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Healthy Living: Peanut allergies


Leia Flure Registered Dietitian with University of Illinois Extension Office joins us for Healthy Living to talk about peanut allergies. 

Food allergies are a big concern for parents these days – especially peanut allergies. It seems like we all know someone who has a peanut allergy, but how common is it really?

• Only about 1.5% of young children are affected. But for those who are allergic to peanuts, it can be very dangerous.

• The prevalence of peanut allergy has doubled over the past 10 years in countries that have advocated avoiding of peanuts during pregnancy, lactation and infancy New guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease recommend introducing peanut to infants as early as 4-6 months.

Where did this new recommendation come from?

• Prevalence of peanut allergy among Jewish children in London was 10 times higher than the prevalence of peanut allergy among Jewish children in Israel

• Israeli parents very commonly give their babies a snack called Bamba – which has a texture similar to Cheetos puffs, but is peanut butter flavored

• Researchers to conduct a large, randomized controlled study to get more evidence that eating peanuts early in life helps prevent allergies

• Two groups of kids – those who ate peanut-containing foods at least three times per week, and those who did not. All of the children were at high risk for developing peanut allergy.

• Comparing these two groups – regular consumption of peanut foods early on decreased the risk of developing peanut allergy by 81%! So based on the strength of the study’s results, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease worked with 25 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups to develop clinical practice guidelines.

NIAID Peanut Introduction Guidelines:

• Infants with severe eczema, egg allergy, or both: 4-6 months

• Infants with mild to moderate eczema: ~6 months • Infants without eczema or egg allergy: Introduce freely • Talk to your healthcare provider if there are any questions about your child’s risk

So what are some good ways to introduce peanuts to infants? My favorite ways to introduce peanuts to infants (adapted from the National Peanut Board):

1. Thin 2 teaspoons of peanut butter with 2 teaspoons water and serve on a spoon.

2. Blend 2 teaspoons of peanut butter OR powdered peanut butter into 2-3 tablespoons of soft/pureed foods like infant cereal, applesauce, or yogurt

3. Try a peanut-containing snack (such as Bamba) that breaks down easily in an infant’s mouth Remember – no whole nuts should be given until children are 5 years old. Bigger lumps or dollops of peanut butter should not be given until children are 4. (You can spread it on toast or banana)

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Healthy Living Contest encourages growing your own garden

Fruits and vegetables are great food choices for our bodies — especially organic options. But, how can you get enough healthy fruits and vegetables at the right price?

The St. Peters Community Health and Wellness Advisory Committee encourages residents to grow their own vegetable/fruit gardens through a Healthy Living Contest, according to a press release.

The committee’s contest will reward participants with a chance to win free one-day family passes to enjoy the St. Peters Rec-Plex — which will help people stay active in addition to eating well.

Each month, through September, the St. Peters Community Health and Wellness Advisory Committee will draw 20 one-day family passes to the St. Peters Rec-Plex from participating St. Peters residents who grow their own vegetable or fruit gardens.

To enter the Healthy Living Contest, take a picture of your garden and mail it to: Healthy Living Contest, St. Peters City Hall, PO Box 9, St. Peters, MO, 63376, or you can e-mail it to

Please include your name, address and phone number. This contest is open to St. Peters residents only. The drawings will be held on the fourth Monday each month, through September, from all entries received.

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Healthy Living: June 27, 2017

By: JP Stowe, ATC, CSCS – Eastern Maine Medical Center

Spartan races, Inflatable 5k’s, Color Runs, and Marathons are all a part of a busy spring and summer here in Maine. These types of races and activities feature a broad spectrum of participants that range from some truly amazing athletes to the typical weekend warrior just starting a workout or running regiment. No matter the experience level, they all have at least one thing in common; they need to recover properly. Some of these events are absolutely grueling to finish and the week after can make your body feel like you were hit by a truck and may even leave you couch bound. Instead of lying around, the best way to recover is what we call an active recovery.

