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National Aviation Week

National Aviation Week is set aside during this week as a part of celebrating Orville Wright’s birthday. Orville Wright was born on August 19. Franklin Roosevelt declared it to be National Aviation Day.  

The week commemorates all that we humans have accomplished up in the sky!  There are usually exhibits, webinars and live performances to help celebrate.  In NYC at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum you can get free tickets if you are a crewmember, both active and retired.

What do you know about Orville Wright? What sparked the celebration of his birthday?  

You need to look back at his childhood to understand Orville Wright. His childhood was spent in Dayton, Ohio.  He had a very simple life along with his brother Wilbur and his sister Katherine.  His house was sparsely furnished and did not have running water or electricity. His father believed in reading and education and sparking curiosity in his children.

Wilbur and Orville owned a bicycle shop to start.  Their curiosity led them to begin tinkering in aviation.  The brother’s approach focused on pilot control rather than on powerful engines. 

 It took them three years but in 1903 they had their first successful glider ride.  It cost them a mere $1,000. The first ride happened in Kitty Hawk (technically Kill Devil Hills) in the outer banks of North Carolina.  The ride crossed only 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds.  

The brothers kept working and having test flights.  They moved back to Ohio and finally opened up the Wright Company in 1909.  The rest is history.

In the end, you know both Wright Brothers for their pioneering work in aviation.  Their work on three-axis control allows pilots to accurately steer the plane and keep equilibrium.  

Perhaps Orville is the birthday celebrated by President Roosevelt because of his engineering prowess.  It is believed that he was the one behind using aluminum as a building material.

Likewise maybe Orville is the focus because of Wilbur’s death in 1912 from Typhoid Fever.  Orville lived until 1948.  He passed away from a heart attack at age 77.  

Private Home Health Care loves to take travel excursions and we are very appreciative of the gifts from Orville Wright and his brother. To infinity and beyond!

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National Relaxation Day

National Relaxation Day

The goal of National Relaxation day is to take time to practice stress relief through meditation and other relaxation techniques.  Meditation can help you cope. It can breed positivity and improve concentration. National Relaxation day was founded by a nine-year old from Michigan back in 1985.  

Private Home Health Care knows that with age the systems you use to cope can wear down, consequently you may experience difficulties.  Difficulties with sleeping, mood swings, anxiety and even migraines and chest pain. You may have lost a partner, recently retired or feel lonely.  

Here are some simple techniques to help you with relaxation (medicalisland.net).

Breathing Meditation (two recommendations)

  • With your mouth closed, breathe in and hold your breath for a count of 4.  Next release your breath for a count of 4.  Repeat this for 10 minutes.
  • Close your eyes and tense your muscles for 2-3 seconds before releasing them.  Start at the bottom of your body and work your way to the top.  Tense and release your feet and toes, then your calves and thighs.  End with your neck, jaw, eyes and forehead.

Calming Music

  • You can relax by playing music or sounds that you enjoy.  The best sounds are without vocals in order to help slow your mind and body.  You could listen to classical music or nature sounds, jazz or meditation music. Youtube.com can be a good website to find the music you like.

Crosswords and Puzzles

  • You can find online or print versions of crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches or jigsaw puzzles. The goal is to relax you, improve your memory and distract you from difficult emotions.

Visualization

  • Close your eyes and picture a scene that makes you happy. You could be at a sandy beach with waves in the background.  Picture relaxing at a cafe in your favorite city.  Take a visual walk in the woods after a snowfall.  The addition of quiet background music can help promote relaxation.

Private Home Health Care hopes that you will find these simple techniques helpful.  Namaste.

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Grab Some Nuts Day

Welcome to the beginning of August.  Where has the summer gone??

On Wednesday, August 3 it is Grab Some Nuts Day.  We at Private Home Health Care have spoken about the health benefits of different nuts.  The benefits are plentiful.

The celebration on Grab Some Nuts Day is the day to promote the eating of all things nutty!  A handful can give you lots of nutrients and minerals.

Do you like almonds?  Cashews?  Walnuts?  Pistachios?  Peanuts? Nuts come in plain, salted, lightly salted, roasted or seasoned.  Do you have a preference?

If you are able to get the nuts you enjoy, try adding them to your daily diet.  A handful can give you protein, vitamins, minerals potassium and iron to list a few.

True Nuts

  • Almonds – gives you a huge amount of nutrients and protein.
  • Cashews – has healthy fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, and a small amount of protein.  You should eat these in smaller quantities.
  • Walnuts – your primary benefit is Vitamin E and melatonin.  These help to manage bad cholesterol (LDL).
  • Pistachios – you will find protein, fiber and antioxidants in these delicious nuts. A bonus is vitamin B6 and potassium

Legumes – these grow below the ground into a plant.

  • Peanuts – these help to lower your cholesterol levels and help with heart disease. Only the almond packs more protein than the peanut.  The U.S. enjoys 50% of its peanuts in the form of peanut butter!

