Posts Tagged With: Health

How safe is the H1N1 vaccine?


Rachel Muenz Writes About the New H1N1 Vaccine

Rachel Muenz Writes About the New H1N1 Vaccine – Photo Courtesy of Stockexpert.com

Rachel Muenz - Vaccine - September 8, 2009

By Rachel Muenz

A friend of my family, who is a nurse, and her colleagues have always refused to get flu shots. When their hospital tried to make the shots mandatory for all staff, they went to the union to put a stop to that plan.

They certainly won’t be getting the H1N1 vaccine when it arrives this fall.

Continue reading

Categories: Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Public Service Announcement (Originally Aired in 2003)


This is a public service announcement I did for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more information about health, please check out my books Being Healthy: Selected Works from the Internet and Natural Beauty on my online store at: http://stores.lulu.com/kakonged.

Categories: Beauty, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Need help? Just give me a call with tobacco


Rachel Muenz Writes About Tobacco - Photo: MorgueFile.com

Rachel Muenz Writes About Tobacco - Photo: MorgueFile.com

By: Rachel Muenz

Before I climbed to the third floor of the North Borden Building on Spadina, I thought tobacco was bad. But now I know that it can be good, depending on how you use it. Tobacco can help students like me get the confidence they need to make their dreams soar.

It is here at the University of Toronto’s First Nations House where I meet Grafton Antone, one of two Aboriginal elders there, to talk about the work he does with students at U of T. In exchange for that information, I must give him a tiny packet of tobacco wrapped in yellow cloth.

Antone explains tobacco is sacred in Aboriginal culture because it is how natives communicate with Creator, their supreme being, when they need guidance.

“The smoke carries our prayers up to Creator and Creator said, ‘if you want anything, just give me a call and here’s my telephone,’ says Antone, holding up a piece of dried tobacco and laughing. This is why elders are given tobacco in exchange for information and counselling. It’s a way of asking for help.
Students can also bring the elders other gifts. Antone shows me the large block of pink salt stone he got from a student earlier that day who told him it came from Pakistan. He turns it in his hands so I can see the hole in the top where a candle can be put inside and lit to make the stone glow.

Just like lighting the salt stone, Antone helps feed the fires of students’ dreams with his booming laugh and encouraging words so they can shine with success.

“I work with people’s dreams and make them happen,” says Antone, who’s been an elder at First Nations House since about the year 2000.

Antone shows me how he does this by asking students questions and learning what their dreams are. Knowing a bit more about students, he can then bounce ideas off them for how they can go about achieving those dreams.

“That’s where we build; we build on our relationship,” Antone says. “We build on our conversations and that’s what I do. I dialogue with you and in dialoguing with you I’m able to work with you.”

But there’s only so much Antone can do to help a student. Overall, the student needs to have a goal and has to want to achieve that goal in order for Antone to give them guidance.
“A bird needs to have a dream to fly,” he says.

Kathy Marsden agrees. She’s been the native counsellor at the Aboriginal Resource Centre at Georgian College in Barrie for the past 12 years.

“If they’re [the students] not internally motivated, nobody can motivate them to change,” Marsden says. “The support services are about empowering, helping them to work things through themselves, not doing things for them.”

Like Antone, Marsden also uses Aboriginal teachings to help native students at the college. Her main way of helping students is by using what she calls “the medicine wheel approach.”

The medicine wheel is another important symbol of most First Nations, though it differs from group to group. It is a wheel divided into four sections: red, black, white, and yellow. The wheel stands for many different things, but Marsden’s counselling methods focus on the four parts of the self the wheel symbolizes: spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental.
Marsden mostly deals with the emotional part in her counselling but she says the four areas overlap.

“If someone’s under emotional stress, it’s affecting them in all those other areas,” she says. “It’s affecting them mentally, so they can’t concentrate on their academics. It’s affecting them physically; oftentimes they can’t sleep, so I don’t just deal with the emotional part.”

Balance is the aim of Marsden’s approach. She has students fill out a medicine wheel chart to show which of the four areas they need to work on. Eating well and getting enough exercise are some of the things she might help a student with in the physical part, while self-confidence issues could be a part of both the emotional and spiritual sections of the wheel.
“Depending on how lengthy the sessions are we may just deal with one specific aspect,” Marsden says. “But that’s OK. If it helps them get on with their lives, then that’s great.”

Helping students with those emotional problems can be hard.
Antone says that every single student that comes to see him is a difficult case in its own way, but it’s especially hard when the student is angry. Surprisingly, to help students get past their anger, he eggs them on to make them angrier.

“Sometimes when people are angry, it sometimes requires you to get a little bit more angry ‘til you realize that maybe that’s not really the right thing,” he says. “They catch themselves, they calm down and then I’m able to talk to them and maybe bring them down the good path.” The good path can mean forgiving people and treating them better instead of being mad, Antone adds.

Marsden agrees that anger shouldn’t be ignored even though most people see it as a negative emotion.

“The way we look at it is, all our emotions are given to us by Creator so we have to honour all those emotions and it’s how we deal with them that counts,” she says.

Smudging ceremonies are also a way that elders and native counsellors might help students deal with stress and other problems.

In his tiny office at First Nations House with the window open a crack, Antone shows me how smudging is done.

He takes a large shell from a table at the back of the room and sprinkles some grey-white sage leaves into it. He lights them on fire and smoke begins to curl up to the ceiling. I sweep the smoke over myself with my hands three or four times as Antone says for me to do. It has a spicy sweet smell and, as Antone says, “it makes you want to start cooking turkey.”

Aboriginals believe everyone has an energy surrounding them. The smoke from the sage or other plants First Nations use in smudging, such as sweetgrass, works like a shower to wash away negative energy, Antone says.

“What it does is it works with the thinking. It’s good for people and it’s supposed to bring understanding and it’s supposed to clear your mind,” he says. “And in the clearing of the mind it gives a new space, a new time, a new beginning for you to be able to walk the future.”

I feel calmer after bathing myself in the sage smoke and wish I had known about smudging during my last set of assignments.
But smudging doesn’t work for everybody.

“You only get out of it what you put into it,” Antone says.
He adds that postsecondary education is a kind of smudging, because by gaining knowledge, the energy around people changes too.

Learning about the Aboriginal worldview helps students with their personal growth, says Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux, an Aboriginal studies professor at the University of Toronto.
Unlike mainstream society, the native viewpoint focuses on the success of everyone as a group rather than the success of one person, Wesley-Esquimaux says.

“When it’s all about you and all you’re concerned about is getting to the top of the game, then you don’t care who you step on,” she says. “Whereas with the Aboriginal worldview it’s not like that, it’s not competitive, it’s about trying to help each other get to a good place.”

By thinking of helping other people instead of just themselves, students not only become better people, they also become part of a community, Wesley-Esquimaux adds. Because of this, they avoid the loneliness and homesickness students often experience when they first get to university or college. Taking part in native community activities like potlucks and feasts means that students gain the support of many people and aren’t left on their own to deal with the transition to university or college.

“They [the students] seem to enjoy the inclusive nature of it. They like being involved in putting together feasts and spending a lot of time with each other,” she says. “They like that part. They don’t feel so isolated.”

Marsden says this idea of community and getting students involved is important at Georgian College as well. Though her counselling services are just for native students, the Aboriginal Resource Centre, like First Nations House, also has events and activities for all students and they have an elder on campus who everyone can visit for help.

“We’re not exclusive, we’re inclusive and that’s a huge factor,” Marsden says.

Changing students’ ways of thinking either through seeing an elder or learning more about Aboriginal culture can help them overcome seemingly impossible challenges at school, Antone says.

“It is not impossible, it’s only the space that you’re sitting in or the environment that you’re engulfed in . . . if we move you over just that much,” he says, holding his hands about an inch apart, “All of a sudden you say, ‘Oh I can see it, I understand it now.”

With a bit of nudging, students see solutions to problems that they were blind to before.

Talking with students and hearing their stories is what Antone enjoys most about working at First Nations House.
“I like to listen to people and I hear their stories. That’s how I can get a story.”

But it also makes him happy when he sees students carrying on what he’s taught them by performing various First Nations ceremonies themselves.

Passing on knowledge is what he really seems to love.
“I changed you,” he says with a laugh. “I smudged you. You’re no longer the same person as you were when you came in here.

You now have an access to the Aboriginal understanding.”
It’s true.

When I first climbed to the third floor of the North Borden Building on Spadina, I was nervous and scared. I didn’t know what First Nations culture was, though I’d read a lot about it.
Now I know a little something, and as I walk away from First Nations House, up the dreary wet street, I’m happy and confident. I know more about who I am.

All because of a little bundle of tobacco wrapped in yellow cloth.

Categories: Business, Culture, Education, Health, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Vitality-Boosting Pasta Salad


Nutrition Expert Rose Reisman.

Nutrition Expert Rose Reisman.

Vitality-Boosting Pasta Salad

This pasta salad – developed by leading nutrition expert Rose Reisman – is a powerhouse when it comes to vitality-boosting ingredients, including whole grains, edamame beans, berries, orange veggies and Greek yogurt. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Menopause a Hot Topic Among Canadian Women, with Symptoms Hitting Some as Early as 40 Years Old


Menopod2

Menopod2

Canadian companies get creative with new products to keep menopausal women comfortable

Toronto, Ontario – Summer 2014 – With the number of Canadian women in their 40s and 50s hitting an all-time high, menopause is a current hot topic. In fact, studies show about two million Canadian women – and 25 million across North America – experience the discomfort of hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause.

This reality has opened a new market of opportunity for Canadian businesses, which are coming up with creative solutions to this centuries-old problem as more Generation Xers edge towards middle-age. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Now I Know Why I Didn’t Seem Right for Me to Lose 20 More Pounds



http://caloriecount.about.com/study-shows-black-women-can-healthy-b493869

And if you are any woman of colour, this may be true for you too.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This Week is Mental Health Week


Make a Pledge to Support Mental Health:

http://www.partnersformh.ca/

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Montréal’s Director of Public Health Calls for a Stronger Tobacco Act


MONTREAL, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – During the hearings of the Commission de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Assemblée nationale concerning the report on the implementation of the Tobacco Act, Dr. Richard Massé, the director of public health of the Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, is calling for the Tobacco Act to be strengthened as quickly as possible to hasten the decrease in prevalence of smoking in the city’s population. He is making 10 recommendations to update the Act, which has not been revised in 8 years even though the tobacco market has changed significantly. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

PRESS RELEASE March 28, 2013, 10:00 a.m. EDT Education campaign returns with powerful stories to help Americans quit smoking


ATLANTA, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Campaign to expose tragic health impact of smoking

Continuing with the success of last year’s national education ad campaign, “Tips from Former Smokers,” a second series of ads was launched today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ads, funded by the Affordable Care Act’s Prevention and Public Health Fund, feature compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities. Beginning Monday, ads will run for at least 12 weeks on television, radio, and billboards, online, and in theaters, magazines, and newspapers nationwide. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Media Invite – McGill University Health Centre employees will demonstrate Wednesday at noon at the Montreal General Hospital


MONTREAL, May 14, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ – Members of three union organizations representing close to 10,000 employees at the McGill University Health Centre will gather in front of the Montreal General Hospital at noon May 15for a demonstration against the reduction in medical services offered to the public and the poor management practices responsible for brutal budget cuts at the anglophone hospital network. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

My First Marathon – Big Deal For Me at 40 ;-), 41 Coming Up This Year ;-)


http://www.sportstats.ca/searchResults.xhtml?firstname=Donna+Kay+Cindy&lastname=Kakonge

Lord Help Me I Pray To Stop Smoking (because then I could REALLY kick some butt 😉

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrating Completion of New Wing at Markham Stouffville Hospital‏


Celebrating Completion of New Wing at Markham Stouffville Hospital

March 12, 2013

Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, along with Markham-Unionville MPP Michael Chan and Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP for Oak Ridges-Markham, will join hospital officials and health care partners to celebrate the completion of the new patient care tower. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Young Mother from Ontario Is First in North America to Receive MRI-friendly Defibrillator Implant


Life-altering device, implanted by Newmarket’s Southlake Regional Health Centre,

opens doors for thousands of cardiac patients currently denied MRIs

 

Newmarket, Ontario – January 29, 2013 – Every year an estimated 1.5 million magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are performed in Canada and the number is growing at a rate of about 10 per cent per year. At the same time, a soaring number of Canadians who rely on implanted defibrillators to keep their hearts beating are denied this valuable, life-saving diagnostic test despite a 50 to 75 per cent probability that they will require one over the lifetime of their defibrillator. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Donna Kakonge on “Liquid Lunch” with ThatChannel.com


Donna Kakonge on “Liquid Lunch” with ThatChannel.com

Donna Kakonge on “Liquid Lunch” with ThatChannel.com

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fiesta Fit Soup


Fiesta Fit Soup Photo

By Liz Pearson

Fiesta Fit Soup

This delicious soup is a one-pot meal containing ingredients that are linked to reducing belly fat, including whole grains, fibre, healthy fats, peppers and flavonoid-rich fruits and vegetables. What’s more, it’s easy to make, taking only 25 minutes from stove-top to table. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Belly Fat, Not Scale is Best Measure of Health


This New Year, resolve to get the skinny on five fat-burning foods,

 including whole grains, soluble fibres and plant compounds

 

Toronto, Ontario – January 3, 2013 – When resolving to lose weight this year, don’t rely on the scale. Measuring belly fat, rather than weight, is often a better indicator of a healthy body.

