Archive for July, 2013

The Best Affordable Juicers of 2013

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Juicing seems to be the newest trend in health and fitness, and it’s a great way to add some of the nutrients we miss by skipping our fruits and vegetables as long as we monitor a balanced diet to go along with it. Truthfully, there are both pros and cons to the practice. On one hand, juicing saves money on nearly expired fruits and veggies, which fitday.com says we lose the most money on when it comes to grocery expenses. On the other, important nutrients, like fiber and protein are lost in the juicing process by getting rid of the pulp instead of eating just the raw food as is. An all juice diet will quickly drop weight, but it will also slow your metabolism, which means once you start on solids again your body is more likely to store them as fat. Balancing juicing with the fiber and protein our bodies need, allows you to get the benefits without getting hurt.

Another downfall is that it’s expensive. The Breville Juice Fountain Elite costs on the upside of $300, and even though it’s “the Rolls Royce of Juicers,” if you’re not running a health club, for the average person a price tag like that is insane. ¬†But we are going to fix that problem right now, with some quality affordable juicers for the everyman wanting to add the benefits of juicing without losing their shirt (and pants, and 3 weeks worth of groceries).

1. The Breville Juice Fountain Compact $99.95

*Ranks on Amazon as one of the top-selling juicers on the market today.

*Wide enough chute to take whole fruit without having to spend time chopping prior to juicing.

*Stainless steel, no staining from darker foods.

*Easy assembly, easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick and quiet juicing.

*Detachable juice pitcher for easy storage.

*Staying within the same quality brand as the top dogs, but cutting the price by 1/3 is not a bad deal.

2. Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor 67650 $59.85

*Inexpensive for a quality juicer.

*Wide chute that fits whole foods.

*Stainless steel.

*Easy assembly, easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick and quiet

*Large pulp container, so you can juice longer before cleaning it out.

*Detachable juice pitcher.

3. Jack LaLanne PJP Stainless Steel Electric Juicer $120.00

*Stainless steel.

*Easy to clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quiet, but needs some foods chopped before juicing.

*Pay attention to the filter and keep it clean to avoid jamming or backing up.

4. Oster 3167 450 watt 34oz Juicer $65.26

 

*Wide chute that fits whole food.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Detachable juice pitcher.

*Large pulp container.

*Quick and semi-quiet.

*Plastic body (easier to stain) and stainless steel filter.

*Locking arm for safe juicing.

5. Black & Decker JE2200 $34.92

*Stainless steel.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quiet but not quick, since time is spent chopping food before juicing.

*Internal pulp collector for less mess.

*Needs a gentle touch to maintain proper function.

6. Jack LaLanne PJEW Power Juicer Express $90.98

*Wide chute can take whole food.

*Quick and quiet.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe, no-drip spout.

*Plastic with stainless steel blade.

*Needs a gentle touch, forcing fruits or veggies will cause it to jam.

7. Waring JEX 328 Heath Juice Extractor $49.99


*Stainless steel.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick but as it is centrifugal, it is not at all quiet.

*Stable on counter-top, but juice cup is not during juicing, and may fall if not monitored.

 

Every single one of these options are inexpensive, quality choices. Think about what you are going to use it for before deciding on one. How often will you be juicing, and for how many people? What will you be juicing? Items such as sweet potatoes are extremely pulpy when juiced, so you may want to consider an option that has a large pulp capacity and doesn’t have a easily clogged filter. If you are juicing apples, you’ll want a wide chute so you don’t have to spend time chopping beforehand. But whichever you go with, it will pleasantly surprise you that you can get so much for so little from these lower cost appliances.

America’s Obesity Problem Today and Tomorrow

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Obesity has long been a problem in the US, but in 1998 the numbers jumped dramatically and have been rising ever since. It’s hard to look back and see us as all so different less than 20 years ago. Where did these crazy numbers come from?

To make you feel slightly better, it’s important to realize that in 1998 the government redefined what it meant to be obese by lowering the standard BMI (body mass index). Now the requirement for obesity is a BMI over 30, while 27 and 28 used to be acceptable for men and women respectively. With that change, 29 million people went from being average to overweight. Not the greatest feeling for those people, but scientific advances in nutrition have guided and changed definitions before. Remember when eggs were bad and Jamba Juice was a healthy meal? So despite the definition of overweight becoming more inclusive, the bulk of the obesity numbers fall upon our daily choices.

