Photo by Aimee Z.That good old neurohormone, oxytocin, is only a tail wag away with a dog in your life. Just gaze into that cute face, and, according to Marta Borgi, a researcher at the Behavioural Neurosciences Unit, Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences in Rome, Italy, you’ve just been zapped by the effect of ‘baby schema’– those physical, infantile traits that appeal to humans, and are shared by both babies and puppies alike.

The human reaction elicits the soft and fuzzy role of caretaker and protector –even if your dog just ate (like my six month-old puppy did the other morning) the nose pads off my Maui Jims. And that’s because dogs are – well – good for us, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Consider a recent study conducted with 60 undergraduates who were both dog and non-dog lovers. For every one of them, the tactile act of canine petting released a relaxation hormone, reducing hypertension significantly.

And for all of you with aging parents, did you know that those with a pooch for a pal are four times less likely to suffer from clinical depression? Or that heart attack survivors with dogs live longer than those who don’t?

you had me at woofFinally, is there any better listener than a dog?

Says Allen Beck, Director, Center of the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, “We did a study that showed 97 percent of people talk to their dogs.” He added: “and the other 3 percent probably lied.”

The Dog Walker by Leslie Schnur – RomCom tale about a snoopy Manhattanite/dog walker, with a lot of chutzpah and a key as well to the gorgeous apartment of a four-legged client and his trusting owner (whom she’s never met – but would- sigh- love to).

Bark If You Love Me: A Woman Meets Dog Story by Louise Bernikow
Both indifferent and allergic to dogs and people; (is anyone really warm and fuzzy in Manhattan?), Louise Bernikow is jogging along the Hudson River in this quirky memoir, when she comes upon a lame and homeless boxer that soon impacts her life in ways she never imagined.

Aimee Zuccarini is an Instructor & Research Specialist at the East Columbia Branch. She facilitates several book discussions and writes the book reviews for The Maryland Women’s Journal.

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Monday, April 20, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 1st & 3rd Mondays; 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

Tuesday, April 21, 2:00 p.m. & 3:45 p.m. EatPlayGrow™ at Central Branch. Explore health and safety concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Well & Wise event. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 p.m. Meet the Authors: Gina A. Oliva and Linda Risser Lytle at Miller BranchTurning the Tide: Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Schoolchildren presents a qualitative study of deaf and hard of hearing (dhh) individuals who spent a sizeable proportion of their K-12 years as the only deaf children in their schools. Authors Oliva and Lytle discuss the challenges their subjects reported about friendship, identity, and support services. These stories demonstrate how dhh students need social as well as academic support to attain an equitable education. Books available for purchase and signing. In partnership with Howard Community College, Howard County Association for the Deaf, Maryland School for the Deaf, and Howard County Poetry & Literature Society. Become a Friend of HCLS at jointhefriends.orgRegister online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. Meet the Author: Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. at Miller Branch. Kay Redfield Jamison is an internationally renowned author and expert on manic-depressive illness and depression, and a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Co-Director of its Mood Disorders Center. She authored The New York Times bestseller, An Unquiet Mind: a Memoir of Moods and Madness. The memoir chronicles her experience with depression and mania, and according to Oliver Sacks, “stands alone in the literature of manic depression for its bravery, brilliance, and beauty.” Her other works include Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide; Exuberance: The Passion for Life; and Nothing Was the Same: a Memoir. In 2013, Jamison’s book, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, was awarded the Lewis Thomas Prize which recognizes scientific works that reach a wider audience outside of the laboratory. Jamison coauthored Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, first published in 1990 and the definitive book on the topic. Dr. Jamison is the recipient of numerous national and international literary and scientific prizes, including the Lewis Thomas Prize and a MacArthur Award. Books available for purchase and signing. In partnership with NAMI, Howard County. Become a Friend of HCLS at jointhefriends.orgRegister online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Friday, April 24, 11:00 a.m. I’m Going to Be A Big Brother or Sister at East ColumbiaPrepare for the arrival of a baby in this class for new siblings. Enjoy stories, activities, and bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal to practice holding your baby. Resources for parents, too. Families; 30 – 45 min. In partnership with Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Well & Wise event. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

Tuesday, April 28, 2:00 p.m. & 3:45 p.m. EatPlayGrow™ at Central Branch. Explore health and safety concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Well & Wise event. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

Tuesday, April 28, 7:00 p.m. Brain Aerobics at Miller Branch. Give your brain a workout. Enhance your memory and have fun at the same time. Join us and keep your brain challenged with puzzles, word games and other smart tasks. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.


