Thanksgiving Turkey



Welcome to another WHAT’S ON THE #MENU MONDAY everyone — and we’re just in time for THANKSGIVING!

I don’t know about you, but I love this time of year. I love the changing colors of the leaves. I love the morning frost on the windowsill. I love the crackle of a great fire on the hearth. I love the silhouette of honking geese against the icy blue sky. And, I love Thanksgiving. I suppose it’s because this holiday allows us to focus on gifts we have already received — rather than on gifts we hope to receive. It’s a holiday that is centered on family, friends and fabulous food — all prepared in the spirit of sharing and gratitude.

Now, did you know that the holiday feast we know today as Thanksgiving dates back to November 1621? It was a three-day event in which the newly arrived Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians gathered at Plymouth, Massachusetts to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first successful autumn harvest. The feast of Thanksgiving, however, did not become a national holiday until 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared its recognition on the last Thursday of November. Yet, it was President Franklin Roosevelt — who in an effort to alleviate the Depression and revitalize the economy — changed the holiday to the third Thursday in November which left more time for holiday retail sales between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Today, of course, for most of us Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude that revolves around food. And, many of the foods we enjoy now were actually thought to have been a part of that first feast in 1621. Culinary historians believe, for example, that wild turkey was certainly a part of the celebration — as well as venison, shellfish, pumpkin and cranberries — all of which were plentiful in North America at the time. But, today we’re going to concentrate on four basic Thanksgiving dishes — and give a little thanks not only for their great taste, but for their health benefits as well!

So, let’s get started with Four Favorite Thanksgiving Foods that are good for our health as well as our taste buds!

1) TURKEY: Well, there’s no surprise here. The centerpiece of modern-day Thanksgiving in the United States is, in most cases, a large roast turkey. To begin, turkey is a low-fat and very rich source of protein — and the skinless white meat of a turkey contains little saturated and total fat. Indeed, it contains just one gram of fat per ounce. It’s a rich source of folic acids and minerals like zinc and potassium, which lower cholesterol levels and guard against heart disease. In fact, overall turkey contains less cholesterol than chicken, pork or beef. Turkey contains niacin, which is important in converting the protein, fats and carbohydrates in the body into usable energy. In addition, turkey also is a rich source of Vitamin B6, which facilitates the process of methylation in forming active molecules important to the body’s proper functioning.

And, that’s not all. Turkey contains anti-cancer properties. It’s packed with the trace mineral selenium, which supports the body’s antioxidant defense systems, the immune system and thyroid metabolism.  And, of course, turkey is loaded with tryptophan. Abundant in turkey, this amino acid also plays an important role in strengthening the body’s immune system. It also produces seratonin, which is a neurotransmitter that has mood-enhancing qualities.

Now, people often blame the tryptophan in turkey for that drowsy feeling they sometimes experience after a turkey dinner. Studies, however, suggest that the carbohydrates found in Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts are really to blame for that sluggishness as they allow the tryptophan to enter the brain. On the other hand, turkey has been shown to be effective in treating insomnia. So, perhaps this is the rule to follow: If you don’t want to feel sleepy after your Thanksgiving feast, limit your intake of turkey and eliminate or reduce some of the carbohydrate-rich foods such as mashed potatoes, pies and breads. But, if you do want to sleep soundly, go ahead and eat your turkey and enjoy all the side dishes as well!

2) CRANBERRIES: Along with turkey, cranberries also were probably present at that first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. This berry was plentiful and popular among the Native Americans who not only ate the berries but used them as a natural dye as well. Of course, in 1621 cranberries were not used in sauces or relishes — they were simply enjoyed in their natural state. In fact, cooks didn’t begin boiling cranberries with sugar to create side dishes and condiments until the late 1600s.

But, one thing that hasn’t changed over the centuries is the significant health benefits packed in every berry.  First, cranberries contain flavonoid quercetin and proanthocyanidins — two powerful antioxidants that inhibit the growth of cancer cells and help protect against breast, colon and prostate cancer. Cranberries also inhibit LDL (bad cholesterol) oxidation and the formation of blood clots. In this way, regularly consumed cranberries can lower high blood pressure and help prevent heart disease.

Cranberries also are a rich source of quinic acid, which acts as a natural treatment for kidney stones by preventing calcium and phosphate chemicals from binding together. Cranberry juice inhibits bacteria from entering the urinary tract and can treat existing Urinary Tract Infections among women. AND, cranberries also kill the H. pylori bacteria, which causes peptic stomach ulcers.

The calcium in the berries is great for our bones and teeth — and helps prevent plaque, cavities and bad breath as the chemicals in cranberries keep bacteria from sticking to our teeth. And, finally, the berries help protect our eyes from cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and muscular degeneration. So, enjoy them fresh, dried or juiced not only at Thanksgiving, but throughout the entire year.

3) PUMPKIN: We have discussed the health benefits of the amazing pumpkin before. And, this is the perfect time of year to do it again. Now, both the Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe ate pumpkins back in the 1600s and, according to culinary historians, the fruit was probably a part of the first Thanksgiving feast. At that time, English settlers would hollow out the pumpkin, fill the shells with milk, honey and spices to make a custard and then roast the gourds in hot ashes.

Today we typically enjoy the pumpkin in pie — but, we don’t need pie to enjoy all of the health benefits found in this fruit. First, pumpkins owe their brilliant orange color to an ample supply of beta-carotene, which may lower our risk for certain cancers, including that of the prostate and lung. Additionally, beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body. One cup of pumpkin contains more than 200% of one’s recommended daily requirement of Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy eyes as it aids the retina in absorbing and processing light. Beta-carotene also protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and can help us to look younger longer!

In addition, pumpkin contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may inhibit the development of macular degeneration and help prevent cataracts. The large amounts of Vitamin A in pumpkin also improve our immune systems. It helps our body to fight infections and viruses — and pumpkin oil is used to treat certain bacterial and fungal infections as well. And, of course, the Vitamin C found in pumpkin may help prevent the common cold and help us to recover faster when we do have a cold.

Pumpkin appears to improve glucose tolerance and increase the amount of insulin in the body. Studies indicate that pumpkin can reduce blood glucose levels and, therefore, it may help treat diabetes. And another thing that’s on everyone’s mind this time of year — pumpkin is a low-calorie superstar! Canned pumpkin, for example, has less than 50 calories per serving. It’s rich in fiber with 7 grams in every cup so it helps us feel full and slows digestion — and it’s nearly 90% water so it helps us stay hydrated as well.

4) SWEET POTATOES: Now, onto the sweet potato. Actually, this incredibly healthy veggie was not a part of the first Thanksgiving feast. You see, potatoes in general were only available in the southern part of North America at that time. So, sweet potatoes didn’t become a part of American feasting tradition until about 150 years later.

First, sweet potatoes contain no saturated fats or cholesterol and they are richer in dietary fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals than ordinary potatoes. With about 7 grams of fiber per serving, this veggie is a “slow burner” that will fill us up and provide us with energy for hours. And similar to the pumpkin, the orange-colored sweet potato is packed with beta-carotene or Vitamin A, which helps protect us from several different types of cancer, protects our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and helps prevent macular degeneration and vision loss.

In addition, sweet potatoes are abundant in Vitamin B6. This vitamin is important in breaking down homocysteine, which is a substance that contributes to the hardening of the blood vessels and arteries. B6 keeps the walls of the circulatory system flexible and free from plaque build-up so that our blood passageways flow freely. Sweet potatoes also contain large amounts of potassium — an important electrolyte that rids the body of excess sodium, regulates the natural rhythm of the heart and maintains normal brain and central nervous system function.

Not to be overlooked, this veggie is also a great source of manganese — a trace mineral that supports healthy blood sugar levels. It also plays an important role in generating energy and utilizing antioxidants. In this way, manganese can be useful in treating anemia and premenstrual symptoms in women. Finally, the sweet potato is loaded with Vitamins C and E both of which contribute to disease prevention and longevity. And as we know, this powerful combination of beta-carotene, Vitamin C and Vitamin E not only promotes good health but acts as a big beauty boost that contributes to a glowing complexion and vibrant, healthy hair.

So, this Thanksgiving there’s no need to feel guilty about eating too much. Just pick the right foods — eat them in moderation — and enjoy the significant health benefits each has to offer along with their wonderful flavors.

Thanks for joining me everyone. As always, it’s been a pleasure. It’s a wonderful time of year to reflect on and rejoice in all the good things life has to offer. I wish you all a very HEALTHY and HAPPY THANKSGIVING with all those for whom you are thankful. Until next time,


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Welcome back to HEALTH AND #WELLNESS WEDNESDAY everyone! It’s time to don our Purple and discuss another cancer that is the thirteenth most commonly diagnosed one in the world — Pancreatic Cancer.

Now, in this country pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer among men and women. It affects men more than women and is uncommon before the age of forty. Indeed, this cancer typically strikes individuals around the age of seventy. It is, however, what I call one of the “silent” cancers in that it often remains asymptomatic and undiagnosed until it is more advanced.

To begin, the pancreas lies horizontally behind the lower part of the stomach. It is actually an organ comprised of two glands which manufacture important secretions vital to the proper functioning of other body parts. First, as an exocrine gland, the pancreas produces and secretes digestive enzymes and alkaline agents. Together these materials enable the pancreas and small intestine to break down nutrients that are then absorbed into the bloodstream. Second, as an endocrine gland the pancreas produces and secretes the hormones insulin and glucagon that also are absorbed into the bloodstream and aid in the digestion of carbohydrates and fats.

Of course, we know that early detection is extremely important in treating and surviving any cancer. But, it’s important to know that even with a “silent” cancer there is much we can do to assess our personal risk so we can take the proper precautions to protect our health.

Accordingly, let’s discuss right now FIVE MAJOR RISK FACTORS for pancreatic cancer:

1) SMOKING: Tobacco use of every kind has been linked to almost every type of cancer — and pancreatic cancer is no different. First, as cigarettes, pipes and cigars burn tobacco the harmful chemicals enter the body through the mouth, nose and lungs. And, of course, second-hand smoke from another has now been shown to be as harmful as if we were smoking ourselves. Indeed, individuals who smoke cigarettes share twice the risk for developing pancreatic cancer than individuals who don’t smoke. In addition, the use of smokeless tobacco products such as snuff and chewing tobacco also increases one’s risk for this cancer as the harmful chemicals are absorbed into the body through the mouth and nose.

2) OBESITY: When we are extremely overweight our risk for several different chronic diseases and illnesses increases. This holds true for pancreatic cancer as well. You see, obesity is related to a high fat diet.  A diet high in fatty foods such as red meats and dairy products forces the endocrine gland of the pancreas to work harder in order to digest the increased amount of carbohydrates and fat. Over many years, the pancreas may reach a point of exhaustion where it may become weakened and susceptible to disease, including pancreatic cancer. This is another example of our Cancer Blueprint and the effect of long-term irritation or damage on a particular body part.

3) ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS: In particular, the workplace environment appears to play an important role in the development of this cancer. Workers exposed to petroleum share a greater risk. Similarly, individuals who work as leather tanners, chemists, auto mechanics or manufacturers of photographic film and are exposed to specific harmful chemicals also have a greater risk for developing pancreatic cancer.

4) PERSONAL MEDICAL HISTORY: Individuals who have a history of diabetes mellitus appear to have a greater risk for developing pancreatic cancer. This condition presents a complex disorder of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism that directly affects the pancreas. Research also indicates that those with a history of chronic pancreatitis also share an increased risk for developing this disease. Once again, remember our Cancer Blueprint.

5) FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY: Heredity once again plays a significant role in determining our risk for pancreatic cancer. There are several conditions that are genetically determined, including hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC), Lynch syndrome, von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 syndrome (MEN1), hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, cirrhosis of the liver and familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome (FAMMM). Each one of these conditions occurring in our family can contribute to our personal risk for developing pancreatic cancer.

And now, let’s discuss FIVE IMPORTANT SYMPTOMS that may indicate the presence of pancreatic cancer:

1) JAUNDICE: Also known as icterus, this condition presents as a yellowish pigmentation of the skin and also colors the white membranes of the eyes. Indeed, the term comes from the French word jaune, which means yellow.

2) DARK URINE: Discolored urine can be caused by medications, certain foods, food dyes, temporary blood in the urine or it can be related to a number of more serious health problems including pancreatic cancer.

3) LOSS OF APPETITE: While our appetites can change depending upon the time of year, our exercise patterns and even the weather, continued loss of appetite for an extended period of time should be investigated.

4) NON-SPECIFIC WEIGHT LOSS: This refers to a rather sudden weight loss of twenty pounds or more that cannot be attributed to other causes such as exercise or dieting. And, of course, it goes hand in hand with a loss of appetite.

5) PAIN IN THE UPPER OR MIDDLE ABDOMEN AND BACK: Persistent pain in the abdominal area or back may have many causes, including physical exertion and exercise. But, pain that does not diminish should always be discussed with your doctor.

Now, if we put all this information together, we can see once again that heredity is first and foremost when discussing pancreatic cancer. Knowing one’s family medical history is of primary importance. And, once we do have a better idea of our personal risk there are many things we can do to monitor our health in a pro-active way.

Regular physical exams and blood chemistry studies are a must. Tumor marker tests also can be conducted at the same time you have your blood chemistry analyzed. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), CT Scans (CAT Scan) and Positron Emission Tomography Scans (PET Scans) are three procedures that can help detect the presence of a malignancy — and rule out the existence of one.

Ultrasounds, specialized x-rays such as Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangiography (PTC) also are wonderful diagnostic tools. And, of course, surgical procedures, including Laparoscopy and Biopsies can take tissue samples for evaluation.

As with any cancer, understanding our risks for the disease and the symptoms associated with it can go a long way in protecting our health.

So, in honor of Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and loved ones who are battling the disease — please take a little time to research your family’s medical history — combine that with your personal history — and take the steps necessary to eliminate or modify those risks that are within your control to change.

Once again, thanks for joining me everyone. Until next time, stay in GOOD HEALTH and . . .


TIME TO REVIEW: The Single Source Cancer Course, Volume 1, Pages 33-35; The Single Source Cancer Course, Volume 1, Chapter 18.

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VETERAN: From the Latin “vetus” meaning “old” — and “veteranus” meaning “mature.”


Welcome to another HEALTH and #WELLNESS WEDNESDAY everyone! It just so happens that today is VETERANS’ DAY — and, accordingly our focus will be on the health and wellness of those who have served this country on behalf of all their fellow Americans.

To begin, Veterans’ Day is an official holiday that is always celebrated on November 11. This date is linked to the formal end of World War I, which was recognized at the 11th hour — of the 11th day — of the 11th month– in the year 1918. Now at this time, the Armistice — or peace treaty — with Germany went into effect. And, the first Armistice Day in the United States was celebrated the following year in 1919 on November 11.

Dedicated to the cause of World Peace, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans’ Day by an Act of Congress in 1938.  And, in 1975 President Gerald R. Ford officially signed Public Law 94-97 insuring that Veterans’ Day, which honors all who have served in the military, would always be celebrated on November 11 — regardless of which day of the week it fell.

