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.