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women food desireNot too ago, I was a stress eater. Like many people, I would eat not just because I was hungry, but because it helped me forget things. Sometimes it was more like a zombie would eat than a human would. Other times it was not numbness I sought, but extreme pleasure.

I tried to stop, but it wasn’t until I got Invisalign braces that my eating became more structured and I found myself breaking bad habits and eating for the right reasons. Plus, I found music to be a much better, much healthier pain killer than food and, although I’m still a newbie with it, meditation became an ally.

The one thing, though, I never seriously considered in all of it (maybe because I didn’t want to) is that food would or could ever be a substitute for desire. Even so, I can’t help but find Alexandra Jamieson’s Women, Food and Desire both compelling and helpful. Alexandera Jamieson is a Holistic health counselor and co-star of the award-winning documentary Super Size Me. While some of what she writes can be a bit self-evident (“it’s time to start eating right” and ”women who overeat do so to find some kind of emotional solace” are among the few) there’s also the painfully real, which is not said nearly enough:

The intense pressure we’re under to be perceived as desirable, in an objectified way, has us either starving ourselves so we don’t have to feel how lonely or sexually unfulfilled we may be…When sex becomes too dangerous for us to fully enjoy, food becomes our version of safe sex.

But Jamieson is not just here to trouble us though with reminders of how scary sex can be or how unfair our society is to women. She wants to be our cheerleader as well and she becomes one in a non-irritating, warm and sincere manner. Though needing and eating food often makes us feel unwelcome in our own bodies, food instead “should delight us, ignite us and make us feel good.”

11375928206_90665a2e3e_zIt’s exactly because the author is on our side and not lecturing us or talking down to readers that I like this book so much. It may sometimes repeat things we already know, but in this case we do need to be reminded how dangerous criticism of ourselves and others can be, and that in doing so, we are “failing to see that person at all.” No one, Jamieson says, not even a mother, should (whether with cruel intention or not) shame us because of our bodies.

Jamieson stresses three common reasons why we may sublimate food for other things: off-kilter family relationships (so many of us know all about that), body alienation (whether we eat to lose ourselves in our own bodies or we don’t eat as a way to try and disappear), and sexual pleasure. It’s this focus that strengthens Women, Food and Desire  and makes it heads above other self-help books on women and food.

As if the empathy and sincerity isn’t enough, the writer also include the neuroscience behind cravings, how to break lifelong eating habits, and practical tips for food shopping. There is also advice on getting better rest and seeing exercise as something fun to do rather than an excruciating punishment to atone for some past sin.

Jamieson is popular with both readers and critics because she genuinely wants to help ease people into rethinking and recharging the way they see food and their bodies in a world where so many fashion magazines and TV shows hold up an “ideal” image of how women should eat, be, and look. Isn’t that refreshing?

Angie Engles has been with the Howard County Library System for 17 years, 14 of which were at the Savage Branch. She currently works at the Central Branch primarily in the Fiction and Audio-visual departments. Her interests include music, books, and old movies.

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parkinsons.chartThe shaded area (figure, above) indicates a range of how you might progress with PD. By making the right decisions, you can modify your progression and increase the probability that you remain in the “impaired” region rather than progressing more quickly to either being handicapped or disabled.

Answers and Advice
from a Specialist
Diagnosis with a chronic progressive disease such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be very scary and may come as a shock. Those newly diagnosed wonder what the future holds for them. Questions like: Will I end up in a wheel chair? Answer: Very rarely. Should I make funeral arrangements or get my affairs in order? Answer: People with Parkinson’s usually live a normal life span.

Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressive disease that requires medical treatment, physical therapies and some modification in lifestyle. If you have been diagnosed with PD, there are ways you can increase the likelihood of maintaining your highest level of functional capacity—your ability to perform daily activities physically, socially and psychologically.

An important thing to remember is that evidence shows that people with PD who exercise regularly, maintain a healthy lifestyle and do not take unnecessary risks increase the likelihood of living a full and active life. Your brain controls your body in order to carry out your daily activities. The brain does the math and the messages it sends to your muscles must take into account how tall you are, how much you weigh and how strong you are. It is much easier, mathematically, for the brain to control a body that is in good shape and strong, than one that is debilitated.

First Steps After Diagnosis

  • First and foremost, educate yourself about PD.
  • Be a compliant but savvy patient and choose the right physician.
  • Choose a healthy lifestyle and don’t take inappropriate risks.
  • Learn about new drugs and treatments.

