FROM THE DESK OF Tom Thoman THE SLIMSCIENCE BEHIND FASTINGDIETS I nvestigating the H ealth T rend T hat ’ s A ll the R age Foothills PT News FoothillsPTMaine.com • 207-625-4300
After 12 years of tireless dedication, we are announcing the retirement of our front office manager, Victoria Sasserson. The inner workings of a busy office are often not apparent. Victoria’s ability to handle many issues at the same time, while still maintaining a high level of courtesy and efficiency, is a rare and much appreciated trait. This was especially evident when I would waltz into the office requesting several items be addressed all at once. The usual responses I would get were “we are already working on that” or “yes, that was done two weeks ago.” At which point, I would sheepishly remove myself from the office. Victoria’s level of personal accountability in her position accompanied her great energy and willingness to assist our clients and her co- workers whenever needed. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to you, Victoria, for the hard work and superb performance you have given over the past 12 years. You have been instrumental in helping us achieve success and a reputation for excellent care and service. After Victoria’s retirement, you’ll continue to see Carla as a familiar face. Please also extend a warm welcome to our newest member of the office team, Jennifer!
If each new year brings with it a new diet plan that promises the world to those who follow it, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of fasting. If you’ve missed the hype, fasting is quite a bit simpler than other nutrition trends like the keto diet or Weight Watchers program. Instead of counting calories or limiting sugars, you just don’t eat. Supporters argue that by putting your body into a “fasting state,” you can shed pounds and damaged internal tissue, increase your energy, promote cellular repair, lower bad cholesterol, and even protect against neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Chances are you have a friend or loved one who’s tried out some form of fasting and discovered dramatic benefits. But before everyone starts skipping meals, it’s important to examine the research. Writer Julia Belluz at Vox splits the fasting trend into four categories. The first, “intermittent fasting,” cuts out or drastically limits your calorie intake intermittently. For example, thousands of people follow the popular “5:2 diet,” during which you eat normally on weekdays but consume less than 500 calories on Saturday and Sunday. Second is the “time-restricted feeding,”where you only eat during a four- to six-hour window each day — followers usually skip breakfast or dinner. The third category is “periodic fasts.”With this diet, extreme fasters abstain from food for several days, opting for calorie-free fluids instead. Finally, there is the “fasting mimicking diet,”which involves intaking highly limited, plant- based calories for several days each month. People who use this technique like it because they believe they get the benefits of fasting without missing out on key nutrients. The underlying philosophy behind fasting for weight loss is pretty self-evident — if you don’t eat for periods at a time, you’re bound to burn off some weight. But proponents say the diet’s success can be attributed to more complex factors as well. They argue that as the
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sizes, and there is not enough data to be conclusive.
human race shifted from hunter-gatherers to world-conquering agriculturalists, we left our evolutionary path. Before crops existed, we weren’t wired to eat three square meals every single day. Instead, we made do with what we could find, often fasting for days at a time out of necessity. regarding disease prevention and longevity. Autophagy, the process by which the body eliminates and replaces damaged cells, is believed to accelerate during intermittent fasting. As the thinking goes, the faulty cells die first during fasting, enabling the stem cells to start regenerating key tissues. The science backs up some of these claims, but there are a few issues regarding fasting research. Most of the research behind fasting doesn’t examine its effect on weight loss, and most of it comes from animal trials, not human trials. Though there are a few human trials on fasting that show it can improve health, they have very small sample In addition, some researchers who advocate fasting point to the benefits it can offer
It’s worth noting that fasting to lose weight can be an extremely difficult strategy to stick to, and according to one literature review, as many as 40 percent of fasters drop out of the diet. Furthermore, at least one study indicates that fasting is not superior to the average calorie-counting diets. In short, fasting is promising, but the data is inconclusive. It may help you live longer and fight off disease, but it is also notoriously tricky. The average dieter is just as well off with regular calorie counting, especially if you’re not looking to get too intense with your diet plan. Before you start skipping dinner every day, visit your doctor. If they say fasting is right for you, go for it. Just because the jury is still out doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of the trend — just go into it with a healthy attitude, be safe, and understand that fasting is not magic.
An Inside Job The Curious Case of the Disappearing Flags
Apparently, the wooden flagpoles attract groundhogs, something other groundskeepers have experienced as well. “I’m glad we don’t have someone who has taken it upon themselves to desecrate the stones and the flags in front of them,” said Hudson mayor Bill Hallenbeck. “We can all rest a little easier knowing that it was a critter and not a human defacing our flags, especially those of the veterans,” added Hudson’s police commissioner.
Like the year before, flags were placed on veterans’ graves in honor of Independence Day, and again, they went missing sometime in the night, this time taken from the graves of African American Civil War soldiers. Cemetery caretaker and veteran Vincent Wallace was appalled, as was the rest of his community. “I just can’t comprehend the mindset that would allow someone to do this,”Wallace said. Determined to find out who was to blame, police put up surveillance cameras and recorded the goings-on in the cemetery. As they watched the tapes, sure enough, they saw one of the culprits sitting atop a gravestone with an empty flagpole in front of him. It was a groundhog.
