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National Lemon Juice Day

Its #NationalLemonJuiceDay today!  

Did you know that lemons originated in the Himalayan Mountains millions of years ago?  What you see in the grocery store looks a bit different now but they are very plentiful here in the US. Currently the majority of lemons come from California and Arizona but other states grow them too.

Are your taste buds acting up yet?  Anytime you give a slice of lemon to a toddler you definitely get a puckered up little face!  It makes you think that those lovely yellow lemons are not really that good, right?  Wrong.

Lemonade on a hot summer day is perfect.  Not only this but according to Healthline.com there could be good benefits from lemons and their juice.

Check these out:

Lemons can support heart health.  They are a great source of vitamin C.  In addition, lemons have fiber and plant compounds that can help lower risk factors.

Lemon juice and it’s citric acid could help prevent kidney stones.  If you’ve had kidney stones it could be helpful to have ½ cup of lemon juice per day but more studies are needed to confirm this. 

Are you bordering on being anemic?  If so, the vitamin C and citric acid in lemons could help you absorb non-heme iron (iron from plants).

If you can drink lemonade with the pulp, it can improve your digestion.  The soluble fiber pectin found in lemons has shown to slow down the digestion of sugars and starches.  This helps to reduce blood sugar levels. Remember, pulp is key to helping your gut.

Private Home Health Care is going to have a nice glass of lemonade with the pulp very soon.  We hope you enjoy a glass too!

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Joy

Today I am thinking about joy, something we can all have in our lives.

Children are naturally joyful but as you age, you may feel the joyful times are less and less. Each day it’s important for you to find joy, even if it is small.  Joy helps to keep you centered and positive.  You may need to stop and look at your surroundings or think about the people in your life.  Think about what makes you happy?

This summer there has been a lot of sunshine so I am grateful for that.  We need more rain but I’m hopeful it is coming. I was talking to a woman who just turned 97 years old.  She has moments of loneliness but her joy comes in working on her geneology.

There is a 24 year veteran teacher getting ready to begin a new school year.  Her joy is meeting all her students and getting to know them.

A young teacher just learned that she has a new job.  It’s at a newly renovated school and she is joyful because she will be working with students in grades 9 and 12.  That is her joy.

Private Home Health Care believes that we can all find joy in our life.  It may be a phone call from a family member, a bingo game with friends or a walk in the woods.  We hope you try and look for your joy. 

We will leave you with part of a poem by E.E. Cummings.

you shall above all things be glad and young

You shall above all things be glad and young

For if you’re young whatever life you wear

it will become you; and if you are glad

whatever’s living will yourself become.

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Be Kind to Humankind Week

In 1988, Lorraine Jara from Toms River, New Jersey started this week.  She started it after a sad event in her hometown.  Two men had a boating accident.  They were staying afloat by clinging to their capsized boat.  Other boaters passed them by and did not help them.  Sadly, one of the men died.  

Lorraine wanted to honor this man so she started this week-long event of doing acts of kindness.  The week begins tomorrow August 25 and runs through August 31.. 

Below are suggestions from Lorraine for each day of the week.

Thoughtful Thursday – Treat each other well.  Find ways to help someone you run into.  Perhaps you can let someone jump you in a line.

Forgive-Your-Foe Friday – The goal is to find someone you’ve disagreed with and then reach out to make amends.  This idea is that it will make you feel better.  Not always an easy task.

Speak-Nice-Words Saturday – Find ways to say nice things to the people in your life.  It’s not always easy to bite your tongue but give it a try.  Pass it on to your children too.

Sacrifice Our Wants for Others’ Needs Sunday – Look for an opportunity to help someone.  Run an errand for someone.  Have a visit with someone alone.  

Motorist Consideration Monday – Take extra care to drive courteously.  Try to be patient with the person going 20mph in a 35mph zone. There are ways to be courteous with all modes of travel.

Touch-A-Heart Tuesday – Spread kindness. You can encourage others in their dreams and goals.  You can walk a friend’s dog for them.  Babysit for a family to give them free time.

Willing-to-Lend-A-Hand Wednesday – Choose a way to help someone you know.  Water plants, trim hedges, dog or cat site.  Little things can mean a lot.

You may feel as we do at Private Home Health Care that the more kindness the better in our world today.  It is a core value in many of our elementary schools and each one of us can pass it on with simple acts.  Best of luck being kind!

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Milk, A Taste for Everyone

Do you like milk?  Dairy milk is a favorite, especially with some homemade chocolate chip cookies but did you know that there are other milks out there?  Milks with great flavor and great nutritional value?

Almond milk and soy milk we know but additionally over the past few years other plant based milks have come out in the marketplace and they are making a splash. Milks that are dairy free, lactose free and vegan. 

Has your interest been piqued?

Here are a few on the market. Look for what is best for you.

Oat Milk

 If you have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity this milk could be for you.  It comes in full fat or low fat and is good for smoothies, cereals, lattes, tea and coffee.

160 to 90 calories,3 g protein, 2 g fiber

Fortified with calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin D

Hazelnut Milk

You might find this milk a bit higher in fats but it’s the healthy monounsaturated fats.  Try using this milk in dessert baked goods, smoothies and coffee.

30-90 calories, 1-2 g protein, 1 g fiber

Small amount of vitamins

Sesame Milk

If you are allergic to nuts this could be the milk for you. It has a toasted, nutty flavor and some are packed with pea protein.  Good for latte, overnight oats, cereal, baked goods.

90 calories, 8 g protein, less than 1 g fiber

Banana Milk

Usually not made with any nuts.  A good source of protein for you.  Watch for added sugar.  Try it in cereal, baked goods and coffee but remember it will have a banana taste.

60-80 calories, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber

Fortified with vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin D

Pistachio Milk

This milk is good for diabetes!  Be on the lookout for almonds and try the unsweetened. You can drink this, use it in muffin or quick bread mixes and smoothies.  Keto friendly too!

100 calories, 4 g protein, 2 g fiber (not fortified in vitamins)

Macadamia Milk

Low in carbs, full of monounsaturated healthy fats.  You can use it in place of coconut milk. It has a nutty flavor.  Add it to lattes, smoothies and curry sauce.

40 calories, 1 g protein, less than 1 g fiber 

Some brands fortified in calcium and vitamin D

Private Home Health Care would love for you to try some of these plant based milks. Just be careful to read the labels to choose the right one for you.

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National Patient Advocacy Day

Navigating our healthcare system can be tricky and stressful.  A patient advocate is someone who can help you take away your stress.

Patient advocacy started in the 1950’s.  It grew in the 1970’s and took off in the 2000’s.  Today the role has an important place in helping to improve hospital and community-based healthcare results.

You may have received a health diagnosis that is overwhelming.  You might feel scared.  A patient advocate is available to aid you.  The advocate can help you communicate with your doctor.  There could be issues you run into with your insurance company. You could need help setting up screenings or tests.  These are the roles of a patient advocate.

Your advocate could be part of a hospital or healthcare facility.  Likewise, your private health care provider can act as your advocate.  Basically, if you have a chronic illness, multiple illnesses or a life threatening illness, a patient advocate can be a great voice for you.  

You may find the title for a patient advocate may vary.  The title could be Health advocate, Care manager, Case manager, Medical Advocate or Patient liaison.  You can ask questions to make sure you get the right person to assist you.

Private Home Health Care knows how important patient advocacy is in today’s healthcare environment.  We encourage you to reach out for any assistance you may need.

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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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