Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Too Much, Too Fast

Binge drinking is a dangerous pattern of drinking that can put your health and safety at serious risk. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as drinking that raises your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent or higher. A rough way to estimate this is 5 or more standard drinks in two hours for men or 4 or more standard drinks in 2 hours for women or anyone over the age of 65. A standard “drink” is usually equal to a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a shot of distilled liquor, or a cocktail or mixed drink. This definition is based on the percentage of alcohol usually found in these different drink categories.

Binge drinkers are more likely to experience alcohol-related incidences of physical and verbal abuse, property damage or loss and fear-related situations. Binge drinking is associated with risky sexual behavior, including multiple partners and sex without barrier protection (condoms). These effects are in addition to injury due to motor vehicle accidents.

Despite the dangers, too much and too fast has its attractions. An Australian study found men who engaged in frequent heavy episodic drinking and women who drank more frequently were given a higher status among their peers than those drinking less. The higher social status was also linked to drinking more on an occasion. The author of the study stated, "We don't really know why a higher social status is associated with more drinking but, for young men especially, it may be related to the perception the ability to tolerate large amounts of alcohol is associated with 'coolness', power and masculinity. For young women, tolerance of alcohol is evaluated positively by female peers, often as a sign they can 'keep up with the boys'."

The legal limit to drive is a BAC less than 0.08 percent.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


There are more than 800,000 medical apps in the iTunes store – how to know which ones are good?

Here a few recommendations:

Pill Reminder is a medication and refill reminder. It allows tracking of multiple medications for multiple users. 

My Fitness Pal helps count calories and suggests exercise programs.

Lose It! is one of the most popular weight loss apps; it includes a barcode scanner and recipe planner.

GoMeals is especially useful for diabetics. 

And just for fun: SongPop.  Keeping the brain challenged may head off dementia.

The links are for the Apple products - these programs all available of the Android platform as well. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Harvest Season

The frost is not yet on the pumpkin, but harvest season is at hand. For many it’s a time of plenty, but many of our friends and neighbors are food insecure: not confident that they will have enough to feed their families.  It is a challenge to pay for housing, utilities, healthcare and food. Natural and financial disasters are equal opportunity actors.

I have my favorite national charities and will “set the table for another” by making regular contributions. I also participate in local drives to replenish the shelves in our local pantry. It’s no effort (and not very expensive) to pick up case of canned corn or canned fruit at the warehouse club. The store brand is fine – it’s what I feed my own family.

I was a little disheartened when I made room for my canned corn for the food drive yesterday and surveyed the other contributions.  We need to better educate those who choose to contribute. A food drive is not the opportunity to clean the pantry of old food. Food that is out of date must be discarded – a waste of a volunteer’s time and the charity will need to pay for the disposal. If your kids won’t eat that weird canned stuff, someone else’s kids won’t eat it either. If you won’t feed your children breakfast cereal that is little more then sugar and chemicals don’t feed it to someone else’s child.

If you are fortunate enough, please share. Please give mindfully and with love.

Some resources: