Book Review: BRAIN HACKS: Life-Changing Strategies to Improve Executive Functioning by Lara Honos-Webb PhD

BRAIN HACKS: Life-Changing Strategies to Improve Executive Functioning by Lara Honos-Webb PhD

Recently we have been asked to review many books regarding brain health and/or brain functioning.  The overall opinion of all these brain experts is that there are things we can do to improve our brain functioning.

One thing that seems to be absent in BRAIN HACKS: Life-Changing Strategies to Improve Executive Functioning by Lara Honos-Webb PhD is how important diet and nutrition are in our brain health.

Other than that, the advice in this book seems to support all the other information we have read.

The book presents readers with multiple ways to increase our brain function.  All of these hacks are simple to do and, for most of them, no one will know you are doing them. That way you can improve and no one has to know you perceived you had a problem.

Brain Hacks is well-written and well-presented. As we age, we can expect some diminishing of brain function.  This book can help you avoid that.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

PS Annie! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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Guest Post: WINTER HEALTH MYTHS BUSTED!

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WINTER HEALTH MYTHS BUSTED!

There are endless winter health myths that we have heard from well intentioned grandparents and parents. They have become so ingrained in us that we take them as cold hard facts. Many of these myths have no more basis in reality than Santa Claus.  Of course, everyone wants to stay as healthy as possible during the frosty months. In order to do so sensibly, we turned to Board Certified NYC internist and gastroenterologist Dr. Niket Sonpal.

Myth: Allergies go away in the winter

Allergies might be the real source behind your stuffy nose and scratchy throat this season. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one in five people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies, and the indoor variety can actually be worse in the winter. Dr. Sonpal cautions that, “If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or ease up after taking an antihistamine, it might be time to visit an allergist.”

Myth: I wash my hands all the time with hand sanitizer, so I should be fine.

Hand sanitizer will kill most viruses, but not all. You must make sure you use the right amount of hand sanitizer and let it dry completely. Dr. Sonpal points out that,” Some viruses, like norovirus, which causes vomiting, is not killed by hand sanitizer. Soap and water are best to get rid of all bacteria and viruses, but the hand sanitizer is better than nothing at all.”

Myth: It’s cold out, I don’t need sunscreen.

The sun’s rays are just as strong in the winter months as they are in the other seasons. Snow and ice can reflect even more sunlight, up to twice as much. Grab the SPF 30 and put it on, regardless of the temperature. Don’t forget those sunglasses to keep your eyes safe as well.

I’ll just drink some alcohol to keep myself warm.

Although it may feel like drinking alcohol is making you warmer, it does not. Dr. Sonpal says that, “when you drink, the blood vessels dilate or get bigger, and blood flows to your skin and away from your internal organs. So, it may feel like you are getting warmer, but you are not.”

Myth: The Flu Shot Gives You the Flu

According to a new survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases and Rite Aide, 44 percent of American women view the flu as a serious threat to their health. Yet nearly half (49 percent) do not intend to get a flu shot this year because they believe the vaccine can give them the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the flu shot for anyone older than 6 months of age. Dr. Sonpal stresses that, “The shot does not contain a live virus, making catching the flu from it impossible.”

Winter weather makes you store fat and gain weight

Our bodies do not go into some kind of winter hibernation mode, stockpiling every ounce of fat to use for the lean times. It seems logical, like a throwback to our days living in caves foraging for food, but in reality, any weight gain comes from our winter habits. Dr. Sonpal points out that, “we tend to exercise less in winter. We eat more hearty meals and comfort foods, including more sugary snacks and desserts (especially around the holidays).”

Myth: You Lose Most Heat Through Your Head

The saying goes “we lose 90 percent of our body heat through our heads.”  But a 2006 study found that the head accounts for about 7 percent of the body’s surface area, and that heat loss in the region is fairly proportional, according to LiveScience. “Your head is another extremity, and it’s susceptible to cold, so you should wear a hat, but it doesn’t lose any more heat than another part of your body,” says Dr. Sonpal.