According to the 2012 Gallup-Healthway Study, the following States have the highest percentages of obesity today:

  1. West Virginia: 33.5%
  2. Mississippi: 32.2%
  3. Arkansas: 31.4%
  4. Louisiana: 30.9%
  5. Alabama: 30.4%

It almost seems like the South is holding up back. But before you pass judgement on the statewide statistics, take a look at these:

Top 5 Obese Metro Areas

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 38.8%
  2. Birmingham, New York: 37.6%
  3. Huntington-Ashland, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio: 36%
  4. Rockford, Illinois: 35.5%
  5. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas: 33.8%

Check out this map for a more comprehensive look at 2012.

Obesity in america

In a study by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a estimation of obesity’s growth by 2030 was established.

Projected Obesity Statistics by 2030

Fattest States in America

Why is this happening?

Well, other than the reduction of BMI acceptable levels, and a possible change of that standard in the future from 30 to 25, our current lifestyles really aren’t helping. Of course there are genetic factors that some struggle with more with than others, but in all honesty, there are some key factors that separate us from nations that don’t have the epidemic type problem that we do with weight.

Junk. According to LiveScience.com, junk food has risen to meet the same reward centered reaction we expect from sex, alcohol or drugs. Seeing easy, grease caked, quick food as a motivator or positive reward in any way, creates a pathway to addictive issues. Temptation is a strong pull, and it has become ingrained in our thought process that this type of food is a satiating experience.

Environment. The environment you put yourself in has a huge impact on your metabolic health. If you live with someone who doesn’t care, it’s more likely harder for you to keep up a personal health crusade. It becomes more exhausting and stressful when you have to battle yourself over the microwave burrito you would have never brought home in the first place. If your friends or family have obesity problems, or just poor diet and exercise habits, your standards slowly drop to an unhealthy level.

Technology. Technology is not a bad thing, it’s actually pretty awesome, it’s what we chose to do with it in our lives that becomes harmful. Sedentary lifestyles can easily be fallen into, considering the access we have to so much information while sitting at our computers or in front of the TV. Communicating with family and friends, no longer requires leaving the house or even standing, if you can teach the dog to get beer from the fridge for you. Cars, busses, any type of transport really, are lifesavers some days, but on others, getting outside and walking 6 blocks to the store isn’t something that should be a hassle.

Respect. Respecting ourselves and our bodies seems to be something often put on the bottom of the priority list. At the expense of ourselves, we will skip meals, chose the quick but mediocre solution, and stress about anything and everything in our path. We not only lack respect for ourselves, but for the food we consume and the culture we cultivate. We skip breakfast and rush through lunch to get to a meeting or finish our work load. Taking a bit of time to both mentally rest and indulge  in the ritual of enjoying a well prepared meal, can actually improve your efficiency, stress level and metabolism. Studies show that family dinners actually reduce obesity risks.

We live in a scheduled world where minor changes to our lives are disruptive, and can become more difficult and stressful than they initially sound. Stopping for lunch sounds simple, but what about the work that must get done today? Changing your environment, especially when it comes to living situations and friends, is near impossible without incredible will power. Changing how our minds have been conditioned towards junk food and sugars is a huge task. Look at the statistics again, and think of the future health of yourself and those around you. No one ever said it’s going to be easy, but it is more than evidently necessary to not put changing off any longer.

Get your health and weight under control with one of our Weight Loss and Fitness Programs in Chicago.

Torn Ligament Sidelines Boston Red Sox player; Andrew Miller

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Boston Red Sox reliever, Andrew Miller, has been placed on the disabled list due to a ligamentous injury (believed to be the LisFranc’s Ligament) that required season ending surgery.
The purpose of this blog is to discuss LisFranc’s injuries, not this specific player.¬† The LisFranc’s Joint involves the articulation between the metatarsal bones and tarsal bones.¬† The LisFranc’s
ligament, which this player may have injured, joins two bones (the first cuneiform and second metatarsal bone) and is a very strong and important ligament for stabilizing the foot.
The metatarsal bones may also be fractured or broken and displaced (shifted) with this type of injury.

