Sunday, September 22, 2019

TIP - Schedule to develop new habits

When we want to achieve a healthier lifestyle, this usually means establishing new habits, which is not an instantaneous thing to do. Habits become habitual through purposeful repetition. The best way to establish a new activity as a habit is to consciously schedule it into your daily routine.

Need to exercise more regularly? Schedule two days a week to meet your buddy at the gym and put it in your weekly calendar app. Should you be stretching a few minutes every hour you are at your computer? Set an online alarm. Have you been putting off sending thank you notes? Commit to writing one every day before breakfast.

Want to walk for 15 minutes after lunch? Put that in your daily planner. Trying to add meditation to your stress reduction strategies? Tell your family that the first 15 minutes after you arrive home from work are your time to shut the door to your room and sit quietly. Do dirty dishes tend to piled up in the sink? Remind yourself to wash them after each meal before returning to other activities.

Having a set schedule for the new activity gives you a sense of control over that aspect of your new, improved lifestyle.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The End of Cookout Season

Person grilling food

Do you grill or broil your steak or chicken? Do you regularly eat meats that are cooked at a high enough temperature to char the outside?

You may be putting yourself at risk for high blood pressure.

It has long been known that eating red meat, especially processed red meat, is associated with high blood pressure. The evidence relating chicken and fish (white meats) to high blood pressure had been unclear until recent research that focused on cooking methods.

When red or white meat proteins are exposed to high temperatures or charred, heterocyclic aromatic amine (HAA) chemicals are formed. This cooking method also creates polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and advanced glycation end products. Animal studies have shown these three types of chemicals to all be hazardous, inducing oxidative stress, insulin resistance and inflammation. Those physiological conditions can increase the risk of developing hypertension.

Researchers studied people who ate meat at least twice a week. They found that those who ate well-done meat or who cooked meat at high temperatures or exposed to open flames had a greater risk for high blood pressure.

Not yet convinced to put away the hibachi and turn in your barbecue tongs? The researchers also found that cooking meats at high temperatures was also linked to weight gain and a risk of obesity. These are both factors increasing the risk of high blood pressure in addition to other health risks.

Read an interview with the head researcher here.

Monday, August 26, 2019

2019-08-27 1-4 PM Eastern - 3D Printing Class for the Blind and Visually Impaired

3D Printing
3D Printing

From ArcticPixy, Virtual Ability community member

If you are blind or visually impaired, you may think the 3D printing craze is not accessible to you. Not so!

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library (New York, NY) is offering a class titled “Accessible & Assistive Technology: 3D Design with Code: a Gentle Intro to OpenScad.” The class will be held on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, from 1 to 4 pm Eastern (10am to 1pm ST/Pacific).

OpenScad is software that lets you create shapes with just a few lines of code. Combining these shapes allows you to build any 3-dimensional object you like using a laser cutter, 3D printer, or CNC machine. Although the software does show a visual image onscreen of what you create with code, you do not need to see it. You’ll learn to read the code itself to understand and revise your design. You will be using your spatial thinking abilities.

You do not need to have any prior coding experience! If you use a screen reader, set it so it reads punctuation marks (because those are parts of code). Braille readers work well with this software.

Learn more about the class here:

Everyone is welcome to attend this class, either in person at the library in New York City or remotely using Zoom. You do not need to be a resident of New York, or of the United States, as we understand it. Please register for both in-person and Zoom attendance by emailing or calling (212) 621-0627.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

TIP - Key nutrients to improve your health

Nutrients come in many forms!

Protect your arterial linings from getting clogged with cholesterol plaques by consuming more antioxidants. Antioxidant chemicals include vitamins C and E, selenium and carotenoids  (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein). Good sources include berries, broccoli, dark chocolate, grapes, kale, red cabbage and sweet potatoes.

Lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels by increasing your consumption of dietary fiber from apples, beans, berries, bran, greens, peas, squash, and whole grains.

Decrease your risk of peripheral artery disease and stroke by lowering your homocysteine levels. B vitamins, found in broccoli, eggs, dairy products, legumes, meat, spinach and whole grains, will help.

Omega-fatty acids, found in cold-water fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines), fortified milk, and walnuts decrease your risk for heart attacks.

Small additions or changes to your diet can have big effects on your lifetime health.