Private Home Health Care loves all kinds of nuts and legumes.  We work these delicious snacks into our daily diet.  We hope you can too!

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Friendship

Friends.  A friend is defined as a person whom you know, like and trust. You and a friend help each other in good times and in bad times. You share stories and experiences.  

Most of us have had a friend.  You may have traveled together, gone out to dinner, shared stories of your family.  It could be you’ve had many good friends or just one or two.  The quantity doesn’t really matter.  It’s the quality of the friendship that counts.

It turns out that friendship is good for your health. A friend can enrich your life.  It’s a social connection for you.  Basically, keeping friendships is really important to us as we age.  

Not only does a friend help give us a sense of purpose and belonging but consequently they also keep us happy.  A friend gives you a sense of worth and helps when you are going through a stressful event in your life.

A friend can help with your overall health and you can feel less depressed. You can lower your blood pressure.  You may even find that you live longer!

As we get older, making new friends can feel daunting but there are ways to help.

Is there an event in your community that you can attend?  Do you have a hobby that you can share?

Do you like to volunteer?  Try a place you enjoy, a hospital, a food bank, a library.  

Invite someone over to your house, apartment, living space.  Then if you get a return invitation, accept it. You never know what can blossom.

Join a class or a faith community.  Conversations can start and common interests can be discovered.

Take a walk.  Walk your dog and chat with people you meet. Walk to a spot and sit and watch people walking by.  You might be able to strike up a conversation.

Private Home Health Care knows how important friends are to your well being.  We encourage you to stay in touch with existing friends and try and make new ones. You are never too old!

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National Creme Brûlée Day

What?  Are we blogging about a food that is not a healthy superfood today?  Yes, we are.  We are writing about this sumptuous, delicious dessert because there are times when you just need to indulge yourself.

An interesting fact about creme brulee is that it’s not actually clear if this dish originated in France even though the name means Burnt Cream!  There are definitely French recipes for Creme Brulee however there are both British and Spanish versions that have existed for centuries.

In England you could eat a Trinity Burnt Cream reportedly, but not confirmed for certain, created by a young student at Trinity College in Cambridge.  In Spain, there is a dish called Crema Catalana.  The word is that this was created before Creme Brulee however it is not baked in water as is the tradition in France.  It is also mainly served on Saint Joseph’s Day in March.

You can visit restaurants in your area and try to sample the different kinds of this dessert and decide which one you prefer.  Today is the day to celebrate the delicious custard base with a caramelized sugar top by finding one to sample or by trying to make your own. 

Here is what looks to be an easy recipe from Julia Childs.  Yes I did say easy because there are not too many ingredients and you don’t need to use a blow torch for the caramelized top!

Private Home Health Care wants you to try this version of Julia Child’s recipe (https://www.finedininglovers.com/article/julia-childs-creme-brulee-recipe-will-surprise-you) 

Bon Appetit!

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Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy believes that an imbalance in one part of the self can affect another. It has grown since the pandemic in 2020.

Hippocrates is actually credited with the beginning of holistic therapy believing that our bodies have the abilities to help heal ourselves. 

You can find many studies of holistic therapy that have shown improvements in people’s lives.  In 2015, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk also wrote a book called “The Body Keeps Score.”  His book discussed how trauma affects both the mind and body.  

If you suffer from anxiety, depression, stress or trauma you are a good candidate for holistic therapy.  You may be experiencing symptoms of phantom pains, appetite and digestive issues or poor sleep.  

You can meet with a holistic therapist to discuss options to see what would work best for you.  Typical therapies include:

Breathwork – you can regulate your nervous system through breathing.

Meditation and Yoga – helps you to live in the moment and manage stress, improve mental clarity and increase self-awareness.

Reiki – you work with a practitioner to achieve a state of healing through a transition with your physical, mental and energetic body.  This originated in Japan.

Sound Healing – you create vibrations using singing bowls that can change your brainwaves for improved health.

Private Home Health Care knows we have times in our lives when holistic therapy can help. If you have any of the symptoms listed, work with a health professional to see if this therapy is right for you. 

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National Mango Day

Yes, today is the day to celebrate mangos!  The mango originated in Southeast Asia and India around 4,000 B.C making it a very old fruit.  Buddha was said to have sat under a mango tree to meditate so it is also considered a sacred fruit.

In the United States we get 70% of our mango supply from Mexico. Peru, Ecuador and Brazil are looking to increase their exports and give Mexico some competition.  Good news for growers is that the market in the United States is growing.  From 2019-2020 the market grew 11.4%.

The peak season for the mango is April to August so you should look for the best prices at your local store between May and August.  You should ripen a mango at room temperature until it gets good and gentle, like the feel of a ripened avocado. That should take a few days.  If you want to ripen the mango faster, you can place it in a paper bag for about 2 days.

