A survey was released recently by the insurance and financial company now called The Hartford. The survey measured those who planned for retirement – call PLANNERS in the survey- and non-planners. As you might expect non- planners aren’t very close in saving for retirement, only 10% of non-planners are confident that they will have enough income. I don’t play sports because I’m not very coordinated, but I have heard that the best way to hit a target Is to look where you intend for the ball – or arrow or whatever- to go. You have to aim for something, you need to PLAN. Many Americans have experienced changes in their retirement savings after the recent recession. Here are some survey results:Are you on track in your savings? Planners 60% Non- planners 39%Do you save more now? Planners 33% Non-planners 22% If we could ‘turn back time’ 26% of all would have saved MORE and 43% of all respondents would have started saving SOONER.65% of all respondents said that their biggest concern in retirement is paying for basic expenses such as food shelter and clothing. Do better today than yesterday, but get a move on!Citation:http://www.hartfordinvestor.com/general_pdf/crossroads_advertorial.pdfMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Ingredients:Brownie mix (use cake mix directions) package for 13×9 recipe 2 small boxes white chocolate instant pudding large Cool whip 1 bag Heath candy bars (crushed)2 cups milkDirections:Cook brownies and let cool. Whip 2 cups milk into dry pudding mixes, fold cool whip into mixture. Divide brownies into 3 equal portions Use a trifle bowl. Break brownies into bite size pieces,layer in bowl. Spoon pudding layer to cover brownies, layer crushed candy bars. Repeat 2 more times. This is a nice presentation in trifle bowl.Â Recipe Submitted by: Lindy WarrenÂ
Identity theft can involve financial, medical or personal information where another person identifies themselves as you without your permission. Prevention is doing one thing, but it a series of things, or as one expert said it is a strategy.Shredding- Most people know that shredding documents with account or personal information on it is a major component of prevention. Shred all paperwork, checks, statements, old credit cards and medical information before throwing it away.Trash- In many cities, digging though trash has become, according to my research, big business in finding information to steal identities. Credit crad statements, medical information, bank and loan statements, any personal information may be used to steal your identity. Be really careful with trash collection.Be suspicious- I trust folks and am not suspicious by nature. I need you to be vigilant when asked by phone or in an email about personal information. Many banks do a great job teaching customers to be careful when giving out credit card, bank account or any personal information. Be alert for surveys, telephone calls or any person who asks for any of your account information. Do not lend your credit card to anyone. Watch when clerks take your card.One article suggested that a bit of paranoia when dealing with your credit and other personal information would be a great trait to acquire! Citations:http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/banking/financialprivacy/p33715.asphttp://ezinearticles.com/?The-Search-For-the-Best-Way-to-Prevent-Identity-Theft&id=1953594Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Lawns are getting nice and green right now, but what happens if yours is just a pile of dirt.That’s when you might want to consider hydroseeding.In this edition of Take this Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier decided to see what it takes to get the grass to grow, by following the folks at Adams Hydroseeding.
Calcium & Vitamin DCalcium is critical to health through all stages of life. And Vitamin D is critical to maintaining calcium balance.And yet we do not get enough of eitherâ€¦!Calcium Calcium is critical to bone health. Most of us know that. But what other questions might you have?Q: Do our dietary behaviors in adolescence affect such things as osteoporosis in middle and old age? A: Yes. Those behaviors are critical. Adequate calcium intake in adolescence directly influence bone health in later life. Taking calcium through life prevents bone loss in later life. Q: Is calcium important for anything other than “bone health”?Y: Calcium is critical to heart function, nerve transmission, blood clotting, and the function of virtually every cell in the body. Adequate calcium intake may also prevent high blood pressure, prevent colon cancer, and help people diet successfully. This last fact is being increasingly studied in light of our increasing realization that avoiding obesity is critical to overall health.Q: How much calcium do I need?Y: At least 1000 mg/day after age 8. During the critical periods of adolescence and after 50 years old, 1200-1300 mg/day is recommended.Q: Do I need to take pills?A: Not necessarily. Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium – – 8 oz of milk/yogurt or 1.5 oz of cheddar cheese each contain about 300mg of calcium. Other calcium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, broccoli, fish, almonds, oats, and fortified foods such as orange juice or tofu. If diet doesn’t provide adequate calcium, supplementation is simple. Calcium carbonate is the best: one “extra strength” antacid tablet (Tums or generic) contains 750mg. Or take a multi-vitamin. In both cases, be sure to check the label. % Daily Value is based on 1000 mg/day.Vitamin D We get vitamin D from two sources:(1) through diet or (2) through synthesis in the skin in response to sunlight.Sun exposure is limited by a number of things including skin pigmentation, latitude, sunscreen use, and air pollution. All this make sun exposure an unreliable source of vitamin D. Diet, therefore, is critical. Older children and adults tend to get enough through supplements, but should be aware of the recommended daily intake for all ages: 400 IU/day.Infants are not so lucky. Q: Why is sunlight a particularly poor way for infants to get vitamin D?A: The American Academy of Pediatrics and all other medical societies is clear on the need to avoid sun exposure in infants and children. Sunscreen is uniformly recommended and therefore precludes sun exposure as a means of getting vitamin D.Q: Is there a particular challenge associated with dietary vitamin D in infancy?A: Yes. Â· Breast milk does not contain vitamin D meaningful amountsÂ· Formula is fortified, but intake must be 34 oz/day to meet requirements, an amount rarely reached in infancyÂ· Baby foods do not provide the needed vitamin D.Q: Are infants and children at particular risk?A: Vitamin D deficiency in infancy and childhood affects bone development. In the most severe cases, it can cause softening and weakening of the bones, impair growth, cause developmental delays, and even result in lethargy or seizures.Q: Is there a solution?A: Yes. Infants need supplementation with vitamin D. This needs to be part of a daily routine and not seen as a “medicine”. Despite recommendations to receive 400 IU/day, physicians continue to not provide this for infants. A recent study (April 2010) showed that in breast fed or combined breast-milk/formula fed infants, less than 15% were receiving the recommended dietary vitamin D. And complete formula fed infants were not much better at less than 35%. Supplementation is not happening!Q: Why don’t physicians supplement infants?A: Studies show that many physicians think vitamin D deficiency only happens to dark skinned infants or that breast milk contains adequate vitamin D or that infant receive enough sunlight. All these suppositions are wrong!Parents: you must ask your infant’s physician about vitamin D supplementation. Adequate vitamin D is essential to healthy bone development and to normal childhood development!For more information about calcium and vitamin D supplementation, consult the American Academy of Pediatrics website: www.aap.org
Do you keep track of how and why your money is spent? Many people who have money troubles do not really have a clear picture of how money is spent. Here are some questions to ask yourself: 1.) What interest rate are you paying on debt? What interest rate are you paying on school loans, credit cards, car loans or the mortgage? You need to know these numbers to be connected to your money.2.) How much do you spend on snacks, etc.? I met with a man this week who said ‘it’s amazing how much money get spent on things like coffee and your morning bagel at Starbucks.’ Exactly! How much are you spending per week for snacks, lunch and coffee per week?3.) What’s the first thing you do w/ paycheck? Do you spend as the first action or is money automatically coming out for retirement, emergency savings accounts and maybe a another account for bills? It’s those automatic actions that make savings grow.4.) How do you make purchases?- Do you save for vacations, household appliances and other larger purchases? Do you spend more than you have because a local store is going out of business or having a great sale?5.) How do you feel when you think about $ ? How do you feel when you think about YOUR finances? Do you feel in control? Do you feel hopeless or desperate?Be strong, be a grow-up, understand your money!Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
National Drinking Water Safety WeekBy- Dr. Joan PellegriniEvery year the Federal Government, along with organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Water Works Association, kicks off a week-long awareness campaign about our drinking water supply. This week many of us are aware of the issues because of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the water main break in Boston. The motto for this week is â€œOnly tap water deliversâ€. This motto is intended to highlight the importance of public water supply and safety and the need to reinvest in our water supply infra-structure. Americans have the luxury of a very safe and abundant water supply. However, this does not come without hard work and expense. Some of our infra-structure is aging and will require expensive upgrades and repairs. Very few Americans ever have to worry about turning on their faucet and getting contaminated water or not getting any water at all. That is because our local water companies work diligently to provide a clean and safe water supply. As a consumer, though, we need to do our part to protect our water supply and to support funding initiatives to keep our systems in good repair. We can protect our water supply by respecting our reservoirs and aquifers. This means not polluting around them and obeying the laws about land use around the reservoirs. It also means limiting some activities such as fertilizing, spraying pesticides, dumping near reservoirs, and using gasoline or other types of engines on our reservoirs.Tap water is very safe and often safer than well water. It may even be safer than some bottled water. It has the added benefit in most communities of providing a source of fluoride. Bottled water is generally not recommended because of the impact on the environment from the wasted bottles. It also is far more expensive than tap water. There is no data that bottled water is safer or better for you than tap water in the US or Canada. There also is only minimal data that fluoridated water poses any risks. Certainly, we have seen a decrease in dental decay because of fluoride.Up to 20 percent of New Englanders have a well for their water source. The well water is usually tested when the well is first drilled and again if the house is sold. However, it is recommended that the well water be tested more frequently in order to check for contamination. Below, I have an address for Maineâ€™s website on well water information.Below are some websites for further information:This is a PDF put out by the Federal Government to explain many of the issues that affect our drinking water supply. There are also resources listed for obtaining information on water safety.http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/wot/pdfs/book_waterontap_full.pdfThis is the Center for Disease Controlâ€™s website on drinking water:http://www.cdc.gov/Features/DrinkingWater/Maine also has a website for information on how to get your well water tested and what to do if you think there is a problem with your well:http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/eohp/wells/mewellwater.htm
Portfolio theory, which I studied, claims that a very good approach to investments is regular rebalancing of your investment portfolio. Why rebalance – To rebalance is to make the mix of investments back to the 60/ 40% of stocks and bonds, or whatever mix of investments, you and your advisor thought was a good choice for you. Over time different assets ‘classes’ like stocks in large firms or small companies, municipal bonds or government bonds, perform differently. If bonds perform less well than stocks in a given period of time the mix may bein at 60 stocks and 40$ bonds but may become off kilter for you and may be 70 / 30. This new mix of assets may put your investment at a higher risk.Though there are many proponents of rebalancing not everyone agrees that this theory of a great one. ( I don’t know your goals, objectives or risk tolerance, so please see your advisor for a plan that is best for your needs.) Just say no- But the stock market downturn for the last few years made many doubt the wisdom of the rebalancing theory. Professional publications that I read loudly argued the merits of leaving things alone and the article hyperlink included in this story shows some equations that show that portfolios left alone – that go out of balance- perform better. I want you to know that investment theory is evolving. That professionals disagree. Don’t you feel that you must hold a particular view because things are always changing. Citations:Vanguardhttps://institutional.vanguard.com/iip/pdf/ICRRebalancing.pdfRebalancing can be hazardoushttp://seekingalpha.com/article/63576-rebalancing-can-be-hazardous-to-your-portfolioMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
Ingredients:2 1/2 C. sifted flour 1/2 C. soft butter 1 3/4 C. sugar 1/2 C. sour milk (add 1tsp lemon juice or vinegar and let set a few min. to sour) 2 C. finely chopped fiddleheads 1/3 C. chocolate chips 1 t. baking soda 2 t. vanilla 1/2 C. applesauce 1/4 C. chopped nuts 2 eggs 4 T. unsweetened cocoa Directions:Mix flour, baking soda and cocoa, set aside. In large bowl place butter, eggs, applesauce, vanilla, sugar and milk. Beat until well blended. Gradually beat in dry ingredients. Stir in fiddleheads and nuts. Fill greased individual cake pans 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack before glazing. You can glaze with 1 C. peanut butter blended with 1/2 C. powdered sugar and enough milk to thin to the consistancy you want. Drizzle over cakes.Â Recipe submitted by: Kathierine SmithÂ
As a financial advisor and curious woman, I want to know as much as I can about how we think about life but especially money. That has brought me to learn as much as I can about today’s topic: The psychology of money. Money brings out our concerns about love, power, and self-esteem. Let’s talk about some issues that crop up pertaining to money.Fear- I have worked with several folks who worry or are fearful and it shows in the way they handle money. Perhaps they grew up and they were very poor and they never want to be in that desperate situation again. The fear may show itself in hoarding money, overspending or believing they can save enough money to protect them from every potential problem in life. Or maybe it is only in receiving expensive gifts that our worth is duly noted by others.Procrastination- Money can mean a lot more than just greenbacks. It can signify love, acceptance, safety even self-esteem. We don’t always recognize that emotions are intertwined with how we handle money. Perhaps our quirks around money show in irrational ways: we won’t save, we don’t want to discuss money, we avoid the topic completely. We may even think money is evil.A helpful tool is making a Money Tree. Who’s important to you and what is going on with them now and maybe in the past that may be influencing your actions? Is someone very sick right now and your worry or concern is stalling the actions you need to take in your life? Maybe wanting the good opinion of a particular family member is creating discord in your life. Maybe you feel like you have to fix everyone’s financial state because you have been blessed and feel guilty. The thing about money is it isn’t always just about greenbacks. It can be peer pressure, guilt or fear. Having a discussion with a trusted advisor could be just the prescription for you.Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
By- Dr. David Prescott â€“ Acadia HospitalThe Controversy Around Spanking: Arguments about the potential benefits and drawbacks of spanking as a means of child discipline have been ongoing for decades. Research shows that a majority of Americans do not oppose spanking as an occasional way of stopping undesirable behavior. And, most people agree that spanking can cross a line to where it constitutes physical abuse. However, answering the question of whether or not spanking truly causes problems in children has proven to be complex and difficult. Recent Research on Negative Effects of Spanking: A soon to be published study conducted at Tulane University examined the impact of spanking 3-year old children, following them until they were 5 years old. Results showed that children who were spanked more frequently at age 3 were more likely to show aggressive behaviors by age 5. The study was unique in that it attempted to sort out the impact of spanking from other potential factors which could cause aggression, such as levels of aggression/violence between parents, neglect by parents, or stress/depression in the mother. When the impact of these other factors was removed, it still appeared that children who were spanked frequently were more likely to be aggressive. Children who were spanked more than twice a month at age 3 were 50% more likely to commit aggressive acts at age 5. Researchers also found that the differences were not accounted for by childrenâ€™s natural level of aggression. That is, it did not appear that children who were naturally more aggressive were simply more likely to be spanked. Are There Benefits to Spanking? Both research and surveys of parents show that the primary benefit associated with spanking is its immediate effect on undesirable behavior. Spanking is typically highly effective in getting an action to stop right away. The drawback cited by those opposed to spanking is that corporal punishment creates an environment where new learning is unlikely to occur. Stated another way, children who are spanked are typically at such a high level of emotional arousal that they are unlikely to learn more appropriate behaviors. It is only when emotions have calmed that learning â€œthe right thing to doâ€ can occur. What do Professionals Recommend? Most pediatricians and psychologists are in agreement that repeated use of spanking causes more harm than good. The American Academy of Pediatrics takes the following position: The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly opposes striking a child for any reason. If a spanking is spontaneous, parents should later explain calmly why they did it, the specific behavior that provoked it, and how angry they felt. They also might apologize to their child for their loss of control. This usually helps the youngster to understand and accept the spanking, and it models for the child how to remediate a wrong.What to Do Instead of Spanking? Psychologists and other health professionals have developed many techniques to help children learn more appropriate and desirable behaviors without using corporal punishment. Strategies such as using time out, rewarding positive behavior, and teaching non-aggressive ways of coping with anger and frustration have benefitted many parents and children. Many parenting books, as well as the web sites of the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, offer guidance on these approaches. For more Information: American Psychological Association: www.apa.org/topicsAmerican Academy of Pediatrics: www.aap.orgAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: www.aacap.org
I hope no one you love ever dies. It is my special hope that no one you love dies young. But people do die and sometimes the death is especially tragic because the loved one is young and has a family counting on their love and their income.Why have life insurance? When a parent or guardian dies, the family not only looses the love of their parent may loose their lifestyle, too. They may no longer be able to stay in their home, go to the same school, or have a stay-at-home parent or one that only works part-time. Your death alone would be devastating, but to add to that the loss of a child’s whole world would be such a heavy load on their little heart.How much insurance is right? The answer to this question depends on you, your income, the age of your dependents, the income or finances of the household. Would you want to keep the living standards the same, or change them? Do you want to cover college costs? What about the mortgage? Is that covered with another insurance policy? Will the insurance need to cover the cost of a babysitter for several years? Are there other family members for whom you contribute income and who would suffer a financial blow should you die unexpectedly? Some web sites I saw say have 5-10 times your annual salary in insurance, while other sites recommended a more detailed analysis of your needs. What type of insurance? There are several types of life insurance with the two most common being whole and term. Whole life insurance lasts from the time you purchase it until you die- so long as you pay the premiums. It accrues cash value. Term life is purchased for periods of time, such as 10 years or twenty and is often used to cover a particular time in life where more substantial insurance needs occur, such as those of parents while children are dependent. Term life doesn’t not have cash value. There are other types, but these are the two basic.Keep your health and credit score in mind- Your driving record, health history, and even your credit score are all pieces of the underwriting used to determine your cost for any insurance. Think about it, if you drive drunk and smoke like a chimney you may not live as long as your careful, health conscious twin whose rates may be substantially lower than you insurance rates.Company strength- The insurance you choose needs to be payable to your family and from a company whose financial position is strong. Their insurance rates may be different than other companies, but they need to be in business years from now to pay that claim.Everyone dies. Money won’t fix that horrible loss, but is could make life without you much less painful.Citations:Met lifehttp://www.newyorklife.com/nyl/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=3fcace42249d2210a2b3019d221024301cacRCRDToday- 10 tips
It’s a successful family business that’s been around for decades.Gifford’s serves up their famous ice cream in more than 60 different flavors.All of it, about ten thousand gallons a day, gets produced at their plant in Skowhegan.In this edition of Take this Job and Love It, Sharon Pelletier decided to see if she could get the scoop behind ice cream making.