Myth: Chicken Soup Will Cure Colds

Many cultures teach us to drink warm liquids like tea, hot apple cider, and soups when we’re dealing with colds. It’s true that something like chicken soup may help soothe and ease congestion, but much like vitamin C, hot soup won’t do immediate wonders.

Myth: Being Cold Gives You a Cold

No matter what your grandma might have told you, spending too much time in the cold air doesn’t make you sick. One study found that healthy men who spent several hours in temperatures just above freezing had an increase in healthy, virus-fighting activity in their immune systems. In fact, you’re more likely to get sick indoors, where germs are easily passed.

Myth: Feed a cold, starve a fever

Dr. Sonpal says that, “This is another myth that comes from a time when people didn’t understand the science of body chemistry. The thought was that if you had a cold, food would warm you up. Conversely, if you had a high fever, not eating would cool you down. This is just patently bad medical advice. In both cases, good nutrition gives your body the fuel it needs to fight infections and recover from an illness. When you have a fever, your body is burning energy at a rapid rate, and that needs to be replenished. So, by all means feed your cold; but also feed your fever, or any other illness. Even if you have stomach issues, find a way to take in lost fluids and electrolytes.”

 

About Dr. Niket Sonpal:

Dr. Niket Sonpal is a native of Long Island NY and a graduate of Medical University of Silesia – Hope Medical Institute in Poland. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, he was selected to be the 2013‐2014 Chief Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital–Northshore LIJ Health System. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn. Dr. Sonpal has completed his Fellowship in gastroenterology & hepatology at Lenox Hill Hospital and will continue his work in the field of medical student and resident test preparation. He now serves as the associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brookdale University medical center.

He is the co‐author for the best-selling Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK, Master the Boards Step 3, And Master the Boards: Internal Medicine. He is also the Chief Operating Officer for Medquest Test Prep, Director of Medical Education for Picmonic Test Prep, and a recognized expert on medical test prep.

Guest Post: Is Your Child’s ADHD Possibly A Misdiagnosed Breathing Problem?

Is Your Child’s ADHD Possibly A Misdiagnosed Breathing Problem?

 

Children who breathe through their mouths because of a dental issue may be easily misdiagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),

The result is resulting in a lifetime of being given powerful drugs unnecessarily.

“Mouth breathing is often caused by an obstruction in the nasal airway, frequently resulting in lower oxygen to the brain,” says Dr. Ami Barakat, author of Perfecting Smiles, Changing Lives. “More than half of the people diagnosed with ADHD are mouth breathers.  That is too significant a statistic to be a coincidence.”

“I don’t believe that every diagnosed case of ADHD can be eradicated with solving mouth breathing issues,” says Dr. Barakat. “But for parents who have a child who is a mouth breather who also has been diagnosed with ADHD, it is best to get a second opinion from a dentist.  Because once they accept the ADHD label on their child, that means the child will take powerful drugs such as Ritalin or Adderall for the rest of their lives.”

About Dr. Ami Barakat


Dr. Ami Barakat, author of Perfecting Smiles, Changing Lives, is a general dentist who has trained extensively in orthodontics.  He has received several prestigious awards in recognition of his talent, achievements and passion for dentistry.  He graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry with honors and served a one-year residency at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

 

 

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

PS Annie! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Book Review: Carissa’s Law by Misty Boyd

Carissa’s Law by Misty Boyd

Carissa’s Law by Misty Boyd is a touching book about the life of a girl born with spina bifida.

The story starts with her first day of college and all the adventure that moment brings into one’s life. In this case, from the viewpoint of one living life in a wheelchair.

This book struck a chord with me as I had a family member who was born with spina bifida, as was the author of Carissa’s Law.

As you make your way through this novel, there are moments of laughter and moments of tears. There are also moments that made me so mad about how the expectant parents and their babies were treated that I could have screamed!

Carissa’s Law is about understanding that all life is precious and worthy. In a wheelchair or out of it, people are people with hopes and dreams that they should be allowed to achieve.