You will find some good health benefits from mangos:

Vitamin K – helps blood clots and helps prevent anemia

Vitamin C – gives good healing

Antioxidant – high in beta-carotene that fight free radicals that can damage cells

Magnesium and Potassium – good to lower blood pressure

Fiber – one has 2g and helps break down difficult starches

Folate – promotes healthy cell division and DNA duplicaton

Private Home Health Care loves mangos in smoothies, grilled with barbecues, with fish and in yogurt.  Mangos are easy to find in the grocery stores so enjoy!

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Bone Health

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects us as we age.  The Mayo Clinic defines osteoporosis as “characterized by decreased bone mineral density and structural bone changes that may cause the bones to weaken and become brittle.”

Basically when your bones become brittle there is a higher chance that you will have a fracture.  The most common fractures are to your spine, wrist and hip.  Men can be affected but most cases are with women.  The majority are women who are of Asian or European descent.

As you age your bone mass begins to change.  Creation of new bone peaks around age 30. Consequently after age 30 your bone mass starts to slightly change from making new bone to losing bone.

Here are helpful tips for what you need in order to have healthy bones. 

Calcium – For women and men aged 18 to 50, 1,000 milligrams is recommended daily. Likewise, when women reach age 50 this changes to 1,200 milligrams and for men age 70.

Foods with high calcium counts include orange juice, dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt.  You can also eat canned salmon or sardines with the bones, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables like broccoli and kale, and almonds.  Furthermore, calcium-fortified cereal is another good source of calcium for you.

Protein – key to your bone health.  You can enjoy these foods with high calcium. Eat whole eggs, almonds, chicken breasts, cottage cheese, lean beef, fish, and lentils.

Vitamin D – helps your body absorb calcium.  Recommended daily intakes up to age 70 is 600 IU.  This increases to 800 IU after you hit age 70.  Supplements, sunlight and foods rich in vitamin D are all options. (Milk, cereals and eggs are good sources to name a few.)

Daily Physical Activity – if you are older, walking and climbing stairs can help.  Additionally, if you are able, jogging, yoga or lifting weights are great activities.

Private Home Health Care stresses the importance of exercise along with a wide variety of foods because we all need healthy bones.  Likewise if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, work closely with your doctor.  Know also that Physical Therapists are available to help guide you.  There are lots of resources!

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COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a chronic inflammatory disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.”

COPD symptoms include a cough, breathing difficulty, mucus production and wheezing.  Smoking is the leading cause of the disease.

COPD is progressive.  The good news is that there are ways to treat it.  Proper treatments can help with breathing difficulties.  They can add to your quality of life.  Treatment can also help to avoid and reduce other associated conditions.

You need to work with your doctor to diagnose the disease.  He or she can help to determine the best treatment for you.  

  1. Stop smoking – if you are a smoker try to find a way to stop.  There are nicotine replacements and smoking cessation programs to help you.
  2. Inhalers – inhalers make breathing easier.  There are short- and long-acting medications.
  3. Inhaled steroids – there are some potential side effects to these.
  4. Combination inhalers – a combination of inhalers and inhaled steroids
  5. Oral steroids  – you would look into these options if your COPD becomes severe.  Caution is needed with these medications for long-term use.

Lung Therapies are an option for you if the disease becomes severe.

Oxygen Therapy – additional oxygen supplied to your lungs.  There are many different devices that allow you flexibility.  You can find what is right for you.

Pulmonary Rehab Program – experts can help you find what is best for you.  They can offer you education, exercise options, nutrition advice and counseling.

Private Home Health Care understands that COPD can be a difficult disease. We also know of the many good medical options for a good quality of life.  We encourage visits to your doctor to determine what is best for you.

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Spinach

Does anyone remember Popeye the Sailor Man and his can of Spinach?  He would need to help Olive Oil so he’d open up his can and eat his spinach.  Nothing could stop him after that!  Did you ever wonder why the creator of the show chose spinach?

Spinach is a leafy green that is packed with good nutrients for our bodies. You can large leafed or baby spinach.  Use it in a smoothie, make a salad, steam it or cook it on the stove with a little olive oil and garlic.   The health benefits are many.

Potassium – helps to lower blood pressure

Lutein – antioxidant that helps with macular degeneration and cataracts.  Lutein has also been shown to help improve verbal fluency, memory, reasoning ability and processing speed.

Vitamin K – one cup has the recommended daily amount and is great for bone health. Vitamin A –  helps hydrate your skin

Vitamin C – good for your immune system

Iron – an excellent source of iron

Fiber – spinach is full of fiber. (Be careful if you have to watch your fiber intake)

How you eat spinach can affect the nutrients your body gets.  Eating it raw in a salad or using it in a smoothie will get you the most nutrients. You can steam it or cook it on the stove too but overcooking it will take away some nutrients. Try enjoying spinach in different ways for the most benefits!

Private Home Health Care would like you to check out healthy smoothies on Yummly.com.  There is one with pineapple and spinach that looks delicious.  Add in a scoop of JuicePlus Vanilla Complete and you’ll add protein to the benefits!

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