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A Young Man’s Faith COPD Awareness Male Breast Cancer Pink Ribbons Aren’t Just for Women Diabetes Foot Care Diabetic Retinopathy Bestselling Novelist Brenda Novak Takes On Diabetes Acid Reflux: A Hot Topic

30 Helping Others Can Be a Family Project




32 Learning Disabilities? Not My Child

healthy Kids

healthy body, mind & soul


34 Green Coffee Beans 36 Vegetarian Diets 38 Healthy, Beautiful Skin Through the Ages 40 Total Body Express Workout Avanti GC6 CardioGym | 801 N. Main, St. 318, McAllen, TX 78501 PH 956.525.0240 |

mind & soul HV healthy body,


Publisher Mauricio Portillo Editor in Chief Claudia Portillo Del Valle Marketing Director Arnaldo Del Valle Copy Editor Lora Incardona Website Director

Claudia Portillo Editor in Chief

Healthy Media Graphic Design Healthy Media Photography Healthy Media Contributing Writers Rogelio Salinas, M.D. Rafael Amaro, M.D. Ritu Goel, M.D. Carlos Rivera, M.D. Arian Tylor, M.D. James Hall, C.Ped. CFo Mark A. Canchola, C.Ped. CFo Carolina Martinez, C.H.C.
 Lora Incardona, M.Ed. Charlotte Libov Elijah Hirschmann Maria Luisa Salcines Social Media Director Faride Del Valle

healthy magazine is a free monthly publication. All contents are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. The material in this magazine is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. healthy magazine and its contributors accept no responsibility for inaccuracies, and the advertiser is solely responsible for ad content and holds publisher harmless from any error. Printed in Mexico 801 N. Main, St. 318 McAllen, TX 78501 PH 956.525.0240 6

Thanksgiving This issue marks the 4th anniversary of Healthy Valley Magazine. It has been an exciting year for which we owe many thanks. Thanks go first to the contributing writers and our team whose work makes Healthy Valley Magazine possible each month. I also give thanks to our readers who are the reason for this publication. It always amazes me how fast the South Texas area is growing, and new businesses and health related events seem to be popping up everywhere. Healthy Valley loves attending these events and being part of them is just one of the many ways to appreciate the growth and the interest that so many companies are experiencing throughout the Valley. Top-selling author Brenda Novak is our cover story this month. We had the privilege of interviewing her and hearing first-hand of her dedication to fighting the battle against type 1 diabetes. As you read her story about a mother fighting for her son, perhaps you too will join her in her cause. To Elijah Hirschman, thank you for sharing with us such a personal and faithfilled story. Elijah has written for you an account of his tragic circumstance, not to draw sympathy but to share how his faith has given him courage and how he remains positive through it all. The ability to be thankful for the little things is one of the biggest blessings one can encounter. Find ways to be thankful and live above negativity. When we give thanks for all things, we get a supernatural attitude adjustment. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Claudia Portillo

healthy body, mind & soul

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A Young Man’s Faith COPD Awareness Male Breast Cancer Pink Ribbons Aren’t Just for Women Diabetes Foot Care Diabetic Retinopathy Bestselling Novelist Brenda Novak Takes On Diabetes Acid Reflux: A Hot Topic


healthy soul A YOUNG MAN’S FAITH

A Young Man’s Faith

There are times in our lives when we don’t understand why a certain circumstance is happening to us. It is during these times that many people seek refuge in false healers when the only person who can bring us peace and deliverance through hard times is our Lord Jesus Christ. About three months ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, just a week before my scheduled departure for Texas A&M University College Station. As you may imagine, it has been a rather eye opening experience. How could I have gotten cancer? Why did I, of all people, have to get it? Questions like these raced through my head naturally. But thanks to my faith in the Lord and the many amazing individuals He has placed in my life, I have been able to bravely face my battle with cancer. I have faith that I am healed and that the Lord put the obstacle of cancer in my life in order for me to minister to others and to declare His mighty works. It is during difficult and trying times like this that we really must put our faith in the Lord and surrender everything unto Him, because He knows best. He would not put a trial in my life or yours that we wouldn’t be able to handle. In this short life of mine, I’ve already been through some rough patches: I’ve experienced the loss of close friends to suicide; my parents split up; and most recently, I was diagnosed with cancer. One thing has remained constant throughout all of these times – Christ being right by my side. Through all my trials He has guided me. He has brought me joy in the hardest of times. He has given me wisdom when I was in need of it. Even while battling cancer, I know that He is the reason that I am able to stay so positive. I’ve learned through these experiences to Reach for Christ in all that I do. Psalm 18:2 is a verse that I have held close to my heart throughout all of this and one that I encourage others to lean on during their times of struggle. “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” -Psalm 18:2

Elijah Hirschmann 10

Join the Valley Baptist Diabetes Center during National Diabetes Awareness Month for the

Valley Baptist Diabetes Awareness Walk

NUMBERS 11-17-12

McKelvey Park • Harlingen, Texas Parking for this event may be reached off of Commerce Street by the Valley Morning Star and following the access road towards the Elk’s Lodge and continuing under the Arroyo bridge.

Registration & Blood Sugar Testing 7:00 am Walk Start Time 8:00 am Have your blood glucose checked with a simple 5 second test, and then join us for a one, two or three mile walk – you decide the distance you want to go. Then have your blood sugar tested again after the walk, if you like, to see the powerful effect exercise has on lowering blood sugar. One in four persons in the Rio Grande Valley has Diabetes, and many do not even know they have it. Join the “Know Your Numbers Walk” and learn more about Diabetes and how to manage it. To register for the walk, please call 1-888-902-LIFE (5433). “Know Your Numbers Diabetes Walk” t-shirts will be given at the event to the first 300 walkers.

Follow Valley Baptist

2101 Pease Street • Harlingen, TX 78550 389-1119

COPD AWARENESS body, mind healthy body& soul HV healthy

COPD Awareness By Ritu Goel, M.D.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease, is the name given to a group of pulmonary, or lung, diseases that are characterized by lung inflammation and destruction. One of the most common forms of lung diseases, COPD, manifests as chronic cough producing sputum and difficulty in breathing. WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF COPD? Basically there are two types of COPD: chronic bronchitis and emphysema. However, the majority of patients develop a combination of both the forms. The two forms are different by way of location of the disease. In chronic bronchitis, there is recurrent and persistent inflammation of the upper airways, or bronchi, whereas in emphysema, the disease affects the lower airways (alveoli and bronchioles). In emphysema, the walls of the alveoli are destroyed, causing impaired exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide. WHAT CAUSES COPD? One of the most common causes of COPD is cigarette smoking. Acting as an irritant, cigarette smoke causes inflammation of the lung tissues. Prolonged and persistent smoking leads to permanent destruction of the lung tissues.

Generalized fatigue and malaise Increased frequency of acute respiratory infections In the initial stages, symptoms of COPD are very similar to the symptoms of acute respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis.

HOW IS COPD DIAGNOSED? Diagnosis of COPD is done on the basis of the presence of history of chronic symptoms of cough and shortness of breath. Abnormal sounds on stethoscopic examination of the chest may be heard in some cases. A chest X-ray will show abnormal changes in the lungs. The most significant test that is used to diagnose COPD is spirometry, or pulmonary function test. This test measures the lung capacity, which is decreased in COPD patients. An accurate diagnosis of COPD is made using this test.

Prolonged second hand cigarette smoke exposure, breathing in polluted air for a long time, workplace exposure to harmful gases and fumes for a long period of time and use of fire for cooking in a non-ventilated place for a long time are some of the less common causes.

HOW IS COPD TREATED? There is no cure of COPD and the aim of treatment is to provide symptomatic relief. The initial step in COPD management is complete smoking cessation, as smoking causes rapid progression of the disease, causing it to become fatal.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF COPD? COPD presents with the following signs and symptoms:

Inhalers such as Atrovent and Albuterol are given to relieve the symptoms of bronchospasm. Steroids and oxygen therapy may have to be prescribed in patients with severe disease.

• • • •


• • •

Recurrent cough that may or may not produce sputum Shortness of breath aggravated by slightest exertion that gets worse gradually over a period of months and years Wheezing Reduced tolerance to exercise

Acute flare ups can be prevented by avoidance of cold and humid environments and second hand exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollution. Eating a well balanced and nutritious diet is also advised.




MALE BREAST CANCER Pink Ribbons Aren’t Just for Women The abundance of pink at breast cancer awareness activities provides a visible, unified front in the fight against a terrible disease. But the color pink could mislead many men into thinking that breast cancer only affects women. In reality, more than 2,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year – and more than 400 men will die from the disease in 2012. Men might not suspect breast cancer because they do not realize they have breast tissue. Male breast tissue, similar to that in females, contains cells that can form into a group of cancer cells, or a malignant tumor. Although men are less likely to develop breast cancer due to hormones that prevent breast tissue growth, one in every 1,000 men eventually will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, the breast cancer survival outlook for men is about the same as for women, so early detection is key. Because most men don’t receive regular breast cancer screenings, it’s important for them to be educated about the risk factors and symptoms surrounding breast cancer. MALE BREAST CANCER RISK FACTORS: 1. Age: Males between 60 and 70 years old 2. Radiation: Men who have been treated with radiation around the chest area 3. Family History: Men with immediate family members who have breast cancer or who have a mutation of the BRCA2 gene have a lifetime breast cancer risk of 5-10 percent. Men should consider hereditary cancer risk assessment to determine if they have the gene mutation, which could impact their risk both as a patient and carrier. 4. Estrogen: Males with higher levels of estrogen due to diseases, such as the genetic disorder Klinefelter

syndrome. Also, men taking estrogen-related drugs for hormone therapy or sex changes. 5. Alcohol: Men who are heavy drinkers face an increased risk because alcohol abuse causes liver diseases, like cirrhosis, which can lead to higher estrogen levels. 6. Obesity: Obese men have higher levels of estrogen because male hormones known as androgens convert to estrogen. MALE BREAST CANCER SYMPTOMS: 1. Redness on the skin and around the nipple 2. A nipple that turns inward 3. Fluid discharged from the nipple 4. A lump or swelling in the chest area (typically without pain) 5. Skin puckering If you have some or all of the risk factors and/or symptoms, it’s important to consult with your physician to determine if you should get a mammogram. Breast cancer treatment is the same for men as it is for women. With advanced technology and treatment options and community-based cancer care from providers like Texas Oncology, men (and women) with breast cancer can now fight cancer close to home. Community-based outpatient cancer care provides patients high quality cancer care, maximizes convenience and allows cancer patients to remain near loved ones and a strong support network without the need to travel. And about those pink ribbons? Although they may not look too “manly,” they still symbolize the brave and growing band of breast cancer survivors – both women AND men.

McALLEN For more information about preventing cancer, please visit Rogelio Salinas, M.D.


Dr. Rogelio Salinas is a radiation oncologist at Texas Oncology–McAllen, 1901 South Second Street in McAllen, Texas.



FIGHT L U N G CANCER When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I chose to partner with Texas Oncology. They’re part of the largest network of cancer specialists, researchers and treatment centers in the country, yet they’re right here in my hometown. My primary care doctor works side-by-side with my Texas Oncology team to coordinate treatment and make sure I have access to the latest cancer-fighting tools. In fact, Texas Oncology participated in more than 100 clinical trials during 2010. I’m confident I can fight this battle with Texas Oncology on my side. TEXAS ONCOLOGY–MCALLEN 1901 South 2nd Street McAllen, Texas 78503 956-687-5150 1-888-864-I CAN (4226) •


McALLEN Texas Oncology delivers high-quality cancer care with leading-edge technology and advanced treatment options to help patients achieve “More breakthroughs. More victories.” in their fights against cancer. Texas Oncology, a pioneer in community-based cancer care, is an independent oncology practice with sites of service throughout Texas and southeastern New Mexico. Texas Oncology patients have the opportunity to take part in some of the most promising clinical trials in the nation for a broad range of cancers. In fact, Texas Oncology has played an integral role in gaining Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for 29 of the latest cancer therapies.

Billie J. Marek, M.D., FACP Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Marek is board-certified and specializes in medical oncology and hematology. He currently serves as a director of Texas Oncology and is the medical director for Texas OncologyMcAllen. He has served the Rio Grande Valley for the past 22 years as a medical oncologist and hematologist, has been recognized as a “Super Doctor” in oncology for five years in a row, and was recognized as Doctor of The Year for Rio Grande Regional. Dr. Marek received his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio. He completed his fellowship at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Alvaro Restrepo, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology “I can be part of your team… and together we can fight the battle.” Dr. Restrepo specializes in, medical oncology and hematology. He completed his fellowship at the University of Miami. He also serves on the Breast Cancer Committee of US Oncology and has completed a fellowship in breast cancer treatment. Through the Life Beyond Cancer Fundation he established the Texas Oncology–McAllen Breast Cancer Ride/Walk fundraiser to raise funds for Rio Grande Valley cancer patients. To date approximately $30,000 has been donated to cancer patients in the Rio Grande Valley.

