Author Archives: hal2009

Weigh In On a Healthier You, Michigan!

Mi-Healthier-Tomorrow-button-160x194Last month we told you about the Michigan Health & Wellness 4×4 Plan in which you do 4 things and know 4 things to improve your health.  We hope that you’ve had a chance to look at the helpful information the state has put together.

Now, we’d like to introduce you to MI Healthier Tomorrow which encourages Michiganders to pledge to lose 10 percent of their body weight.  Losing just 10 percent can provide significant improvement to both physical and mental health. After taking the online pledge, residents can receive a free “Getting Started Kit” in the mail along with the option to sign up for healthy texts and/or emails with motivational messages, reminders, tips, or recipes to help keep them focused on reaching their goal of losing weight and becoming healthier.

Did you know that …

*Losing just 10% of your body weight can make significant improvements to both your physical and mental health. A 10% weight loss for those who are overweight can:

  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Improve heart health
  • Decrease risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Decrease back and joint pain
  • Improve breathing and sleep
  • Increase energy and stamina
  • Improve mood and self-confidence
  • Improve blood pressure

*from the MI Healthier Tomorrow website

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Michigan Health & Wellness 4×4 Tool

Who doesn’t need a little help and encouragement when it comes to living a healthy life?  Now Michigan residents can get more than just a little of both by utilizing the resources in the new Michigan Health & Wellness 4×4 Tool which is part of the Choosing Health® program facilitated by the Capital Area Health Alliance.  The 4×4 Tool means doing 4 things and knowing 4 things.  Here’s what involved:

Do these:

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet
  • Engage in Regular Exercise
  • Get an Annual Physical Examination
  • Avoid Tobacco Use

Know these:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol Level
  • Blood Sugar (glucose) Level

appBanner_363208_7Help is available at To create a personal plan, go to Resources at these sites include an assessment quiz and planning tools. Once you answer the quiz, you’ll be sent suggestions for goal setting and printable daily and weekend journals. Curious how your county ranks nationwide in health outcomes, physical environment, clinical care and mortality? You can find out at the HealthyMichigan site.  And, don’t forget to check the CADL catalog for books, DVDs and magazines to support you in your quest for healthy living.

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Healthy Living Events at CADL

CADL Downtown Lansing is joining the Capital Area Health Alliance and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in hosting activities as part of the Choosing Health!® program. We have 3 programs scheduled to help you with those New Year’s resolutions.

  • Feel the Rush with Zumba Fitness® and Zumba Sentao™
    Sunday, Jan. 13, 2-3 p.m.

    Zumba is a dance fitness workout that combines Latin rhythms with fitness moves or uses a chair as a dance partner to sculpt and tone core muscles. Instructor Becky Newcombe will lead 30 minute sessions of both types.
  • Walk for Fitness on Sunday
    Jan. 27, 2-3 p.m..
    Our speaker is Jodi Davis who lost 162 pounds just by walking and eating healthier. She is now serving as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s walking and healthy living advocate. Her presentation “How Walking Changed My Life” will be followed by a (optional) walk.
  • Quick, Easy & Healthy Meal Planning on a Budget
    Feb. 10, 2-3 p.m.
    Presented by Joyce McGarry, Extension Educator for Michigan State University Extension. Attend to learn the basics of healthy eating, including variety, balance and physical activity.

Our libraries are filled with books, DVDs and magazines to reinforce the great information you’ll hear at these presentations. Want to see more zumba moves?  Check out our DVD collection. Look for “walking” in our catalog and you’ll find many resources – for adults and children, guidebooks, training, health aspects.  Healthy eating is a snap with the hundreds of resources we have.  Search the catalog with words like nutrition, diet, or meal planning and you’re sure to find solid information.

Plan to join us for these informative sessions.

- Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian at Downtown Lansing

New Health Books

When thinking of new books at CADL keep in mind that we have an up-to-date collection of health related titles too. Topics such as exercise, specific ailments and diseases, latest research and legal issues are all covered. Here’s a sampling of some of our recent acquisitions:

Not finding a title that covers your interest? We’d love to hear your suggestions.  You can submit a purchase suggestion from the link on our catalog. Also, you can search for information on current health topics in the databases and ebooks we subscribe to. They’re found under Health Resources in Research Tools on our website.

Finally, in case you haven’t heard enough about the office of President of the United States yet, here’s a fun quiz that will challenge your knowledge of various health issues of presidents and presidential candidates: The Presidential Health Quiz.

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Health Issues in the News

With the meningitis outbreak and tainted food recalls all over the news recently, you might be concerned about where to get reliable, accurate health information.  Here are a few suggestions of resources you can trust.

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL downtown Lansing

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

flickr user: Vanessa Helene

I was asked recently to help someone find information about the Violence Against Women Act.  I will admit, I didn’t realize there is federal legislation, passed in 1994, that “…provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) within the Department of Justice.”  Today, the OVW focuses on 4 areas:  domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.  The office provides funding through grants and cooperative agreements to help victims with protection and services.  It partners with state, local, and tribal entities — police, prosecutors, judges, advocates, health care providers and others to ensure safety for all citizens.

When you think about violence against women, consider that ALL of these actions are violence against women:

  • Acid throwing,
  • Breast ironing,
  • Bride burning,
  • Dating violence,
  • Domestic violence,
  • Dowry death,
  • Honor killing,
  • Female genital mutilation (Gishiri cutting, Infibulation),
  • Foot binding,
  • Forced prostitution,
  • Human trafficking,
  • Marital rape,
  • Murder of pregnant women,
  • Rape,
  • Pregnancy from rape,
  • Sati,
  • Sexual slavery,
  • Sexual violence,
  • Violence against prostitutes.

Do you know someone who has suffered such violence? If so, help them get help! Resources include the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence located in Okemos, MSU Safe PlaceMSU Counseling Center Sexual Assault Program and Listening Ear Crisis Intervention Center.

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Back to School Health Tips

Mixed in with the excitement (and anxiety?) of a new school year starting are issues that can affect the health of students of all ages.  Here are a few things to keep in mind:




- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Cats & Hydrangeas

 Like so many pet owners, my cat Tootie is a dear member of my family.  So when I returned home recently and wasn’t greeted by her smiling face (yes, pets do smile) and loud purring, I knew something was up.  When I spotted a little mess to be cleaned up on the kitchen floor, I went looking for my girl and found a very lethargic creature waiting for her human to get home.

Flickr user: dugspr–Home for Good

I grow Hydrangeas in my back yard and dry the blossom heads to display in vases.  Tootie seems to think they’re the perfect decorative touch – she has to balance on a small table to reach the vase they’re in, they crunch when she bites them, and the crumbs that fall to the floor are lively play things for quite a while.  Unfortunately,  - they’re also POISONOUS to animals!

Hydrangeas contain cyanogenic glycosides, which — when ingested and combined  with enzymes in the body — produce cyanide. That, in turn, can lead to cyanide  poisoning.  According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, most  pets will not consume enough of a hydrangea plant to cause cyanide poisoning.  Some pets, however, may experience depression, vomiting and diarrhea after  ingesting the plant.  And…more than 700 plants have  been identified as poisonous to pets. 

Yikes! It never occurred to me that something as seemingly innocuous as dried flowers could be dangerous, and then I realized I really don’t know enough about how to provide proper health care for my pet.  After some quick checking, I determined that CADL has several excellent resources — books, magazines, DVDs – on pet health in general and specifically, on cats and dogs.  I’ve now been able to better inform myself and safeguard my sweet kitty cat. Parents “kid-proof” their homes, responsible pet owners need to “pet-proof” as well.

The Hydrangeas have been removed, Tootie is on the mend, and valuable lessons have been learned.  Keep helpline phone numbers handy.  The Pet Poison Helpline is available 24/7.  The ASPCA maintains an Animal Poison Control Center 24/7.  Find out which of the over 700 plants potentially poisonous to pets are in your yard/home and take steps to protect your animals.

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

It’s County Fair Time!

Oh, I know what you’re thinking.  Deep-fried cheese curds, elephant ears, deep-fried corn dogs, chili cheese nachos, deep-fried onion rings…. fair food! Don’t you just love county fairs?  I do, and between now and the end of September there are over 60 county fairs in Michigan with the assorted youth, agricultural, and 4-H fairs mixed in.  There’s even an Upper Penisula State Fair (August 13-19 in Escanaba).  The Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitions produces a handy pamphlet that lists all fairs by date, location, and contact phone number.  But, what we really need to talk about is how to attend all of those fairs and stay healthy in the process!

  • First of all, walking around on sunny days in the  heat calls for normal summertime precautions – sunscreen, light-colored clothing, a hat that covers your entire head (not just a sun visor).
  • Next, remember to stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of water.  Drink alcoholic beverages in moderation.
  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (noon – 5pm).  Rest under a shade tree or view the exhibits in the pavilions.
  • Eat healthy.  Or, eat unhealthy foods in moderation!  More and more vendors offer fruit cups, plain grilled burgers (even veggie burgers), frozen yogurt, frozen bananas on a stick.  So you do have choices.

    flickr user: Attila con la camara

Did you know?  Michigan Agricultural Fairs are an economic and social asset to over 86 communities. They are the ultimate showcase of Michigan Agriculture. With an attendance of over 6,149,000, they are a major factor in Michigan Tourism. The average Michigan fair has 282 volunteers contributing a total of 6,221 hours and $32,945 of in-kind contributions annually to help make the fair a success.  The Michigan Association of Fairs and Exhibitions was organized in 1885.  The Michigan State Fair was the oldest state fair in the United States, begining in 1849 and was located for over 100 years on the same spot at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Ave in Detroit Michigan. (MAFE Michigan Association of Fairs & Exhibitons)

Eunice B., CADL Reference Librarian, downtown Lansing library 

Healthy! Capital Counties

In late 2010, the four hospital systems in the Lansing, Michigan area began planning for a community health needs assessment and improvement project required by the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  They reached out to the local Public Health Departments in the tri-county capital area — Clinton, Eaton & Ingham – to begin the process and after a few months, the Healthy! Capital Counties organization was established.  Their goals were to assess the overall health of the area, present their findings, engage the community, and design and implement a health improvement plan.

The vision of the Healthy! Capital Counties Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning Process is that all people in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties live in:

  • a physical, social, & cultural environment that supports health
  • a safe, vibrant, & prosperous community that provides many opportunities to contribute and thrive
  • a community with minimal barriers & adequate resources to reach their full potential

On June 19, 2012, the Healthy! Capital Counties Community Health Profile Report went live.  The report measures the health of the tri-county Capital area across a wide array of indicators.  The next step is to engage the public by promoting community dialogues in which residents will examine data from the profile and discuss ideas for improving the overall health of our area. Seven dialogue meetings are scheduled between June 26 and July 19.  Anyone can attend regardless of where they live or work but pre-registration is requested.  Take a few minutes to review the report and then sign up to attend one of the community dialogues.  Don’t miss this opportunity to provide input for the projects and plans that will benefit all of us.

- Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing