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body. mind. spirit. A Times Union Publication

November/December 2013

Are You a

Nag?

Get Ready for

s Don't mis our FREE e f HealthyLi n seminar o! Nov. 12 0 3 See page s il a for det

Plus...

• The best fitness trackers • Why you should get a flu shot • One-pot meals anyone can make

Ski Season NOW!

9

Beauty Mistakes

Almost Every Woman Makes


bite-sized lessons Get Popping! Did you know that popcorn is considered 100% whole grain? Whole grains are not only high in dietary fiber, but they are also rich in complex carbohydrates and low in fat. Avoid diluting the health benefits by drenching popcorn with oil and butter, which may double the calories and fat. Instead, get creative and try adding spices or herbs to enhance its taste. Try this recipe for your next yummy snack or family gathering!

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Ingredients: 18 cups plain popped popcorn 1/4 cup I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!® Spread, melted 2 Tbsp. McCormick® Chili Powder 1 tsp. Kosher salt 3/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts 2 Tbsp. Cabot™ Sharp Light Shredded Cheddar Cheese Directions: Combine butter spread, chili powder and salt in large bowl. Add popcorn; toss to coat. Toss in peanuts and cheese. Nutrition Facts, Amount Per Serving: Calories, 110 Total Fat, 8g Sat. Fat, 1.5g Trans Fat, 0g Cholesterol, 0g Sodium 220mg Total Carbohydrate 8g Dietary Fiber 2g Sugars 0g Protein 3g Recipe courtesy of Unilever.

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Marianne is available: Tuesdays, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

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body. mind. spirit.

Publisher George Hearst III

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Editorial Janet Reynolds, Executive Editor Rebecca Haynes, CT Division Editor Brianna Snyder, Associate Editor Genevieve Scarano, Editorial Intern

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Design Tony Pallone, Design Director Colleen Ingerto, Emily Jahn, Tyswan Stewart, Designers Krista Hicks Benson, Contributing Designer Contributing Writers Kristi Barlette, Betsy Bitner, Beth Cooney, Laurie Lynn Fischer, Melissa Fiorenza, Anna Zernone Giorgi, Carin Lane, Emma Tennant, Linda Tuccio-Koonz, Melinda McGarty Webb

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HealthyLife is published ten times per year. If you are interested in receiving home delivery of HealthyLife magazine, please call (518) 454-5768 or e-mail magcirculation@timesunion. com. For advertising information, please call (518) 454-5358. HealthyLife is published by Capital Newspapers and Times Union 645 Albany Shaker Road, Albany, NY 12212 518.454.5694 The entire contents of this magazine are copyright 2013 by Capital Newspapers. No portion may be reproduced in any means without written permission of the publisher. Capital Newspapers is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation.


22

32

body

mind

every issue

22 Fit for the Mountain

45 Ask Emma

  8 talk back

These exercises will get you ready for the slopes

26 Food a Deux

One pan, two meals — what could be better!

32 The Flu Vaccine

It’s not just about protecting yourself

36 Tracker Keeper

Fitness gadgets help you stay on track

38 Patient Power

10 tips for a better hospital stay

6

healthylife

The hardest question of all

46 Nag, Nag, Nag

Tips for getting the results you want a different way

spirit 51 My Word

Fun with holiday letters

52 Beauty Tips

Get the skinny on what you might be doing wrong — and learn what to do instead 

10 on the web 12 editor’s note 13 fit & fab 14 news & views 18 did you know? 30 ask the doc

All about eating disorders

58 cover model Q&A

Up close with Tamica Kenyon

Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham, (518) 785-5868. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park, Clifton Park Center, (518) 348-0800. On the cover and at right: vest by A.M.I, shirt by Architect, scarf by Modena, jeans by DKNY. Photos taken by Suzanne Kawola at Bethlehem Public Library.


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talk back

The story behind the story from our contributors Nag, Nag, Nag Kristi Barlette  While nagging may feel natural, it’s a sign of a lack of communication in a relationship. Before you get to the point nagging feels necessary, explain to your partner why what you’re asking him or her to do is important to you. See Kristi’s story on page 46.

Beauty School 101 Melissa Fiorenza  Think natural ingredients in skincare products are safe for your skin? Up until reporting this story, I’d just assumed that any product that touted ‘all natural!’ or listed things like citrus and lavender were just as good, if not better, than products made with synthetic ingredients. Turns out, not so. See what other beauty mistakes women often make. See Melissa’s story on page 52.

join the conversation!

! n i w or a Like us f o win chance t of all kinds ! free stuff

facebook.com/ HealthyLifeNYmagazine

8

healthylife

Ask the Doc

Patient Power

“You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take an active role ” Anna Zernone Giorgi  No matter where you are hospitalized or why you are there, you can contribute toward a positive outcome by speaking up, asking questions, and having a relative or friend remain with you. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to take an active role in your own your care, or ask someone to do it for you, since you’ll have to live with the results if things don’t go as they should. See Anna’s story on page 38.

Lessons of Divorce Rebecca Haynes  I was intrigued by the idea of examining divorce arrangements to see whether there were useful tools that could be incorporated by married couples. Turns out there are several and I wish I had thought of doing this in my own marriage when the kids were younger. It would have made life a little smoother! See Rebecca’s story online at timesunion.com/healthylife.

Brianna Snyder  Eating disorders are complex for many reasons — they’re tied to emotional and psychological makeup and represent a higher risk of death than any other mental illness. Problem eating should be treated immediately, and it should be taken very seriously. See Brianna’s story on page 30.

Fit for the Slopes Melinda McGarty Webb  This is the year my family and I plan to finally take up skiing, assuming my kids like it once they try. So I was interested in finding out what types of exercises we should be doing in preparation — to reduce our risk of injury and have the most fun possible without being sore the next day. Luckily, I learned that body weight exercises such as wall sits, free standing squats and lunges are great preparation for the slopes. See Melinda’s story on page 22.

We asked, you answered!  What’s your goto method to curb your cravings?

butter, two teaspoons cocoa and a banana for sweetness. So good!

Seneca: Start singing when chocolate is too near stat!

Susan: Brush my teeth!

Lynne: Looking at oneself in the mirror - LMBO!!!!! Carie: Grab the carrot sticks as quickly as you can. Betty: Chocolate soy milk for my chocolate cravings. It’s delicious Loretta: For that craving of chocolate ice cream I make a healthy smoothie: skim or almond milk, a teaspoon of almond

Denise: Eating apples. But I also like the mirror comment.

 My favorite tea is … Kathleen: Long island Iced Seneca: Gypsy Cold Care with lots of raw or local honey! We find as singers this is one of the best teas out there for curing a sore throat! Mary Beth: Barry’s breakfast tea, hot, with

milk (and scones) Carie: Earl Gray, hot. Colleen: Yogi Bedtime Nancy: Licorice. Donna: Harney and Sons. Paris. Garnet and Sons. Delish!

 Anybody reading any good books right now? Ellie: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. So far it’s so so so good. Emma: I’m re-reading East of Eden for the billionth time. One of my all-time faves.


Which hospital offers the latest techniques and technology in cardiac care and broadest range of options for patients? The Answer is Albany Med.

Dr. Adanna Akujuo, a cardiothoracic surgeon who offers the latest minimally invasive techniques, joined Albany Med’s team because it is on the leading edge of cardiac care.

When you need expert care for your heart, THE ANSWER IS ALBANY MED.

www.amc.edu/heart


on the web facebook.com/ HealthyLifeNYmagazine

check out the healthylife channel

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

Read our Q&A with Tamica Kenyon on page 58, then head online to read our behind-the-scenes story and see photos from our shoot!

healthylife

blogs

COOKBOOK Simplify cooking with One Pan, Two Plates. Read all about it on page 26; then head online for Hungarian Beef Goulash and Lamb Kabobs recipes!

Midlife Mom Rebecca Haynes, editor of HealthyLife Connecticut, offers her perspective on life and motherhood while she navigates the teen years and beyond.

Healthy Tips Writer and freelance editor Beth Cooney scans the web to bring you the latest info and tips for healthy living.

Healthy Life BONUS FEATURES Go online to read about how divorced couples can teach married couples to make things work. And check out our special primer on what your bladder is, exactly, and how it works.

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healthylife

Writer and designer Carin Lane shares her success stories with losing weight her way — without a gym membership, a personal trainer, or special foods.

SPECIAL DELIVERY What you need to know about today’s birthing options.

Photos: GettyImages. Divorced Couples, Pedro Castellano; Woman Bladder, Johnny Greig. Illustrations: Computer mouse, ©Irina Iglina/Dreamstime.com; Bladder, Ingram Publishing/GettyImages. Behind the Scenes photo by Brianna Snyder.

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editor’s note

A Nagging Idea more? Why aren’t they doing it faster? My concerns come from love, of course. But I know my questions elicit a fair amount of eye-rolling and chatter amongst themselves about Mom. A recent text from my youngest, who is taking a year off from college, brought it home. After a series of “mom” texts about his job search, he wrote, “can you let me do my thing please?” He’s right. So I did — and he got the job. HL

Photo by Krishna Hill.

W

hile I don’t think of myself as a nag, I’m not sure my children would agree. I do fairly well with my husband and my work colleagues — they’re adults after all — but with my kids, who are also chronologically adults, I find it much harder to stand back and watch. I don’t bug them about little details around the house. (Two of them currently live with us.) They know what chores need to be done. Where I have trouble standing back is watching them navigate bigger life issues — strategizing to find a job, for instance, or the speed with which they are tackling an issue in their work or college lives. Why aren’t they doing

Janet Reynolds, Executive Editor jreynolds@timesunion.com

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fit & fab ▶ For the Busy Bee:

▲ For Your BFF: Besties are always there for each other and know just what to say to lift each other’s spirits or help each other reach their goals. These motivational bracelets or necklaces can be a reminder and comfort when you’re apart. There are a variety of positive messages such as “unbroken,” “transform,” and “stronger every day.” Or choose a funny message like “10 more reps and that cupcake is history.” It will make them feel great and have a smile on their face everywhere they go. That’s what friends are for. $11.99-19.99.Visit etsy.com/shop/wordstosweatby

It’s not just a bag; it’s a “training transportation system,” according to Adidas. The super-cute bag is perfect for someone who is always on the go and has a long to-do list. Made with FreshPAK technology, the bag stays bacteriaand odor-free, has comfy foam shoulder straps and a place for everything with a side mesh water bottle pocket, a key fob, clothing and shoe compartments, a tablet sleeve and several small pockets for your phone and other personal items. $60. Available at Dicks Sporting Goods or visit adidas.com

▼ For the Foodie: by carin lane

This Fit and Fab holiday guide has something for everyone including yourself. For more Fit and Fab goodies, go to timesunion.com/ healthylife. Have a new product you’d like to share? E-mail Carin at clane@timesunion.com.

These beautiful 9-inch plates are more than just dinnerware. They are scientifically designed portion control plates that discreetly make it easy to serve just the right amount of lean proteins, vegetables and whole grains at every meal. The smaller size helps control calorie intake while the special blue color is a natural appetite suppressant. While you are giving the gift of health, you also help benefit childhood obesity research as 2 percent of profits are donated. $99 for set of four. Visit slimandsage.com

You can visit Carin on facebook at www.facebook.com/ carinlane.healthylife or follow her on twitter @tiredorinspired and Pinterest at pinterest.com/carinlane

▲ For Your Eco-friendly Life:

Chemicals are everywhere and trying to eliminate them is a good idea. This DIY home cleaning kit is the gift that keeps on giving. The kit includes a 32 oz. container to mix all-purpose spray, a 12 oz. container to mix wood polish spray, a 16 oz. container to mix scrub cleanser and the healthy “ingredients” needed to make them — vinegar, olive oil, baking soda and 15 ml Essential Oil Blend. Everything is BPA-free, made with plant essential oils, no sulfates, dyes or colorant. $19.95.Available at Deans Natural Foods in Albany, Four Seasons and Healthy Living in Saratoga or visit eco-me.com

◀ For the Workout Buddy: This multi-tasking wellness monitor is the fit gift everyone should have on their list. It tracks how long and how hard you work out, how many steps you’ve taken, distance traveled, calories burned and elevation. Also, this pint-sized tracker comes with a wristband that helps track how long you took to fall asleep, how often you woke up and how long you stayed asleep. It automatically uploads your information to any of your devices and can easily be synced to your favorite fitness apps such as Lose it! and myfitnesspal. The battery lasts up to a week and charges quickly in any USB port. $99.95 Visit hammacher.com

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

13


news and views

Sobering Thoughts FEMALE PROBLEM DRINKERS

tend to recognize their dependence on alcohol much sooner than men, leading them to seek intervention years before their male alcoholic counterparts, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Florida who conducted the research that involved chronic male and female drinkers noted that both genders tended to notice the escalation of their drinking into the problem zone (often reporting it became more serious in their 20s), but women tended to seek

help an average of four to five years sooner than their male peers. The psychiatric researchers noted this is especially good news as there is a growing body of research that suggests alcoholism tends to wreak more physical and personal havoc in the lives of female sufferers. While the research did not delve into why women seek help sooner, researchers speculate it may be that females are more comfortable discussing their problems and more willing to seek medical help and counseling.

Veggie Tales

The study was published recently in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13alcoholism

FOR ALL THOSE PARENTS who fret that their good counsel on healthy eating is an exercise in futility, a new study out of Stanford University suggests that teaching kids about good nutrition from an early age can make a difference in what they eat. The Stanford researchers found that when preschoolers were read positive, engaging books that touched on nutritional themes before their meals they ate more fruits and veggies. Kids in the study, who didn’t hear the readings, ate fewer of these healthy foods. The study, which involved 4- and 5-year-olds, suggests that even preschoolers can be taught to grasp nutritional concepts and develop a complex understanding of how the foods they eat can affect their bodies in good and bad ways, researchers say. The study was published recently in the journal Psychological Science. Source: tinyurl.com/ hl13kidseating

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healthylife

Photos: GettyImages. Sobering Thoughts, Lew Robertson; Veggie Tales, Medioimages/Photodisc; Facing Dimensia, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Plastic Makes Fat, James And James.

compiled by beth cooney


Facing

Is Plastic Making Your Child Fat?

IT’S SOMEWHAT NATURAL that mem-

AS SCIENTISTS CONTINUE TO DIG into the causes of childhood obesity, researchers are homing in on another culprit in the battle of the bulge among youngsters: Plastic food wraps and containers. Two studies that recently appeared in the journal Pediatrics make the case that substances in plastic, which have been associated with a host of other health issues, are playing a role in childhood obesity. One study associated the presence of a chemical known as phthalates, common in some plastics, with increased insulin resistance in children. Insulin resistance issues are known to play a role in childhood diabetes and obesity. The other study found an increase in the compound BPA in the urine of obese children. Researchers speculate it’s possible that the food sources of obese children, such as fast food containers, may play a role in the increased BPA levels and cautioned their findings don’t necessarily establish a cause and effect relationship between the substance and obesity. Still, researchers suggested avoiding using plastic containers containing the recycling numbers 3, 6 and 7, which are associated with phthalates and BPA, when buying food or snacks for your kids.

Dementia ories get fuzzier with age, but when are such lapses something to worry about? One warning sign may be the inability to recognize the faces of such famous historical and pop culture figures as Oprah Winfrey, Albert Einstein, Elvis and more. Researchers at the UniDo you know who this is? versity of Chicago say the inability to recognize faces of the very famous may be a sign of primary progressive aphasia, a form of memory loss that tends to strike men and women between the ages of 40 and 65. In their study, researchers showed about 20 black and white photographs of widely recognizable historical and celebrity faces such as Lucille Ball, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy to healthy adults and those diagnosed with aphasia. They then used MRI scans to assess the brain patterns in the two groups to map brain irregularities. They found that more than 93 percent of the icons were recognized by the healthy group, while the aphasia group only had about 46 percent success. Ultimately, researchers said, this kind of recognition test might be a helpful diagnostic tool. The research was reported recently in the journal Neurology.

Source: tinyurl.com/hl13plastics

Source: tinyurl.com/hl13dementia

Lotta Java, Less Life? DOES INDULGING A HEAVY MORNING (OR ALL-DAY) COFFEE HABIT lead to a shorter life? Maybe,

according to researchers at the University of South Carolina, who have found that people who drink coffee heavily (think four or more cups a day) seem to have higher premature death rates than their more moderate coffee-sipping counterparts. The association between coffee con-

sumption and early mortality seemed to be especially prevalent in study subjects younger than 55 who drank more than 28 cups of coffee a week. The study, reported in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, looked at the coffee-drinking habits and mortality rates of more than 40,000 subjects. Researchers speculate it’s not coffee, per se, causing the premature deaths, but a constellation of factors, ranging

from stress to poor lifestyle habits. Also noteworthy: A growing body of research has associated more moderate coffee consumption with positive health benefits including the prevention of dementia and Parkinson’s Disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain skin cancers. So a daily wake-up cup is probably a sip to your health. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13coffee

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

15


news and views

Happy

Hedonists

Health Nuts IF GENES HAVE PUT YOU or your loved ones at increased risk of diabetes-related stroke you may want to start splashing olive oil onto your salads and snacking on nuts. Researchers have found that following Mediterranean diets that are specifically rich in these two foods seem to have a lower risk of suffering a stroke than people who simply ate a low-fat diet. Researchers at Tufts University’s USDA Human Nutrition Research Institute on Aging found that even when study participants had a genetic mutation that put them at risk of diabetes (and related strokes) those who ate heart-healthy nuts and olive oil had a stroke risk comparable to healthy study participants without the mutation. The study was reported recently in the journal Diabetes Care. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13strokes

The Hot WOMEN WHO ENGAGE IN SHOPPING AS RETAIL THERAPY have of-

ten been stereotyped as an unhappy, compulsive lot who use their purchases to fill emotional voids. New research suggests that while that’s sometimes the case for men and women, some power shoppers actually do derive pure joy from their retail forays. These women researchers called “happy hedonists” tend to be women who engage in buying expeditions for what researchers described as “material mirth” — or the thrill of the hunt — rather than in obtaining possessions as a form of social competition. Interestingly, researchers found single female shoppers tended to feel lonelier and isolated after shopping with their married shopping peers. And it was men who were more likely to view purchases as “material medicine” while women tended to have more joyful impulses when spending up a storm. The study, which was recently published online in the Journal of Consumer Research, involved more than 2,500 shoppers studied over a period of six years. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13shopping

Chocolate Fix COULD A HOT COCOA or two a day help older adults with declining memories? It would be sweet news if true, but researchers say their findings that steaming mugs of cocoa seem to improve brain power are encouraging, but only preliminary. A study at Harvard University, which looked at adults in their 70s and older, found that drinking a mug or two of hot cocoa on a daily basis helped improve blood flow to the brains of seniors. And while the research suggests that chocolate has some healthful properties, researchers and The American Alzheimer’s Association (which put out its own cautionary statement in response to the study) cautioned it’s too soon to start chugging hot chocolate by the gallon. For starters, the researchers, who published their study in the journal Neurology, cautioned that a mug or two a day of hot chocolate could contribute to obesity, which has been proven to be detrimental to brain and memory function. So for now anyway, better to limit that cocoa to an occasional sweet winter treat that’s part of an overall healthy diet. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13cocoa

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Photos: GettyImages. Happy Hedonists, Peter Dazeley; Surprising Results, Stockbyte; Hot Chocolate, Lew Robertson; Psoriasis, Petek ARICI.

Study Results

Surprising THINK PLASTIC SURGERY may help you zap decades off your face? Maybe not, according to a study that suggests some surgery may only erase a few years off a profile. The study, published recently in JAMA Plastic Facial Surgery, suggests that plastic surgery may not be the answer if your goal is to appear more beautiful. Participants were asked to look at pictures of recent plastic surgery patients who had face-lifts, eyelifts and brow lifts, then assess the ages of the post-surgical patients and also rate their attractiveness. In a result that stunned even the plastic surgeons involved, evaluators guessed the ages of the patients as being, on average, only 3.1 years younger than they actually were. And when asked to rate the patients’ attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10, the average patient was rated between a 4 and 6; lower than expected. Some plastic surgeons have publicly criticized the findings, saying that the results might have been different if participants had looked at “before” and “after” surgery photos. The study only included an assessment of “after” pictures. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13plassurgery

Psoriasis-Disease Connection THE RED, FLAKY SKIN PATCHES that are the hallmarks of an often embarrassing skin condition known as psoriasis may be more than irritating to its sufferers. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have established a startling correlation between the severity of psoriasis cases with the on-

set of other health problems including heart and lung diseases, mild liver disease, kidney disease, peptic ulcers, vascular illnesses and rheumatological disorders, they reported recently in the journal JAMA Dermatology. While the research did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between psoriasis and other conditions, the findings indicating that psoriasis sufferers seem to develop other problems when their cases are serious may be helpful to them and their doctors to monitor their overall health, researchers said. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13psoriasis

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

17


fast facts

did you know?

compiled by brianna snyder

29.4

Teen pregnancy is at an all-time low, with just 29.4 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19. In the 1950s, that rate was three times as high. Experts chalk it up to better information about and access to birth control. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13bc

600 The average number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine.

630

An adult between 110 and 200 pounds can burn between 250 and 630 calories per hour snowboarding! Source: tinyurl.com/hl13boarding

19%

Don’t believe your treadmill! Calculators that tell you how many calories you’ve burned have been found to overestimate the number by an average of 19 percent, and as high as 42 percent. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13tread

40%

… of your total body weight is muscle. Source: tinyurl.com/hl13weight

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healthylife

Photos: GettyImages. Pregnant, Olivier Lantzendorffer; Grapes, melhi; Muscle, Stock Shop Photography LLC.

Source: tinyurl.com/hl13grapes


The end of cancer

begins with research.

Members of the NYOH staff, clockwise: Dr. Lawrence Garbo, Chairman, Research Committee; Sharon Krause, RN, Director, Research Dept.; Carrie Kreitner, RN, Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner; Dr. Karen Tedesco, Director, Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment Program; and Debra Yelenak, MT, Laboratory Supervisor.

As the region’s leading provider of community based cancer care, New York Oncology Hematology plays a pivotal role in the FDA approval process of cancer fighting drugs. Through its affiliation with The US Oncology Network, as well as participation in National Cancer Institute sponsored research projects, NYOH offers access to the most advanced research and treatment options, including clinical trials not available elsewhere in the region. For information, call the award-winning NYOH Research Department at 489-3612, ext. 1342.

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with a few drops of lavender essential oil will help ease stress and get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

body

Get Fit for Ski Season 22 Cooking with One Pot 26 Ask the Doc 30 Get Your Flu Vaccine! 32 Fitness Gadgets Galore 36 How to Handle the Hospital 38  timesunion.com/HealthyLife

21


exercise

Are You Fit for

the Mountain? these exercises will prep you for the slopes

S

ki season is right around the corner, and how you fare your first few times on the slopes may hinge on what kind of shape you’re in. But don’t worry. Even if you haven’t kept yourself in tip-top condition, a little focused, pre-season training may help you get more out of the experience. Whether you’re a black diamond skier or more comfortable snowplowing down the bunny slope, you’ll reap the benefits of time spent training beforehand. If your muscles are strong and your joints flexible, not only will you be able to catch more runs each day without tiring, but your time on the trails will be safer and more enjoyable.

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healthylife

“If you’re planning on going skiing and are relatively inactive, then it would be a good idea to start doing some sort of regular exercise beforehand on a daily basis,” says Dr. Hamish Kerr, an attending physician at Albany Medical Center and a certified ski instructor who has been active in the sport for more than 35 years. He suggests working with a personal trainer who can completely tailor your program to your current level of fitness and the level at which you’ll be skiing. “I think giving yourself a month to six weeks to begin toning your body for skiing is appropriate,” he says. But even if you don’t have that much time, it’s not too late to start. And next year, just plan to begin a little earlier.

Photo: Scott Markewitz/GettyImages.

by melinda mcgarty webb  |  exercise photos by krista hicks benson


Some people plan for ski season far in advance. “I work out year-round, but with ski season approaching I amp it up in August to increase my strength,” says Jill Bryce, a North Greenbush resident who serves as public relations chairwoman for the more than 1,200-member Out of Control Ski Club based in Albany. She’s also a member of the National Ski Patrol and currently patrols at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Mass. Having skied for more than 20 years, she’s tried her hand at slopes across the United States, including Alaska, Montana and Wyoming, and even skied the Matterhorn in Switzerland. “I do cardio exercises to increase my stamina, including running and bicycling,” she says. “You’re never on a stable surface when skiing, so the Bosu ball is also very helpful. It simulates the motions of skiing and strengthens your core.” Many experts agree that the best exercises to do in preparation for skiing are ones that mimic its motions. In the absence of an actual ski training machine (on which users slide their feet back and forth in a lateral motion, simulating a skier’s movements down the slope), sometimes simple body weight exercises can be an effective, inexpensive solution. Squats and lunges, for example, are dynamic movements that help strengthen your quadriceps. But for those with bad knees, that repeated deep-knee flexion can prove both

painful and harmful. “You don’t want to cause yourself an injury before the season starts,” Kerr says. “A wall sit is a controllable, structured way of strengthening those muscles, or a Swedish physioball is another way of doing leg and core exercises without putting your joints under too much stress.” He also recommends people with knee issues use exercise machines that restrict range of motion and therefore exert less pressure on knee joints.

K

err says that while your lower extremities definitely bear the brunt of the burden in skiing — particularly the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles — your core, hip flexors and even back muscles also help shoulder the load. When you’re skiing upright, the muscles around your spine help keep that part of your body static. “Your legs are working underneath your pelvis and your core, whereas the spine is trying to stay still,” he says. “That requires muscle contraction.” “Muscle strains can be a problem,” Kerr says. “It’s very easy to overexert yourself skiing for the first few times — particularly the first day of the season — if you haven’t done anything to prepare for it. Certainly, doing some exercise

Prevent Ski Injury with These Exercises Want to make sure you’re ready to hit the slopes? Start by exercising regularly to ensure proper conditioning. Chalon Lefebvre heads the physical therapy department at ONS, a large orthopedic and neurosurgery practice in Greenwich, Conn., and offers the following exercises to improve ski conditioning and avoid injury.

b.

Exercises provided by ONS Physical Therapy, Greenwich, Connecticut.

a. SQUAT OVER STEP  • With your feet on the floor and the step, perform a squat. • Bend at the knees and lower your entire body. • Your butt should be squatted toward the ground, as if preparing to sit. • Keep upper body as upright and erect as possible. • Slight torso bend permitted, but don’t let back become rounded. • Variations: Speed, height of step, jumping, raising opposite leg.

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

23


exercise

in preparation is a good idea. Even just riding a bike is an excellent way of moving your legs, but keeping your upper body kind of still. That’s a very similar type of exercise to skiing,” he says, noting that rollerblading, ice skating and jumping rope are all excellent strengthening activities that help keep you agile and build endurance, which is key. “What tends to happen is that the first couple of hours you’re out there, your muscles are fine. But as you tire, if you don’t recognize it, you can start using your muscles in a way they’re not designed to be used,” says Kerr. “If you’re on terrain that’s got some steepness to it, once your muscles get tired, you tend to pick up speed. And that’s when you can catch an edge and fall and hurt yourself.” That’s why appropriate protective equipment is so vital, the doctor says. “These days, that includes a helmet,” he says. “I see lots of patients every year with concussions from skiing, and even more serious injuries. I make a pitch for everyone to have a good-fitting helmet to wear while they’re skiing and to get out there and enjoy it.” Bryce certainly does. “It’s the closest thing I can imagine to soaring like a bird,” she says. In addition to the exhilaration of the sport, its speed, freedom, the camaraderie with the other skiers and the fun of being outside on a winter day, Bryce says the health benefits also appeal to her. “It’s a great workout,” she says. “The first couple days out in the

season, I feel it in my quads and calves.” While skiing can be excellent exercise, some physicians caution against trying to “ski yourself into shape.” In other words, if you’ve been sedentary, don’t head out to the slopes and ski furiously in an effort to whip yourself into better condition. Without preparing beforehand, you may risk a host of injuries — including those common in ski accidents, such as MCL (medial collateral ligament) and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears and fractures. The real key is to maintain an adequate level of fitness year-round, so you’ll be prepared for any sport in which you choose to engage, and then supplement that routine with ski-specific exercises such as the ones pictured with this article. “The general recommendations for exercise from the American College of Sports Medicine say we should be doing aerobic exercise almost every day for about 30 minutes, and strength and conditioning exercise once or twice per week,” says Kerr. “So if you adhere to those recommendations, you should be fine. If going skiing is the impetus to get on an exercise program, then great. Just think about those recommendations in general. Think about some biking or other aerobic activity on a regular basis and strength and conditioning work that focuses on your lower extremities, and you’ll be in good shape for skiing.” HL

Prevent Ski Injury with These Exercises (cont.)

PIDGEON STRETCH  • Place your front lower leg crossways on the floor. • Stretch your other leg as far behind you as possible. • Lean forward to increase the stretch in your glute muscle. • Repeat, pushing your shoulders back and hold. Hold for 30 seconds, then swap sides.

 ONE-FOOTED DEAD-LIFT • Stand holding weights in front of thighs and place left leg out behind you with the toe lightly touching the floor (or lift completely off the floor for greater challenge). • Keeping the shoulders back, abs in, and back straight, tip forward from hips and lower the weights toward the floor. • Lower as far as your flexibility allows. You may bend knee slightly if necessary. • Push into the heel to go back to starting position.

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healthylife


 PIRIFORMIS AND GLUTE STRETCH • Lie on your back and lift leg toward your chest. • Grasp lower leg with your opposite hand. • Gently pull knee toward opposite shoulder, keeping your hips on the floor.

b.

c.

  ONE-FOOTED SQUAT • Balance on one foot.

a.

• Visualize a clock below your feet with the 12:00 in front of you. • Bend knee to 45 degrees and reach with opposite foot to 12:00. • Return to start position.

PLANK 

• Repeat sequence and reach toward 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00.

• Place hands at either sides of chest as you would for a pushup, elbows tucked at your sides. • Keeping the back perfectly flat, push up onto toes and forearms so that the body is off the floor. • Keep abdominals pulled in by visualizing your navel pulled into your spine. • Maintain normal breathing pattern and hold for 10-60 seconds. • Repeat as tolerated.

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25


cookbook

Food à Deux

one pan, two meals — what could be better!

by janet reynolds  |  photos by jody horton/chronicle books

W

hen the kids live at home, the cook — usually the mother, let’s face it — feels a certain responsibility to put something on the table for dinner that’s nutritious and healthy. The basic food groups and all that. But when the nest empties — usually after a decade-plus of cooking for a not-always-appreciative crowd — cooking often loses its luster. Your partner already knows how to eat healthily. Let him do it on his own time. Let’s just open a box

26

healthylife

of cereal or order takeout and call it a day. But to do that is to lose an opportunity to reconnect with your spousal unit and have something tasty — all without spending a ton of time in the kitchen. Enter One Pan, Two Plates, a cookbook by Carla Snyder that focuses on creating good food with a minimum of fuss and clean-up. The book is divided into various food groups — carbohydrates such as pastas, grains and hot sandwich-


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es, and meat, fish and poultry options. Snyder tells how much time it will take to create and cook each meal, and includes a helpful box for each recipe on ways to make the meal a little bigger if you’re really hungry, as well as the best wine to sip with the meal. Snyder started cooking in the ’70s with Gourmet magazine. “I used to make an enormous mess in the kitchen,” she says. “I got sick and tired of that crazy cooking. I wanted to go to something simpler but it still had to be delicious.” In her career as a caterer, cooking school teacher, artisan baker and food writer, Snyder has had one consistent theme: trying to find something that will get people cooking and out of restaurants and away from processed foods. “If I can make it easy enough and make cleanup less of a big deal,” she says, “then maybe more people will cook.” “I really feel America needs help cooking and getting healthy fresh food on the table,” she says, “and all of us who cook … owe it to our friends to help them.” Snyder started playing around with the idea of creating one-pan meals. After all, what could be easier than that? “Sauces build up flavor in a pan,” she says of her experimenting. “I started thinking why can’t I just build flavor in the pan by just adding other ingredients?” Snyder also wanted the meals to be fast. “If you’re walking in the door at 6 or 6:30, you don’t want to be sitting down to dinner at 8:30 or 9 o’clock,” she says. “Everything is under an hour but most are 30 minutes.” Snyder didn’t grow up in a household where cooking was revered. “Good food was around me,” she says. “At my house Mom was not that into cooking. She made dinner because she had to feed you. She was into gardening.” It was her junior year abroad in Spain where Snyder’s food epiphany occurred. She’s been exploring that love ever since. “[I realized] a lot of people eat for enjoyment,” she says. “It’s not just something you do so you don’t die.”  HL For a recipe from the book, turn to page 29 

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cookbook: recipe

continued from page 27

One-Pan Roast Deviled Chicken with carrots, turnips and parsnips Serves 2 Start-to-finish time: 45 minutes Hands-on time: 25 minutes Ingredients 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more if needed 1 small yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges 2 new potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise into 8 wedges 2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise and then into 8 pieces about 2 inches long 2 parsnips, cut in half lengthwise and then into 8 pieces about 2 inches long 1 turnip, cut into 8 pieces about 2 inches long 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1 /3 cup beer, chicken broth or water 2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley method Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken skin-side down, and brown it for about 4 minutes. Don’t try to turn the chicken if it’s stuck to the bottom of the pan. It will release once it is sufficiently browned, Turn the chicken with tongs and brown the other side for about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. (It won’t be fully cooked but the skin should be nicely browned.) If the pan seems dry, add a little more olive oil. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnip, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a sprinkling of pepper to the hot pan and sauté, stirring every now and then, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Spread the skin side of the chicken pieces with the mustard and lay

them on top of the vegetables, mustard-side up. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Pour the beer into the pan and roast everything until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes longer. Pierce the chicken with a fork to check for tenderness and check the thick part of the breast with an instant-read thermometer. It should read 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide the chicken and vegetables between two warmed plates, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot. Find the recipes for Hungarian beef goulash with paprika and dumplings, plus lamb kabobs with harissa, chickpeas and summer squash online at timesunion.com/healthylife.

timesunion.com/HealthyLife

29


ask the doc

Trouble B with Food

by brianna snyder  |  photos by emily jahn

new ways of diagnosing eating disorders

30

healthylife

lame the media. Blame Photoshop. Blame the obesity epidemic. Blame genetics. Many psychological and environmental factors contribute to the prevalence of eating disorders among women — and, increasingly, men — in the United States. The question is what can we do about it? The problem of eating disorders is “very similar to the model of alcoholism,” says Dr. Sharon Alger-Mayer, associate professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology and clinical nutrition at the Albany Medical Center. It’s an addiction and a sickness all at once, and eatingdisorder victims need help to recover. But that can be difficult: According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. Alger-Mayer says the landscape is changing in eating-


Statistics About Eating Disorders • Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (defined as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S. • Almost 50 percent of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness • 81 percent of 10-year-olds are afraid of being fat • 25 percent of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique • 95 percent of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25 — courtesy of ANAD

disorder treatment, however. Diagnostics are different, for instance; the criteria for what constitutes an eating disorder have changed. Alger-Mayer will be talking about these new criteria at the upcoming HealthyLife seminar on Nov. 12 at the Desmond. (See box for details.) It used to be that in order to be diagnosed with anorexia, which affects approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population, “they required young women to have lost their menstrual cycle,” Alger-Mayer says. “But women can be at low body weights without losing a period.” (Also, obviously, this isn’t a useful criterion for diagnosing men.) And when diagnosing bulimia, which affects about 3 to 5 percent of the population, it used to be that a patient had to engage in bingeing and purging several times a week. Now, bulimia can be diagnosed in a person who purges with far less frequency. Another new development is the acknowledgment of binge eating as another kind of disorder. Alger-Mayer says about a third of her obese patients binge eat. “Maybe twice a week they’ll eat really rapidly and then they’ll feel angry, upset with themselves,” she says. “But unlike bulimia nervosa they won’t purge.” About a third of people with obesity likely have this affliction. “They [people with binge-eating disorder] have a lot of emotions, low self-esteem. They eat in response to stress or anxiety,” she says. After diagnosis, the second and third steps are treatment, which comprises talk therapy, group work and rebuilding the relationship with food, and prevention, where kids are taught at a young age about nutrition and a healthy body image. “One of the most effective means of prevention is to encourage positive body image and self-esteem,” AlgerMayer says, “to help people feel good about who they are at different weights and shapes.”  HL

Dr. Sharon Alger-Mayer, associate professor of medicine, Albany Medical Center

Join us for our next HealthyLife seminar: Get the Facts on Eating Disorders The free seminar, sponsored by Albany Medical Center, features Dr. Sharon Alger-Mayer and Tammy Colley-Ogden, Sr. CTRS. The seminar is Tuesday, Nov. 12, 5–7 p.m. at The Desmond, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany. Registrants are automatically registered to win a free getaway to Cranwell Resort and Spa in Lenox, Mass. Must be present to win. Register at healthylifeseminar.eventbrite.com.

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31


staying healthy

The Flu

Vaccine

it’s not just about protecting yourself by anna zernone giorgi

32

healthylife

Photo: RTimages/GettyImages.

P

erhaps you never get sick. Or, you’re sure you can keep healthy with precautions. Maybe, you’re simply afraid of needles. Whatever your excuse for avoiding the flu vaccine, you may be risking the health and well-being of yourself and those close to you by ignoring the chance to get valuable protection against infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) the flu vaccine can reduce the rate of illness, antibiotic use, absence from work, hospitalizations, and even deaths related to flu infection. During the 2012-2013 flu season, vaccinated people were about 60 percent less likely to require treatment by a healthcare provider, reports the CDC. “Although the flu vaccine is not perfect, it reduces your risk of getting the flu. It also reduces the severity of the flu if you happen to get it,” says Dr. Paul Sorum, a primary care physician board certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. He practices in Latham at Albany Medical Center Latham Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. In addition, your vaccine may extend coverage to those around you. “It’s important to get the flu vaccine to protect your family and those close to you. This is especially important if there are babies or older people in the family,” Sorum says. It’s crucial to protect the youngest members of the family because the vaccine isn’t administered to infants younger than six months of age. Older individuals need more protection because their ability to respond to the flu vaccine decreases around age 65. During a regular flu season, the CDC reports that about 90 percent of flu-related deaths involve people who are 65 or older. The flu can cause a wide variety of responses, from mild to severe, and it can worsen quickly. It can cause serious complications in both healthy people and those with weakened immune systems. “In some cases, the flu itself is so bad and the body’s reaction to it is so bad that people can die from overwhelming pneumonia and the body’s reaction to it,” Sorum says. “The flu also can open the way for other bacteria, such as Staph aureus, to become a secondary invader, even in young people.” Another important reason to get the flu vaccine is to prevent an epidemic, Sorum says. “If you get the flu, but the people around you are vaccinated, it stops there. If we can get enough stopping


points so that, even though we may have some cases of flu in the community, we won’t reach an epidemic.” The CDC has targeted an 80 percent flu immunization rate for people between 6 months and 64 years for the year 2020. In recent flu seasons, coverage has averaged about 40 percent nationwide. “If our community could get close to 80 percent, even if the flu were rampaging in other places, we could stop an epidemic from taking place here,” Sorum says.

Flu Vaccine Options The following types of flu vaccines will be offered for the 2013-2014 flu season:  Trade names: Afluria, Fluarix, FluLaval, Fluvirin, and Fluzone

HOW THE FLU VACCINE WORKS Flu “shots,” or immunizations that are given by injection, contain an inactive, or dead, form of the flu virus. The nasalspray flu vaccine contains an attenuated, or weakened, form of the flu virus. Your body develops antibodies in reaction to the viruses in the vaccine. The antibodies protect your body against infection from those viruses in the future. “All people 6 months and older are recommended to receive an influenza vaccination each year. Depending on vaccine type available to you, the 2013-2014 vaccine will protect against either three or four different influenza viruses,” says Jeffrey Hammond, spokesman 
for the New York State Department of Health. The three most common categories of influenza viruses are: influenza A (H1N1) viruses, influenza A (H3N2) viruses, and influenza B viruses. Each year, the flu vaccine contains one specific virus from each category. Vaccines comprising three components are called trivalent. Some vaccines contain an additional influenza B virus. These four-component vaccines are called quadrivalent. “Flu virus changes its structure every year — sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. This is how it evades our immune system. This is why people can become infected year after year. The World Health Organization in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control monitors changes in the flu virus and recommends changes in the flu vaccine each year. This is why people should be immunized annually,” says Dr. Ronald Musto, a primary care physician board certified in internal medicine, occupational health, and medical examination. He practices in North Greenbush at Capital Healthcare Associates, a member of Community Care Physicians, PC. The flu vaccines are formulated to provide protection for the entire flu season. “The best time to get vaccinated is as soon as the vaccine is available. You can still get a flu shot or the flu spray vaccine through the fall, winter or spring, since flu season usually peaks in February but continues through May,” Hammond says. Remember that you are not fully protected until your body forms antibodies against the viruses, which may take about two weeks. Earlier vaccination is a priority if you have young children. “Children aged 6 months through 8 years of age who have never received a seasonal flu vaccine need to get two doses of vaccine spaced at least four weeks apart. This season, other children in this age group may need two doses as well,” Hammond says.

The majority of doses offered will consist of an inactivated flu vaccine in a standard trivalent dose. These vaccines are given with an intramuscular injection, which means that the shot is injected into a muscle. This version is available for ages 6 months and older.

 Trade name: Fluzone Intradermal

An inactivated flu vaccine in a standard trivalent dose is available via intradermal injection for people 18 to 64 years old. An intradermal injection uses a needle that is 90 percent smaller than an intramuscular shot. It is injected into your skin.

 Trade name: Fluzone High-Dose

An inactivated flu vaccine in a trivalent high dose is available in an intramuscular injection for people over age 65. This high-dose version addresses the fact that older people often don’t get adequate coverage from the standard dose.

 Trade names: Fluarix Quadrivalent, FluLaval Quadrivalent, and Fluzone Quadrivalent

An inactivated flu vaccine in a quadrivalent standard dose is available via intramuscular injection for ages 6 months and older. This four-ingredient version includes an additional influenza B virus.

 Trade name: Flublok

A recombinant inactivated flu vaccine in a standard trivalent dose is available via intramuscular injection for ages 18 to 49 years old. This egg-free version uses insect eggs instead of chicken eggs in manufacturing.

 Trade name: Flucelvax

A cell-culture-based inactivated flu vaccine in a standard trivalent dose is available in an intramuscular injection for people age 18 and over. This egg-free version uses cultured animal cells instead of chicken eggs.

 Trade name: FluMist Quadrivalent

A live-attenuated influenza vaccine in a quadrivalent nasal mist is available for people ages 2 through 49 years.

continued on page 35 

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33


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staying healthy continued from page 33

WHICH VACCINE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOU’RE VACCINATED

Several variations of the flu vaccine will be manufactured for the 2013-2014 flu season. Since some versions will be produced in smaller supplies, you’ll have the best chance of finding exactly what you want if you start shopping early in the season. “Though some varieties of vaccine have been shown to produce a higher antibody response, no method of vaccine has been shown more effective than another in preventing influenza,” Musto says. “The most important choice is that you should be immunized.” Most of the flu vaccine for the 2013-2014 season will be trivalent. Some quadrivalent vaccines also will be available. In addition, new formulations address specific needs. “Certain vaccine preparations by certain manufacturers have additional age restrictions, but at least one vaccine is available for all persons who qualify,” Musto says. (See sidebar.) The standard trivalent intramuscular dose costs about $30 at pharmacies. Costs typically are higher for other versions. It’s also wise to check if your health insurance covers the cost of flu immunizations and if so, under what circumstances. While this year’s offerings include more options, there still are some groups for whom immunization may be harmful. The CDC recommends that the following groups do not get a flu vaccine without the advice of a physician. This applies to people who:

It’s not uncommon to experience some side effects from a flu vaccine. “The attenuated vaccine may cause mild coldlike symptoms. The inactivated vaccine may cause mild soreness at the injection site,” Musto says. In some instances, you may feel that you’ve developed the flu as a result of the vaccine. “The flu vaccine is usually given at a time when there are other respiratory viruses going around. So, if you have a lot of people getting the flu vaccine and a lot of people getting sick, you’re likely to have people who get sick even after they get the flu vaccine, in which case, it’s just a different virus that they happen to come down with,” Sorum says. “Secondly, there are people who get bad reactions to some of the components of the vaccine.” In other cases, you may get the flu simply because you were infected and didn’t know it at the time of immunization. If you were exposed to the flu virus before being vaccinated, or even before your body had the chance to produce enough antibodies after your vaccination, you could get sick with the flu. While it’s not 100 percent effective, the flu vaccine is an important option for keeping you and your family healthy in the months ahead. “Influenza is not a trivial disease,” Musto says. “At worst, and especially in the sick and elderly, influenza causes over 150,000 hospitalizations and 30,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Getting immunized ourselves protects all those around us.” HL

 Have a severe allergy to chicken eggs  Have had a severe reaction to an flu vaccine in the past  Are younger than 6 months of age  Have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever  Have a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a rare, but severe paralytic illness) that occurred within six weeks after receiving a previous flu vaccine

Photo: Vstock LLC/GettyImages.

Where to Get the Vaccine You Want When you’re ready to get your flu vaccine, starting at your physician’s office is best, but other options are available if cost and/or availability are issues. County health departments may sponsor free clinics. Other locations to investigate typically include urgent care centers, schools, employers, and pharmacies. In New York, pharmacists who administer vaccines must be currently registered and certified to do so. By state law, certified pharmacists cannot administer the flu

vaccine to anyone younger than 18 years of age. The restriction was temporarily lifted in January 2013 during last season’s flu epidemic, but it was reinstated in March. One of the best ways to find a flu vaccine is by using the HealthMap Vaccine Finder at flushot.healthmap.org. Using your zip code, this online tool supplies mapped locations of nearby providers along with details on types of vaccines, hours, and phone numbers for each site. Since vaccine supplies can vary daily, it’s best to confirm availability at any site before going there.

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fitness gifts

Tracker Keeper fitness gadgets help you stay on track by brianna snyder

W

hat’s on your holiday gift list? Chances are either you or someone you’re buying for wants a digital fitness tracker. A few years back it was all about the pedometer. Our goal was to take 10,000 steps a day, and our pedometers were going to help us get there. But the little clip-on devices could be flaky — one step registered as three, or three steps registered as nothing. They weren’t all reliable and if you accidentally reset them, well, too bad. Today’s digital fitness trackers can do everything from track your steps to log your sleep patterns; plus many of them synch up with your e-mail or a tandem online profile so you can access your information from anywhere. Julie Pascazio, personal trainer at the Capital Region-based Make It Fit Training, says she loves these new fitness gadgets. “The good thing about [fitness trackers] is that it sets a goal and that’s the thing that gets people up and moving,” she says. She’s been looking into getting a Jawbone UP, a more comprehensive tracker than the one she has now, the Nike FuelBand. She says the best thing about her tracker is the Web feature — “I like the online community,” she says. “You encourage each other.” Below, we’ve run down the most popular and best-reviewed trackers on the market, just in time for some holiday shopping — or maybe as a gift for yourself. HL

Jawbone UP, $129

The Jawbone does almost everything the Fitbit does, but it does require an iPhone or an Android to work — it doesn’t have a regular Web component. However, with the aid of those devices, this tracker, also worn on your wrist, is very good. A vibrating alarm works in sync with your sleep cycle so you wake up refreshed, while a “power nap” option shows you the most optimum time for a quick nap and an “idle alert,” which buzzes you to get up if you’ve been sitting for 90 minutes. (Useful for all of us desk-workers who are killing ourselves by sitting eight or more hours a day.)

 Fitbit, $99.95 The Fitbit is described by PCMag.com as “a super-smart pedometer,” but it does more than just count your steps: It tracks the stairs you climb, how much distance you’ve gone, the calories you’ve burned and your sleep patterns. It shows you, in chart-form, when you were sleeping and when you were restless or tossing and turning. The device can be worn around your wrist (though various iterations of the Fitbit can be purchased in waterproof form and as a clip-on) and is compatible with other apps besides the account you set up at Fitbit.com. There, you can add details about what you’ve been eating and teach it to learn your different activities — tell it when you’ve been hiking, biking or swimming so it recognizes the movements later.

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health care

Patient Power

10 tips for a better hospital stay

A

nticipating a trip to the hospital doesn’t have to mean increased anxiety on top of whatever’s ailing you. Taking an active role in your care can help to ensure a positive hospital experience. With some smart preparation, you can feel confident that you’ve done your best to create a situation that will lead to a speedy and healthy recovery. Read on for 10 steps to make that happen.

1

Do Your Homework

Before you pursue treatment for a medical condition, consider what hospital your potential health care provider uses. You’ll be at a loss if you develop a trusted relationship with a physician who is on staff at a hospital with which you’re not satisfied. “If you know that procedures and surgeries are going to be in your future, choose the hospital that has the lowest number of infections and the highest patient satisfaction

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scores. First, choose the hospital; then find out what doctors have admitting privileges there and make sure your insurance covers the physician and the hospital,” advises Trisha Torrey, Every Patient’s Advocate, author, speaker, and guide to patient empowerment at About.com. Finding a hospital you’ll feel confident using may be easier than you think. You can investigate comprehensive performance data on websites such as New York State Hospital Report Card, New York State Hospital Profile, and Hospital Compare. You also can use the sites to review outcomes and treatment data for specific procedures and patient satisfaction surveys.

2

Plan Your Itinerary

When your physician recommends a hospital treatment or procedure, you’ll be more comfortable if you know as much as possible about where you’re going and what will happen when you get there. “I always say that planning a trip to the hospital is like planning a vacation; we should take the same level of care

Photo: Halfdark/GettyImages.

by anna zernone giorgi


“Staffing of the hospital is based on 24 hours, seven days a week and we must maintain the same standard of care day/night, weekend or holiday.”

and due diligence in planning a trip “Make sure the hospital has the necto the hospital. I know the thought essary paperwork on file so that your of going to the hospital can be overtravel companion has the right to be whelming, but remember, if you have informed about your medical condiplanned a vacation, you can plan a tion and care needs.” trip to the hospital,” says Beth van BlTo ensure that your companion can adel, founder and director of Capital advocate for you, you’ll have to com— Renee Mauriello Region Patient Advocacy, a grassroots plete a health care proxy. The New York endeavor dedicated to teaching health Health Care Proxy Law gives you the right care advocacy and navigation skills to the to appoint another person to be your health community. care agent. By assigning a health care agent, Before you go, pack photo identification, insurance you give that person the right to make your health cards, and copies of advance directives. But, leave your care decisions if you are unable to do so yourself. valuables at home. Worrying about them will distract you Anyone can be your health care agent. You also can from concentrating on more important issues. change and reassign your agent at any time. The health care Part of your planning will include selecting the best time agent’s authority is only applicable in situations in which you to have your procedure or treatment. Your choices may are unable to make decisions for yourself. be limited by your medical needs, the availability of the “It’s very important that every patient has a health care equipment and personnel needed for your procedure, and proxy — no matter what age you are or how healthy you the specific days on which your surgeon schedules time at are,” says Cindy Lisuzzo, RN, director of care management the hospital. at Saratoga Hospital. “So many people don’t have a health You’ll also want to consider your own schedule, time care proxy because no one thinks they’re going to need it.” needed for hospitalization, and recuperation. Having major A health care proxy differs from a living will. A living will surgery on a Friday or the day before a holiday may mean allows you to indicate your instructions regarding health that your surgeon and other specialists will only be available care and end-of-life choices in writing. Your health care on call instead of being there in person. If this is a concern, agent can carry out the wishes of your living will. However, clarify issues related to your surgeon’s accessibility and the you have to use a health care proxy to name your health continuity of your care. care agent. “In general, elective surgery is scheduled during periods If you have more than one health partner or travel comof time when we have the kind of people and kinds of equippanion, make sure each one can have access to your mediment that we need for that patient,” says Mary Jo LaPosta, cal condition and needs, even though only one will be your Ph.D., senior vice president of patient care and organizahealth care agent. This likely will require that every compantional excellence; chief nursing officer, Saratoga Hospital. ion is listed on your HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and If you’ll be using a teaching hospital, part of your daily Accountability Act) Form. care likely will include interaction with in-house medical Keep a Journal residents. Typically, a new class of medical residents takes One of the most important ways to keep control over over in early July. If this is a cause for concern, talk with your your hospital stay is to maintain a journal. Ideally, this surgeon about scheduling options. Know that you have the will contain contact information on the doctors you’re seeright to select a time that’s comfortable for you and if it’s ing, the medications you’re taking, and procedures pernot, “Just say, ‘No,’” Torrey says. formed. You should begin keeping this journal at your docAppoint a Health Care Representative tor visits and pre-admission appointments. One of the most important ways to manage your hos“Ask your travel companion to bring a notebook and pen pital experience is to appoint a health partner for the to maintain a log of your hospital health team visits,” van duration of your stay. Your health partner also can serve as Bladel advises. “Write down the names and titles of all the another set of eyes, ears, and hands to look out for and help doctors, nurses, and aides who come in to visit you and dewith any problems. “Have someone at your side at all times scribe the procedures they are performing. Ask the com24/7. You may have to go to the bathroom 24/7. You can fall panion to keep your health team informed as they change if you get out of bed 24/7,” Torrey says. shifts [for continuity of care].” Your health partner can be a loved one, a friend, neighThe journal can be helpful if you have more than one travbor, or professional patient advocate. “It’s very important to el companion. As your travel companions “change shifts,” bring ‘travel companions’ with you to the hospital. They can each one can be updated on your care. offer moral support and advocate for you,” van Bladel says.

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continued on page 40 

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health care

continued from page 39

Hospitals, like any other institution or workplace, are subject to human error. Some of the most common hospital mistakes occur during the medication process. Errors can happen at the time of prescribing, dispensing, and administering. In a 2006 report by the Institute of Medicine, the group reported that, “When all types of errors are taken into account, a hospital patient can expect on average to be subjected to more than one medication error each day.” While it’s important to note that this statistic is an average and errors vary widely among different facilities, you and your health partner can work to prevent mistakes that could jeopardize your care and prolong your stay. To do this, carefully check that the information on your wristband is accurate. Always double check any medication that is administered, including those in intravenous (IV) lines or topically. It’s important to note the prescribing physician as well as the medication’s name, dosage, purpose, and potential side effects. To avoid wrong-site surgery, insist that the correct site is marked clearly. Before you receive sedation or anesthesia, you and your health partner should confirm that the appropriate site is indicated with a marker by your surgeon. Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of your surgeon to ensure that the correct site is treated, but it’s you who will live with the consequences.

6

Protect Against Infection

While you’re a patient, you’ll also have to be vigilant about protecting yourself against healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). HAIs can make you sicker than when you arrived at the hospital, add days to your hospital stay, and cause long-term complications. In extreme cases, they can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one out of every 20 patients will contract an HAI while in the hospital. You and your health partner can take the lead in minimizing the presence of germs. Diligent hand washing, using the antibacterial soap provided by the hospital, is the first place to start. Insist that everyone who enters the room, including visitors, wash their hands as soon as they enter. “Patients should feel very comfortable saying to the doctor, nurse, or physical therapist, ‘I need you to wash your hands before you touch me or anything around my bed,’” LaPosta says. Since germs can live on any type of surfaces, don’t be afraid to do a little housekeeping in your own room. “Take some disinfectant wipes with you and wipe down the remote and the door handle. Do it each time someone new comes in,” Torrey says. “It’s up to you as much as the hospital to keep germs from getting into your incision.” You also can minimize infections by covering your cough with a fresh tissue and monitoring places where germs can enter your body. “If any of your dressings are loose, or appear to have increased drainage, tell your nurse who will assess for any signs of infection,” says Tracy Blowers, Director

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of Service Excellence at Ellis Medicine in Schenectady. “Intravenous and drains also can be an entry point for infections. If your dressing is loose, or if the area appears red or has increased tenderness, tell your nurse.”

7

Manage Your Care

It’s also important to understand who is overseeing your medical care while you are a patient. Typically, you’ll have a variety of different specialists, other physicians, and nurses that will change during the course of your care. “You have a right to ask, ‘Who is the physician who is coordinating my care?’ And, you have the right to hold that physician accountable,” LaPosta says. Once you identify the coordinating physician, you should have the opportunity to discuss any decision regarding your care with that physician. While the coordinating physician may not be your primary care physician when you are in the hospital, you should ensure that he or she is kept informed of your condition. “Even when there is a specialist coordinating your care, patients should feel free to touch base with their primary care provider who should know them better than anyone else and be able to discuss major decisions with them,” LaPosta says. Since medication errors can occur easily, it’s also important that you take the lead in making your hospital team aware of any current prescriptions and past drug reactions. This information is critical to avoiding reactions and interactions with new prescriptions, IV medications, and anesthesia. “You should always have a list of the medications you are taking, including the name of the medication, the date, from whom it was ordered, why it was ordered, and why you were taken off it. This lifetime medical list should include any dietary or herbal supplements, as well as over-the-counter drugs,” LaPosta advises.

8

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

No matter how well-prepared you may be, problems can arise. When they do, it’s your right and responsibility to notify your medical team. If you are unable to do so,

Photo: Marcus LindstrAm/GettyImages.

5

Help Minimize Mistakes


it’s up to your health care agent. “The patient [or a family member or friend] absolutely needs to advocate for himself. If there is something that doesn’t make sense or something that the patient does not agree with, it’s important to ask for more information or for clarification,” Blowers says. If you don’t feel you’re getting resolution from your medical team, contact your hospital’s patient representative or patient advocate. His or her name likely is included in your hospital information packet. If you feel the situation is critical, find out if your hospital utilizes Condition H (for Help). A Condition H response is similar to that of a rapid response team. When a Condition H is activated, a team of hospital professionals will rush to the patient’s bedside to assess the situation and intervene if necessary. “Condition H is a hotline that patients and their families can call if they ever feel the patient is not receiving adequate medical attention,” Blowers says. “Condition H was established to improve the quality of communication between families and caregivers, and to provide safeguards for families when they believe a loved one’s health is in jeopardy.” When cases remain unresolved or to file a complaint, contact the New York State Department of Health.

9

Follow Through with Follow-up

When you are ready to be discharged, it’s important to get your instructions in writing. Your health partner should be with you to help clarify any possible confusion. Get written instructions about the signs and symptoms that indicate you are getting better, the signs and symptoms that warn you are getting worse, and whom to contact if you have a problem or questions. “Fundamentally, patients need to be sure they understand the discharge instructions and absolutely let the case manager or whomever is handling the discharge know if you do not,” Blowers says. “Patients often get readmitted because they are not compliant with the discharge plan. However, the reality is, folks often don’t understand the instructions or are unable to follow through due to financial reasons (i.e. certain medications may be too expensive).” Consult with your health partner about the logistics of getting to follow-up appointments and tests. “Before they leave the hospital, patients should have actual appointments for when they are going to see the doctor, what the doctor’s

RESOURCES • Capital Region Patient Advocacy capitalregionpatientadvocacy.com • Center for Consumer Health Care Information NYS Department of Health health.ny.gov/health_care/ consumer_information

name is, what their specialty is, and where their offices are,” LaPosta says. “So many patients do not do that.” It’s also important that you and your partner review your medication needs. If possible, fill any prescriptions on your way home from the hospital to avoid any lapse in dosage. “Ask for a medication reconciliation so you will understand the medications to be continued at home and how to develop a safe and effective routine,” van Bladel says.

10

In Case of Emergency

If your visit to the hospital is unplanned due to an immediate need for help, your experience may depend on variables over which you have no control. The very nature of needing emergency care may mean you are suddenly immobilized or unconscious. Preplan by having a signed health care proxy and living will, so that others can intervene on your behalf. Ensure that your health care agent has copies of these documents, your identification, and insurance information. If you’re awake and aware, it will help to understand that emergency treatment is based on the triage system, which differs from other types of hospital treatment. “Triage always treats the most dire emergency first,” Torrey says. “If there are a lot of people there, and the hospital is shortstaffed, you’re going to keep moving down the list if you go there with something that really isn’t dire.” In the emergency room, the same rules apply with regard to the importance of having a travel companion or health partner. If you go there alone, ask a companion to meet you there if your health care agent isn’t available. Since your care may take longer than expected, make sure you understand the reason for delay. If you are neither released nor admitted after receiving treatment, ask about your status. You may be assigned “observation status.” “If a patient is assigned ‘observation status,’ then he is considered to be an ‘outpatient,’ meaning he is not admitted to the hospital,” Torrey says. “Some insurances, including Medicare, don’t consider observation status as an admission and, therefore, don’t cover the cost.” As with an inpatient visit, keep a journal of your emergency room experience so you can follow up with your own physicians and settle any insurance conflicts that may arise after your visit. HL

• Hospital Compare medicare.gov/hospitalcompare • NYS Hospital Profile hospitals.nyhealth.gov • NYS Hospital Report Card myhealthfinder.com • Patient Empowerment About.com Website patients.about.com

• “Your Rights as a Hospital Patient in New York State” NYS Department of Health health.ny.gov/publications/1449 • “Planning Your Health Care in Advance: How to Make Your End-ofLife Wishes Known and Honored” State of New York Office of the Attorney General tinyurl.com/HLNovDec13-Health

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mind Ask Emma 45 Are You a Nag? 46

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Are We Trapped? joyce’s “eveline,” and the hardest question of all by emma tennant

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/Lise Gagne.

J

ames Joyce’s shortest of short stories, “Eveline,” has never left me. Her character, and her fate, has come to mind thousands of times since I first read the story in his collection Dubliners while I was in college. Eveline sits by the window watching the evening invade the avenue. “She was tired,” he writes. She is a girl who works in a shop. Her mother has died. She takes care of the remaining children. Her father takes her money and gets drunk on Saturday. But she has met a man named Frank, a sailor, and he has offered to take her away to Buenos Aires to marry her, to make her a wife. The girls in the shop won’t believe it. They will be so jealous. And her mother’s life was miserable, trapped in that faded Dublin house. So she rushes to the port. She stands, waiting to board the ship. The bell clangs. Her boyfriend takes her hand. “Come!” he says. And then: All the seas of the world tumbled about her heart. He was drawing her into them; he would drown her. She gripped with both hands at the iron railing. Come! No! No! No! It was impossible. Her hands clutched the iron in frenzy. Amid the seas she sent a cry of anguish. Eveline! Evvy! He rushed beyond the barrier and called her to follow. He was shouted at to go on but he still called to her. She set her white face to him, passive, like a helpless animal. Her eyes gave him no sign of love or farewell or recognition. Joyce does not judge; he simply lays out with painful economy a simple human truth. Yes, there is a big world of possibility out there, but we are limited, too. We all fantasize about getting up and leaving, throwing a scarf about our necks, a few shirts in a bag and hitting the open road. And some of us have done that — myself included — and I guess my life would be very different if I hadn’t. But did I leave people and places behind that I wish were now part of my life? Yes. I think of the Eveline in my practice. She lives with her widowed father. She works as a paralegal, and then comes home, too tired to go out or leave the house. All her friends are married. She is too tired, she says, to learn the guitar or piano, though she says she’d like to. Moreover, she can’t get her own apartment, she says, because her father is ill.

My Eveline, like Joyce’s, dreams of a man coming into her life and taking her away, but I suspect she would clutch the rails if it ever happened. The key word in Joyce’s final sentence is “recognition.” We can dream. But we can’t recognize a future that is beyond the limitations of our courage and imagination. So are both Evelines trapped forever? I hope mine is not. Somehow, I have to gently pry her fingers from the rail, one at a time. Her father is not really ill (a fact); she is attached by guilt over her mother’s death (a fact). If I can loosen the grip a bit, and help her find the courage to fail and to imagine some other kind of life, perhaps she can begin to step away from what appears to her to be an inescapable trap. And yet, I think of Craig, a young guy I saw many years ago. His whole life was a Jeep commercial. He went climbing in Moab. Then he skipped his rent and went to ski at Sundance. Then he went to Denver with a girl. He left her for a prettier girl. By the time he washed up at my door, he was back with his parents, broke, in debt, uneducated and genuinely clueless. “Nothing works out,” he would say. “True, you never stick around long enough or commit to anything long enough to let it to work out.” That included therapy naturally. And yes, he did not pay the bill. My point is that Craig believed he would never be trapped by necessity — the need for money, the inevitable drudgery of paid employment, bills, the confines of the familiar. He thought he could run forever and eventually catch a wave that would liberate him perpetually from the laws of necessity. There were people out there living free, and loving it, and he genuinely believed that it was just like rolling dice. One day, he’d be untouchable. I wonder where he is now. So, we are not really trapped; the trap is in our mind, the limits of what we can recognize as familiar. But we are not free either; the world we know is the only thing we truly have, and we need stable relationships, landmarks that reassure us, routine. So, when to stay and when to go? That’s the question each of us has to answer for herself.  HL Emma Tennant (not her real name) is a practicing psychotherapist. All advice offered here is simply that. If you have a pressing concern, you should see a specialist in person. If you have a question you’d like addressed or a comment for Emma, send it to askemma@ timesunion.com. Inquiries will be treated with confidentiality.

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making a change

Nag, Nag,

Nag

tips for getting the results you want a different way by kristi barlette

“Y

ou are such a nag.” It’s one of those statements that can make a woman feel as offended as hearing a “yes” to the age-old question of “do I look fat in this fill-inthe-blank?” We don’t want to nag, really we don’t, but sometimes it seems as if there’s just no other way to get the people in our lives to do what we need or want them to do. “I’m pretty bad, I admit it,” says Jennifer Wright, an Albany resident and self-proclaimed nag. “The worst thing about it is I really hate nagging, but I am a ‘do it right now’ type of person.” Our kids are more interested in playing Capture the Flag outside than in doing homework. Asking doesn’t work, but nagging may. The same is true of that fifth (or so) request of your husband to take off his muddy shoes when coming in from doing yard work. “I know I’m a nag because I can hear myself telling my husband the same thing, more than once in an hour,” says Wright. “That, and he tells me.” But nagging doesn’t just happen with spouses and kids. The constant “how’s that assignment coming along” greeting someone may give their colleague each morning can quickly turn from being perceived as curiosity or concern to flat-out nagging. Do it often enough and, ironically, the very people you’re trying to influence may begin to listen to you even less. “Nagging is about having expectations,” says Scott Wetzler, a psychologist and vice chairman of the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York and author of Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man. “You nag because you don’t feel they’re meeting your expectations.” Some naggers don’t even re-

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healthylife


Are You a Nag? Here are some signs you may be:

 People you respect say you tend to nag.  You annoy yourself by constantly asking someone to do something.  You believe everything “needs” to be done according to your timetable.  You feel frustrated you regularly don’t get what you want, or feel you need, from another person.  You start sentences with, “not to be a nag, but ...”

Photos: GettyImages. Left, Soubrette; right, Stock Shop Photography LLC.

Sources: Lisa Benson, an Albany-based marriage and family therapist ; Scott Wetzler, a psychologist and vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Montefiore Medical Center in New York and author of Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man; Jennifer Wright, an Albany-resident and self-proclaimed nag.

alize they’re doing it, say experts. In fact, the offenders will say they’re just asking a question — admittedly repeatedly. But the purest definition of nagging is just that: requesting something over and over and over again, because you aren’t getting the desired results. “Nagging is when someone does not let up on something — a concern or thing — they want done,” says Lisa Benson, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Albany. Wright is correct, say experts. Sometimes recognizing you’re a nag is as simple as your partner saying so, and it’s also a necessary step toward becoming less naggy. Nagging is a prominent topic of conversation with clients for Benson. But, says the therapist, while nagging can take away the concept of free will from the person being nagged, it doesn’t need to be shameful. “We make it into a negative thing even though it’s a sign of communication in a relationship,” Benson says. But, she adds, sometimes it’s a sign — or result of — less-than-stellar communication. For example, if your partner understands your (realistic) needs and requests and wants to meet them, the nagging wouldn’t be necessary, she says. So just how do you get across your point about a particular project or behavior if the person you need to work with you isn’t budging? You have a few options, and the responsibility lies with both parties, say experts. Benson says it’s key to understand the resistance. Does the person you’re nagging view your request as silly or unnecessary or does he or she genuinely forget? “You have to get the other person to buy in on why what

you’re asking them to do is important,” says Benson. “If the other person doesn’t see or understand the benefit, they aren’t going to want to do it.” This can only be accomplished through conversation — conversation that’s free of accusations and belittling. And, just as you the “nagger” want the person to listen to you and understand what you’re trying to accomplish, you need to listen to them and understand why there may be a resistance. Wetzler agrees with these strategies. “Get away from nagging and get into problem-solving,” he says. This can be tough, but typically starts with trying to accept the reason the supposed offending parties, for instance, don’t want to do their homework or take off their shoes, and then resolve their concerns. “People need to exam their expectations when they’re not getting what they want,” says Wetzler. ”They then need to ask themselves ‘what is a realistic or reasonable thing to expect?’ Frequently we think there is only a single person who can give us what we want. Sometimes the best way to not be a nagger is to realize there is someone else who can do it for you.” And, if that doesn’t work (sometimes there really is only one person who can give us what we want or need), the answer may be as disheartening, but realistic, as reexamining your relationship. “In really good, healthy relationships people don’t have to ask for what they want,” says Wetzler. “Their partner or spouse knows what they want and knows how to give it to them.” HL

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Flip through the virtual pages of our Times Union magazine titles, accessible from anywhere online. The same award-winning layouts. More photos. Links that take you where you want to go. All from the comfort and convenience of your own device.

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body. mind. spirit.


➺ Top Tip: Don’t reward

yourself with food. Make something a goal to work toward and continually change the goal to better yourself and reward yourself — I like to buy running gear as a reward. Never give up and don’t sacrifice yourself. — Cover model Tamica Kenyon

Behind the Scenes Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park. At right: Dress by London Times, jewelry by Ashley Cooper. Photo taken by Suzanne Kawola at Bethlehem Public Library. The library is a state-of-theart facility and a vital resource for the town of Delmar. In 2013, the library is celebrating 100 years of service to the community. Visit facebook. com/healthylifenymagazine to view our Behind the Scenes photo gallery, or scan the QR code at right to link to our HealthyLife photos page on Facebook.

spirit My Word 51  Beauty Tips! 52  

Up Close with Tamica Kenyon 58 timesunion.com/HealthyLife

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HealthyLife magazine brings you stories and advice geared at living a balanced life, and nourishment of your mind, body, and spirit. Life@Home is packed with inspiration to help you make your house a home. Capital Region Women@Work is the in-print component of an innovative network of local women in managerial and executive positions. VOW: Your Wedding. Your Way. is the secret to creating your fairytale wedding using local resources. If you are interested in receiving free home delivery of any of our magazines, please (518) 454-5768 or email magcirculation@timesunion.com.

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my word

Mail Spin I by betsy bitner

t’s that time of year when your mailbox becomes a minefield. I’m not talking about the stacks of catalogues or the mountains of bills that began filling it weeks ago. No, I’m talking about something much more insidious. Something capable of delivering a year’s worth of insecurity and self-doubt to your front door for the cost of a first class stamp. I’m talking about the holiday letter. Not all holiday letters are evil. It’s fine to give an update on the important events that have happened to your family during the past year — such as who is out on parole — especially for folks you only correspond with during the holidays. My beef is with those letters that go like this: “Imagine our embarrassment when we were late to accept the Congressional Medal of Honor because we’d stopped along the way to rescue kittens from a burning mine shaft. Thankfully, our little detour gave us the opportunity to discover a new species of plant that holds the key to curing cancer. Our embarrassment over our tardiness soon faded, however, when we were interviewed about the incident on The Today Show.”

Dear Friends,

Photo: Erkki Makkonen/GettyImages.

2013 has been a wonderful year for our family. I received a fabulous promotion at the beginning of the year that really put money in our pockets. Ka-ching! (The grocery store was running a triple coupon special during the month of January.) Work continues to keep me plenty busy. I have so many board activities lined up, I don’t know how I’ll find the time to get them all done. (There is so much laundry piled on the ironing board that it will probably be easier to just go out and buy new clothes.) Hubby surprised us all with a combination sauna/steam room in our basement this spring. (In April, my husband came running up the stairs from the basement shouting that

The way I see it, this kind of letter leaves you with two options. You can either curl up in a ball until the New Year when you will resolve to get a new family, a new job, a new house and a new life. Or you can fight back by writing a letter of your own. The latter option can be difficult when the major highlight of the past year was when your cat coughed up a furball with an uncanny resemblance to Richard Nixon. So, the key to writing a successful holiday letter is to put the proper spin on things. In other words, lie. I suggest taking a page from the folks who write real estate and personal ads. Everyone knows that “cozy cottage in an intimate garden setting” is real estate-speak for something that’s basically a backyard potting shed. And “mellow homebody who enjoys listening to the classics” could be code for a pot smoker who’s still listening to 8-track tapes in his parents’ basement.

H

ere’s a sample letter to get your creative juices flowing. Remember to omit the second part in each example, which is written in italics in an effort to make the pathetic reality of our actual lives seem classier:

our water heater had sprung a leak, spraying hot water everywhere.) Our children have had their artwork on display in several private local galleries. They’ve also developed adventurous palates, always making sure to eat lots of colorful foods. (When they’re not scribbling on our walls with crayons, the kids are eating them.) We enjoyed several cruises this year and I have many memories and souvenirs from our trips. (We cruised around town looking for garage sales and I remember what I paid for every tchotchke we dragged home.) Being heavily involved in three sports, we’ve become quite the athletic family. And we’re thinking about taking up a fourth sport. Call us crazy, but that would make

us quadrathletes! (We’re armchair athletes, actually, who wouldn’t dream of missing a football, basketball or baseball game on TV. We’ve been tempted to start following hockey, but with the start of baseball season coinciding with the NBA and NHL playoffs, something would have to give. Like exercising.) If you’re ever in our area, we’d love to see you. But our schedules are so busy, be sure to call first. We’d hate to miss you because we were away accepting the Nobel Prize! (We need a lot of advance notice to get our house in shape to entertain guests. And if you’re someone who sends out one of those overachieving holiday letters on steroids, definitely pick up the phone before stopping by. We have caller I.D.) HL

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looking good

9

beauty mistakes women often make

get the skinny on what you might be doing wrong — and learn what to do instead

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healthylife

by melissa fiorenza

G

ot your daily beauty routine down pat? Think your goto products are amazing? Hang tight. Before your next primping session, take a moment to look at the following list of common beauty blunders. When it comes to skincare, hair and makeup, we asked the pros to give it to us straight: Where might we be messing up? Read on for some surprising changes you may want to make. (Not only will you look even more beautiful, but you’ll save some money, too.)


BEAUTY MISTAKE: Purchasing anti-aging products that are packaged in jars (especially when they’re expensive). “Despite the fact that lots of consumers love jar packaging, the ingredients most beneficial for skin are not stable when repeatedly exposed to light and air, which is exactly what happens when you take the lid off a jar each day,” explains Bryan Barron, co-author of Don’t Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me (cosmeticscop.com). That means that as soon as you open it for the first time, the formula begins to break down. Plus, Barron adds, there’s a hygiene issue. “Dipping your fingers into a jar transfers bacteria from your hands into the product, and that causes the important ingredients to further deteriorate.”

BEAUTY MISTAKE: Shaving every day. Whether it’s your legs, bikini area or underarms, shaving sensitive skin over and over is a big no-no. “This seems like a quick fix for stubbly hair, but shaving only removes hair at skin level, so it reappears in one to four days, and over time the skin itself becomes course,” says Noemi Grupenmager, founder and CEO of Uni K Wax Centers (unikwax.com). “Also, by continually cutting the hair, you are, in fact, stimulating its growth, encouraging the hair to grow back faster, thicker, coarser and fuller resulting in more hair growing from each pore.” Even worse, she adds, the daily risk of nicks, cuts, ingrown hair and razor burn further aggravates the skin.

 CHANGE IT UP: Opt for a tube of cream or one that

 CHANGE IT UP: See a specialist who uses all-natural

Photos: GettyImages. Makeup mirror, John Lund/Sam Diephuis; Shaving legs, Marko Skrbic.

you pump. And that’s especially necessary if the product contains anti-aging ingredients such as peptides, vitamin C or retinol, says Barron. BEAUTY MISTAKE: Thinking natural ingredients are always better or safer for your skin. Do you always feel better when the product has “NATURAL” splashed across it? Get this: Not all natural ingredients are good for your body, just as not all synthetic ingredients are bad. “Just because a product touts natural ingredients is no guarantee it’s effective, better, or safer for skin than a product that contains a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients,” says Barron. “Fragrant natural ingredients can cause a number of issues for skin, including free-radical damage and inflammation that keeps skin from being able to repair itself as well as it normally would.”

 CHANGE IT UP: “Generally speaking, watch out for any that

are fragrant, including all forms of mint, citrus, lavender, and flowers like geranium, rose, and ylang-ylang.” To learn more, check out the Ingredient Dictionary at cosmeticscop.com. BEAUTY MISTAKE: Waiting until you’re at the beach to apply sunscreen. Or only applying it when it’s sunny, or in the summer, or when you’re on vacation. ... Sound familiar? Time to break that habit. “Sunscreen should be used daily and should be applied to clean skin, and allow it to penetrate for 20 minutes before sun exposure,” says Denise Dubois, owner of Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness in Albany. How often and how much? Take it from Dubois, a CIDESCO diplomat and licensed esthetician with more than 30 years of experience: “Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 20 or higher, and reapply it at least every two hours if you’re outside.” You should also apply it liberally, she says, about a half teaspoon for your face and neck and thoroughly massaged in.

elastic wax. It removes hair below skin level, so hair grows back slower and sparser over time. “It’s applied at body temperature, and left to rest on the skin to both nourish and open the pores,” says Grupenmager. Another plus: Waxing lasts 3-6 weeks and is less expensive than shaving daily. BEAUTY MISTAKE: Shaving upward on your legs. Let’s say you really do need to shave before you can get to your next waxing appointment. Take a moment to picture how you actually do it. If you’re like a lot of women, you shave upward here and there — not a great idea. Dr. Craig Kraffert, president of Amarte and a board-certified dermatologist (amartecosmetics.com) tells us: “Upward shaving strokes on the legs greatly increase the risk of pimple-like ingrown hairs.” And who wants that?

 CHANGE IT UP: “Going with the grain is a much better approach,” says Kraffert. Remember this next time you hop in the shower with your razor: On legs, shaving with the grain translates to downward strokes. On the underarms, that means upward strokes. continued on page 55 

Don’t commit this BEAUTY MISTAKE by shaving upward on your legs.

 CHANGE IT UP: Pick up a bottle today and leave it somewhere you’ll see it every morning, so you remember to apply daily.

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looking good

continued from page 53

Don’t commit this BEAUTY MISTAKE by skipping the base coat.

BEAUTY MISTAKE: Not using moisturizer. The key to looking beautiful is having good, healthy skin, according to Tina Barbato, an independent makeup consultant in the Capital Region (flawlessbytina. com) — and you achieve that by washing and moisturizing, she says. “A lot of women do not moisturize their skin because they think it’ll make them greasy, but that’s not the case.” And if you have dry skin, she adds, it’ll flake when you put makeup on.

 CHANGE IT UP: No matter if you’re in your 30s or older,

find an oil-free moisturizer or whatever fits your skin type, and get into a routine of applying it daily, along with a mild cleanser. “Keep the skin moisturized, and you will have less wrinkles and fine lines.” Not sure what’s best for you? Barbato says go ahead and e-mail her at flawlessbytina@ yahoo.com. BEAUTY MISTAKE: Skipping the base coat on your DIY home manicure. As tempting as it is to rush through a manicure and paint on your nail lacquer first thing, it’s not good for your nails. “Because nails are porous, they can become stained,” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI co-founder and artistic director. “To avoid yellowing, take the extra step and apply base coat to keep nails from absorbing polish pigments.”

 CHANGE IT UP: Add a base coat to your home manicure Photos: GettyImages. Painting nails, Marc Vuillermoz; Makeup, Lise Gagne.

stash pronto.

BEAUTY BONUS

BEAUTY MISTAKE: Covering up acne with heavy foundations and concealers. Mirabella Beauty Creative Director Amber Bowen calls this is a big beauty mistake, “as these products can actually exacerbate problem areas.” In other words, you could be making your trouble zone a lot worse by hiding it. Skin needs to breathe so it can heal properly, she says.

 CHANGE IT UP: “Instead, women should use a

lightweight foundation that’s flexible,” she says. “Lightweight products can still hide redness, but they won’t build up around pimples and scabs.” BEAUTY MISTAKE: :Not drying your hair enough before using a tool such as a round brush. Do you always blow-dry with a round brush when your hair is completely wet? Another gaffe. “The bristles on the brush are not designed to run through soaking wet hair, and the concentrated heat of the blow dryer right on wet hair can be damaging,” says Sarah Pozefsky, hair stylist at Complexions Spa for Beauty and Wellness.

 CHANGE IT UP: For anyone looking to smooth their hair

by blow-drying, they must power dry the hair until it is about 75 percent dry, she advises. “They should first power dry or ‘fluff’ their hair to remove about 75 percent of the moisture. Then they can implement the round brush section by section to completely dry the hair and smooth it out.” HL

“You should be washing

your makeup

3 more quick tips!

brushes once a week. A gentle baby

“Women often file their nails back-and-forth, but this motion can cause splitting. Instead, always file nails in one direction.”

— Tina Barbato, independent make-up consultant in the Capital Region (flawlessbytina.com)

shampoo or brush cleanser will do the trick. Squeeze out the color, and let them air dry.”

— OPI co-founder and Artistic Director Suzi Weiss-Fischmann

“One beauty mistake women often make is using a liquid or marker liner on the bottom lash line. Doing so will make eye makeup instantly look harsh! Instead, softly apply eye shadow

with a small brush at the bottom lash line to frame eyes.” — Mirabella Beauty Creative Director Amber Bowen

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55


A DV E R T I S E M E N T

Have you heard about this new technology that is FDA cleared, and non-surgical treatment for back pain?

Herniated Disc?

Non-surgical spinal decompression may be the last back pain treatment you will ever need. And you may be able to forget the pills, getting endless shots, struggling through exercise programs...and...risky surgery...because with this amazing new technology...if you are a candidate... they may be a thing of the past. You’re about to discover a powerful state-of-the-art technology available for: Back pain, Sciatica, Herniated and/or Bulging discs (single or multiple), Degenerative Disc Disease, a relapse or failure following surgery or Facet syndromes. Best of all -- you can check it out yourself for FREE! CALL 518-300-1212

I

magine how your life would change if you discovered the solution to your back pain.

In this article you’ll discover powerful new back pain technology that has the potential to be that solution for you. This incredible technology is Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression and the DRX 9000. Here’s the amazing story how it was discovered and why it has a chance to help YOUR back pain...

How Science Helps Back Pain The lower back is a series of bones separated by shock absorbers called “discs”. When these discs go bad because of age or injury you can have pain. For some the pain is just annoying, but for others it can be life changing...and not in a good way. It has long been thought that if these discs could be helped in a natural and noninvasive way, lots of people with back and leg pain could lower the amount of pain medication they take, be given fewer epidural injections for the pain and have less surgery.

Recent medical breakthroughs have led to the development of advanced technologies to help back and leg pain suffers!

Through the work of a specialized team of physicians and medical engineers, a medical manufacturing company, now offers this space age technology in its incredible DRX 9000 Spinal Decompression equipment.

The DRX 9000 is FDA cleared to use with the pain and symptoms associated with herniated and/or bulging discs. . . even after failed surgery. What Conditions Has The DRX 9000 Successfully Treated And Will It Help YOU? The main conditions the DRX 9000 has success with are: • • • •

Back pain Sciatica Spinal Stenosis Herniated and/or bulging discs (single or multiple) • Degenerative disc disease • A relapse or failure following surgery • Facet syndromes A very important note: The DRX 9000 has been successful even when NOTHING else has worked. Even after failed surgery. What Are Treatments On The DRX 9000 Like?

After being fitted with an automatic shoulder support system, you simply lie face up on the DRX 9000’s comfortable bed and the advanced computer system does the rest. Patients describe the treatment as a gentle, soothing, intermittent pulling of your back. Many patients actually fall asleep during treatment. The really good news IS... this is not something you have to continue to do for the rest of your life. So it is not a big commitment. Since offering the DRX 9000 in my Colonie office, I have seen nothing short of miracles for back pain sufferers who had tried everything else. . . with little or no result. Many had lost all hope. Had herniated disk operation 8 years ago another disc became herniated. Doctor wanted to operate have arthritis from 1st one (did not want to go under knife again) very grateful to DRX9000 (thank you Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC) Very happy camper. Raymond F Niskayuna, NY Age 55 This treatment was a miracle for my cervical disk herniations. Only other alternative was surgery, which I no longer have to face. William I Schenectady, NY Age 63

I was told by a doctor I wouldn’t be able to work. I cannot afford to not work so I tried Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC, and not only did the pain go away but I never missed a day at work. Rick S Clifton Park, NY Age 42 I would love to shake the hand of the person who invented this machine. It was a life saver for me and a lot better than going under the knife. I HIGHLY recommend this to anyone with chronic back pain. Dawn H Colonie, NY Age 49 Before the DRX 9000 treatment. I had no quality of life. Couldn’t do anything for myself. Thank God for Dr. and the DRX machine. I can live again. Yvette K Schenectady, NY Age 47 I suffered for three years, before I received treatment on the DRX 9000. Today, I can sleep and get out of bed like a normal human being. Before, I couldn’t even drive my car because the pain in my hips, legs and feet were so bad from the sciatica nerve being pinched by my Herniated Disc L4 and L5, which also prevented me from sitting in a chair or even using my computer lap top at any time. Today things have changed due to advance technology therapy on the DRX 9000. They always try


A DV E R T I S E M E N T I would definitely refer people to your office. Dr. Guerra and his staff have made this experience a pleasure. Ed H Hoosick Falls, NY Age 70 Pain free, numbness in the left foot is gone. DRX 9000 is GREAT and does work. Sal L Niskayuna, NY Age 50

Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC demonstrates the DRX 9000 to a patient

to regulate the treatments that work. What is up with this taught process???? The world is changing and so have I. Frank A Troy, NY Age 52 Before receiving the DRX treatments, my quality of life was very poor. I could hardly do anything other than going to work and going to bed. After the DRX treatments my quality of life has improved 90% which has resulted in me being able to go for long walks without a cane and go shopping. Anne P Burnt Hills, NY Age 70 I am so appreciative of this method of therapy because when I came to the office I had to use a cane and had muscle pain in walking. After 2nd treatment sciatica nerve pain was gone in my left leg. Judith W Albany, NY Age 64 Prior to this treatment my only options appeared to be invasive pain management, or surgery. After receiving 24 sessions on the DRX, I am markedly improved, relatively pain free and am able to function as I had in previous years. Highly recommend to anyone with disc issues. Alan P Scotia, NY Age 53 I would choose this therapy again! Painless treatment that gets your life back to

normal. Stick with it-it works! Linda G Broadalben, NY Age 53 I am so happy I came to Dr. Guerra. I was in a lot of pain and after being on the DRX I tell you I do not have pain. I feel wonderful and the staff are very nice. Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC is wonderful. If you are in pain try the DRX it really helps. Edith C Schenectady, NY Age 71 I think more people should know about this procedure before considering any surgery. Medications help the pain but they don’t cure the cause. I am back to my old self again. Lorraine B Scotia, NY Age 78 I highly recommend this machine. I had my doubts but it really and truly works. Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC is a wonderful doctor and his staff is great too. Linda D Clifton Park, NY Age 46

I’m able to go on long walks and get all night sleep (I’ve had 3 surgeries since 2006) Without the DRX I would be in for a 4th back surgery. I’m getting back to doing activities with my 10 year old son. Lisa V Catskill, NY Age 45 I wish to thank you very much for all the help I received with the spinal decompression therapy. Your entire office was very helpful and compassionate. No longer do I sit at night with my heating pads, moving them from sore spot to sore spot. My knees are no longer on fire and I’m able to go up and down the stairs much easier than before. Mable D Ballston Lake, NY Age 68

SPECIAL OFFER Call Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC’s office at 518-300-1212 and mention to my assistants that you want a FREE back pain/DRX9000 qualification

consultation. It’s absolutely free with no strings attached. There is nothing to pay for and you will NOT be pressured to become a patient.

Here is what you will receive: • A consultation with me, Dr. Claude D. Guerra, DC to discuss your problem and answer the questions you may have about back pain and the DRX9000 • A DRX9000 demonstration so you see for yourself how it works! Due to current demand for this technology, I suggest calling today to make your appointment. The consultation is free. We are staffed 24-hoursa-day, 7-days-a-week. Call 518-300-1212 right now!

It’s absolutely FREE with no strings attached. There is ONE Big Problem: My busy office schedule will limit how many people I’m able to personally meet with...so you will need to act fast. Call 518-300-1212 right now...to be sure you are among the first callers and we will set up your free consultation today. We have the phones answered 7 days a week 24 hours a day so call now... 518-300-1212. (Free consultation is good for 45 days) 2016 Central Ave., Colonie www.albanyDRX.com

I was extremely skeptical at the beginning of treatments - Progress was slow in coming - But... then it worked! What a relief!!! Joan K Delmar, NY Age 71 I had no where else to go with this problem. The DRX 9000 was just what I needed. Many thanks! Burton S Mechanicville, NY Age 50

www.healthsourceofalbasnynorth.com Like us on Facebook: Healthsource of Albany North


cover model q&a

up close with ... Tamica Kenyon by brianna snyder  |  photo by suzanne kawola

T

amica Kenyon, 39, is a supermom. A youthful, easygoing mother of 10 (yes, 10) kids, Kenyon has the calm and composure of a zen master. Kenyon, a Capital Region native (she spent much of her life in Poestenkill), is also a runner. But, she says, though she ran track in high school, she stopped running when she became a mother and put on about 75 pounds. “I figured I’ve just had kids, and that’s just the way I’m going to look now,” she says. But she was uncomfortable with herself. So she went out one day and started running. Now, she runs races regularly and facilitates a group for moms who run. “I started a local chapter of Moms Run This Town.,” she says. “We try to motivate moms to run together.” Kenyon says she and her kids, whom she homeschools, do lots of fun things together, and she has a supersize van to hold everybody when the family goes camping or biking or on road trips. This November, Kenyon and her husband John celebrate 16 years of marriage. “This is our life and our life is having a big family,” Kenyon says.

People make rude comments? Like what? I’ve had people walk right up to me and say, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself for having all those kids.” It’s hard to believe that somebody would do that because I walk around and see people with different challenges and ways of living their lives and I would never think of doing that. But it’s happened a few times. How do you keep a family of 12 healthy and active? We love going to the bike path. We have a trailer and load up all of our bikes and we go with a picnic lunch that I prepare and we just ride up and down the bike path. We take advantage of those free activities that happen to be healthy. A lot of the times we just go out in the yard and play. I run, as you know, and they run with me, too. You lost 75 pounds. How’d you do that? I joined Weight Watchers and started by walking and was

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healthylife

Behind the Scenes Hair and makeup by Kimberley’s A Day Spa, Latham. Photo taken by Suzanne Kawola at the Bethlehem Public Library. Above: dress by Calvin Klein, jewelry by Ashley Cooper. Select clothing available at Boscov’s Clifton Park. Visit facebook.com/ healthylifenymagazine to view our Behind the Scenes photo gallery, or scan the QR code at right to link to our HealthyLife photos page on Facebook.

exhausted. But very soon after I started running and it took a lot of time until I felt like I could do it. I had to lose quite a bit of weight, but walking will certainly do well for you. Do you have any tips for parents who might feel overwhelmed by their kids? I learned after maybe the eighth child that it’s really important to take care of yourself as a mother. It took me a while to learn that, but now that I have I commit to it. [Being healthy is] going to improve your life and your ability to be a good mother, wife and good at your job. HL

‘Before’ photo by Colleen Ingerto.

What led you to the decision to have 10 children? We had no idea when we got married that we would have 10 kids. It happened one year at a time and we were blessed with each child. We didn’t have that feeling that we didn’t want to have another child. Some people know that they’re done but we felt like we were blessed and God was giving us the support. It was our journey for us. It’s not for everyone, but it fits well for us. It’s a lot of work, I won’t lie. You work from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed, but there’s a lot of joy in being a mother. Sometimes we have mean or rude comments from people who aren’t understanding about it, but most people are very nice.


Children whose sleep was affected by breathing problems like snoring, mouth breathing or apnea were 40%-100% more likely than normal breathers to develop behavioral problems resembling A.D.H.D. The Journal Pediatrics, Volume 129, Number 4 April 2012

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HealthyLife Nov/Dec 2013  

HealthyLife magazine brings you a wide range of original content geared at living a balanced life to nourish your mind, body, and spirit.

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