Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks and share special moments with family and friends. While the original Thanksgiving might have taken place during a time when food was sparse, today it often involves excessive amounts of food, with more food ending up in the garbage than in guests’ bellies. The United States Department of Agriculture projects that Americans will throw away more than 200 million pounds of edible turkey meat this Thanksgiving holiday, which typically ushers in a period of wastefulness. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says American households produce roughly 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than during the rest of the year.
Reducing waste is a worthy goal year round, but especially during the holiday season. Use fine china and silverware when serving meals instead of disposable plates and utensils. Besides adding a touch of elegance to meals, china and silverware is less wasteful than disposable items. Cloth napkins and other table linens are also more eco-friendly than paper napkins. Decorate using natural items, which can be turned into wreaths and garlands. Vases filled with pine cones and acorns make for beautiful, inexpensive, and festive decorations. Shop locally and organically for poultry and grains whenever possible. Resist the urge to buy more than you need. Skip some of the less-popular dishes that are used only to make the table seem full. Buy a small turkey or think about only serving turkey breasts, which tend to be the most popular cuts of the bird. Use reusable shopping bags to carry items home and reduce waste even further.
Eat by candlelight to reduce energy consumption and turn off lights in other areas of the home that are not in use. Start a new tradition and invite nearby friends and family over for Thanksgiving instead of traveling long distances. According to Use Less Stuff , a resource for eco-conscious men and women, if each family reduced gasoline consumption by one gallon (about 20 miles), they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons. Send each guest home with some leftovers. Then the refrigerator isn’t left full of items that will end up uneaten. Don’t let recycling fall by the wayside. Remember to recycle all applicable items. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean recycling habits should be forgotten. Encourage guests to pitch in by clearly marking recycling bins.
Thanksgiving can be less wasteful without detracting from the enjoyment and true meaning of the holiday—being grateful!
From our Family to Yours, Happy Thanksgiving from The Women’s Journal!
By Leah Kline PA-C
Fatigue and low energy are some of the most common health complaints we experience in the medical field today. Many women come to our office with an understanding or self-diagnosis that they are suffering from “adrenal fatigue.” This is a term used to suggest that the adrenal glands are working insufficiently to regulate hormones due to chronic stress. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include excessive tiredness, insomnia, musculoskeletal pain, brain fog, and inability to lose weight. Sufferers are often told that they are not dealing with their stress well and need to “relax” more. The truth is, our bodies have a fine-tuned mechanism in dealing with stress. The adrenal glands, which sit above the kidneys, are responsible for regulating the body’s stress and production of hormones.
Stress is commonly misconstrued as only being “emotional stress” that you feel, like when you are mad at your spouse, dealing with financial struggles, or overwhelmed at work. Stress also includes “chemical stress,” like eating foods that your body is sensitive to, processed foods, exposure to molds or heavy metals. Then there is “physical stress,” possibly from injury to the spinal cord from slips, falls, car accidents; stress on the nervous system, like sitting at a desk for several hours per day; and infection or illness.
The autonomic nervous system is made up of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for activating the adrenal glands when the body is under stress, initiating the “fight or flight” response; it acts like a gas pedal in a car. In the state, the heart rate increases, muscles contract, the digestion process slows, and blood sugar is released from storage sites. The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for restoring the body to a balance and allowing for rest and repair; it acts like a brake pedal. In this state, the heart rate drops, digestive enzymes are released, and muscles relax. The body will innately begin to compensate in the attempt to fix the stressor to ensure survival. If the stressor is present for too long or becomes too overwhelming to the system, the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the demand of the body, and they become fatigued. Although the term “adrenal fatigue” is accurate and can produce the symptoms listed above, it isn’t the whole story.
When the body is under chronic stress, whether is be physical, emotional, or chemical; the sympathetic nervous system takes over, and the body is unable to come up with enough energy on its own to restore the balance, that is called Sympathetic Dominance. This is a serious problem, as the sympathetic dominant state creates long-term health concerns and leads to the onset of serious illness and disease. Treating the adrenal glands alone is not helping to supply the Wellness Center we have better answers! Call for an appointment today to learn more about sympathetic dominance and its effects on your long-term health.
Talking to loved ones about assisted living can be tough. Many seniors resist this transition, often because they feel they’re being forced out of their homes and losing their independence.
Being prepared before a crisis arises, can remove some of the anxiety and uncertainty from the equation, making it easier for all involved. When it’s time to talk with your loved ones about moving into assisted living, the following tips can foster a healthy discussion.
1. Know the senior housing options. Before bringing up the topic, learn about the different types of senior living settings—especially in the state where your elder lives or may wish to relocate eventually.
2. Learn about your parents’ financial situation and options for funding the move and their ongoing care. For example, ask if they have purchased long-term care insurance. If Dad is a veteran, inquire about his service to see if he could be eligible for veterans benefits to help pay for long-term care.
3. Have the conversation in a casual, comfortable spot, like at the kitchen table. Start by saying, “I know this is hard to talk about, but I want to be sure that I honor your wishes.”
4. Promise to keep seniors involved in decisions. Everyone wants to be able to choose where they live and the kind of care they receive.
When the time is right, Liberty Residence gives residents every opportunity to keep active, stay involved and age gracefully.