So says leading Canadian dietitian Liz Pearson, emphasizing that excess abdominal fat significantly increases the risk of health problems – such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cancer – as well as death. It may also speed up the aging process and the onset of dementia. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Review on “How to Talk to a Crazy People”


By Kathy Milton-Tapley

Donna Kakonge’s new book on “How to Talk to a Crazy People” gives a rare and honest account of

mania, depression and psychosis.  She depicts a revolving-door syndrome of being admitted to psychiatric  hospitals, when she refuses to take her medication.  Donna searches for relief from bipolar mood disorder in dreams, mediums, channelling, many boyfriends, frequently changing jobs, and travel to Uganda.  Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Last Day To Get How To Talk To Crazy People Before the 24th – ENTER CODE FELICITAS


emailheader_120512_ENUK_FELICITAS

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, cars, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Pets, Radio Podcasts, Religion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Uncategorized, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Statement by the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), Congratulating 2012 Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Inductees


  • OTTAWA, Sept. 21, 2012 /CNW/ – As Canadians celebrate the Week of Excellence, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the 2012 inductees into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame: Continue reading
Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Opinion, Radio Podcasts, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Migraines – Could a Simple Change in Diet Be Your Solution? – I Have Found Homeopathy Works Like a Charm!!!


Image result for Migraines

Migraines – Could a Simple Change in Diet Be Your Solution?
Migraine headaches have many triggers and food is a big one of those triggers. All foods don’t trigger migraines in people the same way or affect them in the same way. As well, a food that triggers a migraine headache may trigger it one day and not another time you eat that food. Making a list of the foods you eat daily so you can look at what food may have triggered your migraine when it comes on can be a good way to identify the changes you need to make in your diet to avoid migraines.
Below are some of the foods that have been known to cause migraine headaches. Changing your diet to have less of these foods will help lessen the chances of a migraine headache coming on.

Tyramine

Foods that have a high level of tyramine can cause migraines. The level of tyramine in foods will increase as that specific food ages or when it has been stored for a long period of time. Some of these tyramine-containing foods are cheese, cured meats, yeast (including fresh bread), and beer. The less you have of these foods the less your chances of getting a migraine.

Food Additives

Specific additives that are put in foods such as nitrates and nitrites that are added for the purposes of preventing food poisoning or to add flavor can bring on migraines. Nitrites are found in foods like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. Usually, if you are going to be affected by migraines from these additives it will happen within a few minutes after you eat that food. MSG (monosodium glutamate) is often the trigger for migraines. Usually, if you eat something with MSG a migraine can come on within 30 minutes. This is found in meat tenderizers and packed and prepared foods.

Alcohol and Caffeine

Red wine has often been noted to be a migraine trigger as well as alcohol. Caffeine as well has been known to trigger migraines. This can be found in energy drinks, sodas, coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods. Caffeine goes to the brain pretty fast and it can help the body absorb medicines.

Chocolate

Chocolate has been known to trigger migraines in people. Although it has a low amount of caffeine it does tend to be a trigger. It could be that people crave caffeine when they are getting a migraine and could be coincidental. Keeping a log of what you eat may help to define if chocolate is triggering your migraines.

Skipping Meals

Believe it or not, when you don’t eat a migraine can be triggered. Even though some foods cause the migraines, not eating foods are going to cause you to have a low blood sugar count which will trigger a migraine. Eating regular small meals and a snack in between the meals will help lessen the chance of migraines.

If you have migraines regularly, monitoring your diet and making note of what you had before a migraine came on will allow you to see what dietary changes need to be made to lessen the chances of having migraines.

Alex Dawson enjoys writing about food and health. He is a contributing author at http://grouphealthinsurance.org.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

5 Exercises That Could Change Your Body Forever‏


Image result for Exercise

5 Exercises That Could Change Your Body Forever
We all want to have a body that looks fantastic and is perfectly toned. We want to be able to stroll down the beach knowing our body looks great. Being in shape is very different from wearing a size 2 just because you are so slim. Getting in shape requires much more than burning calories. However, some very specific exercises can really tone your body like never before.

For instance, the next 5 exercises could seriously change your body forever. You could see a big change in the way your body is toned within two weeks.No one ever said looking great is going to be easy, buttoning your body can change it forever and with some strong determination and hard work, you can do it! Along with the five exercises mentioned below, changing your diet will help. Cut back a good bit on the sugars and processed foods, such as white bread and rice. Candy and soda drinks need to become a thing of the past, and instead, start eating more whole wheat and fiber-rich foods. Once you get your foods squared away, incorporate these five exercises and change that body forever!

Push Ups
One of the old time best exercises is still one of the best. Push-ups can tone the arms and body in more ways than you know. To do a push-up properly, lie face down on the floor and raise yourself up off the floor with your hands. Then lower yourself back down to the floor and rise back up again. Do this as many times as you can in one minute.

Sit Ups
Following the push-ups, sit-ups are great for changing your body tone. To do sit-ups, start off by lying on the ground with your knees bent up and the feet are on the floor flat. Hands should be behind the head and with your stomach muscles, raise your shoulders up off the ground and move them up towards the knees and then back down again. You want to do this at least one minute, as many as you can possible.

Squats
Start your squats from a standing position. With your back straight, squat down and back up again. Repeating this for two minutes at least is suggested.

Tricep Dips
To do tricep dips correctly you will need a chair or bench. Sitting on the chair, your hands will be next to the hips and then you lift them in a forward motion. Bend the elbows so that you are dipping the hips lower than the bench before you come back up again. Try this for about 45 seconds. You will get tired fast with this because the triceps tend to be the weaker of the muscles.

Leg Lifts
On all fours (resembling a dog) lift one leg until it becomes level with your body. Stay in that position for about five seconds and then repeat it with the other leg. Do this for about 45 seconds.

Jack Schipper writes about fitness, finance & cheap life insurance.


Guest Post U

The University of Great Content
Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Restaurant Reviews, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Christine’s Fitness in Toronto


spring_running12_banner_en
Hello Everybody!
 
Some of you have been asking for summer programs for students. (It would give them something to do and keep them out of trouble. lol.)
 
Let’s face it, there are a lot of students that are pretty out of shape. I see them walking on the street in front of the club all the time.
 
So I’m offering a membership from now until Labour Day for $149. That will include the No BS Group Training too so we won’t be able to take too many.
 
If you or your friends have someone that would like to come let us know right away. Yonge St call 416-969-9912, Richmond 416-603-0004. Let us send the girls back to school in the fall looking good!
 
Best of health,
Christine!
Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, travel, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

QVA149 Phase III COPD Studies Met Primary Endpoints


Image result for COPD

Efficacy, safety and exercise endurance primary endpoints all met

TOKYO, April 2, 2012, /CNW/ – Sosei Group Corporation (“Sosei”; TSE Mothers Index: 4565), confirms the information released today by Novartis that the first three QVA149 Phase III studies in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) all met their primary endpoints. The SHINE, BRIGHT and ENLIGHTEN studies, which are part of the IGNITE program demonstrate the potential of QVA149 in the treatment of COPD.

The results of SHINE, with an enrollment of more than 2,100 patients, met the primary endpoint by demonstrating the superiority in trough FEV1 (p<0.001) of once-daily QVA149 compared to once-daily indacaterol or once-daily NVA237 in patients with moderate to severe COPD. In addition, QVA149 showed superiority in trough FEV1 (p<0.001) compared to placebo and open-label tiotropium (18 mcg).

The results of BRIGHT demonstrated that patients experienced significantly better exercise endurance versus placebo (p=0.006). ENLIGHTEN demonstrated that QVA149 was well tolerated with a safety and tolerability profile similar to placebo.

Mr. Shinichi Tamura, CEO of Sosei, commented:

“Achieving the primary endpoints in all three of the Phase III studies gives us confidence that QVA149 could be the first LAMA/LABA combination product to provide benefit to patients with COPD in a multi-billion dollar market that is still growing.”

QVA149 (indacaterol 110 mcg/glycopyrronium bromide 50 mcg) is an investigational inhaled, once-daily, fixed-dose combination of the long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA) indacaterol, and the long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) glycopyrronium bromide (NVA237). Data from the IGNITE clinical trial program will be submitted for presentation to a major medical congress later this year.

IGNITE is one of the largest international patient registration programs in COPD comprising 10 studies in total. The first seven studies (ENLIGHTEN, BRIGHT, SHINE, ILLUMINATE, SPARK, BLAZE, ARISE) are expected to complete in 2012 and include more than 5,700 patients across 42 countries and support planned filings in the EU and Japan. Included in a program is a head-to-head trial vs Seretide®[1] (ILLUMINATE), which is also expected to complete during the second quarter of 2012 and will be incorporated into the regulatory filings. These studies are designed to investigate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability, lung function, exercise endurance, exacerbations, dyspnea and quality of life.

SHINE is a 26-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo and active-controlled pivotal trial of 2,144 patients with moderate to severe COPD to assess efficacy in terms of trough FEV1.

BRIGHT is a three-week, randomized, blinded, double-dummy, multi-center, placebo-controlled, three-period crossover pivotal trial of 85 patients with moderate or severe COPD to assess the effect on exercise tolerance of QVA149.

ENLIGHTEN is a 52-week, multicenter, randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo controlled pivotal trial of 339 patients with moderate or severe COPD to assess the safety and tolerability of QVA149.

Notes for editors:

NVA237 (glycopyrronium bromide. Seebri® Breezhaler®) is an investigational long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) developed as a once-daily inhaled maintenance therapy for the treatment of COPD. Phase III data from the GLOW 1, 2 and 3 studies demonstrated that NVA237 increased patients’ lung function over a 24-hour period compared to placebo with a fast onset of action at first dose, as well as improving exercise endurance. It was submitted for regulatory approval in Europe in Q3 2011 and Japan in Q4 2011.

Indacaterol (Onbrez® Breezhaler®) is Novartis’ once daily long-acting beta2-agonist (LABA). Novartis received European regulatory approval for 150 mcg and 300 mcg once-daily doses, under the brand name Onbrez® Breezhaler® in November 2009. In July 2011, Novartis announced approval of the 75 mcg once-daily dose in the US under the brand name Arcapta™ Neohaler™, and of the 150 mcg once-daily dose in Japan under the brand name Onbrez® Inhalation Capsules.

About COPD

COPD is a progressive disease associated mainly with tobacco smoking, air pollution or occupational exposure, which can cause obstruction of airflow in the lungs resulting in debilitating bouts of breathlessness. It affects an estimated 210 million people worldwide[2]and is predicted to be the third leading cause of death by 2020[3]. Although COPD is often thought of as a disease of the elderly, 50% of patients are estimated to be within the ages of 50 and 65, which means that half of the COPD population are likely to be impacted at the peak of their earning power and family responsibilities[4].

About Sosei

Sosei is an international biopharmaceutical company anchored in Japan with a global reach. It practises a reduced risk business model by acquiring compounds from and bringing compounds into, Japan through the exploitation of its unique position within global markets.

For further information about Sosei, please visit http://www.sosei.com.