Theft is a serious matter, made even more grave when the victims are fallen war heroes. Such was the situation that stumped police in Hudson, New York, in 2012. The crime was first committed in July of the previous year. Flags had been placed around the graves of soldiers in Cedar Park Cemetery — only to go missing right around Independence Day. Veterans groups and locals were outraged and mystified by the crime. Some worried that a hate group was to blame, as the missing flags had adorned the graves of Jewish soldiers. Veterans worked to replace the flags, one by one, and right the wrong. No culprit was found, and the community moved on — until the following July, when the mystery repeated itself.
Turns out Punxsutawney Phil has some very naughty cousins — ones who aren’t subject to the law.
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Go Natural with Your Antibiotics 2 Ways to Fight Bacteria
If you get a cut, applying raw honey to the wound can keep out harmful, infection- causing bacteria while killing any existing bacteria. Not only does the honey help prevent infection but it can also help reduce healing time. Raw honey can also help alleviate internal infections, such as peptic ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori . Manuka honey is particularly great for this — just add some to hot tea or water and drink!
Our world is becoming increasingly antibacterial with practically every office, medical facility, and school being equipped with dozens of containers of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. While these products claim to be 99.9 percent effective at killing bacteria, the harsh chemicals dry out our skin, and over time, bacteria become more and more resistant to these agents. Doctors, too, are blamed for overprescribing antibiotics. As a result, we’re hearing more and more about “superbugs”— strains of harmful bacteria that cause severe illness and are not easily remedied by antibiotics. But you can still protect yourself and your family against illness-causing bacteria without resorting to harsh chemicals and medications. The answer is to go all-natural! Here are two options that are completely natural yet totally effective against the microorganisms that make us sick. RAW HONEY Most honey you find at the store has been pasteurized and filtered, rendering it far less effective when it comes to its antibacterial properties. On the other hand, raw, unfiltered honey is an incredible antiseptic. Even better than your average raw honey is manuka honey, which comes from New Zealand. Its antibacterial properties are potent enough that hospitals around the world keep it on hand to treat certain kinds of infections and burns.
OREGANO A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences took a look at the effectiveness of oregano against bacteria. It turns out certain compounds in oregano — carvacrol and thymol — make it a strong antibacterial and antifungal agent. The study found that oregano was effective against salmonella as well as other harmful microorganisms and fungi that make people sick. As an antibacterial, oregano is most useful as an essential oil. In this form, it’s highly potent, meaning you only need a drop or two in a glass of water for it to have an effect. You can drink it, or you can infuse a couple of drops into some coconut oil and apply to your skin. However, be warned that because it is potent, it should not be used on a regular, ongoing basis. Use only when needed and only for a few days at a time — and never use it undiluted!
Take a Break!
BEET, MINT, AND RICOTTA HUMMUS
1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed 1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1/3 cup tahini, well-mixed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
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1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish
1 garlic clove, grated
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. 3. While beet is roasting, blend
4. Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. 5. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve.
MARCH MADNESS RAINBOW
IDES OF MARCH IRISH LEPRECHAUN LUCKY
BASKETBALL BRACKET FINAL FOUR GOLD
chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth.
SHAMROCK ST PATRICK
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE From the Desk of Tom PAGE 1 The Skinny on Fasting Diets PAGE 1 The Curious Case of the Disappearing Flags PAGE 2 2 Effective Natural Antibiotics PAGE 3 Take a Break PAGE 3 Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus PAGE 3 3 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day PAGE 4
3WAYS TO HONOR INTERNATIONALWOMEN’S DAY
for your company to take a step forward in fostering gender equality.
live our lives. Whether you’re inspired by famous historical figures or the women in your own life, take the time to talk about that influence. Which women helped get you where you are today? What female leaders do you look up to?What are some lessons you’ve learned from them?
On March 8, people around the world will honor International Women’s Day. Adopted by the United Nations in 1975, the holiday is meant to highlight the immeasurable accomplishments of women throughout history and draw attention to the ongoing struggle for global gender equality. International Women’s Day is celebrated differently around the world. Some nations, like Nepal, give all their citizens the day off. Most countries, however, including the United States, treat it as a normal day, at least officially. Even though we don’t have the day off, there are many ways for everyone to honor International Women’s Day this year. Here are a few of them.
Regardless of your gender, March 8 is the perfect time to tune in to the larger conversation surrounding gender inequality, if you haven’t already. This couldmean attendingmeetings or demonstrations in your town, reading works that capture the female struggle for equality, such as Roxane Gay’s“DifficultWomen,”or seeking out blogs and social media accounts fromgender equality activists online. International Women’s Day is about appreciating the contributions of women to society and envisioning a more equal world for the future. However, you decide to celebrate women this March, keep inmind that nomatter who you are or where you come from, we all have the power to change our world for the better.
MAKE ROOM FOR CONVERSATION INTHEWORKPLACE
Many of the challenges women face globally happen in the workplace. If you think your company has room for improvement in its treatment of women, now is a great time to do something about it. Even if you believe your company treats women andmen equally, there’s no harm in empowering your colleagues to talk to give their opinions. If you’re an employer, this couldmean giving women in your workplace an avenue to discuss issues, air grievances, andmake suggestions. If you’re an employee, consider asking for such a forum. In either case, providing both public and anonymous avenues for women to express themselves is a great way
TALK ABOUT THEWOMEN WHO INSPIRE YOU
Frommajor innovators, like Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, to megalithic literary icons, like Maya Angelou, women throughout history have shaped howwe
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