Archive | August, 2014

Denton Ballet Academy

Denton Ballet Academy

Due to our error, we failed to update the ad for Denton Ballet Academy. Please click on the art to the right and you will see their most current ad. Thank you!

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August / September issue

August / September issue

Denton is Going to the Dogs!

- Check out the feature article on the North Texas Fair and Rodeo

- Our Charity Focus this month is on the Cross Timbers YMCA

- And in continuing with our series on Iconic Buildings of Denton, we learn about The Campus Theatre

Click here to download the latest issue.

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Are You Tired of  Always Feeling Tired?

Are You Tired of Always Feeling Tired?

by Cait Landon

Maybe things you do (and don’t do) can wear you out and make getting through your day a tiresome chore.  Here are some of the bad habits experts tell us can make you feel tired.

Skip the workout

Skipping exercise to save energy only works against you. In a U. of Georgia study, sedentary but healthy adults who exercised lightly three days a week for as little as 20 minutes at a time reported feeling less fatigued and more energized after six weeks.

Not enough water

Dehydration takes a toll on energy levels, says Amy Goodson, RD, a dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine. Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume, which makes the blood thicker. This requires your heart to pump less efficiently, reducing the speed that oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs.  Drink up!

You need iron

Make sure you are getting iron  If you don¹t have enough iron, your body has to work a whole lot harder to get the energy it needs, which can leave you feeling tired, weak, irritable and unable to focus.

Skipping breakfast

When you wake up in the morning, you need to refuel. Skip breakfast and you’ll feel sluggish.

Junk food

Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs (the ones found in a box or at the drive-thru window) aren’t what fuels you.  They create constant blood sugar spikes, followed by sharp drops and that causes fatigue over the course of the day. Keep blood sugar steady by having a lean protein along with a whole grain at every meal.

A glass of wine (or two) before bed

A nightcap may sound like a good way to unwind before falling asleep, but it can backfire. Alcohol creates a rebound effect as it’s metabolized, which can creates an abrupt surge in the adrenaline system. This is why you’re more likely to wake up in the middle of the night after you’ve been drinking.

There are some smaller and less obvious behaviors that can cause you problems:

You have trouble saying ‘no’

you don’t have to say yes, people-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness. Train yourself to say ‘no’.

Messy surroundings

A cluttered area can mentally exhaust you by restricting your ability to focus and limit your brain’s ability to process information.

All work- no play

Unplugging and allowing yourself to truly unwind allows your mind and body to rejuvenate and come back stronger. Take breaks, you will be more creative, productive, and effective when you return.

E-mails at bedtime
The glaring light of electronic equipment can throw off your body’s natural rhythm by suppressing melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and wake cycles, varying from person to person.  In general it’s a good idea to avoid all technology for one to two hours before bedtime.

Start making some adjustments with a few of these simple lifestyle tweaks that will put the pep back in your step.

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From the Spice Rack

From the Spice Rack

by Kathe Kitchens, Bestemor Herb Farm


Most people in Texas consider cumin a flavor in Mexican and South American food, and it’s a major player, but it is so much more.  This ancient spice is found in herbal therapies and recipes from Egypt, India, China, the Mediterranean and Middle East.  Adding cumin to a pot of beans or vegetable dish will give it a savory, more robust flavor that will soothe your meat lover into loving “meatless Monday”.  Sweet potatoes, eggplant, quinoa, rice, lentils, chickpeas, zucchini, okra and other grains and vegetables gain added hardiness.  Leyden cheese finds its special flavor in cumin, and chili powder wouldn’t be the same without it.

Ayurveda recommends cumin one of the best digestive tonics as it eliminates toxins, dispels gas and is anti-inflammatory.  The compound thymol, which stimulates the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes, is found in cumin.  In a 2010 study, cumin was found to be superior to the synthetic drug glibenclamide, used to help control blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes, in reducing blood glucose and renal oxidative stress.  A 2002 study confirmed the value of cumin in reducing cholesterol, phospholipids, free fatty acids and triglycerides.  The antioxidant content of cumin gives it great value in protecting the liver, supporting the immune system and increasing nutrient absorption.

