The Brain Controls Insulin Action

Insulin regulates blood glucose primarily by two mechanisms:
  1. Suppressing glucose production by the liver
  2. Enhancing glucose uptake by other tissues, particularly muscle and liver
Since the cells contained in liver, muscle and other tissues respond directly to insulin stimulation, most people don't think about the role of the brain in this process.  An interesting paper just published in Diabetes reminds us of the central role of the brain in glucose metabolism as well as body fat regulation (1).  Investigators showed that by inhibiting insulin signaling in the brains of mice, they could diminish insulin's ability to suppress liver glucose production by 20%, and its ability to promote glucose uptake by muscle tissue by 59%.  In other words, the majority of insulin's ability to cause muscle to take up glucose is mediated by its effect on the brain. 

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Trick or treat: Remember to wash your hands

Trick-or-treating is a tradition for millions of Americans, but ghosts and goblins aren’t the only things you should prepare for. Have you ever thought about the number of people you come in contact with in just a few hours on Halloween?

Parents may be spooked about allowing their children to receive candy from strangers, but the dangers lurking from germs should be considered as well. Hand-washing is an important step to ensure a happy Halloween, especially now that flu season has arrived.

Children and adults should wash their hands both before and after trick-or-treating. Washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself and your family from scary germs, especially as winter and the holiday seasons approach. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tips on when and how to wash your hands properly for the best results. You can also learn more about soaping-up by visiting the Get Ready campaign’s hand-washing Web page to read frequently asked questions on hand-washing or to download one of our many hand-washing fact sheets in English or Spanish. You can even pass them out to trick-or-treaters.

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind this Halloween:

• Carry and use hand sanitizer while trick-or-treating for added protection.
• Remember to cover your mouth when sneezing, preferably by sneezing into your elbow.
• Wash your hands before opening and eating your treats.

These simple steps can help you and your family enjoy a happy, healthy Halloween.

Have a safe and healthy weekend

Forecasts are calling for snow in various parts of the state this weekend. Make sure you know how to stay safe and healthy in winter weather.

Many people will be celebrating Halloween this weekend. Below are some tips to make sure it's a healthy, fun holiday.

This Fact Sheet from the American Academy of Pediatrics has a lot of great safety information -- from pumpkin carving to costumes to actual trick-or-treating activities -- in simple bullet points. US CDC and FDA have similar advice.

Check out these resources for additional information:


When purchasing a costume, masks, beards, and wigs, look for the label Flame Resistant. Although this label does not mean these items won't catch fire, it does indicate the items will resist burning and should extinguish quickly once removed from the ignition source. To minimize the risk of contact with candles or other sources of ignition, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts. For more safety information, read this US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Halloween Safety Alert.

Does your costume involve face paint or other makeup? Make sure you check out FDA's website on novelty makeup before you apply it.

Candy and Treats

These Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents include basic information about inspecting your children's candy and not accepting anything that isn't commercially packaged. It also describes how to avoid bacteria from apple cider and if you go bobbing for apples.

Do you want to provide more nutritious treats? Here are some excellent ideas from Clemson University Cooperative Extension in South Carolina.


