Spring Is Here

Its spring and its a time of renewal. Its time to plant, Its a time for you to start shedding those extra pounds. It is time to let go of stale thinking and create something new.

Change can be challenging especially now as we are emerging from the pandemic. Keep in mind the virus may not be gone but the spring weather as sparked a renewal in the life cycle.

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Flowers, other plants are in bloom, birds are singing, and the air is full of pollen. We use to see bees and butterfly’s but unfortunately I have not seen many of these little creatures in a while. This is the time my friend to renew your mind, body and spirit.

Get out and enjoy the sunshine, especially if you are in the south. This wonderful weather won’t last long. Soon it will be to hot to be outside. Enjoy Life!!

Pilates vs Yoga

Pilates and yoga are exercises that built strength and flexibility.   Pilates increases your core strength,  posture, and can ease back pain.  Yoga can also ease low back and neck pain, improve balance, enhance sleep, eases stress while utilizing mindfulness and meditative movements.  

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I find the difference between Pilates and yoga personal preference.   I enjoy the rapid change in movement with Pilates much more than yoga.  Although both are relaxing and stimulating, yoga utilizes slow and repetitive meditative motions.   

Try something different and add one of these exercise modalities to your routine.  We all can benefit with an increase in strength and flexibility.   Just keeping you informed.

  References

Difference between Pilates and Yoga. WebMD. (2021). https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/difference-between-pilates-and-yoga

High-Fructose

High-fructose corn syrup is a liquid sweetener made from corn, and is sugar that turns into glucose. High-fructose corn syrup was introduced in the 1970s and is cheaper than sugar, has better flavor, longer shelf life, more stable and consistent (WebMD, 2021).  As a result, much of the commercial food you enjoy contain high-fructose to appeal to the consumer.

Fructose is a natural sugar present in fruits, fruit juices, certain vegetables, and honey (Nail, 2021).  In these forms, fructose sugars can be part of a nutritious diet.  The high consumption of foods with high-fructose can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, high triglycerides (or fat in your blood ie. high cholesterol) and other issues (Anania, 2011).

The following foods contain high-fructose corn syrup:

  • Fast food items
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Bread and baked goods
  • Sweetened dairy products like yogurts
  • Candies 
  • Canned foods like soups and fruit
  • Soft drinks 

Minimize your risk by reading labels, reducing your consumption of foods high in fructose, and making healthy food choices. Home cooked meals are also an excellent alternative to an unhealthy diet. Cooking at home may not be popular or convenient but you will reduce your risk of disease and other health issues related to eating foods made with high-fructose. Remember food is medicine.

Just keeping you informed.

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References

Anania, F.A., (2011). Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and fructose: Bad for us, better for mice.  Journal of Hepatology, 55:1, pp.218-220.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2011.01.029.

Nail, R. (2021). Is Fructose bad for you? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323818

What to Know About High-Fructose Corn Syrup (2021). https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-to-know-about-high-fructose-corn-syrup

American Diabetes Alert Day

The fourth Tuesday in March is Diabetes Alert day. The goal of the American Diabetic Association (ADA) is to educate the public, advocate for research and publish the findings (ADA, 2022). The website offers information on conditions, diet and nutrition.

Diabetes (formerly known as diabetes mellitus) is a condition in which the body is not able to use blood sugar as energy, due either to having too little insulin or being unable to use available insulin (ADA, 2022) There are two types of diabetic conditions, type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas does not make enough insulin or is unable to effectively use the insulin it makes to convert blood glucose to energy. Type 2 diabetes is less severe than type 1 diabetes, and can be controlled through weight loss, medications (which may include insulin injections), exercise and diet (ADA, 2022). Many who develop diabetes as an adult have type 2.

The lab test hemoglobin A1C is a measurement of your blood sugar for the last three months. This lab test can identify individuals that maybe per-diabetic if the results are between 5.7% and 6.4% (Yuen, 2017). Normal is less than 5. 7%.

Diabetes is increasing in alarming rates all over the world. This maybe due to change in eating habits and lack of physical exercise, especially in children.

Now that you have the information, it is up to you to change your outcome especially if you are a per-diabetic. Change your diet and exercise. Heed to the warning, the results of diabetes can be catastrophic. You can lose a limb, (leg or foot), your vision, kidney function, that results in dialysis or have a stroke or a heart attack. These issues are life threatening and should be taken seriously and will change your quality of life.

Watch you diet and find some type of exercise you enjoy. Your well being and health depend on it. If you do not have the will to make these changes for yourself, think of how this could impact your family if you had a stroke, heart attack, become blind or become a dialysis patient.

Just keeping you informed!

Reference

American Diabetes Association. (2022). https://www.whathealth.com/organizations/a/amdiabetesasc-us.html

Yuen, A. (2017). How reliable is the Hemoglobin A1C. https://www.clinicalcorrelations.org/2017/04/06/how-reliable-is-hemoglobin-a1c/

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March is National Colorectal Awareness Month

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In the United States, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women under the age of 50 (Bhandari, Woodhouse, & Gupta, 2017). There has been an increase in colorectal cancer in individuals under the age of 45, due to diet and lifestyle.

It is recommended by the CDC that by the age of 45 everyone should get screened for colorectal cancer. As a result, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended in 2021 the country should invest in preventive care for this issue to insure all have access to CRC screening (Horn & Haas, 2022).

Symptoms include: Change in bowel habits, constipation, diarrhea, and bowel incontinence. blood on or in the stool, unexplained anemia, unusual stomach and or gas pain, weigh loss, fatigue and vomiting.

If you have a family history or notice a change in bowel habits, or are 45 get screened. Once you are screened your physician will determine how often you should return for screening.

Just keeping you informed.

References

Bhandari, A., Woodhouse, M., & Gupta, S. (2017). Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer incidence and mortality among adults younger than 50 years in the USA: a SEER-based analysis with comparison to other young-onset cancers. Journal of Investigative Medicine, 65(2), 311-315.

Horn, D. M., & Haas, J. S. (2022). Expanded Lung and Colorectal Cancer Screening—Ensuring Equity and Safety under New Guidelines. New England Journal of Medicine. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2113332

Khatri, M (2022). Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/symptoms-colorectal-cancer

https://connecticut.news12.com/march-is-national-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month

International Women’s Day !

International Women’s Day is observed annually on March 8 and celebrates the global “social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women,” according to the International Women’s Day website. The day also calls for action to advance gender equality (Mayorquin, 2022).

The Socialist Party of America first declared National Women’s Day in 1909. It would be observed on the last Sunday of February until 1913. In 1910, at the second International Conference of Working Women, a gathering of women from activist and political organizations in Copenhagen, the idea of an International Women’s Day was proposed and approved (Mayorquin, 2022).

Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world with gender and race equality? The United States has not been the leader for these issues. The women in this country can all relate to the bias toward women as it relates to the social, economic, cultural and political lack of achievements. In 2022, we still have women claiming to be the first and it is very dismal for women of the global majority.

The best performers in this endeavor are the Nordic countries, who have frequently monopolized the top spots in the ranking, and 2020 was no exception. Just below second-placed Norway was Finland and Sweden. In fifth place was Nicaragua, followed by New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Rwanda and Germany. The most-improved countries were Albania, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico and Spain. The United States fell two spots and is now 53rd in 2020. The world’s second-largest economy, China also fell and is 106th place (Hutt, 2019).

The theme for 2022 is #BreakTheBias and asks the world to call out instances of bias against women in various venues, that include the workplace, school and at home. You can show your support for this year’s theme by posting selfies to social media posing with your arms crossed with the hashtags #BreaktheBias and #IWD2022 (Mayorquin, 2022).

Just keeping you informed!

