • Vitamin B can reduce the frequency and severity of headaches. Spinach contains magnesium, as well as riboflavin which is a B vitamin. Enjoy three servings a week.


 

 

For more information on foods that treat, check out this great book “Joy Bauer’s Food Cures”.

 

 

 

 

Easy Dates to Make Your Valentine’s Day Rate

Dates don’t have to be in the evening!  Make a day of it. Start the morning with a latte and then head out on one of our beautiful Bay Area back roads. Stop for a romantic lunch at a fine restaurant. It will cost less than dinner and be less crowded. On the drive home you can stop at another restaurant to watch the sunset and enjoy happy hour before you head home for some romancing.

Do you and your sweetie have special memories of a great date or other romantic moment? Have fun re enacting it!

Always dreamed of travelling abroad but have lacked the time or funds to do so?  Rent a movie filmed in a country you’ve always wanted to visit~ Italy for instance.  Grab a bottle of Chianti and make an authentic pasta dish while listening to beautiful Italian music.  After dinner, plan your dream trip with a pile of travel brochures and tour books. Then cuddle up for your romantic film.

Grab a sexy “how-to” book and start studying!  A less lusty and more romantic how-to guide is “The Art of Kissing:  Book of Questions & Answers by William Cane.

Start, instead of end, your date in the bedroom.  When you’ve already made the physical connection, the emotional connection is heightened and you’re in less of a hurry to get home.  P.S.  Your man is less likely to fall asleep if he hasn’t had dinner yet!

Looking for a way to get to know the new love in your life a bit better? Make each other a playlist of your favorite music. Make sure to include music from your high school and college years. Then grab a bottle of wine and turn up the tunes. You’ll learn so much about each other, as music is so often associated with life’s memories.

 

Play tourist in your own backyard. Visit the local tourist spots, like the Winchester Mystery House. Don’t forget to take plenty of photos!

 

Enjoy a little role-playing and fantasy. Get dressed separately, meet in a local restaurant bar and pretend you don’t know one another. Always wanted to have that slightly trashy one night encounter? Go for it without any guilt or second thoughts!

 

Channel the fun and frivolity of being a carefree child. Head to the zoo or playground and leave life’s cares behind for a few hours.

 

 

Do It Yourself Sprouting for Live Food


1.  Put 1-2 Tbsps. of seeds or 3-4 Tbsps. of beans in a wide mouth jar.
2   Cover with netting or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.

3.  Rinse a couple of times, then fill the jar ¾ full with pure water and soak 6-8    hours or overnight at room temperature with room temperature water.

4.  Drain soak water.  Rinse 2 or 3 times in cool water.

5. Invert jar and prop at angle in sink or bowl to drain.

6. Rinse 2 to 3 times twice a day in cool water.  During sprouting days as specified in chart below.

7. Place sprouting jar in bright light, but not direct sunlight, except for last sprouting day to allow chlorophyll to form, which is the green healthy stuff.
8. Enjoy in three to seven days.

 

Seed sprouts, like alfalfa or red clover are 1” (2.5 cm) to 2” (5cm) long when ready. Bean sprouts, like lentils or peas are ¼” (.5cm) to ½” (1 cm) long when ready. These are more tender when small.  Mung beans are 1” (2.5cm) to 2” (5cm) long when ready. They are best grown in the dark to prevent bitterness.  They should be rinsed 3 to 4 times a day.  Taste the sprouts as they are growing to see when you like them best.

 

9. Drain well.  Cover the jar with a lid, or transfer to a covered container.  Refrigerate to store.

 

 







































































































Food Hours to Soak Days of Sprouting
All Beans 9-12 2-3
Alfalfa 5-10 3-5
Almond 8-10 2-3
Buckwheat 10-12 2-3
Clover 8-10 3-4
Corn 10-15 3-5
Fenugreek 10-12 4-5
Lentils 10-12 2-3
Millet 8-11 1-2
Oat Groats 8-10 1-2
Peas 9-12 2-3
Quinoa 8-10 2-3
Rice 9-12 3-4
Rye 9-12 2-4
Sesame Seeds 8-11 3-4
Spelt 6-12 3-4
Sunflower Seeds 6-8 2-3
Triticale 9-12 2-4
Wheatgrass 10-12 7-10

 

Could that Reusable Shopping Bag Make You Sick?

There seems to bit of a panic over the dangers of the bacteria that could be lurking in your reusable shopping bags. However, a University of Arizona study says that most of the bacteria that is found in bags is typically quite harmless. In fact, San Francisco banned plastic shopping bags more than three years ago and hasn’t seen a rise in E.coli infections!

Still concerned. Follow these tips:

  • Choose washable sturdy canvas shopping bags

  • Make a habit of putting your shopping bags into the wash with your kitchen towels. Washing reduces the bacteria by 99.9%!

  • Non-washable bags should be wiped with an anti-bacterial solution

  • When you are shopping, use the plastic produce bags for your fresh foods—especially packages of meat

  • Treat your bags much like cutting boards and assign different bags for non-food items, produce, meats etc.


Don’t relax yet! Reusable grocery bags are the least of our worries! Here are some surprising places that bacteria lurk from a list of the top 30 from the CDC.

  • Sponge or counter-wiping cloth: 134,630 bacteria/square inch

  • Pet food dish, inside rim: 2,110 bacteria/square inch

  • Garbage bin: 411 bacteria/square inch

  • Dish towel: 408 bacteria/square inch

  • Toy: 345 bacteria/square inch

  • Kitchen tabletop: 344 bacteria/square inch

  • Home office phone or refrigerator door: 319 bacteria/square inch

  • Bathroom light switch: 217 bacteria/square inch

  • Microwave buttons: 214 bacteria/square inch

  • Kitchen chopping board: 194 bacteria/square inch

  • TV remote control: 70 bacteria/square inch

  • Home office computer keyboard: 64 bacteria/square inch

  • Home office computer mouse: 50 bacteria/square inch


Throw that sponge and dishtowel into your washer on a regular basis and use a good cleaning solution on some these easily forgotten locations!

 

 

 

 

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Choosing the Right Detox Plan

This is the time of year when the doldrums often surface. The excitement of the holiday season is over and those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions might be waning. A great way to get back on track is to boot the toxins from your body with a detox or cleanse.

A detox or cleanse will:

  • Dissolve and eliminate toxins that have formed in any part of the body

  • Cleanse the kidneys and digestive system

  • Purify the glands and cells

  • Eliminate waste and hardened material in joints and muscles

  • Relieve pressure and irritation in nerves, arteries and blood vessels


These diets fall into two general categories; ones that allow you to eat and ones that don’t!

A typical seven day cleansing diet that includes food will often cut out all meat, fish, dairy products, processed foods and simple carbohydrates. Raw, organic fruits and vegetables and whole unprocessed foods like grains and nuts will make up most of the diet along with freshly squeezed juices. Numerous cleansing diets can be found online so you can look for the one that will work best for you.

One of the most popular detox diets is the Lemonade Diet, also known as the Master Cleanse. The program was written by the late Stanley Burroughs in 1940 and was entitled “The Master Cleanser”. Today’s version was published in 1976 and is a small booklet that outlines the diet.

Master Cleanse is not for everyone because of the lack of food. Daily “food” consumption is 60 ounces of water, 12 tablespoons each of maple syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice, and half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper along with a laxative tea and a salt water flush.

The Master Cleanse should be considered strictly a cleansing plan. While weight loss occurs, the majority is water and at least half of the weight returns after weaning off the plan.

If you are interested in a detox or cleanse program, contact us and we will be happy to guide you in choosing a program that is right for you.