Sticky Stove Top Drumsticks


Sticky Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks - Made on the stove, and all you need is chicken, balsamic, soy sauce, sugar and garlic. The glaze is incredible!Sticky Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks - Made on the stove, and all you need is chicken, balsamic, soy sauce, sugar and garlic. The glaze is incredible!



Sticky Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks - Made on the stove, and all you need is chicken, balsamic, soy sauce, sugar and garlic. The glaze is incredible!


Sticky Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks - Made on the stove, and all you need is chicken, balsamic, soy sauce, sugar and garlic. The glaze is incredible!

Serves: 4
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (2 lb / 1 kg) (Note 1)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (brown)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
Extra Flavourings (Optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha or 1 tsp red pepper flakes (Note 2)
Garnishes (optional)
  • Parsley or shallots/scallions, finely sliced
  1. Combine all ingredients (including Extra Flavourings, if using) in a large skillet/fry pan or pot (Note 3) over medium high heat. The chicken should be in a single layer.
  2. Bring to boil, turn chicken, then turn down to medium so it simmers energetically but not rapidly. DO NOT cover the pan with a lid.
  3. Cook for 20 minutes, turning the chicken at 10 minutes.
  4. At 20 minutes, the chicken should be cooked. Move the chicken to the side of the skillet, propping and stacking them up on the edges of the skillet to clear the surface of the liquid as much as possible so it can reduce.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes or until the liquid thickens (consistency of thick pouring cream) and coats the chicken. Keep an eye on the sauce, once it starts to thicken it will reduce quickly, don’t let it go too far. Roll the chicken in the glaze.
  6. Remove the skillet from the stove and stand for 5 minutes – the sauce will thicken slightly more. Roll the chicken in the glaze again, then serve, garnished with parsley or scallions if desired.
  7. (Note 4)
  8. Serve, garnished with scallions/shallots if using.

1. This recipe will work with boneless thigh fillets and chicken wings. Take the chicken out when cooked (boneless thigh – around 15 minutes, wings – around 15 minutes) and leave the sauce to reduce down to a glaze, then return the chicken to the pan to coat in the glaze. Bone-in thighs will also work – use the same cook times as drumsticks.

If you make this with breast fillets, you won’t achieve the same sticky glaze (because you need fat to create glaze). If you want to make this with breast fillets, I recommend adding 3 tbsp of oil into the liquid to help a glaze form.

2. You can use any chili, fresh or dried, or hot sauce to add heat to your taste.

3. You need to use a large pan or pot for this recipe. Large enough so the drumsticks fit in one layer but not too squished together otherwise the liquid will never reduce and the drumsticks won’t be submerged in the liquid enough to cook.

Even though only about ¼ of the drumsticks is submerged in the liquid, the bubbles from simmering + turning the chicken is enough to cook the drumsticks.

4. The purpose of this step is to allow the sauce to reduce. The cook time required to reduce the sauce will differ depending on the size of your pan, drumsticks and strength of the stove. The sauce is ready when it coats the chicken.

This is the nutrition per drumstick. BUT note that the calories is overstated because a lot of the chicken skin fat renders out during cooking and mixes in with the glaze. And only around 1/4 of the glaze coats the chicken.

Sticky Stove Top Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks Nutrition




How to Use a Staircase to Take Your Workout to the Next Level

Stairs are tough. Simply walking up them can make even the fittest person huff and puff. But we also know taking the stairs over an elevator is a super easy and realistic way to fit in more exercise throughout the day. So what if you took that notion to the next level and actually used a staircase in your next workout?

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Stairs add an extra element of intensity to an otherwise straightforward bodyweight workout, which is one of the reasons they’ve been a fitness go-to for decades (hello, step aerobics of the 90s). “Climbing stairs engages the body’s largest muscle groups to carry your own weight against gravity, which is far superior to exercising on a flat surface,” says Matty Maggiacomo, certified personal trainer and instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp in New York City. Plus, studies show that taking the stairs can increase your cardio capacity and even help you live longer.

So the next time you need a quick workout or a break from your usual neighborhood jog, shake things up with a staircase workout. You could use a set in your home or even a nearby park or stadium. Just make sure you stay safe, Maggiacomo says. “Choose a staircase that is level and wide, free of debris, and if in a public place, less-trafficked,” he says. Take them as slow as you need, and use the guide below to master the stairs.

How to Use This List

Create your own workout: Choose 2 moves from each section (upper body and core strength, lower-body strength, and cardio) for a total of 6 moves. Perform each exercise back-to-back for 60 seconds. At the end of the set, rest for 60 seconds. Repeat the full set 4 times for a workout that’s just under 30 minutes.

