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National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign started in 1973 by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. (Also known as “The Academy”) Celebrated in March, this time is meant to stress the importance of a balanced diet and exercise. This month gives us an opportunity to reflect inward and make tangible changes to our diets or workout regimens. “The Academy” is the largest organization of food and nutritional professionals. Their main focus is to accelerate improvements in global health and well-being through food and nutrition. There are many factors involved in keeping a healthy lifestyle.

National Nutrition Month is celebrated annually in March.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also known as “The Academy”, promotes the transformative powers of healthy food choices. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this day This year’s theme is “Fuel for the Future.” Eating with sustainability in mind is a tasty way to nourish ourselves while protecting environment. The Academy encourages using a registered dietitian to develop and stick with a healthy eating plan. Additionally, making exercise an integral part of our lives is important. Try a new activity like Zumba, swimming, or spinning to keep workouts fresh and exciting. Furthermore, they offer information on nutritious eating and health, from meal planning and prep to choices. This information can help prevent or manage health conditions and more. Check out the National Nutrition Month® ( for additional information.

Juice Plus+

The Juice Plus+ is a health and wellness company that is pioneering the way to healthy lifestyle. The company’s mission is to inspire and enable healthy change that impacts lives and communities. Simple dietary changes, like taking Juice Plus+, lead to positive health habits that easily become part of your routine. You can check out their website at, Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle | Juice Plus+. In addition, the site provides helpful tips to leading a healthy lifestyle.

Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle | Juice Plus+
Juice Plus+ products help make healthy living easier.

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Positive Reinforcement: World Compliment Day

World Compliment Day, celebrated March 1, addresses the basic human need for recognition and appreciation. On this occasion, the hope is to spread joy through simple verbal affirmations of appreciation and positive reinforcement. Receiving recognition feels amazing. Likewise, giving recognition is just as enjoyable. Furthermore, watching someone’s face light up after offering them a nice compliment is a full-on win-win. Compliments and praise for a job well done can have a major impact on the productivity and positivity in the workplace.

Sharing A Compliment

A compliment is an expression of praise, congratulations, encouragement, or respect. Giving a compliment is easy. It costs no money. There is no preparation needed. Yet, a genuine and sincere offering of praise can have an enormous impact on a person. Whether you are applauding their work, showing appreciation or admiring their outfit, you can make someone’s day. This day is a reminder to vocalize your positive thoughts. In addition, extending a compliment will not only make the receiver feel good, but the person giving it as well.

Studies show positive reinforcement increases a person’s motivation and productivity.

Positive Reinforcement in the Workplace

Studies have shown that positive reinforcement works better than pay increases when it comes to a person’s motivation and productivity. Generating an atmosphere of positivity helps getting the creative juices flowing. Additionally, complimenting employees results in a happier and more creative workplace. When a boss is acknowledging someone for a job well done, they will feel as though their hard work is worthwhile. Expressing praise and gratitude is particularly important for keeping up morale. Gratitude makes people feel valued.

Mark Twain’s Take on Compliments

Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Twain’s quote expresses the positive impact that offering appreciation goes to the person receiving it. The reason being that a sincere personal compliment cost nothing. Yet, has the potential to make an enormous impact. You can take a further look into what this day is all about by visiting their website at, World Compliment Day.

Famous author Mark Twain’s take on the importance of a compliment.

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National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day


Peanut butter is popular in our United States.  Basically, there is peanut butter in 9 out of 10 households.

Peanut butter is a delicious and healthy food for most of us.  If you are one of the estimated 6.1 million people with a peanut allergy you of course have to find other healthy alternatives.*

You will find that peanut butter has good nutrients for our bodies.  These include Vitamin E, Niacin (B3), Manganese, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.

Additionally, if you are looking for protein, peanut butter is a good source.  It also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber good for our digestion.

There are actually four types of peanuts that are used to make peanut butter.

  • Runners – 85% of peanut butter is made by these plentiful nuts
  • Virginia – the largest kernels.  Sold also for eating peanuts out of hand from the shell
  • Spanish – smaller kernels and very good for use in candy
  • Valencia – very sweet, often boiled and the best to make natural peanut butter

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are not the only way to enjoy it.  As you can see, you can find many recipes for adding peanut butter to your diet.

  • Try eating an apple with peanut butter
  • Add chocolate protein powder and peanut butter to almond milk and make a protein shake
  • Don’t chocolate and peanut butter energy balls sound good (no cooking involved)
  • Toast a slice of whole wheat bread and add some peanut butter and bananas

When you shop be sure to check labels.  Some peanut butter can be high in sodium and other additives.  You want to try and buy the best to get good health benefits.  

Eating peanut butter in moderation is important too.  Peanut butter can be high in calories and likewise in fat so keep a balance with other foods.

Private Home Health Care loves peanut butter and the healthy nutrients we get.  We try different kinds including naturally made peanut butters.  We hope you find what is best for you.

