It’s Not a Laughing Matter
It’s Not a Laughing Matter

Categories: Health

Matt Iseman, MD, 2014 IDA “But You LOOK Good” Inspiration Award Honoree, comedian and host of American Ninja Warriors

By Guest Blogger Wayne Connell, Founder and President, Invisible Disabilities Association (IDA)

A diabetic, a blind man and an amputee walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this – some kind of joke?”

Having a disability is no joke according to IDA Advisory Board Member and Neurohumorist expert, Karyn Buxman, RN, MSN. “But it can be a laughing matter. Pain, suffering, isolation, stress, depression, financial hardships – the problems can seem never ending. And to survive you need all the possible tools in your tool belt that you can find. One tool that is frequently overlooked is humor.”

“Science is affirming what we’ve suspected all along – laughter is good medicine. The benefits for you are so numerous that you are not going to want to wait for humor to happen by chance. You’ll want to be proactive and experience humor by choice. And the good news is, you don’t have to be funny. You just have to see funny,” says Karyn. “My mission is to improve global health and business through laughter and help heal the humor impaired.”

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Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month
Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month

Categories: Emergency Preparedness

An image of a fireman wearing a fire hat standing outside of a house, with another fireman in the background.

By Teresa Neal, Fire Program Specialist, U.S. Fire Administration

Each year, fire departments respond to more than 350,000 home fires. These fires cause nearly 2,500 deaths and billions of dollars in damages. Almost three out of five of these deaths happened in homes with no working smoke alarm.

In the place where you normally feel most safe, you are actually most at risk of dying in a fire. The good news is a working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire in half.

Your family has about three minutes to get out of your home if there is fire before the air is too toxic to survive. Three minutes is not very long, especially if you are awoken in the middle of the night. A smoke alarm provides an early warning of smoke in your home and alerts you to get out.

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MyPlate Tips to Help You Eat Healthy on a Budget
MyPlate Tips to Help You Eat Healthy on a Budget

Categories: Health

By Guest Blogger, Sasha Bard, MS, RD, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, United States Department of AgricultureA logo for showing a dinner plate divided into four sections: Fruits, Grains, Protein and Vegetables. The word "Dairy" is on the upper right of the plate in a circle. With kids back at school and the holiday season fast approaching, we could all use to save a little money. If you’re looking for ways to be thriftier, make sure you don’t cut back on healthy eating.

MyPlate, the food guidance system from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), offers great tips for healthy eating on a budget. has information and ideas on healthy eating such as how to add more vegetables to your day, make at least half your grains whole, choose a variety of protein foods and cut back on salt and sodium.

Smart shoppers know that saving money is more than luck. When shopping for groceries, it’s about having a game plan and making smart decisions about what to put in your cart. Try planning out your meals ahead of time and making a grocery list. That way you avoid impulse buys. Shopping on a full stomach can also help!

For fruits and vegetables, MyPlate suggests buying fresh produce in season, comparing prices of frozen and canned items, which may be less expensive, and shopping store sales.

When comparing prices, pay attention to unit pricing if you want to maximize savings. Choosing the larger container may be a better deal.

Coupons are another great way to cut food costs. Knowing how to find them is the first step. Check newspapers, websites, store shelves and food packages.

When eating out, save money by getting the early bird special, going out for lunch instead of dinner, or looking for “2 for 1” deals. Savvy diners also stick to water instead of ordering other beverages. This trick will help you save money and calories.

For more ideas, visit the Healthy Eating on a Budget section on where you will find tasty and low-cost recipes, sample two-week menus and tips for every aisle.

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