Thursday, May 31, 2007

Is HA tripping or could this be cool?

…A Singapore beverage company has come up with a weird marketing idea…Mystery drinks.

…Their Anything sodas are fizzy and come in one of six flavors, including Cloudy Lemon and Root Beer.

…Their Whatever soda is non-carbonated and comes in Ice Lemon Tea, Apple Tea, Chrysanthemum Tea, and so on.

…The twist? You open an Anything or Whatever…which flavor you get is a matter of luck.

…Do you ever get bored in the store…Tired of the same old foods? Or do you ever open cans where the label has been lost?

…In other words, do you ever feel like rolling the dice on dinner? This could be fun!

…Baked beans? Sauerkraut? A whole bowl of artichoke hearts, or a yummy loaf of sweet Boston brown bread? What’ll it be?

…They could lash cans of entrĂ©e-type foods into six packs. Mystery Eats for Six.

…Can you think of some neat variations on this?

…HA I already thought about pharmaceuticals—HA knew people who would taste-test pills, but this was in the 60s.


…Don’t you have days when it’s hard to make a decision? So little of life is really under our control anyhow.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Weird eye infections--beware

…Writing in the NYT (May 28, 2007), Lawrence K. Altman warns of another contact lens cleaning solution problem.

…HA is so hyper about what people put in their eyes—yet she is dumping stuff in hers every day. What a crapshoot.

…This new stuff is an amoeba called acanthamoeba keratitis, which attacks the clear corneal covering on the outside of the eye.

…So far, 138 people are known to have gottten this stuff. The CDC has linked it to AMO Complete Moisture Plus Multipurpose Solution, which is used to clean and store contacts.

…If you use this or have it around, dump it now!

…You should also dump the storage cases if you hae been using this product.

…Still, they have no proof amoebas were in this solution.

…Call the eye doctor if you experience eye pain or blurred vision, sensitivity to light, a feeling of something being in your eye, or excessive tearing.

…This stuff can lead to corneal transplant or even removal of an eye.

…As for the amoeba, it’s everyplace, in our sinks, water,soil, etc. Why is it causing trouble is not known.

…(HA’s eye doctor did mention not to get tap water on her afflicted eye, so maybe our regular old water isn’t so great.)

…Chances of getting this amoeba increases among individuals who improperly store/handle/disinfect their lenses (e.g., use tap water or homemade solutions for cleaning), swim/use hot tubs/shower while wearing lenses, come in contact with contaminated water, have minor damage to their corneas, or have previous corneal trauma, according to the company’s website.

…The scientists are looking at whether some localities have lightened up on the chlorine in the tap or something.

…Or maybe, they think, silicone lenses increase the risk from these pesky critters.

…HA wrote this, then dumped some more artificial tears in her compromised eye, per doctor’s orders.

…She must be feeling lucky.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Keep the tots alive this summer

…Summer is kid drowning season. Horrible, but true.

…The heartbreaking reports come in weekly.

…Pools are splashy and noisy, filled with action. Easy to miss a toddler who hasn’t been seen for a spell.

…Or pools are blue death traps sitting fenceless or with broken or open gates while a toddler schemes and parents nap or take their eyes away for 10 mins.

…It happens fast.

…UCLA emergency docs say drowning is the leading cause of death among toddlers between 1 and 2.

…Never leave a child unattended. And they are fast! This means eyes on them at all times.

…Stupid little floaties are not an adult substitute—watch the kids!

…Fence and gate pools and this includes pools in apt complexes.

…Keep the water clean—you need to see to the bottom.

…Cover hot tubs, spas or pools at appropriate times and never use a half-covered pool.

…Anyone, adult or teen, supervising kids must know CPR. Post instructions by the pool.

…Kids should take swimming lessons—but none is water-safe until age 14, according to the Red Cross.

...Even older kids or adults should not swim alone in rivers or the ocean.

…Life jackets always, of course.