Suresh Ratnam, M.D., FACP Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Ratnam has been with Texas Oncology-McAllen for 13 years, which he joined after completing his fellowship at the renowned National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. He has co-authored several research publications and is passionate about cutting-edge oncology care. He currently serves on the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee of US Oncology and chairman of the Credentials Committee for South Texas Health System.

McAllen 1901 South 2nd Street McAllen, Texas 78503 PH: 956.687.5150 FAX: 956.687.9546

Nurul Wahid, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Wahid was fellowship-trained in medical oncology and hematology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He has been recognized as Physician of the Year at Rio Grande State Center in Harlingen where he has served as senior attending physician for the past 13 years.

Joseph Litam, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Litam was fellowship-trained at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He is well known in the community and was in private practice for 27 years before joining Texas Oncology. He has special interest in treating solid tumors.

Guillermo Lazo, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Lazo specializes in medical oncology and hematology. He completed his fellowship at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. He is a recipient of several awards including the American Society of Clinical Oncology Merit Award and is the author of several peer-reviewed medical publications as well as book chapters. He received the highest honors on the professional examination for his medical doctorate degree.

Marcelo Boek, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Boek is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology and hematology. Prior to him joining Texas Oncology, he conducted clinical research as part of the North Central Cancer Treatment group.

Nirupama Shekar, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Shekar specializes in medical oncology and hematology. She completed her fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland and trained at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Benjamin West, M.D. Radiation Oncology Dr. West is a board-certified radiation oncologist. He was a physicist prior to becoming a physician.

Rogelio Salinas, M.D. Radiation Oncology Dr. Salinas is a board-certified radiation oncologist. He completed his residency training at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New York followed by his fellowship at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Debbie Gillett, R.N., N.P. Nurse Practitioner “Cancer prevention is a high priority. My aim is to identify individuals who may be at high risk for cancer and work with them to develop a plan to reduce that risk.” Debbie Gillett is a nurse practitioner.

WESLACO Daniel Farray, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Farray is board-certified in medical oncology, hematology, and internal medicine. He received his medical degree in 1998 from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in the Dominican Republic and completed his residency in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his fellowship in medical oncology and hematology in 2006 at Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center/Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Farray ranked first in his medical school class. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American College of Physicians.

Habib Ghaddar, M.D., FACP Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Ghaddar specializes in medical oncology and hematology. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in hematology and medical oncology. He received his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Good Samaritan Hospital/John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his fellowship in hematology/oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. He has been in practice with Texas Oncology since 1995.

HARLINGEN Marco A . Araneda, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Araneda specializes in medical oncology and is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He received his medical degree from San Carlos University in Guatemala and completed a medical oncology fellowship at East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee, as well as a fellowship in bone marrow transplantation at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. He has special interests in breast cancer, gastrointestinal malignancies, hematologic malignancies, and molecular targeted therapy.

Laura E. Cisneros, M.D. Medical Oncology/Hematology Dr. Cisneros specializes in hematology and oncology. She completed her residency in internal medicine as well as her fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. She is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Carlos Gonzalez-Angulo, M.D. Radiation Oncology Dr. Gonzalez specializes in radiation oncology and internal medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the American Board of Radiology, and is a member of the American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO). He completed his fellowship in radiation oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in Buffalo, New York, and also completed a second residency in radiation oncology at Jackson Memorial Hospital/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, in Miami, Florida. Aside from his medical practice, Dr. Gonzalez is a Christian lay minister and a student of ancient Greek.

Harlingen 2121 Pease Street, Suite 101 Harlingen, Texas 78550 PH: 956.425.8845 FAX: 956.364.6793 Weslaco 1330 East 6th Street, Suite 204 Weslaco, Texas 78596 PH: 956.969.0021 FAX: 956.968.9744

Opening November 5, 2012

Emergency care when you need it most – Now. When medical emergencies happen fast, you need care that can react just as quickly. That’s the commitment Rio Grande Regional Hospital 24 Hour Emergency Care is bringing to families in our community. • Open 24/7

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• What we treat: allergic reactions, asthma, back • pain, broken bones, ear aches, fever, minor • burns, nausea, rashes, sprains, chest pain, • and more.

Sharyland Towne Crossing

Ware Rd.

• On-site imaging and laboratory services

Victoria Dr. S. Taylor Rd.

• Board-certified physicians

S. Shary Rd.

• Fast, convenient care

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For information, visit, or call

956-928-7200 5100 West Expressway 83 McAllen, Texas 78501

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• Affiliation with Rio Grande Regional Hospital

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DIABETES FOOT CARE body, mind healthy body& soul HV healthy

Diabetes Foot Care

Living with diabetes can make you more prone to foot problems because diabetes can damage nerves and reduce blood circulation to your feet. This can place excessive pressures on your feet and inhibit your ability to detect injury. “The American Diabetes Association estimates that one in five people with diabetes who seek hospital care do so for foot problems.” Serious foot problems, such as ulcers, can sometimes lead to extensive wound care and amputation in severe cases. If you have diabetes, it is very important to maintain proper foot care on a daily basis to help reduce the risk of foot problems. Here are some suggestions: • •

• • •

• • • •

Get an annual foot exam from your health care provider. Check your feet every day. Inspect your feet for swelling, redness, cuts, blisters and dry cracked skin. If you can’t see your feet, ask a family member for help or use a mirror. If something does not seem right, contact your health care provider immediately. Check for ingrown toenails, corns and calluses. Wash your feet daily. Be sure to dry them with care, especially between the toes. Maintain proper foot skin care by moisturizing your feet. Do not moisturize between the toes, as this can increase the risk of fungal infection. Inspect the inside of your shoes for any foreign objects before putting them on. Never walk barefoot. Avoid using heating pads or hot water bottles to keep your feet warm. Don’t sit with your legs crossed for extended periods of time. This can decrease blood flow.

There are different types of products available to help ensure that your feet are being taking care of. For example, if you had a toe amputation, there are toe fillers to help accommodate for the balance. If you haven’t had an amputation but have a foot deformity, a pair of custom shoe inserts may be the best option for you. If you have no deformities or amputations but are a diabetic with neuropathy, a pair of heat molded inserts may be able to help you. Before deciding to obtain a new set of shoes, it is often best to contact your physician and have a foot evaluation done. Shoes can be expensive if you are paying for them, which is why it is generally best to make sure you see somebody qualified to evaluate and properly fit orthopedic shoes to fulfill your needs. WHAT IS DIABETES? Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. There are 3 types: • • •


TYPE 1: commonly seen in children, teens or young adults where the body makes little or no insulin TYPE 2: lifelong disease in which there are high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood GESTATIONAL DIABETES: diagnosed during pregnancy

Contact your insurance carrier about coverage for special shoes and special shoe inserts. Implementing a daily routine in conjunction with the proper footwear can save your feet and improve your quality of life.

