As a quick follow-up to yesterdays post WHAT’S ALL THE HYPE ABOUT GLUTEN FREE?, Gluten Free Gus started following my blog.  Check out his website as a great resource for those of you who do need to follow a gluten … Continue reading



I’ve heard a lot of people turning to a gluten free diet for ?weight control?.  Unless you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance/sensitivity there isn’t any need to avoid gluten.  Plus, I don’t see how eliminating gluten equates to weight loss.  You have to cut  (or burn off) approximately 500 calories each day for weight loss of about 1 pound per week – a reasonable goal.


Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).

The intestinal damage can cause weight loss, bloating and sometimes diarrhea. Eventually, your brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs can be deprived of vital nourishment.

In children, malabsorption can affect growth and development. The intestinal irritation can cause stomach pain, especially after eating.

There’s no cure for celiac disease — but following a strict gluten-free diet can help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.


The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly.

Although the classic signs are diarrhea and weight loss, most people with celiac disease experience few or no digestive signs or symptoms. Only about one-third of people diagnosed with celiac disease experience diarrhea, and about half have weight loss.

Twenty percent of people with celiac disease have constipation, and 10 percent are obese.

In addition to digestive problems, other signs and symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Anemia, usually resulting from iron deficiency
  • Loss of bone density (osteoporosis) or softening of bone (osteomalacia)
  • Itchy, blistery skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Damage to dental enamel
  • Headaches and fatigue
  • Nervous system injury, including numbness and tingling in the feet and hands, and possible problems with balance
  • Joint pain
  • Reduced functioning of the spleen (hyposplenism)
  • Acid reflux and heartburn

As many as 75 percent of children with celiac disease are overweight or obese. Digestive signs and symptoms are experienced by 20 to 30 percent of children with the condition although the precise signs and symptoms differ by age.

In infants, typical signs and symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Swollen belly
  • Pain
  • Failure to thrive or weight loss

Older children may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Short stature
  • Delayed puberty
  • Neurologic symptoms, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disability, headaches and lack of muscle coordination


A study done by Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health estimates that about 1 in 141 people in the U.S. have celiac disease, although the disease often goes undiagnosed. Celiac disease is most common in Caucasians.

Celiac disease can affect anyone. However, it tends to be more common in people who have:

  • A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Microscopic colitis (lymphocytic or collagenous colitis)


A gluten-free diet is essential, and the only treatment for managing celiac disease. In addition to wheat, foods that contain gluten include:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Durum
  • Farina
  • Graham flour
  • Malt
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • Triticale


You may need to supplement your levels of:

  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

Packaged foods should be avoided unless they’re labeled as gluten-free or have no gluten-containing ingredients. In addition to cereals, pastas and baked goods — such as breads, cakes, pies and cookies — other packaged foods that may contain gluten include:

  • Beer
  • Candies
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meats or seafood
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings and sauces, including soy sauce
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups

Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing. It’s not clear whether oats are harmful for most people with celiac disease, but doctors generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free. Occasionally, even pure oats can be a problem for people with celiac disease.

Many basic foods are allowed in a gluten-free diet, including:

  • Fresh meats, fish and poultry that aren’t breaded, batter-coated or marinated
  • Fruits
  • Most dairy products
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetables
  • Wine and distilled liquors, ciders and spirits

Grains and starches allowed in a gluten-free diet include:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Cornmeal
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Pure corn tortillas
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Tapioca

Fortunately for bread and pasta lovers with celiac disease, an increasing number of gluten-free products are available. If you can’t find any at your local bakery or grocery store, check online. There are gluten-free substitutes for many gluten-containing foods.  And they have come a long way in improved consistency and taste!

gluten free sampler

This site is based out of Willaimsville, NY Just Ask Josh

More information at: Mayo Clinic


New to yoga? Try these basic yoga poses to get stronger and more flexible.

Once again a yoga mat rolls up nicely and fits behind your office door.  My mat also came with a handy shoulder strap if I were traveling on business.

Mountain Pose


  • Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides.
  • Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.

Downward Dog


  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.



  • Stand with legs 3 to 4 feet apart, turning right foot out 90 degrees and left foot in slightly.
  • Bring your hands to your hips and relax your shoulders, then extend arms out to the sides, palms down.
  • Bend right knee 90 degrees, keeping knee over ankle; gaze out over right hand. Stay for 1 minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.

Tree Pose


  • Stand with arms at sides.
  • Shift weight onto left leg and place sole of right foot inside left thigh, keeping hips facing forward.
  • Once balanced, bring hands in front of you in prayer position, palms together.
  • On an inhalation, extend arms over shoulders, palms separated and facing each another. Stay for 30 seconds.
  • Lower and repeat on opposite side.
  • Make it easier: Bring your right foot to the inside of your left ankle, keeping your toes on the floor for balance. As you get stronger and develop better balance, move your foot to the inside of your left calf.

Bridge Pose


Stretches chest and thighs; extends spine

  • Lie on floor with knees bent and directly over heels.
  • Place arms at sides, palms down. Exhale, then press feet into floor as you lift hips.
  • Clasp hands under lower back and press arms down, lifting hips until thighs are parallel to floor, bringing chest toward chin. Hold for 1 minute.
  • Make it easier: Place a stack of pillows underneath your tailbone.

Triangle Pose


  • Extend arms out to sides, then bend over your right leg.
  • Stand with feet about 3 feet apart, toes on your right foot turned out to 90 degrees, left foot to 45 degrees.
  • Allow your right hand to touch the floor or rest on your right leg below or above the knee, and extend the fingertips of your left hand toward the ceiling.
  • Turn your gaze toward the ceiling, and hold for 5 breaths.
  • Stand and repeat on opposite side.

Seated Twist


This stretches shoulders, hips, and back; increases circulation; tones abdomen; strengthens obliques

  • Sit on the floor with your legs extended.
  • Cross right foot over outside of left thigh; bend left knee. Keep right knee pointed toward ceiling.
  • Place left elbow to the outside of right knee and right hand on the floor behind you.
  • Twist right as far as you can, moving from your abdomen; keep both sides of your butt on the floor. Stay for 1 minute.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Make it easier: Keep bottom leg straight and place both hands on raised knee. If your lower back rounds forward, sit on a folded blanket.



  • Lie face down on the floor with thumbs directly under shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor, and tuck hips downward as you squeeze your glutes.
  • Press shoulders down and away from ears.
  • Push through your thumbs and index fingers as you raise your chest toward the wall in front of you.
  • Relax and repeat.

Pigeon Pose


Targets the piriformis (a deep gluteal muscle)

  • Begin in a full push-up position, palms aligned under shoulders.
  • Place left knee on the floor near shoulder with left heel by right hip.
  • Lower down to forearms and bring right leg down with the top of the foot on the floor (not shown).
  • Keep chest lifted to the wall in front of you, gazing down.
  • If you’re more flexible, bring chest down to floor and extend arms in front of you.
  • Pull navel in toward spine and tighten your pelvic-floor muscles; contract right side of glutes.
  • Curl right toes under while pressing ball of foot into the floor, pushing through your heel.
  • Bend knee to floor and release; do 5 reps total, then switch sides and repeat.

Crow Pose


  • Get into downward dog position (palms pressed into mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk feet forward until knees touch your arms.
  • Bend your elbows, lift heels off floor, and rest knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep toes on floor, abs engaged and legs pressed against arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

Child’s Pose


  • Sit up comfortably on your heels.
  • Roll your torso forward, bringing your forehead to rest on the bed in front of you.
  • Lower your chest as close to your knees as you comfortably can, extending your arms in front of you.
  • Hold the pose and breathe.


Watermelon Salsa (3)

  Remember watermelon is 90% water so this easy recipe will also help hydrate your body!


3 cups finely diced watermelon
2 hot peppers minced (I used anaheim peppers and seeded them somewhat)
1 Tbsp cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 tsp salt


1 cup crushed pineapple well drained
1 cup corn
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 red pepper
1 Tbsp garlic
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
hot sauce

I added garlic, frozen corn (thawed) and black beans. If you like it hot keep the seeds from the anaheim peppers or add some hot sauce to taste.

Serve with tortilla chips and, if desired a dollop of low fat sour cream.



SMOOTHIE1. smoothie creations
Blend fat-free or low-fat yogurt or milk with fruit
pieces and crushed ice. Use fresh, frozen,
canned, and even overripe fruits. Try bananas,
berries, peaches, and/or pineapple. If you
freeze the fruit first, you can even skip
the ice!
DIPS2. delicious dippers
Kids love to dip their foods. Whip up a quick dip
for veggies with yogurt and seasonings such as
herbs or garlic. Serve with raw vegetables like broccoli,
carrots, or cauliflower. Fruit chunks go great with
a yogurt and cinnamon or vanilla dip.
3. caterpillar kabobs
Assemble chunks of melon, apple, orange, and
pear on skewers for a fruity kabob. For a raw veggie
version, use vegetables like zucchini, cucumber, squash,
sweet peppers, or tomatoes.
4.personalized pizzas
Set up a pizza-making station in the kitchen. Use
whole-wheat English muffins, bagels, or pita bread
as the crust. Have tomato sauce, low-fat cheese, and cut-up
vegetables or fruits for toppings. Let kids choose their own
favorites. Then pop the pizzas into the oven to warm.
5.fruity peanut butterfly
Start with carrot sticks or celery for the body. Attach
wings made of thinly sliced apples with peanut butter
and decorate with halved grapes or dried fruit.
6.frosty fruits
Frozen treats are bound to be popular in the warm
months. Just put fresh fruits such as melon chunks in
the freezer (rinse first). Make “popsicles” by inserting sticks
into peeled bananas and freezing.
7.bugs on a log
Use celery, cucumber, or carrot sticks as the log and
add peanut butter. Top with dried fruit such as raisins,
cranberries, or cherries, depending on what bugs you want!
Place  Setting at Christmas8.homemade trail mix
Skip the pre-made trail mix and make
your own. Use your favorite nuts and
dried fruits, such as unsalted peanuts, cashews,
walnuts, or sunflower seeds mixed with dried apples,
pineapple, cherries, apricots, or raisins. Add whole-grain
cereals to the mix, too.
9.potato person
Decorate half a baked potato. Use sliced cherry
tomatoes, peas, and low-fat cheese on the potato
to make a funny face.
Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face10.put kids in charge
Ask your child to name new veggie or fruit creations.
Let them arrange raw veggies or fruits into a fun
shape or design.


Here is a series of Pilates-inspired post-walk sculptors. They target the butt, hips, thighs, shoulders, and upper back while working your core. Tack these moves onto the end of any walk, aiming for at least three times a week. Plié … Continue reading


Spaghetti Squash
Microwaving makes this squash super easy to prepare and doesn’t heat up the house on a hot summer night!

2 1/2 Pounds (1 Medium) provides 4 serivngs; 60 calories per serving.

When Shopping
: Look for good yellow-orange color; hard, tough rinds; squash that is heavy.

To Prepare: Wash squash. Pierce with tip of sharp knife in SEVERAL places to allow steam to escape. I have had the squash blow up in the microwave, so I do pierce well and wrap lightly in wax paper to avoid the mess I had – of course, it hasn’t blown up since!!

To Microwave: Place squash on a microwave safe plate or paper plate. Microwave on high 5 minutes. Turn over and Microwave on high another 5 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut crosswise in half; remove seeds and fibers. Scrape fork across squash to pull flesh into strands.

To Serve: I add a little butter and some shredded Parmesan. Some people like it with ground allspice, ground cinnamon or ground ginger. And some people like it with spaghetti sauce or clam sauce.



mosquito pic

With all this rain and standing water, this summer is bound to breed loads of mosquitoes!  Here are some tips for using repellant safely and how to prevent getting bit.

For the safe and effective use of pesticide products, always read the product label before using the product. Apply just enough repellent to cover exposed skin and/or clothing. Remember these important points to use repellents safely:

  • Follow the label directions to ensure proper use.
  • Repellents should be applied only to exposed skin and/or clothing. Do not use under clothing.
  • Store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children, in a locked utility cabinet or garden shed.
  • Do not apply near eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears.
  • When using sprays, do not spray directly into face; spray on hands first and then apply to face.
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • Do not spray in enclosed areas. Avoid breathing a spray product, and do not use it near food.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin and clothes with soap and water.
  • Do not use any product on pets or other animals unless the label clearly states it is for animals.
  • Most insect repellents do not work on lice or fleas.
  • Use other preventive actions to avoid getting bitten .
  • Read more about active ingredients.

insect repellant

Repellents and Children

EPA does not recommend any additional precautions for using registered repellents on pregnant or lactating women, or on children, other than those listed on the label. For example, some repellents are eye irritants and those labels would have a specific caution about keeping the product away from your eyes.

Because children frequently put their hands in their eyes and mouths, EPA recommends that all repellent products have the following precautionary statements related to children on their labels:

  • “Do not allow children to handle this product, and do not apply to children’s hands. When using on children, apply to your own hands and then put it on the child.
  • After returning indoors, wash your child’s treated skin and clothes with soap and water or bathe.”

According to the label, oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under the age of three.

Always store insect repellents safely out of the reach of children.

If you are concerned about using repellent products on children you may wish to consult a health care provider for advice or contact the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) through their toll-free number, 1-800-858-7378 or

Prevention & Control

The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Be aware of the West Nile virus activity in your area and take action to protect yourself and your family.

Avoid Mosquito Bites

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions.

More information about insect repellents can be found here.

  • When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.
  • Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home

  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

Help Your Community West Nile Virus Surveillance and Control Programs

  • Support your local community mosquito control programs. Mosquito control activities are most often handled at the local level, such as through county or city government. The type of mosquito control methods used by a program depends on the time of year, the type of mosquitoes to be controlled, and the habitat structure. Methods can include elimination of mosquito larval habitats, application of insecticides to kill mosquito larvae, or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes. Your local mosquito control program can provide information about the type of products being used in your area. Check with your local health department for more information. Contact information may be found in the blue (government) pages of the phone book.

More information about mosquito control can be found here.

Resources for vector control professionals are located here.

  • Report dead birds to local authorities. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area. By reporting dead birds to state and local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring West Nile virus. State and local agencies have different policies for collecting and testing birds, so check with your state health department to find information about reporting dead birds in your area.

Additional Information about Insect Repellents

mosquito pic

10 minute ab & oblique workout

I tend to get bored with the same workout every day so here is another 10 minute workout for your abdominal & oblique muscles.  Both these muscles love to roll over the waistline of your pants thus, the phrase “mushroom top” was coined.  You don’t want to be among the “growing” population of mushroom tops so try this out.

I do change up my workouts often and my physical activity from day-to-day.  You’d be surprised what new muscles you use when you garden for a few hours, or climb the ladder up and down cleaning gutters, push the lawn mower, rake leaves, shovel snow.   Think about all the different muscles you use playing tennis, biking, swimming, walking or jogging, roller blading,  SUP boarding, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, water skiing, doing yoga, ice skating and snow shoeing.  The key is to find the activities you enjoy and do them OFTEN!  Changing up your activities will work a wider variety of muscles for an overall toned and beautiful body!



1 Bag (10 oz) Spring Mix Greens 2 cans (11oz) mandarin orange segments, drained 1/2 cup real bacon pieces 1 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/2 cup pecan halves 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese A bunch of red grapes 1/3 … Continue reading