Select Page
When “Social Drinking” has Gotten Out of Control

When “Social Drinking” has Gotten Out of Control

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

April 24, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, I have a dear friend whose “social drinking” has gotten out of control. Any tips on friendly advice I might offer?

A:  April is Alcohol Awareness month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). Here’s what they offer:

“Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, NCADD encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

“If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  • “Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.

  • “Keep track of how much you drink.Empty Alcohol Bottles
  • “Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
  • “Don’t drink when you are upset.
  • “Limit the amount of alcohol you keep at home.
  • “Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  • “Make a list of reasons not to drink.
  • “If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, offer to help.”

One of the ways you might help your friend is to copy the above list to share. If health concerns don’t seem to convince your friend to limit alcoholic beverages, perhaps you could remind him/her that reducing drinking alcohol is a great way to lose weight…and save money!

If your friend is unable to stop drinking on his own, below are some things that can help you to help your friend.

Learn All You Can About Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Utilize the resources we have provided including, Learn About Alcohol, Learn About Drugs and Family Education.

Speak Up and Offer Your Support

Talk to the person about your concerns, and offer your help and support, including your willingness to go with them to get help. Like other chronic diseases, the earlier addiction is treated, the better.

Express Love and Concern

Don’t wait for your loved one to “hit bottom.” You may be met with excuses, denial or anger, but be prepared to respond with specific examples of behavior that has you worried.

Don’t Expect the Person to Stop Without Help

No doubt, you have heard it before — promises to cut down, to stop, but it doesn’t work. Treatment, support, and new coping skills are needed to overcome addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Support Recovery as an Ongoing Process

Once your friend or family member is receiving treatment, or going to meetings, remain involved. While maintaining your own commitment to getting help for yourself, continue to support their participation in ongoing care, meetings and recovery support groups. Continue to show that you are concerned about their successful long-term recovery.

  • Don’t Preach: Don’t lecture, threaten, bribe, preach or moralize.
  • Don’t Be a Martyr: Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase feelings of guilt and the compulsion to drink or use other drugs.
  • Don’t Cover Up, lie or make excuses for them and their behavior.
  • Don’t Assume Their Responsibilities: Taking over their responsibilities protects them from the consequences of their behavior.
  • Don’t Argue When Using: Arguing with the person when they are using alcohol or drugs is not helpful; at that point they can’t have a rational conversation.
  • Don’t Feel Guilty or responsible for their behavior, it’s not your fault.
  • Don’t Join Them: Don’t try to keep up with them by drinking or using yourself.

Helping a friend with an addiction is very difficult but you may be the only help they get. Educate yourself and reach out for help from professionals. You could be saving your friends life and the lives of others.

Hope Line


24hr Affiliate Referral

Hope Help Healing



How much sugar should we consume in a day?

How much sugar should we consume in a day?

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

April 10, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, How much sugar should a healthy person eat (or drink) in a day? pic of a food nutrition labelThe nutritional labels on foods generally tell not only the quantity of each nutrient, but also the percentage of the recommended daily amount. The exception is sugar. The label tells how many grams, but not how much that is toward a daily amount. 

A: Your question spotlights one of the biggest problems in Americans’ eating habits. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that most people should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of “free sugars” (any kind of sugar added into a food or beverage product) per day. However, that amount is found in just one cup of apple juice or a small fruit yogurt!

The Globalist Quiz in our local newspaper recently reported, “In the United States, almost three-quarters of the population consumes more than the recommended amount [of sugar] per day. (The U.S. average is 22 teaspoons per day, close to four times higher than the WHO recommendation.)”

That has alarming consequences for health in this nation, since excess sugar can lead to both obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Some researchers believe that sugar can be “chemically addictive,” with many of the problems associated with other types of addiction.

Reading nutritional labeling on food is a good practice. What can make it confusing, when reading ingredients, is that terms such as “corn syrup” and “fruit juice concentrates” may not be obvious as names for sugar additives.

The good news is that more and more consumers are choosing healthier foods. Major global food processing manufacturers are being impacted. The article noted that “companies such as Kraft Heinz and Coca-Cola are experiencing continued decline in sales. Coca-Cola’s soft drink sales reached a 31-year low in 2017.” Perhaps this will persuade those large companies to reduce sugar additives? Meanwhile, consuming fewer processed foods seems to be the healthiest option.


Building Healthy Communities Where We Live

Building Healthy Communities Where We Live

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

April 3, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, you have encouraged us to stay well, but shouldn’t we also be building healthy communities where we live as well?        

A:  Good question! The first week in April happens to be National Public Health Week, Green Logo for National Public Health Week - build healthy communities where we livewith different topics each day. Their first topic is “Healthy Communities,” and here’s what the American Public Health Association had to say:

“Happy National Public Health Week!

Each day of National Public Health Week zeros in on a different public health topic, and today’s is “Healthy Communities.” It’s the perfect opportunity to kick off conversations around this year’s National Public Health Week’s theme of “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.”

