Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everybody out there a happy, healthy and "stuff your face" awesome Thanksgiving.

You can be sure I'll be using lots of margarine in my recipes to help reduce the amount of saturated fat without skimping on taste. It will be used to hold the spices onto the skin of my turkey, to make my whipped potatoes delightfully indulgent, to thicken my sweet potato pie and to add just the creamy touch to my apple crisp.

This year, I am truly thankful for all of the love in my life. I am surrounded by good people every day - my family, my friends, my boyfriend, my neighbors, my co-workers. Also, there's the sweet old man at the grocery store, the maintenance guy with the huge grin at my apartment, the security cop at work, etc.

Never underestimate the power of a smile. If you do one thing today, take the time to smile, genuinely smile, at someone you don't know. It really could make all the difference in their life.

Happy Thanksgiving, Internet friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Quit Today - The Great American Smokeout

Today, November 19, is the Great American Smokeout. Being a former smoker myself, I urge all of you that smoke to make today the day of your last cigarette.

Here's more information from the American Cancer Society:

All About The Great American Smokeout

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, smokers across the nation take part in the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout® by smoking less or quitting for the day on the third Thursday of November. The event challenges people to stop using tobacco and helps make people aware of the many tools they can use to quit for good.

In many towns and communities, local volunteers support quitters, publicize the event, and press for laws that control tobacco use and discourage teenagers from starting.

Research shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have some means of support, such as:
* nicotine replacement products
* counseling
* stop-smoking groups
* telephone smoking cessation hotlines
* prescription medicine to lessen cravings
* guide books
* encouragement and support from friends and family members

Using 2 or more of these measures to help you quit works better than using any one of them alone. For example, some people use a prescription medicine along with nicotine replacement. Other people may use as many as 3 or 4 of the other measures listed above.

Telephone stop smoking hotlines are an easy-to-use resource. And as of 2008, they are available in all 50 states. Call 1-800-ACS-2345 (1-800-227-2345) to find telephone counseling or other support in your area.

Support is out there, but the most recent information suggests that fewer than 1 in 4 smokers reports having tried any of the recommended therapies during his or her last quit attempt.

How the Great American Smokeout began
The Smokeout has helped bring about dramatic changes in Americans' attitudes about smoking. These changes have led to community programs and smoke-free laws that are now saving lives in many states. Annual Smokeouts began in the 1970s when smoking and secondhand smoke were commonplace.

The idea for the Great American Smokeout grew out of a 1974 event. Lynn R. Smith, editor of the Moticello Times in Minnesota, spearheaded the state's first D-Day, or Don't Smoke Day. The idea may have been inspired by Arthur P. Mullaney of Randolph, Massachusetts. Three years earlier, Mullaney asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund.

The idea caught on, and on November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society successfully got nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day. That California event marked the first Smokeout, and the Society took it nationwide in 1977.

The Great American Smokeout fuels new laws and saves lives
Each year, the Great American Smokeout also draws attention to the deaths and chronic diseases caused by smoking. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, many state and local governments responded by banning smoking in workplaces and restaurants, raising taxes on cigarettes, limiting cigarette promotions, discouraging teen cigarette use, and taking further actions to counter smoking.

Those states with strong tobacco control laws are now reaping the fruits of their labor. They have markedly lower smoking rates and fewer people dying of lung cancer, according to a 2003 report in Cancer Causes and Control. The study found that lung cancer death rates among adults age 30-39 were lower and falling in most states that had strong anti-tobacco programs. In states with weak tobacco control, lung cancer rates were higher and climbing. Another study published in 2008 showed this trend between tobacco control and lung cancer continues.

Today, about 43 million US adults smoke. Tobacco use can cause lung cancer, as well as other cancers, heart disease, and lung disease. Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 3 cancer deaths, and 1 in 5 deaths from all causes. Another 8.6 million people are living with serious illnesses caused by smoking.

Fortunately, the past few decades have seen great strides in changing attitudes about smoking, in understanding the addiction, and in learning how to help people quit.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Mammogram Recommendations Add to Confusion

A task force came out today suggesting that women in their 40's do not need routine mammograms.

According to CNN, "While roughly 15 percent of women in their 40s detect breast cancer through mammography, many other women experience false positives, anxiety, and unnecessary biopsies as a result of the test, according to data."

However, the American Cancer Society does not agree with these recommendations. "The organization says it looked at virtually the same data as the task force but came to a different conclusion. "Breast cancer is a serious health problem facing adult women, and mammography is part of our solution beginning at age 40 for average-risk women," it says. It recommends annual exams beginning at that age."

With all of the contradicting health information out there, consumers are confused as to what is best for their health. One organization says do it this way, then another comes out shortly after and says no, do it this way.

We have GOT to come to a consensus people.

You can track all the lastest comments on Twitter, using the hashtag #mammo. Also, you can now follow me on twitter at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day!

I would like to take this blog post and personally thank all of the soldiers out there who are currently fighting or have fought for our freedom. Your bravery and devotion to this country is something to be admired. We love you and thank you!

Here are some quotes related to this very special day:

Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous. -George Bernard Shaw

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. -Author unknown, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler

I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot. -Gary Hart

Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men. -George Patton

Freedom is never free. ~Author Unknown

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.- General Douglas MacArthur

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. ~Michel de Montaigne

I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, "Mother, what was war?" ~Eve Merriam

We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! ~Maya Angelou

The most persistent sound which reverberates through men's history is the beating of war drums. ~Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing Up

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die. ~G.K. Chesterton

In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. ~Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935

It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you. -Unknown
Either war is obsolete or men are. -Buckminster Fuller

There never was a good war or a bad peace. -Benjamin Franklin

Have the courage to act instead of react. -Earlene Larson Jenks

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Turn Off That Tube

Unless you’ve had your head in the sands for the past decade, you know that weight loss and heart health come with eating nutritious foods and exercising. Hey, the taste isn’t the only reason I pick margarine over better every day – it’s also for my health!

But, new research shows that the number of televisions in your home can also affect your health. I suppose it makes – TV + comfy couch = sedentary Emma. The study examined 167 people who lost at least 10 percent of their body weight and here’s the important part – kept it off for at least five years.

According to HealthDay:

Those who lost weight and kept it off were about three to four times more likely to exercise than those who were obese or overweight. They were also about 1.4 to 1.6 times more likely to spend time thinking about restraining their food intake, considering things like calories.

Those who lost weight had fewer televisions in their home and less high-fat food on hand. They also had more exercise equipment in their homes, the study authors noted.