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Fall into Wellness | Healthy Living

Fall is a wonderful time of year to revisit health and fitness goals. Shopping for produce in season is the best way to support Nature’s own gifts to keeping us healthy. In the summer fruits with vitamin C are in season and help calm allergies. In the fall and winter foods with vitamin A like squash, pumpkin, and carrots help prevent cold/flu by enhancing respiratory health.

Try experimenting with fall flavors and making healthy alternatives. For example, take 1 cup coffee, 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree, 1 dash cinnamon, 1 dash nutmeg, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 teaspoon unsweetened vanilla, a half tablespoon raw honey and blend together for a delicious, homemade fall coffee.

For breakfast, make your morning smoothie thicker by adding less water, put it in a bowl and top it with pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, fresh fig pieces, fresh apple pieces and coconut flakes for a delicious breakfast alternative.

Try not to wait until January to make a healthy fitness resolution. I recommend joining a gym before the new year to get a head start. Implementing some kind of sauna or steam in can support the body’s natural detoxification process. Trying something fun like kickboxing or indoor swimming can keep you fit indoors all year long.

As grilling season dwindles, consumption of fish goes down as well. To supplement omega-3’s instead of fish, try increasing foods like walnuts, chia and flax seeds into the diet. Taking a good quality fish oil with vitamin D3 can help support brain health and mood through the dark gray days of fall. Homemade bone broth can also help support collagen for healthy bones, nails, hair and skin.

Make an effort to socialize with friends and family this fall. Being social can help prevent chronic disease.

Planning a trip for the spring will break up the gloomy weather days in the coming months. Try making new friends based on similar hobbies. If you have recently moved locations try to hold a neighborhood fall gathering to meet some new neighbors. Laughing and making new connections are good for the brain and body.

I hope all of these suggestions inspire you to make some simple healthy changes this season.

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a primary care naturopathic physician at Tree of Health Integrative Medicine clinic in Woodinville.

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Healthy Living: What is Diverticulitis?

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - What is Diverticulitis? How do we treat it?

Anthony Tannous, MD, October 16, 2018

Diverticulitis is a very common disease of the colon that occurs along a very wide spectrum of severity. In its milder forms, it can be treated in the clinic but when very severe it may require emergency surgery.
What is diverticulitis? And how do we treat it?
The last part of our gastrointestinal tract is the colon. The colon sometimes has small pouches in its wall, areas of weakness, called diverticula. The presence and number of diverticula is related to our genetics and diet. Many people have these pouches and have no symptoms. If they don’t cause any symptoms they don’t need to be treated. Occasionally they do however get inflamed, a condition called diverticulitis which does require treatment.
What are the symptoms of diverticulitis?
The most common symptom is abdominal pain. Our colon courses from the right lower abdomen to the upper abdomen then to the left lower abdomen and any part can be affected. The most common site is the sigmoid colon which is in the left lower abdomen which is why it’s the most common site of pain. Pain is often accompanied by fever, constipation, diarrhea and nausea with vomiting. If the pain is mild, it is reasonable to seek the consult of the primary care. If the pain is severe and has associated symptoms then presenting to the emergency room is advisable.
There are many tests your doctor may choose to perform to confirm the diagnosis but tests are not always needed if the pain is mild and typical and this is not the first episode. If you do have a test, it may include a CT scan of the abdomen and a blood count.
Treatment of diverticulitis may take several forms depending on the severity of the disease. In the mildest forms, where the pouch is simply inflamed and the symptoms mild, treatment is as simple as a course of oral antibiotics at home. For more severe symptoms or inflammation, you may need to be admitted for a short period of bowel rest and intravenous antibiotics.
In certain cases, the inflammation is so severe that is causes a hole to develop in the diverticulum which leads to bacteria going outside the colon. This may result in the formation of an abscess which, if it reaches a certain size, may need drainage through a tube. In these cases, along with the antibiotics, the drain may have to stay in place for a variable duration. When the infection is free floating in the abdomen and causes peritonitis or sepsis, emergent surgery is needed.
Ultimately, if the diverticulitis is recurrent, severe or poses considerable risk, most surgeons will advise removal of the part colon with the pouches in its wall. Depending on the overall condition, it may not be safe to reattach the colon to itself during first surgery resulting in a temporary ostomy bag. That ostomy will in most cases be taken down and reconnected to the colon in a second surgery, 3 to 6 months later.
Many patients ask how they can prevent diverticulitis. A large part is genetics but diet does play a role. If you are prone to diverticulitis then it is a good idea to eat a lot of fiber. Good sources of fiber include fruits, oats, beans, peas and green leafy vegetables. It is usually advised to wait until symptoms get better to start eating more fiber to prevent irritation of the inflamed colon.