This injury can be caused by a variety of conditions:  falls, something dropping on this portion of the foot or crushing it, or situations where the foot is plantarflexed aggressively (pointed downward).  Athletes
are suffering from this injury more frequently in recent years, maybe due to better diagnosis and testing, or possibly, due to greater intensity with certain sports.  The patient will suffer from pain, swelling, and difficulty standing
or walking on the foot.

Conventional x-rays, along with MRI or CT studies, are needed to adequately diagnose this condition.  Depending on the severity, casting or surgery may be needed to treat the injury, and physical therapy is
often needed.

If you have a foot injury, please contact Dr. Bender at Advanced Physical Medicine for an evaluation.  Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist and has been in practice since 2001.  Dr. Bender was a figure skater for 19 years, so
she understands how injuries can impact an athlete’s life.¬† Call 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) or 773-776-3166 (63rd St./Chicago).

Electric Medicine

Monday, July 15th, 2013

With Nicola Tesla’s 157th birthday just passing, we find ourselves celebrating science, progress and electricity in his name. Around the time of its discovery and harnessing, electricity swept through the community as a great new innovation, and to some of the medical community, a cure-all remedy had surfaced.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the advent of electricity and the Industrial Revolution changed the face of medicine as people knew it. Many physicians and inventors began utilizing electricity in their treatment of all sorts of ailments. Looking back, we are grateful for the advances in medicine made in this time period, but it’s also fun to remember the epic failures and quack medical devices that had their fifteen minutes of fame before turning into doorstops or gathering dust in antique stores.

Dr. Scott’s Electric Corset

... electric elegance!

According to Dr. Scott, “…there is hardly a disease which Electricity and Magnetism will not benefit or cure,” and that is exactly the claim made with the sale of these $3 Electric Corsets produced and sold in 1883. Not only does it promise to ward off disease with a flow of electric current through the body, it also keeps the wobbly bits in! Who could ask for more?

Dr. John Butler’s Electro-Massage Machine

Electro Massage Treatment

The fifth medical device to be modified for use in the home, The Electro-Massage Machine was invented to save doctor’s time when it came to treating the defunct condition of hysteria in women. Hysteria, caused by sexually pent up energy, was treated with manual stimulation. But with the progression of electricity, hysteria was able to be cured at home with a miracle vibrating device. Hysteria fell off the medical charts around 1952, but the technology is still going strong.

Vacuum Stimulated Hair Regrowth

Old Electric Technology

New vacuum technology wasn’t just for cleaning floors anymore, it was thought that stimulating the scalp with alternating air pressure and vacuum suction would stimulate blood vessels and eventually cure baldness.

 

Electric Bath

Electric bathThe electric bath was literally just that. Physicians used water in the bath to conduct a flow of electricity as a treatment for just about anything you can imagine. I wonder if this is why they tell us not to swim in a lightening storm.

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet (UV Generator)

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet provided a very popular treatment of the day. Violet Rays (UV rays) were thought to have healing powers, and applying them to whatever body part needed assistance, with a conductive glass device attached to a violet ray machine, would cure anything from baldness and skin diseases to gynecological problems.

The Owen Electric Belt

Owen Electric Belt

Electrical belts were usually advertised by a variety of robust and muscle laden men, who owed all of their success to a belt that provided them with a consistent electric shock. It was meant to cure weakness both inside and out, including kidney problems, lethargy, back pain, erectile disfunction and much much more.

There are so many more strange and questionable devices and treatments from way back when, there are even entire museums dedicated to some of the unbelievable things a person will go through when promised life changing results. It’s the placebo effect in full swing, and if you think we’ve evolved beyond such gullibility, think again. Take a look at the infomercials and fad health solutions all around you today. Do you remember the electric fitness belt that promised a 6-pack from just wearing the thing? Or how about the wrinkle creams that make you look 2o years younger in just 15 minutes? Being wary of anything that seems too good to be true may be called skepticism, but if it saves you from foolish choices, what’s wrong with that?

The Back of My Ankle Hurts!

Friday, July 12th, 2013

There are many causes of ankle pain, but the purpose of this blog is to discuss Achilles tendon injuries.  The Achilles tendon is the structure that extends along the back of the leg from the knee to the back of the heel bone (calcaneus).  This is a very important structure and plays a vital role in the up and down movement of the ankle joint.  For example, it is critical for moving the brake and acceleration pedals when we drive.