Why am I sore?
I think we’d all agree that these types of races aren’t easy. Reflecting back on your race, you may focus on the obstacles themselves but there are plenty of elements during an obstacle race or long race which factor into why you’re walking like a 70 year old on broken glass the next morning!
· Soft tissue inflammation – from prolonged stress on tendons, muscles, ligaments and fascia.
· Scrapes, scratches and bruises – from climbing, crawling and falling.
· Increased joint stress – arches, ankles, knees, hips, low back, necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers are all stressed with step on ever-changing surfaces.
· Lactic acid – your body’s “exhaust” or waste product produced during intense muscle activity.

Tips to Accelerate your Race Recovery

Joint Motion – Almost all 360 joints in your body are used in an obstacle course race. Many of those joints were stretched and twisted in a very different manner than how they move during your 9-5 job. During your recovery, simple and slow stretches and movements from your neck to your big toe will enhance vital inner-joint lubrication and help restore normal joint motion.

Hydrate and Eat Healthy- Drinking lots of water with healthy foods will help your body flush out the “bad stuff” while replacing the “good stuff” such as inner muscle fluids, healthy calories, sodium (salt) and important electrolytes.

Drain your Legs – Elevate your legs straight up in the air for 5-10 minutes while pumping your ankles and toes 3x/day. Gravity was not your friend in the race but now it’s time to take advantage of gravity to help your lymphatic system to drain “the bad stuff” from your loyal legs.

Just Run – “What?!” Trust me on this one….running the next day after a race is a key part of your recovery. It only needs to be an easy one mile trot on the soccer field, or 10 minutes of light side-shuffles and agility drills in the back yard. Your legs will thank you two days from now.
Massage and Stretch – Get your feet, legs, hips, and low back massaged and stretched as soon as possible to minimize the amount of waste products from embedding in the membranes of your muscles.
Ice and Compression are Your Best Friends – Sure, ice hurts but ice a valuable tool for serious athletes training and racing hard. If you have localized pain or swelling in a muscle or joint, ice the area for 15-20 minutes, a few times per day. Ongoing joint or muscle pain should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Wound Care – Like friendly reminders, the flesh wounds are there. They range from simple scrapes to the deep cuts to the bloody blisters to “where-did-that-come-from?” battle marks. Take care of open wounds quickly to avoid complications by cleaning the open wounds thoroughly with soap and water, applying an antibiotic ointment and, if needed, covering them with a sterile dressing.

Doing a better job with your race recovery will get you back to what you want to do: Living a healthy and active lifestyle. Challenges await you and having a plan of attack for the aches and pains that come with those challenges will surely make you stronger.

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Exercise a boost to healthy living *

Headlines in the newspapers in Trinidad and Tobago recently read “SICK TT”.

This was disheartening for me and my fianc to read as we are fitness enthusiasts and believe in the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by participating in regular exercise, eating the right foods and drinking lots of water.

We share a passion for helping people reach their fitness goals whether it be to burn fat, build muscles or just simply to look and feel better in the clothes that they wear.

We go to the gym three times a week and while there we combine cardio routines with resistance exercise in the form of weight training.

Participating in regular exercise over time has many positive physical, mental, and social health enhancing properties. The quality and vigour of your life vastly improve.

You have heard this several times but it needs to be repeated that frequent exercise reduces your risk of contracting many diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and depression.

It improves your mood and also results in improved longevity and maintenance of independence into older age.

In everything we do there are advantages and disadvantages. Exercise can have a negative effect on health in the form of injury.

The effects that sport and exercise-related injuries have on an individual’s health can be relatively minor, with only a period of rest needed.

Sport and exercise-related injuries do not just effect elite performers, but are a significant problem at every level of participation.

Around a third of all emergency consultations are directly linked to sport and exercise. Although participation in any form of activity carries a risk of injury the overall health benefits of activity far outweighs this risk.

