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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Halloween Extra Scary When Kids Have Nut Allergies

For most kids, Halloween parties and trick-or-treating can be a mixture of fun and frightening, but for children with a nut allergy, the day can actually be dangerous, warns a doctor.

This type of allergy “can be a life-or-death situation. Just because a child only had a rash the first time exposed doesn’t mean it won’t be more serious the next time,” Dr. Sean Cahill, an associate professor of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a Loyola news release.

“Though having a nut allergy is serious, kids should still be able to have fun. The key is education. Make sure your child knows what he or she can eat,” Cahill added.

He offered the following suggestions for keeping children safe at Halloween parties:

  • Tell the party host about your child’s allergy and provide a list of specific foods that they must avoid.
  • Offer to help the hostess by wiping down all surfaces. It’s surfaces exposed to nuts, not inhaling nut particles, that cause an allergic reaction. In addition, all pans, dishes and serving utensils must be thoroughly cleaned if previously used on dishes prepared with nuts.
  • Bring something to the party that you know your child will enjoy that is safe for them to eat. Check product labels when shopping. If a label says a food has been made on the same machine as products with nuts, don’t buy it. If a label says a food has been made in the same plant as products with nuts, it’s likely safe.

Cahill also offered trick-or-treat safety tips:

  • If you have a younger child, take nut-free candy to neighbors before Halloween and then take your child to those houses on the big night.
  • When your child returns home from trick-or-treating, immediately remove all treats with nuts or those that could cause a reaction. If in doubt, get rid of the candy.
  • If you or anyone else eats a product with nuts, brush your teeth and wash your hands before hugging or kissing a child with a nut allergy.

“A peanut allergy is not limited to peanuts. Some people with a peanut allergy are allergic to numerous types of nuts and seeds, and nut allergies are often seen in kids with other food allergies, like eggs, or in kids with asthma and eczema,” Cahill added.

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I want to be Biggest Loser Irish contestants join UK show

THEY are young, in love and between them packing a total weight of 38 stone 7lbs.

Limerick couple Paula (31) and Gerard (24) appeared on our screens last night in the new series of ITV’s The Biggest Loser and they are determined to shift the flab.

Teaching assistant Paula, (18st 9lb) who met her boyfriend online five years ago says she is determined to discover the healthy person she knows is buried inside her.

“I feel self-conscious when I go out in case people stare at me. I’m going to get the best out of the experience – The Biggest Loser is actually the best place to lose weight, the motivation, support, information that you get in the house.”

Boyfriend Gerard (24), who is unemployed and weighed in at 19st 12lb, admitted: “I’ve previously lost four stone and I’ve been trying to lose more over the last few months but now I’m stuck and am so scared I can’t do it by myself anymore.

“Ideally, I’d like to get down to around 13 stone and then start to build muscle but as long as I’m healthy and fit that’s OK. I hope that The Biggest Loser can give me that extra push to do it. I’d like to think that one day I’ll start a family and get married and I’d like to be thinner when I do.”

The couple escaped elimination in the first week by losing over 2 stone between them.

They are joined on the British show by another Irishman, Damien (21) from Dublin who wants to be a DJ.

Weighing in at 25 stone 7lbs he is single and admitted that he would like a girlfriend.

“This is going to be a big kick start for me, to teach me the right way to do it properly. For me to start a new life, full of happiness, excitement and for nothing to ever hold me back again.

“No more being too self-conscious to pursue the things that i really want to do in life. Who knows, maybe at the end of this I’ll find myself in a relationship.”

Damien was almost eliminated along with his partner in the show, Sam (26) from West Yorkshire after Sam’s performance in a 5km run saw them on the list for elimination.

However, while Sam was sent home after Week 1, Damien was offered a lifeline when another contestant had to drop out due to health reasons.

The Biggest Loser, ITV and TV3, Tuesdays 9pm

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Seasonal produce 101

Buying in season: do you do it? You should. If youre at the grocery store picking up peaches from Peru instead of honing in on the local goodness, keep reading.Choosing produce in season a great option, not just for supporting farmers, but also because they taste better and are much cheaper.

Sometimes, this isnt easy. In the winter, for example, we dont always have much to choose from, so this is when we want to take advantage of the goodness we have now, in the summer months, and make them last even longer. Canning and freezing are excellent options, however, we dont always have the time (or ambition) to get the job done.

This is when you want to opt for the high-quality frozen, canned, and jarred produce, or heading to local farmers and seeing what theyve preserved and froze.

