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T H E G O O D L I V I N G M A G A Z I N E f r o m S A I N T P E T E R ’ S H E A LT H C A R E S Y S T E M M I D D L E S E X H E A LT H & L I F E ■

OCTOBER 2010 / $3.95



2011 H E A LT H Y L I V I N G 2 0 1 1

• Better breathing • Fat finders: Which test is best? • Health tips, A–Z • Body ache? Here’s what to take

Paradise, twice: 2 rejuvenating jaunts Italian delights in New Brunswick HEALTH WATCH

Jersey’s favorite birthplace Ways to cut heart risks Does your child have ADHD?

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October 2010 Features 15

Waiting to exhale Slow, mindful respiration can beat stress, lower blood pressure, relieve hot flashes and more.


Great health, from A to Z!


Your fat—and how to find it

Want to feel better, live longer and be more wellnesssavvy? Here are 26 tips to get you on your way!

Ready to know how much you’re really carrying? Don’t rely on weight alone.

28 Escapes / Paradise, twice

2 jaunts to refresh mind, body and spirit: the blissful beaches of Grand Cayman and Colorado’s rugged vistas

Departments 4 Welcome letter 6 Editor’s letter 12 Flash

Captured moments around the county

32 Health watch

• Keep your heart hearty • Pain-reliever rundown

35 The buzz Notable events from Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

36 Faces of Saint Peter’s Conversations with obstetrician-gynecologists Rashmi Acharya, M.D., and Francine E. Sinofsky, M.D.

38 Inside look

The state’s most popular birthplace More babies are born at Saint Peter’s than at any other hospital in the state—and no wonder.

41 Tech savvy What’s ‘normal’ fetal growth? If you’re a mom-to-be, research on this question for different ethnic groups may help you get better care.

42 Seasonal health Attention! If your child seems restless, distracted or moody, he or she may need to be evaluated for ADHD.

43 Up close Mission correction Suddenly, this sales exec knew it was time to leave the fast lane.

44 Glorious food Pod squad Foodies aplenty have declared their love for

edamame, an increasingly popular bean that packs a hefty nutritional punch.

46 Middlesex gourmet

Beyond the sea A spectrum of Italian delights awaits at

Due Mari in New Brunswick.

48 Faces of Middlesex Head over heels cover Image: WIREIMAGES

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Welcome letter

Saint Peter’s Auxiliary Meeting Monday, October 11 7:00 PM Saint Peter’s University Hospital 254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick Ever consider giving some time to a good cause? The Saint Peter’s Auxiliary invites you to learn how you can get involved. Meet staff and community friends of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. Help plan fashion shows, dinners and other fundraising events. Guest speaker Denise Sikora of DL Health Claims Solutions, LLC, presents “Giving you peace of mind: Managing your medical bills.” Take a tour of Saint Peter’s new Restaurant 2fifty4 and The Gift Shop on Park. For more details, call the Saint Peter’s Foundation at 732-745-8542.

HEALTH & WELLNESS Helmets for Hearts: Tackling HCM Friday, October 1, 7:00 PM South Plainfield at New Brunswick Saturday, October 2, 1:00 PM Manasquan at Metuchen Saint Peter’s Community Mobile Health Services will be on site at area high school football games to raise awareness of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in partnership with the Greater Middlesex Conference Football Coaches Association.

Community Mobile Health Services Saint Peter’s Community Mobile Health Services provides health education and screenings, including blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, stroke, body mass index and more. Community groups and businesses interested in scheduling services at your location can contact Community Mobile Health Services at 732-745-8600, ext. 8903.

delivering on our commitment to women and infants When you perform an activity over and over again, you become very good at it, and Saint peter’s university hospital is exceptionally good at delivering babies. every year, our obstetrical doctors and nurses deliver, on average, 6,000 babies. We are a state-designated regional perinatal center qualified to care for the most high-risk mothers and the most fragile infants. mothers and newborns with severe medical challenges are referred or transferred to Saint peter’s, and their outcomes rank among the best when compared with the country’s major maternity hospitals. We are, in fact, considered one of these elite hospitals. our success is due to our highly orchestrated team approach to patient care and delivery, and to the knowledgeable, talented members of that team. our maternal fetal medicine physicians help high-risk moms and their unborn babies during pregnancy, while our neonatal doctors care for compromised infants once they are born. about 70 community obstetricians choose to deliver their patients at Saint peter’s, and they work in partnership with our nurses, who have received magnet recognition from the american nurses credentialing center for their experience and excellence in patient care. We could not be a high-risk maternity center, however, without our geneticists, urologists, endocrinologists, surgeons, cardiologists and other specialists; and without the laboratory, blood bank, pharmacy, respiratory therapy and other support people who work together, sometimes on a moment’s notice, for every mother and baby who needs them. to watch the team in action is truly awe inspiring. We introduce you to a few of them in this issue of Middlesex Health & Life. if you are expecting or planning a family, i wish you a joyful—and uneventful—pregnancy. But should you encounter complications, rest assured we’re here to help.

John A. CArlson Jr., M.D.


ChAir, DepArtMent of obstetriCs AnD GyneColoGy resiDenCy proGrAM DireCtor, obstetriCs AnD GyneColoGy professor of obstetriCs AnD GyneColoGy, Drexel University ColleGe of MeDiCine

732.745.8600 |

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THE RAY OF HOPE CANCER PATIENTS HAVE BEEN SEARCHING FOR. CyberKnife® is the ultimate cancer-fighting weapon at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. It’s called knifeless surgery because it removes tumors with no cutting, stitching or pain. Its revolutionary robotic technology uses pinpoint radiation beams to target hard-to-reach tumors anywhere in the body—including the brain, spine, liver, kidney, neck, pancreas, lung and prostate—preserving the healthy tissue around them. And not in the conventional 30 to 45 treatments—but in as few as one to five! CyberKnife at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. Treating you better…for life.

For details, call toll-free 866-702-2737 or visit

Treating you better...for life. 254 EASTON AVENUE, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901 Accredited by the American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer

Catholic hospital sponsored by the Diocese of Metuchen



State-designated children’s hospital and regional perinatal center

CyberKnife is a registered trademark of Accuray Incorporated and is used with permission.

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editor’s letter

treat yourself to stellar health We at MIDDLESEX hEaLth & LIfE abide by a simple mantra: Good health is vital for a good life. that’s why we fill our pages with a plethora of wellness advice, tips and tidbits—so that you, our readers, can maximize the quality of your own health, and thus enjoy all the wonders of Middlesex County to their fullest. in this issue, we make that mission our special focus—and like any good lesson, we start with an “abC” primer: in “Great Health, a to Z!” on page 18, you’ll find info on 26 different subjects, covering a broad range of health concerns. From antioxidants to “zzz’s,” we’ve got take-home tips for everyone. if you’ve been watching your eating habits and willing the scale to budge, you’ll appreciate the article on page 26. there we tell you why your body-fat percentage—not your weight—is the optimal way to measure your health risks. We also run down six different methods of finding this information—and the pros and cons of each. Of course, we must also allow ourselves time for a little indulgence. When that whim strikes, our restaurant reviewer has a sure-to-please culinary destination where the italian fare is magnifico. turn to page 46 for the delicious details on the eatery she recommends. For those in search of a little rejuvenation, we share two delightful—but quite different—excursions that refresh body and mind alike. Read up on our destinations of choice in our escapes story, page 28. With this issue in hand, we know you’ll be wellarmed to enjoy a very healthy, happy autumn full of Middlesex County delights!

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Craftsmanship • Functionality • Design

OCTOBER 2010 Middlesex Health & Life Staff

editor in chief RITA GUARNA

senior editor TIMOTHY KELLEY

managing editor JENNIFER RYAN

assistant editor KRISTIN COLELLA

editorial intern











To schedule your consultation, contact us at (866) 215-4265 (732) 229-3630

group publisher WILKIE F. BUSHBY

executive vice president, publishing director DEBORAH JONES BARROW

regional advertising director DOUGLAS C . BARKER JR . senior account executive TRACEY HALL

manager, digital media LARRY VOLLMER


director of production CHRISTINE HAMEL

production assistant JULIA NIEDZWIECKI

marketing director LINDA ROTHSCHILD

sales & marketing coordinator ELIZABETH MEE

senior art director, agency services KIJOO KIM

director of advertising services THOMAS RAGUSA

circulation director LAUREN MENA editorial contributions: The editors invite letters, article ideas and other contributions from readers. Please write to Editor, Middlesex Health & Life, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645; telephone 201-571-7003; fax 201782-5319; e-mail Any manuscript or artwork should be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope bearing adequate return postage. The magazine is not responsible for the return or loss of submissions. advertising inquiries: Please contact Wilkie Bushby at 201-571-2220 or

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health starts with a smile.

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Nutrition Solutions, LLC

For Health and Longevity

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

Our Holistic Nutrition Approach to Health and Weight Loss • All Programs are developed and Implemented by Registered Dietitians

• We teach you how to improve your health with the healing power of foods

• Programs are based on your individual Medgem Metabolism Test, “metabolic fingerprint”, and your body composition analysis

• We don’t promote or endorse quick weight loss shakes, cleanses or pills

RONALD C . RAK , J . D .

chief marketing officer PETER CONNOLLY

director, marketing and media relations MICHELLE LAZZAROTTI

• We can teach you how to treat your ailments such as: High Cholesterol, Heart Disease, Diabetes, High Yeast Growth, High Blood Pressure, Food Allergies, Eating Disorders and Obesity to name a few

• We teach you the correct amount of calories you should be consuming to help you reach your weight management goals

president and chief executive officer

Saint Peter’s University Hospital president, medical and dental staff SUZETTE JOHNSON , M . D .


Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corporation

Metabolism Testing • 2 visit initial consultation with the Metabolism test and Body Composition Analysis • 5 Week Program 7 Week Diabetic Nutrition Program • 10 Weeks to Wellness Program


executive director


Major Insurance and Credit Cards Accepted

254 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. For more information about Saint Peter’s facilities and services, please visit or call 732-745-8600.


220 Forsgate Drive | Jamesburg, NJ | 732-966-0130 300 Gordons Corner Road | Manalapan, NJ | 732-851-4263 |

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subscription services: To inquire about a subscription, to change an address or to purchase a back issue or a reprint of an article, please write to Middlesex Health & Life, Circulation Department, PO Box 1788, Land O Lakes, FL 34639; telephone 813-996-6579; e-mail

Middlesex Health & Life is published four times a year by Wainscot Media, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645, in association with Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. This is Volume 4, Issue 3. ©2010 by Wainscot Media LLC. All rights reserved. Subscriptions in U.S.: $14.00 for one year. Single copies: $3.95. Material contained herein is for informational purposes only. If you have medical concerns, seek the advice of a healthcare professional. Acceptance of advertising by Middlesex Health & Life does not constitute an endorsement of products or services.

Edison 732-906-0900

Accredited by Middle States. Independently owned and operated. ©2010 Huntington Mark, LLC.

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FLASH At Rutgers University Golf Course in Piscataway, Rutgers Wrestling held its annual golf outing. In addition to the competition on the greens, the fundraising event featured a lunch and awards ceremony. Proceeds directly benefit the Rutgers Wrestling program. Golfers also converged at Forsgate Country Club in Jamesburg for the Saint Peter’s Community Golf Outing, benefiting Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. And the Colonia Country Club was the site of another golf outing, this one hosted by the Metuchen and Edison chambers of commerce. When the golfing was complete, attendees enjoyed a cocktail hour, followed by a dinner and awards ceremony.






Gala Name 6

8 7

saint peter’s Community golf outing

1. Scott Goodale, Jorden Beberly and Joe Pollard

5. Brian Kelly, Pat Buckelew, J.T. Miller and Jack Doyle

2. John Fangelli, Rich Russo, Andy Sarafino and Bill Garbarine 3. Phil Cocozzo 4. Rodney Vanness and Dustin Holaday

Middlesex Health & Life, att: Flash editor, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645; or e-mail Include your contact information, a short event description and names of all who

Metuchen & Edison Chambers of Commerce golf outing

appear. (Submissions are not guaranteed

6. Bill Errickson, Valerie Latham and Irene Stolte 8

lowing image specs: 4x6 color prints or

7. Donna Fleres and Jessica Estrella 8. MaryAnn Lovas and Jason Conway

Flash_MSX_0310_v3jr.indd 2

from your gala or charity event to

to be published and must meet the fol300 dpi jpg, tif or eps files. Prints must be accompanied by an SASE in order to be returned.)

KATHY KING; Carol Negvesky; Christopher Barth

Rutgers Wrestling Golf Outing 2010

Think you belong in Flash? Send photos

9/8/10 1:19 PM


Home lending options and the power of positive thinking Do you still believe in homeownership? You’re not alone. According to a recent survey, expiration of the government homebuyer tax credit program won’t put optimistic house-hunters in a holding pattern. This is due to the fact that aspiring buyers still have compelling reasons to feel better about the real estate market.

the best credit scores possible, especially during times of transition. As a result, I work with clients to structure what they need to do in order to secure a loan for the present, as well as the near future, that works best for them. (For more information about credit scores, please refer to this website:

There is good news: interest rates are still at historic lows, home prices remain attractive and there are plenty of homes for sale to choose from. With all of these reasons to purchase a home, here are some interesting statistics to support this claim:

Many of you may be wondering, should I refinance now? Will rates get any lower? Is now the time to convert my 30-year or adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed-rate or lower term mortgage?

Survey results confirm homebuyer confidence is alive and well. • 70% think this is a “good” or “great” time to buy a home. • 79% expect real estate prices to increase over the next five years. • 92% believe homeownership is a good investment. • 75% said homeownership is better than stocks or bonds. • 72% prefer homeownership to mutual funds. (Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services, Inc. 4/28/2010)

For those homeowners with solid finances, the opportunity to refinance to below 4 percent is persuading some to consider 15-year fixed loans. Those average rates are the lowest in decades. More homeowners are choosing that option because it allows them to save money in the long run, though it may cost more in monthly payments. Freddie Mac says nearly a third of borrowers refinancing 30-year loans from April-to-June picked loans with 15-year or 20-year terms. Still, savvy consumers can already find 30-year fixed rates at or near 4 percent if they are willing to pay a little more up front.

In addition to working with the first time homebuyer, I specialize in helping divorcing couples. When faced with a divorce or separation, there are many aspects of this transition that can cause stress, including the problems that can arise due to money issues related to the buying, selling or refinancing of the home. If you are concerned about remaining in your home or purchasing a home without your spouse’s income, I can help.

As a lending specialist, my clients have been and will continue to be my top priority. By addressing the various stages in your life and concerns that you may have in reference to lending options, you will see that my clients come first. Discover the importance of remaining positive about your home buying/ refinancing experience and how the benefits far outweigh the negatives when obtaining a loan for your future.

DonnA RAnIeRI Home Mortgage Consultant DonnA RAnIeRI, Home Loan Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, has been in the banking industry for over 34 years. In addition, she has been specializing in residential home mortgage lending for the last 10 years. Donna’s primary goal is to utilize her position at Wells Fargo to allow her the opportunity to find a mortgage product to fit almost anyone’s needs. She is a member of the Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group, new Jersey Fair Divorce Solutions,

By identifying the steps you need to take, I can devise an easy to understand, step-by-step plan to obtain a loan for your future. As a divorce-lending specialist, my primary focus is to provide clear and accurate information early on in a divorce case. By doing this, I help identify ways to make your lending experience a more positive one.

Please let me know if I can be of service or to answer any questions you my have in regards to obtaining a loan in the future. There is no better time than the present to secure a home loan and it would be a pleasure to assist you.

For example, it is especially important to look at your credit and make certain that you maintain

For more information please refer to my website— or my Linked In profile for articles/events—

013_MSHL_OCT10.indd 1

IACP- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, and she is trained in Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce. For a private, no-cost consultation, please contact Donna at phone. 732 547-3736 e-mail. web.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR ADULT INTENSIVE CARE UNIT FOR RECEIVING THE BEACON AWARD, ONCE AGAIN. The Beacon Award, presented by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, recognizes nurses that deliver the very best in critical care to their patients. We’re proud to say that out of 6,000 intensive care units across the country, only 30 have won the award twice, and Saint Peter’s is one of them. Winning this award exemplifies the uncompromising standards of excellence that our nurses uphold every day. All of us at Saint Peter’s congratulate our superb Adult Intensive Care Unit nurses on this significant accomplishment.

For more details on our award-winning nurses, call 732-745-8600 or visit

Treating you better...for life. 254 EASTON AVENUE, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901


Catholic hospital sponsored by the Diocese of Metuchen  State-designated children’s hospital and regional perinatal center Affiliate of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia  Regional medical campus of Drexel University College of Medicine

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health & BEAUTY by Francesca Moisin

exhale Waiting to

Slow, mindful respiration can

beat stress, lower blood pressure, relieve hot flashes and more

Did you know that in a 24-hour day you take in and release air some 20,000 times? Breathing is something we do without even being aware of it. But practitioners of the Eastern arts of yoga and tai chi have long insisted that a few moments of conscious, deliberate breathing daily can be a health boon—and Western science is starting to agree. “Breath can definitely be used as a tool to enhance health,” says Victoria Maizes, M.D., executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, founded by wellness guru Andrew Weil, M.D. “We now know that by slowing and deepening our breathing we can promote relaxation and affect our physiology in numerous beneficial ways,” she says. continued


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health & BEAUTY

As the doctor explains, most people habitually inhale with only the tops of their lungs, never utilizing the diaphragm. This does not allow enough fresh oxygen to enter cells and circulate through the body. Shallow respiration also means that carbon dioxide isn’t properly expelled, lowering resistance to disease. We fare better if for at least a few minutes each day we take in oxygen slowly, methodically and belly-deep— evidence suggests doing so can improve health in several ways: • Beating stress and anxiety. “If you’re feeling stressed,

taking a few deep breaths makes you breathe slower and helps your muscles relax,” says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Conscious abdominal breathing also slows heart rates and stops adrenal glands from producing the stress hormone known as cortisol. This may be helpful to future health in ways that aren’t yet fully proved. Says Dr. Maizes: “Some experts even suggest a link between chronic stress and Alzheimer’s disease.” Breath work is also used to calm victims of posttraumatic stress disorder and people in the grip of phobias. In a 2008 study in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, 37 people with longstanding panic disorders were given a biofeedback device to slow and regulate their breathing. For more than two-thirds of them, panic attacks ceased. • Lowering blood pressure. RESPeRATE, an FDAapproved portable electronic device, uses chest sensors to analyze a patient’s specific breathing pattern and then create a personalized “melody” that gradually helps them slow that pattern down from the 14 to 19 breaths per minute

most of us normally take into a “therapeutic zone” of less than 10 breaths per minute. It’s been proven that breathing in sync with that slow tune can significantly lower high blood pressure for a time—without drugs. • Improving digestion. Heartburn or upset stomach?

Deep breathing may help here too, says Dr. Maizes, because the body can only digest food properly when the nervous system is at rest. “If you can activate a relaxation response through deep breathing,” the doctor contends, “you’ll alleviate the shooting aches of indigestion.” • Treating debilitating lung conditions. People with

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, asthma and emphysema can’t take breathing for granted as the rest of us do. For them, diaphragmatic breathing is important to improve oxygen saturation. Because of the respiratory limits imposed by COPD, deep breathing isn’t intuitive, but when patients are trained to do it, says Dr. Maizes, they can strengthen their breathing muscles and feel better. • Easing menopausal hot flashes. In recent studies, says the doctor, expansive diaphragmatic breathing “has been shown to help shorten hot flashes and reduce their intensity.” Accordingly, the U.S. National Institute on Aging now recommends trying relaxation breathing “if you feel a hot flash coming on or if you need to relax before falling asleep.” “Until recently our culture hasn’t put much emphasis on teaching proper breathing techniques, which can help in many wonderful ways,” says Dr. Maizes. “Fortunately, that’s changing.” n

‘Belly-deep’ breathing: a how-to “I use a practice called the 4-7-8 breath, which I learned years ago from Dr. Andrew Weil,” says Victoria Maizes, M.D., executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Here’s how it’s done: • Start by resting your tongue on the roof of your mouth, near the ridge behind your upper front teeth. Exhale fully. • Inhale through your nose to the count of four. Hold your breath to the count of seven. • Exhale with your mouth slightly open, tongue held in the same position, to the count of eight. Your breath should make a whooshing sound. “Do this four times in a row, twice each day, and I guarantee it will pro-




foundly affect your life,” promises Dr. Maizes.

o c t o be r 2 0 1 0

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The bellows breath: Need an afternoon pick-meup? This stimulating technique is a great substitute

for a second cup of coffee, says Victoria Maizes, M.D., executive director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Sit upright with your mouth closed. Begin breathing in and out of your nose as quickly as possible. You should hear a panting sound. Do this for 10 to 30 seconds at a time—but never exceed one minute, or you may hyperventilate.


