The Perfect Evening
How I Proposed to Lisa, My Incredible Valentine
W ith twins on the way in May, my wife, Lisa, and I have our hands full with the endless list of preparations that have to be made. It’s been a lot of fun andmore than a little stressful getting everything ready for the two newest arrivals to our little family. But while we’ve been busy, withValentine’s Day right around the corner, I always take a moment to take stock of everything she and I have built together. She’s the most beautiful, incredible woman I’ve ever met. I’m constantly amazed that she decided to spend her life by my side. When Lisa and I started dating, it didn’t take me long to realize that she was absolutely the woman I wanted tomarry. But though we lived together for a few years before I proposed, it just never seemed like the right time. As with anything in our relationship, I wanted tomake sure it was perfect and that we were in the ideal stage to take this enormous step together. Luckily, she was patient, never pressuring, or demanding for a single second. We went at our own pace. When I finally decided it was the perfect moment to pop the question, I embarked on one of the most extensive researchmissions I’ve ever done inmy life, learningmore about diamonds than I ever wanted to know. Once I had the ring in hand, I booked a weekend getaway for the two of us on the coast of Newport Rhode Island and called in reservations to the most amazing restaurant I could find in the area—again, after a ridiculous amount of research. As anybody who knows me will tell you, I’m the kind
of guy who wants a special moment to go off perfectly, so the entire preparation for the night of the proposal was wildly stressful for me.
But when we arrived at the restaurant, The Spiced Pear at the Chanler Hotel, and saw our table overlooking the sea, my worries began to subside. The viewwas too incredible in the low glow of the ambient lighting to create anything but the ideal evening. After enjoying one of the most delicious meals we’d ever had, there was a lull in our enthusiastic conversation.
“You know, Michael,”Lisa said, smiling lightly.“This is just the perfect evening.”
“Well,”I said, slyly.“I might be able tomake it a little bit more perfect.”I pulled the ring frommy pocket, and got down on one knee.
The rest, as they say, is history. Now, I share a wonderful family— two kids with twomore on the way—with the most phenomenal woman I could ever imagine. Today I can say that not only is she levelheaded, deeply intelligent, and strikingly beautiful, but she is the single greatest mother on the planet. Valentine’s Day wouldn’t mean anything without her constant warmth and love inmy life.
—Dr. Michael Russo
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The Tangled History of Presidents Day
How the Holiday Came to Be On the third Monday in February, the entire nation celebrates Presidents Day … sort of. While the holiday is known colloquially as Presidents Day, its official federal name is still Washington’s Birthday. If that wasn’t confusing enough, different states officially know it as “Presidents Day,”“Lincoln/Washington/Presidents Day,”“Washington-Lincoln Day,” “George Washington Day,” and more. Let’s untangle how all these variant names came about and delve into the fascinating history of the holiday. Washington was born on February 22, 1731. Given his incredible contribution to the founding of the United States, it’s understandable that a national holiday would be established to commemorate his legacy. The holiday was first established in 1879 for employees in Washington, D.C. Six years later, it was expanded to include all federal offices nationwide. And for the next century or so, nothing changed. However, in 1971, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. This bill officially moved holidays that were once celebrated on specific dates, like Memorial Day and Columbus Day, to a particular Monday in a given month. This allowed for three-day weekends and, hopefully, encouraged retail sales with an extra day of shopping. But this, unintentionally, moved Washington’s birthday celebration to a day between his actual birthday and the birthday of another venerated president, Abraham Lincoln. By the late 20th century, Lincoln’s reputation and legacy were as titanic as Washington’s. Because Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, many states found it appropriate to make the day a commemoration of two great presidents rather than just one. By the 1980s, “When I started physical therapy, I had pain inmy neck, shoulders, and lower back. I’ve been coming to therapy consistently for four months and previously for sevenmonths. Now, all of the pain is gone, and I feel great! Thank you to Dr. Michael Russo for his expertise.” Patient Success Story
“Presidents Day” was the more widely acknowledged name, if not the official designation. Why it hasn’t received a uniform federal name is anyone’s guess, but at least when you say “Presidents Day,” everyone knows what you’re talking about. No matter what you call it, the day is a chance to celebrate some of the people who’ve made lasting contributions to our nation’s history. If you look at any presidential ranking, Washington and Lincoln are probably No. 1 and No. 2. It’s fitting, then, that we celebrate their birthdays in tandem.