Mark A. Canchola, C.Ped. CFo Certified Pedorthotist and Orthotic Fitter. James Hall, C.Ped. CFo Certified Pedorthotist and Orthotic Fitter. ACCION REHABILITATION, INC. Providing your orthopaedic and DME needs. Phone: 956-630-0209 4853 N. McColl Rd, McAllen Texas 78501

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY body, mind healthy body& soul HV healthy

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy affects people with diabetes. The leading cause of blindness in American adults, it is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. This diabetic eye disease weakens the small blood vessels in the retina. Retinal blood vessels can break down, leak or become blocked – affecting and impairing vision over time. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, damage to the eye can occur when abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. WHO IS AT RISK FOR DIABETIC RETINOPATHY? Diabetic retinopathy is a problem linked to diabetes. Anyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Risk factors include: AGE Both younger and older people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic retinopathy. Some of the most severe cases of diabetic retinopathy occur in people who were diagnosed with diabetes at a very young age after they have had the disease for many years. DURATION OF THE DISEASE The longer a person has diabetes, the greater the chance of retinopathy. Nearly all people with type 1 diabetes and more than 60% of people with type 2 diabetes have retinopathy in the first 20 years of living with the disease. BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL Poor blood sugar control is one of the main causes of diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetes, you can lower the risk of vision loss by carefully monitoring and controlling blood sugar levels. You may be able to slow the onset and progression of retinopathy and decrease the need for surgery by controlling blood sugar levels through a healthy diet, insulin and other drugs. SMOKING Quitting smoking can reduce risk for diabetic retinopathy. ALCOHOL Alcohol and diabetes are a dangerous combination for many reasons, including an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy.

HYPERTENSION High blood pressure increases the risk of eye disease as well as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease. It may be necessary to change diet and exercise habits or take medication to keep blood pressure under control. PREGNANCY Scientists are still unsure why pregnancy seems to increase a woman’s risk of developing or accelerating diabetic retinopathy. Pregnant women with diabetes should see their eye doctor during their pregnancy. RENAL DISEASE Kidney disease is a major complication of diabetes. The earlier kidney disease is diagnosed, the better. Individuals with diabetes must have their urine tested regularly for early signs of kidney disease. Scientists are still working toward a better understanding of diabetic retinopathy, and new treatment options are on the horizon. In the meantime, early detection of retinopathy and close watch by an eye doctor are major goals for the successful treatment of patients with diabetes. People with diabetes need to know that dangerous changes in the retina often happen before they notice changes in their sight. All people with diabetes should have a professional eye exam at least once a year. The eye doctor can decide if you need more frequent exams. People with diabetes should also get regular medical care to control their diabetes.

By Arian Tylor, M.D. 22


Bestselling Novelist

Brenda Novak

Takes On Diabetes



TAKES ON DIABETES By Charlotte Libov

When Brenda Novak’s son Thad was five, he contracted a bad case of the flu, and, while he seemed to recover, something wasn’t quite right. He was constantly thirsty and always had to go to the bathroom. One day, Thad was begging for a drink so Novak gave him some Kool-Aid, but the sugary drink only seemed to make him worse. This got Novak thinking. She started searching the Internet, then called her doctor, insisting that he see her son. Soon, Novak’s worst fears were confirmed, and, upon learning that Thad had type 1 diabetes, the distraught mother collapsed in tears. “When I was nine, a cousin of mine had a baby and I remember her saying that the baby had diabetes and wouldn’t last very long. So I was in a panic,” Novak recalls. Diabetes occurs when the body’s pancreas, the gland that produces insulin, the vital hormone needed to help the body convert food into energy, becomes impaired. As a result, sugar accumulates in the blood stream. Although diabetes is no longer a death sentence, it remains a very serious disease that, eventually, can damage every organ in the body, including the eyes, heart and kidneys, making it a chief cause of blindness, heart disease and kidney failure. There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2. The most common, which accounts for 80 percent of cases, is type 2 diabetes. It usually affects adults and, while the exact cause isn’t known, it most commonly occurs in those who are overweight. On the other hand, type 1, which used to be called juvenile diabetes, usually occurs in young people, including children, and is thought to develop because the immune system mistakenly begins attacking the cells that produce insulin, hence the connection between Thad’s flu and his developing the condition. Although Novak knew that diabetes was no longer a death sentence, she also knew that Thad would have to deal with it throughout his life, so she was determined to do all she could to find a cure. But as Novak was only a fledgling author with a growing family and many demands on her time, she wasn’t sure how to attack her new goal. Eventually, she decided to launch an online auction. She raised $35,000 the first year but is currently raising $300,000 per auction, bringing her eight-year total to $1.6 million. This makes her annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research one of the largest fundraisers for diabetes and on track to hopefully reach $2 million next year. This is no accident because Novak is now a famous bestselling author and the annual auction attracts 5,000 bidders from throughout the world who are drawn by the private meets and luncheons she sets up with her colleagues, who are the who’s who of the literary world, including Steve Berry, Barry Eisler, Eloisa James and Janet Evanovich. But just like she didn’t set out to establish the world’s biggest on-line auction, Novak also didn’t set out to become a bestselling author. She was working as a loan officer when she made the shocking discovery that her trusted day care worker was drugging her kids with cough syrup to get them to go to sleep. The then mother of three (she and her husband, Ted, now have

five children) promptly quit her job and set about finding a job she could do at home. “I never planned to become a writer. I’m totally left-brained. If you told me that someday I would have been an author, I probably would have laughed,” says Novak. She did five years of research for her first book, going to the library at night “with nickels and dimes” to make copies of research books. “I managed to sell my first novel. It didn’t save us economically, but it did save me emotionally,” she added. HarperCollins published that book, “Of Noble Birth,” in 1999. Honors, acclaim, more books and, most important, enormous sales followed, propelling her onto bestseller lists, where she remains today. She’s now the author of 44 books, including two that are about to come out as part of her brand new Whiskey Creek series. When Novak was first launching her auction, she approached the major diabetes associations, which cold-shouldered the thenunknown author. Then Steven Fishman, a board member from the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami, contacted her. “I flew to the DRI to take a look and was so impressed by everything I saw and learned. I think it was fated for us to come together,” Novak says. Unlike other organizations, the DRI is solely focused on scientific research to find a cure for diabetes, which suited Novak perfectly. Now 15, Thad is doing well. “I love the way he approaches having diabetes. He’s a cool kid and very laid back about it,” says Novak. But she still gets frustrated with the misinformation and confusion that surrounds the disease. “People think that because we have insulin it is manageable, but it is a very serious disease,” says Novak, adding, “So while I’m raising money, I know I have to keep spreading awareness.”


