Learn the signs of stroke: FAST action can save lives

Strokes are the leading cause of disability and the #5 cause of death in the U.S. Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke. One out six people will have a stroke in his or her lifetime. Despite this, too few people know the warning signs of a stroke. Yet fast recognition of stroke signs can make a huge difference between life and death or between full recovery and lifelong disability. May is American Stroke Month. Learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke and pass them along – you could save a life.


Know your risk: American Diabetes Month

diabetesNearly 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes – kids & adults. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is a condition in which individuals have high blood sugar but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

  • One important risk factor for diabetes is family history.
  • Most people with type 2 diabetes have a family member with the disease. If you have a mother, father, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • If you have a family history of diabetes – or other risk factors that increase your chances of getting type 2 diabetes such as being overweight or obese, physically inactive, over the age of 45, or if you got diabetes during pregnancy.

Take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test – it’s quick and easy.

There are things you can do to help prevent or delay the onset of the disease

  • Choose foods such as fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken and turkey without the skin, dry beans and peas, whole grains, and low-fat or skim milk and cheese. Drink water instead of juices or sodas.
  • When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, such as beans, or chicken or turkey without the skin, and one quarter with a whole grain, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
  • Set a goal to be active at least 30 minutes, 5 days per week. You can start slow by taking 10 minute walks, 3 times a day. Ask family members to be active with you.
  • Every day write down what you eat and drink and the number of minutes you are active. Review it every day. This will help you reach your goals.
  • Talk to your doctor about your family health history. Diabetes is a serious disease and it is important to know your risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • Lower your risk
  • Take Small Steps to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
  • Weekly cooking tips, recipes, and easy ways to be more active


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast-cancerOctober is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%. Make a difference! Spread the word about mammograms and encourage communities, organizations, families, and individuals to get involved.

For some inspiration, here are some of the 2014 Pink Glove Dance winners … the Grand Prize Winner, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center in California

Here’s a 2nd Place Winner from Health Concepts, Ltd. in Providence Rhode Island.

The first Pink Glove video that started the dance craze – from Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon in 2009

See more Pink Glove videos.

Go local! Support your Farmer’s Market

farmers-marketGet to know your local farmers! August 3-9 is National Farmers’ Market Week – a great time to support your local farms and to stock up on some nutritious, delicious, seasonal fresh food. It’s a great way to support your local community and local economy — and it’s good for the environment, too since the food doesn’t need to be packed and shipped over long distances. Farmers are food experts and can offer great recommendations about how to store and prepare the food they grow.

Find a New England Farmer’s Market near you!


Celebrate National Blueberry Month


July is National Blueberry Month – and they’re in season locally right now. The wild blueberry is the official fruit of Maine, which produces about 25% of all lowbush blueberries in North America. Blueberries are often called a “superfood” by nutritionists – check out the infographic below to see why. And check out these delicious-sounding recipes and cooking tips. Here’s where to “pick your own” in Massachusetts, in New Hampshire, in Connecticut, in Rhode Island, in Maine, in Vermont.

Click to enlarge – Courtesy of: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council