The runner’s breath: Your muscles need ample oxygen in order to keep propelling you forward. Without

proper oxygenation, your legs will become fatigued more quickly, compromising both your speed and your distance. To keep airways from constricting, breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. Oxygen should also come from your diaphragm rather than your chest, so be sure to inhale deeply from your belly, feeling your abdomen expand.


The yogic breath: “Yoga teaches many styles of breathing, but there is one simple method I find

especially useful for obtaining a deep sense of wellbeing,” says yoga guru Georgia Balligian, an instructor at Bikram Yoga NYC. “Sit with your legs crossed, hands relaxed at your sides. Inhale slowly through your nose, filling lungs to the maximum. Then exhale slowly, also through your nose. The point of this exercise is to connect your mind with your breath, so try to let go of any worries, thoughts or plans. You’ll feel great—and because oxygen is good for the skin, doing this regularly will help your complexion look great too!”

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health & beauty b y J a n e l l e Ya t e s

Great health

AZ from to

Want to feel better, live longer and be more wellnesssavvy? Here are 26 tips to get you on your way!

“A is for apple” begins many kids’ books, while a popular saying credits daily use of this A-fruit with “keeping the doctor away.” But what if all 26 letters climbed aboard the bandwagon of good health? That question inspired Middlesex Health & Life to do a bit of research into the latest health findings. The result: the good-health alphabet you’ll find on the next few pages.



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O C TOBER 2 0 1 0

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ntioxidants: They battle “free radicals�

that can damage cells. Consider, for instance, the antioxidant curcumin, which helps give the spice turmeric (used in many Indian dishes) its yellow color. Recent research suggests that curcumin has anti-cancer properties and may help prevent fibroids, painful joints and other ills. (Score one for Indian Ayurvedic medicine, which has used turmeric for 4,000 years.) Other antioxidant-rich foods include beans, berries, apples and artichoke hearts. continued

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9/15/10 8:56 AM

health & beauty



ad breath: Don’t let halitosis—bad breath— sour your eating, talking and kissing! We all know that onions, garlic, tobacco and bad oral hygiene can cause the problem. But if you already avoid these and still suffer, you should know that medications, infections, gastrointestinal disturbances and even diets can also be the culprit, the American Dental Association reports. If you have halitosis and have had no luck in ditching it yourself, your dentist can help you explore possible causes and find a solution.


ommunity: As our urban and suburban lives have grown busier, the number of Americans who say they lack close friends has tripled. A recent analysis of 148 studies involving more than 300,000 people found that those with the strongest social ties tended to live longer. So pick up the phone, send that e-mail or even drop by next door for a visit.


iabetes: This condition—which hikes the risk of life-threatening cardiovascular illness—usually begins with insulin resistance, a disorder that prevents the body from fully utilizing the hormone insulin. But progression to diabetes is not inevitable. Weight loss and regular physical activity can help delay, prevent or even reverse diabetes, possibly returning blood glucose levels to normal. In one diabetes prevention program, lifestyle changes such as these reduced the risk of diabetes by 58 percent over three years.



Not a track star or a gym rat? Don’t worry—even regular walking can have a positive effect on health. In one study of previously sedentary adults, a 12-week program of walking 10,000 steps daily significantly improved post-exercise heart rate and total cholesterol. It also had a positive effect on fitness and flexibility.



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ructose: Is highfructose corn syrup really worse than other sugars? “So far, research has yielded conflicting results,” says the Mayo Clinic. The problem, many experts say, is that this product is everywhere: The ultra-low cost and ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup may encourage overconsumption and contribute to obesity. So watch for it on ingredient lists and go easy!



Think acid reflux and heartburn and you’ve got the gist of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most adults have experienced it, but if it becomes excessive or distressing, it’s time to seek help. Left unchecked, chronic GERD can alter the lining of the esophagus and increase cancer risk. Lifestyle changes are the simplest preventive: Keep your weight down, don’t smoke, be sparing with alcohol and spicy foods, and keep clothes and belts comfortably loose.



When a heart stops suddenly, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can often start it again. A recent study found that chest compression alone is as effective as compression plus mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in reviving patients with suspected cardiac arrest.


nternet: Five to 10 percent of Internet users are overly dependent on the medium, researchers have found. With roughly 203 million active Web users in the U.S., that means that at least 10 million people are to some degree “hooked”— thereby risking eyestrain and missing beneficial fresh air, exercise and socializing. Is it time for your family to institute computerfree Sundays?

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umping rope:

Those girls on the

playground were onto something. This activity is excellent exercise—good for bone density, aerobic capacity and coordination, it

can pack a wallop of health benefits into a few minutes. Jumping rope nonstop for 10 minutes at 120 revolutions per minute, says the Jump Rope Institute, provides the same benefits as playing two sets of singles tennis or jogging for 30 minutes. (Neophytes may wish to begin slowly and build up.) continued

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health & beauty



A knee is a terrible thing to waste. If you perform an activity (running, for example) that puts wear and tear on knees, protect them with crosstraining—switch off to biking or swimming some days, for instance. And keep your weight under control, as even a few extra pounds can put dangerous stress on these joints over time.



Drugs can cause trouble here, and we don’t mean just street drugs. A recent study found that acetaminophen (Tylenol) caused elevated liver enzymes after only 10 days’ use at the maximum dosage (4 grams a day) in nondrinkers. Participants had no symptoms of liver damage, but the elevated enzymes indicated that their livers had already been affected.



Want to get the most out of your workouts? Load up your iPod! Many of us already know that upbeat tunes make exercise time seem to go faster. But research also indicates that they help improve your performance. One study from the University of Cumbria in England found that participants who listened to “fast” or “moderately fast” music showed significantly higher intensity in their workouts than those who listened to “slow” tunes or no music at all. Aim for songs of at least 120 beats per minute, such as “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen or “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers, both 150 bpm.


utrition: Getting this right when you’re not home has always been a challenge. Will that diner grilledcheese sandwich put you over your daily calorie limit? Now, happily, there are apps—like 22


Lose It!—that put calorie counts and other nutritional facts as close as your cell phone.


besity: Need extra motivation to help your daughters eat right and stay trim? A recent study found obese girls as young as 7 and 8 were developing breast tissue—probably because body fat produces hormones. And the additional years of exposure to estrogen and progesterone could increase their lifetime risk of breast cancer.


ets: Mounting evidence says your furry friends are good for you. A Japanese study found that dog owners were significantly more active than petless folk; other research links having a pet with reduced heart-disease risk. Mental health, too, is affected— a study by the HMO Kaiser Permanente Northwest of 177 people recovering from serious mental illness found that pets helped by providing emotional support and “strengthening their sense of empowerment.”


uitting: You’ve heard it before,

but it bears repeating: If you’re still a smoker, kicking the habit is the best single thing you can do to avert cancer, emphysema and heart disease and add length and quality to your life. Then there’s the money: Smoking a pack a day burns up at least $2,000 yearly—that’s a nice vacation. Need help? Try, a site visited regularly by some 60,000 smokers and ex-smokers, who share tips and support.

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The Mayo Clinic

says it “decreases the wear and tear on your mind and body from the challenges and hassles of daily life.� By truly relaxing, you can slow your

heart rate, lower blood pressure, increase blood flow to major muscles, reduce chronic pain, improve concentration and reduce anger. Among the best relaxation techniques is visualization: Picture yourself on a serene beach, imagining the sound of the waves, the scent of sea-salt, the warmth of the sun. (No sunscreen needed!)

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health & beauty


uperstition: Embarrassed that you can’t go to a

business meeting without your lucky pen? Don’t be! Now there’s evidence that following such superstitious “musts” really does enhance performance. In a study, activating “good luck” with a special ritual—like crossing your fingers—helped people play golf and unravel anagrams better and enhance performance on memory and motordexterity tests. Researchers speculate that heeding the superstition boosted confidence in the task at hand.



Evidence suggests that green tea can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, burn fat, reduce the risk of breast and other cancers and ease depression. But tea needn’t be green to be good for you— a recent Dutch study linked regular blacktea consumption with reduced stroke risk.


ltraviolet light:

Until recently, ultravioletB light was considered the major skin-cancer culprit, but we now know that UV-A is also problematic. Both UV-A and UV-B destroy vitamin A in the skin, but SPF labels on sunscreens refer only to UV-B. Happily, some sunscreens do protect against UV-A: Look for products that contain ecamsule, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. And be sure to apply liberally—and often.


itamin D:

It’s not just teeth and bones that use this bodily building block—every tissue has a receptor for it. Without adequate D, the risk of colon, breast and prostate cancers rises, along with blood pressure and the chances of cardiovascular disease or osteoarthritis. Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin from sunlight. But since too much sun can be dangerous, many experts recommend taking a supplement of 1,000 to 2,000 units of vitamin D daily.



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ater: We’re about 60 percent water by body weight, but the amount we need to drink daily to stay properly hydrated varies by individual, weather, exertion level—and, often, which expert you ask. “In general, doctors recommend eight or nine cups” for the average healthy adult in a temperate climate, says the Mayo Clinic. And don’t skimp: If your kidneys are healthy, it’s virtually impossible to drink too much water, but one study of 17 distance runners found that even a modest deficit in hydration impaired performance.