It is about the dedication of one girl to make things better for those with spina bifida and for disabled people.

It is a fight for truth.

Carissa seeks to require the medical community to update their knowledge in regards to spina bifida, as well as telling parents the truth about the prognosis.

I really enjoyed this book and hope that you will, too.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

PS Annie! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Book Review: The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind by Timothy R. Jennings MD

The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind by Timothy R. Jennings MD

You would think a book written by a brain doctor that taught much about brain science would be terribly complex and hard to understand. You might also think it would be boring. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the book The Aging Brain: Proven Steps to Prevent Dementia and Sharpen Your Mind by Timothy R. Jennings MD, we find an easy to understand book that explains in great detail what we can do to avoid brain problems in our young ones and also in us as we age.

Most often when you read a book that deals in health issues, you find that the author either takes the side of science only or of a natural cure and Christian stance. Jennings explains why and how both are right and gives scripture references to back himself up.

If you want to know what foods to avoid to protect your brain, it is in there. If you want to know what to eat, it is in there, too.

If your church has small group Bible study classes, it would do well to create a course around this book.

The Aging Brain is very well-written, easy to understand, and very educational. We give it all five stars and know that, once you read your copy, you will want rate it that high as well.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: I’ll Have It My Way: Taking Control of End of Life Decisions: a Book about Freedom & Peace by Hattie Bryant

I’ll Have It My Way: Taking Control of End of Life Decisions: a Book about Freedom & Peace by Hattie Bryant

Most fast food places will allow you to have it your way. Our youngest daughter always asks for her burger without a bun. She gets it the way she wants it.

In the book I’ll Have It My Way: Taking Control of End of Life Decisions: a Book about Freedom & Peace by Hattie Bryant, our author tells us that the law says we can have our medical treatment our way, as well.

If we are diagnosed with a terminal illness, there is no law that requires us to accept any treatment at all. But, what if we are unable to speak for ourselves at that time? What happens then?

We are often sent books on the end of life. Some are on how our loved ones can adapt their homes to better care for us. Some have been about how healthcare workers can be better able to take care of the terminally ill person’s needs.

This book tells us about the many things we need to think about now, while we can speak for ourselves, and how to choose a person to stand up for us when the time comes. No one wants to think about death and dying. It is, however, a fact of life.

I’ll Have It My Way is very well-written and thought-provoking. We give it all five stars. We could choose to bury our heads in the sand, or we could be proactive about our deaths. This book can help.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Souping Is The New Juicing: The Juice Lady’s Healthy Alternative by Cherie Calbom MSN CN

Souping Is The New Juicing: The Juice Lady’s Healthy Alternative by Cherie Calbom MSN CN

Very rarely does one see a nutrition book with a powerful message like Souping Is The New Juicing: The Juice Lady’s Healthy Alternative by Cherie Calbom MSN CN.

This book starts out with a very engrossing story and then moves on to tell us more and more about soup. It isn’t just chock full of recipes; it also has a great deal of information about nutrition, food safety, and more.

We give Souping Is The New Juicing all five stars. We think it is an important book and a very easy to read book. There are stories about soup as a comfort food as well as instructions for making soup. It also has many recipes for easy to make soups. What are you waiting for? Order your copy today.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging by Melanie P. Merriman

Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging by Melanie P. Merriman

By now we have read all sorts of books about aging in place, end of life care, and so forth. Holding the Net: Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope of Aging by Melanie P. Merriman actually provides a backspin on all of those.

I, David, have been in two nursing homes since 2012. Suzanne and I realize that no matter how hard these people try, a nursing home is as close to prison as most of us will ever get. One day I said to our friend Jerry that I had been in a nursing home, had never been to prison, but imagined that the nursing home was as close to prison as most of us will ever get. Jerry said he had been in both and the nursing home is worse.

This book is an enthralling story of one family’s struggle with their mother’s end of life and how they dealt with it. But there is a backspin. The backspin is that the author had been a hospice professional for years and knew most of the ins and outs of how the system works, or doesn’t.

