What happens to children when mom or dad goes to prison?

Collateral DamageCollateral Damage

Children whose parents have been imprisoned may suffer emotional, social ,economic and poor outcomes in school. These are all recipes for diminishing the potential of our children for their lifetime.  Please take the time to attend this community conversation and find out what you can do to help children in need.

Our children need our help!

Let’s Resurrect the Family Meal

Let’s Resurrect the Family Meal

By Medina County Health Department Registered Dietitian

Family MealMany of us remember the days when our parents sent us out of the house to play and didn’t expect us back until the next meal. “Dinner at 6:00 and don’t be late!” Families of today tend to look very different than those of the past. After-school activities, late work days, long commutes – it’s no wonder few families eat dinner together.

Family meals are much more than just having something to eat; they are an opportunity to teach, enjoy, and bond with each other.

Sharing a meal is one way to build family unity. It gives children a sense of belonging and helps them feel safe and secure in a busy, and often confusing, world. Family meals offer the chance to teach social skills, manners, and even basic cooking skills that will last a lifetime.  Evidence indicates that children have better report cards and teens are less likely to become depressed, abuse drugs and alcohol, smoke, develop eating disorders and get pregnant when they participate in regular family meals.

Family meals offer an opportunity to model healthy eating habits and reduce a child’s risk for obesity. Children who have more family meals eat more fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and milk. They also eat less fried foods and drink less soda.

The family meal doesn’t have to be fancy, complicated or at the same time every day. The importance is to find a time to come together with the people you care about to eat, laugh, discuss and share. Turn off the television, silence the cell phones; connect with your family.

Tips to make your family meal a success:

  • Involve your children in meal planning and preparation. It teaches them valuable life skills and increases the chance that they will eat the meal.
  • Choose a meal that fits into your schedule. Family mealtimes do not have to be a dinner.
  • Start small. Choose one or two times a week to set aside for a family meal. Build up as your schedule allows.
  • When cooking a meal, double up and freeze half for another busy day.
  • Parents should decide what time the meal is served and what food choices will be available. Children decide which foods they eat and how much. Make the meal stress free.
  • Keep the conversation light. Avoid conflict and discipline during meal times.
  • Keep your meals distraction free. Turn off the television, silence the cell phones and put other electronic devices away.

The Medina County Health Department offers many programs and services that can help you plan and learn more about healthy eating. For more information, log onto www.medinahealth.org or contact us at 330-723-9688 or toll-free at 1-888-723-9688.

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Fallacies of Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency


Spider veins and varicose veins are caused by dysfunctional valves within the vein. Spider veins appear as a nest of veins just below the surface of the skin. They typically do not bulge above the surface. Varicose veins, however, are a sign of more significant venous disease and should be diagnosed and treated by a physician.


Regularly spending a large part of a work day on your feet puts you at higher risk for developing varicose veins. In an attempt to reduce the strain standing causes, individuals with careers that require prolonged standing should make a point to walk regularly and perform isolated calf exercises by contracting and relaxing the calf muscles to assist the veins in “pumping” blood through the leg veins.


Varicose veins were previously thought of as a cosmetic condition. However, contemporary understanding of the actual disease process indicates varicose veins can ultimately progress to a more serious condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). If left untreated, CVI is a progressively deteriorating disease that can result in increasingly serious signs and symptoms. Leg pain, swelling, restlessness, skin damage and ulcers are all potential symptoms of untreated venous insufficiency. As a treatable condition, varicose veins should be evaluated by a physician and various minimally-invasive treatments can be explored before the varicose veins progress.


Being overweight is directly associated with the formation of varicose veins. Added pressure on the legs and ankles causes the veins to bulge and the resulting valve stress can lead to failure and CVI. Maintaining a healthy weight through healthy eating and regular exercise is recommended. By exercising and strengthening the calf muscles, improved venous flow by calf muscle augmentation is achieved.