While the radiation you get in a diagnostic X-ray is usually not any cause for concern, a new investigation from Seattle’s Fred Hutchison Cancer Center suggests that it’s prudent to limit tests to what’s truly needed. Rsearchers found that low-dose diagnostic X-rays did slightly increase chromosome damage—specifically, “translocations” (rearrangements of chromosome parts), which can slightly increase cancer risk. When getting a scan (especially for a child), ask for “ALARA”—levels “as low as reasonably achievable”—in using ionizing radiation.


ouTub e : Want to get fit but don’t know where to start? Head to your computer! Visit and search for videos on your area of interest. You can find tutorials on how to properly hold a tennis racket, how to run with correct form, even the ideal method for brushing your teeth!

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Can snoozing

keep you thin? Getting enough sleep does help. In one study, people who slept 6 hours a night were

23 percent more likely to be obese than those who slept 7 or more hours. Those with just 5 hours of slumber were 50 percent more apt to be obese; for 4-hours-or-less sleepers the difference was 73 percent. One reason? Hormones. Leptin, which tells your brain to stop eating, declines in people who sleep fewer hours, while the hormone ghrelin, which tells your brain to keep eating, rises as you’re awake longer. n

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health & beauty b y M a r i a L i s s a n d re l l o

Your fat —

and how to find it Ready to know how much you’re really carrying? Don’t rely on weight alone

Ever look at the scale and reason, “Maybe I’m just big boned?” The truth is, weight by itself is an imperfect measure of what shape you’re in. To truly gauge your health risks, you need to know your body fat. “Fat is your predictor of mortality, and it needs to be measured directly,” says Eric Braverman, M.D., author of Younger (Thinner) You Diet. “The average person loses 15 years by being obese.” That’s a pretty hefty figure, especially considering America’s rising obesity rate: From 2007 to 2009, that rate jumped from 25.6 percent to 26.7 percent. But with so many methods that purport to help you figure out how much fat is on your frame, how can you separate the bull from the bona-fide? Here’s the skinny on several techniques: Body Mass Index (BMI) What it is: A simple formula (weight in kilograms divided by




height in meters squared, or kg/m2) evaluates your weight relative to your height. In general, the higher your BMI, the more body fat you’re likely to have. To find out yours, head to Is it accurate? Well, not exactly, since it doesn’t factor in a person’s muscle mass. Take lean, well-trained athletes, for example: Their weight may force their BMI up into the overweight or obese range, even though they carry very little fat. But the flip side, says Dr. Braverman, is even more disconcerting: “Most Americans are more out-of-shape than their BMI suggests. It may fall into the normal range despite extra flab.” What should you shoot for? Normal BMIs range from 18.5 to 24.9 for both men and women; overweight ranges from 25 to 29.9; and a BMI above 30 indicates obesity.


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Body-fat Percentage Recommendations Age













20 to 40

less than 21

less than 8





more than 39

more than 25

41 to 60

less than 23

less than 11





more than 40

more than 27

61 to 79

less than 24

less than 13





more than 42

more than 30

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000

Waist circumference What it is: A standard-issue tape measure is used to mea-

sure your waist size—the higher the number, the bigger your belly. Why it matters: Excess abdominal fat is proven to put folks at greater risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease and more. Is it accurate? Yes—provided you don’t cheat. So no sucking in your stomach or pulling the tape too tightly. Simply measure around your bare belly, right above the navel, keeping the tape parallel to the floor. What should you shoot for? More than 40 inches puts men at higher-than-average risk for developing obesityrelated illness; for nonpregnant women, the threshold is 35. Skin-fold measurements What they are: Calipers are used to measure the thick-

ness of skin folds on three to seven areas of the body, such as upper arm, belly and thigh. The measurements are then plugged into a formula to calculate body-fat percentage. (Find detailed instructions plus the fat-percentage calculator at Are they accurate? Sure … if you’re pinching the right spots at the right time and in the proper way, if you’re not very overweight and if you record the measurements within five seconds. It helps to be a contortionist. In short, skin-fold measurement requires precision that can be difficult to achieve by oneself. What should you shoot for? See the chart for ideal body-fat percentages. Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) What it is: To measure your body-fat percentage, a device

assesses the flow of a harmless electrical current through your body. (Some bathroom scales will do this analysis for you.) Electricity meets more resistance from fat than from muscle, so the faster the current travels, the leaner you are. Is it accurate? More or less. Factors such as hydration, skin temperature, time of day, your most recent meal and recent

physical activity can affect the reading. So if you just drank water, hit the gym or ate a Big Mac, don’t count on it. But used weekly, at the same time of day, it can be a useful guide. (Note: This method is off-limits for people with pacemakers.) What should you shoot for? See the chart for ideal body-fat percentages. Hydrostatic Weighing (or Hydrodensitometry) What it is: Underwater weighing! You enter a tank and a

technician calculates your body density by measuring the amount of water you displace. He or she inserts the info into a formula to derive your body-fat percentage. Is it accurate? Yes, but the tanks can be hard to find and expensive to use. Check out local universities and high-tech gyms. What should you shoot for? See the chart for ideal body-fat percentages. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) What it is: A whole-body scan using low-dose X-rays that

shows the body’s fat (along with bone and muscle) and where it’s deposited. (It’s the same machine used to test bone density.) Is it accurate? Very. In fact, it’s now considered the gold standard in body composition analysis. “Ask your doctor to prescribe it,” says Dr. Braverman, who recommends having “your body fat measured at least as often as your cholesterol.” What should you shoot for? See the chart for ideal body-fat percentages. n

What’s this about neck measurements? You may have heard about a recent study finding that neck girth may be a good supplement to BMI, especially for children. Why the neck rather than the waist? Experts say figuring out exactly where the waist is may not be as obvious as it seems. The jury’s still out on this one, so if you’re going to rely on a tape measure, stick to your waist for now.

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by Rita Guarna




bones and deadline-battered souls cry out

With our harried bodies clamoring for unadulterated relaxation, we headed for the renowned La Prairie Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Hotel in the Caribbean (345-943-9000, Properties/GrandCayman; October rates begin at $219 nightly). On Grand Cayman, the sand is creamy white, the sea a magnificent azure and the net effect on your senses wondrous. As for the Ritz—well, you know the name. This hotel is situated on 144 acres facing Seven Mile Beach and stretching “from sea to sea”— from the Caribbean to the North Sound where the island’s skinny western neck curves its way north. It boasts five restaurants, two outdoor pools, an oceanfront Jacuzzi and precisely 365 rooms—one for each day of

for the pure indulgence of lolling on a sandy Caribbean beach? Or should we restore ourselves with stunning views and vigorous adventures in a Western wonderland? So we flipped a coin, secretly hoping it would land standing on end. It didn’t, but we took both trips anyway—and made some notes to help you follow along: 28




We just couldn’t decide. Did our weary



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Even the waiting room at Silver Rain Spa bespeaks luxury. Below: Submerge your way to bliss at Silver Rain. Opposite: Relaxation awaits at the Ritz-


Carlton Grand Cayman Hotel.

the year, if it strikes your fancy—and many with oceanview balconies. And ah, the spa. Called Silver Rain, it’s a restorative sanctuary where crystal, silver and mirrored surfaces blend seamlessly with the energy of water—from glittering ice-crystal sculptures to softly splashing raindrops. Designed by Carl D’Aquino and Francine Monaco of D’Aquino Monaco, New York, the spa is 20,000 square feet of elegance. The “relaxation salon,” where I waited for my therapist, featured oversize chaises and a tea-bar full of exotic teas and island juices. I admit it—I’m easy to please when it comes to spa treatments. Of course, I know the difference between an A+ therapist and one with lesser gifts, but most of the time I’m too blissed out to care. When I underwent La Prairie’s one-hour Caviar Massage, however, the perfectionist in me made a quick comeback—to inwardly shout hooray. Within five minutes, Caleb, a talented artist with magic hands, gently but firmly untangled the knot in the left side of my cramped neck. And who says caviar is only for eating? Known for their anti-aging effects, these lush products epitomize luxury. I swear I could feel the essential oils and extracts being soaked into my skin, which felt plumped, smooth and nourished for the next few days. Even more divine was the 90-minute Platinum Rare Facial, a facial-plus-massage combo. It was so relax-

ing, in fact, that I found myself drifting off to sleep. Thankfully, I only dozed for a few minutes—I wanted to savor every moment of this pampering. It was quite simply the most amazing treatment I’ve ever had, and I’m a massage aficionado. If only such experiences could be bottled! continued

A table to try Calypso Grill (345-949-3948, www.calypsogrill in the West Bay overlooks a harbor where the fishing boats can be seen returning to the docks with the day’s catch. Indeed, the fresh fish served in this brightly colored establishment comes in daily from a dock next door; your own “catch” might be tuna sashimi, crab cakes, fresh shrimp or one of a number of other constantly varying—but always enticing—seafood dishes. The French doors are kept ajar so you can dine in a gentle ocean breeze.



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Expect breathtaking vistas daily on your Colorado jaunt. Opposite: Step back in time with a ride on the DurangoSilverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad.