As we are more active in the summer, injuries to the Achilles Tendon are more common.  Overuse injuries from hiking, running, or walking, can cause pain in the back of the heel or ankle, but also sudden or vigorous actions from basketball or other sports, can cause inflammation of the tendon. There may be inflammation of the tendon, also known as tendonitis, with pain and swelling, and this type of condition typically responds well to ice, rest, strapping, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, immobilization, and orthotic devices.     More chronic and also painful injuries to the tendon are called tendonosis and often do not include the acute inflammation.  Finally, the tendon may have a tear in it, which can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty with motion.  Tears can range from small microtears to large ruptures and are due to repetitive motion, poor biomechanics, or sudden injuries (falls, bad landings after jumping, twisting the ankle, and other causes).  Tears in the tendon require immobilization or surgery depending on the severity.

Conventional x-rays are taken for all of these injuries but only show bone injuries.  The Achilles tendon can only be adequately visualized with diagnostic ultrasound or MRI.

How can I protect my Achilles tendon?  Wall stretches with the knee bent and extended, supportive shoegear, and custom molded orthotic devices are great ways to protect the tendon.

If you think that you have injured your Achilles tendon or need a foot check up, contact Dr. Bender at Advanced Physical Medicine.  She practices at the Oak Park and Chicago/63rd locations.  Dr. Bender has been in practice since 2001 and treats all conditions of the foot and ankle.  708-763-0580 Oak Park and 773-776-3166 Chicago.

Summer Swimming Safety Tips

Monday, July 8th, 2013

It’s summer, and it’s time to hit the cool water to stave off that hot sun. Whether it’s floating, boating, or just taking a dip with friends and family, swimming safety should always be a concern.

According to the National Safety Council, 600 people annually drown in pools, over half of which are residential. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) adds that 75% of the people injured in pools are under the age of 19 and 2/3 of them are male.

Why are these statistics so high? There are quite a few factors that contribute to the injury or drowning of so many. The environment plays a big part in safety. Often a pool is not well guarded, or a gate is left open that can lead to a really unfortunate disaster. Other problems can involve a lack or awareness or education about pool safety and swimming in general. Here’s what you can do.

Community Pools

  • Check for life saving equipment in the pool area.
  • Is there a lifeguard on duty at the pool?
  • Pay attention to the water safety rules posted.
  • Do not leave a child unattended or out of reach.

Residential Pools

  • Install a 4ft or taller fence around the pool/spa area with a door alarm on the self closing, self latching gate.
    • Make sure there is nothing near or on the fence, like bushes or non-vertical bars, that will enable someone to climb over.
    • There are also surface wave and underwater alarms available to be installed for increased safety.
  • Check that you have compliant drain covers. Drain entrapment is a hazard when it comes to endangering a life.
  • Mark water depth to keep everyone aware of where they can and cannot dive or swim if uncomfortable.
  • Keep toys away from the pool area when it’s not in use, to discourage children from returning to the area unsupervised.
  • Use nonslip materials around the pool area, and establish and enforce rules regarding behavior in and around the pool.
  • Simple PleasuresKeep up with pool maintenance.
    • Maintain pool and spa covers.
    • Pay attention to chemical levels in the water to avoid infections and/or rashes.

General Preventative Measures

  • Teach yourself and your children to swim, the sooner the better.
    • The Red Cross and most local gyms and pools offer classes for all ages.
  • Understand the basics of life saving so you can assist if need be.
    • CPR courses are encouraged, and can be incredibly helpful in a scary situation.
  • Pay attention to the environment.
    • Where are the people you came with? Can you reach them if need be?
  • Have a pool safety kit.
    • Include a first aid kit, scissors incase someone needs to be cut free of something, charged portable phone, and floatation devices.
  • If out by the lake/ ocean or on a boat, wear a life vest.
  • Stay hydrated and protect your skin.
  • No one should swim alone, no matter how experienced or independent. Having a friend present could save your life.
  • If someone is missing, check the water first.

The best thing you can do, is make sure both you and your party know how to handle being in the water. Knowing how to swim is the number one preventative measure against injury and drowning. A CDC study in 1994 concluded that 30-50% of Americans cannot swim, placing themselves in easily preventable danger. If something does happen, be prepared and, when you can, report hazards and pool related injuries to the CPSC by calling 800.638.2772 to make sure it doesn’t happen again to someone else.

For more safety and health tips for the summer, check out our blog at Advanced Physical Medicine.