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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Q. Is there anything I can do about all these wrinkles?

The common causes of wrinkles include genetic influences, normal aging, sun exposure and smoking.

People who smoke tend to have more wrinkles than nonsmokers of the same age, complexion, and history of sun exposure. Cigarette smoking causes biochemical changes in our bodies that accelerate aging.

Here's some advice from the American Academy of Dermatology about reducing the signs of aging:

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Slice zucchini and onion thinly, then sauté in 2 tablespoons of oil.

By now, I bet anyone with a garden has zucchini coming out of their ears or at least close to it.

There are lots of recipes for that bumper crop, but this one is my absolute favorite. It's a dish my mother used to make, and I have made for years.

Sautéing caramelizes the zucchini and the onion, giving it a certain sweetness, which is enhanced by a pinch of salt and a little bit of heat from the pepper. This dish is a pleasing combo for all your taste buds.

It can be served as both a side dish or a main dish.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Q. Does aging affect the functioning of your thyroid?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the middle of the lower neck. It produces hormones that control metabolism, which are the chemical processes cells in the body perform to keep us alive.

It should come as no surprise that the thyroid gland often peters out as we get older. The thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test checks to see if your thyroid is producing the right amount of hormone for your system.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When one thinks of comfort foods, we often think of something loaded with fat or sugar, or both. Here's proof that's just not so.

Green Bean Salad has been a summer favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. Other than a splash of olive oil -- which is a heart healthy oil -- it's pretty low calorie. A cup of fresh green beans is just 34 calories, and the calories in the other ingredients, lemon juice, garlic and salt, are negligible.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Q. I'm having a devil of time controlling my bladder. Any suggestions?

About 10 percent of men and women over the age of 65 have trouble with bladder control, also know officially as urinary incontinence. Women suffer from this more than men.

During urination, muscles in the bladder contract, forcing urine into the urethra, a tube that carries urine out of the body. At the same time, muscles surrounding the urethra relax and let the urine pass. If the bladder muscles contract or the muscles surrounding the urethra relax without warning, the result is incontinence.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS For the best pesto, always use the freshest ingredients.

In addition to an abundance of fresh, affordable produce, summer also brings lots of heat and humidity. There's a variety of flavorful options for dinner, but who wants to stand over a hot stove to prepare them? Not me, that's for sure!

This Chicken Pasta Salad with Pesto is a longtime summer favorite in my house. The chicken can be baked in the morning, during the cooler part of the day; and if you don't feel like turning on the oven, it can also be poached.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Q. I've never been a smoker and I just don't get why people do it. What's the attraction?

Only a non-smoker could ask that question. Every smoker, chewer and sniffer knows how wonderful tobacco can be. I know it's probably not politically correct to say anything nice about tobacco, but it's the truth.

All tobacco products contain nicotine, which is an addictive drug. According to the American Heart Association, the "nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break." Nicotine is up there with heroin and cocaine.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Cover photo courtesy of TIME For Kids

There's no better way to have fun in the kitchen then to spice up your recipes with a couple of kids -- especially grandkids.

That's exactly what I did when I was sent a copy of Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook, a TIME For Kids book. I called my daughter and asked to borrow my grandchildren for the weekend.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Q. I am 83 years old and I am very afraid of falling down stairs. My mother broke her hip that way, and I think of her every time I am on stairs.

If you think about falling while you are on a staircase, you increase the risk of falling. You have to learn how to redirect your attention away from your troubling thoughts and let your body take you up and down the stairs.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013
KAREN CIMMS/TIMES NEWS Barbecue Burgers spice up that plain, old everyday burger. Top them with Barbecued Onions and your favorite barbecue sauce for a tasty alternative to Plain Jane burgers.

A couple weeks ago I got an email from a reader who asked for a recipe to spice up hamburgers on the grill. I'm always pretty Plain Jane with my burgers, and do little more than shape ground beef into a patty and grill or fry it, but Bob H. from Tamaqua got me thinking.

Since tomorrow is the Fourth of July, I wanted to come up with a recipe that wouldn't require a lot of shopping or preparation. This is pretty easy, and if you were already planning on serving burgers at your picnic, you probably have all of the ingredients in your kitchen.