For our thrilling Western journey, we headed for the rugged terrain of southwest Colorado. Inspired by an adventure described in the book Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips (2007, National Geographic), we hopped an 80-minute flight on Great Lakes Airlines (800-554-5111; www.flygreat from Denver International to Cortez Municipal Airport (elevation 5,918 feet). Then it was on to the 81.4-square mile Mesa Verde National Park (, which since 1906 has preserved the cliff dwellings, “kivas” (ancient ceremonial rooms) and other archeological treasures of a native American people now called the Ancestral Puebloans. Tantalizingly, they left no written records, but the elaborate structures they built and the tools, basketry and pottery excavators have found here bespeak an industrious and resourceful civilization—centuries before Columbus. We gamely hiked on a Park Ranger–guided tour, seeing some of the park’s 4,500 archeological sites, and for us

one standout was a honeycomb of more than millenniumold residential structures known as the Cliff Palace. There we couldn’t help noticing how multigenerational our group of sightseers was: Here was a spry septuagenarian, there a woman with a papoose. Having never sampled buffalo or quail, we filled that experience gap happily at the award-winning Metate Room while staying at the park’s Far View Lodge (866-875-8456 or 800-449-2288, www. accommodations/far-view-lodge.aspx; rooms $116 to $150). Just don’t ask us to pick a favorite between the succulent marinated grilled quail with red chili polenta and the hearty grilled marinated buffalo rib-eye. Out the window, a bright full moon added to our spiritual uplift. This was our exploration expedition, so we rented a car and drove to Durango, a town established in 1880 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. We took a charming walking tour of historic Main Avenue (, learning about the town’s Old West denizens, respectable and not-so. The “roots of ‘cowboys and Indians,’ miners,



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immigrants and ladies of the night are still evident” here, writes local historian Frederic B. Wildfang, who proved wellversed in local lore when we met him during our visit. The Rochester Hotel (800-6641920, was not just our lodging place for the night, but also a riveting destination. It’s been in business since 1892, though renovated in the 1990s. In support of the hotel’s theme, “Hollywood of the Rockies,” each of the 15 rooms is named for a movie filmed in the area. (Paul Newman and Robert Redford made their famous “The fall’s gonna kill ya” jump in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid near here, though the promontory really wasn’t very high.) Would a Wild West immersion be complete without a steam-train trip? Of course not. So we hopped aboard the Durango-Silverton NarrowGauge Railroad (970-247-2733,; 3.5 hours, $84.24 for “standard” class on up to $175.76 for “Presidential” class). The railroad, in constant operation for 127 years, was built to haul silver and gold ore down from the San Juan Mountains. As we snaked rhythmically around curves along the Animas River Canyon, mountain peaks loomed in all directions, so unforgettably majestic they did encores in our dreams. Take this trip and you’ll be a slightly different person— we promise. When we say Silverton is a sightseeing gold mine, we aren’t being picturesque. We took the town’s Old Hundred Gold Mine Tour (800-872-3009,; $16.95 for adults, departs on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., May 10 through October 15; you’re underground about 50 minutes). It’s a literal gold mine that shows off an operational 1930s-vintage Ingersoll-Rand drill. Panning for real silver and gold is included in the price of admission. Keep what you find, but don’t expect it to finance the trip. From Durango we drove the San Juan Scenic Byway to Ouray, 7,792 feet above sea level. We stayed at the Box Canyon Lodge and Hot Springs, (800-3275080,, and experienced a joyous rejuvenation—with scenic majesty all around us—courtesy of the warming waters in this establishment’s hot springs, collected in soothing outdoor tubs.

Suitably renewed, we set out for more exploration. A thrilling Jeep tour with Switzerland of America (866990-5337,; this jaunt was $60 for adults) took us to Imogene Pass, the highest driveable pass in the San Juans and our journey’s loftiest elevation at 13,114 feet. (Yes, the air is thinner and breathing is shallower, but you get used to it.) Then came a stagecoach ride from Ouray’s sole remaining livery barn (970-708-4946,; $10 per person, departing Monday through Saturday “after the noon whistle”). When editor Horace Greeley gave his famous advice about going West, he was onto something. Discovering the joys of this beautifully rugged countryside, we discovered new energies in ourselves as well. So, which experience was more rejuvenating for body, mind and spirit: the Colorado adventure or the Cayman indulgence? You’re no doubt waiting for a clear verdict, but it was awfully close. I fear we may have to try them both again—just to be sure. I

A table to try The Mahogany Grille (699 Main Avenue, Durango; 970-247-4433; www.mahogany In just six years of operation, this eatery has established itself as a “must stop” for the culinary cognoscenti. We enjoyed the Pepper Steak Herbert, a pan-seared filet mignon flambéed with brandy in a peppered mango chutney and garlic mashers, and the Elk Tenderloin, served with cheddar polenta and vegetables.

Health watch

Keep your

heart hearty

Want to cut your risk of coronary disease? Here’s a host of smart

favors you can do for your ticker

Exercise, weight control, watching your cholesterol, not smoking—these are the undisputed basics for taking care of your heart. But, as Nihir Shah, M.D., cardiologist with Brunswick Cardiology Associates, PA, tells Middlesex Health & Life, there are other things you can do to practice preventive heart health, some of them easier than hitting the gym. (Don’t stop that, though.)

Little-known heart helpers

Taking red yeast rice supplements. Did you know that statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs, were first derived from this ancient Chinese remedy? “Like the statin medications, this product can reduce ‘bad’ LDL [lowdensity lipoprotein] cholesterol,” says Dr. Shah, who is a member of the Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s medical staff. Though the American Heart Association doesn’t yet officially endorse these supplements because of insufficient published data, red yeast rice may be helpful for some people with only slightly elevated cholesterol. But it can also cause side effects such as muscle aches or liver abnormalities, the doctor adds, so check with your physician before heading to the health-food store. • Taking niacin. This B vitamin is “probably one of the best agents out there,” says Dr. Shah. It has been used

to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL)—the “good” cholesterol. It also reduces the low-density lipoprotein (LDL)—the “bad” cholesterol—and triglycerides. HDL can help remove the LDL from your bloodstream. Your doctor may prescribe niacin to improve your good cholesterol. For these benefits, though, you must go beyond the small amount of niacin included in multivitamin capsules. Marketed in extended-release tablets as the prescription drug Niaspan, niacin has potential side effects of flushing (i.e., your face becomes red and flushed) and liver damage. “If you’re taking Niaspan, you should have blood tests for liver function periodically and following any change in dosage,” says Dr. Shah. “Typically we advise patients to take Niaspan after a regular dose of aspirin—and on a full stomach—to minimize flushing.” However, do not take niacin even in the over-the-counter form without talking with your doctor.

’Oldies but goodies’: an update: You may already know about these heart helpers, but recent research lends them new scientific support:

4 fun heart protectors Sinful? Your heart says no, and research shows that they actually have cardiac benefits. So enjoy!

Dark chocolate 32


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• Increasing your omega intake. Omega-3

fatty acids (found primarily in fish) and omega-6 acids (in nuts and vegetable oils such as olive, canola and soybean) are proven heart protectors. Last year the American College of Cardiology began recommending that people who have had a cardiac event take 500 to 1,000 milligrams daily of DHA and EPA, the two most potent forms of omega-3 fatty acid, to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. That’s about as much as you get from having fish for dinner two or more times a week. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure and reduce clotting,” says Dr. Shah. “And some data suggest they can enhance the immune function.” This could be in the form of two servings

of a fatty fish such as salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring and sardines, or nuts such as walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, to name a few. There are also over-the-counter supplements such as fish oil capsules and flaxseed oil, and there’s the prescription medicine Lovaza. • Sipping Cabernet. Red wine contains resveratrol, and last year an Australian study found that low doses of this nutrient from moderate wine consumption may improve cardiac health by increasing cellular protection and reducing damage from very reactive oxidants in the body. It may also improve blood supply to cells. But Dr. Shah says that because of certain risks this news is not a reason to begin drinking wine if you’re not a drinker. And if you are, moderation is the key. Your heart risk Using these two online assessment tools can help you find out how likely you are to have a heart attack within the next decade: • The Framingham Risk Assessment: jhtml?identifier=3003499 • The Reynolds Risk Score:

3 other things you can do: Here, our doctor assesses three more steps you can take toward heart health: • Practice relaxation techniques. Yoga and meditation can slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure, says Dr. Shah, and yoga—like other forms of exercise—can make blood platelets less sticky over time so they’re less apt to cause blockages. • Consider getting a calcium score. There is a lot of talk and advertising about a test called “CT scan heart” to calculate one’s Coronary Artery Calcium score. The test is not covered by most insurance plans, but some people consider its $300 to $700 cost well worth it. “I say ‘yes and no,’” says Dr. Shah, who is conservative about exposing patients, especially women, to radiation. True, high levels of calcium buildup in the arteries can signal risk, but for most of us there’s nothing to do about it but embrace healthy habits, which we should do anyway. Using these scans for routine screening of asymptomatic patients is not currently recommended for people who fall into low- or high-risk categories, but it may be reasonable for patients with intermediate risk, says the doctor. • Learn your numbers. You should know—and track—your cholesterol and blood-pressure readings and your waist circumference (more than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women hints at trouble), says Dr. Shah.

2 unlikely warning signs Doctors don’t suggest rushing into a frenzy if you have one of the traits shown at right. But people with these signs may have a slightly higher risk of developing heart disease. So, while we should all be vigilant about heart health, extra vigilance may be in order if you have:

• Earlobes with diagonal creases. Is it because of a lack of adequate nutrients in the womb? Science can only speculate for now, but research in Britain, Japan and the U.S. has linked this characteristic to cardiac ills. • A short ring finger (in males). A University of Liverpool study says this can be a sign of low testosterone, and the hormone can be heart-protective.

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Pain-reliever RUNDOWN IS THE ONE YOU’RE TAKING RIGHT FOR YOU? FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS: ALL FOUR OF THE most popular over-the-counter products—that’s acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), ibuprofen and naproxen—are largely safe, effective and economical, rarely causing side effects. In addition to relieving pain, all

four also reduce fever. So ... what’s the difference? In most cases it’s simply a matter of preference. But as the Food and Drug Administration pointed out when it called for label warnings on these products last year, no medicine is risk-free. Here’s a quick primer on how these differ.







Bayer, St. Joseph

Advil, Motrin, Nuprin



Acetaminophen blocks pain messages to the brain.

These nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) block hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that cause pain by irritating nerve endings.


• • • • • •

• mild to moderate pain • cardiovascular protection (check with your doctor)

• • • • •


• are allergic to aspirin • have stomach or intestinal problems

• want to prevent cardiovascular disease

• want to cut your risk of Parkinson’s disease

• have muscle aches from sports activities • prefer to take fewer pills






• are under 16


• have kidney or liver disease • consume three or more alcoholic drinks daily • also take another product with acetaminophen

• • • •



• other cough, cold, pain or allergy medications


headaches toothaches back pain menstrual pain minor injury

• arthritis and joint pain • menstrual pain

have kidney or liver disease have heart disease have a blood disorder take a blood-thinning medicine

• are pregnant (except on doctor’s orders) • are allergic to aspirin or other pain relievers • have inflammatory bowel disease or experience stomach or intestinal bleeding

• antidepressants • blood thinners • other salicylates • other NSAIDs

• antidepressants • ACE inhibitors • blood thinners • lithium • diuretics • steroids • other cough, cold or pain medications

Sources: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Chronic Pain Association


headaches muscle aches toothaches back pain arthritis fever



at Saint Peter’s Elegant emporium

bashir baskinger; bohm-marrazzo photography

Congratulations, class of ’10! John A. Carlson Jr., M.D., director of Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Residency Program for Obstetrics and Gynecology, celebrates with the Class of 2010 at the program’s fourth graduation ceremony. Here he presents Gabor C. Mezei, M.D., (left) with an award for Best Research Project. Dineasha Potter McQuilkin, M.D., also recognized for Best Research Project, accepts her Best Teacher Award. Saint Peter’s residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine have been accredited with commendation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Saint Peter’s is a regional medical campus of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s new Gift Shop on Park is now open to shoppers. In addition to traditional patient gifts such as cards, flowers and balloons, artisan jewelry, purses, Demdaco figurines, fashion eyewear and more make The Gift Shop on Park a convenient way for visitors to purchase any-occasion gifts—or perhaps a little something for themselves. Items can be bought online at The new gift shop, located in the hospital lobby, is part of ongoing Saint Peter’s renovations.

A team wins honors Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Wound Care Center and Hyperbaric Services team has received the Robert A. Warriner, M.D., Center of Excellence Award from Diversified Clinical Services for outstanding healing outcomes and patient satisfaction. This is the second consecutive year the center has been designated a “Center of Distinction.”

M I D D L E S E X H E A LT H & L I F E

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9/15/10 8:54 AM

Faces of saint peter’s

Rashmi Acharya, M.D. A native of India, obstetrician-gynecologist Rashmi Acharya, M.D., 44, moved to the United States with her husband, Subhash, in 1997. Though she had a medical degree, she didn’t plan to work here at first. But she changed her mind and began studies that led to a residency in internal medicine at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, New York, and later a residency in Ob/Gyn at Mount Sinai Hospital. She has a practice, which her husband helps manage, with offices in Plainsboro and North Brunswick.

Q: How was your transition from India to America? It was tough. We came when my husband, an engineer, got a job here. In India I had worked and been very social, but here I didn’t know anyone and was home alone. I quickly realized I could help a lot of people rather than stay at home.

Q: Tell us about your family. Our daughter, Komal, is 11, and our sons are Ganesh, 8, and Omkar, 7. We adopted three siblings from an orphanage in India. They had never been to school and did not speak a word of English. I stayed there with them for four months so we could get to know and understand each other. We came home to the U.S. in April 2006. They adjusted quickly and are doing very well.

Q: Why did you switch from internal medicine? I was not satisfied with what I was doing. Remembering the women in India who had little or no access to health care, I decided to focus on women’s health. My children have brought a lot of joy to my life. And I love music. I used to sing in public in India, but now I occasionally sing at parties, usually Bollywood and native Indian songs.


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Bohm-Marrazzo Photography

Q: What brings you joy?

O C TO B E R 2 0 1 0

9/8/10 1:53 PM

Francine E. Sinofsky, M.D. “I came to New Brunswick more than 30 years ago and just never left,” says obstetriciangynecologist Francine E. Sinofsky, M.D., with a laugh. The native of Wayne attended Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ)–Rutgers Medical School. She has had privileges at Saint Peter’s for 25 years. Now living in Highland Park, Dr. Sinofsky, 54, has offices in East Brunswick and Manalapan. Her family includes her mother, four siblings and eight nieces and nephews.

Q: Are you surprised that your career has remained rooted here? When I first came here as an undergraduate, I never planned on staying. But then I was accepted into medical school and did my residency here. After that, I became a full-time faculty member at the medical school—now UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Q: Do you still teach? I continue to enjoy teaching medical students and residents when I am at Saint Peter’s. It’s satisfying to pass on what you’ve learned to the next generation of physicians. But for me it’s mostly practicing now. I find it very rewarding to help patients bring a baby home. I also love providing continuity of care. I see women from their teen years through delivering their kids to menopausal issues. Some have been with me almost 25 years. Some of the kids I delivered are now my patients, and one recently had a baby of her own!

Bohm-Marrazzo Photography

Q: Where can we find you when you’re not working? Under water! I am a certified divemaster, and I’ve been all over the world diving and shooting underwater photography. I recently went to the Yap and Truk islands in Micronesia, which were World War II battle sites. About 400 ships and planes were downed there. It’s like an underwater museum. n

M I D D L E S E X H E A L TH & L I F E

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9/8/10 1:53 PM

Inside look

The state’s most popular birthplace More babies are born at Saint Peter’s than at any other hospital in the state—and no wonder

Marcela Caro of Somerset knew she would be having twins at Saint Peter’s University Hospital—she just didn’t know it would happen in July. Her Caesarean section was scheduled for August 9, but the two babies couldn’t wait. When labor pains began on July 18, her obstetrician—Matilda Miranda, M.D., of Somerset Ob/Gyn Associates—told her to come in to the hospital. “When we got there, it was an instant delivery,” recalls Caro, 40, who is employed as program coordinator for the Rutgers Study Abroad program at Rutgers University. “Our twin sons, Dylan and Connor, were born within an hour.” Maybe Caro and her husband—Tony Doody, 42, Rutgers’ director of Programs and Leadership for Student Life—were bound to recall this birth more happily than that of their first son, Kyle, two years ago at another hospital. That earlier delivery, after all, took 48 hours. But the fact is, they found their experience at Saint Peter’s more positive in every way. “It was like night and day,” says Doody. “We were so happy we wanted to tell someone.” That’s just what John A. Carlson Jr., M.D., chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Saint Peter’s, likes to hear. “We’re the largest provider of maternity services in New Jersey, with about 6,000 deliveries a year,” he says. “As a regional perinatal center—the first in the state—we offer expertise at all the levels of care a mother would ever need. Whether or not your birth is complicated, you can come here and have a great experience, with doctors and nurses who know how to provide caring services.” When Caro and Doody found out that they were 38


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having twins, they told a colleague at Rutgers who had also had twins. “She raved about how well they took care of her at Saint Peter’s, the education she received and how nurturing they were,” says Doody. “That’s exactly what we were looking for.” The couple learned that the colleague’s recommendation was right on the money. “The whole staff—from the security people who helped Marcela out of the wheelchair, to the folks in admissions, to the people who took her up to Labor and Delivery—did a great job. It was amazing how well everyone worked together,” Doody says. “It was like an army with three battalions, one for Marcela and one for each twin. It all was so smooth and calm.” “Every single person introduced himself or herself and told me what they would do for me,” Caro says. “Two anesthesiologists came over and explained the injections I would receive and how I would feel. The whole experience was not scary at all. It was very comfortable.” After Dylan and Connor were delivered (at 5 pounds, 7 ounces and 5 pounds, 10 ounces, respectively), Caro needed to spend three and a half days recovering in the hospital. “I was blown away when we got in the room,” says her husband. “I travel all over the world, and I told my wife her room was nicer than a Ritz-Carlton. It was gorgeous, with cherry hardwood floors and molding, and a new and modern bathroom that looked like a spa. It was luxurious.”


9/10/10 9:20 AM

Bohm-marrazzo photography

During their stay, the couple made personal connections with just about everyone with whom they came in contact. “Everyone took time to get to know me,” says Caro. “There was a different nurse each day who introduced herself, wrote down her name and the patient care technician’s name on a blackboard, and said ‘I will be taking care of you.’ Even the cleaning lady took time to get to know me and congratulate me about my twins. This is a very vulnerable time, and it meant a lot that everyone showed concern for me.” Dad got similar treatment. “Whenever I walked around the hospital, if someone saw my two arm bands, which signified I had new twins, they always said, ‘Congratulations, it’s so exciting!’ I was impressed. You see so

Saint Peter’s University Hospital is the largest provider of maternity services in New Jersey, with about 6,000 deliveries a year. A regional perinatal center, Saint Peter’s offers expertise at every level of care. John A. Carlson Jr., M.D., chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and nurse Sharlene Wolfe, director of Women and Children’s Services at Saint Peter’s, lead the hospital’s skilled team of physicians and nurses.

much bad customer service these days, but this was like hanging out with friends.” Of course, even when a delivery is relatively uncomplicated, as those of Dylan and Connor were, it’s good

M I D D L E S E X H E A LT H & L I F E

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9/14/10 3:10 PM

Inside look

for peace of mind to know that a facility is prepared for the unexpected. “Saint Peter’s is ready for anything where maternity care is concerned,” explains Dr. Carlson. That care typically begins in one of the 16 private labor, delivery and recovery rooms. All the rooms have electronic fetal monitors hooked up to the centralized nurses’ station, where the nursing staff—whose members average more than 20 years of experience—keeps a close eye on everything that happens. For those cases that need more advanced care, the hospital offers high-risk pregnancy specialists— physicians specializing in maternal fetal medicine, or MFM. “MFM specialists have additional training beyond residency in Ob/Gyn,” Dr. Carlson says. “They can care for women with advanced medical or obstetrical problems. For example, women with triplets or with severe diabetes, or babies with suspected complications would be cared for by MFM specialists.” And if a baby needs intensive care once he or she is born, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is part of The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s, is ready to help. “With 54 bassinets, we have one of the largest NICUs on the East Coast,” Dr. Carlson says. “If a baby is born premature or with special problems, we have an incredible team of neonatologists who are fellowshiptrained and nurses who are certified in caring for critically ill newborns.” Saint Peter’s also has the advantage of being a teaching hospital. Its Ob/Gyn residency program trains 17 residents, which not only helps more experienced physicians stay abreast of the latest innovations and best practices, but also means doctors are in the hospital around the clock. “We have a team of physicians and residents on site 24/7 to take care of any obstetric emergency that may arise,” says the doctor. “If it’s 2 a.m. and a woman is suffering internal hemorrhaging, we have the specialists here to care for her.” Dr. Carlson also makes sure continual practice helps his staff stay ready to handle such emergencies. “We

monitor our performance all the time. We compile statistics on a semiannual basis to monitor our C-section rates, complications following delivery, infection rates and deliveries before 39 weeks’ gestation. We also monitor the performance of each physician individually and each team collectively, looking for the same things as above—basically, how well our mothers and babies do.” Saint Peter’s, through its Neonatal Transport Program, works in partnership with other area hospitals to transport premature or fragile newborns to Saint Peter’s in order to provide the level of specialized care found only in a regional perinatal center. “We offer highly coordinated care by experts in their fields,” Dr. Carlson says. He wants the community to know that Saint Peter’s can take care of just about any mom and baby—including, but not limited to, “uncomplicated” babies like Dylan and Connor. “I am amazed at how many services we received, from lactation consulting to a video for our older son, Kyle, to watch about his new siblings,” says Doody. “A nurse even spent time with me and showed me how to feed the babies correctly. I learned I was using a poor burping technique and the angle at which I was holding the bottle was wrong,” he says with a laugh. “I also relearned how to change a diaper on a smaller baby.” “Even the food was outstanding,” Caro recalls. “It’s all very healthy, and the nurses made sure I ate well. One of them was from Russia, where she had been a midwife, and she could answer all my questions about medicines and about caring for my babies and me. The whole staff helped with everything I wanted to know. And all of that set the tone and put us at peace for when we came home.” n

“We have one of the East Coast’s largest neonatal intensive care units, with a team that’s certified in caring for critically ill newborns.” —John A. Carlson Jr., M.D.



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To learn more about having your baby at Saint Peter’s University Hospital or for a tour of the hospital’s Women and Children’s Services, please call Parent Education at 732-745-8579.


9/14/10 3:10 PM





MOST PARENTS REMEMBER HOW A PREGNANCY ultrasound was used to measure their little one’s growth inside the womb, and to assess that growth compared to national averages. But you may not have realized that those averages were compiled several decades ago, mostly from studying Caucasian babies. As the country’s population grew more diverse, many high-risk pregnancy specialists noted that for some ethnic groups, babies in the womb were consistently different from the so-called “norm.” Growth charts that define what is “normal” for a developing baby can be a problem, explains Edwin Guzman, M.D., director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. If an unborn baby is wrongly determined to be too small, it can trigger needless treatments and even a needless early preterm delivery. “That’s why we need to better define kinds of smallness,” says the doctor. “Babies can be normally small or small because the placenta is not working properly and they’re not nourished well during pregnancy.” To remedy this problem, Saint Peter’s University Hospital has become one of four institutions across the country chosen to collect data for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project. Its goal: to measure growth patterns of babies from a multi-ethnic population and update the growth curves. It’s called the National Standard for Normal Fetal Growth Study, and it’s being funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the NIH. Saint Peter’s is working in collaboration with Columbia University; the other study sites are Northwestern University, the University of California at Irvine and the Medical University of South Carolina. “Our hospital was chosen in part because we care for a large South Asian and Asian-Oriental population,” says Dr. Guzman. “We are concentrating more on these women,

Melissa Yuchnovitz, tech sonographer (right), performs an ultrasound exam while Sol Zavala, clinical assistant, collects data.

but we are also looking at other groups.” Those others are Hispanic, African American and Caucasian women. “I’ve been at Saint Peter’s since 1992, and it was always clinically obvious to me that babies of South Asian women are substantially smaller than average,” Dr. Guzman says. “Studies have shown that babies of South Asian women, on average, weigh about 1 pound (400 grams) less at birth, compared to babies of Caucasian women. That’s a lot.” Saint Peter’s, which enrolled its first study subject in November 2009, will study about 500 women over the next 18 months or so, says Marian Lake, nurse manager, Maternal Fetal Medicine Research. These women are asked to fill out an extensive family health history, have six additional ultrasounds performed during the pregnancy and have blood drawn and body measurements taken periodically. “It’s anonymous and completely safe,” says Dr. Guzman. “Extra ultrasounds are not known to be harmful, and in fact may be beneficial. If any problems with the baby are found, the subject’s physician will be informed.” Besides the benefit of that extra screening, there’s the satisfaction of doing good. “The participants are helping to improve the care of women across different races,” Lake says. The hospital is still looking for women who meet certain health and weight requirements to participate. “In this research effort, we are asking the community to help us deliver better care to all ethnic groups,” says Dr. Guzman. ■

TO ENROLL IN THE STUDY If you are interested in learning more about the NATIONAL STANDARD FOR NORMAL FETAL GROWTH STUDY or wish to see if you are eligible to participate, please call Clara Perez, research coordinator in Maternal Fetal Medicine, at 732-339-7860 or e-mail

M I D D L E S E X H E A LT H & L I F E 2



9/14/10 3:10 PM

Seasonal Health

Attention! If your child seems restless, distracted or moody, he or she may need to be evaluated for ADHD

Try as you might, you can’t make your son finish his homework. The view out the window beckons, and he keeps breaking his pencil point and playing with the cat. Every two minutes he’s up and running around. He may have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurobehavioral condition that, according to a 2007 study, affects nearly 9 percent of American children. ADHD usually shows itself in the preschool or early school years, and it’s marked by hyperactivity, a poor attention span and impulsive behavior. If your child has these problems on a continuing basis (more than just the “back-to-school” fidgets), a visit with your pediatrician may be in order. “Basically, ADHD is diagnosed behaviorally, based on reports about the child—and, if the child is older, it can autism marked by difficulty in responding to social cues. include self-reports,” says Barbie Zimmerman-Bier, M.D., Treatment for ADHD usually starts with behavioral chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at The interventions—tutoring, resource room or parental action Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital. to enforce an improvement in diet, leisure activities and It’s not just the blackboard and the school books that sleep habits. But sometimes these interventions are not can offer a clue, she says. Sometimes social problems, too, enough, says Dr. Zimmerman-Bier. can point to ADHD. “Kids might be missing some social If behavioral changes don’t bring improvement, cues because they’re inattentive or daydreaming,” she says. medications may be needed. These come in two basic When a child is evaluated for ADHD, says Dr. classes: nonstimulants such as atomoxetine (Strattera) Zimmerman-Bier, doctors investigate his or her nutritional and guanfacine (Intuniv) and stimulants such as methylhealth and how much and how well he or she is sleeping. phenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine salts (Adderall). Some clinicians evaluate whether the child displays abnorThese medications raise the levels of certain neurotransmalities in brain-wave patterns. mitters present in the brain, making distraction less likely. It’s important to rule out other conditions that may But ADHD medications may also have temporary side be causing the problem and “masquerading” as ADHD. In effects such as weight loss, sleep difficulties or a slowing in 2002, a Mayo Clinic study found that at least 50 percent of growth. So you and your docthose diagnosed with the contor should weigh the pros and dition really had other probTo learn more about ADHD . . . cons of medications carefully. lems instead of or in addition Consult these sources: • National Institute of Mental Health; www.nimh.nih. “The treatment of to ADHD—such as dyslexia, gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivityADHD depends greatly on the depression, anxiety, central disorder-adhd/index.shtml child’s own medical history,” auditory processing disorders • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; www. explains Dr. Zimmerman(trouble filtering out back• National Resource Center on AD/HD, a program of Bier. “What’s right for one ground noise and focusing on Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperchild may not be right for hearing what’s important) and activity Disorder (CHADD); 800-233-4050; another.” n Asperger’s syndrome, a kind of




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9/10/10 9:24 AM

Middlesex UP CLOSE by David Levine

Mission correction suddenly, this sales exec knew it was time to leave the fast lane PEG WRIGHT LAUGHS WHEN SHE REMEMBERS her old self. “I was a driven witch in heels,” says the 58-yearold Whitehouse Station resident of her days as a highpowered executive selling diagnostic medical imaging systems. “I was making a ton of money, and I’d go to dinner in Manhattan with doctors and spend thousands of expense-account dollars. And I was miserable.” Then, shortly after the birth of her son, David, in 1987, things changed. “A visiting college friend and I were in my kitchen, and she was telling me about the spiritual awakening that had helped her stop drinking compulsively,” she recalls. “Honest to God, I felt there was an extraordinary presence in that kitchen.” The next day, as she and the friend were driving into the city with their husbands to see a Yankees game, Wright was suddenly overcome. “I burst out crying in the back seat, telling everyone my life had to change,” she says. Her compulsiveness about success, she decided, needed to be replaced by a new sense of purpose. “They thought I was nuts,” she says. “But I knew right then that the focus of my life had to be redirected, and God did it.” She has stayed true to that path. Today Wright channels her still-formidable executive skills into what she’s not ashamed to call God’s work. She is president and CEO of the Somerset-based nonprofit Center for Great Expectations, which helps pregnant women who are dealing with addictions, abuse and/or homelessness. Wright’s new role didn’t come overnight. When David entered preschool, she learned about an organization called Great Expectations Maternity Home, where pregnant women could live until their babies were born. “What these young women were going through was very moving, and I felt I could help,” she recalls. For the next two years, she worked at the center a few hours a week. Then, in 1995, she and her husband, Bob, unable to have more children of their own, adopted twin boys from Romania. She stayed home with them until 1997, when she returned to the center to help reorganize and redefine it. “I learned the meaning of ministry that is both caring and competent,” she says. Renamed the Center for Great Expectations, it reopened under her direction in 1998. Now it offers counseling, substance-abuse treatment and tutoring on health care, child care and basic living skills. The mission is to provide a safe place, safe path and

safe presence to allow the women to embrace a clean and sober lifestyle and thus break a negative cycle. For Wright, directing the center is more than a job; it’s a life-fulfilling mission—even though she hasn’t personally known all of the travails the center’s clients have suffered. “I had a very happy childhood; my parents loved me—I know that,” says Wright, who was an adopted child herself. “Many of the women we serve have been mentally, physically and sexually abused. We know they have a desire to love their children, and we build on that desire by providing them with the support, structure and direction they need.” Wright credits her long-ago conversation in the kitchen for inspiring a vital mid-course correction in her life. She admits her job demands “nose-to-the-grindstone” dedication (overseeing 50 employees, three in-house programs, a licensed day care center and a new Intensive Outpatient Program at Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s outpatient facility on How Lane in New Brunswick). But today she sees her energy as coming from a different source. “I used to define myself by what I did,” says Wright. “I guess I still do, but my values have changed. The center’s mission and ministry let me help give others a chance to meet and to be empowered by a love greater than us all.” n M I D D L E S E X H E A LT H & L I F E

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9/14/10 3:11 PM



2:20 PM

Page 46

Glorious Food

by Jenny Connell

Fried rice with scallions, edamame and tofu Serves 4

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil


2 large cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons) 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger 4 cups cooked brown rice

diced red bell pepper 3 ⁄4 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions and drained 1 2

⁄ cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels 6 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1⁄4-inch cubes 2 large eggs, beaten 3 tablespoons lowsodium soy sauce

3 4

⁄ cup seeded and finely

• Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn and tofu and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes. • Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, then add


the eggs into the rice mixture, then add the soy sauce and incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot.


TWO THINGS CATCH PEOPLE OFF GUARD about edamame, a bright-green bean that’s been slowly making its way from Japanese restaurants to the dinner tables of America. One is pronouncing the name—it’s eh-duh-MAH-may. And the other is the young soybeans’ somewhat fuzzy pod. When edamame is served as an appetizer, you see, the classic first-timer’s mistake is to eat the pod whole— not realizing that those “shells” are largely inedible and that most people just pop the beans right into their mouth. But however you eat it, edamame is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B. The Chinese made tofu out of edamame more than 2,000 years ago; the Japanese later began eating it out of the 44



Nutritional facts

per serving

400 calories • 12.5 grams fat • 7 grams fiber • 56 grams carbohydrates • 465 milligrams sodium • 106 milligrams cholesterol • 16.5 grams protein

pod. But it’s only since the 1990s that edamame has been a common sight in the frozen-food sections of U.S. supermarkets (sold both with and without the pods). Now it’s prized by vegetarians and vegans as a meat-free protein source (a whopping 17 grams per cup), and its crisp texture and sweet, almost-nutty flavor make it a happy addition to soups, salads and stir-fries. Prefer simply to snack? To enjoy edamame à la your favorite Japanese restaurant, boil in salted water until tender and pat dry. Just be warned that once you pop, you may not be able to stop. I



the eggs and cook until nearly fully scrambled. Stir



4:41 PM

Page 1



You’ve done it again! For the second year in a row, The Wound Care Center® and Hyperbaric Services team at Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been honored by Diversified Clinical Services for outstanding patient care. In addition, you were awarded the prestigious Robert A. Warriner, M.D., Center of Excellence Award, a distinction reserved for centers that have been recognized for two consecutive years. It shows that Saint Peter’s team has consistently delivered outstanding results for meeting or exceeding quality standards in: • Healing Outcomes

• Days to Heal

• Patient Satisfaction

• Access to Care

All of us at Saint Peter’s University Hospital couldn’t be prouder of your accomplishments. To learn more about the Wound Care Center® and Hyperbaric Services, call 732-846-6199.

Treating you better...for life. 254 EASTON AVENUE, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901 Catholic hospital sponsored by the Diocese of Metuchen Affiliate of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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State-designated children’s hospital and regional perinatal center Regional medical campus of Drexel University College of Medicine

9/13/10 2:58 PM

Middlesex gourmet

by Amanda Prost

up every last drop of the smoky, sea-salty broth. Our second starter, the sepia, showed the versatility of both seafood and the chef. Strands of chilled cuttlefish— slightly chewy yet still tender— were topped with capers, black olives and tomato concasse, then drizzled with anchovy vinaigrette. While it may sound like salt overload, the dish was miraculously light and refreshing. A lovely change of pace from our seafood selections was the house-made papardelle, with a chunky veal Bolognese and a generous dollop of fresh ricotta— happily, the soft, wide noodles held their own against the densely meaty, creamy sauce. We chose lighter fare for our first entrée: a crispy skate wing served next to a creamy fennel puree. The pan-fried filet was cooked just right, and the light anise flavors of the Call to make a reservation at Due Mari, fennel counterbalanced the firm, flaky fish. A mix of panand the friendly host asks if it’s for a special occasion. But cetta, shrimp, fingerling potatoes, celery and tomatoes on even if you’re not marking a birthday or anniversary, the top added complexity and freshness. answer is yes. Turns out, even just a “regular” meal at this A more straightforward dish, the center-cut pork New Brunswick spot is worth celebrating. chop was all about the meat: a thick, juicy chop paired with Before you even get to the food, the airy space itself soft spaetzle and baby turnips. Whole-grain mustard added is impressive: A large, sleek, circular bar is an immediate a touch of spice, which was nicely offset by a slightly sweet, attention-grabber as you enter. Its rich, darkslightly sour plum marmalade. wood tones are repeated in the main dining That marmalade made a return  space, which exudes a casual, modern ele- Due Mari appearance in one of our desserts: The 78 Albany Street, New Brunswick, gance. Tuck into your table, and you’re soon mandorle (“almond” in Italian) featured 732-296-1600; greeted by the first of two waiters who work a ramekin of creamy almond custard in tandem to guide you through your meal. crowned with the preserves, chocolate Hours Much of the emphasis here is on sea- Lunch: Monday through Friday, gelato and a sprinkling of almonds. Hints food (due mari is Italian for “two seas”), and 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m. of marzipan and cocoa combined for a so we dove right in with our antipasti selec- Dinner: Monday through Thursday, light, intensely flavored treat. The Geno4–10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, tions. First up was the cozze—Mediterravese peach melba was similarly scrumpnean mussels that were some of the plumpest 4–11 p.m.; Sunday, 4–9 p.m. tious: Moist sponge cake was topped with we’ve seen. The tender, meaty mollusks were roasted fresh peaches and lavender gelato, What you should know steamed with house-cured bacon, fingerling • Entrées range from $17 to $31 which paired well with the sweet fruit. potatoes, corn kernels and fresh tomatoes. • All major credit cards accepted It was a fitting finish to what ended After slurping our way through the entire • Reservations recommended up being a special occasion—perhaps that bowl, we used the grilled foccaccia to soak • Private parties accommodated host was on to something. n


the sea


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9/8/10 2:00 PM

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9/13/10 2:59 PM


Head over heels class leader Evan Benjamin demonstrates some head-turning moves. 96


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kathy king

During a breakdance class and showcase held at the Old Bridge Public Library, September 2010

9/8/10 1:50 PM



the knot:

Part II—Digging a little deeper


ow! What a response to my last article. I have come to realize that more people than not are unprepared when it comes to divorce. Mental health professionals I have spoken to say that divorcing a spouse can sometimes be more emotional than losing a spouse to death. Emotions often cloud your decision making which can lead to poor choices when it comes to finances. Making changes to a property settlement agreement is almost impossible. There must be hard proof based on fraud, deceit or a major mistake. In other words, get it right the first time. With that said, I have met with too many individuals who were not clear on the financial outcome of their divorce. Request a credit check. I recently met with a client who was unaware of a significant home equity loan balance on the marital home. The couple opened a line of credit during the marriage for emergency reasons. When reviewing the tax returns, I noticed a deduction for mortgage interest (the home had been paid off a few years earlier). By doing a credit check on herself, she would have seen the outstanding balance. By the time she found out, they were already negotiating the settlement. After selling the home and paying off the debt, both walked away with much less than anticipated. Go to , a site set up by the big three credit reporting agencies in the U.S. to furnish free annual credit reports, as required by federal law. Did you know that if you were covered for health insurance under your ex-spouses

employer’s plan, you may qualify to continue your coverage for up to 36 months under COBRA? One caveat—it’s not automatic. You need to contact the employer within 60 days of the divorce and complete the necessary paperwork. Social Security: Did you know that you may be entitled to half of your ex-spouses social security benefits? You are entitled to a divorced spouse’s insurance benefits on the worker’s Social Security record if: • The worker is entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits; • You have filed an application for divorced spouse’s benefits; • You are not entitled to a retirement or disability insurance benefit based on a primary insurance amount which equals or exceeds one-half the worker’s primary insurance amount; • You are age 62 or over; • You are not married; and • You were married to the worker for at least 10 years before the date the divorce became final. If you would like more information, visit the IRS website at For information about potential benefits on someone else’s record, you need to call or visit a local social security office. n

Debra Fournier Certified Financial Planner® Certified Divorce Financial Analyst™

Debra Fournier is not an attorney and does not provide legal advice. All information is financial in nature and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. Individuals seeking legal advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their geographical areas. Securities offered through LPL Financial Member FINRA/SIPC

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Debra Fournier, CFP®, CDFATM AbouT The AuThor: Debra Fournier is a Principal of Harbor Lights Financial Group, a full service wealth advisory firm located in Manasquan, N.J. She has been providing comprehensive financial planning and fee-only asset management to affluent families in Monmouth and Ocean counties for over a decade. She is a Certified Financial Planner™ and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®, a professional designation that certifies her to examine the financial ramifications of a proposed divorce settlement. These services are especially productive in divorce cases where there are complicated financial issues, significant assets or an imbalance of financial knowledge between the divorcing couple. Debra has been a frequent guest on Good Day New York and quoted in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. She is a member of the Association of Divorce Financial Planners, Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts and serves as an executive board member of the Jersey Shore Collaborative Law Group. To schedule a private, no-obligation phone consultation, please call 800-995-4534 or email

2424 Highway 34 Manasquan, NJ 08736 800-995-HLFG

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9/13/10 2:57 PM

Middlesex Health & Life October 2010  

The Good Living Magazine from Saint Peter's Healthcare System

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