References

Seratide® is a registered trademark of GSK.
Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD). Global Strategy for the Diagnosis, Management, and Prevention of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Updated 2011. http://www.goldcopd.org/uploads/users/files/GOLD_Report_2011_Feb21.pdf Last accessed 23 March 2012.
Global Alliance for Chronic Respiratory Diseases (GARD). Global surveillance, prevention, and control of chronic respiratory diseases: a comprehensive approach. Available at: http://www.who.int/gard/publications/GARD%20Book%202007.pdf Last accessed 23 March 2012.
Fletcher, M, et al. COPD Uncovered: An International survey on the impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a working age population. BMC Public Health 2011, 11:612.

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements about the discovery, development, and commercialisation of products. Various risks may cause Sosei’s actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including adverse results in clinical development programmes; failure to obtain patent protection for inventions; commercial limitations imposed by patents owned or controlled by third parties; dependence upon strategic alliance partners to develop and commercialise products and services; difficulties or delays in obtaining regulatory approvals to market products and services resulting from development efforts; the requirement for substantial funding to conduct research and development and to expand commercialisation activities; and product initiatives by competitors. As a result of these factors, prospective investors are cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For further information:

Enquiries: Sosei Group Corporation Tokyo Office: Milica STOJKOVIC, Investor Relations, +81-(0)3-5210-3399, mstojkovic@sosei.com; London Office: Kathryn LYDON, PA to CEO & Corporate Communication, +44-(0)20-7691-0983, klydon@sosei.com.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , ,

Holland Bloorview at the Centre Of World-Leading Brain Research


Image result for holland bloorview kids rehab

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Measha Brueggergosman Asks Canadians to Take Care of Their Hearts for the Ones They Love


Image result for Measha Brueggergosman

Internationally-acclaimed Canadian soprano shares her heart health wake-up call and helps Becel®, founding sponsor of The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s The Heart Truth™ campaign, raise awareness of women’s heart health

TORONTO, Jan. 18, 2012 /CNW/ – As mothers, wives, daughters, friends, and pillars of their communities, many Canadian women are quick to put their own needs aside for the benefit of others. Whether it’s caring for an aging parent, dropping everything for a sick child, or inspiring those around them to be and do their best, women are no strangers to self-sacrifice. Yet while their hearts are in the right place, their heart health may not be – and as a result, one in three Canadian women die each year from heart disease and stroke.

That’s why Becel®, the founding sponsor of The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s The Heart Truth™ campaign, has partnered with award-winning Canadian opera singer Measha Brueggergosman to spread a potentially lifesaving message to help empower Canadian women to protect their heart health. Measha underwent emergency open-heart surgery in 2009 after a near brush with death due to a dissected aorta.

“Even though I spent a lot of time in my 20s trying to get and stay ‘healthy’ by losing weight, I completely neglected factors like blood pressure and high cholesterol. As a result, I ended up in a scary emergency situation and now need to keep a close eye on my heart health for the rest of my life,” said Brueggergosman. “So many women don’t realize that if they don’t look after their own hearts first, they might not be there to take care of the people they love. I hope my story reminds Canadian women to protect and cherish their heart health.”

The facts are heartbreaking but true: heart disease and stroke is the #1 killer of women in Canada – and in 2008 alone, there were seven times more deaths among Canadian women from heart disease and stroke than from breast cancer2.

Know Your Number, Know Your Risk
A survey conducted by Becel® found that almost 70 percent of Canadians – about 20 million people – don’t know their own cholesterol number3. Yet it’s estimated that as many as 10 million Canadian adults have a cholesterol level that is higher than the recommended target4.

“Knowing their cholesterol number is one easy step that all Canadians can take to help reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke since high blood cholesterol is a key risk factor for the disease,” said Maria Ricupero, registered dietitian. “In fact, women can proactively reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke by as much as 80 percent by making lifestyle changes and taking action to improve their health.”

To help address this issue, Becel®, in its role as founding sponsor of the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s The Heart Truth™ campaign, is offering free cholesterol screening tests at eight malls and in more than 200 stores across the country during the month of February. Visit http://www.becel.ca for more information about testing locations and to learn more about heart-healthy living, or speak with a doctor about getting a cholesterol test.

Get pro.activ about Heart Health
Brueggergosman’s family has also seen its share of heart issues. In fact, her father had to undergo a quadruple bypass a few years ago, and there is a history of heart problems and diabetes in her family. Her mother, Ann Gosman, is also now acutely aware of how lifestyle choices can impact heart health.

“My family has seen so much heartache – literally – over the past few years, and I can truly say from experience that the time is now for a wake-up call for Canadian women to start taking care of their heart health,” said Gosman. “I want women to know that they should feel empowered when it comes to their heart health because it is possible to help control this disease. Proper diet and exercise are priorities in my life, and I make sure to get my cholesterol checked on a regular basis.”

Diet plays a critical role in heart health, and a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats may reduce the risk of heart disease. Eating foods with plant sterols can also help significantly reduce cholesterol levels.

“Plant sterols can help lower blood cholesterol by partially blocking cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream,” said Ricupero. “They’re found naturally in vegetables, fruits, and nuts, but it’s challenging to get the amount recommended to lower cholesterol from these foods alone – so that’s why foods with plant sterols can help.”

One serving (two teaspoons) of Becel® pro.activ® calorie-reduced margarine with plant sterols provides 40 percent of the daily amount of plant sterols shown to help lower cholesterol in adults.

For more information, visit http://www.becel.ca.

About The Heart Truth™ campaign
The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s The Heart Truth campaign is calling on women to put their own health first, make heart-healthy lifestyle changes, recognize heart attack and stroke symptoms and seek prompt treatment. Heart disease and stroke is the # 1 killer of women in Canada, but most don’t know it. Heart disease is not a “man’s disease”: women are more likely than men to die of a heart attack or stroke. But by taking care of themselves and making incremental heart-healthy lifestyle changes, women can add more years to their life and more life to their years. In fact, women can reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 80 percent by making lifestyle changes. The Red Dress is the official symbol of The Heart Truth campaign. It represents women’s courage, passion and their power for change as they share the truth with others and raise awareness about the importance of heart health. To find out more, visit http://www.thehearttruth.ca.

About Becel®
Becel® has always believed in the importance of caring for your heart. It’s why Becel® margarine was created, and why the brand remains dedicated to educating Canadians about the importance of heart-healthy living. Through its development of educational resources to help Canadians manage their heart health, its founding sponsorship of The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s The Heart Truth™ campaign, and in the development of products such as Becel® pro.activ® calorie-reduced margarine with plant sterols, the first food with plant sterols in Canada, Becel® maintains its commitment to heart health innovation and education. For more information, visit http://www.becel.ca.

About Unilever
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180. With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. In Canada the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Breyers, Degree, Dove personal care products, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, Klondike, Knorr, Lipton, Nexxus, Noxzema, Popsicle, Q-Tips, Ragu, Skippy, St. Ives, TIGI, TRESemmé, and Vaseline. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Unilever Canada employs more than 1,600 people generating approximately $1.4 billion in sales in 2011. For more information, please visit http://www.unilever.ca.

____________________________________
1 Statistics Canada. Mortality Summary list of Causes, 2008.
2Statistics Canada. CVD – 34,909; Breast cancer – 4,955. 34,909 divided by 4,955 = 7.046. Per Stats Canada, November 2011.
3 A total of 1,521 Canadians over the age of 18 answered an online survey between December 6th and December 9th, 2010. The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing. For a copy of the survey results, please contact Edelman.
4 Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm Accessed October 11, 2011.)

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Ontario Coalition supports action on smoking in youth-rated movies


Image result for Smoking in movies

“The more YOUTH see SMOKING in movies, the more likely they are to start smoking”

May 31, 2011 @ 10:30AM

Toronto, Ontario – The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies presented compelling new public survey results on World No Tobacco Day and cited the growing body of evidence and support from leading health organizations which include: the U.S. Centres for Disease Control, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the World Health Organization. According to the survey, nearly three out of four (73 percent) Ontarians said they would support a policy initiative to get smoking out of youth-rated movies.

“Research shows the more youth see smoking in movies, the more likely they are to start,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, medical officer of health, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, one of the many organizations endorsing policy recommendations to remove smoking from youth-rated movies. “The public agrees that smoking in movies is a serious public health issue, especially as it relates to youth. As tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario, this issue needs to be addressed.”

The survey was commissioned by the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies, a group of significant health organizations from across the province that has come together to counter the harmful impact of smoking in movies, particularly as it targets and influences Ontario’s youth. The March 2011 survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid and is based on online interviews with a stratified random sampling of 812 Ontarians, 18 years of age or older.

Ontarians were asked, “To what extent would you support the following policy initiative aimed to reduce the impact of smoking in movies?” – Not allowing smoking in movies that are rated G, PG or 14A. Their responses:

Strongly support

45%

Somewhat support

28%

Somewhat oppose

16%

Strongly oppose

11%

“It is clear that the majority of Ontarians support getting tobacco out of films rated for youth audiences,” said Andrea Kita, co-chair, Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies and project manager, Central West Tobacco Control Area Network. “We need a change in Ontario to reflect what the public wants – no tobacco use or product placement in movies rated G, PG or 14A.”

Youth exposure to smoking by youth-rated movies is actually far more prevalent in Canada than in the United States because Canadian film review boards give movies a youth rating more often. For example, between June and December 2010, the Ontario Film Review Board granted youth ratings to 90 percent of top-grossing films, compared to just 69 percent of films receiving similar ratings from the Motion Picture Association of America.

These movies, rated G, PG or 14A in Ontario, delivered 293 million impressions to theatre audiences across the province, accounting for 87 percent of all in-theatre tobacco impressions. In theatres across the United States, youth-rated movies accounted for only 51 percent of tobacco impressions.

“There are more than 300,000 teen smokers in Canada today, and their unnecessary exposure to smoking on screen does influence their decision to smoke,” said George Habib, president and chief executive officer, Ontario Lung Association. “Preventing youth uptake of smoking is one of the most important things that we need to do for our young people and it is clear that removing on-screen smoking in youth-rated movies is a key way to do so.”

Throughout Ontario, youth groups are educating peers about how the tobacco industry has been targeting them through smoking in youth-rated movies.

“When Vince Vaughn or Keira Knightly smoke, it influences youth to do the same,” said Jordan Alexander, a 17-year-old youth ambassador for smoke-free movies. “These are our role models. The tobacco industry has had a history of paying actors to smoke and paying to place its products in movies. Whether we like it or not, this type of marketing is effective and we’re here to ensure youth aren’t recruited through the movies to be the next generation of smokers.”

For more information and access to tools to help Ontarians voice concerns about tobacco in youth-rated movies, visit http://www.smokefreemovies.ca.

Survey Results: These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, a member of the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies. A total of n=812 Ontarians 18+ were interviewed using Ipsos’ online omnibus March 25-30, 2011. Data were weighted by region, age, and gender to ensure the sample matched the actual adult population of Ontario. The margin of error for this study is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.

Boilerplate

About the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies
The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies is a group of leading health organizations taking collective action to counter the harmful impact of smoking in youth-rated movies. Members of the coalition include the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Non-Smokers’ Rights Association / Smoking and Health Action Foundation, Ontario Lung Association, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the Ontario Tobacco Control Networks of Public Health Units. For more information, please visit http://www.smokefreemovies.ca.

Categories: book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , ,

STROKE IS URGENT: The Heart and Stroke Foundation 2011 Stroke Report warns stroke awareness is dangerously low among women


Foundation launches free Smartphone apps to help turn the tide for all Canadians

June 01, 2011 @ 12:01AM

Ottawa – The Heart and Stroke Foundation 2011 Stroke Month Report warns that awareness levels of stroke warning signs and stroke prevention is dangerously low among all women, especially among women from Canada’s two largest visible minorities – people of Chinese and South Asian descent.

The Foundation polling found that women are not aware that stroke and heart disease is their leading cause of death:

For Canadian women overall, 53 percent are unable to identify that stroke and heart disease are their leading cause of death − and responsible for one in three deaths.1
For women of Chinese and South Asian origin, 84 percent are unable to identify that stroke and heart disease are their leading cause of death.2

Awareness has improved steadily thanks to the Foundation’s The Heart Truth campaign, which continues to inform and empower women to take action to reduce their risks. Before the campaign started three years ago, 68 percent of women didn’t know stroke and heart disease was their leading cause of death.3

“Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in women,” says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson, Dr. Frank Silver. “The real tragedy is that 80 percent of strokes are preventable, whether you’re a man or a woman.”

