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New Orleans' Aaron Williamson transforms into personal trainer for massive movie stars like Zac Efron, Sylvester Stallone, Josh Brolin

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER --  Aaron Williamson works out at Franco's Gym in New Orleans on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014.

In the movie “Oldboy,” Josh Brolin’s chubby, alcoholic character is imprisoned early in the movie and remains there for 20 years. He spends that lonely time getting sober, getting fit — and plotting his revenge. But that’s 20 years in a film, not in Brolin’s real life. As an actor, Brolin Continue reading →

How to handle ‘holiday humbug’: A little structure can help seasonal stress

HolidayStress

Get decorations from attic. Check. Put ornaments on tree. Check. Bake cookies for neighbors. Check. Find perfect gift for best friend. Check. Clean house from top to bottom. (Still working on that one.) If you’re like most of us, the holiday season often presents an usually long list of “things to do.”… Continue reading →

Getting baby-friendly: New Ochsner program promotes benefits of breast-feeding

Breastfeeding

New mothers who give birth at Ochsner Hospital and breast-feed their babies know they have a cheering squad behind them. “Starting from the first visit, we talk about birth preferences and bring up breast-feeding,” said Bethanie Genre, a nurse and midwife at Ochsner. The subject is brought up again when the woman is 28 weeks… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Dec. 8, 2014

What is Pick’s disease? Pick’s disease, or frontotemporal dementia (FTD), is a less common form of dementia that damages the frontal part of the brain, and a significant form of dementia in individuals under the age of 65. First described in 1892 by Arnold Puck, Pick’s disease causes an irreversible decline in an individual’s functioning… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Dec. 8, 2014

What are the best ways for me to help a good friend who was just diagnosed with cancer? Friends and family members of a cancer patient often want to help, but are not sure how and the patient may not know what sort of help the person is willing to give. It is sometimes hard… Continue reading →

Health Herbs: Herbalists say cures, natural remedies have real scientific value

Photo provided by the LSU AgCenter --Elderberry bush

Long before HMOs and antibiotics, people in south Louisiana relied on all-natural cures pulled from the forests and bayous. Cajun traiteurs, or faith healers, and before them the Native Americans who made the Gulf Coast their home used native plants to treat everything from fevers to spider bites. Many of these plants, from elderberry… Continue reading →

Alzheimer’s Q&A, Dec. 1, 2014

What is meant by a reversible dementia? Dementia in treatable conditions can be reversed, such that the brain regains functions that were previously lost. Common causes of reversible dementias include: Chronic alcoholism, with dementia developing as a result from complications with liver disease or with nutritional deficiencies. Brain infections that cause… Continue reading →

Cancer Q&A, Dec. 1, 2014

My mother passed away from cancer earlier this year. Do you have any tips for coping with our first holiday without her? There is no single thing during the holiday season that can alleviate the grief from losing a loved one. The most important thing to remember is to do what is… 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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. 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

La. 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… 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →