Ebola vaccinations begin in rural Congo on Monday: Ministry

Ebola vaccinations will begin Monday in the two rural areas of Congo where the latest deadly outbreak was declared this month, the health ministry said Saturday, as the number of confirmed Ebola cases rose to 35, including 10 deaths.

A vaccination campaign is already under way in Mbandaka, the city of 1.2 million on the Congo River where four Ebola cases have been confirmed. About 100 health workers have been vaccinated there as front-line workers face high risk from the virus, which is spread via contact with the bodily fluids of those infected, including the dead.

The vaccination campaign will begin Monday in the rural areas of Bikoro and Iboko in the country’s northwest, health ministry spokeswoman Jessica Ilunga told The Associated Press.

“The health minister can be found at this moment in Bikoro for assessing the preparations for the vaccination campaign,” Ilunga said.

Of the 10 confirmed Ebola deaths, five have occurred in Bikoro, two in Iboko and three in the Wangata area of Mbandaka.

In addition to the confirmed Ebola cases there are also 13 probable cases and six suspected ones, the health ministry said.

The World Health Organization emergencies chief has said the next few weeks are crucial in determining whether the outbreak can be brought under control. Complicating factors include its spread to a major city, the fact that health workers have been infected and the existence of three or four “separate epicenters” that make finding and monitoring contacts of infected people more difficult.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a meeting in Geneva on Saturday that “I am personally committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to stop this outbreak as soon as possible.”

This is Congo’s ninth Ebola outbreak since 1976, when the hemorrhagic fever was first identified.

There is no specific treatment for Ebola. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding. The virus can be fatal in up to 90 percent of cases, depending on the strain.

WHO is using a “ring vaccination” approach, targeting the contacts of people infected or suspected of infection and then the contacts of those people. More than 600 contacts have been identified.

WHO also is accelerating efforts with nine neighboring countries to try to prevent the Ebola outbreak from spreading there, saying the regional risk is high. It has warned against international travel and trade restrictions.


Associated Press writer Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed.


Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP—Africa

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The complex and fragile community of the experimental garden – The Denver Post

The experimental garden at my house is a complex and collaborative place. We try something new each year — sometimes many things — bounded only by the commitment to try not to pay for anything other than plants, seeds and water.

Our success rate varies. Last year, a keyhole garden fashioned from a castoff kids’ sandbox produced high yields of South American string beans, zinnias and kale. But green peas from Israel, probably planted too late, didn’t do so well in a strip of garden where chicken bedding was buried a foot deep to compost. Better luck in that spot this season?

This year, we’ve been bending long lengths of rebar around a big cottonwood tree to make supports for tomatoes grown in straw bales. (I, too, question the wisdom of this. But my garden partner is a blacksmith. Who am I to argue?)

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In 1979, a guy named Andy saved the Bolder Boulder — The Know

Julie Willson reacts after cooling off on a slip and slide during the 2017 Bolder Boulder 10k Citizens Race on Monday in Boulder, Colo. For more photos of the citizens race go to www.dailycamera.com
Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer/ May 29, 2017

The Bolder Boulder, ready to step off for its 40th year, has long been acclaimed as one of the largest and most respected road races in the world.

But the race that draws more than 40,000 people every Memorial Day has a secret: It was almost dead before it even started.

For a few tense hours on Memorial Day weekend of 1979, it looked as if that first Bolder Boulder might have to be canceled when organizers realized no one had secured a permit from the city. If it had been canceled, there would have been no coming back.

At the last minute, a city bureaucrat stepped in to save the day — and the race.

“Had we not had an event that year, it would have been over,” said race co-founder Steve Bosley, who was then president of the Bank of Boulder. “We would have had to refund entry fees. We were already over budget, we were a small bank and didn’t have a lot of money to do this, and our reputation would have been ruined. Being able to come back the next year and start over, I don’t think it would have happened.”

Bosley hustled down to city offices a few days before that first race, on a holiday weekend, determined to secure the permit and keep the race alive.

“I went through all the official offices, anybody I could talk to,” Bosley said. “They said, ‘No, there’s not enough time. Here’s the procedure, and the people who do that aren’t here. It’s too late; you didn’t follow the process.’ ”

Then he found Andy Hollar, Boulder’s director of public works.

“I told him the story and he laughed,” Bosley said. “I thought, ‘I don’t think it’s so funny.’ He got up and left the office, I’m sitting there thinking, ‘He just walked out on me.’ I’m trying to figure out what to do next, looking up and down the hallways.

“It wasn’t 10 minutes, and he came in and had a permit.”

From left: Cliff and Steve Bosley pose for a photo at the Bolder Boulder offices in Boulder, Colorado on May 14, 2018.
(Matthew Jonas, Boulder Daily Camera)

That first race had 2,200 finishers. After that, the Bolder Boulder experienced explosive growth, doubling in size the second year, surpassing 11,000 in its fifth year and 20,000 in its 10th.

Now, after 39 successful years, Runner’s World magazine proclaimed the race “America’s all-time best 10K,” and it has averaged nearly 47,600 finishers over the past 10 years. It will surpass 1.5 million total finishers in its 40th running on Monday — and Bosley wants Hollar to finally get some credit.

“How many bureaucrats today would step up and act that way?” Bosley said. “He was the epitome of serving the Boulder community.”

Hollar, who retired about five years ago and lives in Rocky Ford, said Bosley’s accolades are “kind of embarrassing,” insisting he was just doing his job.

“I’ve always felt that public servants ought to be serving the public,” said Hollar, 77. ”Sometimes there’s a need to be bureaucratic about something. But other than that, I think you’ve got to be able to serve the people who are paying the bills.”

The genesis of the race is an oft-told story. Bosley wanted to put on a track meet for kids. He sought expert advice from a friend, Frank Shorter, who had won the 1972 Olympic marathon and took the silver medal in 1976. Shorter suggested Bosley put on a road race instead.

Bosley famously replied, “What’s a road race?”

Runners grab cups of water during ...
Runners grab cups of water during the 39th annual Bolder Boulder on May 29, 2017 in Boulder. Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post)

He soon learned. Bosley was the man in charge for the first 20 years before passing the responsibility to one of his sons, Cliff, who is marking his 20th year as race director.

Through last year’s race, the list of people who had competed in every Bolder Boulder stood at 61, ranging in age from 44 to 82. One of them was John Tope of Denver, who was 29 the first year.

“I remember a bunch of us (saying), ‘Wow, Frank is running, there’s a chance we’ll see Frank Shorter,’ ” Tope said this week. “It was nice to watch it grow over the years. It became a real special thing. People may not run anything else all year, but they’re going to take the family and make a day of it and do Bolder Boulder. I think that’s really cool.”

The first year, the race finished at North Boulder Park, and the next year Steve Bosley moved the finish to the track at Boulder High School to accommodate the doubling of the entries. Then, University of Colorado athletic director Eddie Crowder came to Steve Bosley with the idea that would give the race its unique stamp: the Folsom Field finish. Crowder and Arnold Weber, CU’s president at the time, saw it as a way to promote the university and reinforce its connection with the community.

“They pushed really hard,” Steve said. “They had to convince me. I was reluctant. I was concerned that if CU decided to change the rules 10 years or 20 years or 30 years out, we would have no choice.”

Olympic gold medalist Frank Shorter posed with Cliff Bosley, left, and his younger brothers, Steve, center, and Ted, after the 1980 Bolder Boulder 10K. (Courtesy Bolder Boulder)

But they insisted the “partnership” would endure because both sides would benefit and treat each other fairly. “Some day,” Crowder wrote in his initial letter proposing the idea, “you might even fill the stadium.”

Now, filling the stadium is an annual occurrence.

Under Cliff Bosley’s direction, with counsel from his father, the post-race stadium scene evolved into one of America’s biggest Memorial Day commemorations. They were careful about it at first, not wanting it to appear that they were commercializing a solemn holiday.

“I am furious when I see a used car dealer (on TV), he’s got balloons and he says, ‘Come in for our Memorial Day Special,’ ” said Steve Bosley. “You know, 1.1 million Americans since the Revolutionary War died to keep this country free. That’s what Memorial Day is. As we eased into it, I think we did a flyover the first time, but it was so well received. A piece by piece by piece was added, refined and changed around.”

Now, every observance recognizes veterans who demonstrated exceptional heroism, along with the playing of “Taps” and a 21-gun salute. Often there is a military flyover.

Flyover of Folsom Field during the 2014 Bolder Boulder. (Paul Aiken, Boulder Daily Camera)

Another key innovation that set the race apart came in 1983, when Steve Bosley incorporated the “wave” start: a sequence of starts segregating runners by ability and spreading them out so they could run the early parts of the race without being impeded by the crowding of other runners. It was a unprecedented concept at the time, and it required a lot of thinking to figure out the sequence and size of each wave to keep things running smoothly.

It was a big risk, too.

“I can still remember being in the stadium, waiting to hear what was happening,” Steve said. “Our starting line crew came bursting into the stadium and said, ‘It worked perfectly, it worked just exactly the way we intended.’ ”

The following year, Steve separated the professional runners and started their race after the masses so ordinary runners could linger in the stadium after their run and watch the elites finish. In 1998, the pro race was reconstituted as the International Team Challenge with teams of three runners representing their homelands, the idea being that foreign runners might not have recognizable names but spectators could get excited about runners racing for their countries.

Steve Bosley has many reasons to be proud.

In 1980, Cliff Bosley, then 13, sprinted to the finish on the Boulder High School football field at the 1980 Bolder Boulder 10K. (Courtesy Bolder Boulder)

“The first pride is what Cliff has done for 20 years, to carry on and expand it and take it other levels,” Steve said. “When you can affect this many people’s fitness — plus enhance the reputation of your community; contribute to the interaction between the university and the city; help the sport of running;  help the  American professionals by bringing big dogs here for them to race against; and to be able to talk to 50,000 in the stands and remind people what Memorial Day is, to honor veterans — there’s no way to describe that.”

Cliff Bosley ran the first Bolder Boulder at age 12. On his watch, the race surpassed 40,000 finishers in 2000 and exceeded 50,000 in 2010. It has hovered between 43,500 and 48,400 the past five years.

“We think it’s the best 10K in the world, and probably the best race in the world,” said Cliff. “It’s nice to be on the list of the big races, to be in the top three or four in the country and top 10 in the world — there is stature associated with that. But with that kind of size, doing it best, that’s how everybody here is predisposed. We said: Let’s be the best road race on the planet, let’s set the standard for road racing around the globe.”

Monica Folts of Denver is training for the Ironman Boulder triathlon on June 10th. Last weekend she put in 100 miles on the bike one day and 20 miles of running the next with her eyes firmly focused on the Ironman, but she wouldn’t miss the Bolder Boulder.

“Bolder Boulder does such a good job,” Folts said. “They’ve got it down to an absolute science. Everybody has a blast, it’s got a great finish, the atmosphere is amazing. You can’t be a runner in Colorado and not do the Bolder Boulder.”

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Vegan banana bread with toasted coconut recipe | Meera Sodha | Life and style

While all other cakes come and go with seasons and flights of fancy, the banana cake is steady – it’s the safe bet and the crowd-pleaser, and also the secret favourite. Not all banana cakes are created equal, however. This one is so dense, you could make an indentation on a slice with your lips and it would remember them like memory foam. It’s sweet, but not so sweet that it couldn’t be eaten for breakfast with a choice spread (peanut butter) and jam. But it’s still sweet enough to be eaten on its own, all year round and for ever.

Banana bread with toasted coconut

You’ll need an 18cm x 8cm loaf tin and a food processor to make this. It needs to be left to rest in the tin until cool before slicing.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 20 min
Serves 8

100g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
100ml maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
100g ground almonds
150g desiccated coconut
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
450g ripe banana flesh (ie, from about 3-4 large bananas), cut into chunks
40g raw (untoasted) coconut chips, such as Daylesford Organic

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Grease a loaf tin with coconut oil, then line the base with a long strip of baking parchment (this will make it easier to lift out the cake later).

In a small pan, heat the coconut oil until just melted, then take it off the heat, stir in the maple syrup and vanilla and set side.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, almonds, desiccated coconut, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Put the banana in a food processor and blitz to a smooth puree. Add the flour mixture and oil to the banana, and process again until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the processor and pulse once more.

Scrape the mixture into the tin and spread it out evenly. Cover with enough coconut flakes to cover the top completely, then press them lightly into the batter.

Bake for an hour, then turn down the heat to 160C/320F/gas 2½, turn the cake around and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin. Brush off any scorched coconut flakes, cut into generous slices and serve.

  • Food styling: Aya Nishimura

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Fit in my 40s: ‘You can’t drift off in reformer pilates’ | Zoe Williams | Life and style

Pilates became huge in the 90s, lauded for powers that seemed quasi-mystical: it made you calm down, but it also made you longer and tauter. It was never clear exactly how it could make you lose weight, but “longer” and “tauter” sounded a lot like “thinner”. Dancers did it because it was one of the only things you could do with a ton of historic injuries; those of us who had never done enough exercise to amass any injuries did it because dancers did.

Reformer pilates is a little more recent, as a craze, a lot more involved, in terms of hardware, and a lot more expensive. (The class I went to, in Clapham, south London, was £21 for an hour, which would make me think twice. Or maybe I’m just tight.)

The hardware is a sprung bench (no giant beach ball here). You lie on it, there are straps you can put your legs in, straps you can put your arms in, and five springs of varying strength, which determine the difficulty of each exercise. Its peculiar design enables you to do things you wouldn’t – without leg straps, a movable bench and some spring – be able to do, like a shoulder stand. There’s one piece of equipment with a frame over the top, in which you can get practically upside down and feel like an acrobat. It’s important to remember that your human strength hasn’t changed, and no self-respecting circus would employ you.

I went with two friends, though luckily they were behind me, so I didn’t have to measure my failings against their success. You start off like a ballerina in stirrups, pointing your toes and flexing your legs towards different parts of the room. The instructor had a very evolved sense of direction, in which – so far as I could make out – she was alone. “Legs towards the high street! Shoulders up, legs towards the south wall.” Horizontal, and trying to move multiple limbs at once, I can just about remember which way is up. The concept of north is a world away. We were basically just watching each other and copying whoever seemed the most certain. It is all very hard on the muscles: controlled, sustained anything, if you keep at it for six minutes, will kill your hamstrings or anything else involved.

About halfway through, the standing-on-the-bench commences, which seems as if it will be easier, because it looks it. One foot on the static part of the bench, one on the moving part, you slide your working foot in and out like a character in an 80s computer game of warrior bearing but limited skills. It turns out who knew? – that this is hard, too.

The “reformer” element adds complexity and unexpectedness, which makes the time go faster but doesn’t make it feel any easier. I had the vague expectation of a mindfulness component, mainly because the kind of people who like pilates also like yoga. But this is not an activity in which you can drift off and connect with the true you. It requires the same level of concentration as driving on a motorway at the same time as having an argument; which is in itself is quite mentally cleansing. I’d go regularly if I had a pilates buddy; without, it’s a bit ponderous.

Give it a go

Find a class where you live at pilatesnearyou.co.uk

Clothes: My Gym Wardrobe

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Emails show cooperation among EPA, climate-change deniers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newly released emails show senior Environmental Protection Agency officials working closely with a conservative group that dismisses climate change to rally like-minded people for public hearings on science and global warming, counter negative news coverage and promote Administrator Scott Pruitt’s stewardship of the agency.

John Konkus, EPA’s deputy associate administrator for public affairs, repeatedly reached out to senior staffers at the Heartland Institute, according to the emails.

“If you send a list, we will make sure an invitation is sent,” Konkus wrote to then-Heartland president Joseph Bast in May 2017, seeking suggestions on scientists and economists the EPA could invite to an annual EPA public hearing on the agency’s science standards.

Follow-up emails show Konkus and the Heartland Institute mustering scores of potential invitees known for rejecting scientific warnings of man-made climate-change, including from groups like Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff, and Junk Science.

The emails underscore how Pruitt and senior agency officials have sought to surround themselves with people who share their vision of curbing environmental regulation and enforcement, leading to complaints from environmentalists that he is ignoring the conclusions of the majority of scientists in and out of his agency especially when it comes to climate-changing carbon emissions.

They were obtained by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center, which sued to enforce a Freedom of Information request and provided them to The Associated Press.

The EPA maintains close working relationships with a broad range of public and private groups, and Heartland is just one of many the agency engages with “to ensure the public is informed,” said EPA spokesman Lincoln Ferguson.

“It demonstrates the agency’s dedication to advancing President Trump’s agenda of environmental stewardship and regulatory certainty,” he said.

The public hearing referred to in the May 2017 email ultimately was canceled when the EPA official who runs it fell ill, the EPA said.

But Bast contended in an email sent to EPA staffers and others that the official called off the hearing after learning that climate-change “skeptics planned to attend.”

The Heartland Institute calls itself a leading free-market think-tank. It rejects decades of science saying fossil-fuel emissions are altering the climate and says on its website that curbing use of petroleum and coal to fight climate change would “squander one of America’s greatest comparative advantages among the world’s nations.”

“Of course The Heartland Institute has been working with EPA on policy and personnel decisions,” Tim Huelskamp, a former Republican congressman from Kansas who now leads the group, said in a statement to the AP.

“They recognized us as the pre-eminent organization opposing the radical climate alarmism agenda and instead promoting sound science and policy,” Huelskamp wrote.

He said Heartland would continue to help Pruitt and his staff.

Ferguson said Pruitt and his top officials have also met with groups known for their campaigns against climate-changing emissions and pollutants from fossil fuels, including the Moms Clean Air Force, the American Lung Association, and others.

But Ben Levitan of the Environmental Defense Fund said mainstream climate-change groups have received nothing like the outreach and invitations that Heartland and other hard-right groups have been getting.

Certainly, “in some ways this is normal and in the course of business that ebbs and flows with the ideology of the administration in power,” said Meredith McGehee, executive director of Issue One, a non-profit promoting ethical government and bipartisan political reform.

Heartland is not registered as a lobbying group. Spokesman Jim Lakely said the group has logged its contacts with EPA and that they fall below the level required for disclosing as lobbying.

An email last February shows Bast forwarded to followers an email with the line “From the White House,” rallying activists to public hearings the EPA was then holding around the country on repealing an Obama-era power plan meant to curb fossil-fuel emissions.

The email is signed by a Pruitt political appointee and gives the name of another EPA official for activists to call. It’s not clear from the email, however, who initiated the attempt to rally conservatives for the public hearing.

Konkus was a Republican political consultant when Pruitt named him to the agency. His duties include reviewing awards of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants. The Washington Post reported in September that Konkus had been scrutinizing grant applications for mentions of climate change, which he reportedly calls “the double C-word.”

Emails show he and former EPA spokeswoman, Liz Bowman, repeatedly reached out to Heartland to talk over critical coverage by the Post.

Lakely, the Heartland spokesman, responds he’s shared the article with colleagues, “asking them to jump to your aide (sic) and defend this position.”

Konkus also contacted Heartland and other conservative groups asking for what he calls “echo” amplifying word of Pruitt’s regulation-cutting efforts, according to the emails.

And an email from Bast, shared with EPA staffers and others, shows the then-Heartland president celebrating news that a reporter, Justin Gillis, was leaving The New York Times.

“Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead. Still waiting for Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin at the WaPo and Seth Borenstein at AP to flame out,” Bast writes.

Spokespeople for the AP, The Washington Post and The New York Times declined comment.

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Exercise and eating healthy can help prevent cancer, report says

Lori Ann Pon studied mixed martial arts for 18 years and is a third-degree black belt. But her lifestyle changed after she was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer in 2016.

The 62-year-old Coral Springs resident now eats organic food only. She makes sure her plate is mostly filled with fruits and vegetables with a small portion of meat.


After being diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer in 2016, Lori Ann Pon changed her diet and exercise regimen. She now eats only organic foods and two-thirds of her plate is filled with fruits and vegetables, while one third is fish or a small portion of meat. She bikes regularly, runs and performs abdominal exercises.

Courtesy of Broward Health

The American Institute of Cancer Research (AICR) recommends this in the New American Plate, which consists of two-thirds vegetables, fruits, whole grains or beans and one-third animal protein. As far as veggies, kale and spinach are at the top of her list. For protein, she mainly eats fish and chicken.


Salads with spinach and grilled chicken and chickpeas makes for an easy and healthy meal. Spinach is one of the best foods you can eat in helping to prevent cancer.

Linda Gassenheimer TNS

“My brother goes fishing all the time,” Pon said. “He brings me fresh fish like grouper, dolphin, mahi and snapper.”

Taking responsibility for her nutrition and eating habits plays an important role in Pon’s treatment, said Mary Scott, a dietitian and clinician at Broward Health, where Pon receives care.

“Nutrition is only part of it,” said Scott, who encourages patients to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. “Working with staff with all aspects of treatment is needed. Patients have fewer side effects if they are more in tune with their eating habits.”

Nutritional therapy is designed to prevent patients from experiencing nutritional side effects from cancer treatment, said Jillian Guralski, clinical nutritional coordinator at Memorial Cancer Institute at Memorial Healthcare System.

“If the body is a garden, cancer is a weed,” said Dr. Lesley Klein, clinical dietitian at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “I want to nourish the garden so the cancer has a harder time to grow back once it’s been eradicated. I really like patients to eat a rainbow of colors, so that they have a better chance of reducing their risk of a recurrence of their cancer.”

Leafy green vegetables, apples, hummus, onions, blueberries and grapefruit are some of the foods that are considered anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory and heart healthy, among other attributes.

Twenty percent of cancers are linked to obesity so it is important to maintain a healthy weight, said Carla Araya, a registered dietician at Baptist Health South Florida’s Miami Cancer Institute. Obesity is associated with a low-grade chronic inflammation that can damage cells, making a patient more susceptible and increase risks to diseases.

AICR’s research has found a strong link between excess body fat and increased risk for cancer. Overweight people have high levels of substances circulating in their blood that stimulate cell division. The more often cells divide, the more opportunity there is for cancer to develop.

The effects of a diet change are being studied at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Since January, the study has monitored the effects of the ketogenic diet on children, ages 1-18, who have benign and malignant brain tumors that don’t respond to standard treatment, said Dr. Ziad Khatib, director of neuro-oncology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

The ketogenic diet encourages patients to eat low-carb, high-fat foods. Some of the foods incorporated into the diet include heavy whipping cream, oils such as olive or peanut, avocados, walnuts and cashews, said Jennifer Lynn Caceres, a dietitian at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and principal investigator on the study. The diet is also low in sugar and protein.

Supplements are given during the study to make sure the patient receives all nutrients, Caceres said. The supplements include calcium, vitamin D and multivitamins. The supplement carnidine, a nutrient in the body that metabolizes or uses fat energy, is also supplied.

Exercise can also play a big role in the fight against cancer. A recent AICR research report stated that physical activity lowers the risk of certain cancers for adults. Being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and eating well can prevent nearly one-third of the most common U.S. cancer cases. The AICR recommends at least 30 minutes daily of physical activity.

Pon now incorporates other forms of exercise into her routine to stay fit. Every Sunday, she rides with her girlfriends to the beach and has brunch. Besides bicycling regularly, she runs and performs abdominal and push-up exercises.

The best cancer-fighting foods

Legumes: Lentils and beans, such as red, black, pinto, and kidney, “are a great source of protein other than meat,” said UM’s Klein. Legumes are also rich in fiber and a good source of folate.

Broccoli: It is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium and magnesium, among other nutrients. “It is considered anti-cancerous,” Guralski said. Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which includes Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and collard greens.

Nuts and seeds: “Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are healthy fats and have omega 3, Guralski said. Walnuts, especially, contain high amounts of polyphenols, phytochemicals that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants provide cell protection from damage caused by free radicals. Seeds such as flaxseed provide magnesium, protein and fiber.

Grapefruit: Contains phytochemicals, which can have antioxidants and provide cell protection. “Papaya, mango and citrus foods are high in vitamin C and are very beneficial,” Guralski said.

Spinach: Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory and Swiss chard have fiber, folate and carotenoids, which have antioxidants. “Spinach is high in protein and an alternative source for protein instead of meat,” Guralski said.

Whole grains: Brown rice, oatmeal, corn, whole-wheat bread, barley, and farro are some of the whole grains “that are high in protein and fiber.” Whole grains provide more fiber, nutrition, fiber and phytochemicals than refined grains.

Blueberries: Contain phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which give the berries their blue color. High in antioxidants, blueberries also contain vitamins C and K, and manganese. “Besides containing antioxidants, blueberries can also help people to focus and are heart healthy,” UM’s Klein said.

Carrots: These vegetables can be found in the colors of orange, purple, red and yellow. Very high in vitamin A, carrots also contain vitamin K, beta-carotene, fiber and phytochemicals. “Carrots help with the immune system, are anti-cancerous and protect cells,” said Baptist’s Araya.


Carrots help with the immune system and can help protect you against cancer.

Bob Donaldson TNS

Garlic: A common ingredient in food across the world, garlic is part of the same family of vegetables that includes onions, scallions, shallots, leeks and chives. “It is anti-cancerous, good for your gastrointestinal health, and protects your cells,” said Baptist’s Araya.

Salmon: One of several types of fatty fish that contains omega 3, which is anti-inflammatory. Also good: mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, shrimp and scallops.


What to avoid:

Sugary drinks such as sodas and juices. Swap sodas for flavored sparkling water or add fruit like melon, berries or citrus to your water.

Red meat, beef, lamb and pork. Eating more than 18 ounces of red meat weekly increases the risk of colorectal cancers, the AICR stated.

Processed foods: Consuming sausage and hot dogs regularly increases risk of colon cancer, according to the AICR. Processed foods often contain added fat, sugar and sodium as well as low in nutrients and fiber. Shop on the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid boxed items that are high in sugar and chemicals.

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Can you make up for lost sleep on the weekend?

Not getting enough sleep can be detrimental to your health; many studies even link the lack of Z’s to higher odds of dying during a certain time period. But a new study from Sweden suggests that if you can’t sleep as much as you need during the week, you may be able to make up for it on the weekends.

The researchers found that people ages 65 and under who slept 5 hours or less a night had a 65 percent higher risk of death during the 13-year study period than those who got 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night. But individuals who balanced their short weekday sleep with longer weekend sleep did not appear to have any increased mortality risk.

The findings suggest, in other words, that you may be able to make up for the damaging effects of lost sleep. 

“We can’t really say 100 percent we have proven this, but it’s a reasonable assumption that this is what’s happening,” said lead study author Torbjörn Åkerstedt, a professor of behavioral medicine at Stockholm University in Sweden.

The study was published today (May 23) in the Journal of Sleep Research.

Previous studies looking at sleep deprivation and mortality risk often asked participants about their “usual” sleep duration, which is often interpreted as one’s weekday sleep schedule. But “we suspected that might not be the whole story,” Åkerstedt told Live Science.

In the study, Åkerstedt and his colleagues gathered the data of more than 38,000 adults, collected in a medical survey in Sweden in 1997. In the survey, the participants answered two questions about their sleep duration, on weeknights and on days off.

The team then tracked the participants for up to 13 years, using the country’s national death register, and controlled for factors that can contribute to health or mortality risk, such as gender, body mass index and smoking.

Just as previous studies have shown, sleep duration had a U-shape relationship with mortality risk. In other words, both too much and too little sleep were linked to risk of death during the study period. Like people who slept less than 5 hours a night, people who consistently slept 8 or more hours fared worse than those who slept 6 or 7 hours a night.

Short sleep duration has been linked to numerous health problems, including stroke, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and obesity, all of which increase the risk of death. But the link between long sleep duration and mortality risk is more mysterious, and may be driven by a third factor, such as an underlying health problem that is not measurable, Åkerstedt said.

“With long sleep we don’t have a good explanation. We think there has to be something going that has to do with higher need for sleep and is not healthy,” he said. In other words, an underlying health problem may be the reason a person is sleeping too much.

The study also found that the link between sleep patterns and mortality disappeared for those ages 65 or older. “At that age, people get the sleep they need, whereas for a 30- or 40-year-old, there’s often a huge discrepancy between the sleep they need and what they actually get,” Åkerstedt said.

Although the consequences of this discrepancy can be mitigated with a weekend sleep-in, there may be a limit. Studies have found that sleep deprivation induces physiological changes, such as loss of neurons and alterations in brain connectivity, that could be potentially long term.

In addition, losing just 1 hour of sleep may have different effects on the body than losing several hours. “You are much more hit by an all-nighter than a half-nighter,” Åkerstedt said.

Original article on Live Science.

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Boy determined to walk, play hockey despite muscle disease

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) – When Austin Justin stood for the first time, his mother cried. When he took his first tentative steps, she bawled.

Tabitha Fich’s phone is full of photos and videos of Austin as he’s progressed from sitting to standing to stepping. But unlike most children hitting those milestones, Austin isn’t an infant or toddler. He’s 5 years old.

He was also never expected to walk.

“He’s definitely surprised everybody,” Fich said.

Austin isn’t walking on his own – at least not yet. He relies on braces for his legs and crutches or a walker for stability. But, eventually, the goal is for the sports-loving Brush Prairie boy to be able to walk without assistance, to run the bases of a baseball infield, to lace up ice skates and play hockey.

“If he puts his mind to it, he can do it,” Fich said.

When Austin was born, his legs were twisted and his feet were clubbed. Surgery when he was 6 months old corrected the clubbed feet, and specialty braces, called ankle foot orthosis, helped keep his feet in the correct position.

Still, Austin was unlikely to ever walk.

Before Austin was born, Fich learned he had the same genetic condition she and her mother have: unknown muscle myopathy. There are many types of congenital myopathies (those present at birth) but they all share common features, including lack of muscle tone and weakness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

For Austin, it means having virtually no calf or hip muscles. In addition, the tendons in his legs were pulled tight, leaving his legs bent in a 70-degree angle.

Fich was born with more muscle than Austin and has always been able to walk. But up until a surgery when she was 15, Fich walked with a hunched back and needed a walker for assistance or a wheelchair for longer distances. The surgery, however, allowed Fich to walk unaided with a straight back and gave her more independence, she said.

For years, Austin got around the house by scooting on his bottom or “bear crawling,” where he uses clenched fists and his tip-toes to walk.

When they went outside, Austin used a wheelchair.

But the 5-year-old desperately wanted to stand upright and walk. Fich went to bat for her son, pleading with his specialists at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Portland to perform a surgery to straighten his legs. Doctors were hesitant. They didn’t know if the surgery would be effective, Fich said.

“I felt we needed to give him the ability to try,” she said.

Finally, the doctors agreed. But, they cautioned, there was no guarantee

Austin would be able to walk.

On Oct. 10, surgeons stretched the tendons in Austin’s legs, reducing the 70 degree bend to just 10 degrees. He received new braces, these ones stretching from above his knee to his foot.

“Within a month, he was walking,” Fich said. “Nov. 27 was the first day he ever took steps in his life.”

With newly straightened legs and braces to support his diminished hip muscles, Austin was able to pull himself upright and, with a walker for stability, take those first unsteady steps.

A few months ago, Austin received a new brace – one most often used by kids with spina bifida – that better supports his hips and lower back and keeps his body upright, making it easier for him to walk. With weekly physical therapy, Austin has gone from using a walker to using crutches to get around.

“He’s come so far,” Fich said.

But the progress hasn’t come easy.

Before a recent physical therapy appointment, Austin sat tentatively on a small set of stairs. He chewed on his fingers, his head down. His wooden crutches leaned on the step next to him.

Fich bent down next to her son and asked him to scoot to the edge of the step, stand up and lock his brace into place. She reminded him that he promised to have a good session. After protesting for a few minutes, Austin reluctantly stood up as his physical therapist talked him through the steps.

“I want my mom to help me,” Austin told his therapist. “I don’t want you to help me.”

Fich reminded Austin of his promise. If he can’t follow the therapist’s directions, Fich said, she’ll leave the room. Austin grumbled about wanting his mom but continued to do as his therapist asked. He used his crutches to walk across the room. He sat down on the floor and practiced getting up to his feet again.

The feats Austin has accomplished with the crutches, his therapist said, often take kids years to accomplish. Austin has done them after only a few of days of therapy.

But, after about 10 minutes of work, Austin grew weary of his therapist’s praise.

“I’m not awesome,” Austin snapped. “I don’t want to hear that.”

When it was Austin’s turn to choose the next activity, he headed straight for the parallel bars. He hung up his crutches and grabbed the bars. Walking was easier, and Austin’s mood changed instantly.

He joked with his mom, pretending to trap her in the bars. He smiled when he lifted his body onto, and then off of, a step. But after a few minutes, Austin said he was done with the bars. His hips hurt, he said. He was ready to leave.

“I just want to go to school,” Austin said.

When Fich told him he still had 30 minutes of therapy, Austin protested. When the arguing continued, Fich walked out of the room. Austin dissolved into tears.

For 15 minutes, the duo was in a standoff. Austin pleaded for his mom to come in from the hallway and take him home. Fich refused to give in.

Eventually, Austin conceded.

“I hate these braces,” Austin said when he finally reached Fich. “I want to get rid of these braces.”

“I know you do,” Fich told him.

One thing that can always bring a smile to Austin’s face is hockey. He shares his love for the sport with his mom.

When Fich was a child, she, her parents and her siblings were regulars at Portland Winterhawks family nights. As she got older, the outings became less frequent. But, for Austin’s third birthday, the family decided to revive the tradition.

“He’s loved it ever since,” Fich said of Austin.

Whenever the Winterhawks play, Austin puts on his jersey, pulls on his gloves, grabs his stick and cheers from the couch. He shouts encouragement and groans at bad plays.

And recently, Austin started playing hockey on the ice, too.

About a year ago, Fich’s dad and brother went to an open skate at Mountain View Ice Arena in Vancouver and saw a flier for a sled hockey group. In sled hockey, players sit in specially designed sleds that are on top of two hockey skate blades. The players have two sticks with metal picks on the butt end for players to use to propel themselves across the ice.

They signed Austin up, and he joined a handful of teenagers and adults who meet regularly to play. The older players took Austin in right away, giving him turns as goalie and letting him do face-offs. Austin trash-talks his teammates and high-fives them after good plays.

“He feels like he’s just like everybody else,” Fich said.

“He’s just so happy,” she added.

But Austin isn’t content with sled hockey. He wants to play with hockey skates.

Several months ago, Fich’s dad bought Austin a pair of skates. From time to time, Austin will pull on the size 10 youth skates, and pretend he’s playing ice hockey. Usually, though, he resorts to playing hockey in the living room, crawling across the carpet with a stick in hand.

With the progress Austin has made since his surgery six months ago, though, Fich is confident Austin will be able to wear those skates on the ice someday soon.

“If there’s a will, there’s a way for that kid,” Fich said. “There’s no stopping him.”


Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

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