ACID REFLUX healthy body

Acid Reflux A Hot Topic

Acid reflux is the abnormal backflow of gastric acid into the esophagus causing inflammation and the typical heartburn sensation. This regurgitation of acid (and sometimes bile) causes irritation of the esophagus. If transient, it may be controlled with diet and over the counter antacids. However, if it becomes persistent (GERD – Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) it might lead to more serious conditions such as ulcers causing a persistent burning sensation or pain on swallowing; scarring with narrowing of the esophagus causing difficulty swallowing; and even chronic changes in the lining of the esophagus (Barrett’s Esophagus) that can lead to esophageal cancer. This regurgitation of acid is caused by a malfunctioning mechanical barrier at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach (sphincter). Anatomical problems such as hiatal hernia, medications affecting the sphincter such as bronchodilators used in asthma, and conditions that increase abdominal pressure such as pregnancy or obesity will predispose to acid reflux. Although the typical reflux symptom is heartburn, others include chest pain that, if severe enough, may even simulate a heart attack; difficulty swallowing; and even respiratory symptoms such as hoarseness, chronic cough, laryngitis and asthma. Symptoms of acid reflux may be controlled by avoiding predisposing factors such as weight gain, smoking and eating large meals. Medications that affect the muscular barrier should also be avoided as well as the ingestion of caffeine products, fatty foods, alcohol and acidic juices. Elevation of the head of the bed helps to prevent acid reflux at night. Over the counter medications such as antacids can also be used. Patients with a hiatal hernia may benefit from laparoscopic surgery to repair the hernia and reestablish the mechanical barrier to prevent acid reflux. When acid reflux is persistent or chronic an endoscopy (looking inside the esophagus with a flexible lighted camera) is recommended to evaluate the severity of the disease as well as to look for the presence of Barrett’s esophagus, a condition caused by chronic heartburn and important to find as it predisposes to esophageal cancer. These patients may need long term treatment with a stronger acid reducer (prescribed) and periodic endoscopies to look for changes before the development of cancer. Barrett’s esophagus can be cauterized if there is evidence of precancerous changes (dysplasia). Endoscopy evaluation is recommended in persistent or chronic acid reflux, or if “alarm symptoms” are present such as weight loss, difficulty swallowing, passage of black stools (bleeding) and anemia. If you have any of these conditions, you need to see a gastroenterologist. At South Texas Gastroenterology Associates we are board certified gastroenterologists trained in endoscopy as well as in the evaluation and management of GERD and all other gastrointestinal disorders.

Rafael Amaro, M.D.

Board Certified Gastroenterology and Hepatology (956) 682-4800

5423 S. McColl Rd., Edinburg, TX 78539

If you are age 50 or more… 26

Call to schedule your screening colonoscopy, Pam Garcia, FNP-C, coordinator Colon Cancer Screening Program

healthy kids

30 Helping Others Can Be a Family Project 32 Learning Disabilities? Not My Child


Helping Others Can Be a Family Project The holiday season is a wonderful time to reflect on the blessings we have and a great time to volunteer with your children. Volunteering as a family gives busy parents the opportunity to spend time with their children, while giving something back to the community. The Busy Family’s Guide to Volunteering, a book written by Jenny Friedman, informs parents how they can contribute to their communities by combining their volunteer work with family time. Volunteering with your children is a great way to teach them some of life’s most important values: gratitude, compassion, empathy and community responsibility, which can be learned by family members working side by side. Through volunteering, families will have the opportunity to meet individuals of different incomes, nationalities and disabilities. This teaches children about accepting people’s difference and helps them appreciate people’s struggles. According to the 2001 Independent Sector reporta America’s Family Volunteers, 51 percent of all volunteers had taken part in volunteer activities with a family member. Family volunteers averaged 4.3 hours of volunteering each week, compared to 2.8 hours for those who did not volunteer with family members. The report said that 90.6 percent of family volunteers said compassion for those in need was one reason they volunteered and 53 percent of family volunteers had children under 18 living at home. Friedman pointed out some of the most common worries parents may have about volunteering with their children and some solutions. *The children’s ages. It’s true that some volunteer jobs are not appropriate for younger children, but there are many that are suitable for little ones, like charity walks, litter clean-up and accompanying a parent while he makes deliveries.


*Worried that children will become depressed by what they see. It is always important that parents take the child’s age and temperament into consideration. However, most volunteer jobs are not depressing. A canned-food drive or organizing a fund raiser is fun for most children. The important thing to remember about volunteering is the opportunities you will have to help your children integrate the experience. *We don’t have time. Families should set realistic goals when it comes to volunteering. Find the project that suits your family best. It may be doing something once or twice a year or committing to doing something once a month. *My kids aren’t interested. You can’t force your children to volunteer. Some parents have found that if they let their children choose the activity and the time, they are more willing to participate. Invite their friends to come along and make the day fun by ending your day at a pizza parlor or with a picnic in the park. Volunteering is a great way to teach children about our community and our planet, and how the world can be a better place when we help each other. There are hundreds of ways that you and your family can make a difference, and volunteering together is one of them. Volunteering doesn’t cost money and it can be a wonderful learning experience for your children. “There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.” Robert South

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent educator with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @PowerOfFamily or contact her at her Web site at


LEARNING DISABILITIES? healthy kids healthy kids

Learning Disabilities?

Not My Child

Many parents run away from the phrase “learning disabilities.” But if they only knew the truth, they might just stop, look and listen. Learning disabilities have nothing to do with intelligence, as commonly thought. And they don’t deserve the negative stigma that is too often attached to them. What learning disabilities are are neurological disorders that can make learning difficult and social skills difficult to develop because they affect the brain’s ability to receive, process, store, respond to and communicate information. They can affect any skill that is used to achieve academically: reading, writing, spelling, listening, speaking, mathematics, reasoning and even motor coordination. One reason why the term learning disability has such a negative connotation is that people often think that it is related to mental retardation. The truth is that people with learning disabilities are of average or above average intelligence. They simply have trouble managing information, but once they learn how to cope with their disabilities, they can learn and achieve with minimal difficulty, some as if they had no learning disability at all, which is why it is so important for parents to be honest with themselves regarding weaknesses they or teachers may see in their children. By ignoring or playing off weaknesses as a phase or lack of effort, or because parents are embarrassed that their child may have a “problem,” parents only make school and life more difficult for their children whom they love so much.


There are many things that parents should be on the lookout for, especially if their children are not doing well in school. A disparity between expected achievement and actual achievement; avoidance or strong dislike of reading, spelling or math; lack of social skills; struggle to communicate thoughts or make sense of what others are saying; poor coordination; and delayed language development may be signs of a learning disability. Because learning disabilities are life-long issues, identification and intervention is vital for academic, career and life success. Although there are no cures, there are many ways to overcome such disabilities so that they do not hamper academic and life endeavors. It is important to understand that learning disabilities are merely challenges, not blockades. If you are concerned about your child’s academic progress for any reason or you do suspect a possible learning disability, it is important that you set up a meeting with his or her teacher to discuss your concerns. Learning disabilities are not as rare as one may think and there are many resources available to help parents and their children deal with learning issues that may be hindering their full potential.

Lora Incardona has been a public school teacher since 1993 and holds master degrees in bilingual education and educational leadership. Visit to follow her blog and read more articles about education today.


GREEN fitness & beauty

Green Coffee Beans

The popularity of green coffee beans as a dietary supplement and natural weight loss aid continues to increase, mostly due to their proven effectiveness in blocking the absorption of glucose and the conversion of blood sugars into fats. Ever since Dr. Oz initiated the “green coffee bean experiment” that proved that this natural supplement can help shed two pounds per week without following a special diet or making any lifestyle change, dieters have become obsessed with the magic behind these beans. But are the beans really that powerful? Are they really able to speed up the breakdown of figure-destroying fats and accelerate weight reduction without putting one’s health at risk? SCIENCE BEHIND GREEN COFFEE BEAN EXTRACTS Green coffee beans are nothing but coffee beans that have not been roasted; leaving them richer in an active substance called chlorogenic acid (CGA). As shown by animal and human studies, CGA possesses strong antioxidant and antibacterial properties and is an anticarcinogenic agent as well. Let’s take each of these effects and see why they are important to one’s health. Antioxidants fight against free radicals, waste products that cause damage to cellular components such as cell membranes and DNA, and alter one’s health. Antibacterial substances, as their name implies, protect the body from the harmful effects of bacteria, strengthening the immune system and helping to keep ailments away. As for the anticarcinogenic effect, research is still needed to establish the exact way through which CGA reduces the occurrence of cancers and symptoms of already existent cancers. However, scientists believe it is the antioxidant character of this compound that fights against cancers, as it reduces inflammatory processes that could be responsible for certain tumors. But what about the effectiveness of CGA in reducing the percentage of body fat? GREEN COFFEE BEANS AND WEIGHT LOSS CGA aids in balancing blood-sugar levels by stimulating the uptake of glucose in skeletal muscles and by blocking the absorption of sugars in the digestive tract. Moreover, this component in green coffee beans lowers insulin levels, improving metabolism and preventing the vicious cycle triggered by extremely high levels of blood sugar, which eventually can lead to diabetes and obesity. According to one study published in January 2012 in the Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity Journal, extracts obtained from green coffee beans lowered the amount of body fat by 4.4% and the total body weight by 10% in a group of overweight adults who consumed between 700 and 1050 milligrams of extract for 12 weeks. Another review study published in 2011 in the Journal of Gastroenterology Research and Practice showed that CGA compounds in coffee beans helped subjects drop about 5.5 pounds more than those given a placebo, when the extracts were administered in doses between 180 and 200 milligrams per day. Three trials were included in this study, but methodology was poor so results were not considered very relevant. The effects of green coffee beans on weight were tested again by Dr. Oz in 2012, with 100 women being administered 400 milligrams of extract for two weeks. The extract was taken before meals, and subjects who received the extract three times a day showed an average reduction of two pounds, while those administered the placebo showed a reduction of only one pound. As noticed by the doctor, in order for this extract to be effective, it has to contain at least 45% chlorogenic acid, listed as either CGA or Svetol. So if you plan to try green coffee bean extract for dropping some pounds faster, be sure to check product’s label before purchasing.


fitness & beauty

34 Green Coffee Beans 36 Vegetarian Diets 38 Healthy, Beautiful Skin Through the Ages 40 Total Body Express Workout Avanti GC6 CardioGym



Vegetarian Diets

There are various types of vegetarians: lacto-vegetarians (who consume dairy products), ovo-vegetarians (who eat eggs), lacto-ovo vegetarians (who eat eggs and dairy products), pescatarians (who eat fish), vegans (who do not eat any meats or animal-derived ingredients), and other classifications depending on the different animal products that are part of the diet. Certainly, being a vegetarian is not for everybody, but I believe it can be beneficial to maintain an inclination towards eating more fruits, vegetables and grains than meats. Like everything, it must be well-balanced for it to work. If you want to try becoming a vegetarian, do it gradually to see how you feel. Four years ago, when I first became vegan (I did it cold turkey), I did it with my naturopath doctor’s help to avoid a lack of nutrients and to support the changes that were happening in my body. I felt great and my energy levels increased, but after a year I felt that the diet was difficult to follow during my travel and when eating out, so I started to add some foods that I now eat: cheese, fish and products containing eggs. The most important thing, whichever type of vegetarian diet you choose, is to be conscious about what you eat and avoid being a junk food vegetarian, which is quite easy to do. You need to be very careful of the foods you eat to ensure that you are getting all your vitamins and minerals, and if you know you are not, immediately supplement them. Watch your protein, iron, calcium and magnesium intakes by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. Another relevant thing to consider with vegetarian diets (and again, depending which one you choose and how careful you are in balancing it) is that they can be high-carbohydrate diets. If you are trying to lose weight, it will be more challenging – though not impossible – to continue it. There are always great sources of protein, such as quinoa, that have no carbs in them. If grains are not an issue for you and you digest them well, these diets can be easier to accomplish, for there is such a wide variety of foods that you will not get tired of them. Vegetarian diets have many benefits for your health – higher energy levels, less digestive issues, high fiber foods, less viral diseases – and for the planet, as they are more environmentfriendly, but you have to try what works best for you. If you have heard about the blood type diets, type As usually find it easier to perform very well without consuming animal products, while it is harder for type Os. What I believe is that you as an individual need to find what is right for you and discover the food choices with which you perform better and feel great. A good method that works well for many people who do not want to become 100% vegetarians is to choose a couple of days a week when they do not eat animal derived products and eat as they do regularly the other 5 days. Even this aids the digestive process and gives your body a break from heavier foods. Give it a try and find the right combination for you!


