A Stroke Can Happen At Any Time

It was pretty much an ordinary day for Diane Snyder: a busy work day, kitchen chores, and some time relaxing on the couch with her son’s girlfriend. The rest of her family was scattered throughout the house. She tried to lift a water bottle from the floor and couldn’t grasp it, and the left side of her face suddenly went slack. Fortunately, Diane’s family members recognized the significance of her symptoms and called 911. Diane was experiencing a stroke.

Read More »

Going Native

What is a native plant?

Native Pennsylvania plants are ones that grew here before European settlers set foot into the state, as opposed to exotic plants that came from other countries at a later date.

What are the benefits of native plants?

Native plants evolved here, so they are adapted to our specific climate and thrive once they are established. Some native perennials require the addition of little or no fertilizer, but perhaps the biggest benefit is the preservation of Pennsylvania’s biodiversity. Rapid development has bulldozed through native plants, leaving a sprawl of lawns and exotic plants in its wake. Native insects rely on feeding on native plants—an absence of native plants means an absence of native insects, which will eventually lead to a reduction of bird species. In the years to come, the plants we choose to have will directly impact the wildlife that we can see and support.

When is the best time to plant?

Spring, early summer, and fall are the best times to establish native perennials. April is the perfect time to plant natives such as Wild Ginger, Blue Wild Indigo, Wild Geranium, and Virginia Bluebells. Start planning now and start digging in a few weeks!

For questions regarding native plants contact regional experts Louise Schaefer and Susan Tantsits at Edge of the Wood Nursery.

610.395.2570 • edgeofthewoodsnursery.com

Being Khineder

Be kind to yourself, your kids, your family, your neighbors…

That’s all good. But did you know that being “khinde” to your skin can help make the world a better place?

It’s true, thanks to Khine Alkhal and her team of local moms. Khineder Creations is Khine’s fast-growing line of handmade, all-natural, chemical-free, GMO-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free beauty and skincare products that contain ingredients such as lavender, peppermint, goat milk, and beeswax for beauty and healing benefits. 

Inspired by traditional Burmese skincare secrets (Khine was born and raised in Myanmar), Khineder Creation’s top-selling Mi Maw Luxe Cream ($20) contains ingredients such as rosehip oil, lavender oil, and organic shea butter, and promises anti-aging and cell-rejuvenation.

Made locally by moms and shipped all over the world, Khine’s products – ranging from skin care, lip balms, body soaps and body scrubs – are sold out of a charming storefront on the Chestnut Street triangle in Emmaus that doubles as a gathering point and free education center for “Meet N Keep” workshops to learn about her natural products and healthy skin care. In addition, Khine sells items that have been handmade by survivors of sex trafficking and domestic abuse and donates part of her proceeds to support local artisans.

Khineder Creations

379 Chestnut Street, Emmaus
610.928.0408 • khinedercreations.com

Quick, Check the Freezer!

In the hubbub of a medical emergency, could you quickly lay your hands on essential information?  Where do you keep your lists of medications and allergies? How about your advanced directive? A living will? Your power-of-attorney?

Well, thanks to a new initiative sponsored by St. Luke’s University Health Network, seniors and others can stash that critical information in an easily accessible spot—the freezer!

“Although it sounds kind of silly to store your medical information next to the frozen peas and ice cream, emergency responders recognize the freezer as an easy-to-find, universal location,” says physician liaison Stephanie Lesavoy. And having this important data in a centralized location allows EMS to lay their hands on it quickly.

The “Take Me to St. Luke’s” packet consists of a tough blue plastic envelope, a what-to-include checklist, and a colorful magnet for the front of your refrigerator that directs emergency responders to your paperwork.

It also includes a “Five Wishes” document that addresses the personal, emotional, and spiritual needs related to end-of-life care—not just medical practices. “It’s a good conversation starter and guide for those difficult topics,” she adds.

“Patients can also use the envelope to store their clinical summaries, which they can update every time they visit a St. Luke’s facility,” Stephanie says. It’s also a convenient place to store any questions you might want to ask during your next office visit.

To avoid confusion, only one person’s information should go into the envelope. Additional family members should use separate envelopes, each labeled with the person’s name.

“Take Me to St. Luke’s” packets are available to patients 65 and older during their Medicare annual wellness visit at their St. Luke’s primary care physician’s office.

Skip the RX

Whether their symptoms are a runny nose, fever, or stuffy sinuses, many patients insist on being prescribed an antibiotic because “it’ll cure me faster.”

But that’s not always the case, cautions Michael A. Abgott, MD, Network Chair of Family Medicine and Vice President/Senior Medical Director of St. Luke’s Physician Group.

For starters, antibiotics are not cure-alls. “Antibiotics will kill bacteria and related organisms through very specific mechanisms,” he explains. “But conditions such as colds or the flu are caused by viruses—and antibiotics really have no effect on them.”

And even in cases where antibiotics are warranted, it’s best to proceed carefully. Some drugs are more effective than others against a particular infection, and all antibiotics have some side effects, Dr. Abgott said, including possible nausea, diarrhea, and allergic reactions. The trick is to find the lowest effective dose, with the lowest chance of side effects.

Overusing antibiotics can also lead to so-called “superbugs”: bacteria that have evolved ways to resist various killing mechanisms, including even the most powerful antibiotics. “You really don’t want to get to a point where nothing works against those bacteria,” he adds.

Woman to Woman: The Power of a Pivot

“We want to bring more joy into people’s lives,” says Nancy Werteen, award-winning broadcast journalist, anchor, and reporter for WFMZ-TV69. Together with certified health coach Kim Howie, she has created the Wisdom Coalition, a collaborative community dedicated to helping women flourish, thrive, and find joy in the journey of life.

The Wisdom Coalition holds local workshops, creates podcasts, and produces the show “Life Lessons” for WFMZ. Now Nancy and Kim have written The Power of a Pivot: How changing your mindset can bring you more joy in every aspect of your life. This central theme is that joy is a choice and, at any moment, we can turn, or pivot, towards choices that make us happier.

“We made a pivot in our own lives and discovered just how powerful positive thinking can be,” explains Kim. So, how can you pivot and find more joy?

Stop! Pause. Be aware of what you’re thinking. Really listen and make sure you are prioritizing positivity in every experience and every interaction throughout your day. Many times we just race from one thing to the next and never take the time to be aware of what we are really thinking or feeling. Listen and challenge the negative thoughts! You’ll find you can easily replace them with positive ones.

For more information, check out thewisdomcoalition.com

Get Real About a Gut Check

Even though colon cancer is still a leading cause of death in the U.S., there’s some good news to report. Noel Martins, MD, section chief of the gastroenterology division at St. Luke’s University Health Network, brought us up to date.

Read More »

More From Happy Healthy Local

Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette

We Tried Veggie Burgers

Let’s Move

Heart Healthy Tilapia

Naturlich Organic Yogurt

Follow @LehighValleyMarketplace on Instagram