“By now, the research is crystal clear: People’s health, longevity and well-being are connected to their communities — the places we live, learn, work, worship, and play. Whether it’s healthy housing, clean drinking water, or safe places for kids to play, many opportunities to improve health happen far outside the doctor’s office. In fact, some of the greatest opportunities to create the healthiest nation start with smart policies that prioritize people’s health.

“On this first day of NPHW [or later in the week], call on decision-makers to consider health in all policies, and ask your members of Congress to prioritize public health funding. Help us raise awareness of the critical role of public health systems in keeping us safe from preventable disease and injury. And don’t forget: We all have a role in creating healthier communities. Use this week to think about ways you can partner with family, friends and co-workers to make a positive difference. For more on today’s [April 1] NPHW theme and ways to take action, read our fact sheet and help spread the word on social media.”

We clicked on the link, and the following excerpt reminded us of how fortunate we are in where we live:

“Smart local policies that prioritize health can make a difference. For instance, research shows Walk'n' Talk group walking in a park -build healthy communities where we livethat well-maintained sidewalks can encourage physical activity and that safe biking networks lead to more cycling and fewer injuries among bicyclists. Rates of preventable deaths — such as deaths from heart disease, diabetes and cancer — typically go down in communities where local public health spending goes up. Other research finds that deaths from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and the flu decline significantly in communities that expand their networks in support of population health goals. “

In the Tri-Valley area, visionary city leaders have been building a healthy community by provided us with parks, trails, and safe sidewalks that encourage us to get outside and enjoy walking. Take advantages of these benefits, and encourage your friends and family members to do so also. Let’s support a healthy community!

If you would like to join a walking group and start enjoying your community or start your own; see the “Start Your Own Walking Group” section of the World Walk To Wellness Website.


Sneezin’ Seasonal Allergies Are Here!

Sneezin’ Seasonal Allergies Are Here!

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends….

March 27, 2019

Q: Mr. Pedometer, you have written about the beauties of springtime, but for some of us, that also means the sneezin’ seasonal allergies are here too. Any tips on how to survive seasonal allergies?  AHH-CHOO!  

A:  Bless you!  Now that we’ve had more than 16 inches of rain, plants are booming all over the place, witSPRING Allergies spelled out in flowersh the result that those who suffer from seasonal allergies may face a longer period of explosive sneezes, snuffling, and watery, itchy eyes.  Consumer Reports on Health for April 2019 includes an article entitled “Avoiding Allergens at Home.”  Here are six suggestions:

  • CLEAN BEDDING THE RIGHT WAY – “Dust mites – microscopic critters that feed mainly on dead skin flakes – can accumulate in fabric.” Wash sheets and pillowcases regularly.  If your washer offers a sanitizing cycle or an extra rinse cycle, that can help get rid of the mites. You may want to purchase “woven fabric” sheets with fabric pore size of 6 micrometers or less, to prevent the mites from penetrating.

  • TAKE CARE OF YOUR AIR – Sprain weather may tempt you to open windows to let in fresh air. That also allows pollen and other allergens to enter your home, so keep windows closed and turn on air-conditioning to cool off, if needed.  Be sure to check your air-conditioner’s filter .  Check the manufacturer’s instructions on how often to change it.

  • DO A P.M. RINSE – Perhaps you are used to starting your day with a shower. During allergy season, consider taking a pre-bedtime shower, to wash away any allergens you may have picked up during the day (instead of bringing them into bed with you).

  • VACUUM OFTEN AND WELL – Be sure to vacuum weekly, preferably with a vacuum that uses a HEPA filter. Those dust-bunnies may contain dust mites, mold, pollen, and animal dander or fur.  You’ll

  • BE SAVVY ABOUT FLOORING – Carpeting can hide and hold many allergens. A better option is a hard-surface floor (and washable throw rugs with rubber backing).

  • CONSIDER USING AN AIR PURIFIER – Portable air filters can filter out pollutants in one room at a time. Research published in Current Allergy and Asthma Reports suggests that this can bring some relief to allergy victims.  However, the article warns against “electrostatic precipitator” and “ionizer” purifiers because “these can release ozone which can irritate your lungs.”

I hope one or more of these suggestions will help you thrive during this extra-strong allergy season.


Fast Way to Make Food Healthier

Fast Way to Make Food Healthier

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

March 20, 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, you encourage us to “eat right,” but do you have some suggestions on a Fast Way to Make Food Healthier?

A:  Consumer Reports on Health for April 2019 includes an article entitled “The Fast Way to Make Food Healthier:  Expert tips and tricks to help you put together nutritious and delicious meals and spend less time in the kitchen.”  Sound impossible?  Here are five suggestions:

  • PACKAGED GRAIN MIXES – These are a great Bowl of Wild Rice to help eat healthierstart, just requiring boiling water and adding a seasoning packet, but Susan Saffel-Shrier, M.S., R.D., and certified gerontologist and associate professor at University of Utah, says they become much healthier with these tips:

    • Choose a product with whole grains (such as wild rice, quinoa, or whole-wheat couscous)

    • Use only half the seasoning packet, to get flavor, but with less sodium
    • Add protein by mixing in chopped chicken, beans, or tofu, then top it off with almonds or sesame seeds
    • Stir in a bag of stir-fried or steamed cauliflower rice to stretch the grain while retaining its consistency
  • CANNED OR BOXED SOUP – Stretch one soup into more than one healthy, complete dinner :

    • Add a bag of microwave steamed frozen vegetables, such as cauliflower, peas and carrots, or spinach
    • Mix in a can of low-sodium beans (like chickpeas or kidney beans) for fiber and protein

    • Serve it on top of half a cup of a whole grain, like brown rice or farro
    • Add a cup of water to dilute the sodium. With the addition of other ingredients above, this can become two meals.
  • SANDWICHES – “Any meal that doesn’t require silverware to eat definitely falls into the ‘easy’ category,” the article notes, and what could be easier than a sandwich? However, notes Lauri Wright, Ph.D., R.D.N, chair of the nutrition department at the University of North Florida, “Many times veggies and fibers are missing from sandwiches, while they can still be high in calories, salt, and fat.”  Here’s the fix:

    • Start with whole-grain bread, not only for heart-healthy fiber but also to help the meal feel more satisfying

    • Reduce the amount of cold-cuts (which may be high in sodium) and add instead cucumbers, sliced peppers, shredded carrots, spinach, or, of course, lettuce.
    • Substitute mashed avocado or hummus for mayonnaise (which “adds calories and fat but little valuable nutrients”). The substitutes add flavor, texture, and nutrients (including fiber and potassium).
  • FROZEN DINNERS – Sure, they’re easy and may be tasty, but beware of the amount of calories, salt, and fat they contain “Look for meals that have between 300 to 500 calories, less than 4 grams of saturated fat and 600 mg of sodium, while containing 5 or more grams of fiber and 10 to 20 grams of protein,” says Wright. Then…

    • Serve it with a big side salad
    • Add a bag of frozen, non-starchy vegetables (such as zucchini) that you have steamed or microwaved – and possibly mix it right in with the frozen meal, in a larger bowl, to extend the sauce and add extra fiber and nutrients without adding many calories

    • Finish the meal with fruit, like an orange or sliced watermelon. These are high in potassium “which helps your body excrete sodium and therefore can help keep your blood pressure low.”
  • COLD CEREAL – Okay, who hasn’t used this as a quick meal? “Cereal is a grain, so to make it a complete meal, add protein and fruits or veggies,” Wright says.

    • Choose a whole-grain cereal with little, if any, added sugars
    • Add fruit, such as defrosted frozen blueberries or a slicked banana

    • Sprinkle on nuts or seeds, like almonds or pumpkin seeds, for crunch and protein
    • Use cereal as a base for a parfait, by layering it with yogurt, berries, and flax seeds

I hope one or more of these suggestions will help you “eat right” without an enormous amount of effort.  We all need to…


Why is “Sleep Well,” such an elusive goal?

Why is “Sleep Well,” such an elusive goal?

Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends…

March 13, 2019

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, you encourage us to “sleep well,” but that seems to be a more elusive goal with each year of my age.  Any suggestions?      

A:  AARP Bulletin for March 2019 states, “More than one-third of adults aren’t getting the recommended 7-plus hours [of sleep] per night needed to support good health,”  so you can see that you are not alone in grappling with this problem. The article by Jessica Migala also warns that “the number of health conditions linked to poor or inadequate sleep is almost endless, with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease topping the list.”

What can help?  Here are some of the suggestions she lists (paraphrased):


    – The blue light that our electronic devices emit Man with insomnia looking at laptop screen in the dark“suppresses melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.” Turning off these devices – including TV – one to four hours before bedtime can help, according to Karl Doghramji, MD, director of Jefferson Sleep Disorders Center in Philadelphia.  If you cannot do without bedtime TV, he suggests wearing a pair of glasses that block the blue rays, which you can find from online retailers.


    – Okay, so you know that afternoon coffee might interfere with nighttime sleeping, but “people often have no idea that they’re consuming caffeine in other forms, like iced tea or chocolate,” says Beth Ann Malow, MD, director of the sleep disorders division of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. She suggests cutting off all forms of caffeine after lunch.

  • “NAP INSOMNIA” – If you find yourself dozing off – particularly between 2:00-3:00 p.m. – you may not feel sleepy at bedtime, leading to lying awake. Doghramji suggests scheduling something active for when you experience a dip in energy.  That can refresh you for the rest of the afternoon and also help you sleep better that night.


    – This one may seem counter-intuitive, if sipping a glass of wine seems to relax you. Researchers have noted that although alcohol may make it easier to fall asleep, by the second half of the night, that sleep is “lighter and more fragmented,” leaving a person feeling less refreshed in the morning. Stop drinking alcohol three hours before bedtime and follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and prevention:  only one drink for women and only two for men.

For the full article, including other tips for getting a good night’s sleep, visit