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Articles written by Megan Johnson Mccullough


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  • Healthy Habits: Acne – Facial skin care

    Megan Johnson McCullough Ph.D., Special to the Village News|Updated Apr 17, 2024

    Acne is a very common skin condition that has to do with hair follicles, oil, and dead skin cells. Acne likes to make itself visible through its presentation of pimples, oily skin, blackheads, whiteheads and scarring. These symptoms are found on the face, chest, shoulders and back. Almost everyone has had one of these acne types at some point in their life. The oil glands on the face clog the pores. Pores are where hair follicles are found. Large pores that are clogged create...

  • Healthy Habits: Green beans – 5-star worthy vegetable

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Mar 21, 2024

    We were taught to eat our vegetables at dinner whether we liked them or not, and green beans were on that menu from time to time. We might know them better by the names "string beans" or "snap beans". If they weren't at the dinner table, then they would show up at holidays and potlucks for sure. Maybe they were sautéed, raw, from a can,or frozen. However they're prepared, they have a right to be on that list of healthy vegetables and here's why. Green beans are great for the...

  • Healthy Habits: Grapes – Nature's candy that's good for you

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Feb 16, 2024

    Grapes are sometimes called "nature's candy" because they have a sweet/sour taste that many people enjoy. They're an easy, convenient, quick snack with nutritional value. They're an ingredient and flavor for jellies, jams, wines and juice. They also come in dried form as raisins. They come in different varieties and colors including green, black, red, pink and yellow. The list of benefits is quite long for grapes, making them a go-to fruit to munch on. Grapes are high in...

  • woman excercising

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Your core – the body's center of gravity

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 30, 2021

    Your core is the center of gravity in your body. You use this area of your body constantly doing nearly every task as simple as bending over and standing back up. Building a strong core isn't just about doing 1,000 crunches a day though. Your core isn't just about having a flat stomach with a six-pack either. So let's discuss the role of the core as well and why we need to be strong in this area. Nearly all movements are central to your core. Your torso is your powerhouse....

  • people with citrus

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Citrus – Sweet & sour for your health

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Jun 2, 2021

    Eating citrus is a great way to meet the five to nine recommended servings of fruit. Think of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, tangerines and so on. There are many advantages to your health from this sweet treat. There are different types of citrus with different nutrients that provide these healthy benefits. Some of these benefits include assisting the prevention of cardiovascular disease, skin damage and cancer from the sun. Additionally they're packed with vitamin C,...

  • treadmill

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folk

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated May 5, 2021

    Most folks either love, hate, or have learned to at least tolerate the treadmill. This popular piece of equipment is found in nearly every gym, in people's homes, and might even be featured as a clothing rack in some garages (I'm kidding, but it's true). So where did this calorie burning machine come from? Let's take a look at the history of the treadmill (my kind of history for sure), found at https://www.lifefitness.com/blog/posts/the-history-of-the-treadmill.html and...

  • women with bananas

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks– Bananas: Yellow deliciousness

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Apr 7, 2021

    A banana is the female fruit that comes from a flowering plant in the genus Muca. Some countries eat plantains, the male fruit from the same species. They're both a healthy, convenient and delicious snack. This popular fruit comes from Southeast Asia but is now grown all over the world. The most common banana is the Cavendish, which is the green type most people consume once they turn yellow. For nutritional purposes, a banana is classified as a carbohydrate. When the banana...

  • two woman

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Apple cider vinegar – a serving a day for many reasons

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Mar 10, 2021

    When yeast is added to traditional apple juice, the fruit sugar turns into alcohol. It is the premise of fermentation. The bacteria in this alcohol become acetic acid. This acid is the culprit for the sour taste and smell of vinegar. We use vinegar to bake and cook. It's in most salad dressings, and it is readily used as a preservative. It is not meant to be used in high amounts due to its acidity. Over consumption can lead to stomach problems and damage to your teeth, and it...

  • two women at salon

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Cortisone is the anti-agent

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to the Village News|Updated Feb 11, 2021

    The number of people receiving cortisone injections is on the rise. This hormone is produced in the adrenal gland and is also synthetically produced and readily used in the medical field. It's not just taken by injection but also in hydrocortisone cream. There are so many conditions this potent steroid treats. Here are the most common uses for its injection: inflammation of specific joints or tendons, plantar fasciitis, tendinitis, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma. Here are...

  • two women with fish products

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Mercury in fish – dangerous or not?

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Jan 14, 2021

    Fish is definitely a great protein source that is light, low in calories and has little bad fat. Consuming seafood is beneficial for the heart and even for neurological development. Yet there is controversy regarding the mercury that is found in fish which is in fact a toxic metal. Truth be told, the benefits of eating fish far exceed the traces of mercury. Mercury is released into the air and when it settles, lands on the ground and in water sources as well. The fish absorb...

  • women eating french fries at a gym

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks – french fries history 101

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Dec 16, 2020

    Oh, those delightful golden strips of salty goodness. french fries are the favorite side order... no doubt. Fries may not be the best choice on our fitness journey and they qualify as a "sometimes" food. So hey, let's take a look at where these potato yummies came from. The general theory is that either the French or Belgians invented the french fry; however, the potato was first introduced to Europe from the Spanish. The idea of frying potatoes came from Belgium where they...

  • two women with scale

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Weight comparisons to weight loss

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Nov 24, 2020

    The scale. Oh the scale. That piece of equipment can be a psychological mess, but when it shows a number less than then it was last time, it's our best friend. An unhealthy relationship for sure. But I thought it would be fun and insightful to chat about how much a pound really is. We have this anticipation that weight loss means a big number, when in fact, if you compare any number lost to real world items, the accomplishment is quite eye opening. Giving ourselves credit for...

  • two women with salad

    Hunger hormones: Who's in control

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Nov 4, 2020

    Having a healthy appetite, one that says, "I'm hungry," then "I'm full," is part of a cat and mouse game we play daily. The majority of us have no problem wanting to eat but stopping is a whole other event. The hunger hormones in the body are called leptin and ghrelin. Both play a role in body weight. Leptin is in charge of decreasing one's appetite while ghrelin increases appetite. They have a tug of war relationship; one that we fully sense and feel. Leptin is made by our...

  • man and woman measuring salt

    Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Sodium – hold the salt please

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Oct 14, 2020

    A little salt for taste is almost second nature for many people. It is sitting right there on the dining room table. Extra flavor makes the meal that much better. Fries without salt, chips without salt or sushi without soy sauce seems unreasonable. Soups are filled with it, and anything teriyaki is appealing. Sodium gets a bad rap and for good cause. Don't be misled: our bodies do need sodium. However, most folks have trouble sticking to the amount they are supposed to not exc...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall and Fallbrook Folks: Preventing E. coli infections

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Sep 20, 2020

    E. coli is a bacterium found in the intestines of humans and the gut of animals. The technical term is "Escherichia coli." This bacterium has warranted itself quite the bad reputation. Most of the time E. coli is harmless and helps the digestive system; however, when the bad type of E. coli strikes, havoc ensues, resulting in diarrhea. These strains of the bacteria are found in contaminated foods or drinks. When E. coli strikes, food poisoning, pneumonia and breathing problems...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Aug 20, 2020

    Computers are an integral part of people’s daily lives. Screen time is readily apart of the day; be it on a computer, TV, phone, tablet or music devices. Microsoft estimated that its workers spend at least six hours per day while at work in front of a screen. Then when they get home, they spend at least an additional hour. For some, their lives consist of more screen time than sleep. It puts a real strain on their eyes. Granted, many jobs require this staring, but u...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Blood Pressure 101

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Jul 30, 2020

    A yearly physical or even just a normal visit to the doctor can involve having your blood pressure checked. Not everyone understands why or how important this information can be. Understanding the basics about blood pressure can lead to making better health decisions. The first piece of information to learn is that the top number is called systolic pressure and the bottom number is called diastolic pressure. When having blood pressure checked, the doctor will put an...

  • Hand sanitizer is an easy solution

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Jul 9, 2020

    Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs; however, in certain situations, soap and water are not available. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be effective when handwashing is not possible. Alcohol concentration between 60% and 90% can successfully help kill germs. Application must involve spreading the sanitizer over the entire hand....

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall and Fallbrook Folks: Bursitis – stress to the bursa

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Jun 18, 2020

    Bursa is a sac that is filled with fluid found between the tissues of the muscles, bones, skin and tendons. The role of the bursa is to provide lubrication to help reduce rubbing, friction and irritation between these areas. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. This inflammation can be caused by impact to the area, sudden injury or overuse of repetitive motion such as painting, carpentry, throwing, tennis and golf. This condition is also age related because as people...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Prebiotics versus probiotics

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated May 20, 2020

    Prebiotic and probiotic: these two terms sound very similar and are often used interchangeably, but they are very different and have different roles for the digestive system. Gut health is extremely important, so understanding the difference can help with stomach issues and better movement of food through the system. Prebiotics are actually nondigestible and are the fiber of foods that doesn't get broken down. They can be found in foods such as bananas, the skin of apples,...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: Gallbladder: The nonessential organ

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Apr 24, 2020

    Found just under the liver, the gallbladder sits as a pouch and a storage unit for the liver's bile. This pear-sized balloon is inflated before meals when it is filled with bile. After eating, the balloon looks flat and deflated. Bile is used to help digests fats. When food is detected, the gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine. But wait...don't some people have their gallbladders removed? Yes, because even though the gallbladder plays a role in digestion, it is n...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks: When milk doesn't do the body good

    Megan Johnson McCullough|Updated Mar 21, 2020

    Special to Village News When someone says, "I can't have dairy," we automatically assume they are lactose intolerant. For many people, they just think that means you are allergic to dairy and that is as far as their knowledge goes with this condition. "Lactose" actually means "sugar." This type of sugar is specifically found in dairy products. Lactase is an enzyme that the body produces in the small intestine. However, when a person is lactase deficient, symptoms can arise...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Feb 21, 2020

    As much as people don't want to hear about the fat-to-lean tissue ratio of their body, this measurement is a tool for their health. Body fat levels are indicative of high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. There are different methods for measuring body fat, varying in accuracy, availability and expense. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to health. When was the last time you had your body fat measured? Bioelectrical impedance Such a scary name for...

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall and Fallbrook Folks: Alopecia – The attack of the immune system

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Special to Village News|Updated Feb 2, 2020

    Hair loss can be embarrassing, concerning and even a sign of a health problem. Hair might start to show up on the pillow, more on the hairbrush, in the shower drain and, in some cases, small bald spots may become noticeable. A possible cause of this excess hair loss could be from a condition called alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder. This type of hair loss can also be called spot baldness. In this case, the immune system has started to attack the hair follicles....

  • Healthy Habits for Bonsall & Fallbrook Folks

    Megan Johnson McCullough, Megan Johnson McCullough|Updated Jan 2, 2020

    The gel from aloe vera has been used for thousands of years for its healing purposes. It is a type of succulent plant with many medicinal purposes. The gel inside the plant is gooey and thick, and it is most commonly used to alleviate sun burns and is consumed in juice form for its health benefits. The gel also makes the skin soft so many lotions have this ingredient. Aloe vera must be consumed as a supplement or as a gel; it is not found in food. Many people add it to their...

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