When head and neck cancer recurs and surgery is not an option, reirradiation provides the only potentially curative option. However, because the tumor often recurs in the same place or very close to tissue that has already been irradiated, this treatment approach represents a "significant challenge."
For this reason, it should be handled at a tertiary-care center, according to a new guideline issued by the American College of Radiology. Specifically, it stipulates that the tertiary center should have a head and neck oncology team that is equipped with the resources and the experience to manage the complexities and toxicities of retreatment.
In the guideline, published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics, a panel of experts outline appropriateness criteria for various clinical scenarios that arise with such patients.
"This is an important document because it is the first set of guidelines for the potentially curative treatment of patients who have regrowth of head and neck tumors. It provides a consensus on how patients should be managed," coauthor Madhur Kumar Garg, MD, said in a statement. Dr. Garg is from the Department of Radiation Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center, in the Bronx, New York, where about a dozen reirradiation procedures are performed annually.
Commitment to Retreatment
Retreatment is justified because clinical trial results have shown that local treatment improves overall survival, the panel of experts notes.
However, they emphasize that, before a commitment to retreatment is made, patients presenting with recurrent or second primary tumors need to undergo careful restaging evaluation. In addition to computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate the extent of the recurrent tumor, the panel urges that strong consideration be given to positron emission tomography with CT to evaluate for metastatic disease, or "at a minimum, a CT scan of the chest should be performed."
In addition, a detailed history and assessment is needed, which includes documentation of the sequelae of previous treatment, such as fibrosis, carotid stenosis, dysphagia, xerostomia, and osteoradionecrosis.
Retreatment options include surgical resection and palliative chemotherapy — both are regarded as standard of care, the panel writes. But for patients with unresectable disease, reirradiation is the "only potentially curative treatment," they add.
Two phase 2 clinical trials conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) have shown survival outcomes with reirradiation plus chemotherapy that appear to be superior to those seen with chemotherapy alone in other studies. However, "whether this apparent improvement is the result of selection bias is uncertain," the panel explains. A larger phase 3 comparing reirradiation plus chemotherapy with chemotherapy alone was closed because of poor accrual.
In terms of the dose of radiation delivered in the second treatment course, it appears that at least 50 to 60 Gy is needed, the experts report. Both of the phase 2 studies conducted by the RTOG delivered a total dose of 60 Gy, using an accelerated hyperfractionated regimen delivering 1.4 Gy twice daily in 4 week-on/week-off cycles. Multiple single-institution reports of reirradiation have used once-daily standard fractionation in a planned continuous treatment course with less toxicity, they note. However, differences in study designs and in the chemotherapy regimens make it difficult to discern what independent effect, if any, differences in radiation fractionation had on the toxicity that was seen.

Influenza Update 10/27/11

Maine CDC reminds everyone to take everyday preventive measures against influenza:
•           Wash your hands
•           Cover your cough
•           Stay home when ill
•           Get vaccinated - a searchable county listing of flu clinics is available at


Maine CDC reported no flu activity for the week ending Oct. 22. Weekly updates on flu activity in Maine are available at

Weekly updates for the US are available at and international updates are available at

Maine CDC issued a health alert on Oct. 19 about a human case of novel influenza virus of swine origin.  US CDC confirmed the novel strain in a child from Cumberland County.  A primary care provider evaluated the child, and provided treatment.  The child was not hospitalized. 

Maine CDC recommends the following for healthcare providers:
•           Maintain a heightened awareness for influenza-like illness (ILI) defined as fever greater than 100° with cough or sore throat, in the absence of another known cause.
•           Consider influenza testing by PCR for:
o          patients with ILI with recent exposure to pigs
o          patients with ILI who are hospitalized
o          patients with ILI who have died
o          patients where a diagnosis of influenza would affect clinical care, infection control, or management of contacts
•           Consider use of antivirals to quickly limit potential human transmission
•           Vaccinate patients and healthcare workers as a primary strategy to prevent influenza

Please report any cases of laboratory positive influenza to Maine CDC by fax (1-800-293-7534) or by phone through our 24-hour Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline (1-800-821-5821).  All influenza A rapid positive tests should be confirmed by PCR.


Maine CDC has already distributed almost 190,000 doses of state-supplied influenza vaccine to registered providers for the 2011-2012 season.

Nearly 80 school districts are offering school-located flu vaccine clinics (SLVC) again this year. Almost 270 clinics are registered. A list of participating schools is posted at

Schools offering vaccine to students may also provide state-supplied flu vaccine to staff and their dependents to make school clinics more simple, sustainable, and consistent with past practices.  Maine CDC will be evaluating the sustainability of this approach for future years. Schools wishing to provide state-supplied flu vaccine to staff and their dependents must be registered through the SLVC process and report vaccine usage through ImmPact2.  The letter regarding roster billing for staff vaccinations at school clinics and the roster form are both available in the SLVC toolkit at

US CDC updates

US CDC has updated the following information on its website:
•           vaccineeffectiveness
•           seasonalflu vaccine dosage and administration Q&A 

Phone Call

Discovered on a private driveway down to a house near Bath, the last remains of a K6 telephone box. This of course may be the awful fate of all these once ubiquitous red sentinels, their death knell tolled by BT back in the 1980s when they started to replace them with those unspeakable off-the-shelf glass cabinets. Mobile phone use has rendered them pretty well obsolete now, but I do wonder if a new use couldn't be found for them that means they remain in their original locations, instead of being turned into conversation piece greenhouses or shower cabinets. Some are quite rightly listed, some still have their interior lightbulbs shining brightly in the gloom, all of them appear to have discouraging notices about actualling attempting to make a telephone call. Unmitigated England Phone Boxes will of course have a corded handset on top of a black Bakelite phone, A & B chrome buttons, a shelf full of pink or yellow boarded directories, a list of local exchanges and a small mirror on the back wall. On the floor will be one empty Player's packet and a pencilled number awkwardly written on a Fry's Five Boys wrapper. And a man in a trilby tapping on the glass, mouthing 'Hurry up".

Lead-free kids for a healthy future – National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

Nearly a quarter of a million children living in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to cause significant damage to their health, estimates the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, based on data from a 2003–2004 national survey. If high blood lead levels are not detected early, children with such high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from damage to the brain and nervous system. They can develop behavior and learning problems (such as hyperactivity), slowed growth, hearing problems, and aggressive patterns of behavior.

To raise awareness of the consequences of lead poisoning among parents and pregnant women who live in homes built before 1978, Maine CDC is participating in National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) October 23–29. Maine CDC joins US CDC, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in encouraging parents to learn more about how to prevent lead poisoning.

This year's NLPPW theme, "Lead-Free Kids for a Healthy Future," underscores the importance of testing your home, testing your child, and learning how to prevent lead poisoning’s serious health effects.

Established in 1999 by the US Senate, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week occurs every year during the last week in October. To mark the week, Maine CDC is offering parents of all children born in Maine in 2010 a free home lead dust test kit.

The offers for free tests come with an educational brochure that is being mailed to more than 11,000 families as part of Maine’s effort to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Instructions on how to schedule a test are included in the mailer.

"The goal of the mailing is to prevent lead poisoning. The test kits we are offering can help parents find out if their home has a lead dust problem," said Dr. Sheila Pinette, Director of Maine CDC. "Then they can address any problems and keep their children safe from lead."

Exposure to dust that comes from lead paint in homes built before 1950 is the most common way children are poisoned by lead in Maine. Lead paint is often found in homes built before 1950 and sometimes in homes built before 1978. Lead poisoning can cause behavior problems, learning disabilities, speech and language delays, and lower intelligence.

Made possible by the Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund, this is the second annual mailing of its kind. Nearly 300 families in Maine took advantage of the prior mailing and tested their homes for lead dust. About one quarter of those families identified lead dust problems in their homes and received education to properly address the problems.

"We hope parents who live in older homes will take advantage of the offer for a free lead dust test kit, especially if they live in a house or apartment built before 1950," said Dr. Pinette.
For more information, go to

Harvard Food Law Society "Forum on Food Policy" TEDx Conference

Last Friday, it was my pleasure to attended and present at the Harvard Food Law Society's TEDx conference, Forum on Food Policy.  I had never been to Cambridge or Boston before, and I was struck by how European they feel compared to Seattle.  The conference was a great success, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the Food Law Society's presidents Nate Rosenberg, Krista DeBoer, and many other volunteers. 

Dr. Robert Lustig gave a keynote address on Thursday evening, which I unfortunately wasn't able to attend due to my flight schedule.  From what I heard, he focused on practical solutions for reducing national sugar consumption, such as instituting a sugar tax.  Dr. Lustig was a major presence at the conference, and perhaps partially due to his efforts, sugar was a central focus throughout the day.  Nearly everyone agrees that added sugar is harmful to the nation's health at current intakes, so the question kept coming up "how long is it going to take us to do something about it?"  As Dr. David Ludwig said, "...the obesity epidemic can be viewed as a disease of technology with a simple, but politically difficult solution".

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Tips for using social media in times of emergency

Facebook. Twitter. Texting. Social media has increasingly become a part of everyday life for many. But these tools can also be important during emergencies, from natural disasters to emergencies at home.

During a crisis, you can reach a lot of contacts and emergency providers by tweeting or posting on Facebook. You can keep them updated about how you’re doing and what you need. This is especially important if you can’t get to a phone, or if your phone lines are down or overloaded, but wireless still works as can happen during a disaster. Or maybe you are by a computer but can’t physically get to the phone, as happened to one man with muscular dystrophy during a house fire. He asked a fellow online gamer to call 9-1-1 on his behalf.

The communication can also go both ways. Relief workers can use social media to provide real-time updates on their work and local conditions or to provide advice, like how to care for your pets during a crisis or whether you should shelter in place.

Here are a few other ways to consider using social media to get help in an emergency:

• You can get emergency updates such as text messages if you “like” FEMA or your local emergency management agency on Facebook.
• If you text FOLLOW FEMA, or your local agency, to Twitter at 40404, you can get text message updates from anyone you’re following without a Twitter account.

• You can use GoogleMaps to create and share an evacuation route and meeting place with family and loved ones.
By uploading photos or videos of the emergency, you can affect the response. As Macon Phillips, director of new media at the White House and volunteer during Hurricane Katrina, said during a meeting of the America Red Cross, “One person can take a photo. One person can post a message…and it changes all our understanding of a situation immediately.”

And, of course, you should subscribe to the Get Ready Blog, Twitter and podcasts for ongoing preparedness tips.

Accessibility and the Man in Motion Tour

In June Kingston put out a call for nominations for a medal-bearer to participate in the Rick Hansen Relay that is currently crossing Canada and will be stopping here on October 30th. At least 2, if not more, nominations were sent in for me. I have since heard that a nomination was sent in for another person who has a disability as well.

About a week ago an announcement came out from the city to say that the medal bearer will be a former principal from the Limestone District School Board. He does not have a disability.

This floored me because Rick Hansen uses a wheelchair and, 25 years ago, he wheeled 40,000 kms. in countries all over the world to raise awareness about improving accessibility for the disabled, to show that people with disabilities are quite ABLE, and to highlight the importance of inclusion among other things. He also raised funds and the fund-raising continues to this day.

The irony of an able-bodied person representing Kingston was not missed by just me. Other people started asking questions as well. This led me to re-read the call for nominations from the city, and then follow the link that led to the Rick Hansen web site. Sure enough, in reading the Terms and Conditions of the Rick Hansen Event, I discovered it was their relay organizers that set the criteria for selecting a medal-bearer.

Here is an excerpt of what was said (Source:
To find and recognize these participants, the Rick Hansen Foundation launched today an online public contest at, inviting Canadians who have made a difference to enter to win a spot to participate in the Relay as a Medal-Bearer. To encapsulate the country's multi-faceted population, contest criteria will be broad and is open to: individuals who are creating a more accessible and inclusive world, leading and encouraging others to live a healthy and active lifestyle, or persons who are contributing to the protection and sustainability of the environment.


About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that provides leadership to accelerate progress toward a more healthy, sustainable and inclusive world. The Foundation achieves its goals by connecting the people and resources that make innovation possible.
By the looks of things, Kingston was technically correct in how they selected the medal-bearer to represent the city. The able-bodied organizers of the Rick Hansen event have evidently dropped the focus on accessibility for the disabled off to the wayside, and replaced it with another twist on the word accessibility; one of creating a more healthy, sustainable, and inclusive world.

Sadly, this is happening to all but the disabled. We're still locked into rules, waiting for barriers to come down, very little ability to work or do volunteer work, and far too much social isolation. I'm sorry that yet another good non-profit charitable organization has chosen to put aside the needs of the disabled and instead chosen to favour a vision that will benefit the majority instead.

Below is a copy of what was published in the Kingston Whig Standard on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011. The title they added was, Sadly, needs of disabled again put aside.

Please Read my Other Blogs:

Unexpected Alphabets No 18

Just a quick one here, spotted by a gate leading up to Slawston Hill in Leicestershire on a Sunday afternoon walk. I like the simplicity and sheer effectiveness of the carefully stencilled letters, the colours, and the enigma as to why it was nailed to its post at an angle. Probably because we all walk about here with curious leanings.

New Ideas for Decorating in Orange

Have warmed to the thought of using orange in your home.i hope you like this slide show that features a variety of looks in this citrus hue ... Enjoy !!!!

Morning Room 

A warm color scheme is right at home in a breakfast room where a jolt of energetic color can help to get a jump on an active day. A range of oranges, from deep russet to light peach surround the banquette, which in turn is bathed in a glow of sunlight and yellow walls. The drum shade of the pendant light fixture incorporates all the colors of the palette.

Fabric Focus 

Vivid persimmon fabrics capture the eye in this appealing dining room. An analogous color palette of warm hues supports the bold orange color. Solid yellow fabric covers the curved banquette and pillows in a yellow-on-white pattern with contrasting piping giving definition to the yellow shapes. A russet rug, banded in yellow repeats the color scheme underfoot. Overhead, the chandelier is an energetic design of leafy tendrils in a single matte orange. Sophisticated black elements ground the room.

Color Coordinated

Choosing from within a coordinated collection of colors and patterns ensures foolproof decorating in this enticing living room. The sherbet shades offer a balance of soft tints and intense hues in playful patterns and restful solids. Neutral walls allow the mix of orange, pink, yellow, and green furnishings to take center stage.

Better with Color 

Bold splashes of orange and red give this all-white room a new look with little effort. An orange table with modern lines adds a sassy touch to the decor. Underfoot, a graphic red-and-white organic-pattern rug layers on top of a larger sisal floor covering. Solid orange linen throw pillows and a fuzzy throw give the upholstered furnishings a bit of visual punch.

Small Space, Bold Color Scheme 

Bold accents make a big impact in this tiny space. Two unfinished wood hutches, painted soda pop orange, add display and storage space. The hutches complement the room's blue accent wall. Orange stripes in the window treatments and rug bring all the elements together and add a touch of drama to the space.

The Warmth of Orange

Goldenrod yellow walls and burnt orange accents work together to give this family room a warm and inviting motif. The solid burnt orange window treatments and throw pillows create a common thread among the patterned chairs, window seat, and ottoman. The bright hue adds both drama and consistency to the room.

Bold Fireplace

This fiery orange is the perfect complement to the fireplace. Natural accents, such as the marble fireplace surround and the antique wood mirror frame give the color an earthy feel. Pairing orange and brown is a good way to tone down the bright hue.

All in the Accents

Graphic tangerine bedding is the focal point in this master bedroom. Other orange accents, such as the statue on the nightstand and the throw pillow, work with the bedding to give the room modern style. Neutral walls and dark furniture provide the perfect backdrop for a bold hue.

Colorful Modern

Tangerine and hot pink combine to give this bedroom an energetic vibe. Black and white are a neutral foundation for the bold color combo, and double mirrors multiply the light throughout the room.

Orange Crush

Warm off-white walls provide a clean, neutral backdrop for a bold mix of bright and deep colors in this playful living room. A plush sectional in rich brown adds depth to the neutral base and provides contrast for the vivid pops of orange. Wall screens powder-coated in orange hang as geometric art.

Add Worm Orang to you Home : 2012 Ideas

Let the hues of fall inspire your decor. The bright reds, golden yellows, and vibrant oranges can be mixed and matched with evergreen colors, such as blues, greens, or neutrals, to create a cozy and comfortable look that carries panache year-round.

Brighten Your Outlook 

Deep color creates a cozy ambiance in this sitting area. A curvy vine pattern on blue-green wallpaper softens the masculine lines of the dark wood shelving and brown wing chair. To keep the room lively, vibrant orange curtain panels frame the window while orange pillows prevent the chair from becoming a dark mass in the room. Orange accents, such as a small runner on the side table dot the room with the peppy hue.

Orange Crush

Subtle variations of orange harmonize perfectly in this sunlit living room. From the apricot walls to the peachy curtains, the various shades make the color interesting but not overpowering.

 Side by Side 

Orange and hot pink make a harmonious pair. A large piece of artwork adds brightness to the white walls. Orange pillows and throws are a warm and cuddly touch. Both shades are present in the one-of-a-kind chandelier.

Under Cover

Make an impact with colorful furnishings that don't require permanent commitment. In this lively living room, slipcovers bring saturated color to basic chair and ottoman shapes. A bargain armchair found at an estate sale got a new personality with splashy solid red. A new cube ottoman matches with orange slipcovers banded in red. For a bit of visual relief, the large sofa is slipcovered in plain white. The side table, a tag sale find, gets new life with a coat of bold red paint.

With Complements 

Orange walls dominate the color palette in this dramatic yet inviting dining room. A tone-on-tone pattern adds depth to the energetic vibe and keeps the broad expanse of vibrant wall color interesting. Complementary blue creates a focus in the paired artwork on the wall and brings in a cool note of color to balance the warmth of orange. Frames and furnishings provide solid shapes of black and dark brown to counter the delicacy of the patterns.

Juicy Hues 

Vivid, zesty orange is a perfect hue for any room, such as an office, that would benefit from orange's energetic vibe. In this basement craft room/office an adjacent wall in lime green provides a cool contrast to the hot orange but keeps things in the citrus family. Tone-on-tone painted flowers on the orange wall add lively pattern. Slipcovers on the chairs encapsulate the color scheme with powder blue, lime, and orange stripes, introducing the third color, blue, into the mix.

Citrus Punch

If your work space could use an injection of pure energy, bring in some vivid orange paint and fabrics to do the job. Extend the life of old chairs with slipcovers made of orange, pink, and yellow pattern fabric. Rejuvenate a wicker table with tangerine spray paint and create a new striped rug in an afternoon with paint, painter's tape, and a canvas drop cloth. Add some flirty cotton curtain panels and you have a room designed with and for productive energy.

Orange Everywhere

This living room is small on space but long on style with orange sofas and orange walls. An unusual complementary color scheme of orange and blue serves to rev up each hue.

Light Bright

A deep orange adds life to this bedroom. During the day the color is bold and energizing. At night it's warm and cozy. The wooden bed frame, side table, and chair work together to ground the bright walls. The antique blanket chest at the foot of the bed brings together all the colors in the room.

Bright Basement Work Space Decorating Ideas

hardworking office and crafts haven with bright colors, DIY touches, and tons of storage.

Sunny Style 

Unlike some basements, this space is blessed with an abundance of sunlight. That makes this spacious corner the perfect space for a home office/crafting studio. The homeowners used countertops and cabinets to create an L-shape configuration that allows multiple workstations.

Savvy Storage

To keep clutter at bay, the homeowner/designer mounted rods on the wall. Now her favorite supplies are out of drawers and off of surfaces yet still within easy reach. Baskets, bins, canisters, and magnetic strips provide perfect homes for ribbons, stamps, paper punches, embellishments, beads, and other art essentials.

Clear Solution 

These canisters are meant for the kitchen, but the homeowner/designer uses them to stash art supplies. Clear storage makes it easy for her to see and grab whatever she needs in an instant.

Light Bright 

The homeowner/designer wanted to take advantage of the sunlight streaming in through the basement windows. But she didn't want to sacrifice privacy. So she had a plastics store cut these 12-inch panels of plexiglass and drill holes into the top and bottom of each piece. For color and fun, she affixed vellum and scrapbook paper to the back of each piece. Finally, she connected the panels with binder rings to create this completely unique window treatment.

Color Cues

Mixing and matching vibrant color comes naturally to the homeowner/designer. For her work space, she chose a palette designed to inspire creativity. Two bright shades of orange coat the far wall panels, while lime green accentuates the adjacent wall.

Orange Blossom 

Mod, graphic flowers bring the palette to life. The homeowner/designer first hand-drew the floral design on a transparency sheet, then used a projector to enlarge the image onto the wall. She drew the design on the wall in pencil, then covered it in a coat of light orange.

Barstool Style

To dress up plain stools, the homeowner/designer sewed custom skirts. She used fabric that complements her decor, then added ribbons to hold the slipcovers in place.

Cabinet Creativity

These storage units looked awfully plain before the homeowner/designer got her hands on them. First, she and her husband found three unfinished wood cabinets. They added molding to give the pieces architectural interest, then painted them in their favorite orange hues. She used frosted window film to create the diamond designs on the glass cabinet doors. Pretty curtains suspended from tension rods give the cabinets a soft look.

Store More

Picking up on the floral theme from her DIY window treatment, the homeowner/designer used scrapbook papers to perk up plain white magazine files. Now the storage pieces look like they were created just for this space.

It's A Wrap 

It couldn't get much simpler. Dowel rods suspended from inexpensive curtain hardware allows easy access to wrapping and crafts papers. She painted the dowels blue to align them with her color palette.

Clean Sweep 

The homeowners chose easy-to-clean vinyl flooring for their work space. It resists scratches and scuffs, and it wipes up in a jiffy if paint happens to spill. The natural, woven-look pattern provides a subtle way to ground the bright wall colors.

Colorful Fall Projects 2011 Ideas

Maple Leaf Pillow 

Add fall color to you home with inspiration from one of the season's prettiest elements -- fallen leaves. Place a leaf on a photocopier and enlarge it to a make a pattern. Cut it out of wool felt and attach it to a purchased pillow using iron-on fusible backing. A blanket stitch finishes it in style. 
Editor's Tip: Create a trio (or more) of pillows featuring different felt colors yellow, red, and deep green to capture the season.

Branch-Painted Vase 

Acrylic paint markers are great tools, especially in a freehand design such as this one on a pretty fall vase. Choose two shades of brown and draw bare trees; cut tiny leaf shapes from pressed leaves or cardstock and use adhesive dots to attach to the vase.

Patterned Fabric Wall Display 

Pretty patterned fabric offers inspiration for this wall sculpture. Make color copies of fabric and attach to plastic mailing tubes with double-sided tape. Stack and stagger on a wall, using strong adhesive dots to hang.

Design a Fall Display Box 

Put on a show of autumn color with a collection of small jewelry boxes. Paint the inside and outside of the boxes; glue autumn images  ferns, pinecones, leaves  to the bottom of each box, then glue each box together. Hang it as a display or use it to collect keepsakes.

Fall Flag Centerpiece 

Creating a just-yours fall centerpiece is easy. Start with muted colors and patterns of scrapbook paper; cut into pennant shapes and use adhesive scrapbook letters to spell out words. Punch two holes in each pennant and tie to a twig; tuck all into a glass jar filled with popcorn.

Fall Stools in Autumn Designs 

Your digital camera is your ultimate DIY tool to create these colorful stools. Take a photo from overhead of pumpkins; enlarge and crop to fit a stool top and print. Choose paint in the same color as the image; paint the stool and dry. Adhere the digital image with decoupage and seal with clear polyurethane.

Natural Fall Table Display

Rely on nature to do the work for you with this lovely centerpiece. Place milkweed seeds inside a glass vase and nestle creamy and striped gourds of various sizes around to fill a short-sided basket.

Fall Branch Table Display

The berries of autumn are a stunning element in this centerpiece combination. Start with white beans in a tall glass vase and add a sturdy stalk of a crabapple tree.

Pumpkin-Theme Plate Design

Digital images are a great accent for inexpensive projects. Take this place setting: An image of a pumpkin was printed and adhered to the bottom of the plate with decoupage.

Mushroom Design Fabric Display

Take a wall from blah to boring with a few easy-to-find materials. Download a mushroom stencil from free clip-art online (or draw your own using ours as inspiration), and cut out the shape in vivid patterned fabric. Iron the fabric onto fusible webbing and use Mod Podge to adhere to a surface a wall, for example, or a large dresser, too.

Fabric-Covered Fall Lamp

Fun fabric can instantly transform a ho-hum lampshade. Use an existing shade as a pattern; cut a scrap of fall-color material to fit (overlap the edges). Adhere with spray adhesive or fabric glue; fold the bottom and top edges under and glue, too.

Fall Leaf Art

Add one-of-a-kind pizzazz to your walls with stencils and medium-density fiberboard. Look on for an image; enlarge several copies in various sizes and arrange on a piece of stained fiberboard. Paint in some of the stencils and around others, and use painter's tape to create stripes of various widths.

Losing Fat With Simple Food-- Two Reader Anecdotes

Each week, I'm receiving more e-mails and comments from people who are successfully losing fat by eating simple (low reward) food, similar to what I described here.  In some cases, people are breaking through fat loss plateaus that they had reached on conventional low-carbohydrate, low-fat or paleo diets.  This concept can be applied to any type of diet, and I believe it is an important characteristic of ancestral food patterns.

At the Ancestral Health Symposium, I met two Whole Health Source readers, Aravind Balasubramanian and Kamal Patel, who were interested in trying a simple diet to lose fat and improve their health.  In addition, they wanted to break free of certain other high-reward activities in their lives that they felt were not constructive.  They recently embarked on an 8-week low-reward diet and lifestyle to test the effectiveness of the concepts.  Both of them had previously achieved a stable (in Aravind's case, reduced) weight on a paleo-ish diet prior to this experiment, but they still carried more fat than they wanted to.  They offered to write about their experience for WHS, and I thought other readers might find it informative.  Their story is below, followed by a few of my comments.

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How to Make a Halloween entry and welcome trick 2011 ideas

Add some personality to your entry and welcome trick-or-treaters with a pumpkin topiary in the shape of a totem pole. All it takes is a few faux pumpkins, basic craft supplies and a little imagination.

Materials Needed:
  • 3 faux pumpkins
  • spool of 3/8" wide black craft ribbon
  • black acrylic craft paint
  • white acrylic craft paint
  • small craft paintbrush
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • pumpkin-carving tool or sharp knife 

Select Pumpkins

Select three similarly shaped faux pumpkins.

Cut Hole

Use a sharp knife or pumpkin-carving knife to cut a hole in the bottom of the first pumpkin. Make sure the hole is big enough for the stem of the second pumpkin to fit into. Repeat this step on the bottom of the second pumpkin.

Adhere Ribbon

Cut random lengths of craft ribbon and hot glue them to each of the pumpkins to form mouths.

Paint Eyes

Paint eyes on each of the pumpkins using a small paintbrush and some black and white acrylic paint.

Hot Glue Pumpkins

Use hot glue to attach the first pumpkin to the second and the second pumpkin to the third.