A lot of children at the ages of 14 and 15 years are entering the hospitals with diabetes and high blood pressure.

It is time to reverse the current high rate of one in four children being overweight or obese by promoting healthy nutrition which encourages children as well as adults on making healthy food choices, using correct portion sizes, and eating fruit and vegetables on a regular basis.

I want to appeal to the public to live active lifestyles through the use of gym facilities and other fun and innovative physical activities.

This will produce and improve self-confidence and self-esteem in the children and young adults.

It should be noted happy youths with high self-esteem report less involvement with crime, and programmes that increase happiness and self-confidence could deter crime and drug use.

As you begin your workout, your brain’s neurotransmitters connect memory with muscle to get you moving. The feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment you experience during your workout stimulate the pleasure centre of your brain and lift your mood.

Consistent workouts at the gym will eventually help you achieve your fitness goals.

When you look in the mirror and see a leaner or fitter-looking body staring back at you, you are more than likely to gain improvements in self-esteem and self-confidence.

Time spent exercising with other people in a spin or aerobics class provides you with a social environment where you can reap the emotional benefits gained through the camaraderie you develop with other gym members.

It is important to remember that when it comes to physical activity, anything is better than nothing!

Start with whatever seems manageable. Even a ten-minute walk on the treadmill at the gym can be beneficial to your health. You will likely be able to increase the amount and frequency of physical activity slowly as you start to feel better.

Generally, doctors recommend about 20-30 minutes of exercise three to five times per week, but it can be a good idea to talk with your own healthcare provider to decide what’s the best plan that will work for you and suit your lifestyle.

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First-class customer service lacking in TT *

Keep dirty politics out of COP internal election *

Exercise a boost to healthy living *

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Planting the seeds of healthy living

Farmworkers at Reiter Affiliated Companies are living healthier lives nowadays thanks to a health initiative called “Sembrando Salud,” or Healthy Planting.

The program was started by Garland S. Reiter, the company’s chief executive officer, in 2009. It is believed to be the first farmworker health program in the United States and was the impetus for other large agriculture companies to start similar services.

The program began with a health clinic for farmworkers at the company. Reiter Affiliated Companies is headquartered in Oxnard and grows strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.

After finding that some farmworkers had chronic health issues, such as obesity and diabetes, Reiter partnered with UC Davis to develop a pilot health education curriculum.

The curriculum’s 10 health topics focused on farmworkers’ occupational and overall health. Sessions were offered in the evening. It was named “Pasos Saludables,” or Healthy Steps.

Three years later a study was done on the program, and it was decided that it would be better to take the program directly to the farmworkers.

The program, which is voluntary, trains field crew bosses and others interested in the voluntary program. They, in turn, train the field workers. Between 400 and 500 people graduate from the program annually. Since it began between 5,000 and 6,000 people have been trained.

Training is offered in Salinas, Santa Maria, Watsonville, Oxnard and in Mexico.

It consists of 10 20-minute sessions held once a week, said Gabby Guzman, program coordinator, who works at Reiter’s Salinas office, situated off Rossi Street.

“We talk about all the topics: diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol and how to read nutrition labels,” Guzman said.

Training begins with a saying, such as, “A chip off the old block.” When related to healthy living that can be translated as, “If parents are eating unhealthy, so will the kids.”

The sessions finish up by promoting five health steps to healthy living: move, drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, measure food portions and your waist and share the information with family members.

Trainees then take the information they have learned to the field, where they practice their skills. For instance, they may challenge a crew to see if they can go a week without drinking sugary sodas. Also, crews began the day with warm-up exercises and do them again after their lunch break.

Reiter employees who run the program return a year later and review the five healthy steps with workers who were trained. Different sessions are offered as well.

“We’re still kind of in the development stage,” Guzman said of the program. “But we want the kind of program that will be lasting.”

