Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month

Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month

It’s Hemochromatosis Screening Awareness Month, and hemochromatosis is an inherited disorder where your body accumulates too much iron.

Patients usually don’t show serious signs until they’re over 40 years old, so it’s important to get screened in routine blood tests.

Hemochromatosis is especially common in those from European ancestry, affecting approximately 1 in 400 of them. Talk to your doctor about when you should be screened.

Blood Test Screenings

 

If you suffer from hemochromatosis, your body absorbs too much iron from your diet, as much as 4x too much, and since your body only has a few ways to get rid of iron, it accumulates over time in your liver, bones, joints, pancreas, and skin.

Getting Screened for Hemochromatosis

 

The extra iron in your system can cause organ damage, and iron deposits can darken your skin. It can also increase your risk of diabetes, heart attack, arthritis, and some cancers.

Risks of Hemochromatosis

 

The wrong level of iron in the brain has been tied to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.

Brain Disease and Hemochromatosis

 

Symptoms of hemochromatosis include chronic fatigue, joint pain, especially in your knuckles, memory fog, an irregular heartbeat, and abdominal pain.

Hemochromatosis Symptoms

 

Getting iron levels down with therapeutic blood removal, or phlebotomy, is the most common treatment. Regular blood donations and a hemochromatosis-friendly diet can help you lower iron levels.

Hemochromatosis Treatment

National Horseradish Month

National Horseradish Month

It’s National Horseradish Month, and it’s the perfect time to add a kick to your summer dishes with these healthy horseradish recipes.

Mix up your summer staple with a batch of Creamy Horseradish Potato Salad.

creamy horseradish potato salad

 

Get some fresh fish in your weekly meal plan with this easy Horseradish Parmesan-Crusted Salmon.

Horseradish Parmesan Crusted Salmon

 

Go meatless with this gorgeous Roasted Beets and Kale Salad with Horseradish Crema.

Roasted Beets and Kale Salad with Horseradish Crema
Image and Recipe via Viktoria’s Table

 

This beautiful Creamy Horseradish Chicken with Garlic Sautéed Spinach is perfect for guests.

Creamy Horseradish Chicken with Garlic Sautéed Spinach
Image and Recipe via Recipes Plus

 

These Baked Horseradish Carrots will spice up your boring dinner side dishes.

Baked Horseradish Carrots

 

Go spicier with this savory Smoky Oven-Baked Salmon with Horseradish for dinner.

Smoky Oven Baked Salmon with Horseradish
Image and Recipe via A Spicy Perspective

 

Try this Celery Root Salad with Apple, Caraway, and Horseradish, sure to become a light summer favorite.

Celery Root Salad with Apple, Caraway, and Horseradish
Image and Recipe via Happyolks

Self-Care Month

Self-Care Month

It’s Self-Care Month, and if you’re not sure why self-care matters, these TED talks can explain why your emotional and physical health should be a priority.

If you’ve never focused on self-care before, these 10 habits are a great way to get started.

Taking Time for Yourself

 

Create a relaxing routine for self-care. Whether it’s herbal tea and reading a book before bed or coffee and the newspaper in the morning, taking structured time for yourself is a great way to wind down and prepare you for the next thing.

Relaxing Routines

 

Take a break from technology. Whether it’s picking up a book, heading outdoors, or just spending time with friends or family, turning off the news and social media can help you refocus on yourself.

A Break from Tech

 

If you need to be more mindful or focus on relaxation, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, find a meditation app that can help guide you.

Mindful Meditation

 

Learn something new. Cooking or baking new recipes, knitting, or playing an instrument requires you to focus but can also give you time to yourself.

Learn Something New

 

Mixing up your day-to-day routine, like taking a different route to work, can help you get out of a rut, and these little changes can help you create new neural pathways to keep the brain healthy and build new habits.

Changing Up Your Routine

National Hot Dog Month

National Hot Dog Month

It’s National Hot Dog Month, and there are many ways to enjoy the family favorite with health in mind.

These Homemade Veggie Dogs are a delicious summer staple for your meatless Mondays. 

Homemade Veggie Dogs

 

Mix up the traditional condiments with Turkey Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream.

Turkey Dogs with Corn Salsa and Chipotle Cream
Image and Recipe via NatureBoxBlog

 

Gluten-Free Vegan Hot Dogs are prefect to have at a BBQ for the non-meat eaters.

Gluten-Free Vegan Hot Dogs
Image and Recipe via Vegan a la Mode

 

If you’re cutting back on carbs, you can skip the bun with these Sweet Potato Sausage Dogs.

Sweet Potato Sausage Dogs
Image and Recipe via Plating Pixels

 

These Smoky Barbecue Carrot Hot Dogs with Creamy Chickpea Salad are packed with veggies.

Smoky Barbecue Carrot Hot Dogs with Creamy Chickpea Salad
Image and Recipe via Vegan Sandra

 

Use turkey dogs to make these Thai Style Hot Dogs better for you.

Thai Style Hot Dogs

 

Whether you’re a vegetarian, or just looking for topping ideas, these Healthy Vegetarian Hot Dog Toppings are great inspiration.