References

Hutt, R. (2019). These 10 countries are closest to achieving gender equality. World Economic Forum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/12/gender-gap-equality-women-parity-countries/

International Women”s Day. (2022). https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

Mayorquin, O. (2022). What to know about International Women’s Day and the theme for 2022. https://news.yahoo.com/breakthebias-know-international-womens-day-191012536.html?fr=yhssrp_catchall

March is National Nutrition Month

This is the time to start looking at your diet. You have several months before spring to get yourself in good physical shape before summer. This is the time.

Healthy eating starts with preparation, and should include fruits and vegetables. Add some exercise and you have a great receipt for success.

I have a few tips to help you on this journey. Prepare your food the night before to ensure you always have nutritious food to consume. Find a picture of your former self, and place it on the bathroom mirror and or the refrigerator. This picture will serve as a constant reminder of your goal. Find several exercises that you enjoy, so you can participate at least three days per week. Finally ask yourself, why is this goal important? Many times we complete these goals for family and others, but do this for yourself.

You can do this, I have faith in you.

Reference

March is National Nutrition Month. https://easternstates.heart.org/socialmedia/nutritionmonth/

What is your Super Power?

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This is February 2022 and we have been isolating off and on for the past two years. It has been a time of reflection for many or additional stress and or trauma for others. I have been in a self reflection mode trying to decide what am I going to concentrate on this year. I have so many interest and projects I have started and not completed over the years.

I want to start a new project but was asked what I was good at, and to ask others. It has been interesting to get the responses from my friends. We all know where we do not excel and many would love to share your deficiencies with you, but, why be negative.

My friends thought I was selfless, dedicated, loyal, great communicator, honest and empathic, compassionate but firm, great at identifying problems with solutions. I was humbled.

Take some time to reflect on your strengths, we all have them. Sometimes you need a reminder of how wonderful and awesome you really are. We all have a sphere of influence and can contribute something positive to others, even if its a kind word. The world can use some positivity and love right now and it can start with you.

Use your super power and be an example of compassion and understanding. A small ripple of kindness and love can effect humanity in small ways.

Nurses Use Your Voice!

As a registered nurse I feel I have credibility. Nurse are the voice and advocates for patients utilizing the healthcare system around the world. We care for patients in various areas of the healthcare spectrum from life to death. It can be a humbling experience. For the last 19 years, patients have rated nurses the most ethical and honest of all professions (ANA, 2021). Never the less, nurses are being abused in the workplace by patients, families and others.

As nurses continue to labor through the pandemic, hospitals have decided they want Congress to intervene and cap the pay for travel nurses. Many in Congress have signed on to the idea. As CEO’s are making millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses, nurses are leaving the bedside. Surely they can share the wealth and compensate their largest workforce. Hospitals can not operate without nurses.

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Use your voice to correct those spouting false information. Educate the public when you can and do not let anyone diminish your light. Although nursing can be a thankless job, acknowledge the stress, laugh and keep going, because that’s what nurses do.

Congress needs to hear from YOU regarding issues that affect the profession, this includes the wage gap, toxic work environments, and nurse patient ratios. California has lead the way in some of these issues and the rest of the country has to catch up. Although we are millions strong we seem not to have a voice, and those who hold the purse strings are not listening.

Just keeping you informed!

References

American Nurse (Feb.2021). Trust in nation’s nurses rise during pandemic. 16 (2) 35.

Valentines Day

Valentines Day is taunted as the day of love. I often wonder who made that decision, and why can’t every day be the day of love for someone you care about?

Every February 14th, people are buying flowers, candy and stuff animals. I don’t want to be a cynic but flowers die, candy gives you cavities,and the stuff animals collect dust. How about just spending time with your loved one and enjoy creating a meal and watching a movie? Simple huh? Or be creative and think of your own activity, the goal is to be loving and attentive, with or without gifts.

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Everyone has a different love language and for healthy relationships it is wise to understand your partners love language, instead of trying to guess. Couples who have been together for many years, still may not know their partners love language. Many women love gifts, and men usually like touch, but this is not always true. Take the quiz below to find out your love language and share it with your partner, you maybe surprised.

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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!

