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Move Naturally

Move Naturally

by Reese Gray

Although we strive for active lifestyles to acquire for good health, our weather can be bit extreme.  Let’s face reality, we do live in Texas.  And no matter what we plan, we live in a fast paced hustle and bustle world that constantly interrupts our best made plans for routine exercise activities.

But still the messages are clear. For a healthy you there are requirements you have to meet, on physical activity, eating and mental clarity all to ensure the healthy lifestyle we all search for.

No matter how busy you are or how hectic your life is, you still have the small back to basics it takes to add some needed movement to your life.  Just move naturally.

Add a few steps to your day, and a little exercise can go a long way:
•    Park in the farthest space in the parking lot, or at least adjust to 5-10 spaces out from your norm
•    Take the opportunity to stand and move around in your office area while on phone calls
•    Take the stairs over using the elevator
•    Keep an eye on your posture – sit tall, stand straight and move with purpose
•    Take meetings on the go. Ask a coworker to “walk with me” and chat about the meeting topics
•    Walk the dog
•    Play some active family games weekly
•    Park the car when you get home and walk back to the mailbox
•    Take a little short 10 minute walk before or after dinner

Striving for convenience has made us a bit on the lazy side.  Consider that we pay a gym extreme amounts of money to help us exercise our bodies but we scramble for a parking space right near the door of the facility.  We buy expensive shoes to enable our special sports program but we pay the neighbor kid to mow the yard.

Improving your mental health and mood
Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.  And you can’t start this too early.  It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing even lower levels of physical activity can be very beneficial.

Increase your chances of living longer
Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.  Everyone can gain the health benefits of physical activity – age, ethnicity, shape or size do not matter.

Intensity and  aerobic activity are the ultimate goal in exercise but  factually, the activities we need to keep our bodies healthy and fit are all around us NATURALLY, oh they may not be the most popular activities but let’s face it working in a garden should bring you much more pleasure than mindless sit-ups and tummy crunches.

And when you can or if you are ready to add extra exercise after moving to a natural movement lifestyle, try a membership at the Natatorium so you can swim all year long.  That is an activity that is healthy for your body and it can actually be utilized in North Texas whether in January or July.

Posted in Current Issue, Health and Fitness0 Comments

Prostate Screening

Prostate Screening

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that mostly affects older men. After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.

Many men have questions about prostate cancer screening (testing). Even though prostate cancer is common, screening for it isn’t recommended. The information below can help you start a conversation about prostate cancer with your doctor or nurse.

What is the prostate?
The male prostate is a small sex gland that makes fluid to carry sperm. It’s located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

Who is at risk for prostate cancer?
Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
•    Being age 50 or older
•    Being African American
•    Having a father, brother, or son who had prostate cancer

Why isn’t screening recommended for prostate cancer?
Screening for prostate cancer isn’t recommended because the risks of screening and treatment outweigh the benefits.
•    Most of the time, prostate cancer grows so slowly that men won’t die from it or have any symptoms.
•    The treatment of prostate cancer is more likely to cause medical problems than the prostate cancer itself.
•    The screening tests for prostate cancer that are available now can’t tell if you have a cancer that will cause problems or not.

What do I ask the doctor?
Here are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse:
•    Am I at risk for prostate cancer?
•    Are there things I can do to lower my risk for prostate cancer?
•    What are the benefits and harms (risks) of prostate cancer screening and treatment?
•    Are there any warning signs or symptoms of prostate cancer I should look out for?

American Cancer Society recommendations for prostate cancer early detection
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that men have a chance to make an informed decision with their health care provider about whether to be screened for prostate cancer. The decision should be made after getting information about the uncertainties, risks, and potential benefits of prostate cancer screening. Men should not be screened unless they have received this information. The discussion about screening should take place at:
•    Age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years.
•    Age 45 for men at high risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes African Americans and men who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65).
•    Age 40 for men at even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age).

After this discussion, those men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.

If, after this discussion, a man is unable to decide if testing is right for him, the screening decision can be made by the health care provider, who should take into account the patient’s general health preferences and values.

Assuming no prostate cancer is found as a result of screening, the time between future screenings depends on the results of the PSA blood test:
•    Men who choose to be tested who have a PSA of less than 2.5 ng/mL may only need to be retested every 2 years.
•    Screening should be done yearly for men whose PSA level is 2.5 ng/mL or higher.

Because prostate cancer often grows slowly, men without symptoms of prostate cancer who do not have a 10-year life expectancy should not be offered testing since they are not likely to benefit. Overall health status, and not age alone, is important when making decisions about screening.

Even after a decision about testing has been made, the discussion about the pros and cons of testing should be repeated as new information about the benefits and risks of testing becomes available. Further discussions are also needed to take into account changes in the patient’s health, values, and preferences.

Posted in Current Issue, Health and Fitness0 Comments

From the Spice Rack

From the Spice Rack

by Kathe Kitchens, Bestemor Herb Farm


This relative of ginger and turmeric is similar in its flavor and therapeutic qualities.  Historically there were three varieties, now generally reduced to green and black or brown types.  Cultivation is believed to have begun in India, varieties used and traded for at least two thousand years.  There is the “true” cardamom, Elettaria, and the close relative group of plants Amomum, Alpinia and Aframomum.  As with cinnamon and its relative cassia, these cultivars are close in flavor and are often used to extend the real spice, or substituted in its place.  It is still grown primarily in India, but was introduced to Guatemala in the 1920’s and became a leading crop.  It can be grown in Texas, but only in pots as it is a tropical zone species.  The seeds of the plant are harvested, picked by hand to retrieve them at the proper maturity; it is one of the world’s three most expensive spices, after saffron and before vanilla.

Its value as a cleaner for teeth and breath made it a staple for after meal consumption in ancient Roman, Greek and Egyptian society and later in Europe.  Green “true” cardamom has shown promise in research for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, studies prove the value of black cardamom as a therapy for cancer.  Naturally diuretic and full of fiber, this spice lowers blood pressure and supports cleansing of the kidneys.  Its anti-inflammatory properties are especially effective on the mucus membranes of the mouth and throat.  Energizing for those who suffer from fatigue or depression, it is also reported to stimulate the production of hormones and enzymes, digestive juices and peristalsis in the intestines, speeding up the elimination of toxins.  It also promotes sweating and helps to clear respiratory congestion, and relieves headaches resulting from illness.  Like antimicrobial garlic, coriander and other spices, it is used in foods to delay spoilage.

In essential oil form, cardamom is valued as an astringent and antimicrobial. One or two drops in warm water used as a mouthwash disinfects oral tissues and eliminates bad breath.  Used in a bath, it will disinfect skin and hair.  Blended with coconut or other natural oil, it is reputed to be unsurpassed in producing glowing skin.  As a hair treatment, cardamom is renowned for the elimination of dandruff and producing shiny locks, and is also a natural lightener for those who prefer the sun kissed look.  Like most essential oils, it should not be applied directly to skin unless blended with dilution oil.

A strong warming spice, cardamom should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers or very young children. Properly trained aroma therapists, herbalists, naturopaths or practitioners of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Ayurveda can direct the safe and effective use of this treasured spice.

Posted in Current Issue, Home and Garden0 Comments

Bringing the Indoors, Out

Bringing the Indoors, Out

by Jennifer Manley, Interior Decorator, Decorating Den Interiors

The line between indoors and outdoors continues to blur as many of us want to take our indoor comforts and solitude outdoors… This process is becoming more realistic as many manufacturers of home products, develop more and more appliances, furniture, lighting and accessories that can be used indoors or out.

People are driven to find peaceful sanctuaries as a prescription for our stressful lives. Outdoor patios and sunrooms are becoming more sophisticated and refined and are becoming a living extension of the indoor spaces.

Outdoor furniture has evolved a long way from the folding, vinyl strap versions we grew up with, to beautiful pieces made of teak, steel, rattan, and wicker. Many pieces look just like indoor furniture but are constructed and designed to take the outdoor elements. Sunrooms are a unique space to decorate. If they are completely enclosed spaces you can use indoor furniture, upholstered with outdoor fabric. Fabrics such as Sunbrella are making a name for themselves in the outdoor furniture industry.

Fabrics are being manufactured to resist fading from ultraviolet rays, to resist mildewing from damp conditions and to resist odor absorption. These types of fabrics are a must for any upholstery or drapery that will be used outdoors or in a screened-in location.

Lighting is also a very important aspect to creating an inviting outdoor space. Whether it comes from landscape lighting, overhead lighting, ceiling fans or decorative side lighting be sure you are incorporating various types of lighting in your outdoor space just as you would in your indoor spaces. Developing a creative lighting plan can help you create a space with increased ambiance and functionality.

Remember to create a space that is “perfect” for you and your needs and then sit back and enjoy it! This is a space where memories will be made so consider it an important investment. I like to call an investment like this an emotional anchor: a space where your family gathers, shares and remembers forever.

Posted in Current Issue, Home and Garden0 Comments

Job Tips For Teens

by Shaina Owens, High School Student

Tired of begging your parents for money? Looking for ways to save for college? Or maybe someone in your family lost a job and you want to help out? Whatever your reason for wanting a job, below are some tips to help jump start your search.

Tip #1: Gather Your Personal Information. This consists of your social security card, driver’s license, or some other form of photo identification. If you’re under sixteen, you may need a special permit signed by your parents. Check with the nearest Texas Workforce Commission office for rules on teen employment.

Tip #2: Create a Resume. It’s not as hard as you think. There’s plenty of templates and samples online. Include your accomplishments, extracurricular activities and any volunteer work you’ve done. This type of information will make you stand out from the other applicants.

Tip #3: Dress to Impress. Although our generation opts for the trendy fashion, job-seekers prefer the conservative style. That doesn’t mean you need to wear a suit and tie. Simply tailor your wardrobe so that its neat, clean, pressed, with no holes, tears or rips, and it modestly covers your body. You may also want to ditch the body piercings and hide the tattoos. Some companies frown on these artsy additions.