Now, Veterans’ Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day. You see, Memorial Day is a day of remembering soldiers and civilians who died while serving their country. In contrast, Veterans’ Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military personnel — and focuses primarily on those who survived their service.

But, as anyone who has survived significant trauma knows, survival is sometimes just the beginning of yet another series of battles. Individuals returning from combat often bring a litany of unique health care needs back with them. The wounds of war extend far beyond those that meet the eye. They can persist far away from the battlefields and can color and influence a returning soldier’s home life, family life and work life.

While the list is long, here are FIVE OF THE MOST COMMON HEALTH ISSUES affecting our Veterans today:

1) MENTAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES: War is traumatic. And, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the leading health issues facing our returning Veterans. The symptoms of PTSD can include sleeplessness and recurring nightmares, feelings of anger and irritability, loss of interest, depression and alcohol abuse. Severe PTSD also is linked to the development of several physical ailments and to a greater risk for developing dementia in later life.

2) INFECTIOUS DISEASES: The military does its best to offer routine vaccinations to all personnel traveling abroad. However, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, returning war Veterans still suffer disproportionately from rare infectious diseases for which we have no vaccines. These include Leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease caused by the bite of a Middle Eastern sand fly and Brucellosis, a bacteria found in goats and sheep in parts of the world, including the Middle East. Such infections can result in years of abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea, anemia, headaches and organ damage. And, if left untreated, these diseases can prove fatal.

3) MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN AND INJURIES: Over half of all Veterans experience continuing pain in their necks, backs, shoulders and knees. Indeed, the Journal of Pain reported in August of this year that approximately 100,000 Veterans of the Gulf War are still reporting problems with chronic muscle pain after nearly 20 years.

4) TRAMAUTIC BRAIN INJURY: Often referred to as TBI, this injury typically is the result of a blow or jolt to the head. Indeed, TBI has been called the “signature wound” of Veterans returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military personnel exposed to the shock of explosive blasts often experience concussions, which may result in long-term damage. The effects of TBI include language disabilities, memory loss, inability to process information, irritability, depression, headaches and of course, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

5) CHEMICAL EXPOSURE: Environmental agents and toxic chemicals are common in war and on the battlefields. For example, exposure to nerve agents such as sarin can trigger convulsions — and may cause long-term damage to the heart. According to the American Heart Association, Veterans from the Gulf War who were exposed to this chemical often experience an enlarged left ventricle, a reduction in the pumping strength of the heart and abnormalities in the heartbeat and rhythm.

Now, here in Los Angeles where I live, our West Los Angeles VA Campus is just up the street. Long-time family friend Carolina Barrie, whose family donated the original land to the VA, works tirelessly to transform the Campus into an accessible, user-friendly and Veteran-centric facility. She is joined by our mutual friend, Perry Diller, who helps spearhead the effort to improve resources and conditions for all Veterans who visit the facility seeking assistance.

According to Carolina and Perry, we civilians can make a big difference and show our appreciation for our Veterans in many ways. Here are just FIVE GREAT THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

1) BE A VOLUNTEER: Locate a Veterans’ Administration Facility near you and volunteer your time. Perhaps you could help file records in the office or greet visiting Veterans. Maybe you could make coffee and make sure that simple supplies like napkins or plastic cups are available. See if the floor needs sweeping or the tables need dusting. Or, perhaps you could just hold someone’s hand. Every effort is greatly needed and appreciated.

2) RUN OR WALK FOR CHARITY: This is always a good way to say, “I care!” Check with your local VA Campus and see if there is an upcoming Charity Run or Walk in which you could participate. This is a great idea for those who love getting outdoors and getting physical.  It’s a healthy way to make a difference — and to have fun with like-minded people all while raising money for an important cause.

3) BUY A TICKET: There are many events throughout the year that sponsor our Veterans and Veterans’ Affairs. These fun events can range from neighborhood carnivals, to celebrity appearances, to concerts or bake sales and MUCH more. Just check with the Veterans’ Administration in your town or city to see what might be on their schedule.

4) MAKE A CARE PACKAGE: As we move into the holidays, there’s no better way to lend a helping hand than to mail a care package to military personnel now serving our country. Your local VA can again advise you on the specific items that are always needed and welcome. And, of course, cards with personal messages, home-baked cookies and photographs go a long way in helping ease the trauma and loneliness so often experienced by our men and women in uniform.

5) HIRE A VETERAN: There are many Veterans looking for work. Take the time to see if your company or business has employment opportunities available and share them with your local VA. Check in your neighborhood. Many small businesses are now hiring extra help for the holidays. If so, share that information with your local VA as well. And, don’t forget your own home. We all have odd jobs to do around the house — especially at this time of year.  Hiring a Veteran to help replace a leaking roof, or put up the Christmas lights, or paint the garage is a wonderful way to say, “Thank you” and to pay it forward.

So, there we have it. Very important information about a very important subject regarding very important people.

We will all celebrate the upcoming holidays in our own ways based upon our personal traditions and beliefs. This is a privilege and a right we enjoy largely because of the decades-long sacrifices and contributions of our dedicated Veterans and men and women in uniform.

So, enjoy this Veterans’ Day everyone in an atmosphere of appreciation for the past and steadfast hope for the future. And, of course, enjoy it in GOOD HEALTH! Until next time,


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Movember and Prostate Cancer: Five Basic Risk Factors and Five Important Symptoms Every Man Needs to Know!





“I mustache you a question, but I’ll shave it for later.”

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to have you back again for another Health and #WELLNESS WEDNESDAY — and SO HAPPY to have our BETTY and PUDGY visiting me again from Fleischer Studios to help me deliver this week’s important message! And by the way, hubby Mark Fleischer the President and CEO of Fleischer Studios is ALSO with us today — because the cancer we’re going to discuss this week has affected him personally.

And, of course, let’s not forget that it’s MOVEMBER! And no, that’s not a typo. You see, Movember is a literary marriage of the word “mustache” and the month November. It’s a term that was coined to raise awareness of all the cancers that affect men. So, our discussion today will focus on the men in our audience and the men in our lives!

To begin, THE MOVEMBER FOUNDATION was founded in 1999 by a group of young men in Adelaide, South Australia. It’s a charitable organization whose members urge men everywhere to grow mustaches throughout the month of November. The goal is to bring new awareness to not only the cancers affecting men, but to the charities associated with them as well. Referring to one another as “Mo Bros” the members of this organization encourage each other to adopt healthier lifestyles, research their family medical histories and to undergo regular annual check-ups.

So, let’s do our part to raise awareness of men’s cancers by discussing the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among men the world over — and the MOST COMMONLY DIAGNOSED cancer among men in this country — prostate cancer.  It is a disease that typically strikes at an average age of seventy-two and will affect one out of every seven men in the United States at some point in their lifetime.

Accordingly, it’s time to get down to facts by listing the FIVE BASIC RISK FACTORS associated with prostate cancer of which every man needs to be aware:

1) FAMILY MEDICAL HISTORY: Just as we discussed with breast cancer for women last month, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of heredity and its link to prostate cancer. Men who have a First Degree Relative (FDR) which includes fathers, sons and brothers who were diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of sixty are twice as likely to develop the disease than other men. ALSO, men who have women FDRs — including mothers, sisters and daughters — who have an anomaly of the BRCA 1 and 2 genes may also have a genetic anomaly of the BRCA 2 gene themselves AND, therefore, an increased risk for developing prostate cancer.

2) RACE AND NATIONALITY: Black men the world over share a greater risk for developing prostate cancer than their Caucasian counterparts. In contrast, Asian and Hispanic men share the lowest risk for developing prostate cancer. Men who live in North America, northwestern Europe and Australia have a greater risk for developing the disease than men who live in Asia, Central America, South America and Africa. As a result, the highest rates for prostate cancer are found among African American men and the lowest rates are found among Asian men.