Baer, G. (2003). Real love: The truth about finding unconditional love and fulfilling relationships. Gotham Books.

February is Black History Month

Black History is American history. It is time to embrace all of America’s history the good, bad and the ugly. The counter narrative that was established to keep Black Americans in “a place” has been a disservice for all Americans by ignoring history and its affects.

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Black Americans have been essential in the growth of America, even though the United States would not see them as full citizens, until 1966. It was only 56 years ago, that Black Americans got the right to vote without any barriers. Black people have had a difficult relationship with America, and have had to fight for citizenship and equal rights since they were brought to this country (Hannah-Jones, 2022). Think about that and why does this matter?

Understanding the past, hopefully will decrease and dispel the stereotypes that have plagued Black Americans for generations. The contributions of Black Americans to American culture can be seen in various areas that include but not limited to health, food, music, fashion, and industry. I invite you to take time to learn more about Black American history, and read about the stories that have not been told.

Reference

Hannah-Jones, N. (2021). The 1619 project. Penguin Random House.

Prime Video (2022). Black history, freedom & love, Master Class. Here is a link if you do not have Prime Video.

Black History, Freedom & Love – Understanding Race in America

Wilkerson, I. (2020). Caste,the origins of our discontents. Penguin Random House.

Violence in the Workplace

Bullying and violence in the workplace in not new.  Nurses and others have experienced bullying and violence in the workplace by various disciplines, including  peers, families and patients.

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The Workplace Violence Prevention of Healthcare and Social Workers Act (H.R. 1195) was passed by the House of Representatives in April, 2021.  I have been following this bill since it was introduced in the House in November, 2019 (H.R 1309).  The Senate has not voted  There are other less serious crimes to which you confess whaton the bill.  The bill will hold healthcare employers accountable for addressing the risk of workplace violence.  This is essential because many healthcare organizations turn a blind eye to nurse bullying and pretend it does not occur.

For those who have experienced violence at work, realize that this is a real issue for nurses and others.  I suspect it is getting worse because of the additional strain related to the high patient load related to COVID-19.

Although both the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the Joint Commission have denounced violence in healthcare facilities, there is no incentive to ensure hospitals are doing their part to reduce the practice.   The ANA reported one out four nurses were assaulted (as cited in Stand & Francis, 2021) in the workplace.  Nurse bullying continues to be an unreported issue in the workplace (Crosby, 2020).   In fact many people outside of the healthcare system are surprised to hear nurses are bullied by others.

Nurses remain devoted to patients by advocating for their well-being but we can not continue to be bullied and abused by the public and others.  To ensure efficient and safe healthcare occurs nurses and others in healthcare need the public to understands that we have your best interest in mind, and are not here to do you harm.  

The volume of critical patients has increased due to COVID-19.  Some patients and family members remain distrustful and disrespect healthcare professionals while they are trying to provide care.  This additional stress has caused many nurses and others to leave the bedside, thus adding to hospital staff shortages which also affects patient care and outcomes (Crosby, 2019). 

Thread lightly people.  Nurses have been voted the most honest and and the most ethical professionals for the last 20 years (ANA, 2020).  This should emphasize the need for hospital administrators, and others to acknowledge workplace violence in all forms and put real effort in abolishing the practice to protect the nursing workforce.

References

ANA (2020). The American public continues to rank nurses as the most honest and ethical professionals in annual gallup poll.                                https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?hspart=trp&hsimp=yhs-001&grd=1&type=Y149_F163_202167_081020&p=nurses+are+the+most+ethical+and+honest

Crosby, M. T. (2020). Experience of nurse bullying in the workplace: A narrative inquiry https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/experience-nurse-bullying-workplace-narrative/docview/2387996663/se-2?accountid=35812

Go to the  #EndNurseAbuse website for more information.                                                        https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/end-nurse-abuse

H.R. 1309 (116th): Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.  Retrieved from https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr1309

Stand, L., & Frances, R. (2021, September). Violence prevention measures move in Congress. American Nurse. 16 (9). 25.

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