Tip #4: A Job Search Requires Research. Networking, scouring the want ads or delving into the internet is a good place to start. Make note of the companies that are hiring, the ones that hold your interest and the ones where you meet the criteria. Don’t settle for the typical teen jobs like fast food restaurants, grocery stores, childcare, or life guard, unless that’s what you want to do. Consider opportunities that line up with your future career choice. If you want to be a doctor, look for a job at a hospital. If you want to be a cosmetologist, check out the local hair salon. Also, utilize your friend and parent connections. Sometimes word of mouth will open an employment door faster than the usual route.

Tip #5: Practice Your Pitch. Job hunting is a competitive environment. You want to do your best and sound your best during an interview. Solicit the help of a friend, sibling or parent for practice Q&A sessions. A candidate who can clearly articulate why they’re the right person for the job will grab an employer’s attention and perhaps give them the hiring edge.

Tip #6: Apply and Interview for Jobs. It’s time to hit the pavement with confidence and persistence. If you’re invited to an interview, put your best foot forward. Smile, maintain eye contact, dress the part, and mind your manners. Employers are becoming more meticulous in their selection process. Because of that, be prepared for lots of questions and possibly more than one interview.

Tip #7: Send a Thank-you Note. After your interview, follow-up with a thank you note. This can be done through snail mail or email. Be professional in the wording and offer to provide additional information if this will help in their decision making. Taking this initiative might push you to the top of the applicant pile.

Tip #8: You got the Job. Yay for you. This is when your work history begins. Arrive on time, be courteous, pay attention, limit the absences, and follow the rules. A good evaluation can lead to wage increases and promotions.

A teen’s first job is a big deal and a big step towards adulthood. Use this opportunity to grow and learn. It’s also pretty awesome to earn a paycheck. I should know. I work for Panera Bread.

Posted in Current Issue, Teen Life0 Comments

Denton Happenings

Denton Happenings

Community Market

April – November; Every Saturday
9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Local art and produce market located at Carroll Blvd. and Mulberry St. near downtown. A community gathering space with live music by local artists, fresh local produce, locally-produced handmade arts and crafts, delicious on-site food, local business, community groups and more! Visit for more details.

Farmers’ Market

June – September; Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays
Denton County growers sell fresh produce during the growing season in North Texas from 7:00 am to noon, or sell-out. Bayless-Selby House Museum Parking Lot, corner of Mulberry Street and Carroll Blvd. Market sponsored by Denton Country Growers Association.

Star Stories

June – July
People from around the world and through time have seen the same stars but they have seen different pictures in the sky. Each culture has made up stories to explain the star patterns they saw in the night sky. Let the Sky Theater take you on an adventure through space and time to discover some of these “Star Stories” at the  Sky Theatre in the UNT Environmental Sciences Building , 1704 West Mulberry Street  $5 Adults, $4 Seniors, $3 Student & Children   940-369-8213 for  times.

Unicorn Lake Concert Series

July – August; Every Thursday
Concert is beside the fountain at Beth Marie’s Ice Cream Shop.
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Celebrate Highland Village

June 6th
It is the opportunity for the community to welcome summer with festivities for all ages. The event begins in the heart of Highland Village at our community gathering place, Unity Park with a 1K/5K run through the city and a family fish-out, then attendees can spend the evening at Highland Village’s hidden gem, Pilot Know Park where they will enjoy music, food, drink and activities for the kids.  The days event will  finish with a spectacular fireworks show from the shores of Lewisville Lake.  Free to the public.  Check out the fun!
Morning events at Unity Park are:
6:30am – Registration for 1K/5K Run (1K at 7:30 and 5K right after)
9:00am Family Fish-Out,    10:30am Arbor Day Proclamation,
10:45am Fish-Out Awards
Evening Events at Pilot Knoll Park are:
5:30pm Gates open, 6:30pm Josh Grider, 8:00pm Zane Williams, Grand finale Fireworks Extravaganza at dusk.
Bring chairs, blankets, bug spray, small cooler. No pets or glass containers.

Juneteenth Celebration

June 19th & 20th
Free family event at Fred Moore Park celebrating this historic and oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in America.
Friday evening:
5:00pm Vendor booths open, 7:00pm Gospel Night begins
9:00am Parade begins at the Civic Center and ends at Fred Moore Park. Adult coed softball tournament begins at Fred Moore Park softball field.
10:00 am Free kid’s games begin, 11:00 am Vendor booths open, live DJ, and entertainment begins. 940-349-8575 for vendor space and to register for the softball tournament ($100/team).

Denton Airshow

June 20th
8:00 am – 2:00 pm,   $12/Adults Kids under 6 free, buy discounted tickets online. $10/Adults until June 14th. Vintage Aircraft, Helicopter Rides, and breathtaking Aerobatic Demonstrations will be seen throughout the afternoon.  Bring Dad and the whole family to this year’s event to enjoy the kickoff to Father’s Day Weekend. Visit for a complete schedule

Posted in Current Issue, Denton Happenings0 Comments