…Keep a cell or cordless by the pool to call 911, if necessary.

…Same for a net, pole, rope or other safety equipment.

…If a child is missing, forget looking inside or asking around—check the pool first!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wackster diets still abound

…With science and common sense duking it out—eat less than you burn, no wait,
some people can adjust to that and stop losing—people still try the weirdo diets.

…In the May 28th Newsweek, Karen Springen notes that 41% of adults in the US are trying to lose weight—with an average goal of 37 pounds. Do you know what a large amount that is? What a difficult dream?

…Beyonce lived on maple syrup. Forget the pancakes. You drink 2 tablespoons of syrup, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a cup of water. This is bad, experts say, for kids, teens, pregnant women, and nursing moms and can play havoc with your electrolytes. Darn! Drinking pepper and syrup seemed like such a logical lifetime course of action.

…How about a diet keyed to your astrological sign? Fiery signs eat hot foods, etc. Uh, no science for this one.

…Blood type diet. Yes, different diets work differently for different people—but this is not decided by blood type.

…How about single food diets? Grapefruit, cabbage soup, pineapple. HA’s mother to this day hates bananas because she once went on a banana diet. Eliminating food groups—not good nutritionally.

…Or detox regimens. Why are we so in need of cleansing, one doc asks. Yes, the intestines are unaesthetic, but there are many good microbes in there.

…An expert looked at people who had lost 30 pounds and kept it off. They stuck with low-fat, reasonable calorie totals, and exercised 60-90 minutes a day.


…What are you saying? No syrup at all?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Toot, toot, tootsies, hello!

…What if someone told you you had to go barefoot with only a hard piece of leather under your feet and leather straps rubbing between your toes?

…You also would have to walk over melted tar, scuff through salt water, clamber over sharp rocks.

…You would say, yay, sandal time, right?

…Well, yeah! Who wouldn’t?

…But never will your little peds be more exposed or vulnerable—or scrutinized as much. HA and her sister still talk about a woman with dirty barefeet they knew 40 yrs ago!

…The experts recommend measuring your feet--even if you think you know your size. With sandals, pushing the foot forward onto a thong can hurt if the shoes are not properly fitted. Some docs recommend losing the between-the-toes approach completely.

…If you get cracked heels, you can seal them with Super Glue.

…If you have diabetes, be especially careful not to sit around with damp feet. Wash and dry between each toe.

…After a hot day, soak your feet in Epsom salts (dirt cheap) or whine for a foot massage.

…If you are going hiking, can the sandals and look into an anti-blister product, such as Blister Shield Powder.

…While on a plane, untie shoes and spread the laces apart. Wiggle toes or get the kids to try to spell letters with their toes.

…Moisturize your feet and don’t forget to slather on the sunblock. The tops of feet are very sensitive and sunburn hurts there!

…If you get calluses, whomp on the moisturizer and put on Saran Wrap or socks….Then
scrape off the crumbs in the morning.

…If you get a blister, some docs say not to pop it. “God’s Band-aid,” one told HA for one of her WebMD stories. If you do need to pop it, leave the “roof” on. Try to be sterile.

…The best advice? Don’t go barefoot.

…HA pleads guilty!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No more visits from Aunt Flo?

…The woman was becoming a monthly nuisance, but somehow maintained her role in the order of nature—until a few years ago, when contraceptives were invented that headed the old gal off for months.

…Now, Lybrel has been approved by the FDA—eliminating the menstrual period indefinitely.

…Seasonale by Barr Labs already allows a 3-month break.

…Gynecologists get many patients a week begging to fool Ma Nature.

…In the Arizona Republic, in a story by Connie Cone Sexton, Arizona gyno Jo Merriwether Knatz, MD, says many women want to cut the cramping and bloating as much as the flow.

…HA has covered this before. Most experts say it’s safe to do this. Interrupting perpetual ovulation can even lower the risk of ovarian cancer, anemia and endometriosis, they say.