Education
Seeking information about your disease is better than simply wishing you didn’t have PD. Scientific literature demonstrates that people with PD have a higher quality of life when they are informed about their disease (Shimbo et al 2004). You should understand:

  • How your medications work and why you are on them.
  • The role of exercise and how it can help you maintain a high level of function.
  • Where to get information that is specific to your situation. Your neurologist is probably the best source because he or she understands the stage of your disease and the most effective treatment strategies.

Information Sources
Various foundations are a good source of information, including the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, the National Parkinson Foundation and the American Parkinson Disease Association.

Howard County Support Groups:

  • Early Onset/Newly Diagnosed Support Group: Meets first Saturday, monthly, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Bain Center, 5470 Ruth Keeton Way, Columbia. Contact: Deb Bergstrom, 301-712-5381 or dfbergstrom@comcast.net.
  • Howard County/Columbia Group: Meets third Monday, monthly, 7-8:30 p.m. Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center of Maryland, 8180 Lark Brown Rd, #101, Elkridge. Contact Kathleen Dougherty, pdgroup2@yahoo.com.
  • Howard County Carepartner Group: Meets second Tuesday, monthly, 10 a.m. Vantage House, 5400 Vantage Point Rd, Columbia. Contact Lynada Johnson, 410-992-1120.

Local Education Opportunities
Symposia are held throughout the Baltimore-Washington Area by local academic centers (Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Georgetown University) and by the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area.

Stephen Grill, MD, PhD., is a physician with the Parkinson’s & Movement Disorders Center of Maryland.

 

 

 

 

 


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Incorporating physical activity into our daily lives is one of the biggest challenges in today’s world. We all know the importance, but still seem to find getting into a routine difficult. Instead of listening to the media and government recommendations, figure out what works in your schedule! Here are some tips to help you build a lifetime of healthy living:

Editor’s Note: If you want to live healthfully and you want to be active, there is no better way than to start! Get moving! However, always consult your physician before starting a new exercise or diet regimen. We at Well & Wise, want you to get well, stay well, and be wise about how you do it. 

Lisa Martin founded the Girls on the Run program in Howard County in 2009. Lisa is AFAA & NSCA certified, has more than 15 years of personal training experience, and practices a multidimensional wellness approach at her studio, Salvere Health & Fitness. Lisa says that one of the best things about being in the health and fitness industry is watching people accomplish things they never thought possible.

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Monday, April 13, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Savage Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Well & Wise event. 2nd Mondays; 10 am – 12 pm. No registration required.

Monday/Wednesday, April 13-June 3, 9:30-10:30 a.m. $64. Fitness Fun for Seniors for those 60 and older. Exercise to music at your own pace for fitness, flexibility and fun. Class includes stretching and low-impact exercise. Held in the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.

Monday, April 13, 7:00 p.m. Calming Crafts at Miller Branch. Improve your mood through arts and crafts. Research shows that creative activities can boost serotonin levels. Join us as we use artistic expression to improve our moods. All levels of artistic ability welcome. Well & Wise event. Register online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Tuesday, April 14, 2:00 p.m. & 3:45 p.m. EatPlayGrow™ at Central BranchExplore health and safety concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Well & Wise event. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

Thursday, April 16, 7-9 p.m. Free. Maybe Baby: Financial Issues for Expectant, New and Prospective Parents with a Certified Financial Planner™ who will discuss financial issues involved in starting a family. Leave with a plan to help you feel confident about your finances. Held in the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.

Friday, April 17, 6-7 p.m. Free. Advance Directives: Understand what they are, who needs them, how to get them and leave with an advance directives document. Held in the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.

Monday, April 20, 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Blood Pressure Screening at Glenwood Branch. Free, walk-in blood pressure screening and monitoring offered by Howard County General Hospital: a Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. 1st & 3rd Mondays; 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Well & Wise event. No registration required.

Tuesday, April 21, 2:00 p.m. & 3:45 p.m. EatPlayGrow™ at Central Branch. Explore health and safety concepts inspired by children’s literature. Ages 3-5 with adult; 45 min. Multi-week series. Well & Wise event. Limited space; tickets available at Children’s Desk 15 minutes before class.

Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 p.m. Meet the Authors: Gina A. Oliva and Linda Risser Lytle at Miller BranchTurning the Tide: Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Schoolchildren presents a qualitative study of deaf and hard of hearing (dhh) individuals who spent a sizeable proportion of their K-12 years as the only deaf children in their schools. Authors Oliva and Lytle discuss the challenges their subjects reported about friendship, identity, and support services. These stories demonstrate how dhh students need social as well as academic support to attain an equitable education. Books available for purchase and signing. In partnership with Howard Community College, Howard County Association for the Deaf, Maryland School for the Deaf, and Howard County Poetry & Literature Society. Become a Friend of HCLS at jointhefriends.orgRegister online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. Meet the Author: Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. at Miller Branch. Kay Redfield Jamison is an internationally renowned author and expert on manic-depressive illness and depression, and a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Co-Director of its Mood Disorders Center. She authored The New York Times bestseller, An Unquiet Mind: a Memoir of Moods and Madness. The memoir chronicles her experience with depression and mania, and according to Oliver Sacks, “stands alone in the literature of manic depression for its bravery, brilliance, and beauty.” Her other works include Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide; Exuberance: The Passion for Life; and Nothing Was the Same: a Memoir. In 2013, Jamison’s book, Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament, was awarded the Lewis Thomas Prize which recognizes scientific works that reach a wider audience outside of the laboratory. Jamison coauthored Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression, first published in 1990 and the definitive book on the topic. Dr. Jamison is the recipient of numerous national and international literary and scientific prizes, including the Lewis Thomas Prize and a MacArthur Award. Books available for purchase and signing. In partnership with NAMI, Howard County. Become a Friend of HCLS at jointhefriends.orgRegister online or by calling 410.313.1950.

Saturday, April 25, 9 a.m.-Noon. Free. CPR Across Howard County American Heart Association Family & Friends CPR for the adult and child victim. For the community and not a certification course. Held in the Howard County General Hospital Wellness Center.


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meatlessMartha Stewart and all her kitchen minions have come together in this wonderfully simple, easy-to-follow-and-replicate cookbook. Meatless contains over 200 recipes for vegetarians, vegans, and those of us looking to get more “veg” in our diets. In fact, the book is dedicated “To everyone who realizes that a balanced diet relying more heavily on vegetable than on animal can result in a longer and healthier life.” Stewart’s foreword shares a story of her daughter’s pet lamb being slaughtered for dinner and the reading of certain books and viewing of films which together with the encouragement of friends and family brought this book to fruition. Vegetable-based meals are not only the trend, but a legitimate way to eat and live well. This cookbook is, truly, for everyone. The introduction by Editor in Chief of Whole Living, Alanna Slang, provides a legend for the recipes which are Vegan, Gluten-free, & Special Diet. She also goes further to provide an outline of “protein powerhouses” like tempeh, seitan, eggs, and bulgur.

My favorite recipes in this book are unlike any I’ve ever seen or have made for myself before:

1. Portobello & Zucchini Tacos p. 240
Roasted veggies are the best and they are filling. Tacos are easy and the sky is the limit when it comes to “the fixin’s.” This recipe asks that you cut your portobello and zucchini into strips and roast them in the oven with a light drizzle of olive oil and seasonings. These hearty veggies will act as your protein for these tacos. Simple. Simple. SIMPLE! Choose your favorite taco staples like cilantro, tomatoes, cheese, etc. to pull it all together. My favorite thing to add that wasn’t mentioned in this book- grilled avocado! Squirt some fresh lemon and lime and a bit of kosher salt – and you’ve got something really special.

2. Grilled Asparagus & Ricotta Pizzas p. 260
This one is so easy and you get to use your grill! Grill your asparagus until you get those nice browned spots. You can get some fresh pizza dough from the grocery store and prepare it on the grill (or in oven and then, transfer to grill) or use some other flat bread like naan and grill it. Be sure to use olive oil and appropriate temps to get those nice grill marks and cook/heat the dough through. Once your pizza base is done, all you have to do is add some fresh ricotta and your grilled asparagus and cover your grill to let all those flavors come/stick together (2 minutes). Remove from grill and eat your heart out!

3. Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon & Cilantro p. 336
It took a while for me to believe the in the heartiness that cauliflower has, but it really can fill you up! With the right combination of spices and time in the oven, cauliflower can be a tender, substantial meal in itself. This recipe allows for a lot of variation. I would suggest fresh cilantro and lemon juice for finishing this dish. It’s not a lot of work, lightly toss chunks/slices of cauliflower in olive oil and seasoning, roast until tender and finish with my previous suggestions. Delish!

Eating your vegetables can be really pleasurable when you have the right recipes in hand. And with Meatless you’ll find something great on each page.

JP is the HCLS Editor & Blog Coordinator for Well & Wise. She is also a Children’s Instructor & Research Specialist at the Savage Branch & STEM Education Center. She is a storyteller, wannabe triathlete, KPOP-addict, baker of cupcakes, cancer survivor, and liver transplant recipient.

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