Jose Rocha, a crew leader with Reiter in Watsonville who was trained as a health program leader, said, “It helps a lot because what we’ve learned during the leadership training. It helps a lot for our work and in our personal life. It motivates us and it makes us feel like the company is thinking about us. It’s a reminder to take care of our health.”

Another element of the program is monitoring farmworkers’ health, said Priscila Cisneros, program manager. Before the training sessions start 30 percent of a field crew are screened to establish a health study marker.

The company does blood work, testing glucose and hemoglobin. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels are checked and workers’ height and weight are measured.

“It’s another way of looking at the impact of the program,” Cisneros said.

“Being one of the (farmworker health) leaders has been a major accomplishment for Reiter,” she said.

Guzman, who has a degree from CSU, Monterey Bay, in collaborative health and health and human services, said working in the Sembrando Salud program is her dream job.

“It’s very fulfilling to apply everything I learned in my degree and giving back to the community,” she said.

She is one of a team of 10 that administer the program.

Reiter has expanded the program to family members of farmworkers. Free Zumba classes are available and there is an annual 5K run for workers and their families.

“The overall goal is to have fun and get you physically active,” Cisneros said. “The kids love it.”

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Healthy Living: Calm Your Nervous Pet – Northern Michigan’s News Leader

They don’t have to stress about work or traffic, but your four-legged friend is still prone to mental or emotional stress.

Instead of asking your vet for medications, we’ll show you some natural ways to calm your pet that you might want to try first.

The biggest thing you can do to calm your pet is to remain calm yourself.

If you get nervous, your dog will pick up on it and get even more anxious.

During a thunderstorm or fireworks, it’s best to act like you don’t even hear them.

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Healthy living: Tips for a waste-free lifestyle

Switching to a waste-free lifestyle is an honorable endeavor that requires making some significant changes. The key to success is to ease into it by adjusting your consumption habits one at a time. Here are some tips to help you get off to a good start.

Gradually eliminating your household waste production involves buying less and making smarter choices. For example:

• Forget packaged goods and buy grains, cereal, dried fruit, and even nuts and bolts in bulk instead.

• Choose family sizes over individual formats and opt for refillable containers for things like cleaning products and shampoos.

• Forfeit bottled water — a few hours in the fridge is usually all it takes to neutralize the aftertaste of tap water, and you can always buy a filter if needed.

• Prioritize durability. Disposable items like razors, paper towels, plastic bags, cleaning wipes, paper plates, batteries, etc., should be banished in favor of washable, reusable or rechargeable alternatives.

• Borrow books, DVDs, CDs, etc., from your local library or trade them among friends. Try to purchase digital media whenever possible.

• Update your wardrobe by hosting a clothing swap with your friends and family instead of going on a shopping spree.

• Use your printer only when necessary, making sure to reduce the spacing and font size before doing so—and don’t forget to choose the double-sided option.

Lastly, carefully evaluate your needs and only buy what’s essential to eradicate waste at the source.

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Health briefs 6-26-17


n Oncology Symposium, 8 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Featured topics include gastric cancer surgery, lung immunotherapy and multiple myeloma. Information and registration: 724-258-1750.

n Exercise classes, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Center in the Woods, 130 Woodland Court, Brownsville. Classes include chair dancing at 9:30 a.m. followed by healthy steps at 11 a.m. Information: 724-938-3554.

Support groups

n Stroke Support Group, 1-2:30 p.m., Thursday, at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information: 724-258-1455.

n Suicide Bereavement Group, 1-2:30 p.m., today, at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information and registration: 724-268-1144.

n Al-Anon Family Groups, 8 p.m., Wednesdays, Trinity Church basement, Fayette and Morgantown streets, Uniontown, and 7:30 p.m., Fridays, Christian Church, Pittsburgh Street, Connellsville. These meetings are for anyone who has been affected by or is having problems from someone else’s drinking. Information: or

n Survivors of Incest Anonymous group, 6:30-8 p.m., the first and third Mondays of the month, excluding holidays. This 12-step recovery program is meant for men and women aged 18 or older who were sexually abused by a trusted person as a child. The group meets at the Mount Macrina Retreat Center. A similar group, Healing Friends, is from 6:30-7:30 p.m., East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Information:, or

n Missing Piece of My Heart Support Group, the last Thursday of each month, 6-8 p.m., at the Crime Victim’s Center conference room in the Oliver Square Plaza. The group is for families who have lost a child to a violent crime. Information: 724-438-1470.

n Silver Generation Support Program, 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays, East End United Community Center, Uniontown. The program is for ages 55 and older. Information: 724-437-1660.


n The Safe Sitter Program, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, in Community Room 1 of the main lobby at Uniontown Hospital. Information and registration: 724-430-6925.

n Is Weight Loss Surgery Right For Your? Seminar, 6 p.m., Thursday, at the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information and registration: 724-258-1333.

n Learn to Prevent Type 2 diabetes, today, in the Anthony M. Lombardi Education Conference Center at Monongahela Valley Hospital. Information: 724-258-1483.

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Scleroderma: Living with autoimmune disease with no known cause, cure

Not much is known about scleroderma. There isn’t a known cause, or a cure, for the autoimmune disease.

Kim Curry of Uniontown does know, though, that it has changed her life in the last 15 years.

“It makes day-to-day living very hard,” Curry, 56, said.

Scleroderma is characterized by the hardening and tightening of skin and comes in three forms — limited, morphia and diffused.

Curry was diagnosed with the diffused form in 2002, which means it can manifest itself anywhere in your body.

“It affects my skin, blood vessels, internal organs, everything like that,” Curry said, noting that her gastrointestinal tract seems more impacted by it. She’s had 10 endoscopies and more than six colonoscopies over the last decade to monitor the progression of the disease.

According to the John Hopkins Scleroderma Center’s website, when a person is diagnosed with scleroderma, “cells start making collagen as if there were an injury that needs repairing.”

“The cells do not turn off as they should and end up making too much collagen. The extra collagen in the tissues can prevent the body’s organs from functioning normally,” the website states.

They also indicated that the severity of the disease varies.

“It can be a mild annoyance, or it can cause significant clinical problems,” it states. “For others, it can become life threatening.”

Day to day

The hardest part of Curry’s day is the morning.

After a long, restless night of sleep, Curry wakes with swollen, painful hands.

She’s prone to falling because of new balance issues and can suffer painful flare ups at any time.

It was the flare ups that eventually led to Curry being unable to work — the chronic joint and muscle pain incapacitating her. Chores around the house, even doing laundry, became difficult.

“When I feel good, I attribute it to lots of rest,” she said. “When I have a good day and don’t think I’m in pain, I try to get everything done. But then I pay for it for the next two or three days. I’ve learned to listen to my body and pace myself.”

With the diagnosis of scleroderma, several other diseases can manifest, including Raynaud’s disease — something with which Curry is very familiar.

“I’m intolerant to the cold,” she said. Her joints are a cause of pain; she can even tell when it’s going to rain or become humid by the amount of pain she’s in.

Though Curry’s favorite color is purple, she finds herself in some shade of teal every day in June, noting that it’s Scleroderma Awareness Month.

“We need research, and more awareness,” she said. “That’s the biggest thing.”

“This is much more rare than cancer, and there are a lot of people who don’t even know about it, let alone have the awareness to go research for it,” she added.

According to the Scleroderma Center, fewer than 500,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed.

“Some experts report that six out of seven patients are women,” the website states. “The most common age span for scleroderma to develop is between 35 and 50. Still, young children and older adults can get the disease.”