…However, some experts say suppressing the period can lead to cardiovascular problems by reducing natural testosterone in women.

…HA would wonder how long it would take the body to return to normal and foster a normal pregnancy—should the opposite of birth control be desired.

….Kind of a big step. Who knows? Aunt Flo and Ma Nature may be BFFs.
...Half the women in the study dropped out because of breakthrough bleeding and spotting. It may take a year for such little surprises to cease.
...You really have to want to go that route, one doc said.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A boat is still a vehicle

…It might seem like fun, slugging down the brews and steering the boat or zipping along behind on water skis, but boats are big heavy vehicles and can be dangerous--especially in great numbers.

…Writing in the Arizona Republic (May 21, 2007), Lindsey Collom says in Arizona along, 150,000 people are taking to the water. For a desert state, Arizona has either the first or second largest number of boats, HA can’t remember which, but her daughter did a report on this in school.

…Last year, Arizona had 261 boating accidents, injuring 157 people. Fourteen people died. The toll in your state is probably similar.

…A big issue is life jackets. Seventy percent of those hurt or killed could have walked away if they had been wearing one of the hot, yucky things! So necessary.

…Some tips: Everyone wears a jacket, no matter how dorky they look.

…Be sure there are enough personal flotation devices on board.

…Don’t speed, even in a speed boat.

…Don’t sit on the gunwales or transom above 5 mph (meaning if there is a wake).

…Put enough fire extinguishers onboard.

…Keep yur reigistration up to date.

…Don’t swim around venting heaters—people have been killed by carbon monoxide without even knowing they were being affected.

…Can the beer. The water cops will be everywhere this summer. Blow a 0.08 blood alcohol, and you are in over your head.
...Your local lake or river may look like fun on a weekend with dozens of boats peeling around, water skiers, and so on, but imagine how much you would like to be in this melee were it on a road or highway.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Nine pounds of trouble

…Your skin weighs about nine pounds…but HA wagers that for women, it weighs more than that on the mind.

…Some of our doctors these days have added “beauty practices”—this includes our primary physician and ophthalmologist. Doctors of Beauty? “First commit no ugliness”?

…At the same time, the scientists are beavering away on how to keep skin looking better.

…In last September’s Allure, Laureal Naversen Geraghty talks about various “advances.”

…First, for our friend cellulite. The dreaded dimples are caused by strong bands under the skin pushing fat layers up between them. Something called Santica Beauty Recipes has come up with a pill containing grapeseed extract, ginkgo biloba, fatty acids and yellow seed clover that thinned fat under the skin in five studies. Users reported a 45% reduction in cellulite after 47 days, the placebo gang, 2%.

…One doctor noted, however, that if this was really changing the structure of the skin, it was a drug—and who knew what else it might be changing. Always good to remember.

…At the Univ of Alabama, they found that mice who drank green tea and were exposed to UV, developed 35% fewer skin cancers. Similarly positive results came from a cream made of the active tea ingreident EGCG. Scientists said applying it to the skin resulted in more absorption. Topix Replenix cream was mentioned as having a significant amount of the allegedly effective polyphenols.

…Supposedly the proteins that give cells their shape (cytoskeleton) can stiffen with age anc cause wrinkles (the actual jump to wrinkles being unproved, as yet) . F-actin proteins, one scientist says, are the culprit. A cream can reduce this stiffness---at least in mice, whose skin became 70% less rigid in one test. Nice for mice, HA guesses.

…You know what a stodge HA is—go slowly on adopting new and undoubtedly EXPENSIVE quick fixes.

…When doctors are asked about a nostrum and all they can come up with is: “plausible”…caution is advised.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Brain class

…Lini S. Kadaba, writing in the Philadelphia Inquirer, says some boomers are going to brain gym.

…HA thought LIFE was brain gym. Her mother is a walking Senior Moment, so maybe HA should listen up on this.

…At Medford Leas “retirement campus” in Medford, NJ, the brain gym is eight computers loaded with Posit Science’s Brain Fitness Program.

…Nintendo has Brain Age, 13 million copies sold.

…By 2030, the number of people with dementia will double to 5.2 million. Those with Alzheimer’s will go up 50% to 7.5 million.

…Gary Small, MD, at UCLA (whom HA has talked to several times) hosts boot camps for affluent boomers, aimed at helping their brains add neurons.

…One clinical trial, however, in the December 2007 JAMA, showed that such exercises did not help seniors with everyday tasks, but did improve test scores.

…Important and provocative, but not conclusive, one researcher said (as they do).

…Humana gives away the $395 Brain Fitness software to its senior HMO customers for free. The program zips along, asking you to distinguish between sounds like bah and gah at a rapid pace.

…HA thinks if someone is using the computer, they are already sharpening their brains each day.

…No, no, on researcher said, for boomers to like this, it has to be on a cell phone.

…By the way, what is a retirement campus?

…You didn’t remember that from above? Well, gah. Or is that bah?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Easy treat--yogurt cheese

…One thing about HA. She does not cook. But she read this and thought maybe she could “strain.” Waiting around for something to become food is about her speed.

…Writing for the Associated Press, Jim Romanoff tells us how to make yogurt cheese.

…Yogurt cheese is somewhere between soft cream cheese and firm cottage.

…But a tablespoon of cream cheese has 50 cals and 5 grams of fat. Yogurt cheese has 11 cals and no fat (when made with no-fat yogurt).

…Much of the salt and lactose gets drained off with the whey.

…Pick a plain or flavored yogurt with no gelatin, starch or gums.

…Set a mesh strainer or colander in a bowl, leaving room at the bottom.

…Put in a coffee filter or cheesecloth.

…Spoon in the yogurt and refrigerate for 2 hrs to a day.

…Discard the liquid and put the yogurt cheese in a sealed container. It will keep a week.

…Spread it on toast or mix with fresh herbs for a French bread topping at cocktail time.

…Mix coffee yogurt cheese with unsweetened cocoa and powdered sugar to make an easy mousse.

…Or mix with a tiny amount of freshly whipped cream and almond flavoring to go over berries.

…Experiment. It always tastes good.

…Just avoid soy yogurt—not as successful.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Stop & Go fast food

…Years ago, HA edited a book by a prissy nutritionist who said “some” fast food was OK. HA recalls her toting up fat and “sodium” (she would not change it to salt for the masses) and saying pizza was healthier than a hamburger, so to this day, HA votes for pizza.

….Now, there is a cottage industry in telling us what to order…and what to bag.

…In the Arizona Republic (May 14, 2007), Connie Midey talks about a book by Steven Aldana called The Stop & Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide. For a free download, go to

…Aldana is a professor of lifesyle medicine at Brigham Young University.

…Even at the local grease-a-rama, look for fiber, no transfat and little saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium (OK, he didn’t change it either).

…These foods get green labels in his book. Foods to eat with caution, yellow, and the real baddies, red.

…He lists 3,500 foods from 68 eateries.

…Amazingly, a third of the foods earned a green rating!

…But 47% were….red.

…Panda Express never uses transfat and sticks veggies in everything.

…Look for dishes with veggies, fruit, whole grains. At the interstate quickie mart, grab apples, cheese, granola bars.

…Salads can be deceptive—the Cobb at Chili’s has almost 1,200 cals and more than a day’s worth of fat and two days’ worth of sodium.

…Divide these big “red ones” with one or two other people!

…Today, HA’s kid came back from Wendy’s with a cup of Mandarin oranges. “They sell those separately in case people don’t want lettuce,” she explained.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Watermelon--still yummo

…No, you are not looping—HA has covered the virtues of the green orb before. The National Watermelon Promotion Board sent her a gorgeous press kit then, too, and she believes such industry should be rewarded.

…Watermelon is not just for picnics anymore, HA learns.

…Watermelon is health food, crammed with lycopene, the anti-oxidant king.

…It’s also heart healthy—increasing the amino acids citruline and arginine to maintain blood flow.

…It’s a dandy muscle builder—try humping one of those babies across the park.

…WM is cholesterol free and pretty much fat free.

…It’s a diuretic, so you don’t get that bloated feeling. .

…Some fruits are getting a funky rep these days for E. coli, so be sure your watermelon is free of cracks. Wash your hands—and rinse the WM—before cutting into it. Always refrigerate after cutting it.

…For some recipes, go to Crab cakes with watermelon dipping sauce, anyone?

…HA liked the sounds of watermelon grapefruit shooters. What’s not to love?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blooming tea

…These are showing up at the most elegant weddings and showers.

…Rariteas are tea bulbs that unfold into pretty bouquets.

…Skilled Chinese artisans hand-sew white tea leaves around dried flower blossoms.

…Check it out at

…The bulbs also convey a message, such as Honesty or Serenity.

…Some people are even sending them to the troops and part of the profits go to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.

…White tea has the highest concentration of anti-oxidants among all teas and can help reduce LDL cholesterol, some studies show.

…Yes, you can drink white tea without the posies, but isn’t it fun to do something pretty an unexpected for the senses sometimes?

…At least, these could be a conversation starter—“How long has this tea been sitting here exactly?”

…Just kidding.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Who cares for the caregiver? Guess

…Andrew Weil, MD, had some tips for caregivers in the May 4-6 USA Today Weekend.

…It’s not selfish for the caregiver to focus on his or her own situation part of the time. It’s essential.

…As Weil puts it, the heart takes oxygen from the blood for itself first. If it didn’t, the body would die. Hearts are pretty smart, not selfish.

…These days, caregivers are usually Sandwich Generation Women, juggling kids on one hand and an aging parent (or two, three, or four) on the other. Kids get sick, too, remember.

…To add to the fun, the caregiver may have health issues. Omigod, it’s a mad whirl of waiting rooms. What about work, love, creativity?

…50 million people are taking care of someone in the United States.

…Weil says they must put themselves in the priority list—who will do the caring if they get sick or die?

…Realize you may suffer some resentment. Sitting in a hospital, running up and downstairs, putting your own life on hold—this can cause resentment.

…Destress yourself. Find some breathing exercises. Or just sit and observe your breath going in and out.

…Eat properly. Fast food is probably a mistake.

…Exercise. Walk the dog. Park a distance from the hospital and walk over.

…Watch the alcohol. Especially when you first start caregiving, a lot of emotions are in play.

….Always have something to look forward to. Read a book for an hour. Go to a concert.

…Find a caregiver or group dealing with the same disease or problem. You can get tips.

…Be prepared to say good-bye. But everyday does not have to be sad. In fact, watching a funny TV show is good for everyone.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

No cardio? Is this guy a saint or what?

…In the May 14th US News & World Report, Katherine Hobson talks about a book by Jim Karas called The Cardio-Free Diet.

…He says rigorous cardio—running, the treadmill, spinning—can actually interfere with losing weight.

…Where has be been?

…Instead, he recommends strength training with weights or tubing.

…Cardio makes you hungry and does not burn as many cals as we have been led to believe, he says.

…Cardio can also pounds your joints into disrepair (check with HA’s family).

…Cedric Bryant, chief science officer at the American Council on Fitness and someone HA respects and has interviewed many times, says weight lifting does not get the blood pumping. Brisk walking will do it, though, he says.

…Karas lays out a 20 minute routine, three times a week—10 exercises.

…Women must begin at 1,200 cals a day and go to 1,500. Men start at 1,500 and go to 1,800.

…That’s pretty diet-y.

…Many people say weight training and cardio, together, are good. Maybe the walk stays? Just a walk—lose the marathons if you want.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Bean

…A friend of HA’s told her about The Bean, which sounded like one of those weird infomercial deals, but HA’s friend said it actually was neat—and pretty cheap (one payment of $25).

…She said it seemed to provide some real resistance.

…Apparently, you fill it and rock on it in various ways to strengthen your back, your core, upper body, relieve back pain,lower body, butt and thigh.

…In case you think you are too far gone, it will hold an SUV, the website thoughtfully informs you (

…Sure enough, an SUV is shown rolling up onto this thing..

…Try that with a Belly Ball! (Or as they call them, “those scary belly balls.”) Those SUV’s slide right off belly balls!

…Aw, HA is joking. This thing looks pretty sturdy.

…Accompany by sensible eating, of course. Keep breathing, etc.

…HA is grumpy because she has to get her right eye sewn partway shut today for a few weeks. Maybe an SUV could ease up onto it.

…Nah, she takes that back! Joking about her eye hasn’t been working out well. Apparently The Eye Gods aren’t the jolly type.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


…Let’s face it! HA is stressed these days with her funky eyeball, accountant’s stolen computers and her screwed up bank account, deceased pet, the market’s bad prices for work, and yakety-blab!

…So, looking for loopholes, HA threw herself on this article about wiping away stress.

….Mass General Hospital reminds her that chronic stress can rip you to pieces, flooding you with cranky hormones that can tear up your brain and innards and keep you from sleeping.

…Herbert Benson, MD, director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute for Body Mind Medicine of the Hospital says that stress reduction can eliminate a lot of these problems.

…HA remembers hearing a lot of this before.

…Basically, these are meditation techniques. Pick a personal focus word, sound, prayer of short phrase. Peace, One, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”

…Sit comfortably in a quiet place.

…Close your eyes (in HA’s case, eye).

…Relax muscle groups from feet to scalp.

…Breathe slowly and naturally. As you do, say your word silently on each exhale.

…Don’t worry about how well you are doing. Let the thoughts pass. Don’t attach to them.

…Continue for 10 to 20 minutes.

…Do before breakfast and dinner.

…Personally, HA thinks if the body is so perfect it should have come with a reset button.

…Oh, this IS the reset button?

...Never mind.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Good news/bad news on the dental front

…Good news: Fewer people over 65 are losing their teeth, down 7% to 34%.

…Good news: Moderate to severe gum disease in adults has been cut in half to 5% for
ages 20 to 64. In seniors, it’s down 10% to 27%.

…Good news. Tooth decay in permanent teeth of children from 6 to 11 dropped to 21% from 25%, In teenagers it’s down from 68% to 59%.

…Now for the sad face.

…Bad news: Fewer non-elderly adults visited a dentist in the past year (it went down from 66% to 60%, and HA guiltily raises her hand). This is seen as a factor of declining dental insurance. HA is also in dread of those high-ticket “treatment plans” dentists whip out these days.

…Bad news: Little kids have more cavities in their baby teeth, up to 28% from 24% in 1988-94.

…Less fluoride from drinking bottled water? More processed snack foods like juice and fruit leather? (HA’s daughter used to PLEAD for that leather stuff when she was little, but HA always felt the name spoke for itself.)
…Cavities develop fast in little kids, dentists point out. They should start seeing the dentist at age 1.

…And brush their little teeth. Sugar is not so much the culprit as is leaving it on their little choppers.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Oregano for allergies

…It’s the sneezin’-season, as they say (at least the fun ones).

…Allergy victims are blowing and wheezing like mad.

…If you start packing in the antihistamines, however, you can run into doorjambs or worse yet, off the road.

…Some allergy meds can also make matters worse after a few days.

…According to Cass Ingram, author of “The Cure is in the Cupboard,” hot spices can open cloged sinuses, dry up mucus, and tame those allergies.

…Such spices, oil of oregano for one, can kill fungi that may be sparking those reactions.