Keeping your Facts â€“ and Fats â€“ StraightBy- Dr. Amy MoviusMost of us know that a healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber â€“ and low in fat. In fact, it is recommended that fats make up no more than 25-35% of our daily calories. Keep in mind that fat contains more than twice the calories, gram for gram, than carbohydrate or protein. Then there is consideration of the type of fat in question: trans fats, saturated fats, unsaturated fats, hydrogenated fats, omega 3 fatty acids?? It can certainly be confusing, but the particulars are worth getting to know as the differences can have a huge impact on your health.Saturated Fats (Bad Fats)Saturated fats are perhaps the easiest to understand, since these are fats that come from animals â€“ think meat and dairy. Saturated fats contain cholesterol. There are a few plant sources such as coconut and palm oil.Unsaturated Fats (Good Fats)Unsaturated fats come in two varieties, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. These fats are found in fish, nuts, seeds, and oils from plants. These fats may help to reduce cholesterol, especially when used in place of their saturated counterpart. Omega 3 is a type of polyunsaturated fat.Trans Fats/Hydrogenated Fats (Good Fats gone BAD!)Hydrogenation is a process, used on unsaturated fats (good fats), that produces hydrogenated or trans fats (very bad fats). Hydrogenation produces products such as margarine, shortening, and cooking oils (partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated vegetable oils). Trans fats are insidious in our diets: they sneak their way into many baked goods as well as fried foods. In a large study of women, the most common sources of trans fat were margarine, beef/pork/lamb as main meal, cookies, and white bread. Though they do not contain cholesterol, they still cause bad cholesterol to rise, maybe even more than the cholesterol-containing saturated fats. To add insult to injury, they may also decrease good cholesterol. It is recommended that trans fat constitute no more than 1% of our diet. Since 2006, trans fat content must be listed on nutrition labels. This can be enormously helpful when shopping: my family discovered a formerly beloved pancake mix contained trans fat. Eating out can still be perilous, however, as there is no labeling requirement at this time. Hydrogenated vegetable oil is typically used for commercially fried foods. Keep in mind these products can still be labeled as â€œcholesterol freeâ€™ and â€œcooked in vegetable oilâ€. One order of fast food French fries easily exceeds the daily recommended intake of trans fats by several times!Now that you know the skinny on different fats, use the following American Heart Association guidelines to keep your family eating and feeling well.1. Use naturally occurring, unhydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, safflower, sunflower or olive. 2. Avoid saturated fat in your diet. Limit total fat to between 25 and 35% of calories, mostly from unsaturated sources (fish, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils)3. Read labels and select processed foods made with unhydrogenated oil rather than partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils, or saturated fats.4. Use soft margarine instead of butter and choose liquid or tub varieties over harder stick forms. Look for â€œ0g trans fatâ€ on label.5. Donâ€™t eat fried or baked goods often as they tend to be high in trans fat. French fries, doughnuts, cookies, cracker, muffins, pies and cakes are examples.6. Limit commercially fried foods and baked goods as they are usually very high in fat in general, and it is often hydrogenated or trans fat.7. Avoid fried fast food. They are usually cooked in hydrogenated products and are very high in trans fat.8. Use fat-free and low-fat dairy products.Again, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grain and highâ€“fiber foods is also recommended. The American Heart Associated has a lot more great information on keeping you and your family healthy at www.americanheart.org.
So you’ve got a budget and you’re chugging along. Now you realize that you don’t have a way to make future dreams and goals come true. You need to set financial goals! Here’s how (and I’ve included web sites that have some worksheets that you may find helpful).Include everyone- Include your beloved and the kids if applicable in making this financial map for your future. The more money is spoken about out loud, the better for your family’s health.Make short and long-term goals- Goals can include things as close as this month all the way out to well into retirement. The further out you plan, perhaps the more loose you may want to keep the plan.What’s the cost?- Now that you have decided what you’d like to accomplish, what is the cost of this most excellent dream? Write it down, and investigate less expensive and more creative methods of financing the dream.Break it down- How much will you need to actually save to reach the goal? If you initial plan was not realistic because you can’t save that much that fast, take it back a notch or trim some of the vision. OR, get a part-time job. You no have the tools to make life decisions because you can weigh what you want and what lifestyle you are willing to live with to get to that goal.Goals change- Recognize that life is full of surprises. You will mature and your goals may change. That’s okay. Help the family realize that when you begin this planning process. Save!- Start saving and figure out how to track your success. Citations:University of TN Extension worksheethttp://www.utextension.utk.edu/publications/pbfiles/pb1454.pdfRutgers worksheet:http://njaes.rutgers.edu/money/pdfs/goalsettingworksheet.pdfConsumer Counseling Credit of DVhttp://www.cccsdv.org/resources/setting-financial-goals Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
By- Joan Marie Pellegrini Irritable bowel syndrome (otherwise commonly known as “IBS”) is a condition of the colon. We do not know what causes it and therefore it is very difficult to know how to cure it. The current most common medical theory is that IBS is a disorder of the nerves that control the function of the colon. IBS causes abdominal pain, bloating, gassiness, diarrhea, and/or constipation. The symptoms can be so severe that it limits one’s activity and ability to work. A doctor may diagnose IBS by the classic set of symptoms and by ruling out other common disorders. The doctor may order tests to rule out a malabsorption disorder such as lactose intolerance or celiac disease. Sometimes a colonoscopy is indicated in order to evaluate for inflammatory bowel disease. Once a patient is given a diagnosis of IBS, there is a four-pronged approach to treatment. The four prongs are: dietary modification, stress reduction, exercise, and (lastly) medications. Dietary modification: A person with IBS should keep a food journal in order to determine which foods cause the most symptoms. Common foods to avoid are milk products and foods high in fat. Also, it is important to add fiber. There are many types of fiber on the market and most of them will cause less gas and bloating than the fiber found in foods. Many people find that the soluble fibers cause the least amount of symptoms. I usually recommend to my patients that they use a combination of soluble (inulin) and insoluble (psyllium) fibers along with increasing the fiber-rich foods in their diet. If someone has diarrhea, then it is usually recommended to avoid or limit caffeine intake. On the other hand, caffeine can benefit the person with constipation. Stress reduction: Just about everyone with IBS notices that their symptoms are worse with stress. In fact just about every disease is worse with stress. There are many components to stress reduction with include psychological evaluation, counseling, breathing exercises, biofeedback, acupuncture, yoga, prayer, etc. Exercise: The colon is fairly responsive to exercise. Many people notice that their constipation is much improved with aerobic exercise. It is not quite understood how exercise benefits the bowel but it is a well known fact that it does. Exercise can also be a source of stress reduction. Medications: This is generally considered the last resort. There are medications that treat the symptoms such as laxatives for constipation, anti-diarrheals or anti-spasmodics for diarrhea, simethicone for the gas, and pain medication for the pain. In general, narcotics are least effective for bowel-related pain. Anti-depressants also may be effective. Finally, there are two drugs on the market for IBS (Lotrenex and Amitiza). These drugs have fairly serious side-effect profiles. If you or a loved one have been given a diagnosis of IBS, the goal is to manage the symptoms and not allow the disease to control your life. There is no cure but there is promise in the future as more reseach is done on bowel motility disorders. Just about every patient who embarks on a well-rounded treatment program will experience significant relief. However, most of the options listed above will need to become part of a person’s lifestyle in the long run. The following is one of my favorite sites for information on IBS:http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome/DS00106