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CEO Bahram Akradi says Life Time is ‘just scratching the surface’ of healthy living

In the 25 years since Bahram Akradi founded Life Time, the company has come to embody the maxim that bigger is better. He’s bulked up its fleet of fitness centers to 127 across 27 states and Canada, with 14 more opening next year and another 100 expected in the next decade. Now privately held, Life Time projects revenue of about $1.6 billion in 2017 with 30,000 employees. But Akradi is looking far beyond fitness centers and recently dropped “fitness” from the company name. He’s exploring healthy lifestyle villages where people shop, live, work, exercise, visit their doctor and relax at the spa. The strategy is playing out in the company’s hometown of Chanhassen, where it is investing in a mixed-use development, and at Southdale Center in Edina, where Life Time will build a showpiece fitness center.

Q: Why was “Fitness” dropped from the Life Time name?

A: We always focused on building a company that’s a healthy way of life for the family and the planet. The company is so much more than fitness. Life Time is more broadly descriptive of medical, sports and athletic country club. We won’t drop it completely. Smaller facilities will still be called Life Time Fitness. 

Q: Can your integrated concept make money?

A: I don’t have to worry if we can make money on it. Not yet. We’re thinking of customer satisfaction only. 

Q: You’ve long been an admirer of the Disney brand, which is strong and distinct. Does Life Time have a distinct brand?

A: A lot of programs we have are ones we’ve developed — LT Proactive Care clinic, Alpha training. LT Physical Therapy, and Life Power yoga are uniquely branded. They are exclusive. It’s difficult to have excellence across all these various venues. Disney does a phenomenal job as a brand. We emulate that by having each division have its own president and goal to be the best in what we deliver. 

Q: What made you consider shopping malls as a location?

A: A couple of years back, we had no desire to go into a mall. But the idea is that we can re-imagine them as a healthy living and aging village with residences, entertainment, exercise, services and shops. Malls like Southdale are reapplying themselves to mixed-use. You can walk to shops, go to the health club, movie theater, and get groceries. Malls that are well-located will be a great story, not a sob story. 

Q: Does being in a mall cost you more or less as opposed to a stand-alone?

A: It’s complicated. It’s very different in different parts of the country. It’s not anything like the days when Sears or Penney’s would get almost free rents, but it works better than a free-standing building. 

Q: Only 3 percent of Americans can be called “fit,” according to a Mayo Clinic 2016 study. Does that motivate you or make you feel as if Life Time is close to saturation?

A: We’re just scratching the surface of building a whole healthy way of life with medicine, exercise and emotional-mental-physical health. The magic is in delivering all of them at a high level. Integrated medicine, that’s the key. We’re offering detailed, integrated instruction about how to exercise and eat. It’s not being done elsewhere. 

Q: Is the number of people using health clubs still rising?

A: Heathy living, aging and nutrition has been a megatrend for 40 to 50 years and it’s still growing. How you get fit is changing. The way people exercise is fragmenting faster than it’s growing. We work hard to adapt to the current need, and that won’t change, to remain relevant.

Q: Do you ever think about going smaller, as many big-box retailers have?

A: Restoration Hardware is going bigger and more experiential. The problem with large retailers is that they grow, they do great business, and then they go public. That’s an endless appetite for growth, forcing the growth and growing more than they should. Companies large and small need adaptation to keep up with change. The problem is not large vs. small. It’s those that haven’t changed. 

Q: Twelve years ago, you said you didn’t have a direct competitor. Is that still true today?

A: It’s more true now than 12 years ago. With our expansion and brand extension into all aspects of healthy ways of life, we need 300 team members in a large box to have everything work properly. It takes years of recruiting just to open one location. It’s so challenging that it would be very difficult to duplicate anywhere. 

Q: What is your personal workout schedule and has it changed in your 50s compared to your 40s?

A: Unfortunately, it takes more work to stay leaner. I spend about four to six hours a week exercising in winter, but in the spring and summer, it’s 14 to 15 hours a week. I want to be the healthiest I can be on a raw basis, not based on my age. I am 56, but I want to compare myself to a 26-year-old. I don’t want to lower the standards.

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