Sam’s Club to Host Free Health Screenings

To promote early detection and an overall healthy lifestyle that can help prevent the onset of diabetes, Sam’s Club Pharmacy will host free health screenings Saturday, Sept. 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Diabetes affects 25.8 million Americans, and an estimated 79 million have pre-diabetes, the potentially reversible condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but are not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

The free screenings are administered by licensed technicians from Carmen Ingle & Associates and are available to the public at the 571 Sam’s Club locations with a pharmacy. The diabetes awareness screening event features tests valued at up to$200, while supplies last, including:

  • A1c blood test –used by people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes to measure average blood sugar levels and confirm treatment plans are working
  • Glucose screening – Glucose tests indicate how much sugar is in blood, allowing for knowledgeable management of diet and exercise schedules
  • Blood pressure
  • BMI (body mass index)
  • Vision

Health screening participants in select cities can also pick up a postcard from the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program to evaluate their risk for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is designed to help people adopt healthy eating and exercise habits, and has served approximately 12,000 people nationwide.

“Understanding symptoms that lead to diabetes can help Americans establish a plan to live a healthier lifestyle,” said Jill Turner-Mitchael, senior vice president, Sam’s Club Health and Wellness. “We are glad to collaborate with YMCA of the USA to expand awareness for diabetes prevention and provide a free, important service to more than 620 US communities.”

YMCA of the USA announced that it is receiving a $1.25 million grant from the Sam’s Club Giving Program that will expand healthy living opportunities in under-served communities through the YMCA of the USA. Specifically, the grant is helping the YMCA to expand its Healthier Communities Initiatives to address health disparities among minority individuals and families and the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program. Through the Initiative, the YMCA will also link healthcare providers, clinical settings and community-based organizations to predominantly African American/Black and Hispanic/Latino communities to help guide individuals and families to appropriate programs.

It’s a Mess Down There on the Kitchen Floor

Our kitchens are the heart of our homes and the hub of our household activities, but a study just released by Kelton Research and BISSELL Homecare, Inc., shows we’re not treating them with the TLC they deserve. More than three in four Americans (77 percent) say their kitchen floor isn’t always as clean as it could be, and one in four admits that it’s at least sometimes, if not more often, dirty enough for feet to stick to. While this has something to do with the level of activity our kitchens see – everything from cooking and entertaining, to doing homework and playing with pets – it’s compounded by the fact that close to one-third of Americans who clean their floors wait at least a week to do so, likely because they don’t want to spend the time and effort.

“What’s ironic about this situation is that, while many consumers are hyper-vigilant about sanitization outside their homes, they’re forgetting about one large surface they actually have control over – their kitchen floor,” said Leah Haywood, associate brand manager for BISSELL. “Plus, our research shows that when they do clean their hard floors, they use a mop which often pushes germs around, or they get down on their hands and knees and scrub1! We want people to know that steam mops offer easy, effective solutions for sanitizing floors. Our goal is to help Americans spend more time making memories and less effort cleaning up after them.”

Kitchen floor confidential
Overall, Americans aren’t proud of the state of their kitchen floors – more than two in three (68 percent) say it isn’t always clean enough to prevent embarrassment if guests stopped by; more than three in four (77 percent) don’t think it’s always clean enough to show their home to prospective buyers; and nearly one in four (24 percent) say it’s at least sometimes too dirty to allow guests to enter the room.

Americans crave a deeper clean, with 58 percent saying their kitchen floor is at least sometimes in need of sanitization, but they’re deterred by the time (20 minutes, on average) and effort they think it requires. Nearly half (49 percent) say their kitchen takes more effort than any other room in their home to clean properly.

At the same time, cleaning perceptions and behaviors are markedly misaligned. About three in four (72 percent) say their kitchen floor isn’t always clean enough to allow a child to sit or crawl on it, but roughly half (46 percent) of parents say they’d let their child eat food dropped on the kitchen floor if it’s been there for five seconds or less, and another 7 percent would allow their child to eat any food that’s been on the kitchen floor no matter how long it’s been there. Are parents unsuspecting of the germs that live on kitchen floors, or just too worn out to care?

Parenting’s sticky side effects
Households with kids have even tougher cleaning challenges, as little ones are identified as causing more difficult-to-clean floor turmoil than pets or significant others. More than half (54 percent) of parents with a cat or dog say their child is more likely than their pet to cause a tougher-to-clean mess on any floor in their home, and four in five (80 percent) married parents say their child is more likely than their spouse to cause these sticky situations. While kids of all ages are cited as mess-makers, on average, the ones who leave parents grappling with the trickiest messes are nearly 4-years old.

Not only do those with kids face greater cleaning challenges, they also hold themselves to higher standards when it comes to their homes. Married parents are 20 percent more likely than non-parents (55 percent vs. 46 percent) to think their in-laws would judge them more for grime on their floor than stains on their clothing, and 65 percent of parents (vs. 54 percent of non-parents) say their kitchen floor is at least sometimes in need of sanitization.

A smarter solution
The good news is that we are taking responsibility for dealing with floor messes, even if it means flying solo. More than nine in ten (92 percent) Americans say they would typically clean up a mess in their home on their own instead of getting help or leaving it there, and only two percent say they would ignore the mess altogether. So, if we’re stuck with tackling floor messes, why not explore a smarter solution?

“As many as 82 percent of Americans perceive steam as an effective tool for cleaning hard floors, but our research shows only a fraction of them realize that steam mops exist,” said Haywood. “We want consumers to know that BISSELL can help them achieve a deep clean with less effort than it takes with a mop and bucket.”

The BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop cleans dried-on sticky messes twice as fast as the leading steam mop. Using just heat and water, steam can remove 99 percent of germs and bacteria. It is available for a suggested retail price of $99.99 at bissell.com and at mass retailers including Target, Amazon.com, JCPenney, Lowe’s and BestBuy.

Visit www.bissell.com to learn more about BISSELL’s full line of cleaning products.

New Healthy Gourmet Food Products

By Lorrie Baumann

I’ve just returned from the Summer Fancy Food Show, a trade show attended by gourmet food retailers who go there to shop for goodies for their stores directly from the makers of these products. Many of these producers are small family businesses — it’s not unusual to talk to someone there who’s the third or fourth generation in the same business. Whether they make pickles, gourmet chocolates, or granola from natural organic grains, these products are, in general, artisan-made with a concern both for the well-being of the people who will eventually eat them and for the land from which they originate.

Their product selection also shows us that you can be self-indulgent and enjoy your life and your food while you eat things that are actually good for you. Take, for instance, the Go Organic line of candies that I saw in the Hillside Candy booth. The Go Organic line includes nine different products that are organic and certified to contain no GMO ingredients. Brand new in the line are Ginger Xtreme hard candies and Ginger Chews organic chewy candies. All products are kosher, gluten-free and made in the USA. Visit at http://www.hillsidecandy.com.

I also saw a new Grain Berry line of cereals and baking mixes from The Silver Palate. I didn’t get to taste, so I can’t be sure they’re delicious, but there are a whole line of products that are made with natural berries of grain and antioxidants to support heart health. http://www.silverpalate.com.

I saw quite a few vendors there who were talking about products made without any of the most common allergens. That’s not to say that it’s going to be easy to feed a child who suffers from food allergies, but it does at least look like there are folks out there making products that’ll make that a little easier. Enjoy Life, at http://www.enjoylifefoods.com, has a whole line of gluten-free baking chocolate, cookies, chewy bars and lentil chips that are designed for just this purpose. Imagine being able to give your kid a convenient snack food without having to worry too much about an unexpected allergic reaction. I also found crackers from Suzie’s, a brand of the Good Groceries Company, that are made from ancient grains, including quinoa, amaranth, Kamut, spelt, buckwheat and oats. You can find them at  http://www.goodgroceries.com.

Getting away from grains a little bit, I also found Snapz, a brand of freeze-dried apple snacks. These low-calorie, fat-free crispy treats are made without added salt, sugar or fat. There’s a serving of fruit in each .7-ounce bag, and they’re a source of Vitamin C. Visit at http://www.snapzcrisps.com.

Advanced GT Sonic Toothbrush Now on the Market

Founded in 2010, Dazzlepro is making its mark as a manufacturer of oral health care products. The company has just announced the availability of its new toothbrush, the  Advanced GT Sonic model, which CEO Alex Dastmalchi is calling the flagship of the company’s brand.

