Sunday, August 31, 2014

In the News--When Hospital Workers get Vaccines, Community Flu Rates Fall

I have taken an annual flu shot for years—long before they became mandatory.  I think the flu shot helps keep me healthy (and people I come into contact with). 

This study showed that “for every healthcare provider who received the influenza vaccination, one few person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness.” 
By the way, August is Immunization awareness month.  Have you considered whether you will get a flu shot this year?  Almost everyone should be getting a flu shot every year.  It’s time to think about it.  If you aren't sure about whether you should get a flu shot, talk to your doctor/primary health care provider. 



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Million hearts website

I am holding a scone which we enjoyed during our Scotland trip in May.  We found this scone to be yummy--a sweet biscuit with dried fruit --the locals recommended adding jam and whipped cream.  Yum. I did share this scone with 3 other people and, of course, we do not eat desserts every day (I wish we could). We do try to eat healthy most of the time and I am always on the lookout for new recipes. 

Have you looked at the Million Hearts website at  The goal of the Million Hearts program is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017.  While I was looking around the website, I printed off a chicken recipe which sounded good. Check it out at



Sunday, August 17, 2014

Family meals promote healthier eating

Life gets hectic, we work late and kids have activities (ballgames in the summer, after school activities during the school year).  This keeps the family in the car, driving from place to place.

We grab food at our favorite drive-thru.   We cope as best we can with a crazy busy schedule. 
What’s a family meal time? It seems like a great idea but is it worth the effort?  Yes,
researchers find that making meal time a time for family gives great benefits.  According to research by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, family meals encourage healthier eating. 

More fruits and vegetables while less calories and fried foods.  Parents can be good role models for healthy eating.  Another huge benefit of family meals comes from the talking, listening and building relationships for family members.     

 If you want to add family meals into your busy life, these suggestions may help you:
      ·       Begin slowly.  Add one more family meal than you currently have to your schedule.  Schedule this event like you would an appointment.  Let your family members know about the family meal.
      ·       Plan your menus as a group.  Let everyone make suggestions for the menu. 
      ·       Turn off distractions such as the TV, cell phones and other noise distractions. 
      ·       Talk.  One suggestion is to begin with positive topics such as, “what’s your favorite color?” or “what made you laugh today?”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Backpack Safety

Summer is slipping away.  Many families are preparing for school which means buying school supplies.  Does your child/children use a backpack to carry books and supplies? 

If you go to a store searching for backpacks, you will find many choices, in lots of colors and sizes.  What is the best choice for your child?  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guides us in our backpack purchases at
Here are their recommendations:

·       Get a backpack with two wide, well-padded shoulder straps.  Narrow straps can cause pain and one strap cannot distribute the weight evenly.

·       Look for a lightweight backpack to minimize the weight.  Books and supplies can get heavy so begin with a lightweight backpack. 

·       A padded back on the backpack will be more comfortable and protect your child’s back from any sharp objects in the pack. 

·       A rolling backpack may be helpful if your child must tote a heavy load.  However, this rolling backpack will need to be carried up steps and may not roll well in snow.

 There are behaviors which the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends to prevent injuries when using a back pack:

·       Tighten straps to fit the child.  The backpack should rest close to the body and sit two inches above the waist. 

·       Go light.  Keep the back pack as light as possible.  The contents should never weigh more than 10 to 20 % of the child’s body weight. 

·       Organize the contents.  Put the heavier items closest to center of back.

·       Teach your child that when he is wearing a backpack, it’s best to bend down (stoop) at the knees, not bend over at the waist.  The AAP suggests some back strengthening exercises for backpack wearers at

·       Wear the backpack using both straps.  Slinging the backpack over one arm could strain muscles and cause pressure on the shoulder and spine.  

·       Tell your child to let you know if pain or discomfort begins.  Consult your pediatrician or family doctor about pain from backpacks. 

Last year I decided I wanted a backpack to use as my carry-on for travel.  We went shopping at a local store.  I was quickly overwhelmed by the many choices, colors, sizes and brands.  Wow.  I looked at my husband and said, ‘help me find one.’  I did not have these recommendations but the backpack we bought fits these recommendations.  I have used my new backpack several trips now and it has worked well.  My backpack is lightweight, comfortable and I can fit a change of clothes (in case my luggage goes astray), and essentials into my backpack. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The End of the Beginning video

I’ve been busy the last several weeks visiting family and I have missed attending church.  Today I plan to be there, listening to Pastor Jason (who is a great speaker by the way.) 

This week a friend recommended that I listen to a (new to me) gospel song and I loved it.  Please join me as I listen again to David Phelps sing “The End of the Beginning” at

What a blessing this song has been to my heart and soul this week.  I hope you enjoy and have a blessed week.