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Content February 2014

ON THE COVER

Inner superhero

Erika Peterman worked to defeat the villain holding her back 16

PLUS...

Come on in Make your home peaceful and inviting 10

Tech specs

Explore the newest kitchen gadgets 26

ALSO INSIDE...

Alternative Health Calm your anxiety naturally 6

Mind Matters

Being perfect has its pitfalls 8

24

10

Smart Fitness

Get heart healthy with these moves 12

Essential Nutrition

The Greek yogurt frenzy is here to stay 14

Best Body Break out the dental floss daily 22

Your Time

Faith and healing are often related 24

12

22

Makeover Get healthy hair with these tips 28

IN EVERY ISSUE Cover and cover story photos by Mike Ewen/Democrat

Editor’s Letter 4 Around Town 30

tallahassee.com/health 3


YourHealth Tallahassee

CONTACT US

277 N. Magnolia Drive Tallahassee, FL 32301 Call 850.599.2255 Fax 850.942.0185 PRESIDENT AND PUBLISHER

Julie Moreno 850.599.2126 jmoreno@tallahassee.com EDITORIAL

Amanda Leighty 850.599.2256 aleighty@tallahassee.com ADVERTISING

Lisa Lazarus 850.599.2333 llazarus@tallahassee.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Amber Dawn Barz Kathleen Back Brady Marina Brown Tricia Dulaney Leigh Farr Avery Hurt Andy Lindstrom Kenya McCullum Elise Oberliesen Erin Perry O’Donnell Kathy Radford FEATURES DESIGN TEAM LEADER

Brian Goins

DESIGNER

Heather Shije ONLINE Find a digital copy of the magazine and all this month’s articles, along with stories from past issues, online at Tallahassee.com/health. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/YourHealthTLH Your Health Magazine is published 12 times a year by the Tallahassee Democrat at 277 N. Magnolia Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the consent of the publisher. Your Health Magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photos or artwork.

Did you floss your

teeth today?

H

ello again, dear readers. If your visits to the dentist are charming, uneventful cleanings every six months with nary a problem in sight, then you probably won’t relate to my teeth woes. Every trip I make to the dentist is an anxiety-ridden ordeal, where he inevitably tells me I have cavities in nearly every tooth. After I broke down and went to the dentist recently — after being delinquent for two years — it precipitated a total meltdown in the office and five return visits. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t leave the house without brushing my teeth and my smile can still charm, but there’s a lot of dental composite and insurance involved. A combination of poor flossing habits, sugary beverages and thin enamel make me a prime cautionary tale. Before my latest visit, I was in the planning stages for this particular issue of Your Health and I got a crazy idea — maybe, just maybe I could earn some good dental karma by reminding all of you lovely readers to brush and floss. Well, it turns out tooth decay doesn’t work like that. But I’m told brushing and flossing regularly does. In this issue you’ll find out just how important they both are for your gums and teeth. Not to fear though, this issue isn’t all about scaring you straight. We’ve also got ways to calm your anxiety, tips for creating a peaceful space in your home and much more. Until next time, happy flossing!

IN THE MARCH ISSUE

Next month you’ll get a taste of chocolate and honey, get tips on how to get hooked on exercise and learn when it’s time to cut a toxic relationship out of your life for good. PHOTOS BY ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

4 Your Health Magazine | February 2014


“THEY SAVED MY LIFE IN ”

13 MINUTES!

- William Hinson

Heart Attack Survivor

WITH AN AVERAGE DOOR-TO-BALLOON TIME OF 42 MINUTES, CAPITAL REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER IS READY FOR YOUR HEART ATTACK. ARE YOU? BY TAKING A FEW MINUTES TO BE INFORMED AND PLAN, YOU CAN BE.

LEARN.

Door-to-balloon time is a critical measure of how long it takes a hospital to treat a heart attack patient from arrival in the ER to opening blocked arteries in the catheterization lab. The American College of Cardiology recommends a door-to-balloon time of less than 90 minutes.

PLAN.

From the moment a blood clot forms and the first symptoms of a heart attack appear, a race against time begins. Our average of 42 minutes door-to-balloon time is well below the recommended time of less than 90 minutes by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

SURVIVE.

Know & recognize the symptoms of heart attack, communicate your choice of hospital to EMS, and react quickly when a heart attack strikes.

To learn more about William Hinson’s story visit: CapitalRegionalMedicalCenter.com and for a physician referral call Consult-A-Nurse: (850) 325-3627. tallahassee.com/health 5


ALTERNATIVE HEALTH

First try natural remedies for handling stress and anxiety

Calm down By Marina Brown caused by post-traumatic evaluated by a physician first, stress disorder — whether but if the diagnosis is “physical from experiences in a combat symptoms caused by anxiety,” zone or from a traumatic event you may be one who prefers here at home. to try alternative methods But anxiety is a clever masquerader as well. Heartburn, nausea, sleeplessness, restless legs, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, Heartburn, nausea, loss of appetite/ SLEEPLESSNESS, overeating or restless legs, heart outright unpalpitations, difficulty breathing, explained feelloss of appetite/over-eating or ings of doom all outright unexplained feelings of doom all can be can be caused by caused by anxiety. anxiety. Be sure to have any of these problems

6 Your Health Magazine | February 2014

for controlling the feelings before starting on a prescribed medication. While health food stores and the Internet are happy to

PHOTOS BY ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

W

hew ... the holidays are over, spring’s around the corner and Valentine’s Day is on the horizon. Finally, a little peace, serenity and calm! So why are you still having trouble sleeping? Why do you find old worries — kids, bills, career — circling like a wolf pack in your mind? If you find your stomach in an uproar or moments of panic gripping you during the day, you may be experiencing the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety can come in many forms. We’ve sadly become aware of the tragic symptoms


PLANT THERAPY Oh yes, there’s Valium and Xanax, but for some, treating anxiety can be more like wandering through a botanical field. Here are a few of the plants whose reputation for reducing anxiety and depression is widely touted. Kava kava — reported in a 2001 Duke University study to be as effective as the benzodiazipines (like Valium) in treating anxiety. Passionflower — helps with restlessness and stress, but is not to be taken with MAO inhibitors. Lemon balm — brewed in a tea to “calm the spirit and reduce anxiety.” It has been used by Arabian healers as early as 300 B.C. Ginseng and Ginko biloba — the famous “G’s” known as calmers with slight sedative properties. Fennel — is used for the “butterflies in the stomach” experienced by some anxiety sufferers. Another tea, it soothes the muscles of the gastrointestinal system. Aroma therapies — employ soothing olfactory experiences which practitioners say go straight to the brain’s amygdala to bring inner calm. Used as inhalers, candles, oils, incense or brews, the aromas of eucalyptus, bergamot, lavender and jojoba provoke relaxation and stress reduction.

sell you shelves of remedies — some of which may indeed have a scientific basis — there are other techniques for countering anxiety that won’t cost a penny. Lack of sleep or sleeping too much can set the stage for periods of anxiety and depression. Structure a schedule that allows for approximately eight hours of rest in a sleepfriendly environment.

Lack of purpose sounds like a complaint only a reality show star should have, yet between family and work responsibilities, it’s often easy to lose one’s sense of personal direction. The anxiety that results may be eased by setting some firm goals and laying out a strategic plan for accomplishing them. Prioritize what is important to you to break out of an existential worry loop. Lack of novelty can lead to emotional numbness or to

feelings of dread with the arrival of each day. Do something new. Take on a new challenge. From taking a trip to starting a new hobby to even getting a wild new hairdo, variety interrupts the static tension that can lead to anxiety and depression. Best of all the anxiety countermeasures is exercise. Be it yoga, ballroom dancing, strength training or just about any other exercise that increases heart rate and respiration, exercise is the top reducer of anxiety. Physicians tell us that just 20 minutes three times a week will stimulate endorphins into provoking a feeling of serenity. By all means, include upped portions of the omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, sardines, tuna — and yes, caviar! — and cut down on caffeine and alcohol. But remember, it’s often simple life changes that can replace free-floating anxiety with feelings of security, safety and control.

tallahassee.com/health 7


MIND MATTERS

The problem with

perfectionism Y

ou pride yourself in doing things well and you want to give 110 percent in everything you do. Maybe you would even consider yourself a perfectionist. Although this is a quality that may seem like a virtue, that’s not always the case. While in some instances, perfectionism can be a positive driving force in our lives that helps us strive toward excellence, often perfectionism is actually harmful and leaves us constantly chasing after unrealistic goals — and beating ourselves up for not catching them. 8 Your Health Magazine | February 2014

“Perfectionism can be a set of self-defeating thoughts that push a person to try to achieve more, and the goals that they are setting for themselves are quite often unrealistic,” said Alla Branzburg, LCSW, psychotherapist and adjunct professor at the University of Southern California.

The consequences of perfectionism

Healthy perfectionism can help us work hard toward our goals — and that’s a good thing. But when perfectionism is unhealthy — meaning we are

constantly striving toward goals that are unrealistic and unattainable — it can have several negative effects on our lives. Health. Perfectionism can wreak havoc on your peace of mind because no matter how hard you work and how well you do, you will always have a nagging feeling inside that your best is just not good enough. This intense pressure can eventually take a toll on your emotional and mental well-being, and can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as a variety of physical health problems.

LEFT: ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

It sounds like a virtue, but perfectionism has pitfalls

ABOVE: BANANASTOCK RF/THINKSTOCK

By Kenya McCullum


Procrastination. “There are so many people that are afraid of failure and not being perfect that they don’t try at all,” said Dr. Friedemann Schaub, author of “The Fear + Anxiety Solution.” “They will say, ‘well if I cannot do it right the first time, if it’s not possible for me to be perfect at it, I’m not trying at all.’ As a result, they are actually getting stuck because of their perfectionism.” Performance. Although perfectionists believe they are pushing themselves toward excellence, their mindset may actually hinder their performance. “A lot of times perfectionism puts a lid on a person’s creativity,” said Branzburg. “Trying to do everything 120 percent is just unrealistic and it sets one up for failure.”

Although we don’t set out to fail, and failure can be a painful experience, there are actually positive things we can get out of making mistakes.

Overcoming perfectionism

If your perfectionism has become unhealthy, there are ways you can get past it and still maintain high standards. The following tips can help. Make a list. Lists are a great way to ensure that you get everything done, but in order to avoid the trap of perfectionism, you should be sure to prioritize the items on your list. This will allow you to

work on the most critical things first and set realistic goals for yourself. Change your selftalk. If you’re usually beating yourself up for every mistake you make, changing your self-talk can go a long way toward accepting that you’re not going to be perfect all the time — and that’s OK. In order to break the cycle of negative self-talk, be sure to pat yourself on the back for what you have done. Embrace failure. Although we don’t set out to fail, and failure can be painful, there are positive things we can get from making mistakes. “Failure can make us better, and help us reflect on what we can do next time to learn from it,” said Schaub. “You want failure because failures are really important pieces of information on your journey of growth.”

REALISTIC GOAL SETTING Setting realistic goals is a good strategy for getting out of a cycle of perfectionism. In order to do this effectively, Schaub suggests that when you set out to do something, break it up into three different goals: a minimum goal, an achievable goal and a maximum goal. This will give you the opportunity to celebrate all of your successes along the way, while still maintaining a realistic perspective. “When you set three goals, you are having an agreement with yourself that each of those goals is going to be a completely acceptable outcome and you’ll be happy about it,” he said. “And then all of a sudden the sharp line of perfectionism actually becomes softer and you have more options to be successful. Rather than believing you have to set a world record in what you’re doing, you’re actually giving yourself goals that are way more achievable — and they still give you that boost of confidence to go for the next goal.”

tallahassee.com/health 9


By Leigh Farr

W

ith Greek yogurt representing a third of yogurt sales nationwide, this creamy, rich-tasting food may be more than just a trendy snack. Made from regular yogurt, the Greek variety goes through a straining process producing a protein-packed product that’s creamier and more nutritious than regular yogurt.

ESSENTIAL NUTRITION

Here to stay Ultra healthy GREEK YOGURT gains superfood status

“People love Greek yogurt because of its taste and creaminess and thickness,” said Jill Welch, a wellness coach in Tallahassee whose health and nutrition services can be found at www.TheKitchenGoddess.com. “It’s sort of like eating ice cream but it is a probiotic rich food, so it feels like a health food.” While both Greek and regular yogurts have the same amount of probiotics — live active cultures that boost digestive health and improve immunity — Welch notes that the Greek variety tends to boast more nutritional benefits than regular yogurt. “The major difference between Greek and regular yogurt is that the Greek yogurt is thicker due to a process of straining the whey out of the yogurt,” said Welch. “It has more protein and less sugar than regular yogurt.” Greek yogurt is thicker due to a process of straining the whey out of the yogurt. 14 Your Health Magazine | February 2014

During the straining process, whey and lactose are taken out of Greek yogurt, cutting sugar by half.


