Category Archives: Health Issues


The gallbladder is a small organ that we don’t think about until something goes wrong. It is where bile is stored until it is needed. The gallbladder delivers the bile to the small intestine where it breaks down fats. You can get along without it but it you then have to be careful of what you eat. You will have to back off on fats, mostly. It also helps vitamins and nutrients to absorb into your bloodstream.

When your gallbladder has problems, you can experience different symptoms. The most common is pain. It can come on quickly, especially after eating a fatty meal, but it can go just as quickly as if it never was there. You can also experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, fever, and jaundice. The most common problems are gallstones or inflammation.

If you need to have surgery to remove it, it is called a cholecystectomy. Usually you can have it removed laparoscopically which is less invasive. The recovery time is a week or two before resuming regular activities.

It may be time to ditch the tie

Men’s ties. What is their purpose? Do they keep you warm? Do they cover up anything other than buttons? They get in the way. I think of Dilbert’s tie floating in the wind. Very few men clip them down with a tie clip so they move around picking up germs all over the place.

They do show some flair for some who are brave enough to go beyond solids or stripes. They seem to have a bit of respectability but are they really necessary? Here are some reasons not to don a four-in-hand tie.

The BMA (British Medical Association) has said doctors should no longer wear ties because of the germs. Imagine a doctor standing over a patient picking up MRSA and then going on to the next patient.

There is a link between wearing a necktie and interocular pressure when the tie is too tight.

Another study found it restricts blood flow to the brain causing headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Perhaps a clipon tie isn’t such a bad idea…


Summer Skin Care

Your largest organ is your skin. It is exposed. To everything. It dries out. It gets cuts and scrapes. It bruises. It wrinkles. Do you take care of yours?

Here are some tips from for summer skin care.

1. Exfoliate. This removes dead skin cells and debris. It also helps it absorb moisturizers better. Do this before putting on moisturizer in the morning. Use a moisturizer with SPF. After exfoliating, the moisturizer helps seal the skin.

2. Hydrate. Use more intensive moisturizers a couple times a week. A skin hydrating booster can be applied after the toner and before the moisturizer to help keep your skin moist.

3. Drink water. If your body isn’t hydrated as well, it won’t make it to the skin level. If you drink coffee, triple the water intake.

4. Sunscreen. If you are outdoors a lot, make sure your skin is covered with the proper amount of SPF. Usually 30 is what you need. If you are in the sun, reapply every two hours.

5. Soothe. If you skin is over-exposed, you forgot sunscreen, or didn’t put on enough, you’ve already damaged your skin. You can use some cooling gels to help prevent it from peeling. It takes just one blistering sunburn to increase your chance of getting melanoma.

6. Repair. The UV light you expose your skin to causes damage, whether it’s wrinkles, spots or if you burned your skin. Use anti-aging products to fight back.

Clean House for Weight Loss

So you know those dust bunnies you might have hanging around? Did you know they can actually increase your fat gain? A study was done and found that there are Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) that can act like estrogen. In some studies, they call this “obesogens” as they contribute to obesity.

The EDCs are ingested, absorbed, or inhaled. The EPA estimates children may consume 50mg of house dust per day. They found as little as 3 micrograms can cause measurable effects.

Time for Spring cleaning!

Read the full study here.


So we’ve talked about gluten previously but how does it actually work? Found in wheat, barley, rye, and oats and related hybrids such as spelt and einkorn, gives elasticity to dough. It also helps your bread keep its shape and contributes to its chewiness. It is high in protein.

Bread flour is higher in gluten. Pastry flours are lower in gluten. When you knead dough it contributes to the formation of gluten dispersing through the bread and moisture helps this process. Wheat gluten is also known as seitan.

Vital wheat gluten is the powdered form that you usually add to your bread when making bread with whole wheat or rye. It is mostly just the proteins and not the starch you find in flour. Usually you add about a tablespoon to every 2-3 cups of flour. A little goes a long way and if you keep it in your freezer it should last a very long time. You certainly can make whole wheat flour without gluten but your results will be a denser loaf.

Now we certainly know there are those who cannot handle gluten but that doesn’t mean it should have a stigma on it.