Charity Finds A Unique Way To Battle Censors For Breast Self-Exam Video

man-breast-cancer

(PCM) The anti-breast cancer charity MACMA has found quite a unique way to battle internet censors when posting a video demonstrating the proper way to conduct a breast self-exam. Many tutorial videos for breast self-exams are blocked or pulled down from the internet due to complaints about indecency, as most social networking sites have policies against featuring images of topless women.

After tiring of having their videos removed, MACMA came up with a new approach. They decided to use a male model to create their demonstration video, as apparently male breasts are really not all that different. Way to stick it to the internet censors! Check out their creative video below:

The post Charity Finds A Unique Way To Battle Censors For Breast Self-Exam Video also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

April 6th is Plan Your Own Epitaph Day

abcde-LooneyApril 6th is Plan Your Epitaph Day.  Spring is in the air, the birds are back and singing flowers are pushing their way out of the ground and new life is everywhere, now let’s take a moment and think about your death.

Let’s get one thought out of the way, we are all going to die.  It may be decades away or seconds away, but it is inevitable there is no escape.  The question is how do you want to be remembered.

On a tomb stone there is your name and some dates, for instance Joe Clark April 1, 1928 – February 29, 2035.  Do you see that little dash between the dates?  That represents a person’s whole life.  All they did and didn’t do, all of their hopes and disappointments all their laughter and tears are represented by that little dash.

After the name and date can come a sentence or two used to remember that person.  There is a stone in England that reads “Here Lies Arthur The Once and Future King”.  The great comedian WC Fields stone reads, “On the whole I’d Rather be in Philadelphia.”  On another tombstone it reads “To Follow You I’m Not Content.  How Do I Know Which Way You Went?”

If you leave your epitaph to your relatives, you may get nothing but your name and date, or something like “Beloved Mother” or maybe “Always Single and Never Happy.”  Don’t leave your epitaph in the hands of some distant relation or a family member that is too bereaved to think of a thing to say about you.  Who you were on this earth could be remembered hundreds of years from now if you write your own.

Maybe our friend Joe Clark might say about himself. “ I was a husband and father and I did the best I could”. Or “I set out to accomplish something good in my life and I did it”.  It needs to be about you and who you were and how you want to be remembered.

I would go a step farther than this though and plan your own funeral.  Choose the church or other building you want it to be held.  Decide on the music and the flowers, specify who you want to give your eulogy.  What passage of the Bible or another book that you want to have read.  Be in the driver’s seat at your funeral.  Write it all down, including your epitaph, and give it to a trusted friend or your lawyer.  They can take it from there.

Plan Your Own Epitaph Day can be a great experience.  Death is nothing to be afraid of and to go with all the loose strings tied up can be a great experience.

The post April 6th is Plan Your Own Epitaph Day also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Love Your Kidneys! March is National Kidney Month

Kidney disease. Medical Concept on Red Background.

(PCM) National Kidney Month is a time to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease. According to the CDC, nearly 10% of adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease – that’s one in ten! What’s more, most people who have it don’t even know it. Could you be one of them?

Your kidneys are the filtration system of your body. Located just below your ribcage, these fist-sized organs clean waste from your blood. They also help regulate blood pressure, fluid levels, and chemical balances to keep you healthy. When they don’t do their job (because of trauma, illness or disease), toxins begin to build up in your body. You get sick. Eventually, very sick.

Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States – more people die from kidney disease than breast or prostate cancer.

Kidney disease can happen quickly, or slow and quiet, with little warning. Modern medicine can sometimes slow its progress, but once a person enters end stage renal disease (ESRD), or kidney failure, dialysis and/or kidney transplant is the only treatment. This is why it’s important for everyone to understand the signs and risk factors for kidney disease.

Those most at risk for kidney disease include:

  •   people with diabetes
  •   people high blood pressure
  •   people with a family history of kidney failure

…But kidney disease can affect anyone.

Symptoms of kidney disease include:

  • changing in urination (such as frequency or color)
  • fatigue or weakness
  • shortness of breath
  • swelling in face, hands or feet
  • dry or itchy skin
  • increased thirst
  • nausea or vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble concentrating

…Or other symptoms, or none at all. Many people have no idea they have kidney disease at all.

If you can catch kidney disease early, you could save yourself a lot of heartache. Or kidney ache, even. You might even save your life.

So at your next checkup, ask your doctor about simple blood and urine tests to check your kidney function.