Healthy choice

PHOTOS BY ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

TIPS FOR ADDING GREEK YOGURT TO YOUR DIET Greek yogurt’s thick texture makes it a great stand-in for cream cheese, sour cream, oil, butter, mayo, sauces, dips, dressing and smoothies. It can even be used for baked goods. Try these ideas to add protein to your diet without the excess fat, sugar and salt: » Blend Greek yogurt with garlic, dill or parsley to make a dip for celery, carrots and cucumbers » Use Greek yogurt in the place of sour cream on tacos, enchiladas or baked potatoes. » Use instead of oil or butter in baked goods such as brownies, cakes or muffins. » Swap for mayo in egg salad, pasta salad, potato salad or coleslaw » Use instead of mayo on sandwiches » Make a parfait altering layers of Greek yogurt, granola and your favorite berries » Whip up a tropical snack using Greek yogurt topped with shredded coconut, mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple » Add zest to marinades prior to grilling by swapping Greek yogurt for oil » Garnish bean soups or chili with Greek yogurt, instead of sour cream » Use Greek yogurt instead of butter for your next batch of mashed potatoes

Check the label

With the Greek yogurt craze in full swing, companies like Chobani, Fage, Dannon and Stonyfield are competing to come up with an exciting array of varieties and flavors. Since added flavor can mean high fat and sugar content, Welch recommends perusing the nutrition label carefully and always choose low-fat or nonfat varieties. To make sure the yogurt you’re consuming does not

have added ingredients to enhance texture, scan the label to make sure thickeners such as corn starch and milk protein concentrate have not been added. Ideally, the ingredient list should only include milk and live active cultures, in addition to added fruit or natural flavorings. “I recommend reading ingredient labels and buying only organic, non GMO, all natural and from grass-fed cows or goats,” said Welch.

Yogurt is a healthy snack no matter what kind you choose. But when you stack up Greek varieties against regular yogurt, Greek yogurt boasts some obvious benefits. Here are some of the nutritional advantages of choosing Greek yogurt over regular yogurt: More protein: Greek yogurt has double the protein of regular yogurt, leaving you feeling full longer. A 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt packs 15 to 20 grams of protein, which is the approximate equivalent of three eggs. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, adding protein to your diet promotes weight maintenance. Less sugar: During the straining process, whey and lactose are taken out of Greek yogurt, cutting sugar by half. The American Heart Association recommends reducing sugar intake since it promotes obesity, a risk factor for heart disease. Reduced sodium: A single serving of Greek yogurt has half the sodium of regular yogurt. Lowering the amount of sodium in your diet reduces your risk of hypertension which is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease. Fewer carbs: For the carb conscious, Greek yogurt typically has only 5 to 8 grams per serving, compared to regular yogurt which packs more.

A 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt packs 15 to 20 grams of protein, which is the approximate equivalent of three eggs.

tallahassee.com/health 15


L By Tricia Dulaney

ifelong comic book fan Erika Peterman understands superheroes. “I’m a DC girl — Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman.” But she admits the portrayal of female comic characters is often over-sexualized and unrealistic, and she understands the importance of body image. “My daughter reads comics; it’s important for girls to see positive, healthy depictions of women.”

18 Your Health Magazine | February 2014


When a trainer prodded her onto a scale, however — a circumstance she had avoided since the birth of her second child — she was forced to face her own unhealthy reality. “When the numbers soared up past 220, I knew something had to change. I was cruising towards 40, and it wasn’t going to get any easier.” At that time, Peterman was working in an appropriately mild-mannered office with the woman who would help her discover her new powers, Heather Fuselier. “We were friends before she became a wellness coach,” Peterman said. “She took me on essentially as her first client. I truly can’t give her enough credit; she gave me confidence to take on something challeng-

ing and hard. She didn’t sugarcoat it. She forced me to define specific goals.” That was key, Fuselier said. “Erika talked to me a lot about what she wanted to do, but I asked her, ‘What are you going to do?’ She needed to define how she could reasonably make her goals a reality.” The first task was to accept that life as she’d lived it was going to change. “My weight was always an issue. I was overweight and sedentary as a child,” Peterman said. “I’d tried to lose weight before. But this wasn’t some 10-week program. This wasn’t anything crazy or faddish or shortterm. In fact, this was the first time I had ever thought about eating as a long-term process. I changed the way I thought about food.”


“I had to make dietary changes. I’d been eating way more than I needed, out of stress or boredom. I started tracking it, writing it down, being accountable. I used an app that tracked calorie counts and nutrients, as well as how much to eat for your activity level. I could use my phone or computer, but if those weren’t available, I’d write down everything I ate. It all counted — every bite — and I didn’t want to delude myself.”