…You could be having an immune system reaction to fungus in your nose. This would be spores, not pollen.

…Try putting some wild oregano oil in your nose or under your tongue (health food stores, HA bets).

…Wash your hands often and put some oil of organo in your sinkside soap pump.

…Drink plenty of water and put in a few drops of oil or oregano if you are congested.

…Other good liquids are soups and juices.

…Crude raw honey releases our charming friend mucus and soothes sore throats.

…Avoid nasal sprays. They can be tough on membranes.

…This is Dr Ingram talking. Always consult your own doctor if symptoms become too miserable or go on too long.

…Oregano may not be a miracle cure for everything that ails ya. Sure is good on a pizza, though.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Latino diet pyramid contains the whole enchilada

…Writing for the Associated Press, Monica Rhor describes the 16-page Camino Magico, or Magic Road, the so-called Latino food pyramid.

…As anyone who has avidly lashed into a Mexican dinner knows, some Americanized Hispanic food can be a little fatty and carbie.

…The Boston-based Latino Nutrition Coalition has taken this on, creating yet another pyramid of health eating.

…The emphasis on the old ways—fresh fruit, fresh veggies and grains, not processed stuff.

…Healthier versions of bean tortilla, chicken and rice, and Mexican chicken soup are offered.

…Smaller portions of fresh, healthy food are preferable to wads of cheap food.

…Latinos are getting bigger, with almost a quarter of men being considered obese, and a higher percentage for women.

…Latinos are two times as likely to have diabetes and complications.

…Eating with your family, eating homecooked meals—these are considered key.

…Immigrants are fine until about five years after they arrive—then they begin to put on weight. That’s about when American eating and social habits begin to cut in.

…For details, go to

...Chips and salsa…are those still OK?

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Not a dry eye in the house

…This is the goal of Robert Latkany, MD, founder and director of the Dry Eye Clinic at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

…Latkany told HA that he could not reach enough people in his clinic, so he wrote The Dry Eye Remedy (Hatherleigh).

…First, you should not be feeling your eyes. This is not normal. Dry eye often starts as a minor irritation and grows.

…Pretty soon, suffers can’t drive at night as well, or use the phone or the ATM.

…Jennifer Wider, MD, also wrote about this for the Society for Women’s Health Research.

…We need tears to keep our eyes healthy, she says.

…Usually this affliction appears after age 40. Women are two to three times more likely to get it. Male hormones may be protective, according to Wider.

…Some doctors may sort of blow off these complaints because dry eye is not vision-threatening. Insist you need help if this happens.

…Dozens of drugs are in development and many are already on drugstore shelves—things such as artificial tears, anti-inflammatories, and topical steroids (no, don’t use those skin ointments, “ask the doc” really applies when it comes to your eyes!).

…Before you start fooling around with your eyes, get the book at very least. For more info, go to Click on the Dry Eye Remedy icon.

…Take it from HA—proceed with caution.

…Oh, and HA’s eye doctors always tell her to look for “Contains no preservatives” on artificial tear products.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

No, not a huge bowl of spaghetti

…Sally Squires holds forth in the Washingon Post about how to give your brain a workout—by eating the proper things before working out with your body.

…Oh, whatever—did you understand that?

…The main advice is to eat something—the idea that you should exercise on an empty stomach is a myth.

…Nancy Clark, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, told Squires that eating before a workout was like putting gas in the car.

…If you don’t eat, your blood glucose gets low—straining your body and not in a good way.

…Try s bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk.

…Graham crackers and peanut butter.

…Low-fat yogurt and a banana.

…A small piece of fruit 30 minutes before exercising is also good.

…Even a spoon of honey can help.

…Afterward, have some grapes or a popsicle—something light for a boost. How about a handful of Cheerios or half a granola bar?

…Carbs are muscle food. Too many cals can add weight, but carbs alone are not the culprit.

…A sports drink is OK—but sugary. Remember good old haitch-2-oh.