By- Dr. Jonathan WoodDoes a daily â€œdoseâ€ lower your risk of heart disease and stroke?Why do the Kuna, indigenous peoples from islands off the Panamanian coast, have virtually no hypertension (high blood pressure) and no increase in blood pressure with age? And why do these findings disappear with migration to urban centers like Panama City? This phenomenon has been described in similar isolated populations and usually, when investigated, is connected to a lower salt intake in the native environment. But the native Kuna have higher salt intake than their urban counterparts. So why the extraordinary differences in cardiovascular disease? The answer: cocoa! The Kuna drink an estimated (likely underestimated) 5 cups of a native cocoa drink each day. It is their primary drink and it contains large amounts of flavanols, a naturally occurring antioxidant and blood vessel relaxer. When this â€œKuna phenomenonâ€ was first described less than 10 years ago, a flurry of studies of chocolate and cocoa followed. Could this be the new â€œred wineâ€, something yummy that actually was good for your heart health? Unfortunately, to get the same amount of flavanol contained in the 5+ cups of Kuna cocoa drink, one would have to eat and estimated 4.5 lbs of dark chocolate or 15 lbs of milk chocolate! These amounts are obviously not practical nor advisable to suggest. So studies have been done looking at smaller amounts and trying to account for the other less healthy things (fat, sugar, etc) in commercial chocolate But it has been difficult. And the amounts still have seemed too large to promote without more solid data.But now, once again, chocolate is in the news – – and itâ€™s good news! A German study due to be published tomorrow in the European Heart Journal looked at detailed diet (including chocolate), blood pressure, several known cardiovascular risk factors, and some other demographics in a group of nearly 20,000 men and woman, age 35-65. This group was then followed over 8 years. 300 of them suffered heart attacks or strokes during that time. When controlled for all the other factors, it seems that the lower chocolate diet in these 300 people may be responsible: i.e. the more chocolate eaten, the lower risk of stroke or heart attack. Of note, the effect was more pronounced for strokes than heart attacks.The particularly interesting aspect of this study was the amount of chocolate that seemed to be needed to confer â€œprotectionâ€. The difference between the â€œlowâ€ chocolate group (more strokes) and the â€œhighâ€ chocolate group (fewer strokes) was 6 grams/day. And how much is 6 grams? Not muchâ€¦â€¢ 1Â½ Hersheyâ€™s Kisses = 6 gramsâ€¢ 2 little â€œrectanglesâ€ from a standard Hershey bar = 6 grams (i.e. 1 bar should last 6 days!)â€¢ 11 Nestle semi-sweet morsels = 6 gramsAnd should you choose milk or dark? Clearly, dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk chocolate, so if you like it, dark chocolate is a better choice.So should we all rush out and start a daily dose of chocolate? Probably not – – this study was a retrospective observational design and needs to be repeated in a prospective way. But is a little bit of chocolate okay or perhaps even healthy? Likely, yes. And it seems a very little bit (6 grams) may go a long wayâ€¦if you can control yourself and not eat the whole bar! Remember, our chocolate bars (unlike the Kunasâ€™ drink) have much more in them than just cocoaâ€¦ A good rule of thumb: everything in moderation!
Almost 600,000 new business start each year. Do you have what it takes to be one of the entrepreneurs who plan to open your own business this year? Here’s a list of some of the characteristics that may help you.Discipline- You need a plan and then you need the discipline to stick with the plan. People will hesitate to even begin to do business with you if you don’t have what it takes to stay in business very long. That discipline is important to me. I get my hair cut by women who have the discipline to run a great business, I go to church where- I agree with the doctrine- but they also run a disciplined business. That makes me confident.Risk taker- Starting a business is all about taking a calculated risk. Few people want to take more risk than necessary, and I think minimizing your risk is important, but you will be risking your reputation, your money and your time when you start a business.Spirit of excellence- Building a business takes hours, days, and years of consistent excellence. You will not have repeat customers if you always fail. Mistakes are normal, but you need to be committed to an attitude of excellence in your business activities.Determination- You need passion, a fire in your belly, a determination to succeed because you won’t get every contract, not every person will want to hire you- and really you don’t want them anyway. Not every human being breathing is a good customer for you services. Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be discouraging, so you need to be determined to succeed.Communication- Owning your own business means doing it all- at least at first. You need to share your passion for your goods or services. You need to negotiate with suppliers, you need to work with employees and train them and instill your passion for the work in them. You may need to work with investors and convince them of the excellence and worth of your business. Communication is key to your success.Energetic- To do all this you need to be hardworking and have a lot of energy. It really doesn’t matter what you are doing for your business, you will probably need all these skills to succeed. Live long and prosper!Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com
By- Dr. David PrescottMore and more, health care providers are paying attention to the relationship between medical disorders and mental health problems. One the one hand, having a medical event like a heart attack or stroke leads to a greater chance of experiencing a mental health problem. On the other hand, high levels of psychological stress, depression, or anxiety, put you at higher risk for certain medical conditions. No matter which angle you take in looking at the mind/body connection, it is important to take steps to maintain good psychological health.Is there really much overlap between mental health and physical health? Absolutely yes! Several statistics and facts illustrate this point. â€¢ It is estimated that over two-thirds of primary care office visits are due to stress related symptoms. â€¢ 10-14% of people hospitalized for any medical condition have major depression. â€¢ The diagnosis of depression is estimated to be missed in up to 50% of visits to primary care doctors. â€¢ For certain medical conditions, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, about 25% of patients have diagnosable panic disorder. â€¢ High levels of hostility have been found to predict heart disease more often than high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, or obesity â€¢ Men high in optimism were less than half as likely to develop heart disease than were the more pessimistic men What are some of the medical conditions most associated with mental health problems?Cardiac Illness and Heart Attacks â€“ Both major depression and anxiety disorders, like panic attacks, are very common following a diagnosis of coronary heart disease or having a heart attack. It is estimated that one in six people who have a heart attack develop panic disorder, and over Â½ (up to 65%) of people develop major depression. Untreated major depression is even correlated with an increase risk of death within 6 months of a heart attack. Cancer â€“ About one in four people diagnosed with cancer develop major depression. Symptoms of depression may be difficult to diagnose during cancer treatment, since poor appetite, weight loss, and loss of energy are characteristic of both depression and treatment for cancer. Diabetes – Rates of depression in diabetes are very similar to cancer (about 25%). Not only is treating depression important in and of itself, but untreated depression may make compliance with treatment for diabetes more difficult. Obesity â€“ The relationship between obesity and depression is complex. In one study, women with obesity had a 37% higher rate of depression than women without obesity. However, it is not clear yet whether depression may cause obesity in some people, or whether obesity may cause depression. It seems likely that both are true! In any case, simultaneously treating both depression and obesity is the best hope for conquering these conditions. Why is it important to treat both medical illnesses and mental health disorders? While clinical anxiety and depression are more frequent in people with significant medical conditions, it does not mean that you are simply supposed to get used to the problem. Getting counseling or medication for anxiety and depression not only helps you feel better, but allows you to focus more energy on recovering from things like heart attacks or cancer. What can I do to make sure that both conditions are treated? Probably the most important step is to tell your doctor or your psychologist/counselor about your concerns with both your emotional and physical health. Donâ€™t think that the fact that you are feeling extremely sad or worried is something you should just keep to yourself, or is something that just happens after a major medical event. Ask your doctor, or a mental health professional, whether what you are feeling is normal, and if there is anything you should do to address the problem. For More Information: Mental Health America: http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/depression/co-occurring-disorders-and-depressionAmerican Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/mind-body
I have a degree in Business with a concentration in Finance, so I am equipped to understand the world of investing, but I also want to help clients feel good about the process of creating their financial plan. To help me do that part of my job better I study books on decision-making. In the Paradox of Choice author Barry Schwartz explains that there are several stumbling blocks to making good decisions. Some of them we control, some is the result of too much choice.MaximizersVs.SatisfiersMaximizers vs. Satisfiers- There are two basic kinds of decisions makers. Maximizers are those of us who want the perfect, only the best choice in their decision. They are plagued by fears that they have not seen all there is to see so they cannot have seen the ‘right’ choice yet. When they finally make a decision they fret and worry that there were better choices out in the world they have missed so even after their decision they are depressed and dissatisfied.Satisfiers have high standards in their decision-making but they believe that their choice is a good one and they let any belief in what else might have been purchased or decided upon, slip away and they rejoice in their choice.The paradox Schwartz refers to in the title is that when we are presented with 6 choices, 30% of people can make a decision and follow through on their choice. But when we are faced with 24 choices of an item, like chocolate, only 3% of people buy. The ‘freedom of choice’ is many times a tie that binds.Why discuss this in a finance section? Investment decision are critical to your retirement future and the book explains how folks decide – very unscientifically- for their investment plans. Overwhelmed and trying to do what is ‘right’ people put a small amount in each investment choice. That wasn’t the reasoning in offering those options. Doing nothing because you are overwhelmed is another common thing I see as an advisor. Decide today to seek help and partner with an advisor who will wisely assist you in planning you financial future. Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com