Try our workout: Scroll to the bottom to try Maggiacomo’s killer workout.

Upper-Body and Core Strength

Incline Push-Up

Face upstairs with knees on lower step and hands below shoulders on higher step. Engage core, keep spine straight, and bend elbows to lower chest to stair. Push back up to starting position. For more details on how to properly do a push-up, go here.

Make it harder: For an added challenge, start in a high plank position facing upstairs and do a classic push-up. Want even more of a challenge? Reverse your position to face downstairs and do a push-up as seen on left.

Triceps Dip

Sit on step facing decline with knees bent and feet flat on step below. Grip the edge of the step directly behind the small of your back. Bend elbows to lower butt to the step below, then press down to straighten arms and return to starting position.

Make it harder: Lift one leg straight up as you dip. Perform 10 reps keeping leg lifted throughout, then repeat on the other side.

Alligator Crawl

Start in high plank position parallel to steps. Step right arm and right leg toward incline step and allow left arm and left leg to follow. Climb steps keeping torso parallel to steps, hips level, core engaged. Continue to move up steps in plank position for 8 steps, then travel back down.

Lower-Body Strength

Staircase Sit Squat

Face downstairs with feet wider than shoulder width, hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles. Squat by sending hips back, keeping chest upright, and bending knees. Lower as far as your mobility allows. (Bonus points if you can tap your butt to stair behind you). Straighten legs to return to starting position.

Staggered Squat

Start with right leg on upper step, left leg on lower step, and feet wider than shoulder width. Squat by sending hips back, keeping chest upright, and bending knees. Lower as far as your mobility allows, pressing into right heel. Return to starting position by straightening both legs. Do 10 reps then repeat on other side.

Make it harder: As you stand to starting position, sidestep feet to travel upstairs with each squat. Perform 10 reps, then repeat on the other side.

Upstairs Alternating Lunge

Face upstairs with feet hip width, hands on hips or clasped in front of chest. Step up onto stair with right foot and shift hips forward to lunge so knee forms a 90-degree angle. Press into right heel to push weight back and return to starting position. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating legs.

Make it harder: Do a lunge as noted above but instead of returning to start, travel up the stairs as you lunge. If you’d like an extra challenge, lunge forward with right leg then press into right heel and use lower abs to drive left knee up to chest. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side, or continue to travel upstairs while lunging.

Alternating Reverse Lunge

Start facing upstairs with both feet hip width on upper step, heels in line with edge. Carefully lunge backward by stepping right foot back to lower step and bending left knee to form a 90-degree angle. Press into left heel to lift weight back up to top step. Repeat on the other side, and continue to alternate.

Calf Raise

Stand facing upstairs with left toes on step and heel hanging off. Lift right leg and place right hand on railing or wall for support. Slowly lower heel below edge of step to feel a stretch in calf muscle, then press into ball of foot to lift as high as ankle flexibility allows. Do 10 reps, and then repeat on the other side.


Skater Step

Stand with feet hip width on lower step, with right side nearest to upper step. Hop right foot onto upper step as you swing left arm across body and sweep left leg behind you until toes touch upper step. Bend right knee to curtsy lunge and touch left fingertips to right toes. Reverse the movement by hopping down step with left foot and swinging right arm across body as you sweep right leg behind you, coming into a curtsy lunge on the other side. Once you get going, this move feels pretty natural, like you’re speed skating across ice.

High Knees

Start at bottom stair facing upstairs with feet hip width. Keeping head up and shoulders back, jog upstairs, using core muscles to draw knees up toward chest with each step. Scale stairs one by one for length of staircase keeping knees high. Take your time and focus on each step to avoid tripping.

Make it harder: Increase your speed as you get better.

Bear Climb

Start facing upstairs on all fours with hands below shoulders and knees bent under hips. Lift knees so you’re on toes and crawl forward with right arm and left leg, then left arm and right leg. Keep core braced throughout.

Make it harder: At the top, turn around and crawl downstairs to the bottom.

Mountain Climber

Begin facing upstairs in a high plank, hands below shoulders on upper step, abs engaged, hips level, and feet on lower step. Bring right knee toward chest then quickly return right foot to starting position as you bring left knee to chest. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible.

Make it harder: If your steps are wide enough like the ones shown above, start in decline position facing downstairs with hands on lower step and feet on upper step. Drive alternate knees to chest one at a time.



Here’s When Eating Bacteria Can Be Good for You

We’ve been taught to avoid germs and bacteria since we were kids. Whether it’s sudsing up our hands or deep cleaning our homes (without harmful chemicals), we’re constantly trying to get rid of the microscopic culprits.

But it turns out eating bacteria can actually be a good thing. Numerous studies have found that foods fermented by lactic acid-producing bacteria (a beneficial kind of bacteria found in decomposing plants and milk products) may actually help keep your gastrointestinal systems healthy and functioning properly.

“Regularly consuming fermented foods helps bolster the population of good bacteria in the gut,” says Josh Axe, D.N.M., author of Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It.

While the topic of gut health isn’t exactly first-date material, there are plenty of reasons to get excited about fermented foods.

The Need-to-Know

Long before refrigerators or freezers, ancient people used fermentation to keep foods from going bad, Axe says. Put simply, fermentation is an enzyme-controlled, chemical breakdown of an organic substance (think: sugar turning to alcohol or milk turning sour).

“When a carbohydrate gets converted by yeast, bacteria, or carbon dioxide, it’s fermented,” says Leah Silberman, R.D., cofounder of Tovita Nutrition in New York City. The process is anaerobic, meaning it takes place without oxygen, which is why fermented foods and canning go hand in hand. “Fermentation was used to preserve foods through canning and jarring, and now it’s making headlines for health benefits,” Silberman says.

Certain products like kombucha (fermented tea), kimchi (fermented vegetables), miso (fermented soy), yogurt and kefir (fermented milk), and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) get a lot of buzz because they contain live microorganisms called probiotics. If that word sounds familiar, it’s probably because probiotics are having a bit of a moment. Several studies show links between probiotics and increased gut health and suggest they can help reestablish a healthier intestinal tract and benefit digestion. However more research is needed to back up some of the health claims made about probiotics (read: weight loss, clearer skin).

Additionally, not all fermented foods are healthy. Products like bread, cheese, and beer are fermented by lactic acid-producing bacteria but typically don’t contain live microorganisms due to cooking or pasteurization. And as Silberman reminds us, it’s important to read food labels carefully. “Ketchup can be loaded with sugar; pickles can mean you overload on salt,” she says. That doesn’t mean you should avoid them entirely, but moderation is key.

Your Action Plan

Fermented foods can taste a little funky. “Some people just don’t like fermented foods, so the idea is to start small,” Silberman says. And pay attention to serving sizes. “For instance, with [store-bought] kombucha, sometimes there are two servings in one drink, so just start with half the drink,” she says. Axe agrees and recommends one serving of probiotics each day from your food of choice.

If you’re specifically looking for fermented foods that contain probiotics, make sure you pick items from the refrigerated section of the grocery store and read labels. Room-temp sauerkraut won’t have any living microorganisms, and even some yogurts can be heat-treated after fermentation, killing most of the helpful bacteria. If a food contains either living microorganisms or probiotics, they may be included in the ingredient list—or the label may say “unpasteurized” or “live and active cultures.” (The most common probiotics found dairy foods are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus thermophilus.)

If you do your own refrigerated canning, there is a slight chance of listeria or botulism. However negative side effects are rare, and fermented foods have had a generally good safety record for thousands of years.

Can’t get past the taste and would rather take a supplement? Check with your doctor first. Remember supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, and some studies have found discrepancies between what’s on the label and what’s actually inside certain probiotic supplements.



Exercising With Physical Limitations

Don’t let physical limitations get in the way of cardio fitness.


As Dom Lassonde felt the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis creep into his body, the 40-year-old Vancouver Islander knew he needed a different way to stay fit. The autoimmune disease inflamed his synovial membranes—a connective tissue in joints that produces lubricating fluid for smooth movement—so much it felt like shards of glass were lining his joints. Ultimate Frisbee and hockey, two of his regular activities, were no longer feasible.

After beginning a new medication regime about a year after his diagnosis, Lassonde could cycle and swim—activities that put less stress on his joints. He was right to keep moving: according to the American College of Rheumatology, regular aerobic exercise, especially when combined with strength training, can reduce joint pain.

Lassonde is one of many Canadians living with a physical limitation that makes exercise difficult. Two common issues, chronic pain and heart disease—which affect 3.9 million and 1.3 million Can­adians, respectively—make it challenging for individuals to achieve the 150 minutes of weekly moderate aer­obic exercise, or cardio, recommended by the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (CPAG).

But the benefits of regular exercise are too important to pass up. Aerobics—any continuous activity that raises your heart rate and has you breathing rapidly—can lead to a longer life and prevention of Type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

Physical limitations needn’t prevent you from working out regularly—it’s just a matter of knowing which exercises to do.

Pushing back against pain

Approach new exercise regimes cautiously. “People should never use mobility impairment as a reason not to participate, but they should def­initely seek guidance from a professional to make sure they’re doing it safely,” says Audrey Hicks, a professor of kinesiology at Hamilton’s McMaster University. She advises those experiencing chronic pain to seek out certified physiologists and personal trainers before beginning a new fitness routine.

Instead of jogging, Hicks recommends that people with joint pain or injuries try swimming or water aerobics, or use recumbent elliptical trainers—activities that reduce strain on joints. “You don’t want to do anything that’s going to make your pain worse,” she says.

Exercising with caution

Those living with heart disease should be especially prudent in their efforts to meet the national CPAG recommendations.

The guidelines weren’t designed for people with chronic medical conditions, says Dr. Darren Warburton, a specialist in cardiology and exercise rehabilitation at University of British Columbia. Warburton was one of the creators of the guidelines. “We never prescribe 150 minutes of physical activity to someone who has just had a heart attack,” he says.

Warburton doesn’t restrict himself to a “magic number” or a certain type of exercise when prescribing fitness routines. “We advocate that individuals start early on at a very light to moderate intensity and progress toward higher levels of activity,” he says.

This might mean beginning with two weekly 20-minute sessions, doing activities like gardening or brisk walking. To be effective, your workout should reach a moderate level of intensity—that is, you should be able to feel your heart rate increase and have enough breath to talk, but not sing. This, of course, should only be done after consultation with a health professional.

Don’t deprive yourself of the benefits of the small efforts. McMaster University research has shown that short intervals of physician-monitored high-intensity workouts are just as effective as longer sessions of moderate-intensity workouts for the rehabilitation of patients with coronary artery disease.



6 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

Seeking relief from back pain?

If you suffer from back pain you know that even the tiniest movement can hurt a lot. Here are some beginner-level exercises to stretch and strengthen your back that can be performed on a daily basis. If any move hurts, stop immediately. Once these exercises become easy, ask your doctor or a physiotherapist for more advanced exercises.

1. Pelvic tilt

Lie on your back with your knees bent but touching and your feet flat on the floor. Flatten your lower back against the floor, tilting your pelvis down. Hold for 20 to 40 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply, then release. Repeat this exercise twice. This stretch uses small movements, unlike a traditional workout, to reduce tension and ease back pain.

2. Lumbar stretch

Sit up tall on a chair and slowly, one vertebra at a time, roll your head, neck, chest and low back forward until your head is between your knees (or as far as you can comfortably go). Hold for three deep breaths, then slowly roll back up to a sitting position. Repeat twice.

3. Cat

Kneel on all fours with your knees hip-width apart. Keeping your stomach muscles tensed, arch your back like a cat and hold for five seconds, then release. Repeat. Now let your stomach drop a bit toward the floor. Hold for five seconds, then repeat. Finally, sit back on your heels and reach your arms in front of you on the floor and hold.

4. Curl-ups

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Tense your stomach muscles, then lift your head and shoulders and upper back off the floor. Don’t pull with your hands. Repeat 10 times if you can. Curl-ups are used to strengthen your back, eventually leading to less back pain.

5. Dry swimming

To do this exercise, begin by lying on your stomach with a rolled-up towel under your belly for back support. Tighten your buttocks and simultaneously raise one arm and the opposite leg, then switch. Repeat for up to two minutes.

6. Leg lift
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor. Now straighten one leg, keeping your knees aligned. Bend your leg to return to starting position, then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 10 times if you can.



The Surprising Health Benefits of Copper

More than just for pipes and pots, it turns out copper has surprising health benefits as well. Here’s why you might consider adding copper to your daily supplement regimen.

What is copper?

Copper is rarely discussed, but it’s the third most abundant trace mineral in our bodies. Copper has many benefits: it strengthens blood vessels, bones, tendons and nerves; it helps maintain fertility, ensures healthy pigmentation of hair and skin, and promotes blood clotting. It’s available in nutritional supplements as several forms, including copper amino acid chelates, copper gluconate, copper oxide and copper sulfate.

You’d have to eat about six medium avocados to get the amount of copper you need each day. And although it can be obtained from a wide variety of foods, the typical Western diet is low in copper, because the foods that are the best sources, such as oysters and liver, are not eaten frequently.

What does copper do?

Copper is essential in the formation of collagen, a fundamental protein in bones, skin and connective tissue. Copper is necessary for the manufacture of many enzymes, especially superoxide dismutase (SOD), which is one of the body’s most potent antioxidants. It also may help the body use its stored iron and play a role in maintaining immunity and fertility.

Copper is involved in the formation of melanin (a dark natural colour found in the hair, skin and eyes) and promotes consistent pigmentation as well.


How else is copper beneficial to your health?

Evidence suggests that copper has other benefits as well: it can be a factor in preventing high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias). Some experts believe that it may protect tissues from damage by free radicals, helping prevent cancer, heart disease and other ailments. Getting enough copper may also help keep cholesterol levels low.

It may also help stave off the bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis. In one study involving healthy women 45 to 56 years of age, those taking a daily 3­ milligram copper supplement showed no loss in mineral bone density, but women given a placebo showed a significant loss. Another study found no benefit.

How should you take copper as a supplement?

Although there is no recommended dietary intake (RDI) for copper, adults are advised to obtain 900 micrograms daily to keep the body functioning normally.

Copper is usually found in multivitamin and mineral preparations; tablet and capsule forms containing only copper may be available. Individual copper supplements may be hard to find at the pharmacy or health food store. Ignore the label claims that one particular form of copper is better for you than another: There is no evidence that any one form is better absorbed than another or otherwise preferred by the body.

An adequate intake (AI) is 1.7 milligrams a day for men and 1.2 milligrams for women, increasing to 1.3 milligrams during pregnancy and 1.5 milligrams when breastfeeding. Don’t take more than 10 milligrams a day.

It is advisable to take a supplement at the same time every day, preferably with a meal to decrease the chance of stomach irritation.

If you take zinc supplements for longer than a month, add 2 milligrams of copper to your regimen. People who take antacids regularly may need extra copper as well.

Possible side effects include metallic taste, salivation, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Overdose can cause seizure, bleeding and coma. Liver and kidney damage may occur.

Talk to your doctor before taking supplemental copper if you have Wilson’s disease or are taking penicillamine, oral contraceptives or hormonal replacement therapy (HRT).

What are other sources of copper?

Shellfish (oysters, mussels, lobsters, crabs) and organ meats (liver) are excellent sources of copper. However, if you’re concerned about your cholesterol levels, there are many vegetarian foods rich in copper as well. These include legumes; whole grains, such as rye and wheat and products made from them (bread, cereal, pasta); nuts and seeds; vegetables such as peas, artichokes, avocados, radishes, garlic, mushrooms and potatoes; fruit such as tomatoes, bananas and prunes; and soy products (tofu, tempeh, soy milk and soy powder).

What happens if you get too little copper?

A true copper deficiency is rare. It usually occurs only in individuals with illnesses such as Crohn’s disease or Celiac disease or in those with inherited conditions that inhibit copper absorption, such as albinism. Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, irregular heartbeat, broken bones and loss of skin pigment.

Even a mild deficiency may have some adverse health effects. For example, a preliminary study involving 24 men found that a diet low in copper caused a significant increase in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol as well as a decrease in HDL (“good”) cholesterol. These changes in their cholesterol profiles increased the participants’ risk of heart disease. A small study of copper supplementation found cholesterol levels dropped. However, another study found no beneficial effects on heart disease risk.

What happens if you get too much copper?

Just 10 milligrams of copper taken at one time can produce nausea, muscle pain and stomach ache. Severe copper toxicity from oral copper supplements has not been noted to date. However, some people who work with pesticides containing copper have suffered liver damage, coma and even death.


13 Things You Didn’t Know About Germs

What you don’t know about germs could be making you sick. Brush up on your personal hygiene, housekeeping strategies and food handling skills with our guide to beating the spread of bugs.

1. Water temperature doesn’t matter to germs.

Scrubbing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is your simplest defence against harmful germs. But no need to bother with the hot faucet—warm water is no more effective than cold in removing bacteria from your hands.


2. Hand sanitizer is the next best thing to washing.

If water and soap aren’t available, use alcohol-based sanitizer. Jason Tetro, a Toronto-based microbiologist and the author of The Germ Code, says as long as the product contains 62 to 70 per cent alcohol, it will kill most of the germs on your skin.


3. Some germs are worth nurturing.

Tetro suggests consuming prebiotic-rich foods like bananas and asparagus. Unlike probiotics—live bacteria that improve digestion—prebiotics help nourish the good bacteria already present in your gut.


4. It pays to keep your fridge organized.

Harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, can be spread when ready-to-eat foods, like washed fruits and veggies, come into contact with potentially hazardous ones, like raw meats and their juices. Toronto Public Health’s Owen Chong suggests organizing your fridge with raw meats at the bottom, unwashed produce in the middle and ready-to-eat foods at the top in order to avoid cross-contamination.


5. Don’t wash your chicken before cooking.

If you rinse raw poultry, the bacteria can be carried by the water. To avoid food-borne illnesses during prep, use a separate cutting board and utensils for uncooked poultry, says Chong.


6. Reach for paper towels in public restrooms.

They may be ecofriendly, but hand dryers have one major drawback—they blast germs everywhere. In a 2014 University of Leeds study in England, microbiologists found that the concentration of airborne bacteria around jet air dispensers was 27 times higher than that found near paper towel dispensers.


7. Toilets aren’t the most dangerous thing in public bathroom.

The toilets in public washrooms aren’t necessarily where you’ll find the most germs. “The door handle and sink basin are more dangerous than the toilet itself,” says Tetro. He suggests using paper towel when opening bathroom doors.


8. Germs love toothbrushes.

If you can’t remember when you last changed your toothbrush, it’s time to toss it. An open toilet bowl can allow a biofilm of fecal coliforms to grow on your brush, says Tetro. Keep your lid down and rinse your toothbrush with hot water for five seconds before use.


9. Germs love cellphones, too.

Our cellphones carry more than just data. In 2011, British researchers tested 390 phones and discovered one in six devices had fecal traces on their surfaces. Tetro suggests wiping phones down with a disinfecting cloth daily to minimize your risk of infection.


10. Make sure you use disinfecting wipes properly.

A 2015 study by Cardiff University in Wales revealed that wipes can spread superbugs like MRSA and C. difficile. Use one sheet per surface to avoid moving germs around.


11. Zap away bacteria.

A 2006 study in the Journal of Environmental Health found that microwaving a kitchen sponge for one to two minutes can reduce the presence of germs by more than 99 per cent.


12. Always take off your shoes.

Researchers at the University of Arizona found that there are, on average, 421,000 different bacteria on our shoes. Leave your footwear at the door to avoid dragging the organisms through your home.



13. Wash underwear in hot water.

“A washer load of underwear contains one million E. coli bacteria,” says microbiologist Charles Gerba. His research team discovered that germs are more likely to survive cold-water washes and be transferred between clothing items. Gerba recommends washing clothes with hot water (60 C or warmer) and bleach to kill bacteria.




6 Shocking Mistakes Your Doctor May Be Making

Are your doctors basing your care on the strongest scientific research? We asked medical experts to point out some of the most worrisome ways doctors are falling short—and occasionally, even making mistakes.

1. High Blood Pressure

The blood pressure mistake your doctor may be making: Sticking with lifestyle changes when you need drugs.

The evidence shows that it’s safe to try to bring down mildly elevated blood pressure by eating better and exercising. But if your numbers are even moderately high, the advice is unequivocal: Your doctor must prescribe drugs because uncontrolled high blood pressure puts you at risk for a deadly heart attack or stroke.

Guidelines making this clear were crafted by a panel of leading scientists in 2003. But when 22 community doctors were asked by University of Texas researchers how they’d treat a hypothetical middle-aged man with the moderately high blood pressure of 145/92, nearly two-thirds said they’d tell him to improve his lifestyle. Shockingly, only one of these practicing physicians was familiar with the recommended thresholds for prescribing drugs, says study author Joseph Ravenell, MD, now at New York University.

In a recent study released by Statistics Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians were shown to have high blood pressure, and 80 per cent of them were being treated with medication.

The right move: If your blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, you should almost certainly be on a prescription hypertension drug—and if one medication doesn’t bring your readings into the normal range, you should be on more than one. Only people diagnosed with prehypertension (120 to 139 over 80 to 89) can get by with lifestyle changes alone. Those include exercising, losing weight if necessary, and eating a healthy, low-fat, low-salt diet.


2. Immunization

The immunization mistake your doctor may be making: Not keeping your kids (or you) up-to-date.

The schedule for children’s vaccines is set by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which reviews reams of research on what protects your child best. One key recommendation: Infants and toddlers should get multiple shots to ensure they’re adequately defended against common diseases such as measles and pneumonia. Yet one study found that an alarming 20 per cent of all kids under two miss one or more of the vaccinations. Researchers aren’t sure of all the reasons, but they think part of the explanation is that overwhelmed doctors aren’t properly counselling parents about the importance of multiple shots. Another problem: In 8 per cent of cases, doctors give shots too early or too close together. “If a child gets a booster when the antibodies from an earlier shot are still circulating, it can be almost as if he didn’t get the second one at all,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist Elizabeth T. Luman, PhD.

Physicians are even worse at making sure adults are on track. Only about half of adults are up-to-date on the tetanus booster we’re supposed to get once every decade, for instance. Far fewer get the shingles vaccine—only 6 per cent of adults 60 and up (the recommended age group). Yet shingles can affect anyone who has ever had chicken pox and can be agonizing.

The right move: Kids under two should get multiple shots at nearly all their scheduled well-child visits. One way to reduce aches: Have the doctor give the more-painful pneumonia shot last. (A recent study found this strategy lessens overall soreness.) During your own doctor visits, ask him to check your immunization history against the guidelines. All adults need a tetanus vaccine (which also protects against diphtheria and, in the newest version, whooping cough) once a decade. Other shots you may need—including flu, hepatitis, shingles, HPV, and pneumonia—depend on your age, gender, health history, and occupation.

3. Asthma

The asthma mistake your doctor may be making: Treating wheezes instead of preventing them.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood, affecting 9 per cent of kids. But experts now know that the problem can be effectively controlled. Numerous studies have shown that daily use of inhaled corticosteroids like Advair and Flovent reduces airway inflammation and cuts the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, says Kaiser Permanente asthma expert Michael Schatz, MD, a member of the panel that developed asthma guidelines for the National Institutes of Health. This crucial “control” medicine helps kids sleep better, miss less school, and make fewer scary trips to the ER. Yet a recent study by the Rand Corporation reveals that more than half of asthmatic kids don’t use it. Some parents don’t want or can’t afford the drug—but others aren’t advised that their child needs to keep up with the regimen even after symptoms subside. In many cases, “pediatricians don’t prescribe it because they aren’t aware of its value,” Dr. Schatz admits.

The right move: If your child is over five and has asthma symptoms that strike more than three times a week or keep him or her up at night more than twice a month, your doctor should prescribe an inhaled corticosteroid. For more severe cases, other daily meds may be needed too. (Don’t let the word steroid scare you; the inhaled version isn’t habit-forming, and side effects are generally mild.)

4. Low Back Pain

The low back pain mistake your doctor may be making: Taking pictures of what’s inside your back—and trying to fix what he finds.

MRI rates have skyrocketed—in 2004, doctors performed three times as many MRIs of the spine as they did in 1994. But that isn’t because these pictures are proved to help. In fact, a large body of research, detailed in guidelines by the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians, cautions against routinely using imaging to figure out the cause of back troubles.

“When you look inside, you see arthritis, degenerative disks, and such. But it turns out many people from midlife on have these things,” says Roger Chou, MD, a coauthor of the guidelines. “And research shows that when you fix them, the pain usually doesn’t go away.”

MRIs aren’t the only problem. Use of epidural steroid shots has quadrupled in the past ten years, though evidence shows they’re only minimally effective. Spinal fusion surgery numbers have grown about threefold, yet research shows that approach, too, frequently does little good.

When a patient hobbles into the office, it’s understandable that the doctor wants to do something, Dr. Chou says. But an unproven intervention can do considerable harm. “It’s worth remembering that back pain has a history of treatments ultimately found to be detrimental, like surgically removing patients’ tailbones,” Dr. Chou says.

The right move: “Back pain can drive you crazy, but it typically improves with steps like taking acetaminophen, using a heating pad, and, if the problem is chronic, starting an exercise program to strengthen back muscles,” Dr. Deyo says. In general, an MRI isn’t necessary unless you have symptoms like severe weakness in your foot or leg, a high fever, problems urinating, or a history of cancer, Dr. Chou advises. Be especially cautious about more aggressive fixes like surgery.

5. Heart Attack

The heart attack mistake your doctor may be making: Not giving emergency treatment fast enough, skipping important aftercare, or missing other critical steps.

For the thousands of Canadians who will have a heart attack this year, immediate treatment with aspirin, clot-busting drugs, angioplasty, or other proven steps could mean the difference between life and death. No wonder these kinds of moves are spelled out in treatment guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Yet fewer than 50 per cent of patients get clot-busting therapy within 30 minutes; about 25 per cent leave the hospital without a referral to cardiac rehabilitation, which is known to be valuable. Other steps can be neglected, as well, if only because a doctor may be distracted by a page or another interruption. In the hectic atmosphere of a hospital, “when you rely only on a doctor’s memory, critical therapies and timetables are easily overlooked,” says Gregg C. Fonarow, MD, associate chief of cardiology at the University of California Los Angeles Medical Center.

So in 2000, the American Heart Association started a program called Get with the Guidelines (GWTG), for hospitals to use as a reminder system. “We view it like an airline pilot checklist. Even if the doctor gets distracted, things are less likely to fall through the cracks,” explains Eric Peterson, MD, director of cardiovascular research at Duke Clinical Research Institute. (The University of Ottawa Heart Institute have worked on a Canadian adaptation of the GWTG called the Champlain Get With The Guidelines Initiative.)


6. Diabetes

The diabetes mistake your doctor may be making: Failing to test you for diabetes.

About 2 million Canadians have diabetes, yet a third of sufferers don’t know it. That’s a big problem because patients who control their blood sugar can prevent serious complications like leg amputations and heart and kidney disease. Experts say that doctors should keep an eye out for people with high odds of the disease—namely those who are overweight and have other diabetes risk factors. “Yet if a person with these criteria goes in for a specific problem, like a sprained knee, rather than an annual physical, the doctor may not look at the bigger picture and say, ‘You should have a diabetes test,’” says endocrinologist Richard Bergenstal, MD, president-elect of medicine and science at the American Diabetes Association.

The right move: If you have a body mass index (BMI) of or over 25 (the threshold for being considered overweight), plus a second diabetes risk factor such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you should be screened for the disease. If the test results show that you’re free of diabetes and prediabetes, you should be tested again within three years.



Grilled Pineapple, Chicken and Avocado Salad

Yield: 2-4 servings

This Grilled Pineapple, Chicken and Avocado Salad celebrates the best of summer!


Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1-inch thick rings
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced (I prefer California avocados)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • quarter of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • honey garlic vinaigrette

Honey Garlic Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt and black pepper


To Make The Salad:

Brush the chicken on both sides with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Preheat your outdoor grill to medium-high, or heat a grill pan over med-high heat. Place pineapple slices and chicken breasts on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through, and no longer pink on the inside. Remove pineapple and chicken and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Then slice chicken into strips, and cut pineapple into chunks.

In a large bowl, toss together spinach, blueberries, feta, red onion, pineapple and chicken until combined. Drizzle or toss with salad dressing, and serve immediately

To Make The Vinaigrette:

Whisk all ingredients together until blended. Let sit for at least 10 minutes for flavors to meld. Whisk again until blended, then drizzle over salad.


Stop suffering from chronic pain and scars without taking oral medications

You can now get quick, targeted relief for your chronic pain and scars without having the dangerous side effects that comes from taking oral medications. 8 out of 10 people who suffer from chronic pain and scars find relief from using a topical pain cream to treat their ailments.

Topical pain creams are specifically designed to target and treat the site of pain with customizable formulations, while avoiding many of the complications common to other pain treatment methods. Pain Cream provides a flexible, convenient, and effective solution for a variety of pain-related conditions.

Targeted Relief

Pain creams are designed to administer high concentrations of pain medication directly onto the site of pain for targeted relief. Furthermore, the pharmacists works with your doctor to create a custom formulation, designed to meet your unique needs. As a result, you get the combined benefits of precise dosing, personalized treatment, and the combined effect of multiple ingredients working together for optimal pain relief.

Speed of Effect
Another benefit of using a topical pain medication over oral options is the amount of time it takes for the drug to work. The active ingredients in a topical pain relief do not need to travel through the digestive system and bloodstream to reach the area causing pain. Instead the ingredients are absorbed directly into the affected area, speeding up how quickly pain relief is experienced. Advancements in topical administration vehicles (i.e. creams) have substantially increased onset of action.

Fewer Risks & Side Effects

Topical pain creams are applied topically, they do not circulate throughout the entire body. This means you have powerful pain medication where you need it and less where you don’t. As a result, Pain Creams are less likely to interact with other medications being taken and cause fewer side effects than other pain medications. Finally, since Pain Cream is not absorbed throughout the entire body, the risk of dependence and addiction is virtually eliminated.

Transdermal Base

Topical pain creams are typically formulated using an anhydrous silicone base designed and proven to effectively deliver pain medication. Furthermore, this type of transdermal base has been tested and proven to deliver up to four drugs simultaneously and to deliver medications more effectively and more quickly than other topical bases.

Scarring Disorders

Scar creams, while improving the appearance of preexisting scars, can also help prevent scarring disorders, including hypertrophic and keloidal scarring. Both hypertrophic and keloidal scars are the result of excessive collagen produced in the healing process. Due to the excess scar tissue, scars will appear raised, thick, and darker than typical scars. While hypertrophic scars remain confined to the area of the original wound, keloids extend into the surrounding tissue. Scar Cream is designed to prevent the excessive collagen production which causes these disorders.

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