Funny Things to Ponder

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Staying healthy during cold and flu season

Getting flu vaccine is your best defense, but you may also use the following 10 tips to fight the flu this year:

1. Wash your hands frequently, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, being with ill people and especially before you eat
2. Avoid sharing objects
3. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes
4. Get enough sleep and avoid getting "run down"
5. Reduce stress
6. Use tissues for coughs and sneezes and dispose of them immediately and appropriately
7. Eat right and get regular exercise
8. Avoid crowds and keep your distance from people whom you know are ill
9 If you are sick, avoid contact with the frail, very young and elderly
10. If you are sick, stay home from work or school

Keeping warm during winter

Candles give smoke, which can give warmth. Shut windows and use light. Shut all the windows in your room, turn off all the lights and light some candles. But if you don't want to risk a fire, candles should only be used to illuminate a room during winter and to create atmosphere.

Wear warm clothes. Wear two sweaters and a large overcoat in case of severe cold. If you have a heater, turn it on.

Give yourself a blanket treatment. Take all the blankets around your house, and if no one has any problem, pile them all up in your bed. Spread them over the bed, one on top of the other, get inside them, and get warm!

Run, jump, hop, skip and roll until you sweat! Then jump constantly for two minutes, take a minute's break. Skip for ten minutes, with a three minutes' break every two minutes. Go for a mile's walk in the neighborhood. On the way, take your jump rope and hop about for a while. All this ought to make you sweat!

Have warm food and drinks. Drink hot drinks, like coffee. It makes you feel warm inside. Hot food, like grilled meat, hot pizza, is tasty and warm, too. If you are hungry you will feel cold. Any food will help you feel warmer.

Stay in one place. Being in one place can make the seat, bed, etc, quite warm, but only if you've been there for a long time. (You might not be able to feel it, though. But someone else might.)

Go to Indoor Parties. Whether it's with family or friends, everyones body heat can help warm you, along with others. You can also snuggle with people, it works!

Take hot baths. It's a nice way to relax your muscles, especially after a stressful day, and can warm you up in no time. If you really want to relax, add some candles and soothing music. Be sure to dry off well afterwards.

Patch up the drafts. Prevent any cold air coming into the house, or any hot air escaping the house. This helps save energy and money.

Sit by a fire. It can keep you warm! If its a fireplace or a campfire you're sure to stay warm.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

High cholesterol may lead to Alzheimers disease

Regular consumption of a high fat cholesterol diet might lead to Azlheimers. Alzheimers starts 20-30 years before the 1st symptoms start showing and recent studies show that high cholesterol levels are linked to the pathology of this disease. This study uses adult rats which were fed a normal diet and another group with a special cholesterol enriched diet. After a 5 month study rats with the special diet showed memory impairment, cholinergic dysfunction, induced microbleedings, all which resemble Alzheimers disease. Data shows that high fat lipids, including cholesterol may be an active participate in Alzheimers. Since Alzheimers is a complex disease, this data does not conclude cholesterol to be alone responsible for the disease.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

14 inexpensive ways to keep warm this winter

1. Fool the eye: Sometimes warmth is a matter of perception. Warm colors and textures make you feel warmer so change out your decor. Try a throw so you can snuggle under it.

2. Cut a rug: Cover up your bare floors with a rug.

3. Bake something: Stews, roasts, casseroles and soups are made for the cold weather because they cook at low temperatures for a long period of time and, of course, they warm you up going down.

4. Drink something: Wrap your hands around a warm mug of tea, cocoa or coffee.

5. Let the sun in: Open curtains and blinds during the day.

6. Change your bedding: Switch to flannel sheets, a down comforter, use extra blankets.

7. Clean the house: Not only will your house be cleaner but activity will get your blood pumping.

8. Cover your head: It sounds silly but wearing a hat (and socks) to bed at night, even if the rest of you is clad in skimpy clothing, will keep you warm.

9. It's muggy in here: Use a humidifier. Humid air feels warmer. No humidifier? Open the bathroom door while you're showering.

10. Reverse the fan: We've heard that, since heat rises, running your ceiling fan in reverse will push the warm air back down to the ground.

11. Do your laundry: Nothing warms you up like clothing straight from the dryer.

12. It's drafty in here: Block drafts with weather stripping, a rolled up towel or a draft stopper.

13. It takes two: Snuggle up with your friends, or your significant other.

14. Something old fashioned: Try a hot water bottle or, before you get into bed, running a hot pan over your sheets. Bags of rice or dried beans, warmed in the microwave, are another option

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Staying healthy with the weather changes

Staying Healthy any time of year can be challenge but it’s particularly tough when seasons change. Our bodies also changes when the world around it does.

1. Simply eat right. That means lay off the junk food and learn to love fruits and vegetables. Raw food is real food.

2. Exercise, exercise, exercise. The benefits of exercise on robust health are too numerous to mention here. It’s not an option, it’s something that you have to do. If you’re just starting out, begin walking and work up to 30 minutes sessions, 3- 5 days a week.

3. Get some sun. Vitamin D is made when our skin comes in contact with sunlight. That’s a problem because this vitamin is vital to the immune system. Using sun block interferes with that process. 20 minutes of sunlight can produce quite a bit of Vitamin D. If you remain unconvinced, take a Vitamin D3 supplement.

4. Omega 3 – Fish oil. This is a must. Since the majority of our food is processed, our diets have too many Omega 6 oils and very little Omega 3’s. Omega 3 comes from flax and cold water fish. Taking an Omega 3 supplements will support the heart, brain and immune system.

5. Detoxify. Face it, most of us are walking garbage cans. We’ve been eating bad food, breathing bad air and drinking polluted water for years. Eating right and drinking plenty of water help. There are also many supplements that stimulate the liver and help cleanse the colon. That’s a subject for another article.

6. Sleep. Some times we get so caught up in our overloaded schedules, that we put off sleeping to get more done. Bad idea. Lack of sleep reduces the production of T-cells, the linchpin of the immune system. Get a good night’s sleep every night and keep your immune system at peak performance.

Memory loss

Getting older is not the cause of mild memory lapses or called senior moments. This study found that the early changes in memory that are more common in old age than dementia are caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer's and other Dementia's. The early cognitive changes thought to be signs of aging are signs of progressive dementia. Alzheimer's and related Dementia's ate the root cause of virtually all loss of cognition and memory loss. There are other factors that affect how vulnerable we are to the pathology and to its effects. Recognizing that the earlier changes in memory are related to Alzheimer's pathology can lead to early diagnosis and will be critical information if a treatment is developed that can alter the diseases course.

The flu shot reduces your risk of heart attack

The earlier you get the flu vaccination the more heart protection it provides. A new study shows that the vaccine appears to reduce the chances of a first heart attack by 19%. Heart attacks significantly increase in the winter when pneumonia and the flu are prevalent. Earlier vaccination (sept-nov) had a higher reduction rate of heart attacks (21%), compared with late vaccinations (12%).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Enjoying your labor day week!


1. Sun Screen - While the sun may not be at full blast this late into the summer, sun screen must be applied at all times. Even on cloudy days, the sun's UV rays can do serious damage to the skin if not protected. An SPF 15 or higher should be used on adults, while an SPF 50 or higher should be used on children.

2. Wear Sun-Protective Gear - Over-exposure to the sun can be avoided by simply wearing a hat or sunglasses. Nothing is more painful than getting a sunburn on the scalp, so especially on sunny days, a hat should be worn at all times. Wearing sunglasses will prevent UV rays from hitting the eyes, which could cause diseases like cataracts later in life. Simply finding shade or wearing longer clothing can also protect you from the sun.

3. Bug Spray and Insect Repellent- With West Nile Virus a threat around this time of the year, make sure to put on a good dose of insect repellent, especially later in the night. The bugs are known to come out during the evening, so if your party continues late into the night, bug spray is never a bad option to put on. To avoid mosquitoes, put on a sweatshirt and jeans at night when they're worst.

4. Allergies - Before taking one step outside, always take your allergy medicine or any necessary vitamins. Allergic reactions are known to make a return in late summer, so don't take the risk of being outdoors and stay immune to your allergy threats.

Tobacco counseling for Medicare beneficiaries

There is a change being made at Medicare that will help seniors now to stop smoking. Before medicare only covered counseling for individuals diagnosed with a tobacco related disease. For too long tobacco users had been denied access to counseling. With this new coverage any smoker will be able to get counseling. Tobacco remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. Smokers who successfully quit, the health benefits will begin immediately and continue for the rest of your lives. These benefits include reducing death from coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, lung and other cancers. This new coverage will apply to services under Parts A and B of Medicare, and does not change Part D. And in the coming months there will be a new benefit for pregnant women to receive Medicaid covered tobacco counseling.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chocolate may lower your risk of heart failure

Chocolate has a rich source of flavonoids, which act as antioxidants, and are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and other medical conditions. Women who ate an average of 1-2 servings of high quality chocolate per week had 32% lower risk of developing heart failure. Chocolate is a relatively calorie dense food, but large amounts risk weight gain. Studies also show that eating chocolate can lower blood pressure, and reduce LDL cholesterol. Majority of people eat processed chocolate which has added sugars, corn syrup, and milk fats. If people were to consume pure cocoa they would enjoy a few health benefits. If your going to have a treat make sure its in moderation. Heart failure occurs in about 1% of Americans over 65, and anything that helps decrease heart failure is worth examining. This is not a 'eat all you want' message, but rather a little chocolate can be healthful.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Funny jokes for Seniors!!!

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, "I'm not going."

"Why not?" she asked.

"I'll give you two good reasons," he said. "One, they don't like me, and two, I don't like them."
His mother replied, "I'll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church. (1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!"


During my brother's wedding, my mother managed to keep from crying---until she glanced at my grandparents.

My grandmother had reached over to my grandfather's wheelchair and gently touched his hand. That was all it took to start my mother's tears flowing.

After the wedding, Mom went over to my grandmother and told her how that tender gesture triggered her outburst.

"Well, I'm sorry to ruin your moment," Grandmother replied, "but I was just checking his pulse."


Perks of being over 55

Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

No one expects you to run into a burning building.

People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?"

People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

Things you buy now won't wear out.

You can eat dinner at 4 P.M.

You enjoy hearing about other peoples operations.

You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into the room.

You sing along with elevator music.

Your eyes won't get much worse.

Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the National Weather Service.

Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember them either.

Your supply of brain cells is finally down to a manageable size.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Gardening tips for seniors

Gardening is an enjoyable recreational activity and a great form of exercising for mobility, flexibility, and motor skills to improve strenght and endurance. The physical activity helps prevent osteoporosis , and also reduces your stress level. Always stretch before doing any gardening activities. Drink plenty of fluids to keep you hydrated. Try to work in your garden in the morning or late in the day to avoid the sun. Wear comfortable cloths and shoes, a hat and gloves to cover exposed skin and always wear sunscreen. Rotate your gardening tasks every half hour or so, so you dont stress out your muscles. With a few safety precautions, seniors can reap the many rewards of gardening whether flowers or fresh vegetables.

Peach up your pasta salad

Recipe: Warm pasta salad with peaches, heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella

1 head fresh fennel, cut into small dice
2 shallots peeled, cut into small dice
Grated zest from 2 lemons
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Peaches, tomatoes and mozzarella
3 small yellow peaches, cut into small wedges
3 small white peaches, cut into small wedges
6-7 medium-size or small mixed heirloom tomatoes, cut into large dice
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
1 pound farfalle pasta "bow ties", cooked according to package directions
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat a medium-size sauté pan until hot but not smoking. Turn off the flame.

Add the diced fennel, shallots, lemon zest and wine vinegar.

Add the extra-virgin olive oil.

Let it cool down to room temperature.

For the peaches, tomatoes and mozzarella:

Cut peaches just before mixing with pasta.

Add peaches to vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta, drain well and then place pasta in a large bowl.

While pasta is still warm, add heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, then add the peaches and vinaigrette.

Toss lightly, check for seasoning and serve immediately.

Serving Size
Serves 6

Shake your summer up

Frothy chocolate espresso shake


1/2 cup water
1/4 cup gourmet hot chocolate mix (recommended: Marie Belle)
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 cup fat-free milk
1 pint reduced-fat frozen vanilla yogurt, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil over medium-low heat. Add the hot chocolate mix and espresso powder. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the milk.

Place the frozen yogurt and vanilla in a blender. Pour the chocolate mixture into the blender and blend until smooth and frothy.

Pour the shake into 8-ounce frosted glasses and serve immediately.

Serving Size
4 servings

Keeping you cool

Recipe: Spinach and cannelloni bean dip


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (6 ounce) bags baby spinach
1 (15 ounce) can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 of the spinach and cook for 2 minutes until wilted. Repeat with the remaining spinach. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Place the remaining olive oil, spinach mixture, cannelloni beans, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor.

Blend until the mixture is smooth.


Transfer to a small serving bowl. Serve with endive spears, crostini or pita chips.

Serving Size
4-6 servings

Monday, August 2, 2010

Benefits of walking

Walking may be the best physical activity for many seniors, since walking relatively has low physical risks and long term health benefits. Studies show that regular walking exercise lowers the risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Walking controls weight, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. A brisk walk can burn up to 100 calories per mile and 300 per hour. Walking gets the heart beating faster to transport oxygen rich blood from the lungs to the muscles. This flow also increases the size and improves the efficiency of tiny vessels that supply blood for cellular respiration. Its important that you set appropriate and realistic goals, pacing yourself with any exercise routine.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Alcohol doubles your risk of a Stroke

Stroke is the number 3 killer and leading cause of long term major disability in the United States. The risk of a stroke seems to double in an hour after consuming one drink, whether beer, wine or hard liquor. The impact of alcohol on your chance of a stroke depends on how much and how often you drink. Just after drinking your blood pressure rises and blood platelets become stickier, which may increase the risk of a blood clot. High intakes can be associated with serious effects and may increase blood pressure, obesity, stroke and even breast cancer. The American Heart Association recommends if you do drink to do so in moderation. No more than two drinks for men and one drink per day for women.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

10 tips for staying cool in the heat

So it’s a good time to share some advice on how to stay cool. Here are five tips you probably know already but which bear repeating:

1. Drink lots of water, even if you’re not thirsty. The biggest thing is the hydration problem.
2. Wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, with a hat to protect against the sun.
3. Get chores done earlier in the day, when it’s cooler.
4. Spend time at places that have A.C. in abundance, like malls or libraries.
5. Don’t leave children or pets unattended in hot cars.

Now here are 10 tips you may not have considered:

1. Eat cold foods for breakfast, like melon, yogurt or cottage cheese.
2. Avoid high-protein foods, which require a cranked-up metabolism to burn. Eat shorter meals more frequently.
3. If you work from home, stay in the northeast part of the house, which tends to get the least sunlight.
4. Don’t run major appliances like the dishwasher or the TV during the day; it’ll just make the house feel hotter.
5. Draw the blinds early in the day, say 9 a.m.; it’ll keep the house cooler.
6. If you have a ceiling fan, use it in conjunction with your A.C. You can get away with raising the temp on the thermostat 2 degrees if you augment with a fan.
7. You can adjust the blades of some ceiling fans to turn counter-clockwise, which creates more downdraft and cools your skin. In the winter, blades should turn clockwise, to pull warmer air from the ceiling.
8. If you’re doing a lot of walking, don’t wear 100 percent cotton socks. You’ll sweat more and be likelier to get a blister.
9. Run cold water on your wrists, a “pulse point,” or splash water on your face or temples.
10. Spritz your sheets with a spray bottle before bedtime.

Secret to healthy eating

A lot of people think that the secret to losing weight is in the food, which is very important. The main truth is that people look to food for comfort. Its not that your physically hungry, its the stress in our life that makes us misuse the food we eat. Foods to remove from your table: fried foods, white bread, high fat dairy products, and foods with a lot of trans fat. Also limit drinking wine at dinner since alcohol slows your metabolism. And if you substitute one sugary beverage with water everyday that's 38 lbs of calories a year that you eliminated.

Healthy tips for summer treats

Be meat savvy. Choose lean cuts of beef, including round, sirloin and loin cuts. Tenderize the meat to increase flavor and texture without adding fat. Marinate in salsa, low-calorie salad dressing, wine or citrus juices.

Grilled chicken breasts, turkey tenders and lamb kabobs also make great alternatives to high-sodium hot dogs and hamburgers.

Aim for variety. Kick up the health factor of grilling with vegetables and fruits. Cooking vegetables on the grill adds flavor. Make kabobs with fruit and grill on low heat until the fruit is hot and slightly golden. These healthy snacks also make consuming the recommended daily fruit and vegetable intake simple.

Don't forget to stay hydrated. Summer heat can cause dehydration. Water is the best option when temperatures soar, but you can add slices of lemons or strawberries for natural flavor

Make eating healthy a priority this summer by focusing on simple snacks that don't take much prep work. Keep fresh berries in the refrigerator to add to salads, yogurt and ice creams. Wash fresh green beans to dip in yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese. Keep healthy extras, like lettuce and tomatoes, in your produce bin. Try homemade popsicles by freezing 100 percent juice. Cut up raw vegetables to serve with low-fat dips.

Fruit smoothies are a snap to make. Just toss some fresh fruit, yogurt and milk in your blender. Your options for healthy summer eating are limited only by your imagination.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Physical activity has an anti-aging effect on the Cardiovascular system

Intensive exercise prevents aging of the cardiovascular system by preventing shortening of the telomeres. A telomere is a repetitive DNA at the end of a chromosome which protects the chromosome from deteriorating. Gradual shorting of telomeres leads to aging on the cellular level and may limit your lifetime. The body's cells are constantly growing, dividing, and eventually dying. The telomeres become shorter with each division and when they're gone the cell dies.
The fitness level of athletes is much superior to an individual who doesn't exercise. Athletes have a slower heart rate, low blood pressure, and a better cholesterol profile. Long term exercise reduces shortening of the telomere.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ann Arbor Art Fair!!

Hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wed. and July 22-23; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 24

Location: Downtown Ann Arbor and U-M campus.

Admission: Free.

Amenities: Food, music, artist demonstrations, children's activities.

Parking: Numerous city and private lots and garages, about $10. Free off-site parking at Pioneer High School on Main Street (across from Michigan Stadium), Briarwood Mall (near Sears), Maple Village Shopping Center (at Jackson and Maple off M-14) and U-M Commuter Bus (North Campus Research Complex off Huron Parkway). Shuttle service is $3-$5 round rip, students $1.20, free for seniors and under 5.

Getting around: A2 Art Trolley loops around the perimeter of all four fairs. $1, all day.

Beyond the art: Children's activities at Ann Arbor Street Art Fair (north end of Ingalls Mall Lawn) and State Street Art Fair (Maynard and Jefferson). Music (and some dance) scheduled daily at the sites of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair and South University Art Fair.

More info: 800-888-9487.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a progressive and chronic neurological disorder that impairs motor skills, speech, writing and some other factors. Parkinson's is caused by the degeneration of dopamine producing cells, which makes it harder for the brain to control and coordinate muscle movement. Signs and symptoms show gradually and slowly. Complications of Parkinson's include depression, sleep- patients often awake during the night. Urinary retention/incontinence some people might have a hard time to pee, and some leak to often. There is currently no cure for, and no specific test to diagnose Parkinson's. There is medication and treatment available.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Exercising to maintain weight

A study of older women 55 and up showed that it takes up to an hour a day of exercise to maintain normal weight. A recommendation of 150 minutes a week to lower the risks of chronic diseases. The average adult gains weight with age, developing ways to prevent unhealthy weight gain will help to lose and maintain the loss. To maintain that weight you must make sure the calories you take in equals the calories you burn. Choosing low fat and low calorie foods, eating smaller proportions, drinking a lot of water, and being physically active. Maintaining the loss requires a lifestyle change. Many people reach their goals and then regain the unwanted weight. Be consistent, do not stray from your goals. Continue regular daily exercise. And start a diet diary to keep track of calorie intake, exercise, weight, and feelings. Make sure you surround your self with people who are supportive.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Identity theft

Identity theft is a growing concern for many people. Seniors too often fall prey to scams. There are many ways to insure protection by technological means. But the easiest way to get your identity stolen is by someone taking a purse or wallet. Be sure to carry only the cards you need, and leave cards like your social security cards at home.
When shopping online your information might pass through unsecured sites, be sure you are using a secure site. Monitoring your checking and credit card statements is an easy way to catch a theft before too much damage is done.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Alzheimer's new research

According to new research, optical imaging can be used to find earlier diagnosis and intervention of Alzheimer's. Nerve cell damaging plaque that builds up in the brain also shows up in your retinas. Previous studies show that changes in the brain can occur years even decades earlier. Noninvasive brain imaging could not provide enough information on the changes unless it was an autopsy done. The retina is considered a better target for noninvasive imaging because it is part of the central nervous system. Past research have documented retinal abnormalities but this is the first to identity plaque build-up that could specifically diagnose Alzheimer's.

More recipes


* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 1 vanilla bean
* 1/4 cup pina colada-style sweetened coconut cream
* 1/4 cup heavy cream
* 4 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
* 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
* 2 large red-skinned mangoes, peeled, seed discarded
* 1 large Hawaiian papaya (about 1 pound), seeds discarded
* 8 (8-inch) skewers


Place the butter in a small skillet. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds onto the butter. Mash seeds into the butter with the back of a spoon. Add the scraped pod and melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and set aside to steep.

Heat the coconut cream and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Stir in the lime zest. Set aside. (The vanilla butter and chocolate sauce can be made up to 3 days ahead, refrigerated, and reheated before grilling.)

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before grilling. Prepare an outdoor grill with a low-medium fire.

Prepare the fruit for the skewers, cutting the fruit into 2-inch chunks. Thread the fruit onto 8 (8-inch) skewers, alternating the mango and papaya. Brush lightly with some of the vanilla butter. Grill the fruit until lightly charred but not mushy, turning as needed, about 5 minutes per side. Pool about 2 tablespoons chocolate sauce on each of 4 plates, arrange 2 skewers on each plate, and drizzle with a bit of vanilla butter.

Recipes for thought

Antipasta salad


* 1/4 medium red onion, minced
* 1/2 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cored
* 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
* 4 jarred roasted sweet red peppers, chopped (about 3&4 cup)
* 1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and quartered, if whole
* 2 cups baby arugula
* 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
* 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted (about 2 ounces)
* 1/2 to 1 cup freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano


* 1 small garlic clove, peeled
* 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* Freshly ground black pepper
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


For the salad: To mellow the minced onion, soak it in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain well, pat dry, and put in a serving bowl.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: Smash the garlic clove, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and, with the side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Put the paste in a bowl and add the orange zest, vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper, to taste. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a steady stream to make a smooth, slightly thick dressing.

Using a knife, cut the fennel lengthwise into long, thin slices. Add to the onion and toss with the chickpeas, peppers, artichoke hearts, arugula, parsley, and dressing. Scatter the olives and shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top.

Pros v. cons of assisted living

As you get older living at home can become more difficult with chores and other household necessities. The difference between assisted living and a nursing home: in a nursing home full time care of the patients is required. With assisted living people have more timed to enjoy things that are important to them because caregivers will take care of the small tasks. Transportation is provided for those who are unable to drive. Medical care is also provided in-house.
Cons for assisted living. There is less freedom because many activities are on a schedule. Also the cost to stay in assisted living is high, about $50-200 dollars a day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Healthy eating

Eating healthy isn't all about dieting to lose weight, it's more for having a healthy, longer life. Benefits of eating well include resistance to illness, higher energy levels, and a better immune system. Good nutrition keeps your muscles, bones and other body parts strong. A proper diet reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, bone loss and anemia. Eating more fiber can prevent constipation and gastrointestinal diseases. The older you get calcium and other minerals move out of your bones faster than they are replaced. To help counter the loss of bone the National Institute of Health recommends you intake at least 1200-1500 mg of calcium supplement. Eat more fruits and vegetables, the more brightly colored fruits and veggies the more essential nutrients you'll get. Make sure the grains you buy are whole grain products to ensure you get the fiber and energy you need. Pick out leaner meats including poultry and fish.

Here are a couple healthy recipes I found to try out:

Bran Cereal Muffins

1 cup whole bran cereal
1 cup milk
1 egg
¼ cup corn oil
¼ cup honey
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 ¼ cups whole-wheat flour, unsifted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix bran cereal and milk in a bowl, and let stand 1 or 2 minutes. Add egg, oil and honey. Beat well. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed. Add to liquid mixture and stir only until mixed. Spoon into 12 greased muffin tins. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 medium-sized muffins.

Pasta with tomato and peas


* 1 pound linguine
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 shallots, chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 carrot, diced
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 5 tablespoons tomato paste
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon dried parsley
* 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
* 1/4 cup grated Romano


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots, salt, and pepper. Cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of the hot pasta water. Stir to melt the tomato paste and create a sauce, adding more pasta water if necessary. Stir in the oregano, thyme, and parsley. Gently fold in the cooked pasta, peas, and the cheeses, adding more reserved pasta water if necessary. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Confused (poem)

I feel so confused
About everything
About something
About nothing
So much races through my mind
It goes blank I forget everything
I feel so angry
Because I can't recall anything
What am I to do
You can't see my thought's
So I can't ask you for help
Raking my brain for whats lost
Looking at objects hoping they trigger a memory
But none comes at all
Nothing but an echo from one side to the other
Emptiness, no feeling or emotion
I laugh at nothing in particular
Only to fill space for a minutes time
Something finally comes to mind
I walk downstairs as I think
I walk through the door and...
Dang! I'm confused again
I stand there staring blankly
What did I come down here for?
Something so simple has been erased
Once again I look around hoping to rekindle the memory
I feel anger rise up
A wasted trip, used up energy for nothing
I go right back upstairs standing at the top stair
I remember! Repeating it over and over so not to forget

Alzheimer's disease

This disease was named after a German physician Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer's destroys the brain cells, and is progressive and fatal. This causes memory loss, thinking and behavior problems. Because Alzheimer's gets worse over time it is considered the seventh leading cause of death. It is a common form of Dementia. As we get older our brains change, like our bodies. We notice slowed thinking and forgetting things are normal. Serious memory loss is not just a part of aging. In Alzheimer's increasing number of brain cells deteriorate and die.
In 1906 Alois Alzheimer did a study on a 51 yr old woman who had developed problems with memory, speaking and understanding. After she died he performed an autopsy. There in her brain he noticed shrinkage of the cortex mostly. It is the outer layer of the brain that deals with memory, thinking, judgement and speech. There is currently no cure or proven treatment to slow Alzheimer's progression. There are a number of medicines out to help improve functioning through everyday life.

Dealing with stress

Stress is everywhere, in everyday life. Its important to deal with stress in a healthy way. Finding something to take your mind off things can be easy if you know what you like. Simple things I like to do is walk around the park and listen to music. More time consuming things I like to do is drawing. I'm good at drawing cartoons. I've done a couple poster size drawings for friends, and it feels good that they like them a lot. Another hobby I used to do was writing poems. I would write about things I've been through and things I haven't, so if someone read my poems they might be able to relate. Here is an example of one poem I wrote a long time ago:

Through all my smiles and all my tears
Through all the trials of all my years
Through all the pain and drama
To all my better days
When I was happy and had my way
Not a doubt in my mind that something would go wrong
Just sitting back, relaxing and listening to my songs
Going out every night with my girls
Always something to do in our world
But as we get older and reality sets in
We realize we cant do things as we did then
All work no play but hey what can I say we had our days

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Activities for seniors around Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor Community Center
625 N. Main

Recreational, social, educational, and health activities for age 55 & over, including arts and crafts, trips, lectures, health screening, and a lunch program (Thurs. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.). Outreach for homebound seniors Mon., Wed., & Fri. Dues $12.

Ann Arbor Senior Center
1320 Baldwin

Classes include ACBL bridge, fitness, dance, art, music, social and duplicate bridge, mah-jongg, and French. Holds events such as football parties, art shows, concerts, trips, and more. Free activities include Scrabble, investing basics, Wii, table games, book clubs, and movies. Hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities. Lunch for age 55 & over ($2.50) served 11:30 a.m. Mon.-Thurs. Produces cable TV (channel 19) show Senior Moments. Membership $25/year; scholarships available. Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.,

Investing your money

A Certificate of Deposite is a 'time deposit' that cannot be withdrawn for a certain amount of period. CD's are like a saving accounts they are insured and risk free. But unlike a saving account they have a fixed time and interest rate. CD's are held until it matures then it can be withdrawn along with the interest your paid. Withdrawing a CD before it matures can have penalties though, and can be measured in months of interest or by paying a fine.


Deciding when to retire depends all on each individual. You have to look at different factors including financial status. Setting up a budget for future expenses will give you an idea of how sufficient income will be. Using a retirement calculator willl give you an idea of the financial resources to support your retirement. Starting a retirement plan is very much like a wish list. Writing down your hobbies and/or any interests you've always wanted to get into. You should have a nice long list of information and different options for you to choose.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dogs are mans best friend

A third of owners exercise with their four-legged friends. Walking is the preferred way to execise. 42% of those 50-64, and 26% 65+ play catch or ball with their pets. People who execise with their pets are more likely to stick to a work out program. Studies show that owning an animal benefits your health. Pets may help the elderly live longer and healthier lives. A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics society showed that seniors with pets have a better physical and mental well being than those who dont.
Having any pet requires some type of action from the owners. Walking, grooming, feeding, playing and petting. Even just letting the dog out a few times a day can help work out your cardiovascular system and keep your joints flexible. Research has proved in the past that people who come in contact with animals have lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels.

Fitness for seniors

Exercising is one of the best ways to a longer life, including a good diet. Today Americans are in better physical condition than their parents because we are aware of the necessity to work out. The physical capabilities of the 50+ group are much different than of a younger person.
Here are a few tips to consider before jumping into an exercise regime.

1. First and foremost before exercising is to get a check-up. Find out what you are or aren't limited to.

2. Don't over-do-it. Take it slow to find out what your capable of. Figure out what your base line is and record what you do from a day to day basis.

3. Setting short and long term goals for yourself. For example: take a 10 min walk friday morning, or working towards the tennis competition next spring. These goals will keep you motivated.

4. If the shoe fits... Make sure the shoe size is comfortable and fits and that the support of the shoe is appropriate for you.

5. If an exercise routine your doing hurts, work around the pain not through it.

6. Make sure you reward yourself once you have reached your goals.

Health care reform

Many of the changes expected to come with this new bill wont take effect for years, so Obama is focusing on the changes coming soon to get the public's favor. The new plan is expected to cover up to 32 million Americans who aren't insured.
"This new law gives seniors and their families greater savings, better benefits and higher quality health care" Obama said at a conference in maryland. "Your guaranteed benefits will not change; eligibility will not change; Medicare will continue to cover your costs the way it always has."
Sometime this year seniors who were caught in the 'donut gap' will receive a $250 rebate check to help pay for their prescription drugs. And by 2011 those seniors will receive up to 50% discount on brand name drugs.
One woman's view on the speech Obama held in Maryland. “‘I think it answers a lot of questions about the Medicare bill, the new Medicare bill,’ she said. ‘And it helps kinda clear up the air a little bit about what's happening to Medicare, what's happening to Social Security, what's going to happen to our children as far as Social Security and Medicare, and I was glad to hear the answer was positive.’”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A support group is a tremendous pool of knowledge and experience. Members are encouraged to share how:

To cope with the day-to-day challenges,
To get the most from their visit to the doctor,
To ask intelligently about medication and therapy,
To instruct the hospital staff in the event of an admission,
To tell family and friends about PD (they notice it before you realize they do),
To empathize with other people in the same situation,
To maintain a good attitude and even laugh at adversity,
To define what’s important in life and what can be left behind

Friday, May 14, 2010

One on One Care

Providing one on one care is so important to the receiver. The sense of security is priceless.