While all winter we can still enjoy some seasonal choices, such as citrus fruits, pomegranates, winter squashes, spinach, cabbages, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, kale, parsnips, beets, Swiss chard, and others, we look forward to having much more choice in the warmer months.

Flavour-wise, seasonal, fresh produce tastes the best. In the summer months, we can enjoy loads of berries and stone fruits, along with vegetables such as fresh peas, green beans, asparagus and more. Not only that, theyre filled with extra nutrition, too: frozen and canned vegetables are good options in the winter, as they tend to be picked at their nutritional peak. Just keep your eyes open for added salt and sugar.

Once you take your pick, freeze the extrasfreezing maintains flavor better than canning, but be aware that it can change the texture. However, some have other used and the texture isnt necessary; for example, frozen berries make for good smoothies and on cereal, but dont hold up in their original form. Frozen vegetables work well in stews, braises, and soups.

Eating seasonally also benefits, often, the local economy, because we want to eat from our local farmers. In general, many growers use plenty of pesticides, and imported produce has more residue. The reason we want to opt for seasonal goods is because often, out of season, it is imported items on the shelves.

Even better, buying in season is far cheaper. This summer, check out the farmers who have too many tomatoes, and a bushel will make you sauce that will last you all winter long. Do the same with strawberries, blanch and freeze some green beans, and take the time to whip up batches of your favourite dishes, such as cabbage rolls in the winter and canned peaches in the summer.

Not only is it good for our health, local farmers, and wallet, its better for the environment, too. Purchasing in season, local foods has less strain on the environment; obviously, shipping from Chile requires more fossil fuels, which can create more pollution. Hothouse and hydroponic foods also require extra amounts of energy if growers are not using energy-efficient methods.

Buying with the season saves money, keeps it local, and tastes best, too. What methods do you follow?

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Pre-pregnancy diet affects the health of future offspring

Poor maternal diet before conception can result in offspring with reduced birth weights and increased risk of developing type II diabetes and obesity. This work, which is being presented at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Conference in Glasgow on Saturday the 2nd of July, used an animal model to illustrate the importance of maternal diet even before pregnancy begins.

During the study mice that were fed a low protein diet for ten weeks before conception (but had a normal diet during pregnancy) gave birth to offspring that had lower birth weights, showed catch-up growth after weaning and increased insulin sensitivity.

These effects combined can lead to problems later in life. MSc researcher, Ms Anete Dudele, from the University of Aarhus, explains: “Low birth weight and catch-up growth is associated with enhanced insulin-sensitivity in young adults, this then deteriorates into insulin resistance and type II diabetes with increased age. There is also evidence that male offspring are more likely to develop obesity.”

Humans and mice respond in the same way to poor diet during pregnancy; their offspring show low birth weights and increased risk of obesity, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease. “If humans respond in the same way as mice to pre-conception diet as well then women should not only consider what they eat during pregnancy but also before pregnancy if they want to reduce the risk of their future children acquiring lifestyle diseases,” says Ms. Dudele.

Cardiovascular disease is often associated with obesity and type II diabetes and future research by the team will determine whether offspring born to mothers who had poor pre-conception diets are predisposed to these types of problems as well.

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Tips on choosing the most appropriate respite care

Respite care may be good for your beloved, if they need more support than can be achieved by hourly visits of caregivers employed by a home care agency. If relatives are unable to cope with care of their elderly relatives and need a full-time care specialist, this form of respite care for the elderly may be the right option.

Respite care is the perfect option for elderly people who don’t want to leave their own, cosy homes even for few days or weeks. The respite care is provided by trained specialists who assist your beloved ones in their favorite activities, bathing, medication, meals and other important needs.

When you search for any type of care to seniors make smart choices and do your own research. Make sure they are professionals, and bring them home to see how they get along with the beloved. Remember, this is a sensitive issue with your elderly relatives, so the approach with care and attention should be done in the most appropriate manner.

Note that you will need to have a dedicated space vital to the care specialists you choose for this work. This should be a separate and private room in the house.

When applying for respite care services, you should consider the quality of the organization offering these services. It is always important to check if the agency is authorized to offer such services or not. It is also good to find out the feedback of their former clients, and either the live-in specialists are real professionals.

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Greeks fuming over smoking ban – again – Feature

Athens – Greece, the home to Europe`s largest percentage of smokers, will no longer be allowed to light up in public places as of Wednesday. But after countless efforts to stamp out the habit, will they actually make it stick this time?

Under the new law, smoking will be banned in all public places, with the exemption of casinos and bars larger than 300 square meters – which have a nine-month extension.

Customers who break the law will be liable to fines ranging from 50 to 500 euros while owners of establishments run the risk of receiving tougher penalties of 500 to 10,000 euros while repeat offenders run the risk of having their licenses revoked.

The new law will have a heavy impact on a nation where nearly 45 per cent of the adult population smokes, and where smoking in officers and cafes is seen as a traditional pastime.

The government renewed its effort to stamp out the habit in public areas following the failure of a partial ban last summer, itself the third such crackdown in less than a decade.

Last year’s ban was largely ignored because of exemptions for small bars and restaurants as well as a failure to punish offenders who routinely lit up cigarettes in larger bars, in taxis or at work.

“This is a matter of public health and not intended as a hunt just to impose fines,” said Health Minister Marilisa Xenoyiannokopoulou.

The Health Ministry has said the new law is aimed at saving the lives of an estimated 20,000 people who die every year from smoking in Greece, costing the country an annual 2.14 billion euros.

A 2007 survey found the number of smokers in Greece had risen 10 per cent in a decade while other developed nations were kicking the habit.

Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and other EU states have already introduced public smoking bans.

But, considering Greece`s patchy track record for implementing new laws, there seems to be no guarantee the new prohibition, which is already unpopular with the public and comes in the midst of a recession and debt crisis, will succeed.

“How are we expected to survive? – this is going to seriously hurt business. First they increase our business taxes – now they are telling us that we must turn away customers who light up?, says Yorgos Pavlopoulos , the owner of Il Gatto cafe, located in the trendy pedestrian walkway of Voukourestiou near Syntagma Square.

Greece`s ruling Socialist government, which narrowly avoided bankruptcy earlier this year, agreed in talks with the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to a series of austerity measures to lower the country`s mounting deficit. Among the measures is a 10 per cent increase in tax on cigarettes.

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Health Tip: Avoid Poison Ivy

Most people are allergic to poison ivy, a three-leafed plant found in most areas of the United States. It harbors an oil that bonds to any skin that the oil touches, causing a red, itchy rash.

The American Academy of Family Physicians says here’s how you can contract a poison ivy rash:

  • When your skin touches the poison ivy plant itself.
  • When your skin touches any shoes or clothing that touched the plant.
  • When your skin touches gardening tools that have touched the plant.
  • When your hands touch the fur or skin of a pet that has touched poison ivy.
  • When you’re exposed to smoke from a burning poison ivy plant. The plant’s oil is contained within the smoke.

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Shocking New Cigarette Package Warnings

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is turning up the heat to try to stop Americans from smoking. This week, the agency release nine new graphic warnings that will be required on at least 50 percent of the cigarette packages sold in America within the next two years.

The FDA hasn’t added any new labels in more than 20 years and it decided to make these good ones – well, depending on your point of view. One label lists a smoker with smoke coming out of his tracheotomy hole in his throat. The caption reads, “WARNING: Cigarettes are addictive.” Another label shows smoke around a baby with the caption “WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.” A third, and this is my personal favorite, is photos of two lungs – one of a nonsmoker and the darker, ickier one of a smoker. The only caption on this one gives the quit helpline of 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

What I find to be the most graphic label is the next one – of a mouth with yellow, rotting teeth and a sore on the lips. The caption for this one reads, “WARNING: Cigarettes cause cancer.” Yet another label shows a person with an oxygen mask and the caption reads, “WARNING: Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease.” There is another baby related label with a newborn in an incubator with tubes hooked up to it. No caption, but then, do you really need one?

The next label is also pretty graphic. It shows a man lying on a table with stitches all up and down his chest. I guess he is supposed to be dead because the caption reads, “WARNING: Smoking can kill you.” Another label shows a woman looking distraught, crying and the caption reads, “WARNING: Tobacco smoke causes fatal lung disease in nonsmokers. The final new label shows a burly guy with a shirt that reads “I QUIT” and the caption “WARNING: Quitting smoking now greatly reduces serious risks to your health.”

If you haven’t seen the new labels, they can be viewed at the Huffington Post.

I think smoking is like eating. Many of us overeat and don’t think about the effect it has on our bodies. So maybe these labels will remind smokers just how bad it is for their health, and that there is help out there. Now if food labels could just be so graphic!

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