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This weekend is wellness weekend here in Palm Springs. We have the Tour de Palm Springs on Saturday, January 23 and The Mayor’s Race and Wellness Festival on Sunday, January 24.

The 18th annual Tour de Palm Springs is expected to attract 8,000 riders. The online registration has closed but you can still register the day of the event at 6am. There is something for everyone with options of a 100-mile ride, 50-mile ride, 25-mile ride, 10-mile ride, 1-mile walk, 2-mile walk, or 3-mile walk. For more information on the Tour de Palm Springs click here.

The Mayor’s Race, now in its 5th year, offers something for all fitness levels with 10K, 5K, and 1K Kids Run options. Registration for The Mayor’s Race is still open and every registrant receives a hot breakfast, tee shirt and finisher’s medal (including all the kids in the 1K race)! For more information on The Mayor’s Race and to register for the event click here.

Check with your local community to find out what wellness activities are offered in your area.

 

Now that we are well into the cold and flu season many of us have tried, or are trying, every cold remedy in the book to get rid of the common cold. Do you ever wonder if your cold remedy is really working? Below you will find out which remedies work and which ones don’t.

What works:

  • Water and other fluids. Water, juice, clear broth or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen congestion and prevents dehydration.
  • Saltwater. A saltwater gargle can temporarily relieve a sore or scratchy throat.
  • Saline nasal drops and sprays. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops and sprays combat stuffiness and congestion.
  • Chicken soup. Chicken soup might help relieve cold and flu symptoms in two ways. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and it helps relieve congestion.
  • Over-the-counter cold and cough medications in older children and adults. Nonprescription decongestants and pain relievers offer some symptom relief, but they won't prevent a cold or shorten its duration, and most have some side effects. If used for more than a few days, they can actually make symptoms worse.
  • AntihistaminesAntihistamines may provide minor relief of several cold symptoms, including coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and nasal discharge.
  • Humidity. Cold viruses thrive in dry conditions — another reason why colds are more common in winter. Dry air also dries the mucous membranes, causing a stuffy nose and scratchy throat.

What doesn’t work:

  • Antibiotics. These attack bacteria, but they're no help against cold viruses.
  • Over-the-counter cold and cough medications in young children. OTC cold and cough medications may cause serious and even life-threatening side effects in children.
  • Zinc. The cold-fighting reputation of zinc has had its ups and downs. The highest quality randomized trials generally show no benefit. In studies with positive results, zinc seemed most effective taken within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

What probably doesn't hurt:

  • Vitamin C. It appears that for the most part taking vitamin C won't help the average person prevent colds. However, taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms.
  • EchinaceaStudies on the effectiveness of Echinacea at preventing, or shortening, colds are mixed. If your immune system is healthy, and you aren't taking prescription medications, using Echinacea supplements is unlikely to cause harm.

 

Our best advice: wash your hands, and remember to clean your phone, too!  I like to use those convenient cart wipes that the grocery stores now provide. We hope you find this information helpful and we wish you a healthy 2016!

We hope that everyone had a Happy New Year! With every New Year comes new resolutions. The #1 resolution in America is to lose weight. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat healthier. Luckily a new app called DietSensor has been developed that will make eating healthy a lot simpler. DietSensor will tell you what is in your food with the SCiO sensor that reads nutrients from the cells of food and beverages. You can even get nutritional information on home cooked foods! If you are diabetic or have high cholesterol DietSensor will even give you recommendations based on the foods you scan. For more information on DietSensor click here.

P.S. Don’t forget to wash your fruits, vegetables, poultry, etc. with one of our food sanitizers.

As promised, the rest of the Christmas trivia is here!

15. Many European countries believed that spirits, both good, and evil, were active during the Twelve Days of Christmas. These spirits eventually evolved into Santa’s elves, especially under the influence of Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas (1779-1863) illustrated by Thomas Nast (1840-1902).

14. Christmas trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.

13. Christmas trees have been sold in the U.S. since 1850.

12. The world’s largest Christmas stocking measured 106 feet and 9 inches (32.56 m) long and 49 feet and 1 inch (14.97 m) wide. It weighed as much as five reindeer and held almost 1,000 presents. It was made by the Children’s Society in London on December 14, 2007.

11. Contrary to popular belief, suicide rates during the Christmas holiday are low. The highest rates are during the spring.

10. According to data analyzed from Facebook posts, two weeks before Christmas is one of the two most popular times for couples to break up. However, Christmas Day is the least favorite day for breakups.

9. The traditional three colors of Christmas are green, red, and gold. Green has long been a symbol of life and rebirth; red symbolizes the blood of Christ, and gold represents light as well as wealth and royalty.

8. According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

7. In A.D. 350, Pope Julius I, bishop of Rome, proclaimed December 25 the official celebration date for the birthday of Christ.

6. Most of Santa’s reindeer have male-sounding names, such as Blitzen, Comet, and Cupid. However, male reindeer shed their antlers around Christmas, so the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are likely not male, but female or castrati.

5. The “true love” mentioned in the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” does not refer to a romantic couple, but the Catholic Church’s code for God. The person who receives the gifts represents someone who has accepted that code. For example, the “partridge in a pear tree” represents Christ. The “two turtledoves” represent the Old and New Testaments.

4. All the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas would equal 364 gifts.

3. Each year more than 3 billion Christmas cards are sent in the U.S. alone.

2. The Germans made the first artificial Christmas trees out of dyed goose feathers.

1. Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose is probably the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Aqua Sun Ozone!

Source: Levine Breaking News

Christmas is almost here! To get into the Christmas spirit I thought I would share some Christmas trivia with you.

30. Christmas has its roots in pagan festivals such as Saturnalia (December 17-December 23), the Kalends (January 1 -5, the precursor to the Twelve Days of Christmas), and Deus Sol Invictus or Birthday of the Unconquerable Sun (December 25). The Christian church heartily disapproved of such celebrations and co-opted the pagans by declaring December 25 as Christ’s day of birth, though there is no evidence Christ was born on that day.

29. The poinsettia is native to Mexico and was cultivated by the Aztecs, who called the plant Cuetlaxochitl (“flower which wilts”). For the Aztecs, the plant’s brilliant red color symbolized purity, and they often used it medicinally to reduce fever. Contrary to popular belief, the poinsettia is not poisonous, but holly berries are.

28. Because of their pagan associations, both the holly (associated with the masculine principle) and the ivy (the feminine) and other green boughs in home decoration were banned by the sixth-century Christian Council of Braga.

27. A Yule log is an enormous log that is typically burned during the Twelve Days of Christmas (December 25-January 6). Some scholars suggest that the word yule means “revolution” or “wheel,” which symbolizes the cyclical return of the sun. A burning log or its charred remains is said to offer health, fertility, and luck as well as the ability to ward off evil spirits.

26. Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday, the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659-1681 with a penalty of five shillings for each offense. Some Puritan leaders condemned those who favored Christmas as enemies of the Christian religion.

25. Evergreens (from the Old English word aefie meaning “always” and gowan meaning “to grow”) have been symbols of eternal life and rebirth since ancient times. The pagan use and worship of evergreen boughs and trees has evolved into the Christianized Christmas tree.

24. Ancient peoples, such as the Druids, considered mistletoe sacred because it remains green and bears fruit during the winter when all other plants appear to die. Druids would cut the plant with golden sickles and never let it touch the ground. They thought it had the power to cure infertility and nervous diseases and to ward off evil.

23. Mistletoe (Viscum album) is from the Anglo-Saxon word misteltan, which means “little dung twig” because the plant spreads though bird droppings.

22. Oklahoma was the last U.S. state to declare Christmas a legal holiday, in 1907.

21. Christmas wasn’t declared an official holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.

20. Alabama was the first state in the United States to officially recognize Christmas in 1836.

19. In Poland, spiders or spider webs are common Christmas trees decorations because according to legend, a spider wove a blanket for Baby Jesus. In fact, Polish people consider spiders to be symbols of goodness and prosperity at Christmas.

18. The British wear paper crowns while they eat Christmas dinner. The crowns are stored in a tube called a “Christmas cracker.”

17. Bolivians celebrate Misa del Gallo or “Mass of the Rooster” on Christmas Eve. Some people bring roosters to the midnight mass, a gesture that symbolizes the belief that a rooster was the first animal to announce the birth of Jesus.

16. Each year there are approximately 20,000 “rent-a-Santas” across the United States. “Rent-a-Santas” usually undergo seasonal training on how to maintain a jolly attitude under pressure from the public. They also receive practical advice, such as not accepting money from parents while children are looking and avoiding garlic, onions, or beans for lunch.

Check back next week for more Christmas trivia!

Source: Levine Breaking News

Christmas is going to be here in just 2 short weeks! Many people are avoiding the stores and ordering their gifts online. Many businesses know this so they are participating in Free Shipping Day on Dec. 18, and all the orders are to arrive by Christmas Eve. To view a list of the participating stores click here.

Ordering gifts online is very convenient and can save you a lot of time; however, there is the possibility of thieves stealing your package once it is delivered. Below are a few tips to keep your packages safe this holiday season:

  • Add signature confirmation
  • Use premium package control programs such as UPS My Choice
  • Get it delivered to your local mail facility.
  • Enroll a friend or family member to pick up your package.
  • Get presents delivered to your work.
  • If it does get stolen file a police report and send it to your credit card company for a refund.

If you still have gifts to order for Christmas below are the deadlines to make sure your gifts arrive on time:

  • FedEx For shipping within the U.S.:
    • Dec. 14: Last day to ship via FedEx SmartPost
    • Dec. 16: Last day to ship via FedEx Home Delivery and FedEx Ground
    • Dec. 21: Last day to ship via FedEx Express Saver
    • Dec. 22: Last day to ship via FedEx 2Day and FedEx 2Day A.M.
    • Dec. 23: Last day to ship via FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, and FedEx First Overnight
    • Dec. 25: Last day to ship via FedEx SameDay
  • UPS For shipping within the U.S.: 
    • Dec. 17: Last day to ship UPS Ground
    • Dec. 18: Last day to ship UPS 3 Day Select
    • Dec. 22: Last day to ship via UPS 2nd Day Air
    • Dec. 23: Last day to ship via UPS Next Day Air
    • Dec. 24: Last day to ship via UPS Express Critical
  • U.S. Postal Service For mail and package shipping within the U.S.: 
    • Dec. 15: Last day to send packages via standard parcel post
    • Dec. 19: Last day to send packages via First Class Mail
    • Dec. 21: Last day to send packages via Priority Mail
    • Dec. 23: Last day to send packages via Priority Express Mail
  • Amazon for shipping within the contiguous U.S.:
    • Dec. 16: Last day to order with free shipping
    • Dec. 18: Last day to order with standard shipping
    • Dec. 22: Last day to order with two-day shipping
    • Dec. 23: Last day to order with one-day shipping
    • Dec. 24: Last day to order with same-day delivery

We hope this helps you prepare for a wonderful holiday!

A recent E.coli outbreak is linked to celery from Taylor Farms Pacific. So far 19 people have been infected from 7 states.  The stores included in the recall are Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Raley's, King Scoopers, Save Mart, Albertsons, Sam's Club, Walmart, Target, and Costco. The following 18 states have been affected by the recall: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The recall includes 155,000 celery products such as vegetable trays, chicken salad, and macaroni salad have all been pulled from the shelves. To view the full list of recalled items click here.

Our food safety products such as the Nature-Kleen and Vege-Kleen can destroy 99% of bacteria including E.coli. With these products, you will feel at ease knowing your fruits and vegetables are safe. To view these products click here.  

Tomorrow, November 19, 2015, is Use Less Stuff Day. Use Less Stuff Day is all about re-using, patching up, recycling and handing things down rather than throwing them away and buying new things. Every year tons of food gets thrown away during Thanksgiving. We make plenty of food to feed everyone, inevitably leaving us with so many leftovers that we can’t possibly eat them before they spoil.

To reduce food waste Use Less Stuff created a list of approximate food and drink portions per person:

  • Turkey - 1 pound
  • Stuffing - ¼ pound
  • Sweet potato casserole - ¼ pound
  • Green beans - ¼ pound
  • Cranberry relish - 3 tablespoons
  • Pumpkin pie - 1/8 of a 9” pie

At the end of the day you will always have some leftovers but what you can do is make sure to package them up and send them with your guests. You can also donate your leftovers to the local food shelf.