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‘Choose not to use’: Outreach group warning teens about dangers of synthetic marijuana use

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Ivan Toldson, known as rapper Love-N-Pain, performs an original song, 'No More Mojo,' which tells the story of a teen who tries synthetic marijuana, often called mojo, with fatal consequences.

When Tonja Myles was a drug dealer, she didn’t care about the quality of the product. She never thought whether it made a user sick — or put him 6 feet under. “I didn’t care about what I gave you,” Myles told hundreds of students in the Plaquemine High School gym. “I… Continue reading →

Balance the binge: Holidays don’t mean you can’t splurge at festive meals

This Sept. 15, 2014, photo shows super fast roast turkey in Concord, N.H. ìThe Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece of the meal, but despite its being cooked every year for generations, it still causes anxiety. The annual conundrum? Getting a flavorful turkey that also looks good, and the rest of dinner, on the table before the grandparents fall asleep,î Tyler Florence writes in his new cookbook, ìInside the Test Kitchen.î (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) ORG XMIT: NHMM315

Mark that Thanksgiving calendar page in red — the annual holiday food binge is about to begin. It’s that time of year when we subject ourselves to a weeks-long eating frenzy, followed by a relentless and punitive New Year’s resolution diet. One local diet expert is hoping we can change our ways.… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Nov. 24, 2014

With my mother’s Alzheimer’s disease progressing, I am planning on talking with my siblings over Thanksgiving about her continual care. How can I organize a plan of care to include the entire family? The phrase, “it takes a village” is so appropriate in the care of an individual with Alzheimer’s disease. The care takes participation from… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Nov. 24, 2014

I am finishing my cancer treatment soon. What can I expect in regards to follow-up care? After treatment, choose a doctor to provide follow-up care to check for reoccurrence or for problems that may develop due to treatment. This may be your oncologist, a medical specialist or your family doctor. Your choice might be limited or… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Nov. 24, 2014

WHAT: Zumba Gold fitness class WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 16 WHERE: Baton Rouge General Medical Center, 3600 Florida Blvd., Baton Rouge, 4th floor Medical Office Building COST: $3 INFORMATION: brgeneral.org DETAILS: Zumba Gold provides modified, low-impact moves and pacing for a healthy, active… Continue reading →

Breaking the links to obesity: Parents get lesson in healthy eating for their kids’ sake

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Alfredia Johnson, center, fills out an eating habits survey before the start of a meeting of the La Capitale Links Chapter on Wednesday at Winbourne Elementary School. With Johnson are her nephews Keiron Williams, 7, left and Tahj Carter, 9, right.

Parents have the power to make their kids walk right, talk right and speak right. They can also make sure they eat right. Learning to be a positive influence on their children was the goal for two dozen mothers and fathers who joined the three-month National Obesity Initiative from the La Capitale chapter of The… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Nov. 17, 2014

WHAT: Holiday grief support group meeting WHEN: 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 17 WHERE: Ochsner Medical Center Chapel, 17000 Medical Center Drive, Baton Rouge RESERVATIONS/INFO: (225) 767-4673… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Nov. 17, 2014

Is marijuana an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease? Medical marijuana is mainly used as a pain killer and in the United States it is regarded as a medical drug only in Colorado and Washington, D.C. In several states, including Arizona and Rhode Island, medical marijuana is approved for use in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and agitation.… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Nov. 17, 2014

Can you explain the different types of lung cancer to me? There are two major types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. The types are named for how the cells look under a microscope. It is important to distinguish between the two types because the cancers act… Continue reading →

‘Fitness is a way of life’: Mary Elizabeth Norckauer, 90, still racking up Senior Olympic gold medals

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Mary Elizabeth Norckauer works out on a captain's chair at the YMCA on South Foster Drive on Nov. 3. Norckauer is a 90-year-old senior Olympian who as a life-long athlete, has competed in archery, pistol shooting, track and field, and long distance running. She also was a professional ice skater in the 1940s and 1950s and played professional baseball during World War II. She recently won nine gold medals at the Louisiana Senior Olympics and surpassed six world records for her age group.

In her 90 years, Mary Elizabeth Norckauer has barely sat still. She’s been a professional ice skater, ballet dancer, champion archer and pistol shooter, baseball player, competitive runner and could soon be a Senior Olympics record holder. Last month Norckauer competed in nine events in the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games and… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Nov. 10, 2014

WHAT: SPOKES (Support for Parents Of Kids with Epilepsy and Seizures) support group meeting WHEN: 6-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10 WHERE: Baton Rouge Rehab Hospital, 8595 United Plaza Blvd., Conference Room 2. DETAILS: The support group is designed for parents of children with epilepsy to find common ground on successes and challenges they face… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Nov. 10, 2014

What should I know about cancers of the head and neck? Most head and neck cancers originate in the moist tissues that line the head and neck area such as the regions of the mouth, nose, and throat. Head and neck cancers are often identified by the area in which they originate:… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Nov. 2014

After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, what is the typical life expectancy? This is a common question when Alzheimer’s is first diagnosed, especially since there is no prevention, maintenance or cure for the disease. A precise answer is difficult, but doctors and researchers usually tell their patients the disease lasts an average of 7 to… Continue reading →

The biggest lessons: Pennington study of TV’s ‘The Biggest Loser’ finds metalbolism might be taking heavy hit

NBC photo by Trae Patton -- Pennington Biomedical Research Center researchers worked with NBC's 'The Biggest Loser' to study the metabolic rates of contestants on the weight loss show. From left, Jen Widerstrom helps Rondalee Beardslee with a workout on season 16 of 'The Biggest Loser.'

Weight loss never looks easy on “The Biggest Loser,” NBC’s hit reality show about obese contestants working hard to drop 100 pounds or more. Contestants run, hike and lift weights for hours a day, then carefully monitor their diets to lose as many pounds as possible in competition for a $250,000 prize.… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Nov. 3, 2014

WHAT: St. Jude Give Thanks 5K walk WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 22. Check-in at 7 a.m.; welcome at 8 a.m.; walk at 9 a.m. WHERE: BREC’s Highland Road Park, 14024 Highland Road REGISTRATION/INFO: givethankswalk.org DETAILS: Event will include family-friendly activities, such as live music, face painting and food and drinks. It’s… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Nov. 3, 2014

What are some of the best ways for a patient’s caregiver to take care of themselves? Caring for someone with cancer can be trying for anyone, no matter how much you love the person. In order to be a good caregiver, however, you have to continue taking care of yourself at the same time you are… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Nov. 3, 2014

Why is it important to keep someone with Alzheimer’s active? The biggest hurdle individuals face with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is the loss of independence. This, coupled with the physical and mental changes with the progression of the disease, can severely diminish the individual’s positive self-image and self-esteem. The combination of all these changes can lead… Continue reading →

Healthy in a hurry: Baton Rouge on front lines of nutrition with quick options for the health conscious

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- Chilled meals are displayed at Fresh Kitchen, one of the newest healthy fast food restaurants in Baton Rouge. They have about 30 different options and their food can be eaten inside the store or taken to go. Comprehensive nutrition information is displayed on everything they sell.

Anna Bernard was considering what to eat for lunch last Monday: vegetarian chili or roast beef and green beans? Buying her weekly supply of lunches from Fresh Kitchen, Bernard scanned the labels for nutrition facts while she held a small stack of refrigerated prepared meals. “I eat healthy, and I hate cooking, so… Continue reading →

Laughing through the pain: ‘SNL’ alum Hammond to speak on mental health

Photo provided by William Morris Endeavor EntertainmentDarrell Hammond, the longest-running cast member on Saturday Night Live, will appear at the Mental Health Association of Greater Baton Rouge's 60th Anniversary Celebration.

Behind all the jokes that made Darrell Hammond a star was the suffering caused by an abusive childhood. Hammond, 59, a stand-up comedian and writer and the longest-tenured cast member on “Saturday Night Live,” lived with drug and alcohol addictions and the self abuse of cutting. He believes telling his story may help others… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Oct. 27, 2014

Why is respite care an important plan of action in caring for someone with Alzheimer’s? Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s can be extremely stressful. Respite care provides a needed a break from the day-to-day responsibilities and can restore the caregiver’s energy and support a balanced daily life. Additionally, respite care can delay admission… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Oct. 27, 2014

Is inflammatory breast cancer different than other types of breast cancer? Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. Unlike other breast cancers, there is rarely a distinct lump in… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Oct. 27, 2014

WHAT: Walk to Defeat ALS WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 1. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with the opening ceremony at 10 a.m. WHERE: BREC’s Highland Road Park, 14024 Highland Road REGISTRATION/INFO: (800) 891-3746 or walktodefeatals.org. DETAILS: Event will include food, music, children’s activities and more. On hand will be LSU baseball… Continue reading →

Flip your food: Cooking show gives health options to local favorites

Photo provided by Triple 7 Public Relations -- Chef Jeff Henderson shoots a segment of 'Flip My Food' in New Orleans recently while Heather Yowler watches.

Keep it simple, Jeff Henderson says. Embarking on his fourth television cooking series, the Las Vegas chef says “Flip My Food” is all about taking an original dish and making it a little healthier. And that’s possible even with the calorie-rich cuisine for which Louisiana is famous. The syndicated show, which travels to a different… Continue reading →

Snack on the go: Baton Rouge entrepreneur hopes 'Iconic' builds new genre

Photo provided by Be Well Nutrition Inc.Billy Bosch, a Baton Rouge native, markets the

A new protein drink now on the shelves in New Orleans could help establish an entirely new genre of beverage.
The Louisiana-born co-founder of the Iconic healthy “lifestyle beverage” promotes his product as a “snack drink.”
“It’s a whole new realm of drink, and one that we think is on the rise,” said Billy Bosch, a 31-year-old LSU alumnus.
Iconic is… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Oct. 20, 2014

WHAT: Healthcare Empowerment Assembly by the Campaign for Healthcare for Everyone – Louisiana WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21 WHERE: Unitarian CHurch, 8470 Goodwood Blvd., Baton Rouge DETAILS: Campaign for Healthcare for Everyone – Louisiana partner organizations and the Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana will provide the latest information on how and when to… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Oct. 20, 2014

I am worried about my mom who has been caring for my dad who has Alzheimer’s for a couple of years. What are some signs of caregiver stress or burnout? If you pointed out to your mom that you feel she is overwhelmingly stressed or suffering from caregiver burnout, she would most likely deny it, which… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Oct. 20, 2014

Are there any known benefits to yoga for cancer survivors? There are ongoing studies exploring the benefits of yoga for cancer patients. MD Anderson recently released results that demonstrated yoga regulated stress hormones in breast cancer patients undergoing radiation. Those practicing yoga also reported less fatigue and better general health after their… Continue reading →

Cyclocross: Burgeoning bicycle sport as much about fun culture as it is racing

Photo provided by Rhea Aldridge --A cyclocross racer navigates a loose dirt pile during a race. Man-made and natural obstacles are a major part of cyclocross racing.

Kimberly Clements was showing off purple bruises on her biceps and legs, earned in a weekend of bike racing. “I fell down a hill really hard,” she said, laughing about the crash with her training partners. It was just a part of cyclocross, a growing form of bicycle racing on short, fast courses… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Oct. 13, 2014

Bryan Batt

WHAT: Free breast cancer screening WHEN: 10 a.m. to noon, 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14 WHERE: LSU Mid City Clinic, 1401 N. Foster Drive, Baton Rouge APPOINTMENT/INFO: (225) 215-1234 WHAT: Diabetes education and awareness group meeting on “Trick or Treat (me well)” WHEN: 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Oct. 13, 2014

My partner, who is 65, has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Do most agencies support LGBT families? In January 2011, the first Baby Boomers turned 65. The vast expansion of this aging population — the 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 — will put tremendous, unaffordable strains on government programs, such as Medicare and… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Oct. 13, 2014

How likely is a man to get breast cancer? Breast cancer in men is rare, making up less than 1 percent of cases. Although men have less breast tissue than women, cancer can still occur in the breast cells. Breast cancer in men is more commonly seen in those ages… Continue reading →

Comfort food for muscles: Trio of remedies will help with workout recovery

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNONBasic Chicken Noodle Soup is an easy-to-make choice for those just learning to cook. -- Chicken Noodle Soup for

Forget the gel packets, technologically advanced sports drinks and special powders. All the nutrition you need for a tough workout may already be in your kitchen. A steaming bowl of chicken noodle soup could be the best preparation for exercise, and pickle juice or chocolate milk may help your body recover afterward, according to Neil… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Oct. 6, 2014

WHAT: Two classes dealing with women and cancer WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 9 — 6-7 p.m. “Sexuality and Intimacy During Cancer Treatment”; 7:15-8:15 p.m. “Makeup 101 During Cancer Treatment” WHERE: Women’s Center for Wellness, 9637 Jefferson Highway, Baton Rouge REGISTRATION/INFO: womans.org DETAILS: The first session deals with how cancer treatments… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Oct. 6, 2014

What is frontotemporal dementia? Frontotemporal dementia, sometimes called Pick’s disease or FTD (frontotemporal degneration), is a rare form of dementia that causes death of brain cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This type of dementia significantly changes an individual’s personality, before memory and speech problems. FTD differs from other… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Oct. 6, 2014

What is a breast cancer screening? The two most common types of breast cancer screenings are clinical breast exams (CBE) and mammograms. Other tests, such as MRI, might be used in screening high-risk individuals, but this is not common. CBE’s are generally performed on women of all ages every one to three years… Continue reading →

Reducing diabetes through YMCA

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Wayne Wallace is taking part in the YMCA's Diabetes Prevention Program. He is changing his diet, attending informational classes and working out. He has lost 7 percent of his body weight, which is one of his goals. Cycling and working out have been a big part of it.

This February, Wayne Wallace got a little help keeping his New Year’s resolution. Wallace, 64, had recently retired when his insurance company called to recommend he join a diabetes prevention program the YMCA of Greater New Orleans was starting. “It was a time when we all have those New Year’s resolutions in the… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Sept. 29, 2014

Is there a link between getting concussions and developing Alzheimer’s? A concussion is traumatic brain injury that changes the way your brain functions. When the skull is jolted or impacted by a hard surface, the brain shifts, slamming against the skull, causing damage and swelling to the brain. If treated correctly, the brain will heal. If… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Sept. 29, 2014

WHAT: Zombie Bash, a 5K run/walk WHEN: Friday, Oct. 3. The Creepy Crawler 1 miler starts at 6:30 p.m. and the 5K at 6:45 p.m. On-site registration and packet pickup starts at 5 p.m. WHERE: Brickyard South (across the street from the 13th Gate), 174 South Blvd., Baton Rouge REGISTRATION: http://bit.ly/zombiebash.… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 29, 2014

How does HPV relate to cancer? Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. While there are many different strains of HPV, according to the National Cancer Institute, only 16 are considered high-risk and account for approximately 5 percent of all cancers worldwide. Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused… Continue reading →

Is DNA key to your diet?: New weight-loss concept tests DNA to tailor diet to metabolism

With its well-earned reputation for culinary — and other — excess, New Orleans seems an unlikely base for a cutting-edge weight-loss business. “Or,” said GenoVive founder Vic Castellon, “maybe that makes it the perfect place.” Or, maybe it doesn’t matter. Ever heard that some people stay trim because of good genes? Castellon’s company puts a… Continue reading →

Health Calendar, Sept. 22, 2014

WHAT: Two sessions for caring for those with Alzheimer’s — Care Training and Help for the Holidays. WHEN: Care session 2-3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23; holidays session 2-3:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26 WHERE: Home Instead Senior Care, 5055 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Baton Rouge RESERVATIONS: (225) 819-8338 DETAILS: The free workshops are designed to… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Sept. 22, 2014

What can I expect as my mom now experiences the later stages of Alzheimer’s? The later stage of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can be very distressing for you and your family, and a time you should enlist support from others, complete advance directives and make decisions on hospice and palliative care. Because each individual… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Sept. 22, 2014

What can you tell me about Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma? Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of a group of cancers called lymphomas. Lymphoma is a general term for cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Non-Hodgkin’s disease accounts for the majority of lymphomas and is subdivided into about 60 other subtypes. The two major subtypes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas… Continue reading →

Bales to speak at O’Brien breakfast

Susan Ford Bales

Susan Ford Bales was 25 years old, the baby of the family, when her father, former President Gerald Ford, and three older brothers — Steven, John and Michael — asked her to orchestrate an intervention with mom, Betty. The family had become alarmed with the former First Lady’s drinking, addiction to prescription drugs and erratic behavior.… Continue reading →

Tailgating Jr.: Making a day of the game is great fun, but children require some special plays

Advocate staff photo by GAVIN JACKSON Photo shot on 11/13/10 --- Trax #00023820A ---  Slug: LSU Fest---- Lauren Haddox tries to get the attention of her eight-month-old son William while sitting on the lawn of the Delta Delta Delta sorority where a large decoration of Mike the Tiger stood during the LSU Day Experience event, the highlight of Homecoming week, on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010. LSU Day activities featured live music, campus tours, performances, tailgates and other activities for students, families and visitors.

Football season is here which means day-long tailgate parties and game-day celebrations. Often, it’s a family affair, including young children. Here’s some tips to make tailgating safe from Dr. Cheree Wheeler-Duke, a family medicine physician at Ochsner Health Center. Too much sun can make children sick, but it can also cause… Continue reading →