Monday, January 30, 2012

The Heart of The Matter

In honor of February, a month most historically recognized for its correlation to hearts, my postings this month will be heart-related.  I would like to start the month off with a bit of awareness.    I recently read that heart disease is the number one killer of women.  To add to this frightening fact, it is also known as the silent killer because you feel perfectly fine as it attacks your heart.  In most cases, by the time you are aware of the very subtle warning signs, the disease has progressed to a serious stage.  If this information is having the same impact on you that it had on me when I read about it, I would like to encourage you to take that fear seriously.  On the flip-side of the fear, however, is the knowledge that you CAN PREVENT this from happening to you! 

An Ounce of Prevention…

You can reduce your risk for heart disease by an alarming 80% by making changes in your diet, exercise, and lifestyle!

Eating better-reduce risk by 50% -

Adopt a Mediterranean diet, control your portions, watch out for hidden salt, cut down on the trans and saturated fats, swap out butter for a spread, and eat at home.  Add grape juice, almonds, berries, oatmeal, salmon, spinach, canola oil, soybeans, and grass-fed beef to your diet.

Exercise!!- reduce risk by 40% -

Raise your heart rate for 20-30 minutes a day.  Make sure your exercise is intense enough to raise your heart rate (you should only be able to speak brief 3 word sentences), change your workout every few months, get yourself a workout buddy, three 10 minute high intensity workouts per day can be just as beneficial as one 30 minute session, take a book or some music on your walk to keep from getting bored, and change the pace of your stride every five minutes to keep your body interested.

Change your lifestyle – reduce risk by 50%

Relax!, Educate your friends and family about heart disease, lower your blood pressure, keep your waist measurement at less than half your height, make sure you are getting enough vitamin D (sunshine is a great source!), get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and manage diabetes.
***The information above was sourced from Better Homes & Gardens magazine Feb. 2010

Love Your Heart

To get you started off on the right track, I have included a tasty, heart-healthy recipe for you to try as well as a list of helpful books on this subject that you can find at Haltom City Public Library  J  To kick-start your heart-healthy fitness, I have included information at the bottom of this post about the Haltom Stampede!

Pecan-Crusted Chicken
From Eating Well For a Healthy Heart Cookbook
281 calories; 15g fat (2g saturated, 8g mono)


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed                    ¼ tsp. ground chipotle pepper

½ C. pecan halves or pieces                                                         1 large egg white

¼ C. plain, dry breadcrumbs                                                        2 Tbsp. water

1 ½ tsp. freshly grated orange zest                                           1 Tbsp. canola oil, divided

½ tsp. salt


1.  Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place between sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet or heavy skillet until flattened to an even ¼ in. thickness.

2.  Place pecans, breadcrumbs, orange zest, salt, and ground chipotle in a food processor and pulse until the pecans are finely ground.  Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish.  Whisk egg white and water in a shallow dish until combined.  Dip each chicken breast in the egg white mixture, then dredge both sides in the pecan mix.

3.  Heat 1 ½ tsp.  oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add half the chicken and cook until browned on the outside and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 4 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.  Carefully wipe out the pan with a paper towel and add remaining oil.  Cook the remaining chicken, adjusting the heat as needed to prevent scorching.  Serve immediately. 

Makes 4 servings

 ***More information concerning this recipe can be found in the book: Eating Well For a Healthy Heart Cookbook

 I hope you guys enjoy this recipe!  It sounds delicious  J  Please don’t hesitate to visit the library to check out any of the book I have listed below or to browse our collection for many more titles on this subject.  We have an abundance of cookbooks for healthy eating!

On Heart Disease

The No Bull Book on Heart Disease by Joel Okner, M.D. and Jeremy Clorfene, Ph.D

Outliving Heart Disease: the 10 New Rules for Prevention and Treatment by Richard A. Stein, M.D.

Cookbooks for Healthy Hearts

AMA Healthy Family Meals by American Heart Association

Betty Crocker Healthy Heart Cookbook by Joyce Hendley

Eating Well For a Healthy Heart Cookbook by Phillip A Ades, M.D.

WomenHeart’s All Heart Family Cookbook by Kathy Kastan, LCSW, MA ED and Suzanne Banfield, Ph.D

Get Fit For a Good Cause!!

The 26th annual Haltom Stampede will take place on Saturday, February 11th.  It begins at the Haltom City Recreation Center at 4839 Broadway Ave.  The stampede includes a 1 mile fun run and a 5K run/walk.  The proceeds from this event will go to help with the Haltom City/Birdville ISD Back to School Health Fair. Funds raised will purchase school supplies and backpacks for children.

If you would like to register, I have provided the link below:

Have a Great Week,
Your Librar Blog Maven

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Rest of the True Story

It’s ten P.M.   My favorite Thursday night drama is over.  I replace the broad illumination of my television with the more personal glow of my iPad.  I settle in for a few stolen, late-night hours of reading.  I open the Kindle app on my iPad and “turn” to the first page of my newly downloaded copy of The Hunger Games. 

I am immediately introduced to the main character, Katniss Everdeen.  Katniss describes her family and their life in District 12.  District 12 is the section of Panem (formerly the U.S.) where the main occupation is coal mining.  General poverty and mass hunger plague nearly all of the districts that make up the nation.  The Capital is the exception to this rule.  This is the governing sector of the country where all of the political heads and famous people live an extravagant life with no concern for the problems of the “lesser” districts.  On this morning that I meet Katniss and her family, the life that she has always known will be obliterated.  This is the morning of The Reaping.  Two young adults from each of the districts (one boy and one girl), including District 12, will be selected at random to participate in the Hunger Games.  

The Hunger Games are an annual event in which the selected “tributes” from each district are forced into an “arena”.   The Games are not over until only one tribute remains alive to be declared the Victor.  The Capitol claims the purpose of the Games to be a celebration of the end of the civil war that essentially changed the U.S. into Panem.  Truly, the Games are a terrible reminder of the unjust power that the Capitol wields over the nation.  The Reaping is, understandably, a dreaded and feared event each year. 

As the first chapter unfolds, I am delighted to meet Prim, Katniss’ younger sister.  Prim is a quiet, gentle, sweet, innocent girl.  At only 12 years old, she has only had to enter her name into the drawing for the Hunger Games once.  Katniss usually enters her own name each year in exchange for oil and grain to feed her family.  This horrible form of sickening control is only one of the ways the Capitol manipulates the people of the nation.  Starve the masses, and then force them to “volunteer” for the annual Games in exchange for food that they could not survive without. 

Neither Katniss or Prim have their names in the drawing enough times to cause true concern.  Some people have been trading their names each year for food for ages.  Even still, the day of the Reaping is frightening.  Everyone knows that someone’s name will be called.  Someone they know.  There will be two people unwillingly taken from their families to fight for their lives as the nation is forced to watch it all on television as if it were American Idol.  Schools are closed, businesses shut down for the “celebration day”.  Katniss and her family join the rest of District 12 in the square for the Reaping.

As I approach the end of Chapter One, I find myself already becoming fond of Katniss and her family.  I am sharing in her fear and anticipation of hearing the tributes names called.  My heartbeat quickens as I know we are approaching that moment.  

The square is crowded.  Everyone is required to be there for the Reaping.  The energy shifts into a tense vibration as Master of Ceremonies draws the slip of paper from the tumbler of girl names.  Katniss calculates how many times her own name has been entered.  She hopes and hopes that it’s not her name that is called.  Numb with fear, unable to hear anything but the static from the microphone that sits waiting to broadcast the verdict, she can barely breathe.  I am holding my breath with her.  The name is read.  It’s not Katniss!  I let out a puff of relieved air from my own lungs as I read those words, “It’s not me.”  But my joy lasts only a second.  The name that is called out is Primrose Everdeen.

If you’re like me, and prefer to read the book before you watch the movie, I highly recommend The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  This book kept me glued to iPad from the edge of my seat for days!  I found myself arriving to my appointments early on purpose just so I could whip out my iPad and read more.   The movie made from this book will hit theaters March 23, 2012.  For a preview, click on this link: 

Downloading this book would be a great way to get familiar with your new eReader!   If you are interested, don’t hesitate to drop by Haltom City Public Library to get help with downloading, or to check out a print copy of this book.  I would love to see you!!  Don’t forget that you can always call to get help over the phone with your downloads.

****NOTE:  You guys know how I love books in a series!!  More great news about this book is that it is first in a trilogy.  The second (Catching Fire) and third (Mockingjay) books have already been published, so when the end of The Hunger Games leaves you wanting more, you can immediately quench that desire!  I also recommend that you visit Suzanne Collins’ website for more information on the novels.

Until Next Time,

Your LibraryBlogMaven

Monday, January 16, 2012

iPads, eBooks, and eReaders! Oh my!!

A True Story

I’m on my couch, in my jammies, watching my favorite Thursday night drama when I see a movie trailer for an edge-of-your-seat, exciting, new movie that will hit the big screen in mere weeks!  My breath has been taken away, my heart is pounding, I am full of excitement about this movie!!  The Hunger Games.  Being a Librarian, I am keenly aware that this movie has been adapted from the first book in The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  As a Librarian, I follow a strict rule of not watching screenplays of books before I have read the book.  Therefore, I MUST obtain a copy of this exciting novel ASAP!  What to do, what to do….  It’s late, the library is closed.   Alas, I am in my jammies.  I am fraught with despair, momentarily, until I remember that I recently purchased an iPad.  I immediately spring into action!  I snatch my iPad from its charging station, grab my Haltom City Public Library card (from the very front of my wallet, of course), and get back in my cozy spot on the couch.  Before the commercial break is over, and my show starts back up, I have downloaded the book from my library to my iPad.  Now I will be able to begin reading it before I go to bed for the night.  All is right with the world J

A Transfer of Powers

Would you like to be able to perform this same astounding feat?  Fear not!  As your LibraryBlogMaven, I will teach you my super-secret tricks of the trade.  Possessing powers such as these does require a smidge of preliminary set-up.  Don’t fret!  I can help you with ALL of this  J  I will start by giving some definitions and description. Then, I will suggest that you visit the OverDrive website (  to do a preliminary browsing of what is available to you.  Once your interest is piqued, or if this blog ends up being as clear as mud to you, I invite you to visit me in person at the Reference Desk at the Haltom City Public Library where I can help you one-on-one.  You may also give me a call if you prefer to complete this transfer of powers while in your own cozy spot in your very own jammies! (817-222-7786)

Definitions and Descriptions

Ebook – This is the electronic counterpart of a printed book.

OverDrive – This is the website that our library uses to manage our electronic collection.

Ereader – This is an electronic device that has been designed primarily for the purpose of reading electronic books and magazines.  Examples of these are: Barnes and Noble Nook, Amazon Kindle, and Sony Reader.

Tablet Computer – or simply tablet.  This is a general purpose computer contained in one panel.  Examples of these are: iPad, Samsung Galaxy tablet, and Motorola Droid tablet.

Smartphone This is a mobile phone with built-in applications and Internet access.  Examples of these are: iPhone and Android phones.

Note:  Ebooks are read using a desktop computer, laptop computer, Smartphone, tablet computer, or Ereader.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

Your LibraryBlogMaven

Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Introduction

Hello Faithful Blog Followers!  The torch has been passed.  My name is Audra and I am the newest addition to the staff at Haltom City Public Library.  Our Fearless Leader had bestowed upon me the pleasure of blogging for the library.  I am very happy to take on the task of keeping the world informed of all the exciting happenings at our library.

I thought that an introduction would be a good way to kick things off.  Before I dive into the various details of me, I would like to commend our former Blog Mistress on her outstanding blog work.  As I read back through her posts, I find an abundance of personality and information.  I very much like her style.  I shall strive to fill her certainly fabulous shoes  ;0)

As for me, I have lived all but nine months of my life here in the Metroplex (Dallas/Ft. Worth).  I completed my MLS in 2003, and have worked mainly as a Middle School Librarian up to this point.  I am overjoyed to officially enter the Public Library world!!  In past lives I have worked as a Middle School Teacher, Cheerleading Coach, and Hairdresser, among a long list of other things. 

I most enjoy books in a series because it nearly brings me to tears to be forced to part with characters who have become like friends.  With a series, I am able to prolong time with favorite characters before the painful cleaving of them from my daily adventures begins.  I am fond of Young Adult literature, what is loosely classified as “Chick Lit.”, and down-right suspenseful mysteries.  As far as my adventures in Non-fiction go….you might find me researching how to refinish antique furniture, speak Italian, or how to make something kitschy out of Mod-patterned fabric or paper. 

Hopefully, over time, you and I will come to know each other better through our postings here.  I aim to keep you abreast of all the excitement that takes place here at the library, inform you of up-and-coming opportunities for learning and fun, and introduce you to some unforgettable characters (both literary and employed at our library). 

On a final note, I would like to invite each of you to participate freely in this blog.  I would LOVE to hear anything that is on your mind.  Please do not hesitate to send me fun facts, ideas, great books you have discovered and would like to share, comments, corrections, upcoming items of interest, etc.

Until Next Time,
Your Library Blog Maven