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Senate Passes Bill for the Sale of Over the Counter Hearing Aids

Health News December 11, 2017

Aging is a complex and often difficut transition. We find that we need reading glasses when we used to have perfect vision. There are also traumas that can cause health issues that affect our living; not just the aging process. Hearing is one of those issues, when we begin to notice that we don’t hear as well and clearly as we used to. A hearing aid used to be prescribed by a doctor and often required approval from insurance companies. Now things are getting a bit easier for those who are dealing with hearing loss. The senate has passed a bill so that hearing aids can now be purchased over the counter to those in need.

There are many things that will make this process easier and more accessible, one, being money. Now that you can purchase hearing aids without a prescription, there can be competition that will allow one to choose which brand and style of hearing aid is best for their budget. When a prescription eas needed there was no room for competition, it was like a medicine, Big Pharma had its grip on the product and could really charge any price they choose to. Now those with smaller budgets and no insurance can still help thier hearing loss by purchasing their own, over the counter.

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, over 48 million people suffer from some form of hearing loss and 80 per cent of those who truly need the devices are not using them due to lack of co-pays and insurance costs. Budget is a huge issue when it comes to health problems that otherwise could be more esily solved. Particularly, in the U.S. there are too many people dealing with health problems that have simple solutions but instead are extremely complex and expensive.

The average cost of a hearing aid device is $2300, which is why most people who need them don’t have them. Medicare and many insurance companies will not even cover the cost of most hearing devices. One can see how two thousand dollars can be an out-of-reach price tag for many people who are in need of a hearing aid. The price almost turns the device into a luxury item only for the wealthy who could afford the hearing device with out-of-pocket money. Something that affects so many people due to trauma and aging, should not be a luxury but should be available in some form to all who need it. This bill hopes to make that situation possible.

Source: The Senate Passes a Bill for Over the Counter Hearing Aids

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The Benefits of Silent Meditation

Health News November 21, 2017

Meditation. The word itself carries with it a wide variety of  emotions. And fear as well. The idea of sitting in silence for even just 15 minutes scares a lot of people. Why? Most of us have brains that just don’t understand how to quiet themselves. Our thoughts run rampant and we live in the future of to-do lists, and in the past of “Why didn’t I?” Living in the Now can be a difficult exercise. But  it can be such a life saver for many of us.


Meditation can come in many forms. There are guided meditations, candle meditations, walking meditations. You can use household chores as opportunities to meditate. Things like sweeping and doing the dishes are perfect times to meditate. But it is the silent meditation that is the most challenging and the most beneficial.


Doing just about anything in silence can be a meditation. Clearing the mind and just being aware of your surroundings can bring a focus that helps to quiet the mind, lower your blood pressure, enhance creativity, and heighten your intuitive brain. Many people use focusing on their breathing to begin this process.


Being still in silent meditation is the epitome of being in the Now. It is how you can truly free your brain from all those tapes that play on and on in your mind and really let go of the thinking brain. You get in touch with yourself on a deeper level, and gain clarity. You can relax into the silence and feel the workings of your body and grow in self-awareness.


If you are still wary of silent meditation start small. Just do 5 minutes and focus on the breath. Do it on a short walk. And when thoughts intrude, re-focus on your breath. Feel your feet on the ground, be aware of the land you are on, of the sounds around you. Be in the moment. There is no past, no future, only the present. Your breathing should slow down and deepen. You should feel yourself truly in your body. All your senses get sharper, more clear.


After your 5 minutes go back and journal about how it felt on every level. Do you feel more relaxed? Have the thoughts in your mind slowed down? Are you feeling refreshed? Energized? All these benefits come with silent meditation. If you can take your blood pressure, take it before and after your meditation experience. You may find that it has slowed  down.


Silent meditation can lead to much greater self awareness and make you much more present in your life. So give it a try. And like I said, start small so as not to overwhelm yourself.


