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July-August 2012




  • Kid’s Corner -

    Eye health and Safety

    Mom’s Corner -

  • Allergy and Asthma Awareness

  • Dad’s Corner -

    Simplify Your Life

  • Planet Earth -

    More Herbs, Less Salt, Colorful Foods

  • News -                                                                                                        

    Hormones in Your Foods


Welcome to the Doc Grubb newsletter for July-August 2012.


      Ahh, summer. A time to relax, work in the yard and for me and my family to spend a lot of time at the neighborhood pool watching our son work on his strokes with his swim team. Last week I was laying on a reclining chair and my wife made the comment “you look like a beached whale,” to which I replied, “I’ve always wanted to be a member of the English Royalty…you know, the Prince of Wales.”  It wasn’t very funny but it helped me to again see that my struggle with my own weight is always ongoing. As much as I don’t like to hear the comments, they help me to stay focused on eating healthy, exercising and setting my short- and long-term goals.


     This newsletter has a lot of important information in it, for example, how to protect your children’s eyesight; how to “let things go” and how the hormones in the food we eat are affecting us negatively.


     August in the Washington, D.C. area is usually the hottest time of the year and is the month when most families take their vacations. We try to go to the Gulf Coast of Florida right before school starts, but this year, with the ongoing problems with increased storms and power outages, we are staying home. My son and I DID make a trip to New Orleans that was great fun, but spending 26 hours on a train each way is something that I might not want to do again.


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Eye Health and Safety

     Your parents and you have a vital role in taking care of your eyes. Did you know that vision problems impact one in 20 pre-schoolers and one in four school-aged children?

Your good eye health begins early in life, even before you are born because the food and medications your mother eats and drinks have a direct impact on your eyes. It is a good idea for your parents to have your eyes and vision examined by an eye care professional (optometrist or ophthalmologist) at least once a year. If you have a problem seeing the blackboard or trouble seeing pictures or the words in a book it makes it really hard to do well in school. When you see the eye doctor he will look for are conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid) and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism).

Eye safety is also important. Your parents can protect your eyes from the danger of eye injuries. For example, they can make sure that the toys you play with don’t have sharp, protruding parts. You parents and coaches can also help prevent your eyes getting hurt when you play rough sports like baseball, basketball, or hockey by wearing goggles such as "Rec-Specs," which are wonderful eye protectors.

     If you need to wear prescription glasses, your parents can make sure your glass have polycarbonate lenses because they are the safest and most durable lens material. Glass lenses can shatter into dangerous pieces if they are struck by a flying object; and plastic lenses - even with scratch coating - are not as durable.       


     One thing most kids don’t think about is the damage the sun can do to your eyes. I always wear a baseball cap that shields my eyes from the sun. The ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun can cause serious damage to your eyes. When you are in the sun, your eyes and skin are equally exposed to the sun but your eyesight is more delicate than an adult’s.
      This means that you should always wear sun glasses both fitted and a hat to protect your eyes from the UV rays.


     It is also very important to eat a healthy diet to keep good eyesight. I always recommend that kids eat foods that contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Vitamin A is in foods like yellow and green vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, whole milk and cheeses. When I was young I was told to “eat carrots,” which is true because they contain CAROTENE and come to think of it, I’ve never seen a rabbit wearing glasses.

Foods for Eye Health

1. Spinach-this is why Popeye the Sailor doesn’t wear glasses
2. Cabbage
3. Corn
4. Broccoli
5. Brussels sprout
6. Lettuce
7. Beans
8. Eggs
9. Avocado.

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MOM’S CORNER                          


Allergy and Asthma Awareness

     Childhood asthma in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. Asthma affects 1 out of 13 kids under 15 (5.5 million children). Asthma is one of the leading causes of missing school, about 10 million days of school a year. Asthma also causes 2 million emergency room visits every year and approximately 5,000 children die from acute attacks of asthma every year.

Childhood asthma can be very harmful to your child.  Asthma disrupts your child's life by bothering them when they play, go to school, and while they sleep.  Symptoms of childhood asthma should be taken very seriously and it’s important that you identify childhood asthma symptoms early.  If untreated, childhood asthma can lead to very serious and sometimes life-threatening asthma attacks.

                       The most common symptoms of asthma in children include:

  • wheezing when your child breathes in and especially out

  • if you put your ear on your child’s chest, they sound congested

  • coughing

  • your child seems short of breath when they breathe even if they haven’t exercised

                           Other signs and symptoms of childhood asthma include:

  • trouble sleeping - your child can’t breathe properly while sleeping if their breath is short or wheezy and they wake up gasping for air.

  • Struggling to recover from flu or a respiratory infection.

  • A hard time breathing when they perform physical activities such as playing or running may mean they have exercise-induced asthma.

  • Fatigue and lack of energy

  • Unusual paleness with dark circles under their eyes

  • Sweating or anxiety

  • Irritability

     If any of these symptoms are severe and your child starts gasping for breath, don’t hesitate to contact the doctor immediately or head straight to the emergency room.

     Don’t forget. You and your child probably had a lot of questions when your doctor first told you that your child had asthma. Talking with your child in a positive and open way to explain what asthma is and how it can affect him or her. Your child doesn’t have to be frightened about having asthma or feel that he or she can’t do things that children without asthma can do. It’s important for your child to understand you can prevent asthma symptoms and attacks by taking medicines. The more comfortable and knowledgeable your child is in talking about how he or she feels, the easier it will be for you to keep track of their symptoms and condition.

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Simplify your life


              Kids are home for summer and you are probably spending more time with them than you have in a long time. This is a chance for you and your family to simplify your lives so that you have more time and energy to do the things you love.

              The following are good places to start in simplifying your life:

Self-sufficiency. Teach your kids to do things for themselves as they get older and more capable. Let them make themselves breakfast, shower and dress themselves, brush their teeth, and generally get themselves ready in the morning. They can help clean their rooms, wash dishes, vacuum, wash the car and work in the garden.

Use Just One Calendar. Use just one calendar for the entire family to enter activities and appointments. When you schedules activities or sports, immediately put everything on the calendar. A quick glance at the calendar each day is all you need to plan your day.

Storage Bins. have lots of bins where your kids can put toys when they’re done playing. Label the bins for certain toys and also have some general-purpose bins for things that don’t fit anywhere else.

Regular cleanups. Teach your children to clean up after themselves –stress that a project is not complete until everything is put away. It’s a good idea to have regular times during the day to cleanup, such as before bed or before dinner. Remember, many hands make lighter work. Picking things up frequently is key!

Don’t schedule too much. leave space between events, appointments or activities, so that your day moves along at a more leisurely pace. Leave yourself time to transition from one activity to another. Everyone benefits from a slower pace…you have more time for conversations, less stress in traffic and less stress at the dinner table.

Create weekly routines. it’s always a good idea to have a weekly routine that’s written out and posted where everyone can see it. A weekly routine might include regular practice times, house cleaning day, washing the car, yard work day, errands day, etc. This makes the schedule more predictable for everyone, and eliminates a lot of surprises.

Learn to say “No” There will always be many more worthy causes and important jobs to do than you have time to do them, so be more selective about the things you agree to do. Remember that when you stretch yourself too thin and take on too many commitments you end up unable to do your very best on each one.


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                                     Use More Herbs And Less Salt

   Over the past few years we’ve discovered that using herbs instead of salt to flavor recipes and foods can be tastier, and definitely healthier. It’s well known that salt in our diets can cause high blood pressure. Medical providers often tell us to reduce or eliminate salt from our diets. So what do you do about salt? The easiest way is to use herbs instead of salt in cooking.

     An easy substitute for salt is to combine dried basil, oregano and dried ground lemon zest in a salt shaker. You can add a teaspoon or two of raw rice to keep the mixture from clumping up. You can also fill a pepper mill with whole allspice, coriander seed, and white and black peppercorns. Keep it handy and grind it over food whenever you have a salt craving. You can use a little bit of cayenne pepper to enhance flavors without heating up the whole dish. You can also use lemon to enhance the natural salt taste in foods.

     It’s easy to grow your own herbs outdoors on the patio or in the kitchen under the window, but if they are outside, at the first sign of frost, harvest your herbs and bring them inside to dry or freeze for later use. The best time to pick the herbs is on a clear day just as soon as the dew dries, but before the heat from the sun starts to dry up the herb's natural oils. Gather herbs in small bunches, tie up the ends and hang the herb bunches, upside down, in a dim, airy place away from any source of steam such as the kitchen stove. You can put up wall pegs and then air can circulate between the bunches of herbs. You can also dry herbs on drying racks. Herbs will normally dry out in 2 to 10 days, depending on the humidity in the air and the moisture in the herbs when they were picked. You can also speed up the drying process by using a dehydrator.

     Once the herbs are dried you can store the herb leaves in tightly sealed spice jars or blend with other herbs or spices to make your own salt substitute.

     Summer is a great time to eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. They usually cost less than fruits and vegetables that are grown in other parts of the country or world and because they are fresher have many more of the vitamins, nutrients, fiber and minerals that are so important to grow healthy bodies.

     We go to a farmer’s market almost every Sunday where we can buy fruits and vegetables that have just been picked, and sometimes still have the dirt on them. (I’m always careful when I eat them to be sure I don’t accidently eat a worm.) It’s really a high point for our family to get such fresh food.  Even if you can’t buy fresh food, many studies have shown that canned foods or frozen foods have nearly all the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, but you have to READ THE LABEL to be sure there are not a lot of additives and preservatives in the food.

     My wife’s page on this website “color your plate” is great because she talks about choosing and mixing foods on your plate because of their COLORS.

RED Fruits and Vegetables such as red cabbage, watermelon and red peppers contain antioxidants which may help to prevent some forms of tumors.

YELLOW and ORANGE Fruits and Vegetables such as bananas, peaches and carrots helps the body’s immune system and your vision.  Have you ever seen a rabbit with glasses?

GREEN Fruits and Vegetables such as kiwi, honeydew melons, limes, okra, green beans, zucchini, avocados (me gusta mucho) help vision and may slow down the aging process.

WHITE Fruits and Vegetables such as cauliflower, onion, potatoes and pears may help the body’s immunity as well as help you control blood pressure and the level of cholesterol in the blood.

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                                            Hormones in Your Foods

     Because many hormones are used in animal food production it’s important that we ask “are these hormones harmful to humans” and “who is most vulnerable to the effects from the hormones?”

     One of our main concerns is “recombinant bovine growth hormone”, or rBGH,  which is used in the milk industry. Farmers use rBGH to increase their cows’ milk output by as much as 25 percent, and the drug is injected into anywhere from 5 percent to 30 percent of the cows in the U.S. BGH is one of the main factors that controls the quantity of milk produced by cows. Therefore, when a cow is injected with this growth hormone, she produces more milk, and this keeps costs down for dairies and consumers.

      Higher than normal levels of this substance in humans has recently been linked to breast and prostate cancers and because children drink a lot more milk per unit of body weight than adults there is concern that there will be long term health effects for children.

Besides the hormones used to increase milk production, there are many other hormones farmers use to raise their animals faster. The faster a cow gains weight, the quicker you can ship them to market. Hormones are given to more than 90 percent of cows in the U.S. Although the FDA has stated that the amount of hormone residue in our food is very, very small compared to the amount that the body produces naturally, two sex hormones–estradiol, a type of estrogen, and progesterone–are considered probable carcinogens by the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health. Estrogen has been linked with breast cancer in women and testosterone with prostate cancer in men, while progesterone has been found to increase the growth of ovarian, breast and uterine tumors.  Because children have relatively low natural levels of the sex hormones in their bodies, some experts believe that even small increases in the amount of hormones in their bodies are worrisome. Some experts feel that hormones in the foods children eat could be at least partly responsible for early puberty and many of the problems kids are having with obesity.  In the face of all that’s unknown about hormones in our food supply, a cautious approach is definitely warranted. I recommend that families look closely at the milk they give their children (and drink themselves), and the type of meat your kids eat. Unfortunately, the hormone free milk and meats are much more expensive.


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Our free newsletter “The Worm’s Eye View” is uploaded to the computer each month. Each issue includes valuable information for all members of the family as well as the inclusion of the most up-to-date information concerning medical research and treatments.

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You should read my latest book, “Solving the Weight Loss Puzzle.” Please go to the order page and read part of the first chapter. You will learn a lot from this book why everyone has gained weight and the Three Secrets to normalize your weight.


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