Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Making the Church Fellowship Hour Healthier

Lutherans love coffee hour
Lutherans love coffee hour (Photo credit: Tatiana12)

In many churches Sunday morning fellowship hour means coffee, some sort of sweet drink and doughnuts with nothing for those with special needs.  Stewardship includes keeping our bodies healthy and including people rather than excluding or inadvertently leaving them out.  Keeping this in mind let’s consider these points.

1. It isn’t about food. The purpose of the fellowship hour is to encourage people to talk, get to know each other and welcome visitors.  No one should feel left out. Food and drink are used to encourage interaction.  If food is driving people apart we need to think of other ways to accomplish this.

2. Add healthier foods instead of taking away the doughnuts.  Steer away from having nothing but sweets. Take known special needs into account.  Given choices, fewer people may eat doughnuts.

3. Add pitchers of fresh water.

4. Change may not happen quickly — we are talking about church.   Don’t be demanding, just casually bring it up.  Take a  fruit or veggie plate on your turn to provide food.  Remember we are talking about adding healthy options, not taking away the doughnuts.

My Gluten Free Life

Copyright R.A.. Robbins 2013
Copyright R.A.. Robbins 2013

I recently wrote a little bit of my personal gluten free story for a Squidoo Lens called Living the Gluten Free Good Life.  On June 12, 2013 it was Lens of the Day on Squidoo as well as receiving a Purple Star award.  I am very happy for this opportunity to reach a broader audience with my message of happy and healthy gluten free living.

If you’ve never heard the story about the tree this is your chance for a good laugh.  Yes, I threatened to eat the “family tree.”  I also included a few photos of the food Bob and I eat.  You will see we are definitely not deprived.

Those Heart Attack Symptoms for Women

Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

When those lists of heart attack symptoms in women started coming out many of us were confused and overwhelmed. I know I was. The list was vague and could be attributed to things much less serious than a heart attack. As a woman who over the years had been told not to worry when I asked questions about heart disease this concerned me.

May 18 was my mother’s birthday. When she died of heart disease my concerns turned into a cause. We must not only advocate for ourselves and our own healthcare (do you know how many women do not have access to health care because they are uninsured?) we must start pushing for more research into the causes, symptoms and treatment of heart disease in women as well as the education of physicians.

I recently found a list of “those symptoms” with explanations by physicians who are studying heart disease in women. I found this list very helpful. I hope you will too.

http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/features/womens-heart-attack-symptoms

Feel free to reblog this post. Women do indeed have heart attacks. It’s time to spread the word.

I Aspire to be a Giant Squid

Giant squid bathtub
Giant squid bathtub (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No, not the sea creature. Bob was recently forced into retirement. This was totally unexpected and earlier than we had planned.  So I am taking on more projects to bring in extra income. One of them is  Squidoo.

Don’t worry, Espirational will stay as it is.  When I started this blog I was determined to keep it non-commercial.  That is why my online money making activities are based outside this blog. I may from time to time mention something else I am doing.  If you want to check these out, that would be great, but there is no pressure.

Here are a few of my first lenses for you to browse.

Mom’s Easy Potato Soup

Orgeenic for Healthier Cooking:  Gluten Free Pancake Recipe

Art and Craft Supplies from the Trash

Preventing Heart Disease

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...
Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)I observe

Earlier this month I wrote about women and heart disease.  It’s not just a “guy thing.” But I want to encourage everyone to take care of their heart.

These are a few ways to help prevent heart disease:

1. Eat a heart-healthy diet low in fat, cholesterol and salt and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

2. Have regular screenings for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. If you have any of these work with your health care provider to control them.

3. Control your weight.

4. Manage stress. Slow down, learn and practice relaxation or meditation techniques to help deal with the pressures of life.

5. Quit smoking or better yet don’t start.

More information on how you can prevent heart disease:
5 medication-free strategies to help prevent heart disease

Heart Disease:  Tips for Prevention

Prevention:  What You Can Do

Heart Disease: It’s not just a “guy thing.”

The Heart Truth® is a national awareness campa...
The Heart Truth® is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Red Dress®, introduced by the NHLBI in 2002, is the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness. Visit www.hearttruth.gov for information on women and heart disease. ®, TM The Heart Truth, its logo and The Red Dress are trademarks of HHS. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would you be surprised to know the #1 cause of death for women is heart disease?  It kills about 12 times more women annually than breast cancer.  For years we believed heart disease was a “guy thing.”  Now we know better.

Unfortunately, the medical profession has been slow in  providing up to date, accurate information on heart attack symptoms in women.  Our symptoms are different.

It often takes longer for  women to be diagnosed.  We may have symptoms we and even our doctors  do not recognize as a heart attack.  Learn the symptoms of heart attack in women.  If you are having symptoms of a heart attack call 911 and say “I am having symptoms of a heart attack.”

After losing my mother to heart disease almost two years ago this has become an important issue for me. So important that in addition to my yearly heart health post in February from now on there will be a Women’s Heart Health Thought every month.

Remember heart disease in not just a guy thing. Educate yourself.   Spread the word.  Promote research and awareness.

More information including symptoms of heart attack in women:

Barbara Streisand Women’s Heart Center

Go Red for Women

The Heart Truth

Women Heart

American Heart Association

Seasonal Healthy Eating/Money Saving Tip

My Fresh Cranberry SauceCopyright 2011 by R.A. Robbins
My Fresh Cranberry Sauce
Copyright 2011 by R.A. Robbins

It’s fresh cranberry season!  Associated  with the holidays because they are only available from October to December, they are full of wonderful nutrients.  In addition to being fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free, sodium free and a good source of vitamin C and fiber, they also contain antioxidants and may help prevent urinary tract infections.

Time to stock up (they freeze nicely).  After the holidays they may be marked down.  I recently bought 6 bags at 2 for $1.

What to do with fresh cranberries?  You can eat them raw, but they are very tart.  You can make cranberry sauce, and of course cranberry nut bread, but they may also be used in savory dishes and stews.  The great thing about cooking with fresh cranberries is you control the sugar.

Copyright 2011 by R.A Robbins
Copyright 2011 by R.A Robbins

My fresh cranberry sauce and pumpkin cranberry bread (with dried cranberries) recipes are in my new ebook, Have Yourself a Healthy Little Holiday, available through Smashwords.