*2018-2019 data from

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A Plant-based Diet

On this next to last day of February and the end of National Heart Month, we’d like to share information on plant-based diets.

Yesterday I attended a gathering with the focus on a healthy heart..  There were a small group of women.  We ate and watched a video that was actually fascinating.

The video had different doctors speaking.  A couple had had issues with their heart, one at the early age of 44.

What was fascinating was the findings that these doctors had which changed their lives.  One opted not to have heart surgery.  Another chose to change their lifestyle to avoid a life-threatening heart disease.

What both these doctors found is that with a plant-based diet their heart disease was reversed.  Yes, unbelievable as that sounds it was reversed.

You are probably just as amazed as I was during our meeting.  The fact that if you change your diet and focus on eating plants, you can change signs of heart disease.  Heart disease is the number one killer.

You might feel a bit overwhelmed thinking about this and that is to be understood.  To be plant-based means avoiding eating meats, fish, and dairy including yogurt, cheese and eggs. 

Ouch, you say?  Yes, based on the eating that most of us were raised on.  The good news is that there are great resources available to help you investigate or to get started if you’d like to change.

There is a doctor who is well-versed in plant diets and who was on yesterday’s video.  His name is Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn.  He has written books and he has a website

Private Home Health Care realizes that this would be a big change for many of us.  We also know that the health benefits are tremendous.  Try to learn more.

Some tips to get started:

  1. Try eating one meal a day with meat.  You can skip meat totally one day too.
  2. Substitute animal food with tofu, beans and grains.
  3. Have some fruit for dessert.
  4. Eat fruit, nuts or veggies and hummus for snacks


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National Library Lover’s Month

February is also National Library Lover’s Month.  You can find a library in just about every community in the United States.  They are big and small.  They have different offerings but they are all free to the public.

Think about what a gift it is for you  to be able to choose a book and then take it home to read for no cost.  The topics are endless.  You could read a mystery, a romance novel, a biography, a book of poems or a how-to book.  It’s whatever you want.

How did libraries come about, you ask?  The answers are a bit contested but the first free public libraries appear to be opened in the 1800’s.  

The first was opened in Peterborough, NH in 1833. Then Harvard with the claim of creating the first library card catalog in 1840.

Also in 1840, the University of South Carolina had a library that was the first free-standing building from other academic buildings.  As a matter of fact, this is considered the oldest continually operated library in the US.

The Boston Public Library is the  last contender.  It’s claim to fame is the first free library in a large municipality.  This was in the year 1848.

As you can see libraries have been around for a long time.  Over the years you can get more than just books from a library.  You’ll find digital resources, movies and music to access.  

If you have children, the children’s portion of the library offers story hours, get togethers and activities.  If you are into geneaology you can find family and community information as well.

Many libraries also offer meeting spaces for different community organizations.  Artists often showcase displays. A couple of times a year there might be a book sale.  You might be able to find that special book that you can read over and over. 

Private Home Health Care loves books and we hope that you do too.  A good book can give you a mini vacation or expand your thinking.  You might even find an interesting library to visit.  The possibilities are endless.


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Lent and Ash Wednesday

For the billions of Christians around the world, today marks the beginning of the Lenten Season.

Lent begins a 40 day spiritual preparation of prayer, fasting and almsgiving before Easter.  It is a time for reflection and connection for people of the Christian faith.

Christianity remains the world’s largest religious group.  

In 2019 the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary estimated the total number of Christians to be at 2.5 billion worldwide.  In 2023, the estimate is between 2.38 and 2.5 billion.

If you identify as a Roman Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical or Orthodox Anglican then you are a Christian.

In 2010 the Pew Research Center listed the top three countries with the largest number of Christians to be:

  • United States
  • Brazil
  • Mexico

Today in 2023 based on data from the World Population Review this information has not changed.

Christians around the world attend Ash Wednesday services today.  Ashes are made from the previous year’s palms. 

The services act as a solemn reminder of our human mortality and the need for reconciliation with God.   As a Christian you may choose to fast with only one full meal and abstaining from meat.  

Private Home Health Care wishes a prayerful and faith-filled Lenten season for all of our fellow Christians in the world. 

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Health Benefits & Fun: Golfing

In February of 1888, John Reid, “Father of American Golf”, demonstrates the game of golf in Yonkers, NY. That is documented as the first-time golf was played in the United States. The sport has come a very long way in the last 135 years to become the game we know now. Since the emergence of Tiger Woods in the early 1990’s the game of golf has been growing exponentially. Besides being fun to play and watch, golf brings many health benefits as well. Enjoying a beautiful morning on a golf course will impact your health in more ways than you may think.

The Game of Golf

While the modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland, the game’s ancient origins are unclear and much debated. Nevertheless, John Reid brought the game to the United States, and the rest is history. Moreover, the United States is home to over 40% of the worlds golf courses. Recently, the emergence of the LIV tour has increased the money that golfers are making and bringing in a new audience to the game. With the growing audience, more sponsorships have made professional golf a much more lucrative sport, with top golfers earning up to $30,000,000 in winnings a year. For example, when Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open, one of golf’s four major tournaments, he won $800,000. In Contrast, last year’s winner, Matthew Fitzpatrick took home $3,150,000. The golfer to earn the most prize money last year, was Dustin Johnson, winning $36 million. The increased popularity of the game has brought in major sponsors, who are investing a lot of money in the game.

Private Home Care employees & friends enjoying the game and health benefits of being on the golf course

Health Benefits of golf

The most obvious health benefit of playing golf is the exercise. Furthermore, golf can have a positive impact on your health in many other ways. In terms of your physical health, walking around the golf course helps keep you improve muscle tone and endurance. Obviously, that burns body fat. Equally important, there are mental health benefits as well. Playing a round helps reduce stress, both from the workout and pleasure of being outdoors. Golf can help individuals improve their confidence, self-esteem and anxiety levels. Lastly, those who routinely play golf will spend more time with friends while playing, meet new people and have an increased sense of community. Golf Digest wrote a story about the mental health benefits associated with golfing that can be seen here, 5 mental health benefits you get from golf | Instruction | Golf Digest.

Mary Demakes, owner of Private Home Health Care, at the hole the company sponsored.

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Heart Valve Disease Awareness

February is American Heart Month in the United States.  February 22 marks National Heart Valve Disease (HVD) Awareness Day. Wednesday is one of the many days dedicated to heart health amid American Heart Month. This day aims to raise symptom awareness, minimize adverse results, improve detection, increase treatment rates, and improve overall health. Ultimately, the recognition of these days, throughout February, helps in saving lives. Through education and outreach, we can lower the number of people who suffer due to heart diseases.

Heart Valve Disease Awareness

Heart Valve Disease

The purpose of celebrating the heart this month, and specifically HVD is to help educate the public. Heart valve disease is a fatal ailment that claims the lives of 25,000 Americans each year. HVD is a disorder in which one or both heart valves do not operate.


When signs and symptoms occur, it is best to see your doctor. Subsequently, some people with heart valve disease may not display symptoms for years. The symptoms might include:

  • Whooshing sound (heart murmur) when a doctor is listening to the heart with a stethoscope
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal swelling (more common with advanced tricuspid regurgitation)
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath, particularly when active or lying down
  • Swelling of your ankles and feet
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat

Taking care of your heart

The American Heart Association (AHA) is organization that has been combating heart disease for nearly a century.  AHA continues to be the longest running and largest voluntary organization committed to preventing and treating heart disease. American Heart Association | To be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. Additionally, this link will help educate you on important things to be aware of. Heart Disease & Heart Problems: Symptoms And Signs to Know – Entirely Health

Private Home Health Care

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Closing Out National Heart Month

What a fast month this has been!  National Heart Month is coming to a close but there have been lots of discussions.  Good information has been available from multiple places.

The American Heart Association is a great site with so much good information.  You can find it at

Your heart is a major organ and so important to us physically and emotionally.  We’ve talked about ways to keep your heart healthy including:

Maintaining a healthy diet, low in saturated fat and cholesterol

Regular physical exercise, walking is a good and free option

No or reduced smoking, many options are available to help you stop

Limit alcohol consumption

Visit doctors regularly for checkups

You can stay physically well but emotionally well is important too.  Your happiness is a key contributor to a happy and healthy life.  

When you are young and as you age, keeping in touch with family and friends allows you to stay well.  The more social interactions and activities to keep your mind and body active is one way to a healthy and happy life.

Private Home Health Care would like to share this poem as we close out this month of the heart.

Be happy.

You will get

What you like most.

You will be

What you like best.

  • Sri Chinmoy

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Heart Conditions

Today Private Home Health Care is going to highlight a few heart conditions.  These are fairly common and treatable but it’s good to be aware of them.

Heart Murmurs

These are called “innocent” and “non-innocent”  and they are generally both treatable.

Heart murmurs are when you have a whooshing or swishing sound when your blood circulates through chambers and valves.  Innocent heart murmurs are often heard in children and can be common and in general, harmless.

Non-Innocent heart murmurs can be caused by defective heart valves. You should follow up with your healthcare provider to see if you need additional testing or treatments.


Cardiomyopathy causes the heart muscle to become enlarged, thick or rigid.  It makes it harder to pump blood to the rest of the body.

You can have a family history of cardiomyopathy so it’s important to make sure your healthcare professional is aware of this connection.

Signs of the disease include:  fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of feet, ankles, abdomen and veins in the feet or neck.  Also, dizziness and lightheadedness.

There are treatments available but if you don’t have any signs or symptoms they might not be necessary.   

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

AFib is a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).  It puts you at increased risk for stroke or heart failure.  You need to be monitored if you are diagnosed with AFibs.

Your healthcare provider will likely prescribe medication. There are many different medications available so find what is best for you.  You can live with AFibs when properly treated.


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