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January 2020 // Archive

Date based archive
30 Jan

BLOG 252 MAYONNAISE

Mayonnaise, “mayo”, is a popular condiment used around the world. It is the combination of egg yolk, oil, acid, and either lemon juice or vinegar. This recipe might be tasty, but it is full of trans fat and saturated fat. The heart does not appreciate this. The list of negatives continues with this condiment being high in calories, high in cholesterol, and high in sodium. Mayo is mostly oil. Regardless, people love to use it on sandwiches, in salad dressings, and tarter sauce. Others just use it standing alone to dip foods in. Not paying attention to the portion quickly leads to high amounts of calories and fat in one false swoop. Think of potato salad, deviled eggs, and dressings… portion distortion is rampant.

Mayonnaise is the product of an interesting process called emulsification. Lemon juice or vinegar and egg yolk combine to turn a liquid into a solid. In the U.S., most commercial mayo is made with soy oil which is high in omega 6 fatty acids. There are 57 calories and 4 grams of fat in 1 tablespoon. For an item that isn’t necessary to have, it is more for flavor and your preference, mayonnaise could be opted out. There are reduced fat and lower calorie options, but these tend to be loaded with sugar. There are also a lot of artificial ingredients and preservatives in mayo.

In order to avoid some of the poor points about mayo, making a homemade version is a good idea. Using avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, or olive oil can help lower the amount of omega 6. There are different ways to add flavor so that this healthier version is still tasty. This might include adding hot sauce, curry powder, garlic, or pesto.
Having 4.5% of your daily calories from 1 tablespoon of mayo seems pretty high for such a small quantity. When having macaroni salad, potato salad, or different dressings, it is highly unlikely that just this portion is being consumed. Regular mayo eaters might experience weight gain. Yes, the body needs some fat and some sodium to operate, but we always have to consider the source. It is small daily choices that add of overtime and make a difference. For someone who tops their daily lunchtime sandwich with mayo, this accumulates over time. It can be avoided. Condiments are add-ons that are not necessary. If concerned, prepare at home and maybe that sandwich at lunch can have some of your own version to keep the flavor the way like it.

23 Jan

BLOG 251 CELL PHONE USE

Almost everyone has a cell phone. in fact, 94% of Americans have a cell phone, which means 9 out of 10 people. Everyone is ready to connect and communicate at any time. Most people have them on hand at least 16 hours a day, so that includes at night because of it’s alarm clock use. We are able to contact anyone almost anywhere at anytime. The average person checks their phone at least 150 times per day, much more than they ever considered that they do. The swipe and click across the screen become almost second nature. Between calls, text, emails, and social media, the phone is entertaining and used for many purposes. Did you know that 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes of receiving them? Fast communication anywhere we are has made incredible changes to the way we interact with one another.

Remember when all you could do was call a person’s home phone in the hopes that they are there? If not, you left a message with no expectation of when they might check it and get back to you. There weren’t private conversations like there are now. The home phone was used and shared by all in a central location. If you wanted to reach someone, you actually had to speak to them. Talking was the communication modality, whereas today, texting with emojies and shorthand has become a whole new language. There was an understanding not to call too early or too late because the phone ringing would disrupt the household. Calling before or after business hours was pointless. People are even using cell phones now while driving. Checking the cell phone can now almost be considered a hobby.

The fact is that you could be reading this very article on your cell phone now. Scrolling can become an addictive behavior. It fills time while waiting, can be a distraction from the task at hand, and it spikes your curiosity and interest. All the apps are designed to hook you in. Social media notices what you like and look at then start to use this in the advertising and marketing that is displayed in your feed. The cluttered landscape of ads and scrolling makes you feel like you can’t concentrate anymore with information overload. People are using their phones for calendars, appointments, stop watches, alarm clocks, banking, credit card processing, Netflix, and the list goes on and on.

So where does the disconnect begin? You set it aside for a while, decide to take a break from social media, try to not look at your text and emails so often, but in the end society has changed. There’s an expectation to be connected. There’s an expectation to be available. We could all benefit from being present int eh current moment. The idea of this seems impossible since new and improved versions of phones continue to be released. Don’t forget those who are right next to you in the same room. Don’t forget to look up from your phone every now and then.