DAZZLEPRO ADVANCED SONIC TOOTHBRUSHThe company spent significant time in development and testing for this GT Sonic Model to ensure it provides all of the high-performance features that dental professionals and discriminating consumers look for including 40,000 sonic brushstrokes per minute, three distinct brushing modes, and a UV sanitizing charger base. The unit combines these highly demanded features in one high quality unit that not only looks great on the bathroom counter, it exceeds expectations for performance. The unit is available for immediate shipment at Dazzlepro.com.

 

Help Wanted: 1,000 Cooks in U.S. and Canada

This July, Susan G. Komen® and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) are partnering with KitchenAid to encourage anyone who enjoys cooking and entertaining to turn a summer gathering into a “party with a purpose” by hosting a Cook for the Cure party. The goal of this 1,000 Cooks for the Cure initiative is to enlist at least 1,000 cooks in the U.S. and Canada to host any type of get-together from July 19-28 and simply ask their guests to make a donation to Komen (United States residents) or the CBCF (Canada residents) in any amount to support the fight against breast cancer.

“Participating in this worthy cause is easy, and it’s a great reason to get together with family, friends or colleagues during peak summer entertaining season,” notes Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. “Whether hosting a casual office party, barbecue, dessert sampling or multicourse dinner, the idea is to ask guests to bring nothing to the party but a donation in any amount they choose.”

The 1,000 Cooks for the Cure initiative is part of the larger Cook for the Cure® program, an 11-year effort that has raised more than $11.3 million between the U.S. and Canada for the cause through the sale of pink products, celebrity chef auctions and grassroots fundraising events. Funds raised from the parties can be designated for either organizations’ national efforts or local breast cancer initiatives.

Those interested in hosting a party are encouraged to visit CookfortheCure.com to register and obtain a unique host identification number. Registered hosts will be given access to an information kit that includes party ideas, recipes and donation gathering information. To help hosts connect with guests and others planning parties, KitchenAid will feature 1,000 Cooks for the Cure as an event on its U.S. Facebook page, Canada Facebook page and provide updates via its U.S. Twitter handle in the days leading up to the event.

In 2013, KitchenAid will donate $450,000 or more to Komen through the Cook for the Cure® program to support the fight against breast cancer. Product sales will not affect this donation. KitchenAid will also donate $100,000 or more this year to CBCF through its Cook for the Cure® sponsorship and pink product sales. Recent years the program has earned two Gold Halo awards from the Cause Marketing Forum, and has been favorably covered by NBC Nightly News and other major media. Largely through a series of celebrity chef auctions for autographed KitchenAid products, the program has garnered the support of dozens of celebrity chefs, including Mario Batali, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pepin, Martha Stewart and many others.

Rodale Ventures into Online Retailing

Rodale Inc.—the company that launched the American organic movement and the leading authority on healthy, eco-friendly living—is launching the first online shopping destination specializing in handpicked luxury and sustainably sourced goods.

Rodale’s (www.rodales.com) combines 70+ years of the company’s unmatched heritage in organic lifestyle and environmental stewardship, as well as the expertise of its healthy, active living brands that include Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, Bicycling, Runner’s World and Organic Gardening, to bring together beautiful, sophisticated, responsibly sourced products in one place.

Designed for an effortless and enjoyable shopping experience, Rodale’s will offer stylish, well-made and consciously curated items across most retail categories that include apparel; accessories and beauty; kitchen and garden; fitness; bed and bath; gifts and books; and general care. All products at Rodale’s are carefully vetted in a rigorous process to ensure quality, performance and compliance with health-minded environmental standards, including certifications such as USDA Organic, NATRUE, Natural Products Association, GOTS, Oeko-Tex®, Fair Trade Certified™ and more.

Select artisanal vendors featured at launch include Stewart+Brown apparel, Vapour Organic Beauty, Gabrielle Sanchez jewelry, Riess enamelware, Eileen Fisher apparel, and Intelligent Nutrients beauty, among many others. These brands and others will also offer exclusive and original products that aim to set a new standard for an evolved shopping experience based on their innovative and earth-conscious designs.

“It’s time for an online store to offer one place to discover stylish, sophisticated products that also provide peace of mind,” said Maria Rodale, chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc. “In a world crowded with so many choices—and often-misleading information—we no longer have to compromise our health and environmental values, and that’s truly wonderful.

Rodale’s is the next step in our company’s ongoing mission to make the world a healthier and happier place. We want to help shape the future of conscious consumerism by embedding a new standard for responsibly created merchandise.”

The site’s navigation tools will allow shoppers to discover products by searching via rooms or collection: NOURISH for Kitchen & Garden; INHABIT for Bed & Bath. Style and personal care categories will be experienced as: TEND for Skin & Body; WEAR for Apparel; ADORN for Accessories & Beauty; MOVE for Fitness. Original editorial content designed to encourage vibrant, healthy living will include a mix of video, engaging product stories and healthy lifestyle stories.

Rodale is in a strong position to diversify into e-commerce and has recently posted healthy advertising gains across its portfolio of brands, which contributed to a record revenue-generating first half period for the company. Rodale’s is the first stand-alone e-commerce initiative to come directly from a publisher without the involvement of outside partners. The site is led by a team of experienced digital marketers, buyers and merchandisers and is led by Rodale Senior VP/General Manager Anthony Astarita, who previously led the team at Barnes & Noble that created the NOOK. Reporting to Astarita is Executive Director of Merchandising Michele Barbone, formerly of Saks Fifth Avenue and Anthropologie.

White Vegetables Redeemed!

White vegetables can provide key nutrients lacking in the diets of many Americans, and they can help increase overall vegetable consumption,  according to the authors of a special scientific supplement published last week in the peer-reviewed journal, Advances in Nutrition.

In fact, a key finding was that color does not necessarily predict nutritive value of a vegetable. White vegetables, including nutrient-dense potatoes, contribute important amounts of essential shortfall nutrients to the American diet across all age groups.  This includes potassium—a nutrient essential to healthy blood pressure, of which only 3 percent of American adults consume the recommended daily amount.

“It’s recommended that the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed daily should include dark green and orange vegetables, but no such recommendation exists for white vegetables, even though they are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium,” says the supplement’s editor Connie Weaver, PhD, distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University. “Overall, Americans are not eating enough vegetables. Promoting white vegetables, some of which are common and affordable, may be a pathway to increasing vegetable consumption in general.”

The Advances in Nutrition supplement, “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients,” published by the American Society for Nutrition, features ten papers by leading nutrition scientists that explore the state of the science on white vegetables (potatoes, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, turnips and kohlrabi) in supporting a healthy diet. The supplement authors identify a substantial body of evidence demonstrating  that white vegetables, such as potatoes, can help increase intake of shortfall nutrients, notably fiber, potassium and magnesium, as well as help increase overall vegetable consumption among children, teens and adults in the U.S.

Why Nutrients Found in Potatoes are Important to Your Good Health

There is good reason potatoes are a staple food of choice for cultures throughout the world. In addition to their flavor and versatility, potatoes, especially with skin, are an important source of the following nutrients, which play a vital role in your good health.  Just read the label:

Potassium: Diets rich in potassium and low in sodium reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  Accumulating evidence also suggests that increasing dietary potassium and lowering sodium can provide greater heart health than intervention alone.

Vitamin C: This nutrient acts as an antioxidant, which helps prevent cellular damage.  Vitamin C also aids in collagen production, a process that helps maintain healthy gums and is important in healing wounds.  It also assists with the absorption of iron and may help support the body’s immune system.

Vitamin B6: This nutrient helps the body make non-essential amino acids needed to make various body proteins.  It is a cofactor for several enzymes involved in energy metabolism and it is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin—an essential component of red blood cells.

Magnesium: This essential mineral is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions including the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. In addition, magnesium plays a structural role in bone and cell membranes and is required for a number of steps during nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) and protein synthesis.

Dietary fiber: Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate. It has been shown to improve blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose and increasing satiety, which may help with weight loss.

Resistant starch: the consumption of resistant starch may help regulate blood glucose levels and favorably alter bacteria in the colon.  Emerging research in animals has linked resistant starch to satiety.

The journal supplement is the outcome of a June 2012 Purdue University roundtable on white vegetable nutrition. The forum was supported by an unrestricted grant by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and translating the latest scientific research and information on potato nutrition, consumption and affordability.

The executive summary for “White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients,” is available at http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3/318S.full.pdf+html. All papers are available at http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3#content-block.

For more nutrition information or a vast collection of healthy potato recipes, visit www.potatogoodness.com.

See Video from Bedding Conference

Furniture Today magazine has posted videos from its Furniture Today Bedding Conference at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Arizona. Among the topics is an interview with Dr. Lisa Shives, who specializes in sleep issues, and a conversation with Jodi Allen, chief marketing officer at Sealy, about the growth of Sealy’s specialty sleep sector.

Half of Americans are Sleep Deprived

Blogger Karen Flynn reports on a recent Better Sleep Council survey that found that almost half of Americans could really use more sleep. The Centers for Disease Control called our national insomnia a public health epidemic. The CDC noted that, “Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”

On the other hand, some researchers have found that getting too much sleep can also put you at risk for serious health problems, according to the National Sleep Foundation, although it clearly doesn’t want us to worry too much about that possibility, since it’s much likelier that you’re going to have bigger problems if you worry yourself sleepless about how you’ve getting plenty of sleep lately.

The National Sleep Foundation article quotes says Kristen L. Knutson, PhD, Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago: “Currently, there is no strong evidence that sleeping too much has detrimental health consequences, or even evidence that our bodies will allow us to sleep much beyond what is required.”

If summer weren’t coming on and bringing with it long days and shorter nights, I might be willing to try that experiment. As it is, though, the birds outside my window start their singing at dawn, and really, I would hate to miss that most beautiful hour of the day.

 

Cleaning Up after Pets

“We all love our pets, but we don’t love to deal with pet stains or with furniture coated with pet hair during shedding season,” Bob Kearn, president and CEO of COIT, said. “Many of our customers struggle with these common problems, so we have some cleaning tips that will help homeowners live happily side-by-side with their pets.”

Cleaning Up the Pee

The first step in dealing with one of the most common pet problems – urine spots on floors or furniture – is to locate the soiled area by sight or smell, or with the help of a black light, which you can find at a home supply store. Lightly outline the areas with chalk, and then re-train your pet using positive reinforcement techniques.
The key to proper re-training is to show your pet the appropriate place to eliminate (outdoors or in a litter box, for example), and to make the “accident zone” unattractive and/or unavailable. Re-training tips are available from The Humane Society of the United States. If you have a dog, you might want to work with a professional dog trainer, while a pet behaviorist can be helpful with both dogs and cats. If you are concerned that indoor urination is a sign of a health problem, immediately consult your veterinarian.
COIT’s online Spot Removal Guide offers step-by-step instructions for removing urine spots from carpets or upholstery. For carpets, for example, blot the damp area with a clean towel or with paper towels to prevent as much absorption as possible. A shop-vac can be used to extract any remaining urine. Using a solution made of one-quarter teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and one cup of water, use a spray bottle to spray the spot. After the solution has set, use the shop-vac, a cotton cloth, or paper towels to absorb as much remaining moisture as possible. After rinsing the area with warm water, repeat the initial steps until the spot fades. Then take two tablespoons of ammonia and mix into a cup of water, and rinse the area and repeat until the spot disappears. Or contact a professional cleaner for help with eliminating both spots and smells left by pets. If repeated urine marking in one area is a problem, it’s best to use one of the enzymatic cleaners available at pet stores.

Dealing with Shedding

Shedding is another common problem for people with pets, especially during the warmer seasons. Daily brushing will help eliminate some of the problem, but it’s also a good idea to sweep and vacuum floors and upholstery more often during shedding season. A lint roller can be helpful when removing pet hair from furniture, or you can try sweeping a hand covered in a rubber glove over the area. Rubber pet brushes can help remove pet hair from carpeting.
“Even when your pet makes mistakes, it’s important to remember that he’s not being ‘bad,’ he is behaving in a way that seems natural to him,” Kearn said. “Don’t yell or punish your pet; it will only confuse and scare him and harm your relationship. Proper training or re-training is the best way to eliminate any pet problem.”