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By Davis Plunkett, Manager of Integrated Behavioral Health and
Maria Villalobos, Community Relations Coordinator Sun Life Family Health Center

Life can be messy and busy. We go through our day, juggling work, errands, children, sports, housework … the list goes on. Too often we go about the day that when we have a moment to reflect we have difficulty remembering what we did. There is such a rush to get things done or be somewhere that we don’t feel as were present in the moment but simply going through the motions. Many of us look for methods of not only being able to enjoy the moments life brings but being able to be present in those moments.

Mindfulness is simply being in the present moment and accepting it without judgment. There are many mental and physical health benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness can bring improvements in both physical and psychological symptoms as well as positive changes in health, attitudes, and behaviors. Mindfulness improves well-being by making it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helping you become more engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to handle adverse events.

Mindfulness improves physical health as it can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and improve sleep. Mindfulness improves mental health by helping treat depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, conflict, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Mindfulness meditation builds upon concentration practices that primarily involve concentration. Concentration meditation techniques such as tai chi, yoga, focusing on the sensation of breathing can induce relaxation response which reduces the body’s response to stress.

Here are some tips to get started with mindfulness meditation:

  • Just go with it. Begin by focusing your attention. Just observe your natural state, your thoughts and emotions as they are today. Each day may be different. Each moment may be different. Just observe your thoughts without judgment.
  • Sensory awareness. Notice each of your five senses. What are you hearing? What are you seeing? What sensations can you notice in your body?
  • Mindfulness is a skill. Just with any skill it takes practice. Mindfulness may feel uncomfortable at first. It may not even seem relaxing. That’s okay- just notice those reactions without judgment.
  • Accept exactly where you are. Practice having compassion for yourself and where you are today. The goal is to accept each moment without judgment. If you become distracted, (which is expected!) gently redirect your thoughts to the present moment.

 Aspects of the above information were adapted from www.helpguide.org/harvard/benefitsof- mindfulness.htm#exercises and Seligman, M.E.P., Rashid, T., Parks, A.C., American Psychologist 61(8), Nov 2006, 774-788.


This column appears in the November issue of InMaricopa.

October is full of events benefiting the Relay for Life to help fight cancer. Now in its eighth year, the Maricopa Relay has raised more than $400,000.

According to American Cancer Society numbers, 47 Maricopans have used ACS services so far this year from Relay funding. “We’re hoping to raise awareness within our city, so more patients will call them and take advantage of these beneficial services,” said Relay organizer Trisha Paige.

Paige became involved in Relay after her father died of pancreatic cancer in 2010. She discovered how widespread the impact of cancer is across the country and has been helping with Relay since.

 

Relay for Life Maricopa

Nov. 3, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

At least 15 teams will participate in the Disney-themed event at Copper Sky Regional Park. There will be vendors, fundraising activities and DJ’d and live music. The day will include the survivors/caregivers walk and the luminaria ceremony.

BamaGoldens@msn.com, Trisha.Paige@hotmail.com



Trisha Paige is an employee of InMaricopa.

 

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

 

Question: Why do some folks feel plant-based eating doesn’t provide enough protein?
Answer: Most people aren’t familiar with plant-based diets and the research supporting them. Look no farther than athletes who eat plant-based. Eat properly, and you’ll get all the protein you need. We’re also misled to believe that meat, milk, etc. are the best “protein” foods. Indeed, many people do not even know that plants contain any protein at all. Don’t worry, plants have protein.


Q: Joe/Jane Meat-Eater decides to start eating more plant-based. Where will Joe/Jane likely go wrong?
A: Eating too many refined and processed “vegetarian” foods. The real benefit from “plant-based” comes when the diet is centered on whole unrefined/unprocessed fruits, vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes with the addition of a few nuts/seeds.

Q. Some folks are concerned with controlling carb intake and often get scared away from plant-based eating. What do you tell them?
A: Over 90 percent of carbs consumed in America are highly refined, highly processed, and mostly in the form of refined flour and sugar. This is the problem. Avoid these. However, carbs in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes are the healthiest foods for us and should be the center of any healthy diet.

Q. Some folks want to gain muscle/strength and fuel high levels of performance. What do you suggest they do to get enough nutrient-dense food each day?
A: Try to eat only when hungry, eat only until satisfied and drink lots of water. To lose fat, eat two meals and three snacks per day. To maintain body composition, eat three meals and two snacks per day. To gain muscle, eat five meals per day. Make yours meals using nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, legumes and then grains (in that order). Eating like this consistently will lead to amazing results.

Dos and don’ts:

If you’re considering moving toward a plant-based diet, or just want some more plant-based choices, here are the experts’ tips:

DO choose your protein sources carefully.
DO aim for about 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight; add 30-40 grams each day if you are in a phase of intense training.
DO get enough fat.
DO eat a variety of whole foods, especially lots of vegetables and fruits.
DO stay active.
DO use your body’s hunger cues to guide you. If you want to lose fat, eat a little less than you would normally. If you want to gain mass, eat a little more.
DON’T get your nutrition information from bodybuilding magazines.
DON’T just cut things out without adding healthy alternatives.
DON’T consume too many processed foods, including “healthy” protein powders and processed soy products.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is the owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com



This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

Question: Why do some folks feel plant-based eating doesn’t provide enough protein?

Answer: Most people aren’t familiar with plant-based diets and the research supporting them. Look no farther than athletes who eat plant-based. Eat properly, and you’ll get all the protein you need. We’re also misled to believe that meat, milk, etc. are the best “protein” foods. Indeed, many people do not even know that plants contain any protein at all. Don’t worry, plants have protein.

Q: Joe/Jane Meat-Eater decides to start eating more plant-based. Where will Joe/Jane likely go wrong?

A: Eating too many refined and processed “vegetarian” foods. The real benefit from “plant-based” comes when the diet is centered on whole unrefined/unprocessed fruits, vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes with the addition of a few nuts/seeds.

Q. Some folks are concerned with controlling carb intake and often get scared away from plant-based eating. What do you tell them?

A: Over 90 percent of carbs consumed in America are highly refined, highly processed, and mostly in the form of refined flour and sugar. This is the problem. Avoid these. However, carbs in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains and legumes are the healthiest foods for us and should be the center of any healthy diet.

Q. Some folks want to gain muscle/strength and fuel high levels of performance. What do you suggest they do to get enough nutrient-dense food each day?

A: Try to eat only when hungry, eat only until satisfied and drink lots of water. To lose fat, eat two meals and three snacks per day. To maintain body composition, eat three meals and two snacks per day. To gain muscle, eat five meals per day.

Make yours meals using nutrient-dense foods like veggies, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, legumes and then grains (in that order). Eating like this consistently will lead to amazing results.

