July 2018 Hot Flashes

Do You Need Blue Lenses?

You’re most likely reading this article on an electronic device. Additionally, you probably spend much of your day at least glancing at your cell phone...when you’re not on your computer...or watching a movie or TV after work. Actually, according to The Vision Council, over 200 million Americans report symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (DES), arising from looking at a computer screen for more than two hours at a time. This is caused by an excess of exposure to blue light, which is normally found everywhere (including sunlight) but delivered in higher doses through digital screens.

Researchers have determined that blue wavelengths, at the high end of the light spectrum, are beneficial during daylight hours because they boost attention, reaction times, and mood. Too much exposure to blue light, however, and particularly at night, suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that influences circadian rhythms, which can make it difficult to sleep. If you find yourself experiencing eye strain in the evening, have difficulty falling asleep at night, or have a job that requires you to spend more than 8 hours a day on the computer, you might want to ask your eye doctor about computer glasses or blue lens during your next exam.


Mad about Blueberries

Blueberries are nature’s wonderfully sweet little health nuggets. Full of those cancer-fighting antioxidants, they’re also high in vitamin C and B, potassium, and folates. And the fiber content helps to reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. So they’re the perfect fruit to include in breakfast (you know, the most important meal of the day). This Blueberry Bake is low sugar, low fat, and easy to whip up. Enjoy!


  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk 
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries


  1. Preheat oven to 400℉.
  2. To make biscuit topping: In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix well then stir in buttermilk just until all ingredients are moistened and dough forms a ball. Set aside.
  3. To make berry filling: In a large saucepan combine honey, 1 tablespoon sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, water, and lemon juice. Mix until smooth, then add berries. Simmer over medium heat, stirring gently, until thickened (about 10 minutes). Spoon berry mixture into an 8x11 inch nonstick casserole dish.
  4. Drop biscuit dough onto berry mixture by tablespoonfuls.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until biscuits are lightly browned.



Instant Pot Alert

If you’re one of the lucky ones that got an Instant Pot last Christmas, you’re probably getting quite a bit of use out of it these days. Besides cutting down on the time it takes to get a healthy meal on the table, it’s also a wonderful way to keep the kitchen temps down in the middle of summer. But if you’ve also noticed a lingering smell emanating from said machine, you’re not alone. To keep your Instant Pot working well and smelling, or rather, not smelling, follow these tips. Always clean your pot thoroughly after each use. The inner pot, steam rack and lid (without the anti-block shield) can go through the dishwasher. And hand-wash the anti-block shield, sealing ring and condensation collector with warm, soapy water. If the sealing ring is stained or stinky, clean it by hand with vinegar, or consider buying a replacement ring (you will have to replace it anyway from time to time). Always consult the owner’s manual of your specific machine for best practices. And enjoy all the ways it can help you feed your family healthy meals in less time!


Stopping the Gossip Mill in its Tracks

With cyber-bullying on the rise, it’s becoming increasingly important for parents to nip gossip in the bud. Gossip breeds drama, hurts others’ feelings and displays a basic disrespect of others, all characteristics that open the door to future bullying. Role-playing may help your child distinguish between gossip and gabbing. Explore what comments made about them would hurt their feelings if they were repeated. Discuss what topics might be sensitive, embarrassing, or misunderstood and therefore not shared with others, such as family or health issues, or grades at school. Encourage them to engage in activities with their friends rather than conversation about others; remind them that when they talk about others it encourages others to talk about them, too. Most importantly, teach them how to stop gossip in its tracks. When presented with a piece of information that they’re uncomfortable sharing, responding with “Well, that’s really none of my business” or even changing the subject will stop the gossip mill right then and there.



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