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Are you drinking enough Water this Winter?
January 31, 2018
Chapped lips? Dry skin? Headaches? Nosebleeds? Dry cough? Fatigue?
These are all signs that you might not be getting enough water this winter. In the summer, when you’re hot and sweaty, your body doesn’t let you forget that you’re thirsty and NEED water. But in the winter, when you’re cold and shivering, it’s all-too-easy to neglect hydration. Your body doesn’t feel as thirsty, and it’s much harder to recognize that you haven’t been drinking much water. That’s why you have to consciously remember to drink enough water in the winter, when the air is dry and the heater is working overtime.
Drinking more water can help:
Staying hydrated helps you regulate your body temperature and helps your circulatory system. Proper hydration helps your muscles use their balance of fluids to prevent muscle fatigue. Also, “two large studies found a lower risk of long-term kidney problems among people who drink more water and other fluids daily.” NYT Hydration enables our bodies to flush toxins.
Basically, drinking enough water keeps your body working properly.
Keep the Winter Weight Away.
Water is wonderful for weight loss. Drinking a few glasses of water can keep you from reaching for other, less healthy beverages. Water can also help curb your hunger, making you feel more full. “When we aren’t drinking enough fluids, we don’t have the energy required to break down fat; thus, we often mistake thirst for hunger, leading us to eat more than needed.” Filter Butler
Improve your Skin.
Winter can really take a toll on your skin. From the dry, over-heated air inside to the dry, cold air outside, winter is constantly leaching moisture from your skin. We need moisture to keep our skin cells full and hydrated; dehydration causes skin to chap, crack, and peel.
Keep your skin healthy and glowing by drinking plenty of water during these cold winter months. Angel Springs
Give you Energy.
Dehydration is a major cause of fatigue. “Keeping well hydrated will ensure your bodily functions are supported and running efficiently. When you are dehydrated your body functions slow down and use up your extra energy resources, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish.” Angel Springs
Protect your Immune System.
Winter is serious breeding time for viruses, and this cold & flu season has been a rough one. “Dehydration can seriously weaken our immune systems barriers. The lack of water can dry out the mucous membranes in our lungs and sinus passages, which can reduce their resistance to infections. Keeping well hydrated during winter ensures that the barriers used to protect your body from colds and flu are fully functional and completely intact. To ensure you stay fighting fit during the winter, make sure you keep drinking water regularly and fight back against the viruses.” Angel Springs
Drinking water makes you sleep better, think better, work better, and feel better!
2017: More Good News you might have missed
January 01, 2018
Bad news isn't hard to find.
Hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, terrorist attacks. Bad news fills the front page, and good news is often relegated to the small print. But there is plenty of good news out there! Sometimes you just have to look for it. There are positive stories, hopeful stories, inspiring stories, and they’re all around —in your town, in your neighborhood, and all across the globe.
Just take a look at a few of the stories from 2017 that you might have missed . . .
University of Iowa: Football and Kids
The University of Iowa Children’s Hospital overlooks Kinnick Stadium, where the U. of Iowa Hawkeyes play football, and the university’s football team and its hospital have long supported each other. The Hawkeye’s “Touchdown for Kids” campaign has raised money for the children’s hospital for years, and the football team welcomes a “kid captain” from the hospital to join the team on the field during home games. This fall 2017 inaugurated a new tradition for the Hawkeyes fans. With the beginning of the football season, Hawkeyes fans made sure to let the children and families at the hospital know that they were supporting them as well as the team. After the first quarter of the game, thousands of fans turned toward the hospital and waved to the families watching from the windows of the hospital. CBS Sports
Giant Pandas are making a comeback
The number of giant pandas in the wild has been slowly but steadily increasing in recent years, and the panda has been reclassified as a “vulnerable” rather than an “endangered” species. The giant pandas are still at risk, however, and more conservation efforts will be needed to keep these incredible creatures off the endangered list. NBC News
Two more of the earth’s most magnificent species are making comebacks as well: the snow leopard and the tiger.
Speaking of comebacks, honeybee populations are on the rise
“Just over a decade ago, beekeepers began reporting disturbing declines in honeybee populations. Bees, they said, were leaving the hive and not returning. The phenomenon, now known as colony collapse disorder, is alarming not only because of the central role bees play in plant life around the world—and thus most other life—but also because no one knew why the decline was happening or how to stop it. “ Newsweek
However, new data are encouraging. In August 2017, the US Dept. of Agriculture released a report that said that honeybee populations are on the rise. There are an estimated 2.89 million bee colonies across the US, an increase of 3 percent in the last year.
Food For Fines
Lexington, Kentucky has found a creative and generous way to give back during the holidays. For the past four years, during the holiday season, the Lexington Parking Authority has accepted canned food donations in exchange for parking ticket fines. In its first three years, the city’s “Food for Fines” program collected 24,500 cans of food for the God’s Pantry Food Bank, and hopefully the 2017 collection was their largest yet. Food for Fines —what a great idea! Lexington, KY
Veteran Homelessness down 40% since 2011
Great strides have been made in the effort to fight homelessness in our veteran population. The percentage of homeless veterans is down 40% since 2011, and many communities have “effectively ended” homelessness among their veteran populations. Time
According to Veterans Affairs, three states and 57 communities across the US have announced an end to veteran homelessness. Veterans Affairs
“We know how to end homelessness among Veterans. Since 2014, more than 880 mayors, governors, and other state and local officials have answered the call of the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, pledging to do all they can to ensure their communities succeed. And it’s working.” US Interagency Council on Homelessness
As former HUD secretary Julian Castro said, ““We have an absolute duty to ensure those who’ve worn our nation’s uniform have a place to call home. While we’ve made remarkable progress toward ending veteran homelessness, we still have work to do to make certain we answer the call of our veterans just as they answered the call of our nation.” Good News Network
Ebola vaccine results —100% effective
A vaccine has been developed to effectively combat the deadly Ebola virus, and results have been remarkable. The West African outbreak of Ebola virus disease began in December 2013, infecting nearly 29,000 people and killing about one third of those. It was brought to an end in June 2016 through the hard work of local groups working with international teams of medical staff. Newsweek. Almost a year later, results from an Ebola vaccine, rVSV-ZEBOV, seem to show 100% effectiveness against the virus. In addition, the National Institutes of Health reported in October 2017 that final data from a large clinical trial of this vaccine showed that it had been safe and effective, providing immunity against Ebola for at least one year from initial vaccination.
National Institutes of Health
Looking for more stories like this?
NBC's Today Show has a website called Share Kindness, devoted to stories of people sharing kindness with one another. Check it out!
'tis the season
December 01, 2017
It IS the season. For sharing. For caring. For giving — of your time, your resources, your abilities. For sharing your table with family, friends, neighbors. This holiday season, as we reflect on the gifts we’ve been given, may we be eager to give, and eager to bestow acts of kindness on our loved ones, or even on strangers in need.
Ruth Ebenstein, an American-Israeli writer, relates a story of a Christmas Eve in 1944, a Christmas Eve that her grandmother, uncle, and mother spent in a concentration camp in Austria, on the verge of starvation. Ruth’s mother, who was only three years old, could not even leave the bed because she had no shoes to wear. Late that Christmas Eve night, Ruth’s uncle Gyuri, a young boy of 12 at the time, snuck out of the concentration camp and walked four miles to the nearest town. When he arrived in Deutsch-Wagram, he came upon a house and, knocking at the door, he begged the sleepy woman who answered for some food for his family. She whispered, “Come back tomorrow.” When Gyuri returned on Christmas day, the smiling Austrian lady gave him food, clothing, shoes, and warm woolen socks that she had knitted for his young sister.
When Gyuri returned to the camp, the entire barracks enjoyed the feast provided by the kind woman from Deutsch-Wagram. And when the camp was liberated by the Russians in 1945, Ruth’s mother wore those same shoes and socks to make the 28-mile trek to Bratislava, to freedom.
After relating this story, Ruth adds a thank you to the woman whose unexpected kindness shone a bright light in a dark place:
“Thank you for knitting with your hands the pair of socks that warmed my mom's little feet and skinny legs. Thank you for finding those shoes and clothing and giving them to a stranger. Thank you for sharing your bread during wartime. In the despair of a battered land, cold and snowy, when many hearts were closed and evil reigned and death was more likely than life, especially for Jews, you gave them light. You gave them kindheartedness. You gave them a measure of sustenance that I can only imagine.” USA Today
Martin Klapper, from Longmont, Colorado, relates a story about one holiday season during the Great Depression, when Martin was 10 years old. A few days before Christmas 1935, Martin looked out the window to see his father sitting on the stoop outside with tears in his eyes. When the mailman came up the steps to ask his father what was wrong, his father answered that he had used up his food vouchers and that the rent was past due. “Ike, how much do you need?” the mailman asked. When Martin’s father answered that he needed $33 for rent, the mailman took $50 from his wallet and gave it to Ike. When Ike told him that he wasn’t sure when he’d be able to pay him back, the mailman said it was fine if he wasn’t able to pay him back. Noticing Martin at the window, the mailman said to Ike, “Isaac, things will not be this way forever. If you or your son will remember this day, there will be times in the future when someone needs your help. Help them within your means and tell them what happened this day. This will be my payback. Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah.”
Martin ends his story with this: “As long as he lived, my father helped others when he could, and I’ve done my best to do my part in paying his generosity back.” Reader’s Digest
Glen Gillette, from Las Vegas, Nevada, relates a story about Christmas 1958, his first Christmas as a high-school teacher in Nevada. On December 22, he was headed home to Idaho to spend Christmas with his parents when his radiator hose broke outside Fillmore, Utah. When the car was towed to the Fillmore Chevron station, the owner, Dan Brinkerhoff, discovered that “the engine had become so hot that it had warped the head.” Dan made some calls and found a replacement part in a nearby wrecking yard. After Glen took a bus to the wrecking yard, bought the part, and returned to Fillmore, it was nighttime and the station was closed. However, Dan went right to work, laboring over the car for hours while Glen slept in the backseat. As Glen concludes his story, “Finally, he woke me and announced I was ready to go. When I went to settle up, he would not take a dime for anything he had done. I got to spend the holidays with my parents, and I shall forever remember Dan for the wonderful thing he did for me.” Reader’s Digest