Dos and don’ts:

If you’re considering moving toward a plant-based diet, or just want some more plant-based choices, here are the experts’ tips:

DO choose your protein sources carefully.
DO aim for about 1 gram of protein per kg of bodyweight; add 30-40 grams each day if you are in a phase of intense training.
DO get enough fat.
DO eat a variety of whole foods, especially lots of vegetables and fruits.
DO stay active.
DO use your body’s hunger cues to guide you. If you want to lose fat, eat a little less than you would normally. If you want to gain mass, eat a little more.
DON’T get your nutrition information from bodybuilding magazines.
DON’T just cut things out without adding healthy alternatives.
DON’T consume too many processed foods, including “healthy” protein powders and processed soy products.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is the owner of Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com

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This column appears in the October issue of InMaricopa.

 

By Joan Koczor

Older adults need to be extra careful of overheating and heat stroke. As we age, our bodies cannot adjust to high temperatures as well.

Our sense of thirst decreases, which can cause seniors to not realize they are thirsty and face the dangers of dehydration. Common medications, such as those for blood pressure, flush water from the body. Diuretics or low-salt diets could also affect the way your body regulates temperature. Side effects from some medications can cause excessive sweating and diarrhea.

A daily intake of about six 8-ounce glasses of water is about average. Medications you are taking are also a consideration, so talk to your doctor about how much water you should be drinking each day.

A few simple steps can make a difference in how you handle these excessive temperatures.

Schedule a checkup for your home or car air conditioner – make sure both are running properly.

Keep the shades/blinds closed during the hottest part of the day. Eat light, cold meals like salads and chicken.

Drink plenty of cool water throughout the day. A body that is hydrated feels cooler and can regulate temperatures better. Lessen your caffeine intake. Take a cool shower. Put a cold cloth on the back of your neck. Wear loose-fitting clothing. Fans help circulate the air and can make an air-conditioned house feel cooler. Freeze plastic bottles of water, take one with you when you go outside. As the ice melts, you will have a supply of cold water.

Visit a shopping mall, library or coffee shop. Go see a movie.

Drinking enough water every day is one of the smartest, simplest ways to keep the body functioning properly. Be aware of the signs of dehydration – dry mouth/skin, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat – and use these tips to keep cool throughout the summer. And don’t forget to take that water bottle wherever you go.

Remember, pets also need to be protected from dehydration and many heat-related illnesses.

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the September issue of InMaricopa.

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By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

Create systems that make health and fitness faster and easier, such as:

  • Keep fresh, whole foods in plain sight.
  • Reduce or eliminate “treat” foods.
  • Establish a morning or weekend routine to chop veggies and prepare protein+complex carbs in bulk.
  • Sign up for a CSA box or healthy meal delivery.
  • Keep berries and greens in freezer (for quick Super Shakes).
  • Join a gym or personal training studio close to home or work.
  • Keep a packed gym bag in your car or by the front door.
  • Leave weights and resistance bands lying around for quick, convenient workout.
  • Hold gatherings and meetings at parks and gyms.

Put meal prep and movement in your calendar. If we waited until we “felt like it,” a lot of important things would get neglected. Schedule it in, and stick to it.

Review at the end of each week: Did I use my time to support my health and fitness?

Yes
Explore what worked and keep doing that.
Celebrate! You deserve it.
Add 15 more minutes of health food prep and movement next week.

No
What do you do instead?
If it was low-priority stuff, combine those activities with fitness+nutrition. For example: Watch TV while prepping food.
If it was high-priority stuff, does it happen often? That’s OK! Life happens. Return to your goals and keep practicing. Set small weekly health+fitness goals and keep improving your systems. Get coaching to develop better systems and realistic goals.

As you can see, “being healthy and fit” is like an iceberg. Eating well and workout out is only the tip of the iceberg and it’s supported by all the thinking, prioritizing, strategizing and planning underneath.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics and can be reached at 520-261-4661 and Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com.

Only three Maricopa eateries were inspected by the health department of Pinal County June 16-July 15. All three earned excellent ratings.

Excellent [No violations found]
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Firehouse Subs

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the August issue of InMaricopa.

By Joan Koczor 

Initially, your primary care provider will be the first step in diagnosing many health issues. He will recommend screening, help you manage chronic conditions and, if needed, refer you to other types of providers or specialists.

A short list of specialists may include cardiologists, oncologists, allergists, psychologists, podiatrists and orthopedists.

Through all this, your life has changed – you’ve become a patient.

Your days are no longer ordinary. There are examinations, medications, diagnosis and treatment options, doctor appointments, hospital stays, decisions to make, endless paperwork, phone calls to health insurers. Who can you turn to in time of an emergency?

Dealing with any illness can be a very stressful time for patients and their families.

Add to that the health care system has become so confusing – think walking through a maze – that some patients may need someone to help them navigate.

A new trend is enlisting a patient advocate.

An advocate may be a member of your family or a close friend. An effective advocate is someone you trust and will act on your behalf as well as work with other members of your health care team.

Another type of advocate is a professional advocate. Hospitals usually have professionals who play this role called patient representatives or patient advocates. Social workers or nurses may also fill this role.

In choosing a patient advocate, it is important to decide what you want help with and what you can handle without assistance.

Do you need a better understanding of options for hospitals, doctors, diagnostic tests? Assurance your wishes are carried out if there comes a time you might not be able to do that yourself? Would you like your advocate to accompany you to tests, appointments, treatments and procedures? Assist you in wading through the never-ending medical bills? Become your representative to health care providers?

It is important to let your physician and those caring for you know who your advocate is and how much involvement they have in your care. Make sure your doctors and nurses have your advocate’s contact information. And the same for your advocate – provide them with numbers for your health care provider, hospital and pharmacy and anyone you wish contacted in case of an emergency.

Not all advocates charge a fee. Not all who do will charge for their services in exactly the same way. The cost may depend on:

  • your location, or your location in relation to where they are located.
  • the advocate’s experience and education.
  • the amount of time you work together.

Additional factors like necessary travel, acquisition of medical records, or others may cause the price to fluctuate.

PatientAdvocate.org, AdvoConnection.com/advocatelocations/arizona

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the July issue of InMaricopa Magazine.

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

When life’s already busy, here’s how you can make time to eat better and move more often.

Ask yourself why

Understand exactly why you want to eat better and exercise more gives you the motivation to prioritize it over other things.

Examples:

Q: Why do I want to eat healthier and exercise more?
A: Because I want to fit in smaller pants.

Q: But why do I want to fit in smaller pants?
A: Because when I’m wearing smaller pants, I look better.

Q: But why do I want to look better?
A: Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.

Q: But why do I want to feel good about myself?
A: Because when I feel good about myself, I’m more assertive and confident.

Q: But why do I want to be more assertive and confident?
A: Because when I’m more assertive and confident, I’m in control, my fears won’t stop me, and I can finally go for my dreams.

Identify your top priorities

Think of your time as a jar, which you can fill with a finite number of rocks, pebbles and sand.

Your big rocks represent the stuff that’s most necessary to feel fulfilled in life. They often relate to family, health, and livelihood. Your pebbles add extra fun and satisfaction to life, but aren’t totally necessary. You sand is purely “bonus” activity. It can be enjoyable, but it’s not crucial to your survival or fulfillment

Everyone’s rocks, pebbles and sand will look different. But regardless, if you fill you jar with too much sand first, the rocks and pebbles won’t fit.

Keep a time diary

Your schedule reflects how you’re prioritizing the activities in your life. Track your time in 15-minute increments for a couple weeks to find out if it’s consistent with your goals and values. For example:

7:00-7:15 – Woke up, brushed teeth
7:15-7:30 – Checked Instagram
7:30-7:45 – Still on Instagram

Then analyze it:

Actual
Work 35%
Sleep 20%
Exercise 2%
Time with loved ones 10%
Watching TV 10%
Surfing the Internet 25%
Healthy meal prep 3%

Desired
Work 35%
Sleep 30%
Exercise 5%
Time with loved ones 20%
Watching TV/Internet 2.5%
Time in nature 2.5%
Healthy meal prep 5%

To start to align your schedule with what you want to accomplish, replace low-value activities with high-value ones, little by little.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics and can be reached at 520-261-4661 and Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com.


This column appears in the July issue of InMaricopa Magazine.

Take precautions against excessive heat and what could be record temperatures.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning from 10 a.m. Thursday to 9 p.m.

Temperatures are expected to reach 113 Thursday and 114 on Friday.

Impacts include an increased potential for heat related illness. Those working or participating in outdoor activities during the afternoon hours or those without access to adequate air conditioning will be most at risk.

Never leave kids or pets unattended in cars. Drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar, and caffeine. When outdoors, wear light colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat to keep your head and body cooler. Take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illness. Early symptoms include things such as headache, thirst, and muscle cramps. Serious symptoms include weakness, skin that is cool to the touch, fast but weak pulse, nausea, and fainting. Severe symptoms include hot and red dry skin, fast and strong Pulse, sweating that has stopped, and unconsciousness. Untreated heat illness can lead to fatal heat stroke.

Photo by Michelle Chance

 

All 11 food establishments in Maricopa inspected by Pinal County’s health department from May 16 to June 15 received excellent scores.

Excellent [No violations found]
Bashas’
Bashas’ – Deli
Circle K at 21212 N. John Wayne Parkway
Denny’s
Dollar Tree
Gyro Grill
Helen’s at Copper Sky
Helen’s at Pacana Park
McDonalds at 20700 N. John Wayne Parkway
QuikTrip
QuikTrip – kitchen

Satisfactory [ Violations corrected during inspection]
None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None

Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

Mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a rare type of cancer of the mesothelium caused by exposure to asbestos. The mesothelium is a thin membrane that protects and lubricates different body cavities, such as the chest and abdominal cavities.

Men 60 years and older are often diagnosed several years after exposure. Women have contracted this disease from washing their husbands’ clothes, although the husband – exposed to asbestos – does not contract this disease.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that resembles a rock in its natural form. The rock will split into fibers, which are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals. Considered a natural product, it was widely used in the United States until the late 1970s. Over 3,000 products containing asbestos were in general use until the late 1980s.

Asbestos materials have been used in every branch of the military until the late 1970s. As a result, 30 percent of veterans have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

It takes 20 to 50 years to develop and occurs in the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart.

There are three types of mesothelioma:

  • Pleural: Cancer of the lungs which is the most common because most asbestos fibers are inhaled. Symptoms may include shortness of breath and chest pain.
  • Peritoneal: Cancer of the abdomen. It is caused by ingesting asbestos fibers. Symptoms may include weight loss and nausea.
  • Pericardial: Cancer surrounding the heart. This is the rarest form and is rarely diagnosed while the patient is still alive.

Mesothelioma is often mistaken for less serious conditions. If you have been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing symptoms attributed to this disease, consult your family doctor. They will perform the basic tests and X-rays. Based on the results, your doctor will refer you to a radiologist who will do extensive testing – X-ray, CAT scan, PET scan and CT scan. These tests are used in the diagnosis of this disease.

A surgical biopsy is done and sent to a pathologist for review. A pathologist will review fluid or tissue biopsy samples to determine cell type. If the results of these tests determine further treatment is required, a qualified specialist will be suggested. One who has a wide range of extensive experience with mesothelioma cases.

A pulmonologist specializes in lung disease and evaluates lung function. A gastroenterologist specializes in disease of the digestive system and tissues which occur in the abdominal region. A cardiologist specializes in heart defects and other heart disorders.

Only 20 U.S. doctors specialize in the treatment of this disease.

The Mesothelioma Organization offers a doctor-match program, saving time and expense to those seeking treatment. Patient advocates are also available to answer questions and provide information.

888-385-2024

MesotheliomaGuide.com

 

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and a member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee. The Mesothelioma Guide provided information for this article.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

by -
Sheriolyn Curry

 

By Rev. Sheriolyn Curry, CSA

There is a renewed interest over the use of comfort care as a planned, managed care option for persons afflicted with chronic illness, are terminally ill or are frail.

Here, the term terminal refers to a progressive disease that is incurable and irreversible; that is, it no longer responds to treatment and death is usually the expected result within a short period of time.

Choosing to receive “comfort care” does not mean you are giving up, you have decided to die or you will receive no medical care. Comfort care might not be as aggressive as other life-prolonging measures, but it is medical care.

With the advances in modern technology, there are very aggressive measures available that can be used to treat many illnesses. However, when faced with a terminal illness, people are choosing quality of life over quantity of days.

Comfort care really is about choices. When one is faced with a decision about long-term care for a chronic illness, the focus often turns to comfort measures for symptom control – managing pain, eliminating nausea or anxiety, etc. It can also include choices as to where and how often one wants to receive care. Many are opting for the comforts of home. Other choose the loving environment of a hospice facility.

Barbara Bush recently brought to light the discussion over comfort care when she publicly announced that as her treatment of choice before her passing in April. When people get to choose how they want to manage their care, they are more empowered in the process. Research suggests that on some level, they ultimately feel better about making the decision. They become partners in their own life’s journey.

There are opinions that associate choosing comfort care with giving up, and it is not, not at all. Comfort care still looks forward, it just no longer seeks a cure or a reversal of the condition. Done well, comfort care is a planned care option in which the patient, family members and care team discuss and agree on the course of action. It can be spiritually honoring for the care recipient, and provide peace of mind for the family. And there is no right or wrong way to feel about considering comfort care as your choice.

I pray this column brings peace to your soul. If you need us, call us at 480-659-9201. We are Comfort Keepers.

Sheriolyn Curry, CSA, is the owner of Comfort Keepers of Maricopa.


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

By Aaron Gilbert

When we work out intensely, we damage tissues at the microlevel, and we use fuel.

This is what ultimately makes us stronger, leaner, fitter and more muscular, but in the short term it requires repair.

Repair and rebuilding occurs through the breakdown of old, damaged proteins (aka protein breakdown) and the construction of new ones (aka protein synthesis) — a process known collectively as protein turnover.

Muscle protein synthesis is increased slightly (or unchanged) after resistance workouts, while protein breakdown increases dramatically. We’re doing a lot more breaking-down than building-up.

The relationship between these two parameters (rate of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown) represents the metabolic basis for muscle growth.