3) MEDICAL CONDITIONS: Benign medical conditions of the prostate such as hyperplasia and prostatitis have been linked to the development of prostate cancer.

4) AGE: Most cancers are considered diseases of aging. In other words, the older we get, the more likely we are to develop some form of cancer. This theory basically holds true unless a cancer is genetically influenced and runs in one’s family. But typically, more than sixty-five percent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of sixty-five. And, of course, as men age their risk for the disease increases.

5) LIFESTYLE: Once again, our lifestyle choices can greatly increase or decrease our risk for many cancers. In the case of prostate cancer, poor diets high in fat and low in fiber and nutrition will increase one’s risk. Inadequate exercise will increase one’s risk. And, tobacco use will increase one’s risk. The good news here, however, is that these risk factors are within one’s control and can be eliminated or modified.

So, now that we have an understanding of the five basic risk factors for prostate cancer, let’s discuss the FIVE IMPORTANT SYMPTOMS associated with the disease.

1) Blood in the semen or urine;

2) Urinary issues, including frequency or urgency — OR — slow flow or hesitancy;

3) Painful ejaculation;

4) Reduced ability to achieve an erection, and;

5) Numbness or pain in the hips, legs or feet.

There we have it everyone. Important information every man — and every woman for the man in her life — needs to know.

Now, most of you know I have survived three different cancers. And, I’m always proactively monitoring my health. What you may not know is that hubby Mark has had two first degree relatives who were diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer. This indicates that for him the disease is a hereditary risk factor. As a result, Mark remains very proactive as well. He has made sure his physician is aware of his family medical history. He has regularly scheduled checkups based upon his level of personal risk. He undergoes the recommended screening procedures for prostate cancer, including the Digital Rectal Exam or DRE AND the Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test or PSA. In this way, even if the disease can’t be completely prevented, Mark’s proactive approach will allow him to catch the cancer early if it does develop — and treat it successfully!

Remember, prostate cancer is common and it’s serious. BUT, most men diagnosed with the disease recover and survive — and continue to live fulfilling and productive lives. Early detection is the Key to Successful Treatment! Don’t be afraid — be informed! And, don’t be surprised — be prepared!

On behalf of Betty, Pudgy, Mark and me coming to you from Fleischer Studios today — many thanks to everyone for taking part in this week’s important message. We wish you all a HAPPILY MUSTACHED AND HEALTHY MOVEMBER!

Until next time everyone,






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Fun Facts and 5 Tasty Treats for Happy Trick or Treaters and a Healthy Halloween

ID-100203202 (1)It’s time for a #FACTUAL FRIDAY everyone — and just in time for HALLOWEEN! So let’s get started with a FEW FUN FACTS about this holiday AND then move on to 5 TASTY TREATS TO INSURE HAPPY TRICK OR TREATERS AND A HEALTHY HALLOWEEN. And yes, that’s a mouth full!

For starters, Halloween can be traced back to the Druids, a Celtic culture in Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe.  Indeed, Halloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve by the Druids and dates back to over 2000 year ago.  And of course, Halloween always occurs on October 31, which was the last day of the Celtic calendar.

This last day of the calendar, however, also marked the “end of summer” for the Celts. And, the end of summer always symbolized the end of the growing season and the beginning of the annual harvest. Known as Samhain, the harvest was celebrated with huge bonfires and gifts that were left on village doorsteps to pacify any wandering spirits — and to ensure next year’s crops would be plentiful.  Eventually, the villagers themselves began to dress as wandering spirits and began to help themselves to the gifts left on their neighbors’ doorsteps.

This custom, of course, was the beginning of our modern day “trick or treating.” The Celtic harvest also introduced the custom of bobbing for apples, preparing spiced cider and carving faces and designs in fruits and vegetables. Now, pumpkins were not available in Ireland or Northern Europe at that time, so the Celts used turnips or potatoes. But, when the Irish immigrated to North America and discovered the pumpkin — the modern day jack-o-lantern was born.