OR, celebrate National Kidney Month with the National Kidney Foundation – visit their website to find out about free screenings on World Kidney Day and throughout the month of March!

Other websites of note:

Center for Disease Control (CDC supports and maintains the CKD Surveillance Project to document the burden of chronic kidney disease in the United States, and to track progress in achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives to prevent, detect, and manage chronic kidney disease.)

Polycystic Kidney Foundation (Polycystic Kidney Disease affects an estimated 1 in 500 people, including newborns, children and adults – like me.)

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK conducts, supports, and coordinates research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health.)

American Kidney Fund (AKF is a non-profit that provides prevention and educational services and financial assistance to kidney patients in the U.S.)

Have a Heart – It’s National Organ Donor Day   (Celebrating Organ donors and donor support organizations)

The post Love Your Kidneys! March is National Kidney Month also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Get Saucy! March is National Sauce Month

Bowls with sauces ketchup and mustard on white background.

(PCM) Sauces are essential to satisfying cuisine – imagine a life of dry spaghetti, salsa-less chips or fries without ketchup to dip in. Scary, right?

So why do we honor National Sauce Month in March, as opposed to every day of the year? Our internet investigations turned up no clear answer. However, there does seem to be a natural tie-in with another month-long March celebration, National Nutrition Month®.

Nutrition Month is all about promoting healthy habits. Making changes in your diet (such as reducing salts or fats and increasing your fruit and veggie intake) is a great place to start; but it’s also, sometimes, super hard to do. If you’ve got the lean chicken breast and steamed broccoli blues, why not spice things up with an exciting sauce or two?

Many of our favorite comfort foods include heavy sauces made delicious by dairy and fats, like butter, cream, or cheese. Thanks to the information age, you can find low-fat, health-conscious versions of these recipes with just a click of the mouse or a jog down the cookbook aisle. If carbs, gluten, or other allergens are your problem, that’s no problem either! Modern supermarket shelves abound with alternatives. In our house we whip up an easy allergy-friendly Béchamel using soy-free vegetable “butter” spread, white rice flour, and coconut milk.

Other classic sauces are naturally low-fat and nutritious. Tomato-based options like marinara or bbq, hot sauce, sofrito, salsa and, yes, ketchup can still be a part of your dietary repertoire. Look for low-sugar brands or recipes, and, where needed, use heart-healthy fats like olive oil. Let veggies, vinegars, and spices bring the flavor zing you crave.

But don’t feel you have to stick to the old and familiar! Other healthy sauce ideas? How about honey-mustard, pesto, hummus, soy sauce (especially low-salt), kimchi, fish sauce, orange-zested cranberry sauce, pureed strawberries with a dash of balsamic vinegar, or olive oil laced with garlic, pepper, and basil – for starters. Keep looking, ask around, or invent your own!

National Sauce Month is thirty-one days long. What wondrous sauce flavors will you savor this month?

The post Get Saucy! March is National Sauce Month also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

March is National Nutrition Month

Woman with Healthy and Unhealthy Food. Difficult choice. Overwei

(PCM) National Nutrition Month® is a public education campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Started in 1973 as “National Nutrition Week”, the campaign has sought to help generations of Americans make informed choices about food and nutrition and develop habits for a healthy life.

Each year National Nutrition Month® celebrates good eating with a new theme. The first ever theme was “Invest in Yourself… Buy Nutrition”. In 2016 the theme is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” to showcase how food can be delicious as well as nutritious.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is a trade organization for professionals such as dieticians and nutritionists. If you have dietary concerns – if, say, you want to change your eating habits to lose weight, or to accommodate a newly diagnosed food allergy, illness, or an eating disorder – a nutritional specialist can help you come up with strategies to address your specific needs and lifestyle. You can find nutritional specialists working with institutions like hospitals or health clinics, or as independent consultants. Such services are often (though not always) covered by insurance programs.

However, the basic principles for healthy eating are available to you for free, thanks in part to the Academy and other health organizations. The government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, for example, is published through health.gov. It advocates a varied diet that is:

  1. RICH IN vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products and proteins (which can include legumes, nuts, seeds and soy products as well as eggs, lean meats, poultry and seafood) and
  2. LOW IN saturated and trans fats, as well as added sugar and salts.

These recommendations, combined with regular exercise, are the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

March is an excellent time to practice the principles of healthy living; with more daylight and nicer weather we can explore new opportunities to get up and get active. Plus, the seasonal bounties of spring and summer are just around the corner: what seasonal fruits and veggies are you looking forward to most?

National Nutrition Month® invites you to savor the flavor, and revel in a healthy new you. Happy National Nutrition Month!

The post March is National Nutrition Month also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey To Health, Superheroes

Superman-changeI am a superhero geek.  The best way to start anything is to lead with the truth.  I was going to say Comic Book geek, but as Superheroes have entered into the realm of all types of entertainment my geekdom cannot limit itself to Comic Books alone.  Between us a guilty pleasure is Archie Comics.

Last week I posed a question on a Facebook page that is private and devoted to Marvel’s Agent’s Of Shield.  The question went something like this; does anyone else think that rating the next Wolverine Movie R is a bad idea?  I asked this question because Deadpool, being rated R, had caused some issues in at least one family I knew of and because little kids, who love Wolverine would be unable to attend.  It caused quite the backlash.

I actually had an even number of people who thought it should not be rated R and those who thought it should.  The problem was the folks who agreed with me only liked the post, those who did not agree with went on tell me in uncertain terms why the film should be Rated R.  I battled alone for the day and then took the post down.

Now why is this a health issue?  The answer is pretty simple.  I believe that the best heroes are the ones we can aspire to become.  I don’t mean that I want super powers, though that would be awesome, I mean from a moral compass our superheroes should be good.

I saw Deadpool opening day.  I would go so far to say that, as a movie, it was OK.  The action scenes were good and I liked the sci-fi plot but I could have done without the constant use of bad language and the gratuitous sex scenes and sexual banter.  Now I understand that this is who Deadpool is in his own comic magazine and so it is the way he should be portrayed, I have no argument on that point.  However doing the same thing with Wolverine is wrong.

Wolverine has become overtly violent in the last decade or so.  He definitely started as an anti-hero but there was no language and no blood.  Even today a bloody scene runs a couple of comic book page panels.  In a movie it would be moving dismemberment with flying blood and it makes it different.

Also the kids have a right to want to see the film.  All of the merchandise for the film is going to be available at Target and Toys R Us.  So the message is buy the stuff but you can’t see the film.

To this point, I was answered that a parent should just say that the movie isn’t for their child and that should be it.  But it won’t work out that way as the child goes to the toy store and is reminded regularly what is unavailable to them.

In many ways none of the above is my main argument.  My main argument is simply this, we should not become a society that glories in bad language and the need to see blood.  This behavior is not new; we know it existed in ancient Rome.  For some reason people like to see people get slaughtered.  In Rome they did it for real and now its special effects but the core desire in the viewer is no different.

I love Superheroes.  I love Superman the most; He espouses ideals that I am totally in line with.  Don’t kill, be Kind, do good, be loyal these are the things I see in him. The things I would like to emulate.  Spiderman is the same; he wants to do the right thing.  Captain America is in the same line of heroes knowing the difference between good and evil and not blurring the lines and never saying the end justifies the means.  In the long run no good comes from an evil act.

Deadpool aside, movies based on comic heroes should be family accessible. The heroes should be role models.  This is responsible entertainment.

Now how does this affect my health.  Those who read this column regularly are aware that I suffer from chronic severe depression.  This has been an ongoing problem for almost 30 years.  What movies I watch what music I listen to and what TV shows I follow all play a part in how my emotional issues manifest themselves.  In other words negative in negative out.

I have found that there are many movies and TV shows I should stay away from.  Those movies and TV shows that have a hopeless or pain filled ending or theme I need to avoid.  Comedy’s that make fun of things that I think are important I avoid.  The Simpson’s has been on for 20 years.  I watched one episode and that was enough.  South Park I won’t touch at all.

This isn’t because I am a prude or not realistic.  I loved Law and Order and most court based drama I find fascinating.  CSI is great too.  The X Files was wonderful.  I watch How To Commit a Murder and though I thought it was bit over the top I enjoyed Jessica Jones, though I found her hardness a surprise as I only knew her from The New Avenger’s and she was portrayed as sweet in that comic book, and Wolverine was more obnoxious than violent.

Yes I want wholesome entertainment back.  Sue me.  I want to look up to my fictional heroes and I want the good guys to win.  And I want the good guys to be good.  I don’t want them perfect, just good.  I know I am not everyone else and I don’t claim to be.  But for me superheroes live in a bright primary color world where good always triumphs over evil and the hero takes highest ground possible.  This will not only helps the mind but the souls as well.

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