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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘weight’

Debunking Myths in Women’s Health Update

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society came out with new guidelines concerning Pap smears, which screen for cervical cancer. Conventional wisdom had long held that women should receive annual Pap smears, but in March, doctors announced the new guidelines suggesting that women receive a Pap smear once every three years.

Over 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, and more than 4,000 die each year from the disease. Getting a regular Pap smear can detect the early signs of the disease, when it is most treatable.

Dr. Debbie Saslow, director of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer of the American Cancer Society, said it was the first time the Society was recommending more infrequent screenings. So why the change?

Since cervical cancer grows slowly, many doctors agree that there’s no harm in waiting longer between Pap smears, and that having too many Pap smears carries its own risk, as they often cause false alarms and lead women to undergo unnecessary test procedures that can weaken the cervix. Weak or damaged cervixes can lead to preterm labor, which results in low birth weight for infants.

Also for the first time, the new guidelines say that when women turn 30, they can get the Pap test along with a test for the human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer, and if both tests come back negative, most women can wait another five years before taking the tests again.

The new guidelines also suggest that women stop getting screened altogether after they turn 65 if everything still looks okay.

While these new principles were perhaps the biggest change in women’s health advice in 2012 so far, other myths and erroneous ideas have been disproven, although many women may be unaware of them.

Many people think cancer cannot be prevented, but scientists believe that as many as 50 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. are causes by social and environmental factors, as well as poor personal choices.

For example, it’s estimated that more than a fourth of breast cancers in postmenopausal women might be due to physical inactivity and carrying extra weight. Diligent attention to mammograms – women over 40 should have a mammogram every one to two years – can detect breast cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable. Women who are concerned with exposure to radiation should know that the American College of Radiology says that the amount of radiation is very minute, and its risk is far outweighed by the benefits of annual mammograms.

In addition, breastfeeding has been linked to lower premenopausal breast cancer rates, as well as lower rates of ovarian cancer.

Maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular screenings also play a role in helping to prevent cervical and colorectal cancer.

Avoiding tobacco is also one of the most important ways to prevent certain cancers, notably lung cancer, as well as coronary heart disease. Even secondhand smoke can have deleterious effects to your health, so make sure to send any smokers in your family outside when they light up (if you cannot get them to quit). Diligent use of sunscreen, to avoid exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, can help prevent skin cancer.

Some young women who have no history of breast cancer in their families believe they don’t need to be vigilant about monthly breast exams, but the fact is that the majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease, nor do they possess the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene that are risk factors for the disease.

Many women who start families may also believe that certain birth defects are inevitable. But of the estimated 3,000 pregnancies in the U.S. each year result in defects of the brain (ancencephaly), or spine (spina bifida), anamazing 70 percent of these defects can be prevented by consuming adequate amounts of folic acid daily, starting before pregnancy. If you are even thinking of becoming pregnant, or know it may be a possibility, make sure to consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid daily.

Many of us have heard the rule that in order to really affect our weight and health, we must exercise at least 30-60 minutes each day. Finding this amount of time each day is not realistic for those who work, parent, or both. Many studies have found that regular bursts of activity – anything from ten minutes a day two or three times a day, or twenty minutes of intense exercise (to the point where you’re breathing so heavily you find it hard to talk) four or five times a week may be as beneficial to your health as continuous periods of exercise.

Big, Hairy Problems

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Welcome once again to “You’re Asking Me?” – a humorous advice column that is pretty much like any other advice column, except in terms of helpfulness.

Like all other advice columns, we try to answer your questions, but if you stump us, we say, “That’s beyond the scope of this article,” and we move on with our lives. That’s a nice way of saying, “We have no idea. There are people you can pay by the hour for this sort of thing.”

This week, we begin with a question sent in by every father ever.

Dear Mordechai,

I’m a father, and I’m eating pretty much the same foods I was eating as a teenager, but now all of a sudden I find myself gaining all kinds of weight. What’s happening to my body? And is it just me?

C.K., Far Rockaway

Dear C.,

It’s definitely not just you. Why do you think I don’t use an actual picture of myself at the top of this column? Join the club.

Literally. There’s a club. Granted, it’s a health club, but you get to hang out with other people who are in the same shape as you (pear-shaped). The only downside is that most of the space is taken up by exercise equipment.

The truth is, you might think that you have basically the same habits you always did, but that’s probably not true. For example, now that you run your own household, you arrange your life primarily around making sure you have to get up as little as possible.

So you should probably eat a little healthier, to compensate, but eating healthy is a lot of work. With most unhealthy foods, part of what makes it unhealthy is the preservatives that allow you to buy a ton of it and then come back to the closet several months later and say, “Hey! We have cookies!” It’s a nice surprise. Of course, this never happens, because you usually eat them as soon as you get home. Who forgets they have cookies? But sometimes, I do forget that I have vegetables, because they’re all the way at the bottom of the fridge, in a drawer that is almost always stuck, and when I do find them, months later, it’s never like, “Hey! We have vegetables!” It’s more like, “Oh. We had… What was this?”

“The drawer says “vegetables.”

It’s a good thing it’s labeled. No one ever has to label their nosh closet(s).

Veggies go bad, so you have to keep buying new ones every week. Plus you have to wash them and peel them and cut them and check them for bugs. Cookies never have bugs.

So eating healthy is a lot of work, and if we wanted to do that much work, we’d exercise. But exercise also seems like a lot of needless work. You pick up a weight and then put it down in the same exact place you got it from. What are you accomplishing? If I ran a health club, I would make my members feel like they were accomplishing something. They’d come in the morning, and I’d say, “Okay, today we’re moving all these exercise machines into the other room.” And the next day, I’d say, “Okay, today we’re moving all the machines into the first room.” No one ever goes in two days in a row, especially when I’m constantly asking them to help me rearrange my furniture, so no one would be the wiser.

 

Dear Mordechai,

I want to shave my beard for Lag Ba’Omer, but my wife wants me to keep it. What should I do?

M.P., Passaic

Dear M.,

You think I’m going to get in the middle of this?

Actually, I am. Marriage is all about compromise. So I would say you should shave about half your beard, and then walk around like that for a while. Before long, she’ll be begging you to just shave the rest.

The truth is that beards come highly recommended by at least nine out of ten rabbis. Sure, if you’re not used to a beard, it can be very uncomfortable and scratchy. But they say that if you keep it long enough, it will start to grow on you. And beards do have their advantages. For example, you can stroke it while you think about stuff. Also, people with beards tend to look smarter. Probably because they spend more time thinking.

My guess, though, is that she’s doing this for your own good. In my experience, when your wife says you look good in a beard, that’s code for, “You’ve put on a few pounds.” Beards are slimming, because when you see a fat guy with a beard, you can pretend that he’s really skinny, and that half the width of his face is actually just layers and layers of beard. That’s why Santa has a beard. You didn’t realize he was fat, did you?

From Feet To Amot: A New Jewish Units App

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

During my yearly visits to Australia to visit my wife’s family, I must endure the brutal calculations involved in switching from the imperfect Imperial system to the maligned-by-Americans (but clearly more efficient) Metric system. Pounds become kilos, Fahrenheit becomes Celsius, and feet become meters. Calculations are involved every day – and I don’t have a mind for numbers. Similarly, when I learn Gemara, I often come across ancient and archaic measurements that need conversion into modern numbers. This ensures that today’s average learner and I can better understand the amounts being dealt with. ArtScroll usually provides a formula, or tells us the conversion in the simplest terms. But now, thanks to Crowded Road CEO Adam Korbl and Rabbi Ronnie Figdor, there’s an app that helps us do just that.

The new Jewish Units app conveniently converts all Talmudic measurements (volume, length, time, area, weight, and currency) into their modern-day counterparts. And I literally mean all measurements. As someone who proudly learns an average of an amud of Gemara a day, I was flabbergasted to learn about how many types of measurements there are in Judaism. I had heard of a p’ras, a parsah and a perutah, but a pesiah, a pim and a pundeyon? And that’s just those beginning with the letter “P”!

All in all there are nearly 200 units of measure that can be converted. Perhaps that’s why I always had a hard time remembering the conversion amounts for biblical measurements. I remember thinking that a mil was about equal in length to a mile. But it turns out to be closer to a half mile (or 0.5666 to be exact). I recall the notion that a shekel (not to be confused with a New Israeli Shekel) was about equal to $1 – but it’s really about $18. And was I off regarding a kikar. One of those equals $54,119. And a kikar can be used for weight as well. So if your wife of 150 pounds thinks she’s putting on weight, you can simply say, “Honey, you’re not even 3 kikars.” (One hundred fifty pounds equals 2.668 kikars.)

If you don’t have a currency converter on your smart-device, the Jewish Units app also does basic currency conversions (e.g. dollars to euros). But the best aspect of the app, aside from its prime function, is its essential glossary that permits less learned people like me know that a pesiah is a regular footstep (about an amah) in length, or that a pundeyon was an ancient Roman currency. And if you’re wondering, one pim – a unit of measure in Sefer Shmuel – equals 80 pounds. My in-laws will also be happy to know that the app works in the metric system as well.

I showed the app to the people who will likely use it the most: kollel and yeshiva guys. It was as if I walked into a 7th-grade classroom with a (yet to be invented) Playstation 5. The app appeared to be the perfect combination of convenience and coolness. One boy who had recently completed a half marathon proudly noted that he had run 45,880 amot, about which one of his friends said: “Yeah, but that’s only 5.73 parsahs.”

In the near future Crowded Road will be offering the Jewish Units technology as part of their popular iTalmud and iMishna. “The ability to tap on a phrase in the Talmud or Mishnah that includes a halachic unit, such as daled amos, and instantly receive an explanation and modern-day conversion according to a rabbinic authority of choice should be a very powerful proposition,” says Korbl, the CEO of Crowded Road.

Perhaps the only negative aspect to the app that might dissuade some downloaders is its current $4.99 price tag. But that’s only 0.14 sela – a real bargain.

Diabetes – The Silent Killer

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The worldwide diabetes epidemic and its related precursor, obesity, are the fastest growing public health menaces of the 21st century.

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition resulting from the body’s inability to properly control blood sugar (glucose). Normally, the body controls the glucose level with a hormone produced in the pancreas called insulin. Those who have diabetes have either lost the ability to produce enough insulin, or the cells in their body no longer respond properly to the insulin that is being produced.

More than 90% of diabetes cases in the US today are Type 2, and less than 10% are Type1.

Diabetes was well known to the ancients, but the current epidemic of Type 2 diabetes is a phenomenon of modern living. It is largely the result of eating an unhealthy diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle. As a result, diabetes is nearly four times as common today as all types of cancer combined, and it causes more deaths each year than breast and prostate cancer combined.

More than 25 million Americans already have diabetes, and more than double that number have blood sugar numbers high enough to classify them as suffering from pre-diabetes. That means that they are likely to develop the full blown Type 2 diabetes in the near future if they do not make the necessary changes in their diet and lifestyles to prevent it.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes have many of the same symptoms and potentially deadly consequences, but different causes. Type 1 diabetes is also known as “juvenile diabetes” because in most cases it appears in childhood, in contrast with Type 2, which used to occur only in adults, which is why it was formerly known as adult-onset diabetes.

Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, in which something triggers the body’s own immune system to attack the insulin-producing beta cells in the part of the pancreas known as the islets of Langerhans.

Type 1 cannot be cured, but it can be effectively managed. Proper insulin therapy, combined with regular monitoring of blood sugar levels, can allow people with Type 1 diabetes to lead a normal and healthy life.

One of the most insidious aspects of Type 2 diabetes is that by the time people are diagnosed with it, they may have already developed a serious long term complication of the condition. Type 2 doubles the risk of cardiovascular disease, which ultimately kills 52% of people with diabetes. People diagnosed with Type 2 also have double the risk of suffering a stroke within 5 years. Almost one in three will eventually develop kidney disease, and diabetes is one of the leading causes of adult blindness.

Diabetes is also associated with circulation problems in the lower extremities. This can result in the slow healing or infection of wounds on the feet and legs. This is further complicated by the fact that high blood sugar due to diabetes can cause damage to the nerves that sense pain. This means that diabetes patients may not realize that they have a wound on their leg or foot until after it has become dangerously infected. This can ultimately lead to the need for amputation.

Type 2 diabetes is also a condition related to aging. Approximately 20% of the population over 60 have the condition, and an equal number have its precursor. It is no longer called “juvenile” diabetes because of the shocking relatively recent result of the obesity epidemic, the discovery of Type 2 diabetes, for the first time, in grossly overweight teenagers and young adults.

Type 2 is typically treated with oral medications such as metformin, and it, too, requires the monitoring of blood sugar levels. The good news is that pre-diabetes or mild cases of Type 2 can also be controlled through appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle and weight loss. These are more effective, but require a lot more work and discipline, than taking pills. In fact, there is evidence that Type 2 diabetes can actually be reversed, in at least some cases, with sufficiently aggressive and strictly observed diet and lifestyle changes and weight loss.

There are other types of diabetes, the most common being gestational diabetes, a temporary condition which affects 2-5% of pregnant women and generally subsides after the baby is born. The symptoms are similar to those of Type 2 diabetes, and women who have had gestational diabetes are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.

Women with gestational diabetes must be treated and closely monitored, because of the potential danger from the diabetes to the health of both the mother and the fetus. Gestational diabetes in the mother puts the baby at greater risk for high birth weight, cardiac and central nervous system problems, respiratory distress and skeletal muscle malformations. The damage done to blood vessels could impair the function of the placenta, causing fetal distress requiring early delivery through the induction of labor or cesarean section.

Turbulence

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Turbulence.
There is
Turbulence
Up here.
In the air.
And it throws us
And thrashes us.
We become
As light
As a bird.
Even though we are
A massive weight.

But in my heart
There is calm.
Calm
And peace.
The turbulence
Does not effect
My emotions
Or my
Happiness.
For I have become
A part of something
Something good
Something special
Something that keeps
Growing.

And I find myself
Finding
a new me
One that I did not
Explore
Before.
One that I didn’t know
Exists.
It is a journey
Of discovery
Thrilling
More thrilling
Than I ever
Imagined.

The turbulence rocks
Around me
Surrounds me.
But it does not
Envelop
Embrace
Enter
Me.
Because there is calm
In my soul.

Technion To Build, Launch Mini-Satellites Into Space

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Researchers at the Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, plan to build and launch into space a fleet of coordinated miniature satellites.

The project, which will be unveiled officially on Monday, is the first time scientists will attempt such a procedure. “This is the first time in the world that scientists will attempt sending three satellites together in a controlled formation,” project head Professor Pini Gurfil said. “Until now, this has not been possible because of their size and weight and the problems of dispatching multiple satellites in a uniform formation and their remaining in space for a long time.”

Gurfil praised the practical implications of a successful launch, saying that such satellites could be utilized to locate individuals that are lost, missing, or in distress.

 

Fresh, Fast & Low Fat Dinner Recipes!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

It’s official. My “just had a baby” card has expired. Now that my son is 15 months old, I can no longer pull that out as an excuse for why I have not yet lost the weight. The truth is, I like food too much to skip meals or do any crash diets. This means that portion control is how I will attempt to get back to my pre-baby weight.

Rather than deprive yourself, it’s best to find a balance between indulging your inner foodie without over eating. If you want pizza, opt for whole-wheat thin crust with lots of veggies, and stick to one slice! When making a sandwich, use whole grains or whole wheat and again, pile on the veggies. Below is a fresh and fast lunch idea for a California Veggie Wrap. Can’t give up carbs for dinner? I have included a few delicious dishes that are low in fat, but loaded with flavor!

 

California Veggie Wrap My cousin Tova Cunin lives in California. Not only am I envious whenever I see her photos of the sunny state (I live in NY and winter here can be brutal!) but I also get major cravings whenever she posts a photo of her tasty cooking. For lunch I never seem to have the time to prepare myself something nutritious. I usually grab something on the go; however, her latest meal inspired me as it looks delicious and is easy enough to prepare when in a hurry.

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients: Ezekiel Sprouted grain tortillas Hummus Shredded Carrots 1 red pepper cut into strips 1 avocado, sliced into strips

 

Directions:

Toast the tortilla for less than a minute. Spread on some hummus. Layer the veggies on top. Roll up and cut in half.

 

 

Easy Beef with Broccoli This is an easy way to prepare beef and broccoli without the greasy feeling you would get from ordering takeout! This recipe could also be prepared with mushrooms and red pepper slices. Just add to the pan after cooking the beef.

 

Ingredients:

Broccoli

1 cup rice

1 lb. flank steak, or sandwich steak slices (pepper steak could also be used)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tsp steak seasoning (I use McCormick Montreal Spice seasoning)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon minced ginger

 

Directions:

Steam broccoli & prepare the rice. In a bowl mix together the oil with the soy sauce, ginger and steak seasoning. Marinate the meat for 20 minutes. Heat a wok or frying pan and add 3 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry briefly until fragrant. Add the sliced beef & brown. Once it is nearly cooked through add the broccoli. Stir-fry briefly. Serve with the cooked rice.

 

 

Tilapia Baked with Cumin The other night I wanted a fresh new recipe for dinner, so I called up my sister-in-law, Sarrit, who told me about the following tasty dish her mom often makes. I am a huge fan of my mother-in-law’s cooking so I knew without a doubt it would taste great. However, I also know that some of her dishes can be somewhat complicated so I was relieved to find out that this one is not only rich with flavor but is also easy to prepare.

 

Ingredients: Tilapia, either whole or fillets Cumin Black Pepper Paprika Salt olive oil 1 onion sliced 1 tomato sliced Several potatoes sliced thinly

 

Directions:

Pour some olive oil and the above listed spices into a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Add potatos, onion, and tomato slices to the pan and coat in the olive oil mixture and then layer.  Rub the tilapia with the same olive oil/spice mixture and place on top of the layered vegetables. Bake at 350 degrees, checking after 45 minutes to see if potatoes are done.

* If you are not using a whole tilapia, and instead are using fillets, check the fish after about 20 minutes and if it is ready take the fillets off of the vegetables and set aside. Return the pan with the vegetables to the oven and bake until potatoes are ready (soft). Then place fillets back on top of vegetables and serve.

 

 

Ginger Chicken Strips When I first had my baby, I couldn’t find the time to warm up a bowl of soup for dinner – forget about spending time in the kitchen to cook! Tired of takeout and literally TIRED, I needed a meal that was tasty and easy to make. This is the dish I put together. It is, indeed, fast and delicious. I even had time to take the photo afterwards! Ingredients: 1 cup of brown rice

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/food/recipes/fresh-fast-low-fat-dinner-recipes/2011/11/30/

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