16 Jan

BLOG 250 GROWING PAINS

Sometimes it can appear “the boy who cried wolf” might be occurring when children complain. However, when it comes to complaints about aches and pains in the body, specifically those that may not be visible, a child or preteen might be telling the truth about their growing pains. These crampy, achy, muscle pains can occur in both legs. They usually onset in the afternoon or evening and can keep the child awake. They might start as early as age 3, can subside for a number of years, and then resurface about age 8 to 12.

Even though they are called growing pains, that doesn’t mean these symptoms are the result of actual growth spurts. Instead, the muscles may in fact be worn out due to activity. Running, jumping, and climbing are the common culprits. A full day of sports can certainly cause this. The pains might come and go, and some children can eventually outgrow them. The pains normally go away in the morning and doesn’t disrupt the performance of actual activity during the day. The pain arises when the child comes home and in the evening. The main areas are the knees, quads, back of the knee, and the calves.

Getting checked by a doctor is always a good consideration. The doctor will ask pertinent questions for diagnosis. If the child is having growing pains, a doctor won’t exactly see anything abnormal even in an X-ray. The key is easing the discomfort for the child. Massaging the legs can be helpful to increase circulation and alleviate tight muscles. Stretching can help, although young children might have difficulty with this. Heating pads or a warm bath can be effective. A doctor might recommend an over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen. Aspirin should never be given to a child. If the pain is only in one leg, it may be a more serious condition. There could have been a fall or injury. Limping or difficulty walking might be more serious as well.

Communication is important with the child to understand the source and site of pain. Then choosing a treatment plan accordingly can be done. Just like adults, everyone varies in their tolerance for pain. Staying awake at night because of pain is never good.

08 Jan

BLOG 249 DUPUYTREN’S CONTRACTURE

Dupuytren’s contracture is a condition marked by tightening of the elastic skin (tissue) found under the skin of the palm and fingers. This tissue is called fascia and is composed of fibers that are like cords which run from the palm to the fingers. However, with this condition, the cords tighten up and contract, which causes the fingers to curl and the hand to make deformed shapes. Severe cases can cause extreme crippling of the hands.

Dupuytren’s contracture can be caused by different biological factors and can be caused by Dupuytren’s disease, but the exact cause is unknown. Certain things such as having diabetes, persons with epilepsy, and drinking a lot of alcohol, can all be possible causing factors. This condition is very common in families, so the leading cause is that is it inherited. Families that have blood lines tied to Scandinavian (Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish) or are Northern European (Scottish, Irish, French, Dutch, and English) are at higher risk. Males are also more likely to have this hand issue and that risk increases with age, especially over 40.

The initial symptom is spotting visible nodules under the skin of the palm. The bumps can be tender to touch. The bands under the skin eventually become inflexible and cause the bending and curling of the fingers. Soon, it becomes difficult to un-curl the fingers. This is mainly true for the ring and pinky fingers. Both hands are become affected, not just one. Every day tasks start to become harder leading to difficulty picking up objects, putting hands in the pockets, or just getting your I.D. out of your wallet can seem too hard. Shaking a person’s hand is almost impossible.

A doctor will examine the palm and the number of nodules. They might do an assessment of your ability to grasp, pinch and straighten the fingers, as well as to see if you can straighten the fingers. There currently is no cure for Dupuytren’s contracture. It is not life threatening, rather, it can just be disruptive to daily living. It is not recommended to splint the fingers or trying to stretch them straighter. This will only cause increased trauma to the area. Corticosteroids can be injected into the nodule areas if inflammation is painful. This will not straighten the finger, but it will help alleviate pain. Thera are also medications that help dissolve the tissue. This medication is called Xiaflex which helps weaken the tight bands and let the fingers somewhat straighten more. On rare occasions, surgery is needed. This would involve removing the tight bands. The surgery is successful for most people, but one in five people do have the condition return.

We use our hands and fingers so much, making Dupuytren’s a difficult condition to tolerate. It can be frustrating but where there is a will there is a way. Relief is possible and patience is important.