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Foods Diabetics Should Avoid

Health News November 21, 2017

9 per cent of Americans alone are diagnosed with some form of diabetes. The numbers throughout the globe are becoming alarming. Diabetes is now like an epidemic and the disease in many ways, is preventable and can also be reversed if it is in its early stages. You can change your everyday eating and exercising habits to promote a healthier system that will fight off this debilitating disease. Food is most important. We know that eating more vegetables and lighter lower calorie meals will help but what foods should diabetics avoid?

Nachos and other high-calorie Tex Mex Foods

The reason for avoiding most restaurant style Tex Mex dishes is the high calorie and high sodium count in these types of prepared foods. Stay away from the canned versions in the market as well, they are also full of salt, oftentimes, sugar, and high in empty calories.

Pre-packages Sausages

Most pre-packaged sausages are high in fat and sodium. It is very unlikely that many households make their own sausage, so we are not aware of what all the ingredients are. Turkey or chicken sausage would be better as long as you check the fat, cholesterol, and sodium count.

Fried Foods

Avoid fried foods like battered fish and chicken because normally they contain too much sodium and many batters contain sugars that also of course need to be avoided. Bake or roast your fish and chicken in olive oil and eat with fresh vegetables.

Fruit Juice Beverages

Stay away from fruit juices unless you make them at home and you know exactly  them. Fruit juice beverages from the market and in restaurants are usually filled with excess sugar to magnify the taste of the fruit. They are not good for diabetics or those trying to prevent the disease

Most Chinese Take-Out

You will see a trend here in all of these foods. It is wise to avoid salt and sugar laden foods that are fried or cooked in fatty unhealthy oils. The best way to treat your diabetes is to cook most of your own foods and eat clean and fresh without a bunch of condiments and sodium filled sauces. Avoid fatty foods like most take-out dishes and eat fresh vegetables as your side or main dish whenever you can.

Source: Diabetic Living Online

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2017 Holiday Beauty Tips

Body and Beauty November 21, 2017

The holidays are here. And there is no time like the present when everyone desires to look and feel their best. Beauty companies come out with beauty palettes just for the holiday season; from lips to eye make-up, it’s all there for the choosing. Of course reds and greens, even in lip colors, are all the rage but there are a lot of pinks and purples as well as navy blue, being the color of the year among the millenial generation.

Here are a few holiday beauty tips to get you through this festive and colorful season.


Sparkles are everywhere, even on the lips. Enjoy the new lip color toppers that add a bit of pizzazz to your basic lip color. Not only do these lip toppers add shine and glitter but they help your lip color to stay in place longer.

Relaxed Hair

The fashionistas are going for loose hairstyles this year. Uneven Bobs are popular and the loose and relaxed bun are all relaxed hairstyles for the millenials this year. No tight buns or hair that doesn’t move. Everyone is going for that disheveled look on purpose for the holiday party.

Nails are Everything

Yes, nail color and holiday designs are everything this year. From peppermint covered cartoon nails to classy red and gold glitter. Everyone is playing the nail game this season with holiday decals and brilliant hues, nails are the talk of the town this holiday season.

Metallic Dresses

Instead of the traditional reds and greens, dresses have gone metallic into gold, silver, copper, and bronze. The futuristic look is in for party-goers who want to catch the attention of everyone. The shine is everything these days, so put on your sling back heels and shimmery copper dress to be in style in 2017.

Bare Legs

Ladies make sure you are shaven and shining this 2017-2018 holiday season. Bare legs are in even in the coldest of weather. All you need to do is make it to the car, then into the party venue, so don’t worry about being too cold. Good skin is in and we advise you to get a good exfoliator and make those legs look brilliant for the office party.

The Top Hat

Singer/Writer Erykah Badu has brought back the top hat and ladies everywhere are attempting to rock the classic black top hat with stylish pantsuits. This gives women the opportunity to skip the little shiny dress this season and jump into the tailored look of a Donna Karan classic pantsuit. At least those bare legs will be kept warm throughout the night.

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A Simple Exercise Plan for the Non-Exerciser

Lifestyle November 20, 2017

It is the time of year where exercise is most important. We are enjoying more decadent meals, desserts, and cocktails, than usual. All of which cause weight gain and sluggishness. Honestly, serious forms of working out are not for everyone, but there are simple things you can do to get your exercise program in gear. You don’t need to be an athlete or yogi master to master these simple exercises, you just have to be willing to get started.

1. Walking

Something that most people are able to do is walking. Everyday, make it a habit to walk at least 15 minutes before or after work. You can even fit walking into your lunch hour or work breaks instead of heading for the soda or snack machine to fill the time.

2. Yoga Asanas

Yoga asanas are simple yoga poses that most people can do even if they have little flexibility. There are even yoga moves on the internet for those who are physically challenged. Usually the morning asanas include a lot of stretching, which is great for the body and often neglected. If you walk in the evenings or during the day. Try a couple yoga stretches when you first awaken in the morning to get that blood flowing.

3. Office Exercise

There are stretches you can also do at your work desk. Take a moment to simply stretch your legs underneath your desk until you can truly feel the stretch in your muscles. You can also stand for a moment and stretch both arms out to the side until you feel a good chest stretch. If you are on the computer all day, give your neck a quick but gentle turn to each side and massage both sides of your neck and massage your hands for a few moments as well.

4. Dancing

Something you may want to do at home and not in the office unless it’s the holiday party, is dancing. Dancing is terrific exercise. it keeps you limber, is tons of fun and can help you strengthen your muscles and lose weight. After work, before dinner, turn on your favorite dance station and just have a great time moving your body to the music. This is one of the most enjoyable but effective exercises there is.

You can do one of these exercise suggestions faithfully or partake in a mixture of all of them during the day and evening. You can even switch it up to keep it interesting and do yoga one week and walk the next week. Some days, dance in the mornings, other days, at night. The simple fact is, that it is important to move and stretch the body as much as possible if you can and you will see the benefits of this movement as you age.

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Healthy Suggestions for Traditional Holiday Meals

Food and Eating November 20, 2017

The holiday season is notorious for being the cause of weight gain. Depending on what report you read, many people gain anywhere from 10-15 lbs during Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Let’s face it, this time of year is also cold in many areas of the Northern Hemisphere and so we also tend to eat heavier meals in spite of the holiday fair. More alcohol drinking is also involved with the holidays and alcohol carries with it a lot of empty calories.

We all have traditional meals we can’t wait to eat during this time of year. There are certain dishes that just makes it feel like the season has begun. We look forward to the indulgence we may have deprived ourselves all year for these few occasions at the end of the year. But there are ways to make the holiday meals you love without breaking the scale.

Here are just a few suggestions on how you can have your cake and eat it too.

Greenbean casserole, a holiday American favorite is normally made with cream and/or cream of mushroom soup topped with crispy fried onions. That same casserole can be made without the cream replaced with low fat cheese like parmesan or a mixture of low fat cheeses simply mixed in with roasted green beans and tossed in when they are still warm. You will save calories and still maintain great taste.

Macaroni and Cheese is another decadent dish that usually contains pasta with multiple melted cheeses and baked. You can make a simple pasta dish with a light cream sauce like a low fat alfredo sauce instead of mixing in 4 or 5 cheeses. Top again with shredded parmesan to replace the saltiness and you’ve got yourself a healthier dish that is still decadent in flavor.

Desserts are a must-have during the holiday season and it is easy to create taste healthy desserts. Try putting out a dish of dried fruits like banana chips, raisins, apple chips, and dates. These dried fruit have the sugary taste you are seeking but the sugar is natural at least. Vegan desserts are also all over the internet and you can try making vegan cakes and pies that are packed with flavor but not the calories.

Cocktails are a huge culprit when it comes to weight gain. We tend to gather in homes during this season which may cause us to drink more because we are not driving. But cocktails can pack on the pounds. Try simple cocktails like wine spritzers, which are a little wine mixed with seltzer or sparkling water. They are pretty and will satisfy that holiday spirit everyone is looking for.