What to eat

Post-workout nutrition requires two things:

  1. Protein to aid in protein synthesis
  2. Carbohydrates to help replace muscle glycogen (and to enhance the role of insulin in transporting nutrients into cells)

You could certainly eat a whole food meal that meets these requirements after exercise. However, whole food meals aren’t always practical.

Some people aren’t hungry immediately after exercise. Whole food digests slowly, and we want nutrients to be available quickly. A whole-food meal that requires refrigeration might be less practical.

On the other hand, consuming a liquid form of nutrition that contains rapidly digesting carbohydrates (e.g. maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose) and proteins (e.g. protein hydrolysates or isolates)

  • might accelerate recovery by utilizing insulin for nutrient transport into cells;
  • can result in rapid digestion and absorption; and
  • is often better tolerated during and after workouts.

Data indicate that it may only take about 20 grams of protein after a workout to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis.

Once your workout is complete, have a whole food meal within an hour or two.

If priority No. 1 is to lose body fat, use only BCAAs as a workout drink, and five to 15 grams per hour of training. (If you weigh 200-plus pounds consume closer to 15 grams; less than 200 pounds, closer to five grams). If you’re leaner but still want to lose fat, choose a smaller dose (like 1/2 dose) of the protein plus carb combination, or opt for BCAAs.

 

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

 

Two of 16 restaurants inspected by the Pinal County Health Department between April 16 and May 15 were cited for cold-holding infractions.

The inspector observed at Aliberto’s Mexican Food a walk-in refrigerator holding food between 43 and 46 degrees F. Safety requires food in refrigerators to be held at 41 degrees F or lower. Repairs were made to the refrigerator during inspection.

Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina also had a faulty refrigerator. The inspector recorded an ambient temperature of 54 degrees F. Some items were moved temporarily to an ice bath while the restaurant awaited a replacement refrigerator.

EXCELLENT [No violations found]


Barro’s Pizza
Brooklyn Boy’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza
CVS Pharmacy
Denny’s
The Duke at Rancho El Dorado
Fry’s Marketplace
Fry’s Marketplace – Deli
Fry’s Marketplace – Sushi
Li’s Garden
Panda Express
Raceway Bar & Grill
Rob’s Convenience
True Grit Tavern
Walmart – Deli

SATISFACTORY [Violations corrected during inspection]


Aliberto’s
Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]


None

UNACCEPTABLE [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]


None


This item appears in the June issue of InMaricopa.

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By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

Pretty much everybody has heard their body is over 60 percent water. Thus, if you weigh 150 pounds then 90 pounds of you is liquid. A lot of that body water is in your cells or attached to molecules like proteins and carbohydrates.

Water does six main things in our bodies – transporting, dissolving, cleaning, reacting, padding and regulating temperature.

Research question: Water is important stuff, but can it help us lose weight?

North American Association for the Study of Obesity detailed its findings in “Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults.”*

In this study, researchers recruited men and women ages 55 to 75 who were overweight or obese, with exclusions for certain health ailments. Before the study started, everybody had to come into the lab twice – once to eat as much food as they wanted, and once to drink 500 milliliters of water and then eat as much as they wanted.

Researchers wanted to see whether people would eat less if they drank water before a meal. Twelve weeks later, at the end of the study, the participants did the water-drinking test again.

Everybody was on the same diet, but half the participants had the secret pre-meal supplement – 500 milliliters water. Before each of their three meals, the water group drank 500 milliliters of water before eating. There was no other difference between groups for the 12 weeks of the study.

Over the three months, the water group dropped 4.4 percent body fat and 5.4 kg total fat while the non-water group only dropped 1.1 percent body fat and 3.3 kg of total fat.

Bottom line – Drinking two cups of water before a meal will keep you hydrated, fuller and may even boost your metabolism for an hour. Before you go off to your favorite vitamin shop to try the latest weight-loss supplement, try drinking two cups (500 mL) before you sit down for a meal.

Oh, and make sure you’re near a toilet.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661

Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com

*[Dennis EA, Dengo AL, Comber DL, Flack KD, Savla J, Davy KP, Davy BM. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Feb;18(2):300-7.


This column appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.

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By Andrew H. Jones

Is it a cold or allergies? This is a question that plagues many people this time of year. On one hand you’ve been sneezing and sniffling, swallowing over-the-counter meds every few hours. On the other hand, it’s been going on for two and a half weeks now and it seems there is no end in sight. Let’s take a closer look at some of the similarities and differences to better understand what may be ailing you.

Similarities of Allergies & Colds:
 Sneezing
 Runny nose
 Congestion and stuffy nose
 Coughing
 Sore throat

Differences of Allergies & Colds:
 Itchy eyes is a less common symptom of a cold
 Severe colds can cause fevers and body aches and are not usually signs of allergies
 Sore throat in allergies is most often caused by postnasal drip
 Allergies can cause rashes

“People with allergies are sometimes more prone to catching colds. Recovery from a cold is usually quick – in fact, the average duration of a cold is 7 to 10 days. If symptoms last more than a week or two, the cold may have progressed into a secondary bacterial infection such as bronchitis or sinusitis. Allergies are more difficult to predict and can be a little tricky, they can be seasonal, or come and go daily and reoccur often” (Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director, Sun Life Family Health Center, 2017).
As the season begins to warm, the plants begin to pollinate, spreading the ‘joy’ in the air to all of us who are susceptible to seasonal allergies. However, we are still in the middle of cold and flu season. So the sniffles may very well be one last ride on the Rhinovirus bandwagon.

Allergies range from mild to seasonal allergies with more severe symptoms; which can cause life-threatening reactions. People can have an array of symptoms and allergic reactions to any number of things, including various airborne pollens, foods, medications, and allergy shots. Whether you have a mild or severe allergy, you should know the proper response to a reaction, address accordingly, and minimize your discomfort.

Keeping track of the local daily pollen percentages in your area can be very helpful and might make you Ah-Ah-Ah-choose to stay inside, wear a preventative mask, or limit your outdoor activities. Here is a helpful website that can help keep you informed of your local air pollen content. https://www.pollen.com

Scheduling an appointment with your Sun Life Family Health Center provider is the first step to treating your cold or allergies. He or she will be able to diagnose your symptoms and refer you to a local (specialist) allergist. The allergist can then test you to find out what triggered your allergic reaction and can prescribe medication or give you allergy shots to help manage your symptoms.

Tip of the Month – Cut down on dust in your home.
Concentrate on cleaning your bedroom where you sleep. Wash all of your bedding regularly. Wipe dust off dressers, night-stands, appliances, ceiling fans, and wear a dust mask while doing so. Clean your house regularly with a vacuum.
#OneSmallChange

References
Dr. Ted Crawford, DO, Medical Director – Sun Life Family Health Center
https://www.pollen.com/

Good Donuts

One Maricopa eatery among those inspected by Pinal County’s health department from March 15 to April 15 did not receive an excellent score.

