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Holidays 101: Handling Holiday Stress

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Thanksgiving may be behind us, but we are still entering the major holiday season… or the major stress season for some. The holidays are stressful for many during a normal year, but couple that with shipping delays, shortages, and inflation, many people may be finding it hard to cope this year.


So how can you better deal with your holiday stress? Experts suggest the following:

  • Talk with your family and find out what holiday traditions mean the most to them and focus on those activities and not ALL of the holiday activities.
  • Make a holiday schedule and invite your family members to help you keep on that schedule.
  • Make it a proactive event to find out what worked and what didn’t from year to year.

In the News Celebrating World Vegan Month– Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(continued from Part I…)


Label reading and label awareness is especially important for those who follow a vegan diet. This is also very important to those who have animal-specific allergies. The Vegan Society suggests that everyone read labels and re-read labels, as over time ingredients of even your favorite foods may change. 

There is a difference between vegan products and “free-from” products, so being food conscious is extremely important for those who follow a vegan lifestyle. 

So, what do vegans eat? (Besides the obvious vegetables!) 

Essentially, vegans eat everything and anything that comes from plants: fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, grains, seeds, and pulses. 

What about eating out as a vegan? 

Any chef worth their salt will be able to rustle up something vegan for you from ingredients they already have in the kitchen - and if you ask nicely, many will rise to the challenge of creating tasty vegan mains and decadent desserts. Contact them in advance so they’re not put on the spot. Be prepared to help them out with suggestions of easy vegan meals – some chefs need a little nudge to realize just how many of the delicious ingredients they use happen to be vegan anyway. 

Another thing that vegans need to do is find dairy replacements. Most stores these days offer “dairy-free” and vegan cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream, ice cream and other foods that are safe to consume and in fact, tasty as their non-vegan counterparts.

In the News Celebrating World Vegan Month– Part I

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Back in November 1944, founding members of The Vegan Society first coined the term “vegan” and for the past 80 years every November they celebrate World Vegan Month.

So this month we take a look into the culture of Veganism and talk about some of the ins and outs of this movement that has gained popularity over the past 80 years.

What is Veganism?

According to the Vegan Society, it is defined as “Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude - as far as is possible and practicable - all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

Those at the Vegan Society stress that veganism is not just about diet, but also a way of life. For example, vegans will not wear leather or suede and they will not use beauty products whose ingredients are derived from animals. 

When people follow a vegan diet, they often eat more fruits and vegetables and enjoy meals that contain more fiber and are lower in saturated fats. 

A vegan diet thrives off the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin B 12
  • Protein
  • Omega 3 Fats
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Vitamins K and A


(continued in Part II…)

Getting Healthy 101: Healthy Living Tips

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Follow these tips to live healthier and feel good about yourself.


  • Avoid fad diets and opt for a healthy lifestyle. Fad diets are a quick fix, whereas overall good health will sustain you.
  • Set goals. Give yourself a sensible time-period to cut fast food from your diet.
  • Get active. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, use the furthest parking spot away from where you are going, and get moving daily in some way.
  • Follow the five-a-day rule when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat fresh rather than processed foods.

In the News Dos and Don’ts Before Seeing the Doctor– Part II

Written by Lisa Jillanza

(Continued from Part I…) 



Take cold medicine before a sick visit (if you can).  When you are sick, your doctor will want to evaluate your symptoms without the effects of any over-the-counter medications.  Some medications will raise your blood pressure, and your doctor will not know if it is the medicine or your illness causing the high blood pressure. If you do have to take an over-the-counter medicine, be sure to let your doctor know what you took and what symptoms you were having prior to taking the medicine. 


Get a manicure or pedicure before seeing a dermatologist. Dermatologists look at your whole body, including your nails, so keep them polish-free. Subtle clues in your nails can indicate a bigger health issue like anemia, diabetes or heart issues.


Drink alcohol before a cholesterol test. Avoid anything that alters your triglycerides, one of the four components measured in a cholesterol profile. You should also avoid sweets, high-fat foods, and general overeating before the test, too. 


Wear deodorant to your mammogram. Many deodorants contain aluminum which looks like breast calcifications and could be read as a false positive. 


Write down questions beforehand. No matter what appointment it is, you may be nervous. If you write down your questions ahead of time, you won’t forget the important things that you want to ask.