20 Your Health Magazine | February 2014


“I had to make dietary changes. I’d been eating way more than I needed, out of stress or boredom. I started tracking it, writing it down, being accountable. I used an app that tracked calorie counts and nutrients, as well as how much to eat for your activity level. I could use my phone or computer, but if those weren’t available, I’d write down everything I ate. It all counted — every bite — and I didn’t want to delude myself.” “I had to accept that I would be doing vigorous activity most days of my life,” Peterman said. Here again, Fuselier helped. “We worked out at the fitness center at the church right across from where we worked, on this truly ancient equipment,” Fuselier said. “I had to see her every day at work, so she’d know if I didn’t show up!” Peterman laughed. “My husband was a long-distance runner in high school and college, the type who would get up in the morning and run 5 miles just because it’s fun. I never got that. Running was something I was so intimidated by.” “She told me she couldn’t run because she had flat feet; it just was not possible,” Fuselier said. “But Erika allows me to challenge the things she believes about herself. She was making excuses, believing she wasn’t successful because of past weight-loss experiences. But she gained the

ability to debunk those excuses on her own. “I told her, try running, see if the world explodes. If it doesn’t, see if you can run a little more tomorrow.” The world didn’t explode. Peterman did a Couch-to-5K program, even though, over 70 pounds ago, a 5K seemed as impossible as a marathon. This year, she said, will be her 10K year. Peterman’s new fitness regimen dovetails nicely with her work at the Florida Medical Association, which serves doctors who help keep their patients healthy. And running keeps her healthy in more ways than one. “Running is an amazing stress reliever,” she said. “I’m much nicer to my children when I run.” Like any superhero, Peterman uses her powers for good. “As she gained confidence, she began pushing me — what are you going to do to make your dreams a reality?” Fuselier said. “I realized there were more people coming to my office to ask me about their wellness goals than about work. Erika persuaded me to get certified.” The Wonder Woman costume Peterman wore at Dragon*con was modest and ageappropriate, she said, but not something she would have thought about wearing 6 years ago. “I’m not 20, and that’s OK, but I’m more fit now than I was then. That’s kind of neat.”

COMIC WORDS: ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

GIRLS GONE GEEK Geek, n.: A digital-technology expert or enthusiast; one who has excessive enthusiasm and expertise about a specialized subject or activity. Urban Dictionary definition: The person you pick on in high school and end up working for as an adult. Erika Peterman is proud of her geek status. So proud, in fact, that she went pro; 4 years ago, the lifelong comic book fan and her coworker Vanessa Vidacs founded Girls Gone Geek, a website dedicated to comics, culture and critical thought. And girls. “There’s a thread of hostility towards female comic fans. Guys see you in a Supergirl T-shirt and there’s that suggestion that you’re just wearing it because it’s cute, that you can’t be a real fan. Guys are never questioned about their credentials or their sincerity,” Peterman said. Girls Gone Geek has its roots in her childhood. “I grew up reading DC, Archie, Teen Titans. I give my mom a lot of credit — she’d let me buy comic books from the spinner rack for a quarter.” That interest in Wonder Woman, the iconic female superhero created in 1941, forged the link between the founders of GGG. “Vanessa and I worked together,” Peterman said. “One day I said to her, ‘So I hear you like Wonder Woman.’ We had lunch all the time discussing comics we were reading. People kept saying we should start a blog.” Now the Tallahassee-based website has readers, teens to retirees, as far away as Australia, East Africa and New Zealand. “Comics should be fun, should be enjoyable,” Peterman said. But GGG is about much more than fun. Peterman, Vidacs and Lindsey Morris, the writers for the site, address more serious concerns as well. Comics, since their inception, have always been a reflection of a changing culture. From the war propaganda of the ’40s to issues of race and gender roles in the ’60s and ’70s, social concerns have often been tackled in comic book form. Peterman wants to see that trend continue. Comic creators write around issues, Peterman said, presenting good stories about a wide range of characters from different backgrounds. She wants to see issues such as race and gender handled in an organic rather than a didactic way, springing from the story and the characters themselves. She still remembers the first time she saw a Wonder Woman character with brown skin. “Growing up, I loved the comics, but there weren’t a lot of characters who looked like me. When you can see yourself, it resonates,” she said. “There was one incarnation of Spider-Man that featured a boy who looked like my 13-year-old son. Kids need to be able to see themselves in the story. It’s validating.” Identifying with comic book or video game characters can be harder for women. While many comic depictions are exaggerated — the average guy does not have Superman’s muscles — men aren’t hyper-sexualized the way women are, Peterman said. While women in comics and games can be more than sexually decorative, that’s still the attribute most commonly displayed. Peterman points to the Hawkeye Initiative, which places a male character in some of the unrealistic poses female characters are routinely contorted into. “It just looks silly. When women are drawn in nothing but sexy poses, both girls and boys get a distorted image of what women are supposed to be,” she said. As a mother, Erika wants her 9-year-old daughter, already a comic fan, to see positive depictions. “There is a diverse pool of comics outside of Marvel/DC, like indie Image Comics, doing a better job, but the over-the-top cheesecake stuff is still overwhelming.” That, however, is changing. “Now we have more women creators, more creators of color, bringing their own experiences to the medium. Internet friends connect over these issues. It’s important that writers and artists are aware of this.” GGG is part of these conversations. And conversations are expanding. Peterman has written for CNN’s Geek Out! blog, and Girls Gone Geek has been invited to participate in podcasts and panels at national conventions. “In 10 years, we’ll still be passionate about the topic. We’ll still be having fun.” tallahassee.com/health 21