Good Donuts was requested to fix or replace a refrigerator that was not keeping items at the required 41 degrees F or lower. Several items, such as milk, eggs and cheese, were measured at 49F. The inspector also noted washed but not sanitized blender containers and a bucket for wiping cloths on a work table. The establishment was given an “N” rating, a step below satisfactory. Its previous two inspections had earned satisfactory and excellent marks.

Excellent [No violations found]
99 Cents Only Store
Butterfield Elementary
Central Arizona College – Culinary
Circle K, 18141 N. John Wayne Parkway
Desert Wind Middle School
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Domino’s Pizza
Francisco’s Mexican Food
Gyro Grill
Helen’s Kitchen
Jack in the Box
Jersey Mike’s Subs
Maricopa Head Start
Maricopa High School
Maricopa Wells Middle School
Papa John’s Pizza
Pima Butte Elementary
Pizza Hut
Plaza Bonita
Province Community Association Clubhouse
Santa Cruz Elementary
Santa Rosa Elementary
Sonic Drive-In
Subway
Sunrise Cafe
Taco Bell
Water and Ice

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
None

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
Good Donuts

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the May issue of InMaricopa.

 

The impending walk-out of local educators is expected to close all of Maricopa Unified School District’s nine schools Thursday and could also affect area charter schools.

Known agencies providing walk-out childcare:

Children’s Learning Adventure, 20600 N. John Wayne Parkway

520-214-5737

Registration fee will be waived, and all new families will receive their first day free.

Copper Sky, 44345 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

520-635-1511

Free childcare provided by Maricopa Springs Family Church and other local churches at Copper Sky from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There are 500 spots available; seeking 70 childcare volunteers. Morning snack, lunch and afternoon snack provided.

Click here to register.

Rockstar Cheer, 12501 N. Murphy Road

856-624-3375

rockstararizona@gmail.com

Located at Rockstar Cheer gym from 7 a.m.–5 p.m. $25 per day, per child. Includes pizza lunch. Snacks and drinks for sale or bring your own. Ages: Kindergarten through eighth grade. 50 spots available.

Food Disbursement:

With help from Our Children Matter and Maricopa Pantry, food boxes will be dispersed at a #RedForEd teacher-led event at Copper Sky Wednesday at 5 p.m. to parents of affected students.


MOBILE USERS GET NEWS FIRST. Download InMaricopa for Apple and Android devices.

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

Training the core is where most people run into trouble, because they try to train the core like a beast — with heavy weights, or a full range of motion. However, the key to core training for a healthy back is muscle endurance (not strength) and stability (not mobility).

In most day-to-day activities and the sports we play the core’s job is to stop movement.

For example: You open a door — your core stops your spine from twisting as you pull the door open with your arm. You kick a football — your core stops you from keeling forward.

Pause for a moment and think about what that means.

You want your core to be stable and resist movement. So why are we stretching, over-bending, and turning ourselves into pretzels?

Try these four exercises for a healthy and resilient back – modified curl-up, stir the pot, side bridge and bird dog.

The modified curl-up is different from a regular curl-up because one leg is bent while the other is straight; the hands are under the lower back and only lift the head and neck.

Stir the pot is a plank-type exercise done on a stability ball with the added challenge of stirring the pot (moving your arms as if you’re trying to stir a large pot). If that is too hard, you can just do a plank on the ball or even on the floor.

Side bridge is a side plank from the elbows.

Bird dog starts on all fours, like a dog. You lift the opposite arm and leg, focusing on stiffening the core. To make this harder instead of just lifting your arm and leg straight up and down, make squares at the top of the movement.

Keys to the exercises are to keep the tightening part of the exercise to 10 seconds and add reps to progress in the exercises, and to maintain form – once you can’t keep your spine tight, stop.

Stretching for a healthy back? While lower-back stretching is a no-no, certain stretches to keep the hips mobile are important.

Hamstrings: The key to hamstring stretching is to bend only at the hip and not the back. A good hamstring stretch that supports the lower back is to lie on your back and lift one leg up, keep the knee slightly bent and use a belt around your foot to pull the your lower leg toward your chest. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Gumby. If you can get your leg perpendicular to the floor, you’re doing well.

Hip flexors (front of hip): Lunging with your hands over your head stretches the hip flexors (muscles in front of the hip), but remember to keep your back straight and torso upright, the front shin perpendicular to the floor, the rear knee pointed down and focus on stretching the front of your hip (squeezing the glute of the rear leg will help).

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.

 

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.

SPONSORED CONTENT

By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

A community comes alive when the residents share their love for their neighbors and friends enough to help improve it. Helping your community helps to build stronger bonds within which can make life better for your family, friends, co—workers and neighbors whom you share your life with. The more love you pour in, the better it will become.

Implementing positive small lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health and well—being. Even the smallest positive changes can help form healthy habits. We, the employees at Sun Life Family Health Center, want to offer a few suggested small tips and changes to help you on your journey toward a healthier you. We call them #OneSmallChange. Creating a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be some extravagantly outrageous New Year’s resolution that makes or breaks you. Adding in just #OneSmallChange incrementally will add up and make a Big difference.

DANIELLE JENNINGS, WHNP-BC — Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
#OneSmallChange:
Touch it Once
After reading an article about the habits of tidy people I have adopted the “ touch it once” strategy. Rather than putting stuff on a chair or leaving things where they might have to be moved again. I put things where they belong the first time I pick it up. Dishes don’t go in the sink, they go straight into the dishwasher. Shoes are taken off where they belong. Trying to get my kids to adopt this has been more of a struggle.

 

PAULINE MILLER — RN Team Lead
#OneSmallChange:
Work Hard — Play Hard
Make sure to reward yourself for your hard work, drink lots of water and get enough rest!

 

BERONICA M. — Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
One Prayer
One prayer a day will make a huge difference.

 

SONIA O. — Front Desk
Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange: Do a Small Act of Kindness for Others
Pick a few small acts of kindness and do one a day for a stranger, or pick something small to make a loved one feel loved. It will have a big impact on others and get you out of the narrow self—centered perspective that most of us get stuck in.

 

MAISEY B. — Front Desk Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange:
Less focus
on electronics
Limit time usage of all electronics including tablets, gaming systems, cell phones and television for everyone in the household. There is so much focus on social media and gaming in todays world that we tend to forget about that good quality family time.

 

ELIZABETH A. — Site Manager
#OneSmallChange:
Be The
Change You Wish To See
Eye contact and a smile goes a long way for many having a bad day.

 

DANA RODRIGUEZ, CPNP, PhD — Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
#OneSmallChange:
Cut Down
on Sugar Intake
Look at the sugar in the food and drinks you consume. Start by reading food labels. Pay special attention to the sugar and carbohydrates. Start by eliminating sugary beverages like juice and soda.

 

BERNADETTE F. — Licensed Practical Nurse
#OneSmallChange:
Encourage Positivity
Encourage physical activity for all of the family, there is a website called MGR: MesaGilbertRocks. Basically it is like geocaching but instead you look for painted rocks which you can take home for your garden, house or wherever you wish to decorate or you can re-hide them for someone else to find. Libraries, Parks, trails are great places to look/hide. Get creative! Let your children paint the rocks.
Encourage hydration especially among the homeless, place 1—2 bottles of water and a protein bar in a Ziploc bag and hand out to those in need. You can include a happy thought!

 

BRITTANY K. — Registered Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
Enjoy Life
Build a healthier and more enjoyable life by taking a walk to relax and enjoying what’s around you. Bring your kids or pets with you to make it more fun.

 

LUCY V. — Clinical Laboratory Assistant I
#OneSmallChange:
Good Mood
To Start Your Day
Make your alarm clock tone your favorite song, so it can help you to get up easier in the morning while bettering your mood to start your day. The best way to start a conversation with a person you don’t know is to start with giving them a complement. Not only will that break the ice but it also makes them more confident and you even more like-able.

 

SHAYLA S. — Medical Assistant
#OneSmallChange:
Time With Family Well Spent
Turn off all media 3 hours before bed and spend 1on1 time with family.

 

NICHELLE T. — Front Desk Registration Clerk
#OneSmallChange:
Live—Love Well
Treat people the way you want to be treated. Live every day like it could be your last.

by -
Joan Koczor

By Joan Koczor

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diabetes is estimated to affect 25.8 million Americans. In the United States, about one in four people over age 60 has diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. It is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.

Diabetes doesn’t allow your body to make enough insulin or isn’t able to use its own insulin as well as it should, resulting in a buildup of sugar in your blood. Serious health complications can include heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and lower-extremity amputations.

There are two types of diabetes: Type 1, which requires insulin as medication, may start as early as childhood; Type 2 is sometimes called adult-onset diabetes. The most common Type 2 may be hereditary. It is more common in people who are overweight.

The ABC method is used for managing diabetes and any complications: A for the A1C test, B for blood pressure and C for cholesterol. Controlling blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol can aid in reducing the risk of long-term complications.

A1C test measures your average blood glucose for the past 2-3 months. Normal A1C levels are less than 5.7 percent. Levels for diabetes is 6.5 percent or higher. Prediabetes levels are 5.7 to 6.4 percent.

Pain or numbness in the hands and feet, extreme fatigue and blurry vision are just a few of the warning signs you might be at risk for diabetes. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Early detection and treatment can decrease the risk of complications.

Living with a chronic condition, such as diabetes, can leave you feeling tired or depressed. Some days will be harder to get through than others.

Take care of your emotional health. Diet, exercise and taking time to relax are very important and contribute to your overall health. Have regular checkups. Do simple things that you enjoy. Go to a movie. Take a mini road trip. Read a book.

And more importantly, keep informed. Make a list of questions and take them with you to your next doctor appointment.

Diabetes.org, for American Diabetes Association 2018 Standards of Care

ChooseMyPlate.gov, for USDA information on the five food groups and how to adjust portions to insure healthy eating

ndep.nih.gov, National Diabetes Education Program to improve treatment and outcome

Ref: American Diabetes Association

Joan Koczor is a senior advocate and member of the Age-Friendly Maricopa Advisory Committee.


This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

It’s one of the most common patterns we see among incoming Longevity Athletics clients: Folks who want to get (or stay) fit will exercise diligently for months, only to “fall off the wagon” for the entire year and battle with getting back into it to achieve resolutions. That’s why we came up with this short, simple and effective workout you can do anywhere.

1. Move through each exercise in sequence. 2. Do 10 reps of each exercise. 3. Minimal to no rest between exercises. 4. Rest 1-2 minutes at the end of the circuit. 5. Repeat for a total of 2-4 circuits.

BEAR CRAWL

Starting on all fours, push down with toes to bring knees off floor. Keeping pelvis centered, “crawl” with right arm and left leg moving forward together, and vice versa. 10 seconds = 1 rep

PUSH-UP

Start in “plank” position, hands directly under shoulders and fingers forward. Maintaining a straight line from head to heel, keep elbows in as you bend them to lower your body as far as you can without shoulders popping forward. Squeeze shoulder blades together and down toward glutes as you lower, then allow them to spread fully apart at the top. Keep abs tight, tailbone tucked under and shoulders down away from ears.

SQUAT

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended in front of you or behind your head. With abs engaged, ribs pulled down and tailbone tucked under, push hips back and lower as far as you can, keeping feet straight and knees aligned with little toe. Drive weight into heels and midfoot to return to start.

SINGLE-ARM DUMBBELL ROW

Keeping ribs down, abs tight, tailbone tucked, and weight through forward heel, pull dumbbell up toward lower ribs while locking your shoulder blade inward and down.

MAKE IT EASY

Can’t do one or more of the exercises in the circuit? Skip them. If possible, focus on the lower body, which requires greater muscle engagement and energy burn.

No dumbbell? Use whatever you can find to add weight to the moves.

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, owns Longevity Athletics.
520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the March issue of InMaricopa.

No Excuses Workout

Aaron Gilbert of Longevity Athletics explains the No Excuses Workout to help keep your healthy-living resolutions. Learn more in the March issue of InMaricopa.

Posted by InMaricopa on Thursday, March 1, 2018

SPONSORED CONTENT

By Andrew H. Jones
Community Relations Coordinator
Sun Life Family Health Center

As parents we never hesitate to schedule regular routine checkups for our children, but as adults we often times put aside our own health needs, and too often, we only see a doctor when we are sick.

People are changing their ways and are becoming more conscious about their health with improvements in diet, exercise and regular health check-ups. A routine and regular health check-up is a detailed test of your body, which should be done annually to monitor your health, reduce your risk of getting sick and detect any potentially life-threatening health conditions and/or hidden disease in your body and lower its effect with early treatment, or best-case scenario prevent it. Routine health checkups have many advantages as it will increase your lifespan by getting the right health services, screening and treatments your body requires.

Importance of Routine Health Check-Ups

Many serious health problems do not have any symptoms but can be found during a routine health check-up. Therefore important to have health checkups often. Any serious illness found in its early stage is much easier to cure. Early detection also enhances chances of survival.

Without routine health check-ups, you cannot regulate some health problems such as diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, etc. Having a regular health check-up can improve your quality of life and help you avoid a serious problem such as cancer, osteoporosis, heart diseases, etc.

Routine check-ups for women such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cervical screenings and a breast exam will help to detect the signs of diseases at most treatable stages.

A regular scheduled check-up is also a good time to get up-to-date information on new medical technologies that are available.

A routine health exam helps to maintain and keep one’s medical history up to date. A clear and complete medical report can help to detect hereditary and early health problems.

Regular checkups help to strengthen the awareness of medical problems and encourage you to act on signs and symptoms to avoid potential health problems.

According to research, people with a poor diet, who use tobacco, that misuse/overuse alcohol, and/or have a lack of physical activity are more prone to death. Some of these deaths could be preventable with regular routine medical check-ups.

Other than these benefits, a regular health check-up gives an opportunity to talk with your doctor about healthy lifestyle choices. You can also review any immunizations that may be due, or learn about new optional vaccines that may not even be on your radar. During this time, you may also discuss emotional problems like depression and stress. These health checkups help the patient to reduce risks of major illness slipping through the cracks and enable you to worry less about any potential risks.

Sun Life Family Health Center welcomes you to learn more about the healthcare services we offer. Sun Life offers continuous and comprehensive healthcare to individuals and the entire family. In addition to providing care when you are ill, we will also help you achieve a healthy lifestyle and work with you to help prevent future illness.

ROUTINE CHECK-UPS CALENDAR

To help fill up your future medical calendar, these are the recommended ages for adult screenings and vaccines. It is important to become familiar with these lifelong milestones and coordinate a routine yearly schedule to maintain your overall health and wellness.

20 – The age when the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends beginning annual skin cancer screenings.

21–29 – The age when women should begin getting a cervical screening every three years, according to the ACS.

30–65 – The age when women should begin getting a cervical screening combined with an HPV test every five years, according to the ACS.

50 – The age when men should begin getting prostate screenings, according to the ACS. Also the age when men and women should schedule their first colonoscopy.

60 – The age when men and women should get the shingles vaccine, according to the CDC, which recommends getting the vaccine regardless of whether you recall having had chickenpox.

65 – The age when men and women should receive the pneumococcal vaccine, according to the CDC. In addition, the age when women should get a bone density scan.

70 – The age when men should get a bone-density scan.

 TIP OF THE MONTH

CREATE A MEDICAL ROUTINE

Create a Medical Routine for yourself and your family. Monitor your health, reduce your risk of getting sick and detect any potentially life-threatening health conditions with routine check-ups.

#OneSmallChange

Silver Sneakers exercise classes are geared toward older adults. Photo by Michelle Chance

 

Doctors generally suggest regular activity is good for the body and mind, but as bodies age, keeping an exercise routine may prove difficult.

Only 28 to 34 percent of adults ages 65 to 74 are physically active, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Silver Sneakers is a program that offers free access to athletic classes and is often covered by Medicare and other types of insurance.

Copper Sky Recreation Center and Anytime Fitness provide Silver Sneakers classes in Maricopa.

“It’s primarily designed for adults age 65 years and older, but it’s just a low-intensity exercise program that is really appropriate for a lot of different populations,” said Stephanie Murphy, Silver Sneakers instructor at Copper Sky.

Murphy said the program is also beneficial for people with physical limitations and disabilities, regardless of age.

Copper Sky morning classes meet upstairs in a large dance studio at 9:30, Monday through Thursdays.

Led by Murphy’s direction and motivated by an upbeat, music playlist, participants transition from standing to seated exercises.

“There are a lot of options and a lot of variety in terms of exercise that are available and different modifications that people can do,” Murphy said.

It’s not just classes but a general health program. When 88-year-old Bryan Mitchell moved to Maricopa a couple years ago, he checked out Copper Sky’s resources.

“They said, ‘Are you Silver Sneakers?’ And I said, ‘What the hell is that?’ They said, ‘If you’re on Medicare, you may qualify.’ So, I checked, and sure enough, I do qualify, so I play out here for nothing. You can’t beat that.”

Murphy has taught Silver Sneakers classes for a year and a half and said she frequently sees improvements in balance and flexibility. Copper Sky offers four Silver Sneakers classes (classic, cardio, circuit and splash).

“I love being able to make the joy of exercise accessible to people of all ages and abilities and fitness levels,” Murphy said.


This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.


 

Only one of 17 Maricopa food establishments did not score excellent after being inspected by Pinal County’s health department Dec. 16-Jan. 15.

F.O.R. Maricopa’s food bank continued to have trouble with hot water at its distribution location in Santa Cruz Elementary School. Hand-washing sinks are required to provide water at 100 degrees within seconds. During inspection, after 10 minutes, hot water was at only 70 degrees. F.O.R. Maricopa was requested to correct the problem as soon as possible.

Excellent [No violations found]
Cilantro’s Mexican Cocina
Culver’s of Maricopa
Francisco’s Mexican Food
Fry’s Marketplace
Fry’s Marketplace – Deli
Fry’s Marketplace – Starbucks
Fry’s Marketplace – Sushi
Gyro Grill
Jack in the Box
Maricopa Head Start
Native Grill & Wings
The New HQ
Panda Express
QuikTrip
Say Sushi
Tacos ‘N’ More

Satisfactory [Violations corrected during inspection]
F.O.R. Maricopa

Needs Improvement [Critical items noted during inspection cannot be corrected immediately requiring follow-up inspection]
None

Unacceptable [Gross, unsanitary conditions necessitating the discontinuation of service]
None


This item appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

By Aaron Gilbert

Aaron Gilbert. Photo by William Lange

 

Hack 1: Eat slowly and to “satisfied” instead of “stuffed”

The most effective tool for healthy eating and weight loss resolutions may also be the simplest one: Eat slowly. And stop at “satisfied” instead of “stuffed.”

This strategy helps you avoid overeating for two main reasons:

Physiological: It takes 15-20 minutes for your digestive system to let your brain know you’re satisfied. Slowing down a meal allows that to happen before you overeat.

Psychological: When you slow down and savor your food, you feel content with much less. This means you’ll eat less and enjoy what you’ve eaten more.

Hack 2: Eat well on the go

When your busy schedule has you on the go, pack some smart snacks, such as:

Nuts and seeds
Cut fresh fruit
Grilled chicken breast
Quality protein bar (higher protein, lower sugar)
Plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
A few scoops or protein powder and PB2 – add water as needed
Quality meat jerky (lower in sodium and sugar)
Raw veggies and hummus
Celery with nut butter
Hard-boiled eggs
Tuna in a pouch
Edamame

Hack 3: The “No Excuses” Workout

It’s one of the most common patterns we see among incoming Longevity Athletics clients: Folks who want to get (or stay) fit will exercise diligently for months, only to “fall off the wagon” for the entire year and battle with getting back into it to achieve resolutions. That’s why we came up with this short, simple and effective workout you can do anywhere.

Get the details on these exercises in the March issue of InMaricopa.

_________________________________________

 

Aaron Gilbert, CSCS, is owner of Longevity Athletics.

520-261-4661
Aaron@LongevityAthletics.com


This column appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

Bryan Mitchell, 88, plays pickleball twice a week at Copper Sky. Photo by Victor Moreno

 

Bryan Mitchell will be 89 years old in April. A retired executive, he takes physical fitness seriously. On his own or with new friends, he has a fitness regimen for every week day.

“I watch my diet so that I get the right foods, but I don’t necessarily cut back on the sweets, so I gotta keep working at it,” he said.

A resident of the Redwood neighborhood of Glennwilde, Mitchell came to Maricopa after his 2015 retirement. It was actually his second retirement.

A native of Chicago, he worked his first career there with what was then the A.C. Neilsen Company (now The Neilsen Corporation). As a controller in the mid-‘80s, he was among staff transferred to New York. After two years, the struggling company reorganized and laid off those employees.

Opting not to return to Chicago, Mitchell took early retirement and became a real estate broker. It was his occupation for 28 years in New York, even after his wife died in 2012. He finally called it quits at the age of 86.

His daughter, Susan Bellfield, had moved to Maricopa to be near friends around 2005. She thought the community would be a good fit for her father. So, when she stayed with him after his retirement, she talked him into moving to Arizona.

“I like the weather here,” he said. “And it’s less expensive to live here.”

Attributing Mitchell’s long, independent life at least in part to physical activity is an easy assumption. He used to play tennis and racquetball. Once he moved to Maricopa, he was ready to try something new both for activity and society.

He heard talk at his church about one of the congregants playing pickleball in Province, and he set out to find out what it was and where it might be available to non-Province residents.

That led him to Copper Sky, where he fell in with a motley crew.

“I enjoyed it right from the beginning,” Mitchell said. “It took me a little while to learn it, but it’s really a lot of fun. I look forward to it. They’re a great bunch of people here, too. They’re a lot of fun to play with.”

Now he plays pickleball with a growing group of players at Copper Sky on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, he hits the treadmill at home, where he lives with “a little dog that’s about as old as I am in dog years.”

Mitchell promotes the benefits of pickleball to others looking for light recreation to stay active.

“It’s a great sport for almost any age and any condition,” he said. “You have people who are overweight, people who are underweight, old people, younger people. It’s good for everybody. And you get good exercise from it because they run you around.”


This story appears in the February issue of InMaricopa.

 

In the past five months, Pinal County has experienced an over-twofold elevation in the number of gonorrhea infections, compared to the prior five-year average.

Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise across the country, according to new data published by Pinal County Health Services. The city of Maricopa and its surrounding communities are no exception.

In a Dec.13 presentation to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors, Director of Pinal County Public Health Services District Dr. Shauna McIsaac said, despite certain sexually transmitted diseases reaching their lowest historical rate in the late 20th century, certain STIs have been on the rise in recent years.

“Although 20 years ago, gonorrhea rates were at historic lows, and syphilis was close to elimination, rates of sexually transmitted infections in the U.S. have now increased three years in a row,” McIsaac said.

Pinal County Public Health Services District

 

In 2017 alone, from January through September, Pinal County has seen an average of more than three new cases of syphilis per month, whereas the previous five years saw an average of less than one new case of syphilis per month.

Likewise, on average, 20-30 Pinal County patients tested positive for gonorrhea in the previous five years. In 2017 that average has jumped to nearly 40 patients testing positive per month.

The cause of this influx is difficult to precisely determine, Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Section Manager Graham Briggs said. However, he added, what is clear is the demographic where these spikes are being seen – young people and men who have sex with other men, also known as MSM.

People in those demographics tend to be those individuals engaged in riskier sexual behavior, Briggs said. This has little or nothing to do with their sexuality, he said, and instead had more to do with their reported behavior, such as repeated unprotected sex with multiple partners.

“In Pinal County, while we’re seeing an increase, we don’t know if it’s just because of an increase in MSM. We’re looking at the heterosexual couple being exposed,” Briggs said.

Pinal County has also seen a recent case of syphilis in a pregnant female, Briggs said, which can pose a danger to the child, as the STI can be passed congenitally.

At any rate, according to the Center for Disease Control, Americans ages 15-24, while only accounting for 27 percent of the sexually active population, account for 50 percent of known sexually transmitted infections.

Aside from unprotected sex with multiple partners, the CDC says this increased rate in that demographic is likely caused by any combination of factors, including biology, confidentiality concerns, insufficient screenings and lack of access to healthcare.

Biologically speaking, the CDC says young women are simply more susceptible to certain health issues, including most STIs. Additionally, young people don’t often receive CDC recommended screenings for STIs like chlamydia, nor do they disclose “risk behaviors” to their physicians.

The CDC also expresses concern that most young people either lack insurance or the transportation to access preventive services provided by local health departments and Planned Parenthood.

Factors such as these increase the degree of danger associated with the less-forgiving STIs such as syphilis, which, Briggs said, can cause irreversible harm if not treated during the initial stages of infection.

“We are really good at killing syphilis bacteria,” Briggs said. “What we’re not so good at is identifying infections early in people that don’t seek medical care.”

One telltale sign of syphilis infection sometimes over looked, Briggs said, is palmar-plantar rash – reddish, swollen spots that occur in the palms and bottoms of the feet.

When caught early, syphilis and gonorrhea are easily treated with penicillin and antibiotics, respectively.

The appearance of a new antibiotic-resistant form of gonorrhea, however, also has Briggs and other officials concerned.

The CDC says there are nearly 820,000 new gonorrhea infections a year in the United States, making the prospect of a drug-resistant form of the STI all the more disheartening.

To combat STIs, the CDC suggests, multiple courses of action.

First, officials suggest abstaining from sexual activity. Second, those who engage in sexual activity, are encouraged to use protection, especially condoms, and keep their number of sexual partners to a minimum. Third, the CDC recommends biannual medical exams, which include STI screenings, and communication with sexual partners to encourage them to also receive regular screenings.

Maricopa residents can obtain low- or no-cost screening and prevention at the Maricopa office of Pinal County Health Services, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road, Suite 15, near the Maricopa Public Library.

For a full list of Pinal County Health Department location, visit their website.

https://www.cdc.gov/std/products/infographics.htm



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Submitted photo

Chef Gabriel Gardner, culinary arts instructor at Central Arizona College-Maricopa, shares holiday recipes. The healthy option is a recipe of his own making for roasted winter vegetables. The other is his grandmother’s peach custard pie, which will likely take a little longer to work off after the holidays.

ROASTED WINTER VEGETABLES

Ingredients

2 medium yams

1 head cauliflower

6 red potatoes

4 parsnips

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Seasonings: thyme, cumin, chili oil, garam masala, rosemary (use your imagination)

Preparation

Cauliflower: Trim, wash and dry. Cut out core and break into small florets, cut large ones in half. Place in roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with white pepper and thyme or cumin. Toss to distribute spices and oil.

Yams: Peel and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss. Sprinkle with cinnamon or cardamom, or fold in 2 tablespoons diced candied ginger.

Parsnips: Peel. Cut 2 inches long and quarter to make rough batonnet cuts. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Red potatoes: Cut into small wedges. Toss with olive oil, season with pepper, chopped fresh rosemary and a small amount of salt.

Bake

Preheat oven to 425. Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange vegetables on pans in single layer. Place pans in oven, and roast 20-30 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Turn the vegetables a few times during the roasting. Conventional oven works best.

Notes: Vegetables may be roasted in the same pan, but should be a single layer. Enjoy hot or cold, or even as a roasted vegetable salad.

 

PEACH CUSTARD PIE

Submitted photo

Ingredients

1 egg, beaten

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons flour

1 stick melted butter

6 sliced peaches

1 pre-baked pie shell

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line shell with peaches.
  3. Mix together flour and sugar, add egg and butter.
  4. Pour custard over peaches.
  5. Bake pie 15 minutes at 375, then 45 minutes at 350.
  6. Cool completely before slicing.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Gardner



This column appears in the December issue of InMaricopa.