Easy Meal Planning for Diabetics

Meal planning is essential to a successful diabetic diet. It will prevent times when you
dont have anything ready for dinner and grab something that you probably shouldnt be
eating. The planning of meals should begin before you head to the grocery store in the
form of a list and meals you are going to make for those ingredients.

Once a week you should sit down and plan what meals you are going to eat and make for
the next week. When you are making your meal plan, dont forget to include all meals
and snacks too. If you are hungry and know what your next meal is going to be you are
going to be better prepared.

In the beginning, meal planning will take some time. Depending on what diet your are
following (the Exchange Diet, Counting Carbohydrates, or the TLC Diet) you are going
to have to get used to the foods you can have, the portion sizes and how they can be

Plan each day out in its entirety. Make it realistic; dont plan to make lasagna on a night
that you know you wont be home until late. Save the meals with more preparation for
when you have time and make extra so you can have left-overs when time is tight.

When you are in the grocery store, do not go hungry. If you do, there is more chance that
you will buy food that you do not need. Another trick while you are pushing around the
cart is to only get what is on your list. If you are in line paying for your food and notice
something that snuck its way in put it back. This will not only make sure you stick to
your meal plan but can save you money too.

How Old Is Too Old To Start Pointe Work?

The “How Old Is Too Old?” question comes up often in forums and discussion groups centred on pointe training and it is an issue that not many teachers/therapists/authors address. Technically, there is less risk to adult feet when beginning en pointe as their growth plates are fully fused. However, very few adults who have not danced for several years in their youth will possess a foot of suitable shape or strength for dancing en pointe. The Perfect Pointe Book, a downloadable e-book designed to help girls get strong enough for pointe work, has details on exactly how to measure the range of motion in various parts of the foot and ankle required for pointe training.

The issue of flexibility is the main area that will hinder most mature students from achieving a fully pointed position of the ankle, as this often requires some gentle stretching of the ligaments that is much easier when we are young. The range possible at the ankle also depends significantly on the natural mobility of the ligaments in general. Therefore, in a hypermobile individual (general laxity in all ligaments of the body), this will be easier to achieve. However, if there is a real desire to put the work in to improve this, I have seen some drastic improvements in foot and ankle range in adult clients.

The strength requirements for an older ballet student to progress onto pointe actually exceed the requirements for a young dancer. This is due to the fact that most adult dancers are significantly heavier than the average 12 year old! The dancer must be able to control the feet well for all of the tests, especially when en fondu, and during petit allegro, as the increase in body weight will create much stronger forces through the joints in the foot while jumping. Lack of control of the arch when en fondu, especially on the slightly rounded sole of a pointe shoe, will put the knees under great strain when dancing. Turnout strength, range and control are also very important areas to assess.

If an adult has been taking ballet classes for some time, and working their feet well in class, the required strength in the forefoot will not take long to develop. However, for the complete newcomer to ballet, learning how to isolate certain muscles in the feet may take some time. Our bodies develop motor patterns of movements that we do regularly, and it is important for this isolated foot control to become second nature to the dancer before commencing pointe work. There are so many other things to think about while en pointe, that the dancer must be able to easily control the position of the toes in the shoe to have optimum control and therefore safety en pointe.

The co-ordination required to control the feet en pointe is something that is developed over years of dancing, and, as for any student, I would expect an adult to be dancing at least 3 classes a week for a year, and ideally regular classes for several years before considering pointe work.

All the points discussed in “The Perfect Pointe Book” should be addressed for anyone of any age (men included!) before progressing onto pointe. It gives guidelines and tests for range and strength
that is so important to prevent injury. It is not impossible for an adult ballet dancer to progress onto pointe, but it will usually require a lot of work and dedication to achieve this safely.

New Therapy Studied For Sickle Cell Anemia

Soon after her baby’s 6-month birthday, Wanda Gougis’ worst fears were confirmed. The doctor told her that her daughter, Juanita, had inherited what some other members of her family had – sickle cell anemia.

Instead of the normal cries for food or attention, Juanita cries out in pain. The infant faces repeated episodes of excruciating pain involving every joint and organ in the body.

The worst is that the mother has to stand by and watch her child go through this while having no treatment to offer. The medicines for sickle cell anemia that are given to adults have such horrible side effects that doctors do not want to treat children with them. So the future for this infant includes repeated pain crisis, stunted growth, frequent infections and many missed school days.

Sickle cell affects the structure of the hemoglobin in red blood cells by forming a sickle or crescent shape that has difficulty passing through small blood vessels. The disease occurs in about one in every 500 African-American births.

There are presently no completely safe and effective treatments for the 80,000 to 100,000 African-American people with the sickle cell disease. However, one promising treatment is on the horizon.

A young UCLA scientist, Dr. Yutaka Niihara, discovered that by placing the abnormal sickled red blood cells in a culture dish with the amino acid glutamine (a harmless substance that is in the body and commonly found in food), the sickled cells would open up and become the normal ball-like shape. Niihara gave this substance to a few patients who had at least one painful crisis a month.

The results were astonishing. The number of visits to the emergency room greatly diminished, and refills for pain medicine also dramatically decreased. The patients also noticed improvement in their activity level.

This potentially safe, effective treatment that could be given to infants, children and adults is currently undergoing trials that are supported and funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. The goal is drug approval by the FDA.

Individuals with sickle cell are being recruited for the study; the sooner the trials are finished, the sooner this treatment can be made available to everyone in the country who has this disease.