This family wasn’t hurting financially, but still had to deal with at least some of the heartache many families have to deal with when putting their loved ones in rehab. Merriman was able to see first-hand how Medicaid patients are treated far differently than others, even though the nursing facility does its best to provide top quality services for all.

We feel that all rooms in all medical facilities should be private, not semi-private. How good are our privacy walls when we share a room with another person and their visitors?

This is a book you will want to read without stopping. You won’t want to put it down. The author shows us how scared her mother is in all of this. The author was scared and lost; her sister was, too. How could they help their mother?

We give Holding the Net all five stars. It is very well-written and very informative. It is written in a very readable style. If you or someone you love will be facing end of life issues any time soon, you will want to read this book.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Healing: Faith and Medicine: A Medical Professional’s Memoir of Healing and Dealing with Illness by Mark Davis

Healing: Faith and Medicine: A Medical Professional’s Memoir of Healing and Dealing with Illness by Mark Davis

Never before in our recollection have we read a book on faith that actually made cold chills run up and down our spines. Healing: Faith and Medicine: A Medical Professional’s Memoir of Healing and Dealing with Illness by Mark Davis actually gave us goosebumps.

Davis talks about how possibly the reason we don’t see as many miracles in the United States of America today as we see in third world countries is because here we have more resources to rely on. Perhaps he is right. However, here, families like us who are well below the poverty level, realize that miracles happen every day.

This book is incredibly well-written and difficult to put down. We give it all five stars. We know you will too.

If your faith needs a jump start, you owe it to yourself to read Healing: Faith and Medicine: A Medical Professional’s Memoir of Healing and Dealing with Illness by Mark Davis.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Book Review: Perseverance: The Seven Skills You Need to Survive, Thrive, and Accomplish More Than You Ever Imagined by Tim Hague

Perseverance: The Seven Skills You Need to Survive, Thrive, and Accomplish More Than You Ever Imagined by Tim Hague

We are sent scores of books to review each month. It seems that the subject of Parkinson’s Disease is coming up more and more.

Not to long before reading Perseverance: The Seven Skills You Need to Survive, Thrive, and Accomplish More Than You Ever Imagined by Tim Hague, we completed Fighting Parkinson’s…and Winning: A memoir of my recovery from Parkinson’s Disease by Howard Shifke.

The two books really work well together. With this book, Perseverance, we learn about the many challenges of living with Parkinson’s Disease, an incurable disease that is caused by lack of dopamine in the body. Tim Hauge decided he wasn’t going to let Parkinson’s Disease slow him down. He was going to live life to the fullest.

Fighting Parkinson’s…and Winning is the story of the author who, like Tim Hague, learned he had Parkinson’s Disease. He also decided he was going to live life to the fullest. However, in this book the author decided that just because Western medicine says there is no cure for Parkinson’s that does not mean it is so.

The first part of Perseverance gives us the story of a mixed race child born in rural Texas and raised by a loving adopted family.

We follow the author through disappointment after disappointment. We see how he did not really fit in with any race. He was always too black, too white, or otherwise just not acceptable.

Perseverance will make you laugh, will make you cry, it will make you mad. AND, it will have you on the edge of your seat.

In Perseverance, we read the fascinating and exciting story of the author and his son competing in The Amazing Race Canada.

We see how Tim and his son Tim, Jr. worked to face all the obstacles head on. Even though we learn the outcome of the race early in the book, the excitement is still there. We still hang on every word.

We give Perseverance all five stars. It is very well-written and downright hard to put down. We think it makes an excellent tool to help others living with Parkinson’s Disease.

If, however, you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and you want to find a different tool box, one that offers a cure, then you will want to read Fighting Parkinson’s…and Winning.

Interestingly enough, both books have a similar mindset. However, Shifke learns that Parkinson’s Disease is not caused by lack of Dopamine. He found it is that the body does not use what it produces properly and how to retrain the body to use it.

You will want to buy both books.

We were sent a complimentary copy of this book. We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Notice: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, we may financially benefit from your transaction, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.