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Your Helpful Home Tips December 2012

Brought to you by: Spears & Associates Kris Spears ND ACN Exec Success Coach - (361) 438-7947 -

How to “go nuts” without gaining weight

Six ways to use less energy and lower your heating costs

It's no wonder that we like nuts. Scientific evidence shows it's a hereditary human characteristic passed down from the Stone Age to prehistoric nomads and Egyptian kings.

Cold weather is here and you're probably wondering how to pay less for energy. You could buy an energy audit for a detailed diagnosis of your home, or you could do a few things yourself that could lower energy costs significantly, say the experts at

Some modern doubters say they do believe that nuts have great vitamin and protein content, but they are also high in fats. They think nuts can make them gain weight.

* Check your heating and cooling ducts. If they leak, as much as 30 percent of your heat might be lost. You can cover accessible ducts with less than $100 worth of metal tape or mastic sealant.

Doctors at Tufts University say it's true that eating a handful of nuts each day can boost your daily calories by 10 percent or more. But people who eat more nuts typically don't weigh more.

* If it's time to replace your top-loading washer, a front-loader will cost more, but will use a third to a half of the water, and less energy and detergent. Go with cold or warm water to save money.

A 2011 Harvard University study shows that, over a period of 20 years, nuts ranked second only to yogurt as a food linked to weight loss.

* Change your furnace filters - and do it every few months. That will save you money on the system you have today. When the furnace needs replacing, consider an Energy-Star-certified model. It could cut power bills by more than $200 a year, says the Environmental Protection Agency.

Note that potato chips were found to be the top food causing weight gain. Here are some nutty facts for you to consider: * Almonds, peanuts and pistachios have the highest protein content of almost all nuts.

* Check the insulation in the attic. Floor insulation should stick up over the floor joists, says the EPA. If it's below the joists, add more for energy saving.

* Macadamias, Brazils, and pecan halves have the highest monounsaturated fat content.

* Turn the water heater down to 120 degrees. Insulate the pipes and the heater itself with an insulating blanket to reduce heat loss.

* Almonds, cashews and pistachios have the highest levels of potassium.

Install a low-flow shower head and you'll cut hot water use 25 percent.

* All nuts have magnesium, zinc, copper, vitamin B6, folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E and calcium.

* Turning the thermostat down when you are asleep or gone can save up to $200 a year. But a programmable thermostat will turn the heat back on before you wake up or get home. You won't have an icy cold house.

You don't have to eat a whole handful to get benefits. You can sprinkle nuts on steamed vegetables, stir-fries, ice cream, frozen yogurt and salads. Page 1

Health in the news Hypertension named “public heath enemy No. 2” In many cases, high blood pressure has no symptoms, which could be why more than half of the 67 million Americans who have hypertension are doing little or nothing to control it. CDC Director Thomas Frieden has labeled high blood pressure "public health enemy No. 2." It's right behind tobacco. High blood pressure is defined as a reading greater or equal to 140/90. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. Moderately high blood pressure is 120 to 139 over 80 to 89. In hypertension, blood flows through your arteries with too much force. It stretches arteries past their healthy limit, causing microscopic tears, says the American Heart Association. Scar tissue that forms to repair the tears traps plaque and white blood cells. This can lead to blockages, clots and hardened or weakened arteries, according to the AHA. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States. It causes more than 1,000 deaths every day. About 36 million people have uncontrolled high blood pressure; 26 million have seen a doctor for it, but 22 million still don't have it under control. Many of these patients take medicine for hypertension, but it may be that their treatment plan isn't right, or maybe they aren't taking their pills faithfully. Medicine for high blood pressure works for nearly all patients.

Kids just want to be with you “Quality time” is nice, like taking your child to the zoo, but kids don't really want quality time, they just want time, your time and lots of it. A report by A.C. Nielson Co. shows parents spend 38.1 minutes a week in meaningful conversation with their children. For working parents, those minutes can be hard to find. Clifton Chadwick, a university education professor, says housework and car-pooling are important times to talk with kids. Parents can also establish a family meal and involve kids in food preparation and conversation. Dads can make time, for instance, involving kids in any routine household activities such as washing the car or making repairs. As children grow up and get busy with life, established family activities can keep relationships warm.

