Category: Health

How Often Should You Shower?

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 by No Comments

The topic of showering is all over the Internet. It started with a study that talked about how many people over shower.

When I grew up in a two bedroom house with one bathroom and six kids, I can tell you there was no over showering going on. Even when we moved to a bigger house with four bedrooms, it still only had one bathroom with a shower and tub. We learned to clean up without always taking a shower.

The whole shower tropic really blew up when Nicolle Wallace of the View claimed she showers three times a day (pre- and post-show, and before bed). Co-host and Glee star, Naya Rivera, 28, tried to make a joke in response. She said, “I feel like showering more than once a day or every day is such a white people thing.” Needless to say that stirred some controversy.

Rivera is part Puerto Rican, African American, and German. Her statement was viewed as blatant racial sterotyping. The following day she tried to clarify that it was meant to be funny.

She said, “Yesterday, we were talking about a study that says you’re supposed to shower once or twice every three days. I had an opinion on it that was supposed to be a joke. Apparently it didn’t go over very well.”

That brings us back to the real question. How often are we supposed to shower? Common sense tells us it isn’t a one-answer-fits-all kind of thing.

Some people have dryer skin than others. Some people have jobs that make them sweat more or get really dirty. Not everyone needs to shower every day, but some people do.

According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Department of Dermatology, “Daily showering is a more cultural phenomenon than medical necessity. In the U.S., people commonly shower once or even more per day – this can actually be harmful to skin, as hot water strips essential oils and can lead to irritation.”

The bottom line is that most of us shower too often. But on top of that, this whole topic has brought another rather disgusting topic into the limelight. Most of us don’t wash our pajamas often enough.

According to a Fox 13 report, the average man waits two weeks to wash his pajamas. Gross right? Would you believe women wait an average of 17 days! That certainly gives us a whole new topic to think about! How did we get to a place in society where we overshower and then put on pajamas that haven’t washed for two weeks or more?

Photo credits: Steven Depolo

Father in Trouble for Easing 2-Year-Old’s Pain with Cannabis Oil

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 by 1 Comment

Adam Koessler is a single dad of 2-year-old daughter, Rumer Rose. He recently received the kind of news every parent dreads.

His little girl was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma; the most common type of cancer to hit infants. Koessler describes it as an “aggressive cancer stemming from her adrenal glands.”

She started chemo, and Koessler who still lives in Australia where medical marijuana is illegal, started supplementing those treatments with doses of cannabis oil to ease her suffering.

He saw “amazing” results, but on Jan. 2 he was arrested for possessing dangerous drugs and for supplying them to a minor.

For now, Koessler is out on bail, but he is due back in court on Friday, Jan. 23. In the meantime, his case has turned into a hot button issue. Thousands around the world have signed online petitions with 114,000 supporters on Change.org alone. Some have even raised money to support the single dad through GoFundMe.

One supporter writes, “If the law states that this man cannot give his terminally ill… daughter something that improves her quality of life, then the law needs to be changed. The fact that this man has had his parental rights taken away by an ignorant legal system that has absolutely no right to do so absolutely disgusts me.”

Rumer was diagnosed with her stage 4 neuroblastoma just before Christmas. The doctors have recommended 12 months of chemo, and the money being donated is for his daughter’s care.

While Koessler and Rumer’s mother are not a couple, together, they began a complementary therary of naturopathic medicine along with gluten-free meals and medical-grade cannabis oil.

They chose the cannabis oil because it has been used around the world with varying success rates for a variety of ailments from ulcers, to migraines, cancer and epilepsy. And that is nothing new. Here in the U.S., it used to be in most tinctures in the early 1900s.

Photo credits: Habled News

DASH Diet Comes in Number One 2015 Best Diet

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 by 1 Comment

In our on-going quest to try to lose weight, the New Year brings with it a renewed effort to lose the extra pounds. Losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution, and unfortunately most of us give up before January is over.

Many times, the reason we fail is because we’ve chosen to follow a diet that’s too hard to follow. If you fall into this group, it’s not too late to make a change to the DASH Diet.

This is the fifth year that the DASH diet has won as the “Best Overall Diet” in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Diets. It is a good choice for people who are trying to address high blood pressure because it is designed to prevent or lower it. But it also helps trim those extra inches from the waistline and reduces the risk of diabetes and some cancers.

The DASH diet has changed from the original which was relatively high in refined grains and starchy foods because it was based on the nutritional wisdom of the mid-90s. Since then it has been updated and offers an easy-to-follow weight loss plan, based on core DASH diet foods including fruits and vegetables, low-fat and nonfat dairy, beans, and seeds.

Blood pressure benefits because the DASH diet cuts back on “empty carbs” and adds more protein and/or heart-healthy fats. This same approach helps people drop that unwanted weight.

New DASH diet research has helped optimize the diet and has resulted in even better results. For those who want to understand the ins and outs of the updated DASH diet based on the latest research, diet expert, Marla Heller, MS, RD, has written a book that includes plans based on the latest research.

Plans include meals and snacks which include filling foods that not only help to lose weight, but also help to sustain weight loss because they satisfy. That’s because they are created to avoid the blood sugar roller coaster that leads to cravings.

This diet deserves it’s number one status. It works to help reduce belly fat, the risk of diabetes, triglycerides, bad cholesterol, and improves good cholesterol. And one of the reasons I think it works so well is that the meals don’t skimp on protein, so you maintain more muscle while dropping the weight you don’t want.

Plus, the meal plans are satisfying. That addresses one of the main reasons people quit a diet. No one wants to feel like they are starving.

If you are really ready to lose weight or improve your health, the DASH diet might just be the answer you’re looking for.

Photo credits: Amazon

Smart Belt Will Tighten, Loosen, and Track Data

Posted on Jan 16, 2015 by 1 Comment

I think we are living in a world where technology is getting smarter and people who use it learn to think less. Let’s face it, we don’t need to know phone numbers anymore because our phones remember them for us.

This week, I also saw new technology for smart insoles equipped with GPS so you can know where your loved ones are. This is marketed for use with people who have Alzheimer’s and autistic children.

And the latest contraption is a belt that self adjusts. If you eat too much it loosens, and it tracks how active you are. This one is called “Belty,” and it adjusts as you stand or sit.

The company that makes it is based in Paris, France. It’s already won awards for innovation in the wearable category, but the prototype isn’t very attractive. However, the company has already paired up with a top leather manufacturer and now that they’ve made the belt smart, they are working its style.

The Belty “collects data with a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, then syncs wirelessly with a mobile app. This means it can track your waistline over time, keep tabs on your exercise, or check how much you sit and suggest you take a walk if you get too sedentary.”

Manufacturers are already calling the smart belt a luxury product. Personally, I think people who can afford luxury products might want to invest in a personal trainer rather than to rely on a belt to tell them to go take a walk.

But before you take my advice, I confess that I tend to be reluctant to embrace new technology that can snoop on my personal life. This smart belt gives me flashbacks of the computer HAL in 2001 Space Odyssey.

HAL became self-aware and decided what was best for the humans, and they couldn’t deactivate HAL because it knew everything they were doing. If you never saw the movie, let’s just say it didn’t bode well for the humans.

Maybe a better example is the movie Jaws. Remember how people wouldn’t go swimming after that movie came out? Well, that’s kind of how I feel about wearable technology that can track my waist size and how sedentary I am.

What if the technology malfunctions? That could be a whole story in itself, in the horror genre probably, where the government requires us to wear something like this. They could use it like a shock collar (only around our waist) to make sure we’re active enough and not gaining weight.

For now, I think I can handle loosening and tightening my belt. I don’t need a belt to tell me I’m gaining weight, because actually my jeans tell me that. At least for the moment, I choose to be smarter than a belt.

For those who like the idea of a smart belt, the Belty will be available by the end of 2015.

Photo credits: NewsyTech

Melissa McCarthy Shows Off Weight Loss at People’s Choice Awards

Posted on Jan 14, 2015 by 2 Comments

Melissa McCarthy, 44, is known for making people laugh. She’s also known as a person of size who has made it clear that she is happy with herself no matter what size she is.

Just last year she told Rolling Stone that she loves herself at any size, but admitted, “I could eat healthier, I could drink less.” This year when she accepted her People’s Choice Award, on January 7, in Los Angeles, it was clear she had done exactly that.

I’d heard she was losing weight, but this was my first time seeing her results.

Melissa McCarthy 2014 People's Choice

Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock 2014

She stepped on to the Nokia Theatre stage to receive her 2015 People’s Choice award dressed in a fitted pair of black pants, with a top accented with bold leather panels which ran along the seams. She accessorized with a sleek clutch and Forevermark diamond jewelry.

The design offered a slimming effect, but it wasn’t all style tricks and slimming effects that gave her the amazing results. Her new look was the result of hard work and food choices. She’s about 45 pounds lighter.

According to a friend, she lost the weight following a low-carb diet and lots of protein. The source told Star magazine that “She’s been making small changes and seeing big results. It’s given her a real confidence boost.”

The same source said that Melissa’s motive was her health, and to be a good example to her children. Plus she’s looking ahead and wants to be around to be a grandma, too.

The actress won the first award of the night for Best Comedic Actress and had also been nominated for Favorite Movie Actress and Favorite Comedic TV Actress. She’s a good example of a confident woman at any weight.

I congratulate her on her award, and on her new look. Both take hard work and dedication that has paid off.

Photo credits: peopleschoice, SandraBullockBlog

Link Round-up: Storage Ideas, DIY, Scrabble, Winter Blues, and More

Posted on Jan 13, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has storage ideas, DIYs, and more.

Crafts by Amanda showed us how to make a refrigerator Scrabble game

Kenarry shared some toy storage ideas.

A Mom’s Take had some suggestions for finding more ways to read.

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A Beautiful Mess shared some ways to survive winter without the cold weather blues.

The Joys of Boys shared 15 resolutions every mom should make.

Thrifty Jinxy showed us how to make snowman pretzels.

Mom 4 Real shared 19 easy home organization ideas.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and A Beautiful Mess

How Long Can You Stand on One Leg? It’s Important

Posted on Jan 12, 2015 by 2 Comments

During the cooler months, I turn to the Wii Fit for indoor exercise. One of the strength training exercises can be challenging as you stand on one leg, and extend the opposite arm. You bring the extended arm down to meet the knee of the lifted leg.

I do a few and the machine reminds me that my leg is a bit shaky as if I don’t know that, but most days I’m able to complete the entire set without losing my balance.

I thought about this today as I read about a new study that shows that people who can’t stand on one foot for at least 20 seconds are more likely to have suffered a small stroke some time in their past.

Researchers studied 841 women and 546 men, with an average age of 67 who they instructed to try standing on one foot and balancing for at least a minute.

For the test, participants were required to stand with their eyes open and one leg raised. The longest a participant stood on leg was one minute. Each person performed the test twice and the better of the two times was used in the final analysis.

The study was published in the journal Stroke. It also talks about another study published earlier this year that revealed 53-year-old men and women who could stand quickly after sitting in a chair for a minute, and who could stand on one leg longer than 10 seconds, were at less risk of an early death.

“Postural instability was found to be associated with early pathological changes in the brain and functional decline, even in apparently healthy subjects.” Of course I looked up “postural instability,” and yes it means a loss of balance that leads to instability.

As a result, based on this study, it is recommended people who can’t stand 20 seconds on one foot should be watched carefully “because it may signal potential brain abnormalities and mental decline.”

Needless to say, I decided to stand on one foot to see how long I could do it without losing my balance. I made it just past a minute when my husband came along and said, “What are you doing?” Let’s just say laughing doesn’t help maintain balance on one leg for me.

How long can you stand on one leg?

Photo credits: pstubeful

Benefits of Probiotics and Where to Find Them

Posted on Jan 7, 2015 by 1 Comment

Even though consuming probiotics has been a trendy topic for the last few years, they are not new. In the past, they were a natural part of diet found in yogurt, sauerkraut, fermented pickles and more.

I choose to get mine by making kombucha each week and drinking a glass per day. As a bonus, it also helps satisfy my craving to snack.

Kombucha (fermented tea) doesn’t take much effort to make, but if you’re strapped for time, you can find probiotics in foods sold on the grocer’s shelves.

Probiotic-rich yogurt is probably one of the most popular, but probiotics are found in other fermented foods including kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) and miso soup.

Before I mention the word “bacteria” remember that our digestive system is home to more than 500 types of bacteria that help keep our intestines healthy and aid in the digestion of food.

They are also thought to help boost our immune system, keep bad bacteria at bay, aid in weight loss, and one new study shows they may even help with lowering high blood pressure.

According to Stefan Guandalini, MD, professor of pediatrics and gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, “Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines.” In other words, maintaining the proper balance of healthy gut flora is important to our overall health.

When we take antibiotics, it alters our gut flora. While taking antibiotics isn’t ideal for our gut health, sometimes we have no choice. Probiotics can help replenish your good bacteria.

For those who don’t get enough probiotics through diet, supplements are available. I’ve seen mixed reviews on these, so can’t really speak from experience.

Some supplements offer more strains and cost more, but from what I hear they aren’t necessarily “better.” Also, if you go the supplement route, some experts suggest that you switch supplements every month or two. For me, I figure why buy a pill if I can get my probiotics through my diet?

Photo credits: kirybabe

Link Round-up: Woven Circle Mat, Teddy Bear Pattern, Spiced Maple Mini Cheesecakes, and More

Posted on Jan 6, 2015 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has a woven circle mat project, mason jar hacks, mini cheesecakes, a teddy bear pattern, and more.

Jenny and Teddy shared a free pattern for a teddy bear.

Create Craft Love taught us some mason jar hacks.

Pink Heels Pink Truck shared a recipe for spiced maple mini cheesecakes.

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A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a woven circle mat.

Crafts by Amanda shared her top 10 craft tips of 2014.

Mommypotamus shared some tips for getting better sleep (and more of it).

Crafty Journal showed us how to remove burned-on food from a pan.

Photo credit: Jenny and Teddy and A Beautiful Mess