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Peter Cerruti
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309
Quakertown  PA 18951
 Phone: 215-429-7273
Office Phone: 215-538-4400
Fax: 267-354-6992 
petecerruti@yahoo.com
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Peter Cerruti

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Move to Improve Arthritis

January 1, 2014 8:30 pm

More Americans are walking, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While the news is a step in the right direction, the report also highlights a need for many more Americans to join the movement.

Importance of Movement
According to the CDC report, the number of Americans who walk at least 10 minutes at a time one or more days a week increased from 55.7 percent in 2005 to 62 percent in 2010 – a jump of about 6 percent. Among people with arthritis, the increase was about 4 percent.

While Americans are moving more than in years past, the CDC report also revealed fewer than half of all Americans are getting the government-recommended 2.5 hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity like brisk walking to improve their health. Movement is especially important for people with arthritis and is one of the many ways to fight off arthritis. Walking, biking, swimming or even tennis can help reduce risk and improve pain.

Move to Improve
The Arthritis Foundation is taking steps to increase walking and physical activity to limit the effects of arthritis. As the nation’s leading cause of disability, arthritis affects one in five adults in the United States – more than 20 percent of the adult population. High rates of arthritis among people with other chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, make physical activity an even more important way to manage disease.

The Arthritis Foundation is calling on the nation to:

Get Moving —The Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease exercise program is a great resource to start moving. It’s safe, easy and motivating. And researchers have found that Walk With Ease can reduce pain, increase balance and strength, and improve overall health.

Wave With the World — If you’ve been touched by arthritis, join 50,000 people from 70 countries around the world waving in support of people with arthritis. Upload a photo at www.worldarthritisday.org/waving and post the photo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #WorldArthritisDay. Be sure to include a personal message about how arthritis affects you or someone important to you.

Source: Arthritis Foundation

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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New Year's Resolutions That Will Keep Your Home Warm and Happy

December 31, 2013 8:30 pm

With the New Year upon us, many people are reminded of their resolutions from the past year. Many resolved to keep up with their home maintenance. How did you do? Was your New Year's resolution to fix those air leaks in the window? If you haven't done it yet, the time is now. The winds of winter are here and that means that it's time to assess your home's insulation situation and save yourself some money while also providing your home with trendy new fashions. If you have never done it before, the first thing you should do to winterize your home is conduct an energy audit.

Hiring a professional energy auditor may seem unnecessary, but turning your home into an energy efficient machine will help you save more money in the long run. The auditor will point out spots of energy waste, poorly insulated areas and air leaks, and other places which are the main causes of higher-than-usual utility bills during the winter months. Once the auditor has pointed out the areas that need home improvement, it's time to go about winterizing those areas to save as much money as possible.

The term "winterize" is used in professional inspection services to refer to houses that are going to be vacant during the winter. However, there are ways to prepare (winterize) your home while living in it, which effectively protects it from the damaging effects of the harsh weather. Consider these tips for helping you make it through the winter in a comfortable and cozy fashion.

• Improve insulation. Poor insulation can cost you money on your utility bill year round, but especially during the winter when your cozy warm air is seeping through different leaks. If your home is not well-insulated, you will end up spending more money on gas and electricity trying to keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. This makes insulation improvements a top priority on your New Year's to-do-list for home repair and maintenance.
- Insulate all piping exteriorly exposed.
- Insulate your hot water tank with an insulation blanket.

• Doors
- Install weatherstripping.
- Use a door sweep for extra insulation.
- Like storm windows, storm doors can help you save money by eliminating air leaks in this area.

• Windows
- Find air leaks and seal them with caulking.
- Consider installing storm windows.
- Insulate your windows and save money in the New Year with eco-friendly shades that can also help keep you warm during the winter. The use of custom window coverings can help your home keep the heat in when the winds are blowing.

• Roofing
- Replace missing or damaged shingles.
- Clean gutters and downspouts.
- Check flashing around chimneys and other roof protrusions. Air often leaks around these areas.

• Outdoor landscape
- Cover furniture and external air conditioners.
- If your deck needs it, seal it before the wet winter ruins it completely.
- Drain gas from lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other outdoor equipment.
- Drain water from fountains.
- Purge sprinkler systems by shutting off water and blowing compressed air through system.

Preparing your home for winter doesn't have to mean locking yourself up in an igloo for four months! You can prepare your home for winter by redecorating your interior to match the seasonal trends and to add a new level of comfort and coziness to your humble abode.

Source: Budget Blinds

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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14 Top Diet Trends for 2014

December 31, 2013 8:30 pm

The annual nutrition expert trends forecast is in – what fad diets are hot? What's out? Which foods top the list? What are consumers eating? According to a survey of more than 500 Registered Dietitians conducted by the nutrition trade magazine, Today's Dietitian, and a leading food, health and wellness public relations agency, Pollock Communications, America's demand for nutrition information is at an all-time high and there's no shortage of outlets talking about diets. The data shows that with all the attention on health and nutrition, Americans need advice from dietitians now, more than ever, to cut through the clutter.

Whether right on or nutritionally wrong, dietitians identified 14 diet, nutrition and food trends that will make headlines, influence food-purchasing decisions and shape Americans' waistlines in 2014. For better or for worse, here's what to watch out for:

1. Anti-wheat sentiment. According to experts, consumers will continue to lean on wheat-deprived diet plans like the Paleo diet, gluten-free or "wheat belly" in 2014. "Despite the lack of evidence to support wheat- or gluten-elimination diets for weight loss or health – not associated with a clinical disorder or disease – consumers are still looking for ways to control their weight," explains Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, senior vice president and director of Food & Wellness at Pollock Communications. Just over half of the respondents agreed that the Paleo diet, gluten-free or "wheat belly" would top the list of most popular diet fads for 2014.

2. Ancient grains are new again. Despite the popularity of some low grain diets, ancient grains are being served up in 2014.

3. Add kale, coconut or chia seeds. While 32 percent of dietitians forecast a fondness for ancient grains, 27 percent say that kale is hot (or served cold) in 2014. When it comes to ingredients, 37 percent of dietitians report that coconut oil is all the rage, followed by omega-3, and ALA-rich chia seeds (32 percent).

4. "Low fat" falls flat. While low carb remains strong, low fat gets weaker. Dietitians predict that the low-fat diet will be the least talked about plan for 2014.

5. The nutrition pros promote MyPlate. Looking for a great educational tool for creating a healthy diet? Seventy-five percent of dietitians turn to MyPlate to help people eat right.

6. "Health" is important in the grocery store. When it comes to shopping for food, 95 percent of dietitians say that "health" is important to shoppers. And supermarkets know this more than anyone – the Supermarket Dietitian is the fastest growing job classification in grocery stores nationwide.

7. I'm a doctor… and I play one on TV. Dietitians agree that consumers are exposed to more health information on their flatscreens than ever before. Sixty-six percent of dietitians predict that television doctors will up the diet discussions in 2014, along with more views about food from celebrity trainers and chefs.

8. I'm as healthy as my friends. When it comes to weight and health, consumers are comparing themselves to recommendations from TV personalities and health-focused shows, say 34 percent of dietitians. How else do they gauge their health and weight? They look to their friends and family.

9. Bloggers blog about nutrition and health. Whether it's a lifestyle, mommy or credentialed dietitian blogger, consumers are booting up their devices for diet advice. Dietitians report that the topic of nutrition and health is booming on blogs and websites.

10. The (mis)information age. Dietitians report that most (67 percent) of nutrition information is based on personal beliefs and half-truths rather than published peer-reviewed research. And, 75 percent say that there will be a preponderance of misinformation to digest in 2014.

11. More eco-conscious eats. According to dietitians, consumers are looking for more eco-labels in 2014. About 38 percent say that local is where it's at and 31 percent tell us that their clients look for sustainable foods when shopping.

12. Americans become a little too comfortable. The national averages for body weight have not budged and dietitians worry that Americans may be becoming complacent about their unhealthy weight. Forty-four percent feel that as we move into 2014, more consumers are becoming OK with an unhealthy weight.

13. Fruits and veggies: the biggest bang for the buck. If consumers made one positive nutrition change, what would that be? It's no surprise: dietitians say that the most important first step to improve overall health is to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables.

14. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for nutrition and diet information. According to 66 percent of the respondents, consumers' interest in nutrition and weight loss will only grow in 2014.

Source: Pollock Communications/Today’s Dietician

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Gas Safety Tips for Cold Season

December 31, 2013 8:30 pm

As temperatures drop, another threat to safety is carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO poisoning can occur as a result of a poorly ventilated heater or a CO leak from another source. Symptoms can include nausea, headaches, paralysis and even death. Remember the following tips to help prevent CO poisoning:

• Have natural gas furnaces checked at least once a year by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas.
• Vacuum and clean regularly in and around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.
• Never store items in, on or around the appliance that can obstruct airflow.
• Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home. Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary.
• When installing a new or cleaned furnace filter, be sure to re-install the front panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly; never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Check the appearance of the flame. If the flame is yellow, large and unsteady, the furnace needs to be inspected immediately by a licensed heating contractor or SoCalGas to have the condition corrected.
• Using an unvented gas heater in your home is dangerous and a violation of most states’ Health and Safety Code.
• Never use your oven, range or outdoor barbecue to heat your home because these appliances are not designed for this purpose.
• If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from CO poisoning, call 911 immediately.

Source: socalgas.com/safety

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Prevent Alzheimer's with These Three Foods

December 30, 2013 8:30 pm

The number of Americans with Alzheimer's is projected to triple by 2050. While there isn't a cure for Alzheimer's, certain lifestyle changes can help prevent cognitive decline.

MySilverAge.com recommends three foods that can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's by enhancing brain function and keeping the mind sharp.

1. Oil-based Salad Dressings—Drizzling oil-based dressing on salads can help support healthy brain function. The vitamin E found in oil-based salad dressings is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are thought to guard neurons—the nerve cells that relay information between the brain and the rest of the body—from oxidation, thus preventing or slowing brain damage. Vitamin E has even been credited with delaying the advancement of memory loss in moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer's disease.

2. Beet Juice—It may not be the first thirst-quencher that comes to mind, but recent studies show that beet juice could help fend off Alzheimer's. Nitrates found in beet roots help blood and oxygen flow within the body by dilating blood vessels. In particular, they boost blood flow to the frontal lobes, which helps to prevent dementia. Other nitrate-packed foods include spinach, celery and cabbage.

3. Chicken Giblets—Think twice before tossing out chicken giblets (the neck, heart, gizzards, kidneys or liver). Chicken giblets are actually powerful tools for battling Alzheimer's. The vitamin B-12 found in giblets could keep the brain sharp, according to a 2010 study published in the journal Neurology. And it only takes one cup of giblets to get 228 percent of the recommended daily dose of the vitamin.

Source: MySilverAge

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Small Room, Big Difference

December 30, 2013 8:30 pm

(Family Features) Food and beverage containers, glass, newspapers and other paper items are commonly recycled in households across the nation. But outside the kitchen, living room or office, where many of these items are found, there are other areas where you can find unexpected opportunities to recycle —like the bathroom.

While 7 out of 10 Americans say they always or almost always recycle, only 1 in 5 consistently recycles bathroom items, according to a report commissioned by the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

“Because many of our personal care products are used or stored in the bathroom, we wanted to understand if Americans are recycling there,” said Paulette Frank, vice president of Sustainability for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

The study further revealed that 40 percent of Americans don’t recycle any bathroom items at all. Among the reasons cited, 22 percent reported they had never thought about recycling in the bathroom and 20 percent didn’t even know that products in the bathroom are recyclable.

“We saw an opportunity to help reduce waste going to landfills by educating people about the recyclable items they use in the bathroom,” Frank said. “We created the Care to Recycle® campaign to be a gentle reminder to recycle empty containers from the bathroom rather than throwing them in the trash.”

Here is some helpful information about which common bathroom items can be recycled:

• Plastic bottles marked #1 (PET) or #2 (HDPE) containing products such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, baby powder, face cleanser and body oil are recyclable in most communities.

• Plastics marked #4 (LDPE) and #5 (PP) are recyclable but may not be accepted for recycling via curbside programs. Check with your municipality and the Care to Recycle® locator developed in partnership with Earth911.

• Paperboard items such as toilet paper rolls, cardboard boxes and cartons for things like medicine, lotions, soap, bandages, etc. can all be recycled in most communities.

Source: Johnson & Johnson

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Fixed Mortgage Rates Little Changed at Year-End

December 30, 2013 8:30 pm

Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates little changed as we head into the final days of the year.

• 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.48 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 26, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 4.47 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.35 percent.

• 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.52 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.65 percent.

• 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.00 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent.

• 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.57 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.56 percent.

"Mortgage rates were little changed this week following mixed economic reports. Real GDP was revised upwards to 4.1 percent growth in the third quarter of this year,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac. “However, existing-home sales dropped 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,900,000 in November. Also, new home sales fell 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000."

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Celebrate a Greener Christmas

December 24, 2013 8:27 pm

Although many homeowners may not realize it, the holidays are a prime time of year for energy waste. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, holiday lighting consumes the equivalent electricity of 500,000 homes in just one month.

And from Thanksgiving to New Years, Americans will throw away 25 percent more trash than they typically throw out the rest of the year. Because wasted electricity and extra trash lead to higher utility bills and more environmental strain, many customers are seeking ways to celebrate a greener holiday.

Vivint is providing five holiday tips to save energy at home this season:

• Energy-efficient appliances—A perfect gift this Christmas, energy-efficient appliances use between 10 and 50 percent less energy than their conventional counterparts.
• Home automation—Smart home technology allows homeowners to automatically lock and unlock their doors, control holiday lights remotely, and schedule their smart thermostats all from a smartphone. All of these features save energy, and the smart thermostat alone can save up to $180 a year in energy costs.
• LED light bulbs—LED Christmas lights (and LED lights in general) only use 10 percent of the power needed by incandescent lights and they last as much as 10 times longer. Conveniently, Vivint's Energy Management package comes with 12 energy-efficient bulbs.
• Recycling—Recycling holiday wrapping supplies is a small effort that can make a big difference. In fact, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
• Solar—Installing solar panels is one of the greenest power solutions for any homeowner—and a great green gift.

Thanks to solar's growing popularity, it has also become possible to install a solar energy system with no upfront costs and see huge savings immediately.

Source: www.vivint.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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What to Do if Icy Weather Cuts Your Power

December 24, 2013 8:27 pm

With inevitable freezing temperatures in our near-future, it is important to understand what you can do to keep safe and warm when icy weather decides to strike. Oncor has begun preparations for possible icy conditions by keeping an eye on the weather and alerting crews to be ready to restore power. They recommend that consumers follow these helpful tips to stay safe and speed restoration:

Safety
Always avoid downed power lines. Any downed line should be considered energized and therefore, dangerous. Report downed lines immediately by calling the number on your electric bill and stay out of the immediate area. If you are trapped inside a vehicle, stay inside the car. Call 911 for assistance.

Avoid debris that may conceal downed power lines and make sure there are no downed lines before allowing children out to play.

Steer clear of crew work areas. Equipment and energized lines may be in the area that could create a safety hazard. When driving, watch for crews working along the roadways, and obey all traffic signs and directions around work areas.

Don’t attempt to make repairs to any electrical systems or pull limbs off lines.

Be careful when using portable heaters or other supplemental heating. Never place heaters near flammable materials or where they might tip over. Use fire screens to prevent sparks and embers from causing problems.

Exercise extreme caution if using candles during a power outage. Always keep candles away from flammable objects and never leave them burning unattended.

Restoration
If your power goes out, don’t assume the electric company knows. Call the phone number on your electric bill to alert them of the problem.

Leave porch lights on to show crews where power has been restored.

Be patient. When major outages occur, crews focus on restoring power to transmission lines and distribution lines that feed neighborhoods before working on distribution lines that feed directly to homes and businesses. However, be assured that these crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to customers.

To be prepared, keep flashlights, battery-operated radios, and a supply of food and water close by.

If the weather interrupts electrical service, customers are urged to call the number on their electric bill. This line is answered by an automated system designed to handle power outage calls. The most efficient way for customers to report outages is to leave all information on this system.

If icy conditions knock down power lines in your neighborhood this winter season, contact your electric company as soon as possible. For more information regarding power lines and safety, visit http://www.oncor.com/.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Ways to Slash Your Heating Bills

December 24, 2013 8:27 pm

Temperatures are plummeting and thermostats are rising. Some homeowners might not be able to avoid it, but there are many ways you can cut your energy bill this season. From GreenerChoices.org, here are five low- and no-cost moves to help you save money, while staying comfortable and warm at the same time.

1. Add insulation. Adding insulation and weather stripping can slash your annual energy costs up to 30 percent by keeping out the cold and minimizing the stack effect. Start by sealing large gaps around the chimney, furnace flue, plumbing pipes, ductwork, light fixtures and soffits in your attic. Then lay insulation between attic-floor joists and on the hatch or door, or add more if it's already there. Look for insulation that’s become dirty, a sign of air movement that reveals other gaps you must fill. Also insulate ducts running through the attic.

2. Seal up the leaks. Caulking and weather-stripping cracks and gaps around your home are some of the most cost-effective steps you can take to conserve heat. Focus on the attic, basement, windows and doorways. Also check near pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the wall, ceiling or floor. When sealing leaks, use “no-VOC” or “low-VOC” caulking to minimize potentially harmful indoor gases.

3. Program thermostats for savings. Shave up to 20 percent off your heating costs by lowering the thermostat 5°F at night and 10°F during the day if no one is home. Most electronic setback thermostats let you set different schedules for weekdays and weekends. Some automatically switch from heating to cooling, and many tell you when it's time to change your furnace or air-conditioner filter.

4. Save money on hot water. Insulating hot-water pipes and lowering the temperature on your water heater from 130° to 120° can help you save up to 5 percent on your energy bills.

5. Shorten showers. Showers account for two-thirds of your water-heating costs, so even shaving off a few minutes can help. Replacing a showerhead that’s more than 12 years old with a low-flow model can save up to half the hot water used for showering.

By heeding the advice of these five tips, you can easily reduce your heating bills throughout the entire winter season.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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