Whatever you decide to do to cut down on calories during the holiday season, remember, don’t drink and drive, cut down on your alcohol intake and don’t overstuff yourself. When you feel full, step away from the holiday table.

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The Prevention of Lung Disease

Health News November 20, 2017

According to the Mayo Clinic, there is no sure and certain way to prevent lung disease. Some people smoke all of their lives and still have longevity with no disease, while others may not smoke at all or are affected by second-hand smoke of others and experience lung cancer. You can never truly tell if someone is prone to lung disease besides genetics and their overall health condition. Though you cannot be certain that these methods will prevent lung disease, there are things you can do that can make experiencing lung disease more unlikely.

If you have never smoked, it is wise to continue being a non-smoker. Why raise your risk of lung cancer by starting? And do your best to stay away from second-hand smoke of friends and loved ones. Sometimes this is hard to control, but simply move away from smokers if they are engaging in the act.

If you are a smoker, then stop. Do what it takes to break this habit. There are people who can, as they say, go cold turkey and stop on their own, however, if that is not you, get some help from your physician as to what would be the best way for you to break the habit.

Get your home tested for radon. Radon has been known to be a culprit of lung cancer and other lung diseases. There is plenty of information out there about radon poisoning and it’s become very simple to get your home tested.

Take care of your overall health by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables avoiding foods filled with preservatives and ingredients you cannot pronounce. Eat as healthily and clean as you possibly can.

Try to avoid carcinogens at your workplace. Speak with those in charge about your work environment and ask plenty of questions so you know what you’re being exposed to.

Develop a daily exercise routine at least 3-5 times a week. This will keep your body healthy and strong and more able to fight off diseases.

Source: About COPD 

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10 Ways to Eat Peanut Butter Without Jelly

Food and Eating November 19, 2017

Peanut butter, particularly natural peanut butter without added sugars and salt, is a healthy food product and snack to have around. Peanut butter is loaded with protein soo much so, that just two tablespoons of peanut butter is a half serving of the daily recommended amount. It is also loaded with heart-healthy fats. It is difficult to find anyone who is not in love with peanut butter and jelly and many people do eat peanut butter right off the spoon. Unless you have peanut allergies, peanut butter is almost like a condiment that you should keep in your cabinets.

We offer you 10 delightful ways to enjoy the benefits of peanut butter without the jelly sandwich:

1. Coleslaw

Mix about a teaspoon of peanut butter with a simple store-bought Asian dressing and you have a great dressing for your homemade cabbage coleslaw.

2. Soups

Add peanut butter to your creamy soups that call for heavy cream. You can skip the heavy cream, and add a small scoop of peanut butter for an ethnic North African flavor.

3. A Parfait

Perfect for breakfast, a parfait of rolled oats, fruit, and peanut butter is a great, tasty, and healthy way to begin the day.

4. A Dip

Peanut butter is great as a dip for celery, carrots and apple slices. This is an easy snack to make morning, noon, or night, when you get the munchies for something delicious and healthy.

5. A Quesadilla

Bananas and peanut butter are a great combination of flavors. Slice a banana and spread some peanut butter on a warm tortilla, and wrap. You’ve got yourself a new Friday night movie snack full of protein and potassium.

6. A  Pancake Topping

Skip the sugary syrup and fatty butter, and spread peanut butter on top of your stack of pancakes instead. It’s warm and tasty and something a bit healthier than your average way of serving pancakes.

7. Brownies

Add peanut butter to your favorite brownie mix. You and your family will love the added flavor and creaminess that peaut butter adds to desserts.

8. Hummus

If you haven’t got tahini for your homemade hummus, use peanut butter instead. It has a similar taste just naturally a bit sweeter and spread on toasted flour tortillas as a dip.

9. Peanut Butter Energy Balls

These delicious enery balls can include many different ingredients, but the basics are peanut butter, honey, rolled oats and raisins or dates. Yumm.

10. Oatmeal

Place a dollop of peanut butter on top of a warm bowl of oatmeal in the mornings or evenings, whenever you enjoy your oatmeal. It is packed with heart-healthy fats and protein and makes for a perfect breakfast or nighttime snack.

