submitted by Rachelle Himes

Allergy season is apon us. Although we may not see ragweed and grass in full bloom yet, they are lurking!
One of the ways our allergies can be triggered is via the food we eat. Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) occurs when we eat certain foods that have similar proteins as pollen. You may get an itchy mouth or throat after you eat certain fruits, vegetables, or nuts. Some common cross-reactive foods include:
  • Birch pollen: apple, almond, carrot, celery, cherry, hazelnut, kiwi, peach, pear, plum
  • Grass pollen: celery, melons, oranges, peaches, tomato
  • Ragweed pollen: banana, cucumber, melons, sunflower seeds, zucchini
The reaction is usually mild and does not trigger anaphylaxis in most cases. If this reaction occurs it is best to avoid the food trigger, especially during high pollen season.
You can reduce the chance of reaction by peeling the food, cooking the food or eating the food in a canned version. All of these techniques lessen the pollen like proteins on the food.
Seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or if you experience symptoms after eating the food cooked.
To learn more about OAS (oral allergy syndrome) visit the Allergy Asthma Network website.

Rights Managed / For Education Use Only
submitted by Jeanine DeGeeter

Why wash your hands?

Handwashing is one of the most important ways you can keep from getting sick and spreading germs to others. According to the CDC, handwashing can prevent 30% of diarrhea related sickness and 20% of respiratory infections. Handwashing also fights the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Did you know studies show that people touch their eyes, nose and mouth about 25 times every hour and that is how the germs can get inside us!

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to clean your hands. Hand sanitizers do no eliminate all types of germs. Correct handwashing includes the following steps:
WET…LATHER…SCRUB (for at least 20 seconds)..RINSE…DRY.
These simple steps will help you stay healthy and help keep those around you healthy!!

For more information visit:

Hand washing. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 2 Mar 2017.
Cardiovascular disease, listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 801,000 deaths in the US. That’s about 1 of every 3 deaths in the US. About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds. About 92.1 million American adults are living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke.

Are you at risk for Heart Disease?

-Too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk. You can get tested to learn your total cholesterol, good (HDL) and bad (LDL) and triglycerides.

-Try to fit in 2.5 hours of aerobic activity each week. Physical inactivity increases your risk, EVEN IF you have NO other factors!

-Quit smoking! Smokers are up to 6 times more likely to have a heart attack.

-High Blood Pressure and Diabetes both increase your risk as well. Talk with your doctor about your risk for heart disease if you have either one of these.

-Maintain a healthy weight. The higher your BMI (Body Mass Index), the higher risk for heart disease.

For more information, talk to your family doctor or visit the Amercian Heart Association's website at

Exercise and cardiac health, artwork. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 24 Feb 2017.
Submitted by Lisa Secrist

Have you ever made New Year’s resolutions with the best of intentions to keep them? You start off by making a list of changes you’d like to make such as eating healthier…exercising everyday… saving more money…etc., etc. Then the new year starts off and you find yourself keeping the resolutions…. for a while. Then life gets busier and it is too hard to keep all of those resolutions. You feel the frustrated and so you look at your list again and realize that you did not think this through. How you can make all those changes in the reality of all of life’s demands. The list just seems too overwhelming now and you tell yourself you just cannot do this anymore. The enthusiasm you had only weeks ago is now gone and you think there has to be an easier way to do this.
Here is a simple approach for keeping those New Year’s resolutions:
• Set one easy goal that you can easily achieve within a month’s time.
• Set another goal to build on the success of meeting the previous goal.
• Keep the goals simple and easy to achieve.
For example, you may have a resolution to get healthier this year. Set one goal that will help you achieve that by the end of the year. Perhaps your first goal could be to increase your daily water intake by 2 more glasses/day or walking around the block 3 times a week after work. When you are doing that consistently and it is now part of your daily/weekly routine, add another goal. Perhaps the next goal could be to eat two fruits a day or to walk around the block 4 times a week. Keep adding one new goal to build on the success of the previous goal.
Making the goals simple and easy to achieve, you will soon find yourself getting healthier and happy that you can meet your goal toward a healthier you. YOU CAN DO IT!
submitted by Leigh Cox

According to the Random Act of Kindness (RAK) Foundation, there have been numerous studies that show kindness improves health. Being kind to others has a positive effect on you, the recipient of the kindness, and on those who witness the act of kindness. Research studies suggest the positive effects of kindness include increased energy, decreased stress and pain, and a healthier heart. When we do something kind for someone else, especially when we do it without expecting something in return, we simply feel good. This improves our total well-being and our relationships with others. The book, “Why Kindness is Good for You” (Hay House, 2010) discusses how this is due to a change in our hormone levels in response to the kindness given or received.

There are endless ways to be kind to others and they don’t have to be big things. Here are some ideas.
Simple Acts of Kindness:

Hold the door open for someone
Smile at everyone you see
Say “thank you” more often
Do volunteer work
Give compliments to people you meet
Check on friends who are ill or having a difficult time
Be a good listener
Donate items you no longer use
Invite someone to dinner
Be patient while driving
Hold the elevator for someone
Put down your phone
Share a snack
Forgive someone
Say “I am sorry”
Leave a note on someone’s windshield

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” St. Teresa of Calcutta.

Spread a little kindness around, it is contagious. Make is spread like a virus.
What will you do today?
submitted by Joan Wells


It is the season for treats and sugar but keep in mind that many diseases can be linked to poor oral hygiene.

Limit Snacking:
Eating breakfast can decrease your need for sugary snacks before lunch.
Limit sugary snacks and drinks.
Eat healthy snacks such as celery, apples and carrots. 
Avoid snacking 2 hours before bedtime.

Keep that Beautiful Smile:
Find a dentist and visit them two times each year for a checkups.
Brush and floss your teeth a minimum of two times daily. (After breakfast and before bedtime.)
Brush your teeth for two minutes. Use a gentle action and hold the brush at a 45-degree angle. Be sure to include your gums and tongue when brushing.
Flossing can increase your life by 6.4 years and helps delay the effects of aging.
Plaque forms in 2-3 hours after brushing.
Tobacco use leads to gum and oral disease.

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