Stroke affects women and men of all ages. More than 50,000 strokes occur in Canada every year – one every 10 minutes. About 300,000 Canadians live with the effects of stroke. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, more women than men die from stroke annually. In Canada stroke kills 32 percent more women than men.

A previous analysis of Canadian deaths shows that stroke death rates are highest among women of Chinese origin, intermediate among women of South Asian origin, and lowest among women of European origin.

Women need better stroke detectors
Women’s awareness of stroke warning signs is poor. The Foundation poll found that only 53 percent of South Asian women were able to correctly identify at least two of the five warning signs – lower than the overall Canadian average for women of 62 percent.

When asked to identify at least three warning signs, only a third of all women polled could do so.

“Canadian women need to be better stroke detectors,” says Dr. Silver. “We need to do all we can to build awareness of the warning signs and help women reduce their risk from death or disability from stroke.”

HSF poll: women’s awareness of the stroke symptoms/warning signs

Stroke warning sign

Chinese women

*March 2011

South Asian women
*March 2011

All Canadian women
**December 2009

Sudden loss of strength/numbness in face/arm/leg, even if temporary

48

37

50

Sudden difficulty speaking/understanding/confusion, even if temporary

30

24

42

Sudden loss of balance, especially with other signs

27

27

35

Sudden trouble with vision, even if temporary

18

16

28

Sudden severe/unusual headache

15

9

20

Don’t know/No answer

18

22

15

*Environics (March 2011)
** Environics (December 2009)

“Stroke is urgent. Knowing and reacting immediately to stroke warning signs is essential,” says Dr. Silver, who notes that there is a treatment for strokes caused by blood clots, the most common type of stroke. This treatment must be administered within the first few hours of warning signs to be effective. “Canadians must react urgently to the warning signs by calling 9-1-1 or their local emergency number,” says Dr. Silver.

Women underestimate their risk factors when it comes to stroke
Equally concerning, 23 percent of all women could not name even one risk factor for stroke. Only 29 percent of Chinese women and 22 percent of South Asian women identified high blood pressure, which is, in fact, the leading risk factor for stroke.

Women overall also had low awareness of stroke risk factors. For example, only 28 percent recognized high blood pressure as a risk factor and only 20 percent identified high cholesterol.

Following a lower-sodium diet and controlling high blood pressure, being physically active and smoke-free can significantly reduce stroke risk.

“The very face of our communities is changing. Heart disease and stroke are increasingly crossing age, gender, and ethnic lines,” says Dr. Silver. “It’s important that Canadians of all ethnic backgrounds be aware of how to prevent stroke.”

HSF poll: women’s awareness of the stroke risk factors

Stroke risk factor

Chinese women

*March 2011

South Asian women
*March 2011

All Canadian women
**December 2009

High blood pressure (hypertension)

29

22

28

Smoking

9

9

23

High cholesterol levels

24

19

20

Obesity

12

12

15

Stress

11

25

11

Family history

16

5

11

Physical inactivity

22

15

9

Age

7

1

6

Heart disease

4

5

5

Diabetes

7

8

4

Excessive alcohol consumption

4

6

4

Don’t know/No answer

16

20

23

*Environics (March 2011)
** Environics (December 2009)

There was even lower awareness of the other risk factors of stroke (gender, ethnicity, and personal history of stroke or TIA).

Foundation launches two-stroke apps to help Canadians lower their risk

To help all Canadians lower their risk for stroke, the Heart and Stroke Foundation created two new free Smartphone apps that will allow them to make simple lifestyle changes – wherever they are.

“The digital age has created a new avenue for healthcare – and the Foundation is embracing the technology to support the health of Canadians,” says Dr. Marco Di Buono, spokesperson for the Foundation. “With a continued focus on reducing all risks, we can stop strokes from robbing us of valuable, quality years of life.”

The My Heart&Stroke Health Check Recipe Helper Smartphone app

By eating a diet that is lower in sodium, Canadians can prevent and control high blood pressure, the number one cause of stroke. The new My Heart&Stroke Health Check Recipe Helper app provides Canadians with a quick and easy resource to help lower the amount of sodium (salt) in their diets. The app features dozens of heart-healthy, lower-sodium recipes that come with grocery lists, main ingredient searches, and comprehensive nutrition information. Health Check™ is one way the Foundation helps Canadians make healthy choices and is based on Canada’s Food Guide.

A 2007 Heart and Stroke Foundation and Canadian Stroke Network study showed that reducing salt intake by half would eliminate high blood pressure in one million Canadians.

“Our Health Check registered dietitians selected these recipes based on strict criteria for the amount of sodium and fat content,” says Dr. Di Buono. “Canadians can trust that the recipes are healthy.” The recipes include a variety of options for salad, soup, vegetarian, meat, poultry, and seafood meals.

With the app, Canadians can create a grocery shopping list and rate their favourite recipes. It will be regularly updated with new recipes and features.

The My Heart&Stroke Blood Pressure Action Plan app

“High blood pressure − which is the leading cause of stroke − affects six million Canadians, and is known as the silent killer because of its lack of symptoms,” says Dr. Silver. “The good news is that with proper diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure, you can cut your risk of stroke by up to 40 percent.”

Developed by Foundation experts, the My Heart&Stroke Blood Pressure Action Plan app allows users to monitor and better manage their blood pressure. They will be able to assess their personal risk, track blood pressure readings over time, view graphs of blood pressure changes, share readings with their physicians, list their medications, set appointment reminders, and track their condition.

“The bottom line is that awareness of your risks, of the warning signs, and of prevention and treatment options are your best defences against stroke,” says Dr. Di Buono.

The free apps – which are available in English or French − can be downloaded at the Apple, Android, and BlackBerry app stores. Or Canadians can go to http://www.heartandstroke.ca/mobileapps.

Heart and Stroke Foundation helps Canadians turn the tide on stroke

The Heart and Stroke Foundation is a committed leader in stroke research, health promotion, and advocacy. The Foundation works on many fronts to help all Canadians live longer, healthier lives:

The Heart Truth
The Foundation’s The Heart Truth™ campaign educates women about identifying their risks and warning signs of heart disease and stroke. It provides women with the tools they need to take charge of their heart health: women can significantly reduce their risk — by as much as 80 percent — by making simple lifestyle changes. (thehearttruth.ca)

A Canadian vision for stroke care
The Canadian Stroke Strategy is a joint initiative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Network designed to support an integrated approach to stroke awareness, prevention, access to treatment, rehabilitation, and community reintegration in every province and territory. The Canadian Stroke Network fosters collaboration between more than 100 of Canada’s leading scientists and clinicians from 24 universities. This strategy is already saving countless lives, while also having a remarkable influence on secondary stroke prevention and recovery.

Multicultural HSF resources
Chinese is now the number three language in Canada – right after English and French. The new HSF poll found that over 80 percent of Chinese and South Asian women were interested in stroke and heart disease information geared to them. Eighty-one percent of Chinese women and 78 percent of South Asian women said it would be useful to have this information their languages. The Heart and Stroke Foundation has health resources in Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, and Urdu to meet this need. Go to heartandstroke.ca/multicultural for more information.

A quivering heartbeat away from stroke
This year, the Foundation put the focus on a risk factor for stroke: atrial fibrillation. This condition causes an irregular heartbeat and increases the risk for ischemic stroke – stroke caused by a blood clot – by three to five times. It is estimated that up to 15 percent of all strokes are due to atrial fibrillation.

Focusing on stroke research
The research initiative Focus on Stroke encourages new researchers and health professionals to train in the field of stroke and supports newly established investigators. Celebrated as one of the country’s leading research partnerships, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Stroke Network received the first ever CIHR Partnership Award for this initiative in 2002.

Stroke knowledge saves lives
Recognizing stroke warning signs and getting immediate medical attention have a major impact on survival and recovery. The Foundation recently launched its Stroke is an Urgent awareness campaign to help Canadians recognize warning signs and how to react to this medical emergency.

1. This poll was conducted by Harris/Decima via teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus. A total of 1,013 Canadian women were surveyed from March 31st to April 10th, 2011. Results are accurate to within +/- 3.1% 19 times out of 20.

2. This poll was conducted by Environics Research Group. This telephone poll was conducted between March 16-31, 2011. A total of 255 South Asian and 245 Chinese women were surveyed. The findings can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 6.3%, 19 times out of 20.

3. This poll was conducted by Harris/Decima via teleVox, the company’s national telephone omnibus. A total of 1,023 Canadian women were surveyed from December 6th to 17th, 2007. Results are accurate to within +/- 3.1% 19 times out of 20.
Boilerplate

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy. (heartandstroke.ca)

Categories: Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Technology, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Destigmatizing Mental Illness: Mental Illness Awareness Week October 2-8, 2011


Image result for Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness

Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health promotes mental illness awareness, announces recipients of Ninth Annual Champions of Mental Health Awards

September 30, 2011 @ 08:00AM

Ottawa, ON – The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is getting ready to kick-off Mental Illness Awareness Week 2011 on October 2rd – a week dedicated to raising awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada and reducing the stigma associated with mental health issues.

“Although we have come a long way since this campaign started almost 20 years ago, the stigma of mental illness persists,” said CAMIMH Chair Dr. John Higenbottam. “Through this campaign, CAMIMH celebrates those with the courage to speak out about their experiences with mental illness and acknowledges the great work being done by individuals and organizations across the country to advance the cause.”

Each year during MIAW, CAMIMH hosts the Champions of Mental Health Awards. The awards will be presented to five distinguished leaders in the mental health field at a gala event held at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa on October 5th. The theme of the 2011 event is sharing and collaboration. Champions have spoken openly about their own experiences, advocated for much-needed research, and supported programs encouraging diagnosis, treatment, and care for those affected by mental illness across Canada.

The 2011 Champions of Mental Health are:

Hon. Lisa Raitt, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Labour
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Public Sector

George Cope
President and CEO, Bell Canada and BCE Inc.
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Private Sector

Dr. Martin Antony
Chair, Department of Psychology, Ryerson University
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Research

AMI-Quebec
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Community (Organization)

David Granirer
Founder, Stand Up For Mental Health
2011 Champion of Mental Health, Community (Individual)

CAMIMH’s year-long Face Mental Illness campaign shares inspirational stories of Canadians from coast-to-coast affected by mental illness. Campaign materials were distributed in English and French to thousands of organizations across Canada. These materials feature the five “Faces of Mental Illness”, selected to share their exceptional stories of recovery. They are:

Harmony Brown, a public speaker, mental health advocate and non-profit housing employee from Toronto, Ontario; Jeremy Bennett, an author, professional speaker and television personality from St. John’s, Newfoundland; Roberta Price, a mother, grandmother, and member of the Coast Salish Peoples in Richmond, British Columbia; Shana Calixte, who is completing her PhD in Women’s Studies at York University, is the leader of a community organization, and a loving partner and parent from Sudbury, Ontario; and Steeve Hurdle, a support worker at a homeless shelter in Sherbrooke, Québec.

“Our Faces demonstrate that it is possible to overcome the challenges associated with mental health issues and lead full, rewarding and productive lives”, said MIAW 2011 Chair, Dr. Pamela Forsythe. “These individuals are truly exceptional, and help spread the campaign’s message to all Canadians that Recovery is Possible.”
Boilerplate

About Mental Illness Awareness Week
Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association to raise awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada, reduce the stigma attached to mental illness, and promote the positive effects of best practice in prevention, diagnosis and medical treatment. Since that time, participation has grown to include not only other professional associations but also community groups, primary care facilities, educational institutions, family support centres and individuals. For more information on MIAW, please visit http://www.miaw-ssmm.ca.

About MIAW Sponsors
Mental Illness Awareness Week and the Champions of Mental Health Awards cannot take place without the support of dedicated sponsors. They are Bell, Fleishman-Hillard Canada, Lundbeck Canada, Janssen, Lilly, Bristol-Myer Squibb and Rx&D.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Christine’s Fitness


Christine’s Fitness Will Get You Into Shape – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Hello Members!

Green Instead is a new eco-friendly lifestyle/education centre and marketplace located upstairs at 200 Spadina Avenue. This coming Saturday (July 16) Green Instead will be conducting a seminar on living green using environmentally friendly products at 11am and 1pm. Also throughout the day, Healthy Bras will be showing you how to choose the right bra for you!