Carolina Martinez Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition

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HEALTHY, BEAUTIFUL SKIN fitness & BEAUTY & beauty FITNESS Our skin changes with each passing day. That is why taking good care of it every day is so important. It helps to hold off the signs of aging, allowing you to maintain the soft toned skin you enjoyed in your youth. Taking good care of your skin beginning at an early age is ideal, but if you are a late starter, you can still have beautiful skin. One of the first steps toward healthy, beautiful skin is proper cleansing. It is important to cleanse with a quality cleanser made for your skin type, morning and night, not only to keep your pores clear of dirt and oil, but to allow your skin to breathe and decrease the occurrence of unsightly blemishes. Another important step toward healthy skin is keeping it hydrated. The use of a quality facial moisturizer twice a day after each cleansing cannot be stressed enough. At age 30, you may want to consider substituting an anti-aging or anti-wrinkle night cream to fend off deep wrinkles and creases, especially if you are genetically disposed to them. Whatever your age, it’s also a good idea to apply body lotion daily to your body’s largest organ, your skin! If your skin suffers from what appears to be a rough rash of tiny red pimple-like bumps, you are not alone. Nearly half of us suffer from the condition at some point in our lives. While for many of us it is a stage, for others it is not. That rough rash becomes a chronic condition that tends to flare up or subside unexpectedly but never goes away completely. Many think that it is a condition that they just have to suffer with, but there is actually a medical term for it and many remedies to relieve its symptoms.

Healthy, Beautiful Skin Through the Ages By Carlos Rivera, M.D. 38

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that causes patches of rough red bumps on the skin that has a sandpaper-like appearance. KP, as it is commonly called, is often found on the back of the upper arms, thighs, and buttocks. It is a condition that occurs in the hair follicles due to excess keratin protein that plugs up pores and causes irritation, bumps, and redness. Because the bumps usually have white pimple-like formations, KP is often misdiagnosed as acne. During the time that the condition exists, it can be uncomfortable and unsightly. Some people find relief from KP by being kind to their skin, especially the affected areas. They treat their skin gently so as to not aggravate the condition. Living a healthy lifestyle is another great way to prevent premature aging. Maintaining a balanced diet will promote healthy skin throughout your life. Exercising is also an important element in protecting your skin: it works as a stress reliever and energizer. Additional means to beautiful looking skin include avoiding cigarette smoke, keeping your body hydrated by drinking enough water, and limiting sun exposure without sunscreen and sunglasses. Sun protection is vital to the health of our skin! Whether you’re 5 or 50, you need to protect your skin in order to prevent damage that can be difficult to undo and help preventing skin cancer. If you think that your skin may be suffering from keratosis pilaris, sun damage, or any other skin condition, make an appointment to discuss the variety of treatment options that are available to you.


Total Body Express Workout Avanti GC6 CardioGym We’ve heard it all before and probably have used this excuse more than once ourselves: “I don’t have TIME to exercise!” Well, you can kiss that excuse goodbye as an Australian company called Avanti Fitness has solved the time riddle once and for all. Their patented, innovative CardioGym CG6 puts the time alibi to rest in short order. Basically, the CG6 is a unique compact combination of a recumbent bike and a multi-functional weight-training machine that utilizes the same space as a treadmill or elliptical. The genesis of the idea came from Darren Piggins, coowner of Avanti, when he observed people sitting on bikes using dumbbells or resistance bands to do something with their upper bodies in terms of building some strength and muscularity. So after 6 years in product development, extensive research that has been scientifically proven (see results chart below), the arrival of the CG6 signals a new era in training…appropriately called “Metabollic Conditioning!” What it means is the modern day, most efficient way of burning calories in the shortest amount of time by combining aerobic conditioning and weight training…SIMULTANEOUSLY! Not ignoring the age of video interaction, the CG6 features an avatar training lady on a 10-inch touch screen color display console. She takes you through a series of 5 pulling types of exercises with the bike facing the front of the machine…rows, arm curls, shoulder pulls, tricep extensions. All the while distance, speed, time, calories, RPM, watts, METs, resistance and, most important, heart rate are displayed. Then, with the flip of a lever, the bike rotates 180 degrees facing backwards so that 5 more pushing exercises can be done…bench presses, pullovers, ab crunches, triceps. Switch gears with the push of a button and try the 12 rounds of boxing (2 minutes per round with 30 seconds rest) or go kayaking or conventional rowing with the kayak bar attachment that conveniently stores on the CG6. The beauty about the CG6 is that a user is so engrossed in following the avatar trainer on the screen that he or she doesn’t realize how much workout is being accomplished. The result: Tremendous increases in strength, flexibility, body fat loss, Max VO2 (Athletes love this as it equates to huge endurance improvements.), weight loss and cardio benefits galore. By and large, as scientifically tested, a 30-minute workout, 3 times per week is about all you need to achieve remarkable results including weight loss, bone fitness, endurance, strength gains, cardiovascular, firming and body shaping that is 6 times what you’d get on a treadmill or elliptical. Versatility, given the freedom and user defined motion of the cables on the CG6, it is perfect for rehabilitation with 2.5 lb weight increments. The cables can be used without the bike, so it’s like having two pieces of equipment in a compact space. Bottom line, there has never been a machine that offers so much versatility for beginners, superior athletes, weekend warriors, rehab patients and seniors.


Exercise Smarter   Not Harder

ì CardioGym produced results that  were not only aerobically superior but  also much better in terms of weight  loss, body composition and strength  improvement...î


PH. 956-682-1858 | 3501 N. 10th Street  |  McAllen, Texas 78501 |


STUFFED TURKEY fitness & beauty

Stuffed Turkey with Truffles and Chestnut and Pomegranate Sauce INGREDIENTS • 1 16-pound turkey • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley sprigs • 6 basil leaves • 10 oz bacon • 4 thyme sprigs • 2 parsley sprigs

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILLING Coarsely chop truffles, onion, celery and carrots and start cooking in olive oil. Add ground beef and pork along with Italian sausage, adding salt and pepper to taste. Once meat is cooked, pour in white wine, cover and let simmer. Once cooked, cover and chill.

STUFFING • 14 oz mixed ground beef and pork • 7 oz Italian sausage • 2 carrots • 1 large onion • 2 celery stalks • Truffles • 1 cup white wine • 14 oz chestnuts • Almonds

Once mixture is ready combine everything in a bowl and set aside.

POMEGRANATE SAUCE • 3 tbsp unsalted butter • 1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped • 1 tbsp minced garlic • 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns • 1 cup port wine • 6 cups home-made chicken stock • 2 cups pomegranate juice (or substitute cranberry juice) • 2 tbsp light brown sugar • Salt and freshly ground pepper • 3 tbsp finely chopped chives • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


In skillet toast chestnuts for approximately 15 minutes and almonds for about 5 minutes. Chop into small pieces.

TURKEY Rinse turkey inside and out; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle main cavity with salt and pepper. Rub olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time over breast meat under skin. Fill turkey with stuffing. Place turkey on small rack set in large roasting pan. Cover turkey with plastic wrap. Chill overnight. Preheat oven to 375°F. Sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper and pour a glass of wine on turkey. Wait 45 minutes and pour on another cup of wine. Using kitchen string, tie 4 thyme sprigs, 2 parsley sprigs and basil leaves together and place next to turkey in roasting pan. Roast until turkey is golden brown, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Pour 1 cup broth over turkey. Roast 30 minutes. Pour 1 cup broth over turkey. Once turkey is fully cooked, remove herb bouquet and continue cooking turkey until skin is crispy, basting every 30 minutes with pan drippings. Transfer turkey to platter. Let stand 30 minutes, carve and serve. SAUCE Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add peppercorns and cook another 3 minutes. Add port wine and continue cooking, stirring until most of it has evaporated. Add stock, pomegranate juice, molasses and brown sugar. Raise heat to medium-high and reduce slowly to a sauce consistency. As sugars caramelize, sauce will turn brownish red. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add chives and pomegranate seeds. Buon appetito. Ex. Chef Antonio Matarazzo Capellini Ristorante



Diabetes Education Class (call for Spanish class) 1:00 PM Sponsored by South Texas Health System McAllen Medical Center, 3 East Classroom 301 W. Expressway 83, McAllen For more information, call 956-971-5850.


Saferiders Car Seat Classes in Spanish 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Cactus Room 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-388-6800.

Cancer Survivor Support Workshops 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Hosted by H.O.P.E. – Helping Other Patients Emotionally Free to cancer patients and caregivers New McAllen Public Library, Conf. Rm. B 4001 N. 23rd St., McAllen For more information, call Izzy Torres, Director, at 956-624-3840. La Leche League 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM Supports and encourages mothers who want to breastfeed Edinburg Children’s Hospital, 2nd Floor Family Room 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call Ann at 956-682-9770.


Saferiders Car Seat Classes in English 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Cactus Room 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-388-6800.

Spanish: Alzheimer’s Support Group 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM South Texas Behavior Health Center 2101 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-388-1300.

US TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group 7:00 PM Texas Oncology-McAllen, Community Conference Room 1901 South Second Street, McAllen For more information, contact Anthony Sala at 956-687-5150 or

EVERY 1st and 3rd THURSDAY

Doing Healthy Right” Weight Loss Class 12:00 PM and 5:30 PM The Wellness Center at Renaissance 5525 Doctors Dr., Edinburg For more information, call 956-362-5610.

Weight-Loss Surgery Support Group Meetings 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Weight-Loss Surgery Center 416 Lindberg Ave., Ste. B, McAllen For more information, call 956-664-9611.

Juvenile Diabetes Support Group 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association Edinburg Regional Medical Center, Texas Room 1102 W. Trenton Rd., Edinburg For more information, call 956-631-8903 or email



Breast Cancer 101 (Support Group) English @ 5:30 PM & Spanish @ 10:00 AM For women only Texas Oncology-McAllen 1901 South Second Street, McAllen, TX For more information, call (956) 687-6169 or send email to


US TOO: Prostate Cancer Support Group 7:00 PM For men (spouses also welcome) Texas Oncology-McAllen 1901 South Second Street, McAllen, TX For more information, call (956) 687-6169 or send email to



Panel of Diabetes Experts – World Diabetes Day The Monitor Newspaper Office Corner of Jackson Rd. and Nolana Ave. For more information, call (956) 782-1900.



World Diabetes Day Celebration Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Association Free screenings and information For locations, call (956) 782-1900.



Healthy Eating Cooking Class 6:00 PM Rio Grande Valley Diabetes Assoc. Office 2007 W. Owassa, Edinburg For more information, call (956) 782-1900.

$10 Heart Risk Assessment 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM By appointment only Heart Hospital Conference Room, 1st Floor 500 E. Ridge Rd., McAllen For more information, call 1-800-879-1033.


of Community Events

Childbirth Education Class in English 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM McAllen Medical Center, Birthing Center 301 W. Expressway 83, McAllen To register, call Yvonne at 956-632-4372.



Events PINK WALK/RUN EVENT On Saturday, October 6th, Mission Regional Medical Center went Pink with the 4th Annual Mission Pink Walk/Run for Breast Cancer Awareness. More than 2500 people of all ages participated in this 5k walk/run to launch breast cancer awareness month. Proceeds benefit The Breast Care Center at Mission Regional Medical Center (a nonprofit organization) as well as Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure.

FIELDS OF FAITH At the Fields of Faith event on October 10th in Harlingen, students met at Boggus Stadium, their school’s athletic field, to worship together, share scripture, listen to one another as they shared their testimonies of faith and come to faith in Jesus Christ. 2012 Harlingen Graduate Elijah Hirschmann was one of the many young people who shared their testimonies and faith in Christ.



Events TEXAS ONCOLOGY WALK, RUN & RIDE Texas Oncology - McAllen held its 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Ride, Walk & Run Saturday, October 27th. The number of participants exceeded 1000 people who came out to support local cancer patients and survivors, a healthier lifestyle, and early and regular screenings. Over $50,000 was raised to help local non-profit foundations: Life Beyond Cancer Foundation, Comfort House - Casa del Consuelo and the RGV Food Bank.

PINK BRA DECORATION On October 13, Pretty In Pink boutique and their staff celebrated their 2nd annual Pink Bra Decoration to show support for local cancer patients. Nearly 40 decorated bras were selected to be auctioned off at the end of October. Pretty In Pink is also proud to host monthly support groups for those affected by breast cancer.



Healthy Valley November 2012

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