Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eat To Flatten Tummies

RealAge has shared Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen's suggestions for belly-flattening meal choices. Being a picky eater and one who has equated sweet with yummy, I was surprised that several appealed to me:

1. Yogurt. I'd have to add lots of fruit.

2. Eggs. The tortilla with the eggs, cheese and tomatoes looks like something I'd try.

3. Pistachios. Yum. I even like to shell them.

4. Grapefruit. Some are great, some just too sour for our taste. I'd want to go to a great produce stand for these.

5. Avocado. This is when I stop to appreciate my neighbor with their tree straddling our common fence. I put them into paper bags to ripen. Lately, however, our dog, Oscar, has discovered how yummy they are and we compete for them. Bummer...he brings them into the house half-eaten.

6. Mushrooms. I put them into my Thanksgiving stuffing but forget to eat them at other times.

7. Olive oil. This is easy. For a while now I've replaced my fondness for real unsalted butter with this miracle food.

8. Whole grains. It's time to get back on steel-cut oats. Brown rice goes into my chili.

9. Red pepper. This is a staple in my fajitas.

10. Fava beans. This, I admit, is Frontier Land for me. I've yet to use them.

11. Rice with veggies.

The object of dining on all these foods is to lower calorie count, feel full longer, eat lean protein, get all my antioxidants, reduce appetite, hinder the absorption of fat, and flatten my belly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chemical Peels Remove Signs of Aging

I haven't tried it but I'm tempted. Especially because my skin has been a problem since adolescence.

Chemical peels remove many "visible signs of aging on the face, hands, neck, and chest. After the skin heals, fewer wrinkles, less discoloration, and improved texture may be seen." There may be temporary swelling, redness or bruising.

Depending of the depth of the peel, one can expect to see the improvements between one and fourteen days.

Sadly, most results are not permanent so the patient needs to explicitly follow their board-certified dermatologist's instructions as well as protect skin from sun exposure.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hope For Those With Age-Related Macular Degeneration

In a new study an implantable miniature telescope (IMT) approved by the FDA significantly improved vision for 76 patients averaging 75 years of age with end-stage age-related macular degeneration. "Most patients could once again see people's faces rather than just blurry outlines, and could get around the market or their backyard on their own."

According to Gary C. Brown of Center for Value-Based Medicine, the tiny telescope, "implanted in the back of the eye in the lens capsule, magnifies images so that the retina can relay better visual information to the optic nerve."

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Good Trade: Taming Food Cravings

Food cravings isn't a pregnant woman's sole domain (although my current in-house preggie daughter might think so). I'm sure even the Queen of England has them now and then.

The question is how do you tame them so that you don't add extra poundage.

Good Housekeeping, a voice from my past, suggests alternatives for the chocolate cakes, potato chips, and other yummy but fattening foods.

They replace four-cheese pizza with Napoli pita pizza, chocolate cherry cordials with chocolate-dipped strawberries, Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby with chocolate dream ice cream, custard-filled eclairs with vanilla cream bites, ice cream sandwiches with ice cream on chocolate wafers and more.

I'm not saying that these substitutions are fat or calorie-free, just that they have far fewer calories and less fat.

I can't wait to try them. How about you?

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Injectable Gel May Inhibit Arthritic Pain

Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) researchers are developing a potentially new way to treat arthritis, an injectable gel.

"Among its advantages, the gel could allow the targeted release of medicine at an affected joint, and could dispense that medicine on demand in response to enzymes associated with arthritic flare-ups," according to Jeffrey Karp and Praveen Kuman Vemula at the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics (BWH).

Patients may no longer need to take oral drugs that are dispersed throughout the body. Ideally, the patient would want a drug released only in response to a biological stimulus such as an arthritic flare-up.

When tested on mice, the injectable gel released its drug payload when exposed to the enzymes present during inflammations.

The technique has yet to be demonstrated in humans.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Why Buy the Cow: Dating and Sex After 50

Okay. So I'm not in the market for dating and new love. It doesn't mean, though, that I'm not interested (fascinated maybe) in what goes on in that sphere.

Vibrant Nation has its own take on "Sex on a first date," "What to wear on a first or second date," and "10 first date don'ts." A number of ladies give their input and some may be applicable to your situation (as for men, it gives them a "heads up" on what the ladies are thinking.)

As for "Sex on a first date": The responders shared everything from "there's nothing wrong with it at our age" to "I believe in having sex on the first date. At my age there may not be a second," to "Don't" to "Make sure you are protected from sexually transmitted diseases, which are on the rise among older adults," to "it takes a couple (of dates) to sniff out a creep," to "trust your instincts."

As for "10 first date don'ts," none of the answers were surprising. Common sense says it all. However, don't forget to listen to the other person, don't tell all about yourself, and don't talk about hardships and worries.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's Most Likely To Kill You

Face it. "Cancer doesn't kill most of us; lack of exercise and a poor diet do," according to Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Include the following in your daily routine:

Walk 30 minutes
Brush and floss
Drink 2 cups of green tea
Take 400mg omega-3's, 1,000 IU vitamin D and 1,000mg calcium
Sleep 7-8 hours
Meditate 5 minutes

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Financing Elder Care

Eliminate one worry. Think about financing elder care before you need it. Long-term care insurance may be cost-prohibitive.

1. Find out if your loved one is eligible for government resources such as Medicare, Medicaid, the PACE program or Veterans Aid & Attendance.

2. A reverse mortgage is available for 62+ year olds. This releases the home equity on the property to the owner(s) as one lump sum or as multiple payments. The obligation to repay the loan is deferred until the owner dies or the house is sold.

3. It may be possible to borrow against a life insurance policy to fund long term care. The payment arrangement can vary so weigh the costs and benefits before taking this measure.

4. Discuss ahead of time how siblings can help defray the costs.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Before You Retire: Explore Your Choices of Activities

The ever-popular Dr. Mehmet Oz believes that having purpose in life is the key to good health. Before you retire, "find that reason for living" by identifying activities that you enjoy. At least some of these activities should include social interaction, exercise and intellectual stimulation.

"Just as you need a financial plan for retirement, you need a mental plan, too."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Eat Certain Foods To Fight Pain

AARP's Beth Howard quoted nutritionist Beth Reardon as saying, "What we eat has a dramatic impact on levels of pain in the body."

Foods rich in resveratrol (stalls tissue degeneration) such as red grapes, blueberries, cranberries or red wine have been found to protect against cartilage damage that causes back pain.

Omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish such as salmon, Atlantic mackerel, sardines or trout not only help your heart but also relieve inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and some autoimmune diseases.

Ginger is a great painkiller because it blocks an enzyme that is a major component of the inflammatory process.

Cherries can be pain-fighting because of their high amount of antioxidants, particularly in those people suffering from arthritis.

Soy protein has helped patients' reduce the amount of their pain medication by half.

Coffee enhances the effects of common painkillers such as aspirin and acetaminophen.

So slow down on the meds and speed up on eating foods that give you some pain relief.