BEST BODY

SAY CHEESE By Andy Lindstrom

Take steps now to protect your teeth and gums

U

nless you want to end up looking like Lady Gaga at the YouTube Music Awards, posing for the paparazzi with a full string of fake teeth, don’t forget to brush twice daily. Floss at least three or four times a week. And wash out your mouth regularly with an antiseptic such as Listerine. That’s the advice from local dentists who count the importance of gum health on a par with tooth care. “We call it soft tissue rather than gums,” said Dr. Mark McQuary, who prac-

tices general dentistry in Tallahassee. “Like Velcro, these microscopic fibers attach the tooth to the jaw. If they break down for any reason, the tissue can come loose from

22 Your Health Magazine | February 2014

BRUSHING at least twice daily — in the morning after breakfast and at night before going to bed — serves as the first line of defense against gum disease. Brush slowly, with a soft brush and in a circular motion, for at least one minute.


PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

PERIODONTITIS

is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

GINGIVITIS, a relatively mild condition usually traced to sticky pockets of trapped food or bacteria generically known as plaque. Tissue turns red, soft and shiny. It becomes swollen and bleeds easily, even from gentle brushing. PERIODONTITIS, caused from untreated gingivitis, attacks and eventually destroys the bone anchoring your teeth.

X-RAY, WISDOM TOOTH, GINGIVITIS, PERIODONTITIS AND FLOSS: ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK; TOOTHBRUSH:HEMERA/THINKSTOCK

the tooth like a fence post when the dirt around it washes away. Eventually, it can get very nasty.” Early signs of gum disease is called gingivitis, a relatively mild condition usually traced to sticky pockets of trapped food or bacteria generically known as plaque. Tissue turns red, soft and shiny. It becomes swollen and bleeds easily, even from gentle brushing. With proper care, gingivitis usually heals itself. Left unchecked, it can lead to the far more serious inflammatory condition known as periodontitis or pyorrhea, which attacks and eventually destroys the bone anchoring your teeth. “According to the American Dental Association, at least 60% of adults in the United States have moderate to severe gum disease,” said Dr. Marci Beck, dental partner in Smiles by Beck. “(It’s) rarely painful, especially in the early stages.” At the same time, she added, the end stage of periodontitis is “the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.” Bad breath and a sour taste in the mouth are common symptoms of periodontitis as the pockets between teeth and gums gradually deepen and the root of the tooth is exposed. Extremely hot, cold or sweet food will make it ache. A

pus-filled sac called an abscess builds up in the tissue, further destroying bone. “The majority of cases I’ve seen involve smokers,” McQuary said. “Sometimes it’s genetic. But most are simply the result of very bad home care. Good oral hygiene is like taking care of your car or truck. If you don’t change the oil periodically, how long would your engine last?” Dental hygienists try to deal with gum disease before it gets out of hand through periodic examinations with a mirror and needle-shaped probe. Calculus — a hard, chalky substance on the surface of a tooth also known as tartar — can be scaled off. Pockets of plaque in the gum are measured in millimeters (roughly, 3/64 of an inch) to find out how advanced the disease might be. Any reading under 3 mm is relatively benign, McQuary said. A 4 signals concern, and a measurement over 6 calls for immediate attention up to wholesale extractions and reconstructive surgery. “I’ve seen 12s with no bone left,” McQuary said. “That’s when you lose all of your teeth and are looking at a life with dentures, which are never as satisfactory as your natural teeth.”