Men and women are both at risk to develop varicose veins and CVI. More than 40% of men develop venous disease before the age of 60. Unfortunately, the majority of men do not seek treatment until the condition worsens. While this is still able to be treated, early recognition and timely treatment are the best way to treat varicose veins and CVI.


Women older than 50 are most likely to develop venous disease. However, men and women of all ages can develop varicose veins and experience venous insufficiency. If you have a family member with varicose veins or CVI, you are more likely to develop varicose veins in your lifetime. Therefore, genetics and age play a significant role in the development of varicose veins.

Call 800.342.8918 to schedule a FREE consultation at one of Circulatory Center’s eight Ohio locations today!

This article was provided by Circulatory Centers. They have specialized in the treatment of vein issues and vein disease for over 30 years. Their board-certified doctors and vascular surgeons are experts in diagnosing and treating circulatory issues caused by veins dysfunction. With over 28 offices in six states, Circulatory Centers are the vein treatment provider doctors recommend most. For more information, visit www.VeinHealth.com or 1-800-342-8918.

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Is Chicken Soup the Ultimate Cold Medicine?

Chicken & Rice Soup

Chicken & Rice Soup

Is chicken soup the ultimate cold medicine?

Since the beginning of winter not a day has gone by without hearing someone has a cold including my loved ones.  Sneezing, sniffles and coughing are the norm this winter.  I have searched for the perfect cold remedy and  I believe it is chicken soup at least that is what I remember my Nana saying.

There are many treatments for the common cold. Perhaps no solution is more utilized than a hot bowl of chicken soup. People have chased away chills and sniffles with rich broth and savory vegetables for centuries. But is chicken soup really the miracle medicine upon which so many rely?  Chicken soup has long been touted for its ability to treat a cold. As far back as the 12th century, Jewish philosopher and physician Maimonides recommended it for colds. Although it would seem that chicken soupbeing good for colds is simply an old wives’ tale, there is really something substantial to the claims.

Any hot liquid or beverage can soothe throats that are sore from coughing or a postnasal drip from colds. Liquids in any form can help prevent dehydration and slow down runny noses, which exacerbate congestion and sinus pain. In 1978, researchers published a study in the journal Chest stated that sipping chicken soup or even just hot water could help clear clogged nasal passages.

Another benefit to chicken soup is its nutritional value. Most recipes for chicken soup include many different vegetables — from carrots to celery to leeks to even leafy greens, like spinach. The inclusion of the vegetables helps increase the nutritional value of the soup, particularly the antioxidants in the meal. Antioxidants, such as vitamins and minerals in produce, can help improve the immune system response of the body. According to WebMD, adding fruit and vegetables of any kind to your diet will improve your health. Some foods are higher in antioxidants than others. The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E. You’ll find them in colorful fruits and vegetables — especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. Therefore, be sure to add these colors to your cold-fighting soup.

Additional studies have shown that chicken soup is a great cold reliever. In 2000, researchers at the University of Nebraska exposed neutrophils, white blood cells that fight infections, but also may cause inflammation, to diluted chicken broth. These cells slowed their movement, which would help reduce some symptoms of colds. Although a family recipe was used for the study, other soups were tested, and most store-purchased chicken soups worked the same way.

The majority of the symptoms from colds are caused not by the cold virus itself, but by the body’s response and fight against the invading virus. Many of these effects, like clogged noses and headaches, are some sort of inflammation. Therefore any food that can reduce inflammation may have cold-fighting benefits as well.

Although chicken soup may not eliminate all cold symptoms, it has enough beneficial properties to alleviate many complaints from colds. My Nana was right, after all: Chicken soup is good for the cold, not just the soul.

Easy Chicken and Rice Soup from Two Peas & Their Pod.com


  1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  1 medium onion, chopped

  2 garlic cloves, minced

  2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  4 fresh thyme sprigs

  1 bay leaf

  2 quarts chicken stock or broth (we use low sodium)

  1 cup of water

  1 cup long grain white rice

  1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts

  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

directions: Place a soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken broth and water- bring the liquid to a boil. Add in the rice and chicken; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low until the rice is tender-about 30 minutes. Serve hot.



Building a Relationship

By Diane Helbig

Building relationships starts with knowing why you want to build them and who you want to build them with. What do you hope to gain from the relationship? Once you’ve identified these things, you can get started. While having a plan for meeting people is a good idea, the only plan you need to start the building process is to remember the 3 Bs. Too many people get caught up in the details and the worries and shift their focus. It’s not your job to convince or persuade. And pushing too hard doesn’t work. It’s simply good enough to be out there, be knowledgeable, and be giving. If you remember – just be – you will always be on track to build lasting relationships.


• It takes less effort to be yourself than it does to create a persona. Besides, people can see the mask a hundred miles away. Their guard will be up before you realize it. Why? Because your focus is off. It’s on you (or I should say, on your creation of you), not on them.

• The “you” who you really are is the one that will resonate with people. And aren’t you a great you?! You’re the best you there is! No one is a better you than you! So do yourself a favor and embrace your genuine self.


• Don’t focus on what you want to get. Focus on what you can give. “What goes around comes around.” “The smile you send out returns to you.” Sound familiar?
• Listen. Learn all you can about the person you are interacting with. Find out if there are ways you can help them; have a positive impact on their day.
• Giving can be direct or indirect. It may be something you can give or it may be the case that you can direct the person to someone else who has a solution for them.


• Know what you are talking about and state it simply. Don’t try to wow someone with your “vast knowledge.” Once you’ve listened and learned, you are in a better position to share from your knowledge base and experience. What you have to say will resonate with others.
• Sometimes that knowledge is having resources to offer – other people or companies who know and do things you don’t. This is the indirect giving.

Know what you know; own what you don’t know. Listen with interest and be respectful. Above all else, be yourself. The best relationships are those between people who share common interests, respect each other, and are genuine. Keep it simple and you’ll find it easy to build lasting relationships.

Copyright© 2014 Seize  is Day Coaching

Diane Helbig is an internationally recognized business and leadership development coach, author, speaker, and radio show host. As a certified, professional coach, president of Seize This Day Coaching, Diane helps businesses and organizations operate more constructively and profitably.

Diane is the author of Lemonade Stand Selling, and the host of Accelerate Your Business Growth Radio show. She is also a Service Provider for Constant Contact.

Diane is the marketing chair of WIN Cleveland as well as a COSE board member.

Contact Diane Helbig at (216) 534-2030

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Low Country Boil

Low Country Boil

Low Country Boil

If you have ever been to the coastal region of Georgia or South Carolina known as Low Country you have probably tried ‘Frogmore Stew.’  The ingredients vary but often include shrimp, smoked sausage, corn, red potatoes and crab legs. I first tasted a ‘Low Country Boil’ (aka Frogmore Stew) in a small town named Fair Play in South Carolina.  A successful high school football coach built the T60 Grille on the shores of Lake Hartwell.  The T60 Grill so named due its buoy number on the lake was accessible by land or water.  The Coach created a special seasoning blend of twenty quality ingredients and all flavors associated with the ‘Low Country.’   The restaurant soon became known as Coach’s and his Low Country Boil brought people from all over this coastal region to the shores of Lake Hartwell.

Coach’s seasoning can be purchased at www.clcbrands.com.  Unfortunately, Coach’s restaurant on the shores of Lake Hartwell is now closed.

The Low Country Boil has become a family favorite for all summer celebrations or when you just want a taste of the low country.  The only change I have made to the Boil is make sure we have a loaf of french bread on the table to soak up the broth. My oldest granddaughter now a resident of Florida compares all crab and shrimp dishes to my mine asking “Will it taste like Nana’s?”   It will if you follow the directions below.


  • 6oz of Coach’s seasoning to six quarts of water
  • 2 small red potatoes per person
  • 2 lbs. of smoked sausage cut into 2 in. pieces
  • 4 ears of corn broke in two
  • 2 lbs. of shrimp unpeeled(deveined though)
  • 4 lbs. of crab legs
  • 4 oz of butter
  • half of a lemon

Directions: Fill a large pot with enough water to cover all of the ingredients.  Add the seasoning and bring to a boil.  Add the butter and squeeze the lemon into the water and throw in the lemon.  When the water boils add the potatoes and cook till just short of tender about 15 minutes.  Add the corn and sausage and boil another 8 minutes.  Add the crab legs and boil about five minutes.  Add the crab legs and boil until the shrimp turn pink.  Drain keeping just enough of the broth to dip your bread into.  If you want to eat the Boil just as you would in the South;  line your table with a layer of newspapers and cover it with brown craft paper, have plenty of paper towels to wipe your fingers and a bowl for the shells.  Serves six.




Traveling Fork Review


Recently UpdatedWill Cork & Cleaver live up to its hype? Is the food as good as my friend says? The ‘Silver Spoon’ named it 2014 Restaurant of the Year.  It made the A-List of top 100 restaurants in Cleveland. Four food enthusiasts were about to find out.


A larger than life chunk-ed wine cork mirror greets you as you enter.  The restaurant is romantically lit with shadows dancing every where.  We were seated in a cozy corner booth.  A waiter in training quickly filled our water glasses and readily admitted he couldn’t answer a question regarding an IPA. How very refreshing.  Lisa our waitstaff promptly took our drink orders and made suggestions on appetizers.  A complimentary basket of warm from the oven pumpernickel bread with a spinach chive butter graced the table.  I was eager to try the VERVE Fries.  I admit I had to look up the word VERVE, it means vivacious.  Vivacious was the right word for these hand-cut fries smothered in a creamy sausage gravy.  I wish I could say I have a picture of the Fries but I don’t.  They were gone by the time I remembered to snap a picture.

All four of us ordered different entrees from lamb with gnocchi to a scallops cassoulet with acorn squash.  Each dish was enhanced with fresh herbs and seasonal ingredients creatively prepared.  My husband declared his clam chowder to be the best he had ever put a spoon into.  Spoon after spoon heavy with clams.  My gnocchi melted in my mouth, my only complaint being I could have eaten twice more.

The romantically lit corner booth did present lighting challenges as I tried to snap pictures of the entrees.  Not to be thwarted we solved the challenge with our phone flashlight app.

Of course we were eager to have dessert especially the famous deep fried brownie with ice cream.  Dessert was not to be as three of the four desserts were paired with ice cream. No ice cream!  Something to do with the temperature being too warm and no freezer and therefore no ice cream.  Lisa was quick to bring us freshly popped melt-in-your mouth popcorn flavored with rosemary.  Last week PB & J was the featured popcorn flavor.  We didn’t miss the deep fried brownie.

Cork & Cleaver is a must try.  All four food enthusiasts agreed we would go back.  We give it a three forks* rating.  Reservations are a must as all 70 seats were filled. The talented Chefs behind this creative menu are Brian Orkin and Adam Bostwick.

3forkPrice: $$   Cork & Cleaver is located at 8130 Broadview Rd. in Broadview Hts. 440-627-6449 www.ccsocialkitchen.com

Chef NOTES: Chef Brian Orkin co-owner of Cork & Cleaver is co-founder of Dinner in the Dark.  Local chefs hold an impromptu eight course dinner with wine pairings and encourage diners to try foods they wouldn’t normally eat.  Patrons don’t know what they will have to eat until they arrive.  Each dinner benefits a local charity.  To find out more about Dinner in the Dark visit www.dinnerinthedark.com

* One Fork – good but could be better

Two Forks – average, almost there

Three Forks – over the top experience 




Health Care and Your 2014 Income Tax Return

By Magdalene M. Donohoe, CPA

Starting in 2014 most individuals were required to maintain basic health insurance coverage (known as Minimum Essential Coverage) for everyone included on the individual’s income tax return, or pay a penalty. This includes the individual themselves, spouse and any dependents. The penalty, otherwise known as the Shared Responsibility Payment, applies unless you qualify for an exemption. The requirement to maintain coverage or pay a penalty is generally referred to as the “Individual Mandate.”