Additionally, Green Instead is a drop-off centre for the upcoming Swapsity.ca Mega Media Swap that takes place next Saturday at the Live Green Toronto Festival put on by the City at Yonge-Dundas Square?

If you have CDs and DVDs that you would like to exchange for something you haven’t seen, bring them in and receive a trade-in chit, or if you simply want to donate your old media, you can also drop off those off as well. Anything that is not traded will be donated to local women’s shelters.

Thank you, Christine!

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Sports, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Running Room launches Boomer focused Active-Aging online walking clinic


Six Out of 10 Older Canadians Not Getting Enough Exercise – Photo Courtesy of CNW

Image result for Running Room in Toronto

Nearly six out of 10 Canadians over the age of 65 are not getting enough exercise and may be at risk for cardiovascular disease

April 26, 2011 @ 11:00AM

Toronto, Ontario – With age and physical inactivity considered risks for developing cardiovascular disease, nearly six out of 10 Baby Boomers are in danger of dying from Canada’s second leading cause of death and disability – cardiovascular disease (CVD).1,2

Recognizing the risk to the Canadian Baby Boomer population, Running Room founder John Stanton is spearheading the launch of his new program – the Active-Aging online walking clinic. This easy-to-follow and convenient program is specifically aimed to Canadians over the age of fifty looking to add exercise into their lives – one step at a time.

“As we start to age, we need to realize that we can’t become inactive,” says John Stanton. “One of the reasons I wanted to start this online clinic was to help people age in a healthy way and walking is a great way to do so.” The Active-Aging online walking clinic can be found by visiting http://www.active-aging.ca. Its goal is to inspire people about the virtues of walking and provide information on how exercise and a healthy lifestyle are an important part of managing risk for cardiovascular disease.

“Thirty to 60 minutes of walking daily offers many of the same health benefits as running and is a great place to start for someone being introduced into a fitness regime. A lack of exercise can contribute to your risk for cardiovascular disease,” explains Dr. Robert Welsh, Associate Professor and Academic Interventional Cardiologist at the University of Alberta Hospital. “The good news is that by incorporating physical activity, this risk factor is modifiable.”

Inactivity, along with age, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, family history, and diabetes, is considered a risk factor of cardiovascular disease.3 Nearly 60 percent of Canadians over the age of 65 are inactive,4 which can lead to a decline in bone strength, muscle strength, heart and lung fitness and flexibility.5 Since cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death and disability in Canada, accounting for 29.5 percent of all deaths nationally,6 incorporating exercise is one of many ways Canadians can begin to address this problem.

“We know that physical activity on a regular basis helps maintain strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, and can help reduce the risk of falls, which is why it becomes more and more important as we age,” says Dr. Welsh. “Walking is a great way to ease into a new exercise routine, and if done properly, it can offer many of the same health benefits as other types of exercise. Be sure to speak with your doctor before starting a new fitness program.”

To learn more about the Active-Aging online walking clinic, or to view educational videos and heart-healthy content sponsored by AstraZeneca Canada, visit http://www.active-aging.ca.

1. Genest, Jacques et al. “Canadian Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the adult – 2009 recommendations,” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Vol 25, No 10, October 2009, page 569.
2. Statistics Canada: Mortality, Summary list of cause Catalogue no. 84F0209X page 6
3. Genest, Jacques et al. “Canadian Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of dyslipidemia and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the adult – 2009 recommendations,” Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Vol 25, No 10, October 2009, page 569.
4. Heart and Stroke Statistics http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm accessed April 7, 2011.
5. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/pro/healthy-sante/workshop-atelier/physical/physical2-eng.php
6. Statistics Canada: Mortality, Summary list of cause Catalogue no. 84F0209X page 12

Boilerplate

About the Running Room
The Running Room was founded in 1984 in one room of an old house shared with a hairdressing shop in Edmonton. Since 2004, the company has been opening Running Room/Walking Room combination stores to better meet the needs of a growing population of walkers. Today, the Edmonton-based company is one of North America’s most recognized names in running and walking.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is committed to the research, development, and manufacturing of valuable prescription medicines. We have an extensive product portfolio spanning six therapeutic areas: gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, infection, neuroscience, oncology and respiratory. AstraZeneca’s Canadian headquarters are located in Mississauga, Ontario, and a state-of-the-art drug discovery centre is based in Montreal, Quebec. For more information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.astrazeneca.ca.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Optical Illusions


Inside Spectacle Eyewear - Photo Taken by Christina Cheng

By Christina Cheng

See how being a ‘four-eyed freak’ is now considered a good thing! Wearing optical glasses are now considered a huge fashion trend and a great way to flatter the face and the eyes!

Sunglasses have always been a fashion trend but not so much for optical frames… Until now that is! Remember when people had prescription glasses but would be ashamed to wear them out because they’d be called a ‘four-eyed freak’? Well, those days are over and people have made their prescription glasses into fashion statements! People used to be hesitant about wearing glasses that make a statement, largely because tradition frame designs focused on function over form but now, that has all changed. Being a ‘four-eyed freak’ has never been so hot! Even those who have 20/20 vision wish they had a prescription so that they can rock some cool looking frames. Continue reading

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Is drinking wine apart of your daily lifestyle? Find out how wine could be the new health diet drink!


Red Wine is Good for Your Health – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

By Christina Cheng

Wine expertise says drinking wine may help prevent weight gain and help live a healthier lifestyle. Time to sit back, relax and pour yourself a glass of pinot noir!

Wine is not considered just a pleasure drink anymore, it also offers health benefits and I’m a firm believer in that! Although I’m just shy of 22-years of age, I enjoy a glass or two of (either) red, white, and/or Zinfandel at least once (sometimes twice, maybe more) a week. I also exercise from home and from the gym 4 times a week and I can honestly say, I have never felt this healthy and fit until now. A glass of wine after a good workout is ideal because it acts as a relaxant- it is a non-chemical means of relaxing because of the alcohol affect- it tends to soothe my muscles and clarify my blood cells after an intense class of Pilates. When it’s wine time, it’s my time!

If you’re a wine lover who enjoys drinking in moderation (like me), it’s a safe bet that you’re enjoying good health as well! Why do I say that you ask? Well, through new research, it has been found that drinking a glass or two (no more than 8 ounces) of wine a day, has some perks in keeping your health and weight in check by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure. I asked wine expertise, Tony Aspler who is an accomplished wine educator and lecturer, and Christopher Waters who is the editor of VINES magazine and author of a weekly wine column, Waters & Wine to explain. I must say, the evidence is quite impressive.

One of the reasons why a wine may contribute to a healthier life is because wine is considered to be one of the safest, pleasantest, and most wholesome of beverages for us. Containing vitamins A, B, and C and the other thirteen trace minerals necessary to support human life, these vitamins in a balance will not upset the body’s metabolism. In fact, wine is safer than water and milk because you can’t get diseases from it.

“You cannot get typhoid or TB from any wine, be it old or young, cheap and nasty, or rare and costly. No microbes live in wine. It is pleasanter than other safe drinks because it is more gentle as well as varied,” confirms Aspler.

Not only is wine considered a health drink, it is now also considered the new diet drink. Studies show that those who drank wine moderately were likely to eat less and less likely to gain weight. Yes, believe it or not, drinking wine could lead to taking in fewer calories.

“Wine can be used to replace 500 calories of fat or sugar intake in the daily diet. These calories will be completely consumed and not add an ounce of weight,” says Aspler.

In fact, Christopher Waters found that people who drink wine are the ones who tend to lead a healthier, active lifestyle by making healthier lifestyle choices, and he says wine stimulates that.

“Wine digests food and disperses care. It dispels flatulence and clarifies the blood. It clears the complexion and quickens the body,” stated Waters.

I personally have to agree with both Aspler and Waters because I found that since I’ve been enjoying a glass or two of wine every week, I’ve been more motivated to stay healthy and active- I went from working out 3 times a week to working out 4 times a week! I’ve also noticed that I lost some weight and I’m seeing faster results with muscle gain.

Although I’m still in my early twenties, my life isn’t like many 21-year-olds. I have a 5-year-old son, I attend university five times a week, and work three times a week on top of everything else. Skin breakouts and stress have taken over me but I’ve found that through staying active and enjoying a glass of wine here and there, has personally helped my blood pressure go down a bit and my skin complexion has been at its best!

Waters, who studied wine, found that the one particular component in red wine, called resveratrol was the most effective health wise.

“Resveratrol helps rid the body of bad fats. It acts as a scrubbing agent in your veins and arteries and washes away low-density lipoproteins which is the bad part of cholesterol, that can lead to heart disease,” says Waters.

Resveratrol also acts as an anti-age component with the benefits of caloric restriction within the human skin; resveratrol in wine has also been linked to longevity and prevention of cancer.

Susan Benitez is a mother of two who enjoys a glass of wine a day with her supper and revealed that ever since she started drinking wine and becoming more active, she found her cholesterol level had dropped. Benitez’s family physician had recommended that she try consuming a glass of wine at least once a day in order to test if it’ll help with her cholesterol.

“My total cholesterol before was at 6.2 millimoles (mmol) per liter (L) which was borderline high, but now I’m at 5.2 millimoles per liter which are considered a desirable level. I haven’t felt this good in a long time!” expressed Benitez.

Drinking wine alone isn’t considered a weight-loss strategy on its own- if you start replacing food with wine, you’ll be sure to miss out on key nutrients that food offers. Enjoying a glass of wine every day (no more than 8 ounces), along with the proper exercises and a healthy diet seems to be the perfect way to living.

A glass of wine a day keeps the doctors away so here’s to a healthier lifestyle. Cheers!

Categories: Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Long Road to Overcoming Celiac Disease


Celiac Disease – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Image result for celiac disease

by Julie Wendell

I’ve always had significant digestive problems my entire life. In fact, when I was an infant, my parents lovingly called me “diarrhea-baby”. By the time I was in kindergarten, my mom was tired of my complaining about having a stomachache every day, so she finally took me to see the doctor, who diagnosed me with lactose intolerance and completely cut out dairy from my diet.

So throughout elementary school, the stomachaches were less severe, but still there. In middle school and high school, I remember not being involved with too many social activities, since I always had to make sure I was within 10 ft of a bathroom. My friends thought I was strange and somewhat of a hermit, and they rarely invited me to go anywhere with them. Besides, I was just embarrassed to be around people and hated that I was always in a lot of pain. No one understood what I was going through, and they all thought I was over-exaggerating and feeling sorry for myself. And honestly, I didn’t know exactly what was wrong with me. All I knew is I barely got any sleep and the toilet became my constant companion.

In college, I continued having pain and diarrhea but finally got to see an actual gastroenterologist when I was 20. (My mom never took me to a gastroenterologist when I was younger because we couldn’t afford it.) The doctor did a colonoscopy and endoscopy on me, and told me that my digestive system and its problems were equal to what he sees in the average 70 yr old. The doctor diagnosed me with GERD and IBS. In my early to mid 20’s, I still suffered from a lot of pain. I should’ve bought stock in Imodium, Phayzyme, Tums, and Pepto Bismol, I took so much of those type of medicines. My entire life seemed to revolve around pain, nausea, and diarrhea.

But by the time I was 26 yrs old, my health took a definite and sudden turn for the worst. I could barely get out of bed every morning and take care of my 2 yr old son at the time. New symptoms flared up severely, and they included severe dizziness joint pain, and also muscle pain/tingling, jolts (spasms) of my whole body, hot flashes, cold sweats, severe abdominal pain where I could barely breathe, major motion sickness in the car, anxiety and panic attacks, and depression. I lost a significant amount of weight in a matter of 3 months, though I was trying to eat anything that would stay down. By this time, I was down to 105 lbs. (And at my sickest point, I was 97 lbs!!!! and I am 5’5 tall!) I was literally spending 5-7 hrs in the bathroom in a 24 hr period.

I kept going back to the gastroenterologist, in desperate need of help. He ran about 15 tests on me, including another colonoscopy/endoscopy, barium enema (one of the most painful tests they ever did!), small bowel series, CT scans, ultrasounds, Xrays, bloodwork, you name it! The most frustrating thing was that every test came back completely normal, except the small bowel series, which did indicate flattening of the villi that would indicate only Celiac Disease, so the doctor ordered the Celiac blood test, and did a biopsy of my small bowel (during the colonoscopy). Both tests came back negative! So, of course, he didn’t further investigate the Celiac aspect.

Finally, the doctor admitted that he was truly puzzled about my case, so when he recommended that I see a neurologist, who wanted to test me for Meniere’s Disease (chronic vertigo) or even a brain tumor. So I underwent 2 MRI’s of the brain, both showing that yes, I had a brain (thank goodness!) and yes, it was healthy. But the doctors were still at a loss as to why I was so sick. All he could do was prescribe Phenergan for nausea, Imodium for diarrhea, and Wellbutrin for the anxiety/depression. And all I could do was pray for a miracle.

I had been eating the bland BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) to try to stop diarrhea. I had also been eating plain bagels, graham crackers, saltines, anything to alleviate my stomach pains (and unknowingly I was poisoning myself even more!), and yet I was in the bathroom constantly. So at this point, I picked up the yellow pages and looked up dieticians in the area. But unfortunately, most of the dieticians in the area would not even see me, since at the time I was on Medicaid. Finally, I found a wonderful dietician who talked to me on the phone for a few minutes and decided she would see me even though she didn’t take my insurance. She was determined to help me.

After some discussion, the dietician asked me whether I had gotten tested for Celiac Disease because I did have flattened villi in my small intestines. I told her, yes, but the tests came back negative. She said that the celiac tests tend to be only 70% accurate. Therefore, she wanted me to start the gluten-free diet right away, regardless of the fact that Celiac had been ruled out by the doctor. Then she said to call her in a week or so, and let her know how I was doing. I had no idea what “gluten-free” meant, so she gave me some information on it, plus I had to do some research on my own. I didn’t even think this insane diet was going to work, but I was at the end of my wits, so I was willing to try anything!

So the next day, I started the gluten-free diet, and within a few days, I started feeling TONS better! Diarrhea and the abdominal pain diminished, and I stopped feeling so dizzy. I called the dietician back the following week and thanked her for saving my life, both in the mental and physical sense. In the following months, I regained about 8 lbs! I felt so relieved that the worst part of my suffering was finally over, and that there WAS an answer to my problem! And that I wasn’t crazy after all! The gluten-free diet was a complete miracle for me, and the exact answer to my prayers!

I called my gastroenterologist and told him the news. So he reviewed my long-term symptoms, put two and two together, and officially diagnosed me with Celiac Disease, an auto-immune digestive disease. I will have to follow a strict gluten-free diet for the rest of my life. Gluten is a wheat protein, and it has many derivatives that I also have to avoid.

Finding foods that do not contain gluten is a challenge, but I would rather deal with that than what I have dealt with for the majority of my life–excruciating pain! I have found a few health food stores in the area that carry foods I can eat, and have been broadening my food spectrum whenever I can. I have learned to be very open-minded and adventurous eater when it comes to my diet. I eat a lot of tofu, brown rice, potatoes, vegetables, and fruit, and make sure I take my vitamins every day, esp Vitamin B12.

I have been gluten free for seven years, and have gained almost all my healthy weight back, so I’m about 114 lbs now and feeling the best I have ever felt in my life. Yes, I still do have my bad days, but overall I can say my health has improved 3000%!!!! It was a complete miracle that I came across the dietician that was willing to help me even though she didn’t accept my insurance. If she hadn’t been so generous and willing to help me, I have no idea where I would be right now. I sometimes think back at what I went through and wonder how I endured such pain. Sometimes I even get teary-eyed, because I am so thankful that I have my life back. I am a new person!

My wish is to become an educator and spokesperson of Celiac Disease and also an advocate of Celiac Awareness. I want to provide help and support for those who are suffering like I had suffered. Sometimes diseases and tests do not follow the “rules” of the book, and so that’s what makes Celiac disease so tricky. I have already helped 2 friends discover they have Celiac. They both told me how they were feeling physically, and so I suggested that they ask their doctors to test them for Celiac, and sure enough, their tests came back positive. They are both feeling so much better on the gluten-free diet. So I want to help much more people! That is why I wrote this article, and also I have started writing a book about Celiac Disease, and I’m hoping to publish it by the end of the year. It’s important to me to help teach the public about this under-diagnosed auto-immune digestive disease that is not widely known throughout the world.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

LIVING WITH FIBROMYALGIA


Living with Fibromyalgia – Photo Courtesy of Google Images

 

 

Image result for fibromyalgia

by Julie Wendell

“Mommy, open this, please?”, my 3-year-old son asked as he handed me a cereal bar early one morning. I tried to tear off the top of the wrapper, but my fingers would not move or grasp the wrapper! Terrified, I tried opening it again, but to no avail. I had lost all strength in both of my hands! As calmly as I could, I asked my 7-year-old son to open the cereal bar for his brother. But inside, I was panicking because the weakness in my hands persisted for about an hour. What was happening to me??? Little did I know that the morning of February 10th, 2008 marked the beginning of a myriad of severely painful symptoms. My life was about to drastically change.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I started to experience alarming new symptoms. In addition to the weakness in my hands, I noticed that the joints in my hands were very swollen and stiff. I even took pictures of my hands from all angles to make sure that their odd shape was not just my imagination. I would often feel sharp zinging pains in my extremities, especially in my hands, wrists, knees, and ankles. My muscles and joints ached like I had the flu. There were times when I would be convinced I had a temperature of at least 101, just to find out it was completely normal every time I checked.

My level of fatigue went from “full time single working mother” to “full time single working mother who also ran 100 miles a day”. I was physically exhausted from dealing with so much pain every day. To make matters worse, I started noticing that when I woke up each morning, I would not feel refreshed, even after full straight 6-8 hours of sleep. Instead, it felt like I only slept for one hour each night. So not only was I physically exhausted, I was emotionally drained as well. The overall level of exhaustion was indescribable, the worst I have ever experienced in my life! But I was hoping that whatever was plaguing me would just stop on its own.

One afternoon in April 2008, after I got off work and picked up my kids, I couldn’t get home fast enough. My body was overwhelmed with pain like I never felt before. As soon as we walked through the door, I immediately headed for the couch, where I spent the next four days. I had to call my mom to help me take care of the kids. In addition to my existing symptoms, I also suffered from oppressive chest pain, muscles/joints that felt bruised, extreme coldness in my arms and face, and TMJ-like jaw pain. I also had the sensation that my aching spine and pelvis were going to slide out of my body. I cried often because I had no idea how to cope with these bizarre symptoms. I tried heating packs, ice packs, Tylenol/Advil, but nothing even remotely helped me. My temperature was still normal at 98.6. My mom, who is a nurse, thought maybe I had a virus, but most of the symptoms did not even resemble any virus I had ever had in the past, plus I was not running a fever. Even after the four worst days of feeling severely “sick”, most of my symptoms never fully disappeared.

At this point, I was at my wits’ end, so I finally decided to get some help. So even though I was terrified of the possible outcomes, I made an appointment to see my primary care physician. After reviewing my list of symptoms and seeing the pictures of my hands, he thought it was very likely that I had rheumatoid arthritis. He immediately referred me to a rheumatologist, who wanted to test me for not only rheumatoid arthritis, but also lupus, mononucleosis, and multiple sclerosis. He ordered some x-rays of my hands and a lot of bloodwork. He also prescribed a week’s worth of steroids to see if that would help.

My daily life started becoming a real chore for me. Everything and anything I usually did without a problem were now unbearable or overwhelming. The mornings and evenings were the worst times of day for my pain, fatigue, and weakness. I tried to stay strong, especially for my children, but there were days where I felt like giving up on everything. I tried talking to a few friends and family members about how I was feeling, but they would just say that I was complaining too much and/or accuse me of being a hypochondriac. I had never felt so alone in my life.

The results of the blood tests and x-rays came back the following week and were completely normal. Also, the steroids ended up not helping me at all. Based on these findings, the rheumatologist suggested that I may have fibromyalgia. He prescribed an NSAID called Mobic to help with my muscle/joint pain and an anti-convulsant/anti-neuropathy medication called gabapentin to help with my nerve pain. The doctor said that diagnosing fibromyalgia was very tricky because there are no actual diagnostic tools. Instead, the diagnosis is made after everything else has been ruled out. He also wanted to wait and see how the next few months went with the new medications before confirming the suspected diagnosis.

During the following months, both of the medications had made a difference to where my daily activities became more tolerable. I still felt very fatigued, but my quality of sleep seemed to be more restorative (due to the gabapentin). My muscle and joint pain were definitely persistent but they were on more manageable levels (due to the Mobic).

When I went back to the doctor in August 2008, he reviewed all of my test results and evaluated me again, then officially diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscles, tendons, and joints (definition by MedicineNet.com). The treatment for fibromyalgia includes pain medication and exercise. The doctor advised me to continue with the medications I was currently taking and to try doing light exercise when possible. He also warned me that my medication combination was not always going to be perfect. He said it may take a few tries with various medications before reaching optimal pain management, and what works for me now may not work for me in a few years. I was completely devastated, knowing that I was going to live with unrelenting complicated pain and severe fatigue for the rest of my life.

Sometimes, in addition to medication and exercise, doctors recommend a gluten-free diet to help alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms. Coincidentally, I had already been on a gluten-free diet for 4 years already, due to having an auto-immune digestive disorder called Celiac Disease. Unfortunately, being on this diet did not stop me from having fibromyalgia nor had it eased its symptoms. My doctor said that I’m one of the unlucky fibromyalgia patients who was not positively affected by a gluten-free diet. Sometimes I like to think that being gluten-free has stopped my fibromyalgia symptoms from becoming uncontrollable.

A diagnosis of fibromyalgia carries a negative stigma in society because the symptoms are very vague and are not so clear-cut as other diseases/conditions. I have actually heard people say that there is no such thing as fibromyalgia, or that the symptoms are fake and they are all in the person’s head. It is also widely believed that people who have fibromyalgia just want attention and/or medication. There are many doctors do not recognize fibromyalgia as an actual medical condition. Therefore, people who do have fibromyalgia usually have to see numerous doctors before receiving a diagnosis. Luckily for me, reaching a diagnosis for my symptoms only took 6 months and involved seeing only 2 doctors. Some people suffer for years before finding an answer.

Since my diagnosis, additional symptoms have added themselves to the original list, such as hypersensitivity to stimuli. For example, if there is too much light or sound, I start feeling very overwhelmed and need to remove myself from the situation. There are times where I cannot be touched when even my clothes feel like too much overload on my skin and receiving a hug actually HURTS. I also started becoming sensitive to the weather patterns, especially low-pressure systems. I jokingly call myself the “human barometer” because I seem to predict rain better than the weatherman! During periods of damp or cold weather, my muscles and joints heavily protest, and in turn, the pain increases substantially. I found that I have a low tolerance for any kind of exercise, it makes me feel worse rather than making me feel energetic and refreshed. I have also developed difficulty with my short-term memory and concentration (ie-“fibro-fog”), which has affected all aspects of my life, especially work.

Today, it remains difficult for me to deal with the pain and fatigue that I experience every day with fibromyalgia. My doctor has changed my pain reliever from Mobic to tramadol, which is a bit stronger, so my pain is at a tolerable level most of the time. But I definitely have my share of bad days. On a positive note, I have learned a few things from my experience with fibromyalgia. I’ve learned not push myself to do more than I can handle, but I’m still learning that it’s okay to ask for help. I have also learned to prioritize what is actually important and to just take things one day at a time. Having fibromyalgia has made me realize it is so important not to take anything for granted. After my diagnosis, my rheumatologist had pointed out to me that fibromyalgia is not a deadly or destructive disease, which is very fortunate. However, living with chronic pain and fatigue is still a difficult challenge, no matter what the cause. Yes, fibromyalgia is REAL.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

LOVE YOURSELF AND LOVE YOUR BODY


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Image result for Lennox Cadore

JOIN OUR FREE BOOTCAMP

ST. IGNATIUS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL –

2350 McCowan Road (South of Finch, North of Nugget Ave)

VALENTINE’S DAY MONDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH

6:15-7:15PM

SEE THE ATTACHED FOR MORE DETAILS

OR EMAIL Lennoxjc@gmail.com

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Sports, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Butting Out


Photo Courtesy of Google Images

I have started the journey of quitting smoking – this time for good.