Healthy Vegetarian Hot Dog Toppings
Image and Recipe via Ricotta and Radishes

Kids and Energy to Burn

Long View: Energy to Burn

I tried to talk my parents into buying me a paddle boat when I was 11. Oh yes, I did.

We used to spend the summer on a little island at the south end of Mobile Bay in Alabama. The first thing my younger brother and I wanted to do when we got there was to go to the concession stand and rent paddle boats. For those of you who are not familiar, they are kind of like riding a bike but on the water, seriously.

The rental was kind of expensive as I remember, but the folks let us ride as many times as we wanted. My idea of buying one to save on the rental just didn’t float with Mom and Dad.

The following year, we discovered the paddle boat concession had been wiped out by a hurricane. We were inconsolable until our Dad presented us with 4 new Frisbees. We got the neighbor kids out on the beach and played for what seemed like hours. When the inevitable boredom set in, we often walked to historic Fort Gaines on the far eastern end of the island. There were lots of walls to climb and ramparts to scramble up. It was like a huge jungle gym. The fort had real cannons too.  Signs discouraged people from climbing on them, but we did it just the same.

After supper, the family often walked to the western end of the island, which was quite a jaunt for our little legs, especially in the sand. By the time we got back to the house, we were ready for a well-deserved night’s sleep.

It took me a while to realize that my parents were geniuses. They knew how to engage their 2 somewhat hyperactive boys and make sure we burned off enough energy to settle down in the evening. Sometimes we volunteered to go to bed early, which gave the folks a much-deserved rest.

When I talk to people who are older and wiser than me, I keep in mind they probably have insights and wisdom far beyond my own. Giving an older friend or family member a chance to share their insights is our chance to learn from someone else’s experience.  My parents might not have been geniuses, but they were most certainly practical and insightful when it came to raising kids.

I recently checked out the cost of a paddle boat, with an awning of course. It was affordable. However, I realized what a wildly impractical purchase it would be, so I bought a Frisbee instead. Lesson learned.

Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. He is known for his inability to parallel park, and if you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, (and he paints!)

Essential Summer Safety Tips

Essential Summer Safety Tips

The summer season is finally here! But as we start to enjoy the outdoors and more adventurous activities, hospitals and urgent care facilities are bracing themselves for “trauma season” as they call it in the healthcare industry. 

Emergency rooms usually see injuries and traumas double in the summer compared to the winter months. The most common causes of injuries during the summer include car accidents, severe sunburns, water-sports injuries, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and falls.

But many of these can easily be avoided by following these essential summer safety tips that will keep you and your family safe and healthy during the summer months.

WaterTo avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water or beverages high in electrolytes. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, both of which actually make your system lose water. Eat fruits and vegetables which contain a lot of water like grapefruits, peaches, eggplants, and spinach.

Sun ProtectionTo avoid sunburns, apply sunscreen with an at least SPF 30 and make sure you’re using a waterproof formula if you’re swimming. Stay in the shade from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., cover your skin, and wear a hat if you’re exposed. Keep children in the shade as much as possible.

Heat ProtectionTo avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke, don’t engage in physical activities during the hottest hours of the day. Get acclimated to the hot weather by slowly increasing the amount of time you spend outside.

Water SafetyTo avoid water-related injuries, always bring a buddy along while participating in water sports and follow the lifeguards’ instructions. Take time to get used to the difference in temperature between in and out of the water. Don’t drink alcohol before water activities.

Car SafetyTo reduce the risk of car accidents, make sure all your car maintenance is done before you leave on a trip. Allow plenty of time to arrive and try to drive during off-peak hours. Stop and take breaks every 100 miles or 2 hours, and if possible, take turns with a passenger.

 

Sometimes accidents, illnesses, and injuries cannot be avoided, even for the most careful traveler. If you find yourself injured or sick, remember that our travel emergency partner, Assist America is here to help. 

You can download the free Assist America Mobile App to access your membership details, membership ID card, list of services, or to call the 24/7 Operations Center with the tap of a button.

App Store Google Play

 

 

 

App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.

Sorghum Month

Sorghum Month

It’s Sorghum Month, and we’ll be helping you make the most of this light grain with healthy sorghum recipes for light summer meals and snacks.

First up is an easy Herb and Grain Salad with Basil Oil and Popped Sorghum.

Herb and Grain Salad with Basil Oil and Popped Sorghum
Image and Recipe via Real Simple

 

Whip up a takeout alternative with this Chicken Tikka Masala with Cilantro-Lime Sorghum.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Cilantro–Lime Sorghum

 

This Warm Grains and Greens Salad is a perfect side all summer long.

Warm Grains and Greens Salad

 

Lighten up your cheese plate with these crispy Sorghum Sage Crackers.

Sorghum Sage Crackers (gluten-free & vegan)

 

Make breakfast more interesting with this tasty Sorghum Berry Breakfast Bowl.

Sorghum Berry Breakfast Bowl

 

Enjoy this veggie-packed Spring Sorghum Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette for lunch or with dinner.

Spring Sorghum Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Image and Recipe via Our Salty Kitchen

 

Make Pan Seared Salmon with Leek Puree and Sorghum Pilaf for a light summer supper.

Pan Seared Salmon with Leek Purée and Sorghum Pilaf