Here are the basics you should know:

• Minimum Essential Coverage includes the following types of coverage: an employer group health plan; individual health insurance policy; COBRA; government plans (Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE or Children’s Health Insurance Program); or qualifi ed health plans offered by an exchange. Ohio has a Federally facilitated exchange operated by the Department of Health and Human services.

• Minimum Essential Coverage does not include workers compensation insurance, disability insurance, dental or vision benefits, long-term care benefits, and Medigap or MedSupp insurance.

• Individuals that did not have healthcare coverage must make a Shared Responsibility Payment, which for 2014 is $95 per adult and $47.50 per child under age 18 (up to $285 for a family) or 1% of combined household income, whichever is greater. The penalty increases to $325 per adult or 2% for 2015 and $695 per adult or 2.5% for 2016.

• You must make the shared responsibility payment when you file your federal income tax return. The IRS may reduce any tax refund owed to a taxpayer by the amount of Shared Responsibility Payment.

• Certain individuals are exempt from the Individual Mandate. Some examples of exempt individuals are: non-U.S. citizen; members of certain religious sects or health care sharing ministries; and members of an Indian tribe. In addition, low income taxpayers, taxpayers for whom basic coverage is unaffordable and taxpayers who qualify under a hardship exemption are not required to maintain Minimum Essential Coverage.

Furthermore, any individual who doesn’t maintain Minimum Essential Coverage for less than three consecutive months qualifies for the short coverage gap exception.

The above is a simplified explanation of the Individual Mandate. Wasacz & Skvoretz LTD can assist you in determining how this requirement will affect you and your family, call 440.239.1911 today!

CPAS advisors

My Friend the Chocoholic!

ChocolateI have a friend who has a chocolate obsession.  She has to carry chocolate with her at all times and can’t go a day without it. She talks about chocolate incessantly and we her friends feed her obsession.  We buy her chocolate, we buy her cookbooks on chocolate, we indulge her periodic pit stops to purchase chocolate and at times we even suggest she see a therapist.  So this Blog on Chocolate is dedicated to her.  

Chocolate TRIVIA!

Did you know ‘cacao beans’ aka chocolate were used as currency?  Ten beans could buy a rabbit.  The ‘cacao beans’ were still used as currency in parts of Latin America until the 19th century.

Did you know chocolate as we know it didn’t include solid chocolate until the 1850’s?

Did you know most chocolate is bought for Halloween, then Christmas with Easter a close second.  Valentine’s Day comes in a distant third.

Did you know by 1907, Milton Hershey was producing 33 million kisses a day?

Did you know Hershey’s debuted a 3-D Chocolate Candy printing tool at their Chocolate World Attraction in PA in December 2014?  Do you want a 3-D picture of your child, a pet or your Valentine Day beau?  Consumers will soon be able to to design their own chocolate right before their eyes. Hershey’s plans to have the 3-D Chocolate tool in grocery stores soon.  See the full story by visiting www.ConfectionaryNews.com.

Did you know Hershey just this week bought Krave Jerky to expand the company’s snacking offerings beyond sweets?

If like my friend you are obsessed with chocolate visit the the Red Cross ‘For the Love of Chocolate Festival’ on February 7th from 11 am to 3 pm at the Medina High School Performing Arts Center.  Donation $10:00.  I’m sure you will see my friend at the Festival.  She will be the one with ten tickets in her hand for 80 chocolate samples.

Don’t miss out on Food Talks. . . subscribe for a chance to win a $25.00 Gift Card to Dominic’s Restaurant in Medina.  You can join the growing number of food enthusiasts by subscribing via email.  Visit www.womens-journal.com and enter your email. Winner to be announced March 12th.