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Articles written by Victoria Alwin

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Vinegar: miracle or myth?

I think we have all heard of vinegar’s miraculous uses, including that one ounce at least once daily can decrease cravings and appetite. Some of the claims are true; some are not. First of all, vinegar’s technical name is acetic acid, which...

 

Exercise and Dementia

I went to an all-day seminar yesterday for updates on dementia in general including Alzheimer’s disease. The speaker was a neurologist who is also a researcher in the field. Among the topics explored were whether any particular foods could slow or...

 

Safe Habits

The summer has unofficially started and the heat is upon us. Now is the time to be more active and more careful. Many of us use the warmer weather to re-start the exercise programs we resolved to have in January or look to salads and lighter foods...

 

A Different Perspective

My sister and I visited Ireland this past week. While we thought that the country was beautiful and the people were both gracious and friendly, we were both surprised by two things. First, there was a discussion on the BBC that many of the British su...

 

Focused Resolutions

Every year most of us make an ambitious list of what we want to change in the coming year. The problem is that the list is usually more motivated than we are after the first couple of weeks. Why not use last year’s list and make it more realistic a...

 

Holiday feast or fast

The holidays aren’t coming; they’re pretty much here for the next month. Between work celebrations, visiting family and friends, and those irresistible goodies around, every day until New Year’s Day is a potential holiday. I could tell you to...

 

Stuff your dressing

Some folks say that stuffing and dressing are the same. Actually they’re not. Like real estate, it’s all about location. Stuffing is baked within the turkey. Dressing has the same basic ingredients, but is baked in a separate container. The...

 

WHO can't eat red meat

I tell my nutrition students that food is VERY personal to everyone. This might explain the reaction to the announcement by the World Health Organization (WHO) that eating processed meats and red meats can be related to certain cancers, especially...

 

'Accidental' exercise

For some of us, any time we exercise it has to be accident, because we definitely wouldn’t do it on purpose! Contrary to this thought, is the actual concept called “accidental exercise.” I heard about this on a news program and found it...

 

Health Fair advantage

On Saturday, Oct. 3, Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District will be holding its annual Health Fair. I have been working at these fairs for the last 4-5 years. I have watched folks pass by the various booths: some actively taking part in what’s...

 

Painful decision

I have a number of patients and family who tell me that they would like to exercise but their arthritis, back, knees, or whatever, hurts too much to move. Being of an age to have done many stupid things to my body over the years, as well as having...

 

Music has charms to soothe

The phrase that many of us have heard is that “music has charms to soothe the savage breast” (no, not “beast”). Over the past several decades there has been a multitude of studies on how various types of music can have beneficial health...

 

Research: Fact or fiction

There seems to be so much information “out there” on just about every topic imaginable. Being a dietitian, I get asked about the newest nutrition item on the internet or on the TV news. Depending on the claim being made, I do what I advise everyo...

 

Artificial sweeteners

For some time there have been concerns about the safety of artificial sweeteners such as sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (NutraSweet), acesulfame K (Ace K ), neotame (Sunett), etc. One of the most maligned artificial sweeteners, saccharine, even has...

 

TRANS-Formation

Earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement that: “Partially Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs) are not Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)” and that the food industry has three years to remove these fats from their...

 

Dad bod!

Years ago, a designer of male clothing was at the same conference I was at. He stated that the belt size on a man never changes; his in-seam gets shorter. Nowadays this phenomenon is called “Dad Bod.” Instead of having six-pack abs, some men...

 

Clear as mud

Of the common diets provided by physicians and nurses to their patients, two would seem to be easy to understand and follow: clear liquids used for g.i. tests such as colonoscopies and the diet for diverticulitis/diverticulosis. Unfortunately,...

 

Sunshine vitamin

Of all the vitamins needed by the body, the easiest one to get in sunny California is vitamin D because the greatest source of vitamin D comes free of charge in the everyday sunlight. Actually, vitamin D already exists in the skin and becomes active...

 

Life's the pits

I recently read an article online about everyday things people consume which might be harmful. According to the article, you would have to eat or drink an abnormal quantity for the items to be fatal, such as 85 full size chocolate bars; 48 teaspoons...

 

Get real

I was talking, as always, to a neighbor about someone with terminal cancer. Her concern was that he was getting too thin. His children did not want him to eat any junk food, especially sweets because they weren’t healthy foods. I have heard this...

 

Junk food

The other day we were discussing “junk food”. Someone brought up how bad a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on white bread was. Now, dietitians tend to see foods differently than most folks. Ask dietitians about “junk food” and most of...

 

Silver bullet

As I get older, I agree more with Bette Davis’ statement that aging is not for sissies. Aging has taught me that my muscles and joints have more opinions, sometimes rather painful ones, than I ever thought possible, especially first thing in the...

 

The cost of plumbing

It is amazing how a clogged drain can ruin a day and then comes the expense of unclogging the drain. Because my house is only a couple years younger than I am, and I was far younger last millennium, I asked how much it would cost to replace the...

 

Good Ol' Days

This week I saw an article on TV about how good Christy Brinkley looked at the age of 60. The first thing I thought was that she did look good and that she was my age. Next I thought that I wouldn’t mind looking like her. Then I remembered that I...

 

Treating the Holidays

I read in a magazine a question from a woman with high triglycerides on how she could lower her triglycerides and still enjoy the holidays. For many of us with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and/or triglycerides, etc., the...

 

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