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EforAll awards 5 entrepreneurs with ideas for healthy living

EforAll South Coast hosted its first of two pitch contests this month, themed “Healthy Community,” at the Fall River YMCA on Oct. 3.

The event brought in a vast array of ideas, all with plans of making communities healthier.

Five businesses were pre-selected to give quick pitches for cash prizes, while two others were chosen the night of the event.

A panel of local business leaders judged the event and voted on the eight pitches. Judges were Chris Johnson of SERVEPRO, Rayana Grace of Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, Chris Nielsen of Thirsty Joe’s Cafe, Patti Rego of WeLoveFallRiver, and Luis Gonsalves, an EforAll alumnus and owner of Juiced Cafe.

EforAll South Coast will host its final pitch contest of the year at New Bedford Harbor Hotel Oct. 24, 6 p.m., themed “All Ideas.” Applications are being accepted through Oct. 18. More information is available at


Healthy Community Pitch Contest Prize Winners:

Gnome Surf

First Place: $1,000

Chris Antao of Fall River holds surf camps for children with disabilities and autism, and hopes to expand to camps for empowering young girls and veterans. In addition to expanding demographics, Gnome Surf plans to expand services from art therapy, surf therapy, and yoga to include Surf-Fit.


Elevate Summit

Second Place: $750

Caroline Paradis and Kelley Cabral-Mosher of Fairhaven are planning a mindfulness summit for the fall of 2019. The mission is to educate, encourage and empower people to harness their innate capacity for happiness and health through a one-day event comprised of workshops, information-sharing and speakers.



Third Place: $500

Bryant Capello and Lisa Ortiz of New Bedford have an idea for a restaurant which aims to provide quick, convenient, nutritious and affordable food service in New Bedford. PHRESH will fill the need for delicious health food on-the-go, in a fast-casual environment.


South Coast Open Air Market

Fan Favorite: $500

Allison Faunce of Somerset runs an open-air market in Somerset that is in its second season. The market operates every other Saturday in the summer and every Saturday in the fall, and serves as a hub for all things local, fresh and handmade, highlighting a wide selection of artisans, farmers, live music, nonprofits, food and fitness.


The Village Meeple LLC

Fan Favorite: $500

Justin Yu and Charles Van de Workeen of Somerset plan to open a board-game cafe where gamers can meet for a beverage and a game for a small price. Patrons pay an entry fee, socialize and play board games.


More information is available at or by contacting Jeremiah Hernandez at

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HEALTHY LIVING: 5 things to know about the parks department’s full-body workout program at the Meriden Green – Meriden Record

MERIDEN — The parks and recreation department has started a full-body workout program that is held bi-weekly at the Meriden Green.

The Record-Journal caught up with Kathy Matula, recreation coordinator for parks and recreation, and personal trainer John Zvonek at a session of “Get Going On The Green.”

Here are five things to know about the program.

Get Involved

The “Get Going On The Green” program runs for five weeks, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Twenty-five spaces are available in the program, and participants can register at the parks and recreation office at City Hall or online. 

Classes meet at the Meriden Green amphitheater.

Health benefits

Exercising outdoors provides fresh air and natural light. Zvonek said working with, and at times against, the elements can be a fun challenge.

“We want to use the park and show them what is possible to do here,” he said.

For new mother and city resident Jessy Hart, a first-time participant, the weekly workouts are a way to try a new activity.

“I’m trying to get more fit and trying to keep up the weight loss that I had postpartum,” she said.

The low-impact workout consists of continuous all-body movements. It can be modified to suit any level and any age, from 18 to 100 years old.

“They can make it as hard or as easy as they want it to be and they can work at whatever ability level they’re at,” Zvonek said.

Calorie burning and muscle toning are among the benefits of the program. Interested participants should consult their physician before starting a new workout regimen.

The workout

The class starts with a warm-up and moves to a variety of low impact exercises, including high knees, planks, jogging, step-ups, bob and weaves, walking and air punches or jabs. 

There are small water breaks in between the 45-minute class. 

Zvonek said the workout keeps everyone moving and using different muscles. 