WHY YOUR HEEL ACHES EVERY MORNING The Skinny on Plantar Fasciitis
training. This is usually the result of a muscle imbalance and tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and hip muscles. However, it can also arise from internal anatomical factors, such as naturally poor patellar tracking, improper foot posture, or weak hip control. Patellofemoral pain is localized in and behind the kneecap, but it can cause swelling and pain that may spread throughout the structure. This pain is usually the worst after climbing hills or stairs, squatting, running, hopping, or sitting for long periods of time.
The human leg is a delicate and incredible instrument, developed and slowly perfected over millions of years of evolution. But complication comes with a price: a heightened risk of injury. Our knees, especially, can succumb to any number of issues. Chief among them is patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. Normally, as you bend your knee, the patella, or kneecap, glides along the femoral groove, a track in our femur cushioned by cartilage. The muscles and ligaments of the leg work to keep
the patella sliding normally along this groove. However, if something is amiss and the patella doesn’t ride normally through the track, it will begin to slide to the side. This forces the patella to rub and grind against the edges of the femur. As the problemworsens, it can irritate the joint, which results in kneecap pain and deterioration of the patellar surface. According to PhysioWorks, approximately 25 percent of the American population experiences aching kneecaps at one time in their lives, but it’s even higher in athletes. Often, pain will begin after a period of overuse, like after ramping up training or performing high-intensity
Patellofemoral pain is complicated and extremely common, and it can easily lead to more serious conditions such as patellar tendinitis or arthritis. Luckily, it’s usually treatable with careful exercise and physical therapy. Treatment often involves the initial mitigation of pain symptoms, followed by exercises that restore range of motion, a battery of stretches, and a muscle-strengthening regimen designed to even out any imbalances. After a fewmonths of treatment, most patients are able to return to playing sports and living pain-free.
Sweet and Zesty
HAVE A LAUGH!
For the Salad: •
For the Dressing: •
3 cups chopped kale leaves 2 cups chopped broccoli florets 2 cups chopped red cabbage
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
• • • • • • •
• • • • • • •
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup matchstick carrots 1 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 tablespoon white miso 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 diced avocado
To make the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl; toss to combine. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Season to taste with salt and pepper or add extra honey for a sweeter taste. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately. Recipe inspired by GimmeSomeOven.com. 3 www.NJIB.org
216 Palmer St. Elizabeth, NJ 07202
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INSIDE This Issue
A Proposal Overlooking the Sea
Presidents Day or Washington’s Birthday?
Patient Success Story
Why Does My Heel Hurt Every Morning?
Whip Up This Winter Salad in a Flash!
3 Holistic Remedies Hiding in Your Kitchen
Spice in Your Life? Need a Little
Spices and herbs add much more than flavor and aroma to your favorite beverages and treats. They also offer many health benefits. When properly utilized, these spice rack staples can ease a variety of symptoms. Ready to find your new holistic health kick? Read on. Nutmeg This spice, known for its earthy, nutty flavor, has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Want to calm nagging pain? This spice has been used to treat joint pain and arthritis. It can even be used to remedy bad breath. Nutmeg is most potent when it’s freshly grated, so it’s recommended you purchase whole nutmeg seed, found in most specialty food stores. You can incorporate nutmeg into your diet by taking it as a supplement in capsule form or simply sprinkling it into your next chai tea. Your achy joints will thank you. Ginger This root is an essential natural anti-inflammatory. It can help ease an upset stomach and finally tame your nausea. You
can safely eat it raw, candied, as a supplement, in tea, or in baked goods. Ginger is most effective when it’s ingested raw or in capsule form. If you have morning sickness, raw ginger might do the trick. Just ask the people of ancient China. Like many spices, ginger’s use as a supplement goes back centuries. Southeast Asian countries used it to ease their own common ailments. Call it tried and true. Peppermint You can use peppermint as an essential oil, steep the leaves for tea, or take a supplement capsule. Each form comes with its own benefits. As an essential oil, peppermint is great for treating colds. It’s a mild decongestant, and it helps with coughs and stuffed-up noses. It also soothes sore throats and headaches. Rub one or two drops under your nose, on your temples, or over your sinuses and feel the relief wash over you! Even further, a study published by The BMJ found that when administered as a capsule, peppermint helped reduce the symptoms of IBS in a majority of patients.
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