Concerned about staying healthy? Take care of your colon!

submitted by GNC, Newtown

Though it is not necessarily a favorite topic of discussion, colon health should be at or near the top of everyone’s list. Studies show that when the colon is regularly kept clean, you’re 90% of the way to good health! It is here where food collects as waste material after nutrients have been sent to the bloodstream. Debris left in the colon leads to the absorption of toxins and various health issues. The key to colon health is largely nutritional. Diets high in fiber, low in fat, along with lots of fresh foods is the best way to ensure a healthy colon. Additionally, there are several supplements that can assist in this process.

ALOE VERA – This is a gelatinous plant food like seaweeds and chia. The gels in these types of foods move through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way. They get eliminated through the colon aiding the body’s removal of waste products. Aloe vera also helps to alkalize the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits.

PROBIOTICS/ACIDPHILUS – These supplements support a healthy balance of micro flora in the colon. This contributes to a more efficient elimination system, as well as better digestion. Recent studies also see a strong link between probiotics and improved immune function.

FIBER – Read food labels and start focusing on the fiber content of every item. Men require at least 38 grams of fiber daily, whereas women need 25 grams to keep the colon healthy. A significant portion of the daily requirement should come from diet, but supplements offer much needed assistance in making up the difference.

GREEN FOODS – The colon needs an alkaline environment to stay healthy. However, we assault it daily with acidic foods like coffee, soda, sugar, chips, fast food, etc. Green drinks and tablets made from chlorella, barley grass, wheat grass spirulina and chlorophyll push us toward the alkaline end of the ph scale. This is necessary to allow the colon to remain healthy. Include at least one green drink or serving per day.

RELAX – Stress takes a toll on our colon. Actively pursue stress-relieving techniques in all aspects of life… physical, emotional and spiritual!

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Should we stay or go?

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors – Newtown Office

Moving is one of the top five stressors in life, weighing in after death, illness, divorce and job loss, so most people don’t enter into the real estate market lightly. They ponder, contemplate, argue and look for signs from above before reaching a decision, which rarely comes easily. If you’re considering making a move, here are some factors to consider:

  1. You, your family and your stuff are starting to make you feel claustrophobic – and you don’t see it getting better any time soon. If you can’t store another thing under the beds and your seven-year-old is still sleeping in his toddler bed in a room with his two older brothers, it may be time.
  2. The house and grounds are starting to get the best of you, and keeping up with maintenance is becoming a challenge.  Don’t let your largest single asset start to deteriorate.
  3. Your up and coming neighborhood still hasn’t arrived, or is gradually becoming down and out.
  4. You’re using the equity in your home to get you through a “rough patch” that has lasted way longer than it should have.
  5. You had always considered this home to be a stopping point, not a destination, and have the financial ability to move up to your dream home.

If you’re a move-up buyer, it’s time to get off the fence and into the market NOW, while interest rates are still low and prices, while starting to increase, aren’t moving sharply upward. If you’re downsizing, it’s still a great time to sell as inventory levels are low and well-priced homes in good condition are selling quickly. The market has started its rebound no matter how you look at it. You’re not getting any younger – it’s time to move forward with your dreams and plans.

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Filing for divorce…on what ‘grounds’?

submitted by Jennifer Courtney, Esquire, Law Offices of Jennifer Courtney, www.courtneylaw.net

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to officially commence a divorce action, one party files a Complaint in Divorce with the court. The Complaint sets forth the grounds for the divorce. The Pennsylvania Divorce Code sets forth the requirements for grounds for divorce under what is commonly referred to as either “no fault divorce” or “fault-based divorce” actions.

There are two types of no fault divorce actions. The first is a consensual divorce action. In this type of no fault divorce, one party files the divorce under the appropriate section of the Divorce Code. The other party is then served. After 90 days have elapsed from service of the divorce complaint upon the other spouse, each party may sign their consent to the divorce. The parties may agree on little else, but as long as they both agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken and sign their consents confirming the same, grounds for divorce can be awarded.

The other type of no fault divorce is based on a two-year separation. In this type of action, after the parties have been living separate and apart for at least two years, one party may sign an affidavit alleging that both the marriage is irretrievably broken and the two-year separation. If the other party does not dispute the separation, grounds can be awarded. If the other party does in fact dispute the separation, then the parties may proceed to a hearing to determine if grounds should be awarded based on the facts. While this is obviously very fact specific, it is possible that spouses can be considered living separate and apart even if they reside in the same household.

There are six types of fault-based divorce actions. Fault-based divorce action are sought by the perceived “innocent and injured spouse” under the Divorce Code on the following grounds: Desertion; Adultery; Cruel and Barbarous Treatment; Bigamous Marriage; when one party has been sentenced for a term of two or more years upon conviction of having committed a crime; or Indignities by a party so as to render the other innocent spouse’s condition intolerable and life burdensome.

Depending on one’s circumstances, a family law attorney can better advise under which Grounds for Divorce a Complaint in Divorce can be filed and sought.

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Passing grades with neurofeedback

submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net

Steve (not his real name) struggled with maintaining academic success and keeping his life in order with good choices. In trying to manage the responsibilities and pressures of college, he frequently found himself making poor choices. Socially, he was unable to maintain positive relationships. He could not seem to come out of the spiral. As he stumbled with keeping on track with his academic goals, he kept falling back into the same self-defeating behaviors.

He came to neurofeedback treatment seeking an alternative to the treatment he was already receiving, hoping to improve his life. He struggled with anxiety, inattention, lack of motivation, and depression. His self-medicating behaviors were part of the problem. He needed to be able to focus better in class, complete his assignments and follow through with the academics necessary for a successful career. 

As part of a diagnostic intake, the quantitative electroencephalogram identified areas of inattention, anxiety and depression that were triggering the self-defeating behaviors.  Steve’s treatment plan consisted of neurofeedback, which addressed the brain wave imbalances that were associated with the emotional and behavioral issues. He also began Heart Math, which is a type of biofeedback where he learned control over his daily stressors by altering breathing and heart rate. In learning autogenic training he reacted more positively to stressors. 

Neurofeedback training is an effective modality that reinforces and rewards brain waves that are associated with more positive feelings and behaviors. Over time, these changes become permanent with individuals more consistently following a pattern of healthy behaviors, making better choices and successfully changing the direction of their lives into healthier outcomes. Heart Math is effective in autogenic training for self-control and stress management. Steve is making excellent progress, has successfully completed another semester in school, and looking forward to completing a college degree and a more successful life style.

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Celebrate Heart Health Month with these supplements

submitted by GNC, Newtown

Heart disease is the nation’s No. 1 killer. February is American Heart Health Month and the perfect time to get acquainted with these heart-healthy supplements.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS – These supplements, known as DHA and EPA help the body keep inflammation under control. They help reduce the blood’s tendency to form clots within arteries that might trigger heart attacks. Omega-3 also keeps cell membranes soft and pliable, so blood vessels remain open and free flowing. Fish oil is a primary source of omega-3. However, krill oil, from shrimp-like crustaceans, has become an increasingly popular source. Unlike standard fish oil, which is absorbed in the stomach, krill oil is absorbed in the intestinal tract rendering a much higher level of absorption.

COENZYME Q-10 – This organic compound, found in every cell of the body, supplies important biochemical needed for cellular energy. Since the heart requires large amounts of energy to function properly, its cells require a great amount of CoQ-10. This amazing compound is also a potent antioxidant, reducing damage from free radicals. It enhances the heart’s pumping action, helping maintain a regular, coordinated beat. Recently, many have switched to ubiquinol—the reduced, active antioxidant into which CoQ-10 converts in our bodies.

L-CARNITINE – This amino acid-like compound helps convert fatty acids into energy. It is beneficial to heart function in many ways. In a recent clinical trial, patients with diabetes and high blood pressure were given 4 grams daily. After 45 weeks, they showed a significant decrease in abnormal heart function and irregular heartbeat. It also appears that this nutrient can help treat congestive heart failure, as well as improve exercise capacity by facilitating the body’s burning of stored fat.

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Stay energized while on the go this holiday season

submitted by GNC, Newtown

The holiday season can be extremely hectic and stressful. The demands of family, work and …yes… shopping can leave us mentally and physically fatigued. Consider the following supplements to help stay energized and keep up the pace.

L-Carnitine – This is a heart healthy, amino-acid like compound that helps convert fat, so that while exercising, or coping with the hectic pace of the holidays. We tap into the fat for fuel. As a result, we tire less quickly and can be on the go for longer periods of time. L-Carnitine also helps the heart pump more blood with fewer beats.

Vitamin B-12 – If, like many Americans, you’ve tried everything to boast your energy, but still feel tired, consider taking vitamin B-12.  This vitamin is involved in many metabolic functions including making DNA for new cells, forming healthy red blood cells and turning food we eat into energy. Recent studies suggest up to 40% if Americans have inadequate levels of B-12. So, to feel your best and perform at a higher energy level, consider supplementing with this important vitamin.

7- Keto – This popular supplement is a metabolite of DHEA and is produced in the adrenal glands. First introduced in 1998, 7-Keto remains a popular dietary supplement for those wishing to increase thermogenic activity and boost immunity. It helps increase the metabolism of carbs, fat and protein by accelerating the rate at which cells produce more ATP…the body’s energy molecule.

Ginseng – One of the best energy-producing supplements is ginseng…and adaptogen with the unique ability to improve the cell’s production of ATP. It also enhances the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to its cells. For over 2000 years ginseng has been used throughout the world as a natural remedy to bolster vitality.

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Actively managed mutual funds vs. passively managed index funds

submitted by Michael Garry, CFP®, JD/MBA, Yardley Wealth Management, LLC

Mutual funds provide various benefits including diversification, convenience and cost advantage, so it’s no wonder that more than 13 trillion US dollars are invested in them. When deciding which mutual funds to invest in, there are many questions investors must ask themselves, including whether an actively or passively managed fund best matches their investment objectives. 

In actively managed funds, a portfolio manager attempts to outperform an index via stock picking, sector weighting and/or market timing. With passively managed index funds, the manager buys a portfolio of securities that replicate an index such as the S&P 500 or Barclay’s Aggregate Bond Index, or a portion of the market, such as large company stocks or small company stocks.

On the face of it, it seems like active management would be the way to go. Why not just pick the good stocks and forget about the bad ones? The problem is that it isn’t so easy to do.

On average, most actively managed funds trail the index that they try to beat. There are a few managers that do beat their indices over time, but it is as hard to pick a manager that will outperform as it is to pick a stock that will outperform.

Managers with good five- or 10-year track records tend to underperform over the next five or 10 years. The reason that this is so is because the markets are fairly efficient. There are literally millions of investors trying to beat the markets and what happens is that all of those investors trying to buy and sell to gain advantage wind up becoming the markets.

As a whole, they tend to underperform.

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The real estate market continues to improve

submitted by Kathleen Layton, Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors – Newtown Office

Third quarter market statistics are in and show a continuingly improving real estate market in Bucks County. The average sale price is up 1.9% to $333,582 and the number of closed sales is up 28.3% over last year. The time it takes to sell a home is down to an average of 81 days, a reduction of 23.5%, inventory levels are down 12.1% and there’s a six-month supply of inventory which is down 26.4%, signifying a return to more “normal” conditions.

What’s it all mean? For one thing, the bottom of the market is clearly behind us and we’re finding ourselves in one of the busiest markets in years. While the pace has slowed somewhat, well-priced homes in good condition are selling in a matter of days, often with more than one offer to choose from. As the economy continues to improve, prices, as well as mortgage interest rates, will continue to rise. Most economists are forecasting a 2% rise in prices annually over the next several years.

No matter how you slice it, now really is a great time to buy or sell a home. If you need to sell your current home before you can purchase your next one, waiting until it appreciates isn’t the answer. Any gain you may make will be wiped out by rising interest rates and higher home prices for your new home. 

If you’re considering getting out of mom and dad’s basement or out of an apartment and into your own place – get off the fence and DO IT! The time will never be better.

The same holds true for those of you looking to expand your portfolio or diversify your retirement strategy. Rental properties are in high demand and an investment property could offer some long-term growth and passive income in those golden years.

There are still opportunities to be had in this market but who knows when that window will start to close? If the circumstances are right for you, now may be the time to make it happen.

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Neurofeedback: A winning choice

submitted by Dr. Maria DiDonato, D.Ed. Psychologist, Achievement & Wellness Center, www.achievewell.net

Penny (not her real name), a very pleasant fourth grader was struggling with attention and academics since kindergarten. Her parents’ concern for her inability to learn was ongoing for several years. She was not making progress in reading and math, and she appeared to drift in and out of attention during class and homework.   

Her parents were frustrated with getting help from the school who appeared to be ignoring the real problems. They were providing help for their child privately, but Penny’s struggles were growing with each year.

Penny’s situation was somewhat complex. She received a full neuropsychological evaluation that included a quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) as part of her evaluation for ADHD. Following this assessment, Penny began a course of neurofeedback for attention problems and she immediately began to improve.

That evaluation also identified underlying processing problems related to her learning difficulties. Referrals to specialists are proving fruitful in helping with her additional remediation. Remediation from other specialists is necessary to help with Penny’s learning problems, but she is definitely on her way to making progress academically. 

Schools are not always helpful in identifying problems and providing appropriate remediation for specific learning needs.  Despite recourse to IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), a law that requires schools to identify and remediate learning needs in children, parents often find themselves battling the school for help.

Parents need to know their rights and alternatives to seeking remediation while they provide for their child’s educational needs. Neurofeedback provides the most effective remediation for ADHD, a modality that is superior to stimulant medication.

In Penny’s case, her problems were more than attention, so she was able to access comprehensive help for her success.

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Be armed and ready for cold and flu season

submitted by GNC, Newtown

Each year, millions of dollars are spent on cold and flu remedies. Health conscious consumers are looking for products that actually prevent symptoms from occurring in the first place. If you are not a candidate for a flu shot, and you should discuss this with your doctor, the following is a lost of some of the most effective natural remedies on the market.

Colloidal Silver – What happens when you suspend microscopic silver particles in purified water? You get a powerful immune boosting product. Colloidal silver works with our bodies’ own immune system to fight harmful bacteria that can cause sinus infections, sore throats, ear infections and pneumonia.

Sambucus Elderberry Extract – In numerous clinical studies, elderberry extract has demonstrated potent anti-viral properties. It is particularly effective against the flu virus because of its ability to prevent it from reproducing in our bodies.

Oscillococcinum – Typically known as “oscillo,” this flower-based homeopathic remedy may significantly reduce the fever, chills and body aches associated with the flu when taken at its earliest stages. It does not cause drowsiness and has no drug interactions. It is safe for children as young as three-years-old, and its sweet taste makes it even more suitable.

Umka – This is a pleasant tasting herbal extract from South Africa which has been used to treat respiratory and other infections for hundreds of years. It can be effective in treating coughs, sore throats and sinusitis. Umka boosts immune function and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. There are no known side-effects.

Neti-pots – A netipot is a ceramic or plastic pot that is filled with tepid water and a saline/bicarbonate solution and is used to wash your nasal passages. If you are prone to sinus infections, this device helps wash bacteria and unwanted irritants out of your sinuses. It is easy and inexpensive to use.

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