The steps in the amphitheater are used for planks and step-ups depending on individual’s ability.

The Green

Open to the public in 2016, the 14-acre Meriden Green has walking trails and an amphitheater for events.

“We picked this lunch break hour, there’s always people moving around here,” Matula said.

The recreation department is looking to expand programming on the green to include other seasonal activities.


Matula said the goal of the parks and recreation department is to provide healthy programming in the city’s more than 20 parks.

Besides the workout program, the recreation department will also hold a free pilates class on the green from 10 a.m., to 11 a.m., on Saturday.

Other park programs a hiking group on Thursdays through November from 4 to 6 p.m.

More information can be found by calling 203-630-4259
Twitter: @KusReporter

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Healthy Living: Millennials Turn to Prenups

Up to half of all marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce.

These grim numbers have caused many millennials to consider prenups.

In Healthy Living, see why being prepared might be a young person’s best defense for a failed marriage. 

Getting a prenup isn’t cheap. In fact, legal representation can cost $2,500 or more per person.

Some sites, such as RocketLawyer, Avvo, and LegalZoom, offer discounts for consultations and document reviews.

Experts say the important thing to remember is you both need lawyers and not the same one!




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Healthy Living: Katamine vs. Parkinson’s

Levodopa is the best-known treatment for Parkinson’s, but it can cause some other debilitating side effects.

Now, researchers at the University of Arizona are testing an old drug, in addition to levodopa, to see if it brings relief.

We find out in Healthy Living. 

Ketamine can raise blood pressure and cause feelings of dissociation in higher doses.

Researchers expect the dosage needed to control dyskinesia will be much lower than that.



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6 Foods that Reduce Brain Inflammation

When you hear “brain inflammation,” you may think of a swollen brain, but that’s not what this article is about. It’s about inflammation on a microscopic level.

Chronic inflammation affects the entire body, including the brain, and since the brain is very delicate, minor inflammation can lead to serious health problems such as depression, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and dementia.

The good news is brain inflammation is not beyond your control. You can keep your brain healthy by simply changing your diet. Below are foods that help reduce brain inflammation.

Foods that Reduce Brain Inflammation

Before I share with you the anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet, make sure you cut back on refined carbs and vegetable oil, since they increase brain inflammation.

1. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate that has high amounts of cocoa is loaded with flavanoids and antioxidants that reduce inflammation.

In fact, research shows that dark chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa and 30 percent organic cane sugar can ease stress and inflammation.

2. Coffee and Tea

You may know that a moderate intake of coffee is associated with a longer life. Well, the caffeine coffee (and tea!) can also reduce brain inflammation and as a result, lower the risk of age-related cognitive conditions like dementia.

A study published in the journal Nature Medicine explains that caffeine helps block pathways that produce inflammatory molecules.

3. Gingko Biloba

Even though this is an herbal supplement, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Gingko biloba improves blood circulation in the entire body, which means more blood to your brain.

Some say that this herb can make you smarter, but those claims are not backed by science. I may note that gingko biloba interacts warfarin, so talk to your doctor before taking it, if you’re currently taking warfarin or any other blood thinner.

4. Green Tea

Green tea contains Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which may help fight inflammation. A recent study found that EGCG can fight brain inflammation caused by unhealthy fats and high-sugar foods.

The authors of the study warn that green tea is not a ‘magic elixir’ for your body or brain. You still need to cut back on processed foods to reduce brain inflammation.

5. Blueberries and Walnuts

Findings from this study show that walnuts and blueberries can fight brain inflammation. They contain antioxidants that block free radicals, which increase inflammation.

6. Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that has many benefits to the brain. This study found that curcumin eased depression by reducing brain inflammation.

Do you know other foods that reduce brain inflammation?

6 Foods that Reduce Brain Inflammation

Images via Thinkstock

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Healthy Living: A Different Angle

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Healthy Living: Hi-Tech Play

A hospital can be an overwhelming place especially when you’re a child.

Often times it leads to fear or stress, which slows down healing.

Experts say play is what helps.

A leading children’s hospital in California is listening and has created a hi-tech, interactive space where a kid can just be a kid.

Katie Boomgaard has the story.



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Healthy living expo set for Saturday in Temple

Whenever TDT Melany Cox posts new content, you’ll get an email delivered to your inbox with a link.

Email notifications are only sent once a day, and only if there are new matching items.

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