On Sunday, I had one cigarette. That in itself is a real accomplishment for me. I have been using the aid of nicorette gum to help with cravings. I also called the Smoker’s Helpline to find out that cravings do not last forever, it is good to distract yourself and also may help to make a list of things to do and stick to it. I also found out something shocking. With the amount I was smoking at my height of addiction…I was losing 1.5 hours every day just smoking! Shocking! Wow…every day mind you. That averages our to 10.5 hours each week. That is like basically spending a one night’s good night’s rest each week simply smoking. Absolutely amazing. Not to mention how much I was spending on cigarettes which was in excise of more than $3,000.00 CDN per year. I hope that this will encourage others to quit smoking. It really is an important and vital step to make for your overall well-being.

Categories: book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Think Outside the Lunchbox when Dining at Work


Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Resolve to be healthier this year by bringing lunch to work;

choose energy-boosting foods to increase productivity

Toronto, Ontario – January 11, 2011 – Want to increase your brain power at work? Try starting with your stomach.

That’s the message of leading Canadian dietitian and best-selling author Liz Pearson, who emphasizes that the foods you eat have a direct impact on your energy and productivity levels. In particular, mid-day food choices can make or break a person’s afternoon productivity levels, she says.

“We often hear that a good breakfast contributes to how well we feel and perform in the morning, but what is less known is that we also need to refuel our bodies at lunchtime to make it through the afternoon in top form,” says Pearson, co-author of Ultimate Foods for Ultimate Health.

Pearson points to research that shows that one in five Canadians say they don’t have time for lunch or skip it entirely. Nearly one-third indicate they forget to eat lunch and one-quarter say they are too busy working to eat a mid-day meal. ”If you’re going to commit to making one change toward a healthier lifestyle this year, bringing a balanced lunch to work can really make a difference,” she suggests, adding that this will also help avoid the all-too-familiar trap of eating fast foods on the go.

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

For ultimate energy and nutrition, Pearson emphasizes that every lunch should include a source of protein combined with whole grains, and topped off with fruits and vegetables. “Protein gives your lunch more staying power by helping you feel fuller and more satisfied for a longer period of time, and whole grains are important for the carbohydrates they provide, which is the main source of fuel for the body and brain,” she says.

“Choosing whole grains, rather than refined grains, is particularly important since whole grains digest more slowly and help sustain a person’s energy over a longer period of time,” she explains, adding that whole grains are also linked to a lower risk of many diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

To make a balanced bagged lunch interesting, think outside of the box, Pearson suggests. Instead of a tuna-on-whole wheat sandwich, for example, try a tuna-and-whole grain pasta salad (see Bows with Tuna, Mint & Peas recipe below). Other suggestions include:

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

· Chili, marinated bean salads, hummus or dips completely with whole grain bread or crackers. Loaded with nutrition and fibre, beans and legumes – an excellent alternative to meat – should be added to pasta dishes, salads, sandwich wraps or soups for maximum energy, Pearson recommends.

· Whole grain pasta salads of all types, infused with protein and vegetables. Search cookbooks or the Internet for creative pasta ideas. A good place to start is http://www.wholegrainpasta.ca for a wide range of recipes. Remember that pasta left over from the night before, such as spaghetti or lasagna, makes a nourishing lunch as well.

· Sandwiches made with something other than regular bread and loaded with veggies. Spice up your lunchtime routine by rotating between a variety of whole grain choices, including bagels, flatbreads, pita breads or wraps. Avoid processed meats like cold cuts, Pearson says, as they’re linked to a higher risk of colon cancer. Mashed or sliced avocado is a healthier alternative to mayonnaise.

· Alternating protein choices throughout the week. Excellent lunch options are leftover steak or chicken, seeds or nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and canned fish like tuna or salmon. If opting for canned fish, choose lower sodium varieties. Salmon is rich in the omega-3 fats and light tuna contains less mercury than white or albacore tuna.

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

· A meal-size salad, complete with protein and at least one dark green and one orange vegetable (such as dark leafy greens or broccoli and carrots) to help meet daily needs for vitamin A and folate. Pack light or lower fat – but not fat-free – dressing on the side. Our bodies need some fat to absorb valuable nutrients found in vegetables and fruits, says Pearson. Combine salad with whole grain pasta and nuts or seeds for a unique-tasting, balanced meal (see Rotini Honey Ginger Mixed Greens Pasta Salad recipe below).

“The secret to ensuring that you stick to a healthy lunchtime routine all year round is to make your lunch the night before or prepare batches of pasta salad, soup or chili on weekends to enjoy all week long,” Pearson emphasizes. “Mornings tend to be hectic in most households, so set yourself up for success and avoid leaving this important task until the last minute by planning ahead.” And you can bet that by regularly consuming balanced, energy-infused lunches, you’ll have more stamina to do so, she says.

RECIPES

Bows with Tuna, Mint & Peas

This delicious and nutritious cold pasta salad is the perfect take-to-work lunchbox alternative to the traditional tuna sandwich. With a fresh taste and creamy texture, it’s packed with fibre, folate, vitamin C, and iron. Pack some in your kids’ lunchboxes too. They’ll love it as much as you do!

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 box (300 g) Whole wheat bowtie pasta, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Whole Wheat Bows

1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas

3/4 cup (175 mL) low-fat plain yogurt

3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice

1 tbsp (15 mL) each finely grated lemon zest and Dijon mustard

2 tsp (10 mL) honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

2 cans (120 g each) sodium-reduced light tuna

1 large orange or yellow pepper, cut into matchstick strips

2/3 cup (150 mL) packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) diced red onion

Instructions

1. Prepare the bows according to package directions; add the peas during the last minute. Drain well. Meanwhile, whisk the yogurt with the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper.

2. Toss the drained bows and peas with the dressing mixture, tuna, orange pepper, mint, and onion until well combined. Season with additional cracked black pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold.

Tip: Substitute 1 cup (250 mL) lima beans or edamame for the peas.

Per Serving (about 1 2/3 cup/400 mL): 347 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 339 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 21 g protein. Excellent source of folate, vitamin C, and iron.

* * *

Rotini with Honey Ginger Mixed Greens

This cold pasta salad is colourful and full of flavour – easy enough to enjoy any day of the week, yet sophisticated enough to serve to guests. Dark leafy greens and vitamin E-rich almonds and sunflower seeds are ultra nutritious. Try this salad – you’ll be glad you did

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients

3 cups (750 mL) Whole wheat rotini, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Whole Wheat Rotini

1/2 cup (125 mL) assorted dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries, raisins, and currants

3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh orange juice

2 tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar

2 tbsp (30 mL) very finely chopped a shallot

1 tbsp (15 mL) each minced fresh ginger and honey

1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange zest and Dijon mustard

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (50 mL) canola oil

4 cups (1 L) mixed baby leafy greens, lightly packed

1/4 cup (50 mL) each toasted slivered almonds and unsalted roasted sunflower seeds

Instructions

1. Cook rotini according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cool; drain well and reserve. Meanwhile, place the dried fruit in a heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over top and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain well and reserve fruit.

2. Whisk the orange juice with the vinegar, shallot, ginger, honey, orange zest, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the olive oil.

3. Toss the rotini with the leafy greens, reserved dried fruit, almonds and sunflower seeds. Add dressing and toss to coat.

Tips: For extra flavour, use a salad blend that includes fresh herbs as well as leafy greens. If making ahead, hold back a little dressing to moisten salad just before serving.

Notes: Dried blueberries can often be found in the produce department or at bulk food stores.

Per Serving (about 1 3/4 cup/425 mL): 444 calories, 20 g fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 205 mg sodium, 61 g carbohydrates, 8 g fibre, 10 g protein. Excellent source of vitamin A, folate, thiamin and iron. Good source of vitamin C.

* * *

Penne with Black Bean & Corn Salsa

Bursting with colour and flavour, this heart-healthy pasta dish is loaded with fibre, antioxidants and good nutrition, including iron and vitamins A, B and C. Perfect for lunch, it also makes a terrific dinner – served hot or cold.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 box (375 g) Whole wheat penne, such as Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Whole Wheat Penne

2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil

3 cups (750 mL) diced ripe, on-the-vine tomatoes

1 cup (250 mL) diced the red pepper

1 cup (250 mL) canned black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp (15 mL) each ground cumin and dried oregano leaves

1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh coriander leaves

3 tbsp (45 mL) cider vinegar

Instructions

3. Prepare the penne according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the cooking water before draining.

4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the tomato and red pepper; sauté for 5 minutes or softened.

5. Add the black beans, corn, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, until bubbly. Add the hot drained pasta, reserved pasta water, green onions, coriander and cider vinegar.

Tip: Garnish with a little-shredded Cheddar cheese.

Per Serving (about 2 cups/500 mL): 386 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 399 mg sodium, 67 g carbohydrates, 14 g fibre, 16 g protein. Excellent source of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin C, and iron. Good source of niacin. Source of calcium.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

New video series launched to help teens manage food allergies


Photo Courtesy of CNW

Image result for Young people with allergies

December 09, 2010 @ 08:00AM

Toronto – Anaphylaxis Canada launched a new video series today to help teenagers effectively manage their food allergies and stay safe. This group faces unique challenges in trying to manage potentially life-threatening allergies in various social situations, from attending school to dating, socializing and working. In addition, peer pressure, a tendency towards risky behaviour and the occasional negative portrayal of food allergy – consider this commercial by a US matchmaker service – create a demand for positive, informative messages.

The Anaphylaxis Canada Teen Video Series created by and for teens depicts five real-life scenarios and offers tips on coping with these challenges and staying safe. The videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/anaphylaxiscanada.

“Communicating directly with teens about managing risks and encouraging them to take responsibility for their allergies can help reduce instances of allergic reactions and prepare them for adulthood,” said Kyle Dine, Program Coordinator at Anaphylaxis Canada.

Recent Canadian research indicates that more than 2 million Canadians, including a high number of young people, are affected by food allergy. One in two Canadians knows someone with a serious allergy. As avoidance of allergens is the only sure means of preventing a potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, communicating strategies that help teens self-protect is critical, as is the knowledge and understanding of friends and fellow students.

Educating in forums that teens are comfortable with and will respond to is important. Consider that a 2009 U.S. study of college and university-aged students with food allergies revealed a high number of them are taking unnecessary risks when it comes to managing their allergies. For example, more than 75% of those surveyed do not maintain an epinephrine auto-injector (e.g. EpiPen® or Twinject®) while 60% do not avoid the food to which they are allergic.

Reaction to the videos has been extremely positive. Some examples:

* Alex Chippin is a 17-year-old student with allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, and chickpeas. He calls the videos useful because “They prepare you for a lot of realistic situations that will come up and teaches you how to react”.

* Kemrani Khan is the mother of a 17-year-old boy with allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. “I really like the videos as they serve to remind my son to remain vigilant at all times and also helps to give friends and family a better perspective on the challenges my son faces on a daily basis.”

* Daniel Loberto, a 17-year-old high school student with no food allergies, still found the videos helpful. “These videos helped me gain a better understanding of what it’s like to live with severe food allergies and how challenging it can be.”

Anaphylaxis Canada’s Teen Video Series is the latest initiative in its Why Risk It? allergy awareness program targeted at pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults. More information about the program can be found at http://www.whyriskit.ca.
Quotes

“Communicating directly with teens about managing risks and encouraging them to take responsibility for their allergies can help reduce instances of allergic reactions and prepare them for adulthood.”

Kyle Dine, Program Coordinator at Anaphylaxis Canada
Boilerplate

Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping those at risk for anaphylaxis and those who care for them. We are committed to creating a safer world for people with food allergies through research, education, and advocacy. http://www.anaphylaxis.ca.

Categories: Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Movie Reviews, Music, Video Work, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

MSF launches on-line warehouse: an alternative way for Canadians to give this holiday season


November 18, 2010 @ 03:00PM

Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announces the launch of the MSF Warehouse at http://www.MSFwarehouse.ca, a new website that allows Canadians to shop for relief items including supplies, medicines, and equipment that aid workers use in the field each day.

The MSF Warehouse offers concrete examples and actual costs of the resources that are needed by MSF teams to deliver medical care in close to 70 countries where people are at risk. By making a symbolic purchase through the site, visitors can support work that saves lives.