And, today Halloween is thriving! It’s actually the second biggest holiday celebration in this country after Christmas! And, everyone loves to dress up in costumes — children and adults alike — and join in the neighborhood festivities.

So, even though Halloween has become a holiday associated with candy and sweet treats — is there anything we can do to cut down on the amount of sugar in our treats to make Halloween a tad bit healthier??  And, at the same time keep our treats protected and safe?? There actually is! And, here are 5 Tasty Treats for a Healthy Halloween that you might want to try.

1) STRING CHEESE: Now, here’s a low calorie dairy treat that’s packed with calcium for building bones and strengthening teeth.  It’s high in protein and low in fat — both of which slow down the metabolism of carbohydrates and sugars we find in starches and candy. So, this treat will help provide sustained energy and minimize the inevitable Halloween sugar high. Try the mozzarella or a mozzarella and cheddar blend. With 50 to 80 calories per stick, string cheese will still provide about 20% of the daily recommended serving of calcium. It can be found in any grocery store and comes individually factory pre-wrapped. So, you don’t have to worry about sanitation or contamination. Just keep it chilled until your Trick or Treaters are at the door.

2) CARROTS: OK, I know this might not be the most exciting treat on the block. But, it certainly will be one of the healthiest! Also, one of the easiest. Tiny two ounce factory wrapped bags of baby carrots are available in the produce department of your grocery store. And, this tiny treat will provide 8% of the fiber and 220% of our recommended daily serving of Vitamin A.  Remember, this is the Vitamin that supports healthy mucous membranes and helps prevent viruses and diseases.  Carrots are good for the eyes and digestion. And, they will make a welcome addition to a bag brimming with chocolate. At least for the parents!

3) TRAIL MIX: There are many different varieties of Trail Mix. But, the traditional mix is made with sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts and raisins. This low carbohydrate treat is packed with essential minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also loaded with protein and fiber. And, if you add a few chocolate chips — just a few — a one ounce bag of trail mix will supply 10% of the magnesium, phosphorus and copper required in the average adult’s diet. This combination also provides us with manganese — a mineral that not only maintains strong bones but is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and other cancer-causing agents. This treat too can usually be found in small one ounce factory wrapped packages in your local grocery store — or, perhaps in a nearby health food store.

4) PRETZELS: Here we have an all time favorite. I mean, after all, who doesn’t like pretzels?? Again, keep in mind there are many different kinds of pretzels — and many of them contain ingredients that really don’t have our health in their best interests. So, here we’re talking about a one ounce serving of whole wheat pretzels that are pre-packaged and found in the snack aisle of most grocery stores. This little bag of goodness is brimming with omega-3 fatty acids, 6% of the protein and 10% of the thiamin and niacin an adult needs every day. And, they come in low-sodium varieties as well!

5) PUMPKIN SEEDS: Well, we’ve discussed many times the health benefits of pumpkins and of pumpkin seeds. And, there’s no better time to partake of both than at Halloween! So, save the seeds from your jack-o-lanterns and roast them for yourselves. Then go to your favorite grocery store and purchase a bunch of pre-packaged one ounce bags for your Trick or Treaters. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with magnesium, which helps our bones, nerves, muscles and heart to function well. They nourish our brains with their abundance of zinc — and supply fiber for good digestion. They’re crunchy, flavorful and satisfying enough to keep hunger pangs at bay.

And, there we have it! Five easy, safe, healthy treats for your Trick or Treaters this Halloween. They’re nutritious and portable and a nice alternative to all the sugary sweets that will be abundant this holiday.

So, enjoy a SPECTACULARLY SPOOKY, HAPPY and HEALTHY HALLOWEEN everyone! Thanks for joining me and until next time,


Image courtesy of hin255 at

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