Facing a future with false teeth is bad enough. But how about stroke, heart disease or diabetes? These are just some of the more serious risks associated with neglected gums. Dr. Gordon Douglass, past president of the American Academy of Periontology, said infection and inflammation in the oral cavity doubles the odds of coming down with clogged arteries and other cardiovascular issues. It’s as reliable a red flag as high cholesterol levels. What to do? “Practice better brushing and flossing techniques,” Dr. Douglass said. “If you keep your mouth clean, it’s very hard for bacteria to get started.” Brushing at least twice daily — in the morning after breakfast and at night before going to bed — serves as the first line of defense against gum disease. Brush slowly, with a soft brush and in a circular motion, for at least one minute. As for flossing, daily treatment between the teeth and under the gum line is an ideal goal. “But that would put you in the top 1 percent,” said Dr. Mark McQuary. “You’d be amazed at how many people don’t floss at all. They just don’t want to do it. If you can floss three or four times a week, you’re doing better than most.”

tallahassee.com/health 23


FEATURE

FIRST PLACE: MAB, DESIGNED BY ADRIAN PEREZ ZAPATA

HIGH TECH KITCHENS GADGETS bring ease and convenience into the home By Elise Oberliesen

T

hanks to innovative technologies and wicked smart people, more products are designed with your health and home in mind. From high tech gadgets that keep you connected to your food and nutritional needs to modern updates that save time in the kitchen, here you will find some of trendiest gadgets.

26 Your Health Magazine | February 2014

Adrian Perez Zapata won first place in a contest for the design of this Mab, a device that can detect and clean dirty floors.

Eat this, not that

Introducing the Prep Pad food scale, sold by The Orange Chef Company. This gadget does more than spit out weights of your favorite foods like apples and low-sodium hot dogs. While it won’t drop and kick out burpee sets for you, it does reveal the true

nutritional density in the foods you like to eat. This gadget works with the iOS app, Countertop. All you have to do is establish a user profile with biometric data — height, weight, activity level. Then it works up a suggested USDAbased nutrition profile based on your needs. With about


200,000 Number of different foods which can be loaded into the brain of this Prep Pad food scale. The scale reveals the true nutritional density in the foods you like to eat. This gadget works with the iOS app, Countertop.

Prep Pad food scale, sold by The Orange Chef Company. Product available at theorangchef.com for $149.95. Boskke ceramic planter, www.boskke.com, prices vary by size.

200,000 foods loaded into the brain of this savvy scale, it’s easy to see whether that piece of carrot cake might be tipping the scales in the wrong direction. Instead of saying no to the cake altogether, perhaps you’ll see that a half slice means you can keep some of the sweet stuff and still stay on track. (theorangechef.com, $149.95)

Paint your kitchen ceiling green

Fresh herbs take meals from dull to delish in seconds. But that’s only if you regularly stock the fridge or the garden — a small challenge come winter. Now you can grow indoor herbs without taking up precious counter space with this clever grow gadget. Just mount the Boskke ceram-

ic planter to the wall or ceiling and enjoy streaming herbs on demand. No need to worry about parched plants thanks to its innovative Slo-Flo watering technology. Depending on climate, the ceramic reservoir holds up to a 14-day supply of water. (www.boskke.com, prices vary by size)

New twist on an old standby

Can’t get enough fruits and veggies in your diet? Instead of gnawing on them, maybe it’s time to start drinking them. Having the right blender makes all the difference. The go-to commercial brands among chefs — Blendtec or Vitamix. That’s because they liquefy whole foods, like celery and oranges without that mealy texture most blenders

leave behind. But now there’s a newcomer that’s more budget friendly — the Ninja Ultima starts at $199. But does it stand up to the competition? The Ninja Ultima revs at 24,000 RPMS with its 1500 watt motor. More expensive brands like Blendtec Home offer higher RPMS, 29,000 and slightly higher wattage of 1560 watts. The Blendtec, however, retails for $388 on Amazon.com. So does the Ninja pass the grit test? I combined a cup of yogurt, a carrot, an apple, ice cubes and water. After one minute at level nine, bright orange carrot bits flailed around. After one more minute, pesky carrot bits disappeared. The finished consistency was milkshake thick with a smooth finish. The pulse feature speeds up the process. Atomium, a 3D printer capable of building a meal. Atomium uses molecular ingredients based on your unique nutritional needs to generate foods you like to eat.

HOMES AND KITCHENS OF THE FUTURE Each year judges from the Electrolux Design Lab (ECL) pluck eight international design students who submit their brightest ideas that keep homes fresher, cleaner and healthier. In 2013 ECL received about 1,700 contestants for its “Urban Living” themed competition. Here are the top two designs.

FIRST PLACE: MAB, DESIGNED BY ADRIAN PEREZ ZAPATA Think Amazon Drone concept on smaller scale — hundreds of mini robots fly about the home in pursuit of dirty floors. Mab scans the room, detects grime and unleashes tiny water droplets to attack dirty surfaces. Then robots deposit the grimy contents back at the Mother Ship, aka the Core. Controlled by mobile devices or laptops. The goal: more free time and fewer chores.

SECOND PLACE: ATOMIUM, DESIGNED BY LUIZA SILA With this conceptual product, the Jetson’s theme song reverberates in my mind. “Meet George Jetson. His boy Elroy...” The future of cooking means no more cookbooks, just a 3D printer capable of building a meal. This is not your ordinary printer. Instead, this gadget builds foods based on a handdrawn image that’s scanned into the device. And instead of loading ink cartridges, Atomium uses molecular ingredients based on your uniqSue nutritional needs to generate foods you like to eat. Designed with families in mind, youngsters can learn about the nutrition inside the foods they like to eat and in the shapes they like to eat them in.

SECOND PLACE: ATOMIUM, DESIGNED BY LUIZA SILA tallahassee.com/health 27


AROUND TOWN

SPRINGS SERENADE: SWEETHEARTS FOREVER

February 15, 5:30 to 10 p.m. An evening at Wakulla Springs will include a boat cruise, dinner and music from The Dorian Q Jazz Quartet. Admission is $25. The events will take place at Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge. For more information, visit wakullasprings.org.

DANCE WITH THE SOUL: A MARVIN GAYE TRIBUTE

February 15, 8 to 10:30 p.m. Don’t do the same thing you always do for Valentine’s Day. Experience a never-seen production of Marvin Gaye’s music. The Dance with the Soul tribute is a multigenerational event of dance, poetry, song and music. Be moved by the sounds and musical genius of Marvin Gaye. The event will take place at the Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center, 505 W. Pensacola St. General admission is $20. For more information, visit journeytodance.com or email info@journeytodance.com.

ARTIGRAS

THE HERHEART SYMPOSIUM

February 1, 10 a.m. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. Capital Regional Cardiology Associates offer vital education, screenings and health-care resources to inspire women to become more involved in their heart health. The symposium is free and open to the public. It will take place at 2626 Care Drive. For more information, contact Luke Thomas at luke.thomas@hcahealthcare.com

GET FIT ESSENTIALS

February 1, 2 to 3 p.m. Melanie Locke of Get Fit Essentials will teach a class on how to use essential oils for health and fitness purposes. The class is free and will take place at 2743 Capital Circle NE. For more information, visit getfitessentials.com.

40TH ANNUAL TALLAHASSEE MARATHON

February 2, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Secure your spot on the starting line and register for the Tallahassee Marathon or Half Marathon. The marathon starts on FSU’s campus on Chieftan Way, in front of the FSU Circus. Registration for the full marathon is $75 and registration for the half marathon is $55. For more information or to register online, visit www.tallahasseemarathon.com. 30 Your Health Magazine | February 2014

THE KITCHEN GODDESS PRESENTS 30 DAYS TO HEALTH AND VITALITY

February 4, 6:30 p.m. Jill Welch, the Kitchen Goddess, offers a course including a personalized health consultation, a class on achieving a healthy diet and lifestyle and 30 days of follow-up from a health consultant. The course costs $250 and will take place at the Kitchen Goddess Headquarters, 1816 Mahan Drive. For more information, visit thekitchengoddess.com/30days or email Welch at jill@thekitchengoddess.com.

ISTOCKPHOTO/THINKSTOCK

Secure your spot on the starting line and register for the Tallahassee Marathon or Half Marathon. The Registration for the full marathon is $75 and registration for the half marathon is $55. For more information, visit tallahasseemarathon.com. MICHAEL SCHWARZ/DEMOCRAT FILES

February 22, 4 to 8 p.m. ArtiGras is a celebration of fine arts and community including the work of a diverse group of artists, various vendors, great food and live music and performances. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in Railroad Square, 567 Industrial Drive. For more information, visit facebook.com/cultartsalli or email Laura@railroadsquare.com.



2014 february your health