Source: Dr. Oz 

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6 Reasons Why Asparagus Should Be on Your Dinner Table

Health News November 19, 2017

Those long bright green, sometimes white, stalks, called asparagus are vegetables many people neglect. Some have only had them boiled, like many cooks do with vegetables and in that way, they may be stringy and not so tasty, but roasted in olive oil or baked on a sheet in the oven, can help keep their brilliant color and enhance their delicious flavor. So if you haven’t tried asparagus since you were a kid, it’s time to try these yummy and healthy vegetables in a new way. They are also great roasted and on top of a salad.

There are many reasons to eat asparagus besides their delicious taste. These stalks are very good for the body and can add a new way of getting your “greens” into your diet. Here are 6 reasons to pick up that bundle of asparagus from your local market or farmer’s market and serve them to yourself and your family.

1.They are loaded with fiber and folate, along with vitamins A,C,E, and K. Asparagus are also great for pregnant women because of the amount of folate that assists in prevention of some birth defects.

2. Asparagus may help the body to fight certain cancers. These beautiful vegetables are packed with gluthethione which helps to detoxify and break down carcinogens like free radicals. These compounds can help prevent bone, breast, lung and larynx cancers.

3. Asparagus may also help to slow down the aging process because they are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants may also assist in breaking down free radicals, the cause of certain cancers and other illnesses associated with aging.

4. The folate which works well with B12, also found in fish and poultry, can help to boost brain power which is also a help during the aging process when brain functions tend to slow down.

5. Asparagus is a natural diuretic that helps remove excess fluids and salt from the body, making us healthier and feel lighter and less bloated.

6. You can eat asparagus in a myriad of ways; raw, roasted, baked, dried, on salads, as a side dish, or in casseroles in place of broccoli or other greens. They are a highly versatile vegetable.

So the next time you consider passing asparagus by in the market, think about all the ways you can cook it and how many health benefits asparagus can add to your daily diet. You can cook them in so many ways, it is difficult to tire of these delightful stalks, that also come in white, which makes them a bit tougher and purple, which are sweeter in taste.

Source: Eating Well Magazine 

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Understanding Your Lupus Symptoms

Health News November 18, 2017

Lupus is still a mysterious disease. More is known now than a couple of decades ago, but there are still signs and symptoms of Lupus that are hard to either identify or understand. Lupus symptoms are widespread and are able to affect any and multiple organs within the body. This disease is unpredictable because you never know when symptoms will flare up or the length of those flare ups. This stress is often very difficult for Lupus patients and only adds to the harshness of those symptoms. Stress may not only cause a flare up but cause them to last longer than usual.

This is why it is crucial that Lupus patients keep track of thier flare ups, symptoms, when they happen and how long they last. This information is extremely helpful to the physician that is treating the Lupus patient. There may be a pattern that can be found from keeping records that makes it easier for Lupus symptoms to be treated or prevented.

These are some of the most common Lupus symptoms, but certainly not the complete list.

Fatigue that is of an extreme nature and is not helped by getting lots of rest.

Stiffness and swelling in various joints. You will usually know it is a Lupus symptom because the discomfort will affect multiple joints, not just one set of joints.

Muscle pains that won’t go away with over-the-counter or prescription drugs.

Hair loss is another well known sign of Lupus. It does not affect every Lupus patient but it does affect many suffering from this mysterious disease.

Sores in the nose and mouth that are surprisingly painless. Notify your doctor right away.

Fevers over 100F are very common among Lupus patients. If you have no other symptoms, such as the flu or a bad cold, check with your doctor asap.

Skin rashes can occur, particularly after spending too much time in the sun. If this is a common thing that happens to you, it is still wise to visit your physician if it happens too often.

There are Lupus sites on the internet that will assist you in tracking your disease and explaining your symptoms in more depth. The most important thing is that you contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, whether you are already diagnosed or wondering if you do have Lupus.

Source: Confused By Your Lupus Symptoms?

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