4 Ways to Have a Healthier and Happier Holiday

‘Tis the season to overeat, overspend, and overcommit—sound familiar? Although it’s often easier said than done, there are ways to buck these trends. Focus on health and happiness—rather than the number of gifts exchanged. That can bring priceless payoffs to you and your family. Here are a few simple ideas to consider.

  1. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or another health condition that requires healthy eating choices? Or are you simply among the crowd that packs on extra pounds during the holidays? If so, plan ahead.

Have one or two strategies that make it possible to enjoy yourself without hurting your health. Here are a few examples: Bring a healthy dish to share at potlucks. Go easy on the liquid calories, especially alcohol. Treat yourself, but set limits—maybe limit sweet treats to once a week.1

  1. Do some healthcare “housekeeping.” The flu or other illness is sure to put a big damper on anyone’s holiday. Take steps to make this less likely for you and those around you. Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. Get your annual vaccines, if you haven’t already.

The end of the year is also a good time to check if you need any exams and to sign up for insurance, unless you’ve done so already. Also, take advantage of family time to flesh out your family’s medical history.2,3 If you or someone you know is making multiple trips a month to pickup medication talk to our pharmacist about consolidating those trips and even set up automatic refills so your medication is always ready.

  1. Focus on experiences, not things. Studies have shown that helping others can increase your own levels of happiness. This could be anything from volunteering at a local food bank to simply picking up prescriptions for a neighbor. There is no shortage of ways to get involved during the holidays—and all year long.

Here’s another way to focus on experiences: Create your own holiday traditions. Try some caroling with your family or friends. So what if your Uncle Charles is tone deaf? Just have some fun. And there’s another bonus: singing lowers stress.4

Or maybe you’d enjoy cutting down your own tree, taking in a high school performance of the Nutcracker, or turning your holiday cards into gratitude cards. By adding personal notes that express your appreciation, you can boost your own happiness as well.4

  1. Turn down the “doer dial.” Does it feel as though everything speeds up during the holidays? That can be really stressful. This is not a race. And no matter the messages you’re receiving, you don’t need to do it all. Take breaks when you need them. (Introverts, this especially applies to you!) Put another log on the fire, take a bubble bath, snuggle up with your sweetie, or sleep in—guilt free. Remember: if you take good care of yourself, you can be more present for the people you love. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.





  1. Huffington Post: 8 Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy During the Holidays. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leana-wen-md/holidays-health_b_2341813.html Accessed 11-3-17.


  1. CDC: 12 Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthytips/index.html Accessed 11-3-17.


  1. Consumer Reports: 40 Tips for healthy holidays: 40 ways to get the most out of the season. Available at https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/11/happier-healthier-holidays/index.htm Accessed 11-3-17.


  1. Prevention: How To Have 31 Days of Healthy, Happy Holidays. Available at: https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/31-days-happy-healthy-stress-free-holidays Accessed 11-3-17.



Vionic Sandals – Spring Sale! 40% off!

We are all looking forward to better weather , and some of you have been lucky enough to have a vacation planned for some warmer weather! Don’t forget about your feet!

Don’t wear those flat $ 1.00 flip flops. If you haven’t figured it out yet, those puppies may be such a great price, you can afford them in several colors and styles. But, at what expense? Plantar Fasciitis?

Or, maybe you do not get the opportunity to wear those cute flip flops, because your knees, back and feet say “No Way!”. What if I told you that Pharm A Save Monroe has a solution?

Vionic shoes – Reclaim your footprint. www.vionicshoes.com

Feet were designed to walk on soft, natural elements like soil and sand, not the hard, flan man-made surfaces that make up so much of our modern world. With Vionic’s innovative biomechanical technology, Vionic shoe and sandals hug your arches like a matural footprint, giving you all-day support.

With all that, to the point ALL VIONIC SANDALS, SHOES AND SLIPPERS are on sale now thru April 31st, 2017! How about this — 40% off.  (In Stock Items Only!) 

Make your feet happy – Walk.Move.Live.

A New Year – A New You?

A New Year—A New You?

Is there a person on the planet that hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution—and then failed to follow through? Setting goals may be the easy part, but turning those goals into results….? Well, we all know how hard that can be.

Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, step up your level of exercise, or kick that smoking habit once and for all—you can take steps to improve your chances of success. Here are just a few ideas.

Set SMART goals. First of all, know how to set goals that will help you succeed. Here is an example of a SMART goal: “To help me lose weight, I will walk at least 10 blocks—instead of 7—at least 5 days a week for the next month. Here’s what makes this a SMART goal:

  • Specific: The goal is precise. Your goal isn’t just to walk more. With this goal, you will know exactly how many blocks you will walk each week.
  • Measurable: You can tell whether or not you have achieved the goal.
  • Achievable: Your goal should challenge you, but not be overwhelming. You’re already walking 7 blocks, 4 days a week. So you know that it’s likely you can walk 10 blocks, 5 days a week.
  • Relevant: This goal is appropriate because exercise is a key part of a weight-loss or weight-management plan.
  • Time-bound: Your goal is limited in time. At the end of a month, you can continue with this goal or commit to a new one. 1,2

Start small, think big. Starting with small steps can help you succeed. But as you set goals, keep an eye on the big picture: How does this goal fit in with the rest of your life? With the SMART goal above, for example, it may help to remember that exercise is good for your overall health, whether or not you lose weight.  It may give you more energy, decrease stiffness, and help you keep up with your kids—or grandkids.2,3,4

Stay motivated. Understanding the big picture is one way to stay motivated for the long haul. What else keeps you motivated?

  • Try the buddy system. Have someone who’s supportive join you. It really works.
  • Visualize success. Picture yourself walking through the neighborhood. You can also use positive self-talk to stay on track. “I feel so much better after I get out for a walk.”
  • Reward yourself. Once you’ve met your goal, reward yourself with something material, like a movie or CD—but not food. Or, you can try something less tangible like a quiet afternoon sitting by a lake.
  • `If you slip up, start over. This doesn’t make you a bad person. Congratulate yourself for your past successes, and begin again.5,6

How we can help. What if one of your goals has to do with managing your medications? Maybe you are having trouble remembering when or how to take them. Start with us. We can guide you. For example, we’ll show you techniques for taking your medications the right way. Or we’ll help you find products to jog your memory so you don’t forget to take your meds.

Now, that’s a great buddy system!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.




  1. WebMD: S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss & Your Fitness Device. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/smart-weight-loss-fitness-device Accessed 12-5-16.


  1. gov: 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Goals & Expectations. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/3-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-setting-weight-loss-expectations-goals.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.


  1. gov: Goal setting: Eating, Physical Activity & Weight Loss. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/goal-setting-eating,-physical-activity-weight-loss.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.


  1. gov: 3 Steps for Setting Physical Activity Goals. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/3-steps-for-setting-physical-activity-goals.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.




  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Guide to Behavior Change.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm Accessed 12-2-16.


  1. Nemours Foundation: Motivation and the Power of Not Giving Up. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/motivation.html Accessed 12-2-16.



High blood pressure is a “silent killer”

Healthy Heart Habits: Life’s Simple 7

As you started into the new year, did you resolve to have healthier habits? Many people do. But a long-term study found that Americans are not doing as well as they were 20 years ago in maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle.1 And that increases their chances of having a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease.2

Life’s Simple 7. In the study, the percentage of Americans who met all these heart-healthy lifestyle goals—what the American Heart Association calls Life’s Simple 7—dropped from 8.5 percent to 5.8 percent:

  • Eat a balanced diet.healthy heart month blood pressure ad
  • Be active.
  • Manage your weight.
  • Don’t use tobacco.
  • Maintain ideal levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

Best for women. In the past, it was thought that hormones protected women from heart disease until menopause. Now we know that’s not the case. But two recent studies show that there may be subtle differences in what’s best for women and men.

In one study, women who followed these six habits cut their risk of heart attack by a whopping 92 percent.3                             

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Maintain a normal body mass index (BMI).
  • Exercise—moderately to vigorously—at least 2.5 hours a week.
  • Watch no more than seven hours of TV each week.
  • Drink no more than one alcoholic beverage each day.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish or omega-3 fatty acids. Limit sugary drinks, processed and red meats, trans fats, and sodium.

Even women who adopted just one or two of these healthy habits lowered their heart risk, with a normal BMI having the greatest impact.

Best for men. A Swedish study tracked 20,000 men and found that men with the following habits cut their risk of heart attack by 86 percent:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Drink no more than two alcoholic drinks a day.
  • Stay physically active, for example, walking or cycling at least 40 minutes a day.
  • Maintain a waist circumference of less than 37 inches.3

For men, healthy diet and moderate drinking appeared to have the most impact on reducing their heart risks.

Know your numbers. So where should you begin? One place to start is to know your numbers. That includes blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure—as well as your weight. The next step is to talk with your doctor about ways to improve.

I can also give you tips on tracking—and improving—these critical numbers. For example, if you want to track your blood pressure at home, I’ll advise you on how best to do that. Remember: High blood pressure is a “silent killer,” so the only way to know whether or not it’s lurking is to check it.

  • In fact, nearly 30 percent of Americans have high blood pressure. And, nearly half don’t have it under control with either lifestyle habits or medication.2 If your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, be sure to take it. For some people, that’s the only way to keep it at bay. And, don’t forget to check your blood pressure, especially when you are not feeling well. Having a blood pressure unit at home is inexpensive and needed, especially when taking blood pressure medications.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.


  1. HealthDay: Fewer Americans Than Ever Sticking to Heart-Healthy Lifestyle, Study Finds. Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_155611.html Accessed 12-11-15.
  2. HealthDay: Nearly Half of Americans with High Blood Pressure Not Controlling It: CDC: Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_155688.html Accessed 12-11-15.
  3. WebMD: Top Healthy Habits for Your Heart. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20150107/healthy-heart-habits Accessed 12-11-15.



Prepare for an emergency

Well, it is November, and it happened AGAIN! Snohomish county had a major flood. This resulted in closed roads, power outages, no cell service, no home phone service and well, you get it.

You wouldn’t guess that last night we were all wondering how we would get home. In fact, when I heard the emergency broadcast system announce major flooding in Gold Bar, I was out of here!

This got me thinking …. what if we were out of contact for, lets say, 3 or more days? What if I once again forgot to pick up my prescription, and had NONE? Great, I have canned food, but do I have a can opener that isn’t electric?

I know this for sure, even though money is tight, you need to have your medicine cabinet ready for an emergency. An emergency could be similar to what was experienced yesterday. Or, it could be the flu or a family emergency out of town.

Here is a rule of thumb from me – the pharmacy technician and the one at home who gets stuck in the scramble during these emergencies.

  • Your insurance company will let you fill your prescription 5-7 days early.

It does depend on the drug and your plan, but that is a pretty standard thing. If you fill your prescriptions BEFORE you run out (and pick them up), you can easily accumulate an extra week supply.

  • Keep a three day emergency supply of your medications at work, in your purse or in your car.

This is not always ideal, depending on what the storage requirements are for your medications. But, what if you cannot get home? Do you have your seizure medication with you?

  • Keep a medication list with you at all times

Emergency or not, this is a must! Having a list of medications will always help during an emergency, especially if you are unable to speak for yourself.

  • Emergency override

During the fires this past summer, we received notice that insurance companies were paying for early prescription refills if the patient was in an evacuation area. It is important to know that if you are ever displaced, there are options. Be sure to let your pharmacy know what your situation is so they can contact your insurance company. If you are out of town, the pharmacy of your choosing can call your local pharmacy (I hope it is Pharm A Save) to have your prescription transferred. Just remember, depending on the medication, you may not be able to transfer it back. In those cases, your physician can re issue you a prescription to have filled when it is due next.

I could type for days on emergencies. I will say, I don’t have an emergency kit in my car, and neither do my family members. I will have one after this “test run”. Even Tylenol, band-aids, contact solution , pads, eyelash glue – a duplicate of my daily needed items.

Bridget Edgar

Pharmacy Technician


Mother, Wife, Grandmother, Daughter, Friend and MORE