Varieties of cumin differ in seed color, quantity of essential oil and flavor.  Caraway is often confused with cumin, and can be substituted in some dishes but lacks the depth and heat in true cumin.  For the best flavor, buy whole seeds and grind them as needed like you do with peppercorns.  Easy to grow in Texas, cumin is a small plant that likes moist but well drained soil, full sun and little attention.  Sow seeds directly in the soil after the danger of frost is past, and watch it grow.  It is a droopy little plant, so give it a less showy spot. Pick leaves for flavoring in soups, sauces, curries and stews, and allow seeds to dry on their stems or hang in an airy space with a paper bag around them to dry thoroughly so you don’t lose any to birds or other pests.  We are adding cumin here at the farm this year since we have more room to grow, our customers are asking for it, and we prefer to raise our own!

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Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

What You Need to Know

With nearly 22,000 new cases expected in the U.S. this year, ovarian cancer is the ninth leading form of cancer among women. A woman’s lifetime risk of developing it is 1.4%, or 1 in 70. September is ovarian cancer awareness month and USMD Health System believes women should understand ovarian cancer and learn how to reduce their chances of getting it.

There are three forms of ovarian cancer:
•    Epithelial tumors: About 90% of ovarian cancers develop here, in the tissue covering the ovaries. This generally occurs in postmenopausal women.
•    Germ cell tumors: About 5% of ovarian cancers begin here, in cells that form eggs. It can occur at any age, but is most common in women in their 20s.
•    Stromal tumors: About 5% of ovarian cancers develop here, in cells holding the ovary together and those producing estrogen and progesterone.

Risk factors
Although the cause of ovarian cancer is unknown, certain factors increase a woman’s chance of developing it including, being over the age of 55, obesity, infertility, family history, certain fertility drugs, early menarche and late menopause.

Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer, but many women report subtle symptoms representing a change from their body’s normal behavior. Symptoms include bloating, back, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, frequent urination, irregular periods or unintentional weight changes. If these symptoms occur daily or are prolonged, report them to your doctor.

Women can reduce their risk of developing ovarian cancer with preventive measures, including eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, using birth control pills, pregnancy, breastfeeding, screenings and removal of the ovaries.

Detection and treatment
Detection includes a medical history and pelvic exam. Surgery and biopsy are the only definitive ways to determine if ovarian cancer is present. If ovarian cancer is detected, women should work with their doctor to determine a treatment plan.

Contact USMD
USMD Health System has more than 30 OB/GYNs, including five in Denton. Contact 888.444.USMD for a physician referral.

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School Days Are Back

Early morning alarms? Yep, move over summer, a new school year is coming!

With the start of school, families face challenges because when school bells ring, so do early-morning alarm clocks. Get ready now for the best school year ever! Use these ideas to prepare your home and family for the busy days ahead.

Ease into the new school year.  The first day of school is not the time for a drastic adjustment.   Household sleep schedules should be acclimated before the big day. Ease the kids back into a routine gradually. During the last two weeks of summer start to re-introduce school year bedtime. Begin waking late sleepers earlier and earlier, closer to the hour they’ll need to get up when school begins.

Don’t neglect meal time schedules!  Younger children, in particular, need to adapt to new meal routines before the school day demands it of them. Plan meals and snacks to accustom your little ones to school day rituals before the new school year begins.

Stay Sane – Create Calendar Central.  Every school year glides on a sea of schedules. With school functions, lunch menus, club meetings and music lessons, how do you keep up and keep everyone straight? Calm the chaos with a family calendar area. Try a centralized site for ALL family calendars and schedules. You’ll need a family event calendar to track activities, school programs and special events. Whammo, you have it: a one-stop shop for family time management.

Form is a lot less important than function. A paper calendar with large squares lets you enter information easily. Pre-printed white board calendars are easy to revise when necessary. Color-coding entries by family member helps keep busy lives straight.  Just choose the calendar format that works for your family and post it in a family use area.  Add other calendars to the area: school lunch menus, class assignment sheets, and sports practice schedules.  When a new event comes up, you’ll know at a glance what the free options are for that day.

Plan before you shop.  August is the second-biggest sales month for clothing retailers. Back to school clothing sales began as early as last month!  Ugh, are you prepared to run the school clothes gauntlet? One of the biggest mistakes we make is to just head out to the store, so prepare before you shop.  Take a couple of hours to assess each child’s clothing needs. Put together a needs list and yes, shop early. With those back-to-school sales beginning in mid-July the good stuff is already waiting for your young learner.

Remember, two of the biggest keys to a student’s success, are getting enough sleep and sticking to a consistent routine. Add a little planned fashion and your child will be ready for a great school year.

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