• Looking for accurate, up-to-date and easy to read health and wellness information? You're in the right place!
  • I'll even send you an email whenever I publish a new post.
 
 
 
Scott driving

Learning to drive (safely) again after having a stroke

Scott Anderson was only 60 when he had a stroke in early 2013. "I was cutting a banana," he told me when we spoke on the phone recently. "All of a sudden something happened. I tried to say to my wife, 'I think something's wrong,' but I couldn't say it right."

His wife called 911 and not long after, Scott was in the local emergency room. He spent a week in the Intensive Care Unit. "I couldn't talk," he says. "I couldn't do anything. I was a mess. It took nine months of speech therapy before I could talk well." Read the Rest »

Chili peppers

Try a new healthy food. This week it’s hot chile peppers (and a recipe)

February 11th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
John Turrell, the Wellness Coordinator at the Greater Portland Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine wants us to feel healthier and be a little adventurous, so he’s encouraging us to try (or retry) nine new healthy foods. We’re on number six — chile peppers. Read the Rest »
Lose weight resolution

Resolutions a failure? Three revealing questions to ask yourself right now

Guest post by Kendra Wheeler, founder of FitGOALS Training and Maine Beginner Hiking & Snowshoeing Meetup for Women. Did you make a resolution this year? Are you still going strong? If you are, more power to you! It takes a focused person to be successful in a world full of distractions. Instead of asking you what your resolutions are, I want to know why you picked the ones you did. I want to know why you're looking to change. Read the Rest »
Baby boomer

Over 65? In agony because of joint pain? Take a look at the advances in joint replacement surgery

February 8th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Gotta Use It
This post is sponsored by Spectrum Medical Group In 2011, the first baby boomers started turning age 65. On average, they are living longer, more active lives than their parents’ generation. That doesn’t mean they don’t have the same aches and pains and maladies. Arthritis, for instance, is still a significant cause of joint pain and loss of mobility in people 65 and older. Read the Rest »
People eating buffet at party

Hosting a Super Bowl Party? Make sure the food you serve is safe to eat

Super Bowl 50 is here! The most important game of the season. It's also supposed to be the most watched annual television program in the United States. Last year a record 114.5 million people tuned in. Will you be hosting a Super Bowl party at your house? That's a lot of food to prepare. Read the Rest »
Handful of pills

Mixing dietary supplements and medications? Beware. It’s a recipe for danger

February 4th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ..., Nom Nom
Guest post by Nicole N. Ferm DTR/L, Courtesy of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Did you know that an estimated 72 million people in the United States take some form of dietary supplement along with their prescription medications? You might not think it’s a big deal, but surprisingly, even the most common supplements, like a multivitamin, can cause problems or be dangerous when taken alongside certain prescription or over-the-counter medications. Read the Rest »
Diane and Sharon on Morning Report

Your risk of inherited cancers: On the Morning Report

Women are often asked about a history of breast or ovarian cancer on their mother's side. They should know about their father's family as well. I learned some important information from genetic counselor Jessica Cary. Watch as Sharon Vaznis and I discuss the issue on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
Mangoes

Try a new healthy food. This week it’s mangoes

February 2nd, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
John Turrell, the Wellness Coordinator at the Greater Portland Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine wants us to feel healthier and be a little adventurous, so he’s encouraging us to try (or retry) nine new healthy foods. We’re on number five — mangoes. Read the Rest »
Book cover

If you were in the hospital, think your kids would feel helpless? See how Super Jonny copes

In 1998, Simone Colwill was diagnosed with Crohn's disease — a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines. At the time, she had a two-year-old and a three and a half-year-old and was expecting her third child. Over the years, she was in and out of the hospital, which was always hard on the children. She tried to find a book that would help teach them about hospitals and empower them to help. She couldn't find what she was looking for so eventually, Simone wrote her own book. Read the Rest »
Nancy Fearing with Michael Elliott

Sick and tired of, well … everything? Slow down and explore the surprising benefits of t’ai chi

January 29th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Gotta Use It
It makes me tingle," answered 90-year-old Marit Wilson, when I asked her what she likes about doing t'ai chi. "It makes my arms and legs tingle." Ta'i chi is a centuries-old mind and body practice. It involves making slow methodical movements called postures. Movements that are both graceful and purposeful. The postures move seamlessly from one to another. It's a gentle form of exercise. Read the Rest »
Morning Report image

Tips for a healthy diet: On the Morning Report

January 28th, 2016 | I'm Not Your Mother, But ..., Nom Nom
Did you make a New Year's resolution to lose weight? How are you doing? If you're having some trouble and are tempted to follow a fad diet, listen to what I learned from registered dietitian Jenny Babino. Sharon Vaznis and I talk about some dieting dos and don'ts on the Morning Report. Read the Rest »
silverstylus / Pixabay

Try a new healthy food: This week it’s avocados

January 27th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
John Turrell, the Wellness Coordinator at the Greater Portland Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine wants us to feel healthier and be a little adventurous, so he’s encouraging us to try (or retry) nine new healthy foods. We’re on number four — avocado. Read the Rest »
DNA model

What is your family’s risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer? You have to look at the male side, too

When I was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer in 2014, I met with a medical oncologist to discuss my family history. A few women on both sides of my family had died of breast cancer. My great grandmother, a great aunt, an aunt and a first cousin. My father died of lung cancer and his father of prostate cancer. Read the Rest »
Tap dancers

Want to get fit without working out? Step to the tune of these audacious women!

Every week these women strap on their tap shoes and dance, dance, dance! They're all over 60. Some took lessons when they were kids and some simply danced in their kitchens when no one was looking. None lets a little thing like age stop them from dancing now. Read the Rest »
Becky with her nephew

How Becky Sawtelle declared victory over her demon and lost 130 pounds

In 2012, at the tender age of 41, Becky Sawtelle reached a life-changing decision. She tipped the scales at 272 pounds — she's only 5′ 3″ tall. Her body mass index (BMI) was 49. Anything over 30 is considered obese. Read the Rest »

Dish of Greek yogurt

Try a new healthy food. This week it’s Greek yogurt!

January 20th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
John Turrell, the Wellness Coordinator at the Greater Portland Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine wants us to feel healthier and be a little adventurous, so he’s encouraging us to try (or retry) nine new healthy foods. We're on number three. Read the Rest »
Alzheimer's Cafe attendees

Why hosting an Alzheimer’s Café in a Children’s Museum is a great idea

Once a month the Children's Museum of New Hampshire in Dover invites a group of adults for a bit of socializing. Although they are welcome to join them, it isn't necessary to have children in tow. The invitation is to the museum's Alzheimer's Café — a  place for people living with Alzheimer's, their family members and care partners. Where they can spend time with friends and forget about the unrelenting challenges they face. Read the Rest »
Man gasping for breath

Winter takes its toll on people with breathing problems

Guest post courtesy of Memorial Hospital, located in North Conway, New Hampshire and a member of MaineHealth.

We may not have had much of a winter yet, but for people with pulmonary problems such as asthma or COPD, it can be a difficult — even deadly – time of year. More than just the drop in temperature, the cold weather means a lack of humidity in the air, both indoors and out, as well as the proliferation of influenza, viral and bacterial infections. Read the Rest »

Quinoa

Try a new healthy food. This week it’s Quinoa!

January 12th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
John Turrell, the Wellness Coordinator at the Greater Portland Branch of the YMCA of Southern Maine, wants us to feel healthier and be a little adventurous, so he's encouraging us to try (or retry) nine new healthy foods. Last week was his first recommendation — sardines. They're  rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 unsaturated fatty acid.  This week, it's quinoa.  Read the Rest »
John Nappi

Why John Nappi begged people to just say yes!

January 7th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories

This was originally published in 2014. John Nappi wants to shout, "Just Say Yes!" from the rooftops. He wants to see the words plastered on tee shirts and bumper sticker and posters. He wants people to ask, "Say yes to what?" Read the Rest »
Can of sardines

Try some new healthy foods in 2016. #1. Sardines!

January 7th, 2016 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
Guest post by John Turrell, Wellness Coordinator, Greater Portland Branch, YMCA of Southern Maine. The start of a new year marks the perfect opportunity to revisit familiar menu routines and jump-start healthy eating patterns. Adding a variety of healthy foods to your plate will not only boost overall nutrition in your diet but also broaden your culinary horizons. Instead of  trying to find new recipes for the same familiar ingredients, try expanding your palate by incorporating some foods you don't routinely eat.  Read the Rest »
feet on a scale

A dietitian’s view of “easy” weight loss methods

Guest post by Jenny Babino, RDN, LD, courtesy of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With the start of the New Year, many of us will be setting a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Whether it’s those last 10 stubborn pounds or a bigger goal, there is always the temptation to get it done the “quick and easy” way. After all, who wants to prolong the deprivation? Here we’ll take a look at some of these so-called “easy” methods … Read the Rest »
Fireworks

Happy New Year, but no resolutions thank you!

Are you like me? Have you made New Year's resolutions with good intentions but you weren't able to keep them? The road to hell, you know ... Read the Rest »
Joan and dance partner

Put a little fun in your life. Go dancing!

December 30th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Gotta Use It
Joan Overton has been dancing nearly all her life. She just turned 82. I don't know what I expected when I agreed to meet her at her weekly dance class, but when she was pointed out to me I was surprised. I grabbed a quick photo of her practicing the Foxtrot. Looking stylish in a leopard print top and low-heeled, open-toed dancing shoes, she is as graceful and limber as a much younger woman. Read the Rest »
Elderly man looking at bills

10 signs your elderly parent may need some extra help

When we see our parents on a regular basis, we may not notice subtle changes in their routines or behaviors. If one is failing in some way, the other may pick up the slack and so, it may seem as if nothing is amiss. They may not mention anything because they don't want to worry us or be a burden. Read the Rest »
Sweet babies at Christmas

It may surprise you, but mindfulness over the holidays can bring you joy all year long

Guest post by John Turrell, Wellness Coordinator, Greater Portland Branch, YMCA of Southern Maine. The holidays are a wonderful time to renew and grow relationships with friends and family. And to enjoy and celebrate food. The trouble is, holidays can also be a time of stress. In our relationships with friends and family and with food. Mindfulness can be the pathway to reducing stress and increasing joy. Read the Rest »
Elderly woman and daughter

Words of wisdom for when you need to have a heart to heart with an elderly parent

Several  years ago, my friend Lucy and her husband, who were in their 50s, left their home and jobs in Chicago and moved to Maine. Not to retire or experience a slower pace of life, but to care for Lucy’s elderly mother. Read the Rest »
Greenestbeans logo

An easier way to find out what’s in your food. On the Morning Report

December 18th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom

Trying to eat healthier foods but fed up with reading food labels? Sharon Vaznis and I talk about a new website that should make it a whole lot easier for you. Watch us on the Morning Report.

Read the Rest »

Front cover of Chasing the Rabbit

Raising a child with Asperger’s. A father and son share their perspectives in a new book

Sometimes, life throws things our way that aren't easy to handle. We all have our coping mechanisms. If I've got something on my mind, I like to be left alone to figure out what to do. You might prefer to talk. Or go for a run or a bike ride. Or meditate. Some people turn to drugs or other not-so-healthy ways of escaping reality. Dylan Volk uses humor. Read the Rest »
Elderly woman driving

Knowing when it’s no longer safe for an elderly parent to be driving

Imagine for a moment that a well-meaning family member decides it’s no longer safe for you to drive and takes away your keys. You have been driving all of your adult life with no major mishaps. The only issue, as far as you’re concerned, is that you’re not quite as young as you used to be.  Read the Rest »
Holiday cookies

How to stick with tradition and still make healthier holiday meals

December 11th, 2015 | Catching Health Stories, Nom Nom
Guest post by Kit Broihier, MS, RD, LD courtesy of the Maine Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. First off, nobody wants to mess with treasured holiday recipes. There are good reasons we treasure them. If they are perfect as is, why change them and risk disappointing all those tradition-loving eaters? I would never suggest fussing around with Grandma’s cherished holiday cookie recipe, so you can breathe easy. Read the Rest »