Millions of Americans have high blood pressure but don't know it.

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New research: TIAs can have long-term effects A new study published in the online journal Stroke, analyzed adults' death records for up to 9 years after hospitalization for a TIA (transient ischemic attack, often called a mini stroke). The study showed that the life expectancy of these patients was lower than that of the general population. Further, life expectancy was even lower in older people. Several factors may explain the findings. But doctors at Johns Hopkins Medicine say the take-home point is that individuals already treated for a TIA have more to gain from controlling their risk factors than those who have never had one. Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes and an abnormal heart rhythm (arterial fibrillation). Page 2

Kris Spears ND ACN Exec Success Coach Spears & Associates 119 S. 8th Street Aransas Pass, TX 78336

(361) 438-7947

Sweet potato casserole

Icy Cold Sudoku

The sweet potato is loaded with vitamin A, three times your daily value, plus generous amounts of vitamins C and B6.


    How to solve

Sweet potato casserole To solve a sudoku, you only need logic and patience. No math is required. Simply make sure that each 3x3 square region has a number 1 through 9 with only one occurrence of each number. Each column and row of the large grid must have only one instance of the numbers 1 through 9. The difficulty rating on this puzzle is easy.

2 1/2 pounds cooked fresh sweet potatoes 1/4 cup milk 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled 3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup flour 1/3 cup butter or margarine, chilled 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped With a potato masher or food processor, puree sweet potatoes. Add milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. In another bowl, (for the topping) stir together the brown sugar and flour. Slice chilled butter into the brown sugar mixture. With your fingers or a pastry blender, blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly and evenly mixed. Stir in chopped nuts. Spread the sweet potato mixture in a greased or spray-coated baking dish and distribute the crumbles over it. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. If baked, you can store the dish for 4 to 6 days in the refrigerator or 2 to 3 months in the freezer. To freeze the ingredients, place the sweet potato mixture in a one-gallon freezer bag and the topping in a quart size freezer bag, and freeze. Store the bags for 2 to 4 days in the refrigerator or 2 to 3 months in the freezer.

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These tablets let you read in the dark Not only does Kindle's Paperwhite let you read in a dark bedroom without a reading lamp, but you can also read the screen in daylight. The front-lit technology in the new Kindle does a great job of distributing light uniformly across its 6-inch screen. You're aware of the light but not distracted by it. Paperwhite starts at $119 with ads, what Amazon refers to as "special offers." It costs $139 without these offers. A model with free 3G cellular access that would let you search for and purchase eBooks when you're out of reach of Wi-Fi costs $179 with ads and $199 without them. Some months before Paperwhite's debut, Barns and Noble unveiled a Nook electronic reader that became the first E-ink-based device that lets you read in the dark. Pages turn fast. The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight was called, "the most versatile e-reader that's ever been created." It has 2GB of storage, ample room for 1,000 books, weighs only 7.48 ounces and it costs $139. Barnes and Noble says two out of three readers read in bed, and 42 percent moved to another room so they wouldn't disturb their partner.

Use Mac Lion and Windows 8 at the same time It's a new version of the leading Mac utility for running Windows 8 at the same time as Mac programs. With Parallels 8, you can switch between Windows programs and Mac programs quickly and easily. It takes advantage of, and integrates, the new features in the latest Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, and Windows 8. It also works with older versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, which works well with the Mac and Parallels 8, says reviewer Walter Mossberg. In one of Mossberg's tests, he was running either Apple Mail or iPhoto at the same time as Windows 8 programs. Scrolling and visual effects were smooth and quick. Web pages appeared at normal speed in Internet Explorer. Videos and music worked well, as did new full-screen apps in Windows 8. Parallels can't take advantage of every Windows 8 feature, like those using a touch screen, which Mac doesn't have. But it makes Windows 8 work on a Mac like it works on a standard Windows PC.

Your Helpful Home Tips Kris Spears ND ACN Exec Success Coach Spears & Associates 119 S. 8th Street Aransas Pass, TX 78336 (361) 438-7947

Š Copyright 2012 All Rights Reserved

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Helpful Tips December 2012  

Good Tips on Saving Energy, not gaining weight during holiday and more!