On the site, visitors can learn why an item like a megaphone is of vital importance during a mass vaccination campaign and how a piece of plastic sheeting can help a family displaced by a natural disaster. Visitors can also contribute towards the purchase of specialized kits containing all the necessary supplies that MSF teams need to respond to medical emergencies like the current cholera outbreak in Haiti. This interactive warehouse features videos, photos, and blogs from aid workers that provide first-hand accounts of the importance items play in MSF’s actions.

In places where men, women, and children are suffering around the world, MSF is performing surgery, offering frontline medical care, and practising preventative medicine. By purchasing any of the items on the MSF Warehouse as gifts for loved ones, Canadians can show to the world’s most vulnerable people in a tangible way that they care about them too.
Boilerplate

MSF is an international medical humanitarian organization founded in 1971. MSF works in over 60 countries, providing independent medical relief to victims of war, disasters, and epidemics. In 1999 MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Religion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Study Results Demonstrate Greater Potential of New Diabetes Therapy Beyond Glucose Control


Diabetes Can Be Controlled With More Than Just Glucose – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Meta-Analysis Presented at the CDA/CSEM Professional Conference and Annual Meetings Provides Insight into GLP-1 Therapy Advances

November 08, 2010 @ 07:00AM

Mississauga, ONTARIO – Recent research results demonstrate that a new treatment approach to diabetes, GLP-1 analogues, not only helps to lower blood glucose levels but has the added benefit of reducing body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference.

“What we saw at the 26-week mark was that those patients with type 2 diabetes being treated with liraglutide, a GLP-1 analogue, achieved significant reductions in both BMI and waist circumference,” says Dr. Bernard Zinman, Director, Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto. “In this context, we continue to explore innovations in diabetes management.”

Findings of the study, The Human GLP-1 Analogue, Liraglutide, Improves BMI and Waist Circumference in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: Meta-analysis of Six Phase 3 Trials, was presented at The Canadian Diabetes Association/The Canadian Society for Endocrinology and Metabolism Professional Conference and Annual Meetings that took place in Edmonton from October 20 – 23, 2010.

Victoza®
Since its approval by Health Canada in May of this year, Victoza® (liraglutide) is establishing its place among treatments to effectively manage diabetes. As the first GLP-1 analogue in Canada, Victoza® offers the added benefit of delayed gastric emptying and enhanced satiety after meals.1 To date, more than 2,600 Canadians living with diabetes have received treatment with Victoza®

Victoza® is indicated for once-daily administration for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes to improve glycemic control in combination with 2

* Metformin, when diet and exercise plus a maximally tolerated dose of metformin do not achieve adequate glycemic control.
* Metformin and a sulfonylurea, when diet and exercise plus dual therapy with metformin and a sulfonylurea do not achieve adequate glycemic control.

In addition, Victoza® has a low risk of hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood glucose levels), since it only works when the body needs it.2 Victoza® should not be used to treat type 1 diabetes mellitus or diabetic ketoacidosis. Use of Victoza® in combination with insulin has not been studied and is therefore not recommended.2

References:
__________________________________

1. Grossman, S. Differentiating Incretin Therapies Based on Structure, Activity, and Metabolism: Focus on Liraglutide. Pharmacotherapy. 2009;29(12):25S-32S.
2. VICTOZA® Canadian Product Monograph. 2010.

Boilerplate
About Novo Nordisk Canada Inc.

Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care and biopharmaceuticals. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical
products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession, and society. Novo Nordisk’s business is driven by the Triple Bottom Line: a commitment to economic success, environmental soundness, and social responsibility to employees and customers. For more information, visit http://www.novonordisk.ca.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , ,

Dreading the Cold and Dark Days of Winter?


Image result for light

Philips Offers a Natural Solution with Its Light Therapy Products

November 02, 2010 @ 03:30PM

Markham, Canada – As we enter November and the close of the fall season, we head into darker and colder mornings. Sunday, November 7 marks the last day of daylight savings and for some, it means the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). To ease the mornings and help beat the winter blues, Philips offers its Wake-up Light Plus and goLITE BLU light therapy products.

In a recent survey conducted on behalf of Philips by Angus Reid Public Opinion, 54 percent of Canadians polled understood light therapy, but have never tried it. Yet, it has been clinically proven that waking up with light improves your well-being.

Light therapy consists of exposure to daylight or lights such as fluorescent lamps or LEDs. The Wake-up Light Plus wakes the body up naturally by simulating sunrise. This light increases the level of energy hormones in the body, preparing it to wake-up.

“Philips has conducted extensive research into the relationship between light and well-being,” said Nadege Vergura, Senior Marketing Manager, Personal Care, Philips Electronics Ltd. “The Wake-up Light Plus and goLITE BLU are designed to help improve the wake-up process, boosting overall mood and energy.”

The goLITE BLU energy light is designed to help increase energy levels naturally, helping to beat the winter blues and fight off jet lag with just 15 to 45 minutes a day of usage.

New Wake-up Light Plus HF3485 features include:

* Simulation of sunrise and sunset for a more pleasant wake-up process
* Memory for three radio stations
* Two alarms
* Smart-snooze: tap anywhere
* Four natural sounds and FM radio, plus upload new wake-up sounds and music via USB
* Adjustable dawn duration
* Premium look and feel
* Available at London Drugs, Amazon.ca, and CDR
* Wake-up Light prices range from $119.99 – $179.99

goLITE BLU 3332 features include:

* BLUEWAVE® technology – provides the exact spectrum of blue light our bodies melatonin levels respond to best
* Safe, easy on your eyes – free from any ultraviolet light risk to the eye; lower intensity plus four levels of brightness control
* Rechargeable battery and travel case – small, compact design and easily portable
* Long lasting blue LEDs – 50 years lifetime if used 30 minutes a day throughout the year
* Includes Alarm (light and sound) and Timer (60 minutes)
* Cordless with touchscreen
* Benefits often occur within a few days, with as little as 15 minutes of use a day
* goLITE BLU prices range from $149.99 – $199.99
* Available at Costco and Amazon.ca

About the Survey
Methodology: From October 18 to October 19, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,035 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
Quotes

“Philips has conducted extensive research into the relationship between light and well-being. The Wake-up Light Plus and goLITE BLU are designed to help improve the wake-up process, boosting overall mood and energy.”

Categories: Beauty, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Week 3 – Space Management: Ergonomics – Best Practices (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Getting the Best Out of Yourself While Working – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 1, 2010

By Clare Kumar

The equipment you use in your office goes a long way in setting up your chances for working in a healthy way. In addition to these, you will want to establish some best practices to ensure you are doing everything necessary to take care of yourself while at work.

1. Take Regular Breaks

You know the old saying “Moderation in all things”? Well, that is also true of work. Even if you’re sitting in an ergonomically correct chair with the computer and keyboard at the correct height, if you sit there for several hours straight, your body will not be happy.

For every hour of work, budget a 5-minute physical break. Get up out of your chair and move around. Walk to a window and enjoy some long distance viewing. Your eyes will appreciate the ability to focus at a longer distance.

Place your printer further away from your desk or set an alarm on your computer to remind you to take breaks. Schedule a regular walk around the block with a colleague. It will help refresh your eyes, mind, and body and bring fresh energy to your tasks.

2. Stretch

Stretching can counter the effects of long periods in the same posture by reducing soreness, tension, and fatigue. Keep in mind that stretching should never cause pain. For maximum relief, stretch 2 or 3 times during the day. If you have health concerns, consult your healthcare professional before beginning a stretching program.

Here are just a few of the stretches you might consider. For diagrams and more stretches with detailed descriptions, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety page on Stretching – At the Workstation.

Shoulder stretches

* Shrug shoulders and hold for 10-15 seconds then release.
* Roll shoulders several times in one direction and then the other.

Neck stretches

* Keeping your back straight, look down slowly and back to neutral position. Repeat several times.
* Look slowly from side-to-side. Never rotate from one side to the other while looking up.
* Bring the right ear to the right shoulder, and then repeat on the left side.

Side stretch

* Link fingers together and lift arms overhead with palms facing the ceiling. Lean slowly to the left and back to the centre, then lean to the right and back to the centre.

Back stretches

* Upper back – Link fingers together, facepalms out and extend in front of you. Slowly round your back.
* Lower back – Keep your hips facing forward and gently twist your upper body to one side. Repeat to the other side.

3. Change position

Varying tasks throughout the day will help reduce muscle fatigue. Shift between writing, using the computer and talking on the phone for example.

Coming up next in the series: Space Management: Inspiration

Disclaimer – For information and reference purposes only and not intended as legal or professional advice. The adoption of the practices described may not meet the needs, requirements or obligations of individual workplaces.

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

Categories: Beauty, book reviews, Business, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Home Decor, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Technology, travel, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Social Awkwardness


Jennifer Winters Writes About Asperger\’s Syndrome – Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 2010

Written by: Jennifer Winters

The thought of not being apart of society or not fitting in can start at such an early age and unfortunately continue through adulthood. Getting bullied, talked down, abused any one of these things probably more can develop into social awkwardness. It is quite sad how society as a whole reacts to people that socially awkward. People who suffer from social awkwardness are described as “active but odd”, which is true, but since when was that a bad thing? If we were, all the same, would we really be satisfied? Social acceptance has become ridiculously overrated where people are so quick to judge.

When I think of the word social awkwardness I think of the TV show Boston Legal. There was a character (Jerry Epenson) played by Christian Clemenson. The character Jerry was obviously a little different than the rest of the characters, random outbursts, and odd behavior. This led me to be irritated and was going to stop watching the show, then my partner said, hold on it gets better you just have to wait and see what happens next. Being a television addict I stayed and watched the next few episodes. It was later discovered that he had Asperger’s syndrome without even knowing it. This led me to feel that I had judged and felt quite like a tool. Granted this was just a television show, but Asperger’s syndrome is real and the character Jerry is somewhere a real person in our reality who probably does not get the respect he deserves. Several months ago when I was talking to a friend about this character I had mentioned Asperger’s and she had no idea what I was talking about. The truth is if we were to see someone on the street flapping their arms and in “odd” behavior, we may look; stare, gloat, or worst of all walk away. People who do have Asperger’s are usually highly intelligent some are even gifted; unfortunately rarely get the recognition for it. Asperger’s is a mild form of autism, which is where the social awkwardness is developed. According to Asperger’s Society of Ontario, 74, 356 individuals in Ontario living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

There are various groups in Toronto alone for people who are not comfortable being in a social situation, it just takes a little effort to find something that suits you. No one should ever suffer from something they have no control over, times a different; there is a group for almost anything today.

People who do not even have Asperger’s can just be uncomfortable in a social situation; I used to be like this due to my stutter. I had shut off from the world for a period of time. I was sick and tired of being judged for a little stutter that I did not want to be apart of a society that wouldn’t accept me for who I am. Over a long period of time I am overcoming this, and seeing I am far from being alone, and if someone can’t accept you for you who are, let them have it on their conscience, not yours.

Categories: Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Events, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Anxiety to Perfection


Jennifer Winters Writes About Anxiety – Photo Taken By Jennifer Winters

Jennifer Winters - July 16, 2010

By: Jennifer Winters

When the procrastination stops and ready to do the “do’s” it can be undoubtedly overwhelming. Our “to-do lists” on a daily basis can cause stress from something simple as doing the groceries, laundry, exercising at the gym to more complex: finishing an essay, applying for OSAP, making a doctors appointment etc… All in one day is exhausting and can cause anxiety without a question. We all must face the fact at one point that we are simply not superheroes. The expression that gets me all the time is “There are simply not enough hours in a day” Would you really want more hours in a day? When did deadlines become everything to consume our lives?

One by one the item does get checked off on our “to do” list but we must not forget that there are only so many hours in a day that if it can not be done we must not stress about it. Stress can tear us apart and our emotions do get the best of us, we are human it is natural. There is no need to have an anxiety attack over the things we need to do in a day and yet we do. This only leads to more problems in the health department when all that needed to be done was to prioritize your day. This happened to me the other day where I had just piled on too many items to do in one day thinking I could do it because they were only “little things”. I get confused between doing the best that I can and trying to be perfect which is a joke in itself but those who strive to do their best, our judgment can get cloudy from time to time.

A helpful tip for those that are stressed between school, job, family or simply trying to get through one day a time: Breath!

Categories: Beauty, Contact Information, Creative Writing, Culture, Disability, Education, Entertainment, Environment, Health, Living, Media Writing, Opinion, Writing (all kinds) | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

%d bloggers like this: