2015-09-18 / Health & Medical

TOTAL well-being


Clean produce properly to avoid contaminants

The demand for fresh produce has increased in recent years as more people are turning to fresh fruits and vegetables for their nutritional value. That increase in demand has forced many suppliers to import more produce from other countries, which could be putting consumers’ health at risk.

Although the United States and Canada may have stringent standards for produce, many other countries do not. Less stringent regulations overseas can result in irrigation water carrying sewage, pollutants and parasites to crops, and herbicides and pesticides may be used in abundance in foreign countries where such usage is subject to little, if any, oversight. Fewer regulations means some farms pay more attention to profit than to the purity and safety of crops. The Pure Food Growers of America states that the average American consumes more than 10 pounds of insecticides and herbicides every year from produce.

National Food & Safety Month

Many of these substances are proven carcinogens. Thoroughly washing and soaking fresh produce is the key to removing potential hazards from foods. Organic fruits and vegetables may be less risky, but even organic foods are susceptible to contamination because of potentially unsafe handling practices. All produce should be washed before eaten. Before cleaning produce, stock up on a few supplies. You will need a large plastic bowl, some apple cider vinegar or baking soda and a produce brush. Add enough cool water to cover the produce you will be washing. Add either three tablespoons per gallon of water of the

vinegar to the bowl or sprinkle about three tablespoons of the baking soda into the water. It’s best not to mix both the vinegar and the baking soda, or you may end up with a foaming, overflowing concoction thanks to the chemical reaction that occurs when vinegar mixes with baking soda. Add the vegetables or fruit to the treated water and allow it to soak for around 10 minutes. Use a vegetable brush to thoroughly scrub the produce. Some foods, like celery and lettuce, have dirt or bugs trapped in their ribs and folds. Soaking and scrubbing can dislodge any bugs. Instead of washing the entire head at once, wash lettuce leaves as

they are used to retain the vitamins and minerals. After rinsing the produce, allow to dry before eating. A salad spinner can help dry lettuce and cabbage leaves so they are not soggy. It is best to wash produce right before using it rather than washing it in advance. Moisture encourages bacterial growth and hasten spoiling. Even foods that have a rind, such as melons, should be washed prior to eating to avoid contamination from the rind to the flesh inside.

The Dirty Dozen

Certain foods are dirtier than others in terms of the pesticides they contain. However, foods that were grown without pesticides may still be contaminated by animal feces and bacteria from the soil and irrigation. That being said, here are the 12 foods that are most likely to contain the highest amounts of pesticide residue, according to The Environmental Working Group.

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Cherry tomatoes
4. Cucumbers
5. Grapes
6. Hot peppers
7. Nectarines
8. Peaches
9. Potatoes
10. Spinach
11. Strawberries
12. Sweet bell peppers

‘Couch to 5K’ Program Readies Seniors for Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Piper Shores is sponsoring the Greater Portland Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which takes place on September 26, 2015. It is one of 600 walks occurring nationwide to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research.

Piper Shores will send a team of residents and staff to participate, and has a new plan to involve its entire community in preparing for the 5K Walk. With the help of University of New England fitness instructors, Piper Shores has developed a ‘Couch to 5K’ eight-week training program that focuses purely on walking and to help Piper Shores residents prepare.

“Walking is a great fitness activity, and we have so many beautiful trails at Piper Shores, it seemed like a great idea to create a walking fitness program to excite our entire community about Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Andrea Killiard, Marketing and Life Enrichment Director at Piper Shores. “We also wanted to create a program that would ensure residents felt confident that they could successfully complete 3.1 miles if they decided to walk for Alzheimer’s in September.”

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

Melissa N. Libby, Family Nurse Practitioners

Melissa Libby invites you to consider her as your primary care provider. Her practice, which opened in South Portland in January 2015, is oriented to people, not paperwork, and your direct contact during all phases of your health care is with her personally. She accepts most major insurances.

Melissa is a 30 year veteran of the healthcare field including the last 15 as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) practicing internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine.

As an independent practitioner within a collaborative practice, she has the autonomy and the resources, including the time, to provide highly personalized patient-centered preventive, acute, and chronic illness care. For more information, go to her website at melissanlibbyfnp.com or call 761-4700.


1) How much does it cost to insulate my house?

Depends on how much you want done, and how much we can save you with Efficiency Maine rebates. The average is about $4,500.

2) How long does it take?

Usually no more than a day or two, and it’s usually applied from outside.

3) How much will I save on my heat bill?

That varies between different homes. We find 30% - 40% is common.

4) What is the benefit of RetroFoam insulation?

The real benefit to your comfort is the air sealing, which reduces drafts and cold penetration from outside. Plus, it will keep rooms cooler in the summer too.

5) Are there other benefits, too?

Yes, the RetroFoam is odor free, class 1 fire retardant, and keeps mice and other pests from invading your home, and sound dampening.

6) How can I be assured it’s well sealed?

First, our technicians are highly trained; we check everything with a thermal imaging camera, and the post testing by the Efficiency Maine Certified Energy Auditor gives you and us another level of quality control.

Rolnick Chiropractic

Dr. Ellie’s Health Tips – Radiation and Children’s Behavior*

For years I have been offering a monthly health tip about preventing the physical, chemical and emotional stressors that cause ill health. Approximately 95% of disease is caused by stress. Did you know that it is our brain and nervous system that processes that stress? This month’s article is about radiation and behavior.

The labeling of children with ADHD, ADD, autism or dyslexia is becoming more prevalent. Use of wireless devices like mobile phones, wireless internet and transmission masts expose children to increased amounts of radiation. A new study reports changing behavior in children exposed to electromagnetic fields presents a new environmental health risk.

Since 2011 the Council of Europe advises keeping wireless internet and mobile phones away from schools, because it could affect behavior causing hyperactivity, difficulty in concentrating and aggressive behavior.

In recent years, studies have shown a correlation between radiation and behavior. In one, mice exposed to radiation as a fetus later exhibited hyperactive and aggressive behavior, had poor memory, less concentration and showed impulsive behavior…ADHD symptoms.

Another study linked behavioral problems around the 7th year of life with the use of mobile phones by the mother during and after pregnancy. Also, the increase of children with autism has been associated with the increase of radiation from wireless devices.

These effects of radiation on children are reasons for action. The Baby Safe Project in the US was launched by doctors at Yale and the University of California. It recommends avoiding radiation during pregnancy and as much as possible, afterwards. Another US initiative is “Doctors for Safer Schools” that recommends keeping wireless technology from schools and instead, using wired internet access.

*Excerpted from “Neurologically Based Chiropractic...the Coversation” by Dr. Richard Barwell. Used with permission.

For more information about Brain Based Chiropractic and Wellness, call Rolnick Chiropractic at 207-283-1168 or check out our web page at www.rolnickchiropractic.com

Perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused about health insurance?

Karen Vachon, Licensed health insurance agents helps individuals, families, small business owners, and senior citizens navigate their health insurance options. From Obamacare to Medicare Vachon’s approach is different. She gets up close to the individual client’s needs and situation and taps into available resources to protect life’s twist, turns, and surprises.

“The health insurance purchased has changed a lot in the last year and people are really confused”, explains Karen, who helps people determine their eligibility for tax credits, along with choosing a plan that best meets their needs and budget. “People are also concerned about the tax penalty if they don’t have health insurance”, says Karen, who helps people identify if they’re exempt from the penalty; or would prefer more affordable protection off the exchange.

Tired of 1-800 eternal hold? Feeling perplexed, bewildered, dazed and confused? Call Karen! 207-730-2664. There is no fee for her service.

Get comprehensive eye exams from Dr. Jo Johnson

Dr. Jo Johnson has been serving the eyecare needs of York County since 1977. A fully licensed medical doctor whose specialty is ophthalmology, Dr. Jo (as many of her patients call her) provides both medical and surgical eyecare. She operates at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford where she does cataract and implant surgery.

In her offices, Dr. Johnson offers comprehensive eye exams to look for signs of glaucoma, diabetes, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eyes, lyme disease and many other diseases. She treats eye diseases and injuries and also prescribes glasses. The emphasis is on meeting the personal eyecare needs of her patients and evaluating the health of their eyes.

Dr. Johnson takes the time to get to know her patients and their medical histories. She has the knowledge and experience to assist her patients in making sensible decisions concerning their health and the health of their eyes. Her warm and supportive approach to her patients makes her an ideal choice for your family’s eyecare needs. Dr. Johnson sees children through seniors and accepts most insurances including Medicare and Mainecare.

She has offices in 2 convenient locations: Kimball Health Center, 333 Lincoln Street, Saco • 283- 3676 and Johnson Hall Museum, 2713 Post Road (RTE. 1), Wells • 985-2020

MASSAGE & ACUPUNCTURE… a vacation for your body.

Need help unwinding over vacation? Or perhaps you need to continue your therapeutic massage and acupuncture treatments while you’re away. Put yourself in the hands of the skilled staff at MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic. We have 10 practitioners with over 75 years of combined experience in eastern and western massage techniques, acupuncture and yoga. We have served the Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard community since 1991.

Not sure whether you need acupuncture or massage? Choose acupuncture for pain complicated by digestive distress, menstrual issues, allergies, insomnia, anxiety and depression.

A deep tissue massage will work out stiffness, soreness and knots. All of our practitioners are trained in cupping and guasha, Chinese friction techniques that work out stubborn old injuries and revitalize damaged tissues. Are unproductive thought patterns complicating your pain? Try an energy balancing polarity session with Intuitive Life Coach Mary Feeley, now available Saturdays at MassageCraft.

MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic has convenient locations in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. We accept workers compensation and some private insurance upon benefit verification. Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. OPEN SUNDAYS. Please visit us at out our web site: www.massagecraft.com

Providing home care for you and your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best inhome services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

Maine Senior Guide

Maine Senior Guide is an on-line resource of Maine-based services and information for Maine seniors and their families. You can find us on the web at www.MaineSeniorGuide.com .

Who uses Maine Senior Guide? Lots of women age 40-65, because we make many of the care decisions for our families. Seniors themselves are increasingly active in web searches and social media, and they use Maine Senior Guide a lot, too.

What can you find on Maine Senior Guide? Information ranging from senior care communities, home helper services and home health, to estate management help, like elder lawyers. Plus many articles in our library. When you visit Maine Senior Guide, you can look for information under six categories and many easily-recognized subcategories. You just select your preferred region, like Southern Maine or MidCoast, and Maine Senior Guide will show you resources in that category. It’s simple and easy! See us at the free Senior Expo May 6, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at St. Max Church Hall on Black Point Road in Scarborough.

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