Category: Health

No Poo Movement for Healthier Hair

Posted on Apr 28, 2015 by No Comments

Have you heard of the “no poo movement”? It’s the idea of using shampoo less frequently or not at all.

I hadn’t heard of it, until I came across an article by a woman who hadn’t seen a friend for some time and the friend’s hair had been transformed from dry and wavy to silky and shiny. She attributed the change to the fact that she had stopped using shampoo.

It sounded kind of gross to the woman who wrote the article, and I agreed totally. But the change in her friend’s hair tempted her to try it.

And I admit, my dry wavy hair made me wonder, but in the back of my mind I was also wondering if it could work or even if this was some kind of joke to get people to walk around with greasy hair.

The woman writing the article was headed on a three week vacation to Thailand and figured it was the perfect time to try it out. No one noticed her oily hair at the beach.

The bottom line is that for this woman it took like six weeks for her hair to get healthy; but it did get healthy and shiny and it was no longer greasy.

The story had me off researching what exactly the no poo movement entailed. Many experts say shampooing every day is unnecessary. I already knew that. Some even suggest it is harmful to our hair. I can agree with that, too, depending on several varying factors, but not shampooing at all seems a little extreme doesn’t it?

It boils down to another personal choice, but I think a better approach is to shampoo less. According to Procter & Gamble, people in the United States shampoo 4-5 times each week, on average. That’s twice as often as people in Italy and Spain.

However, the type of hair you have does make a difference. Dry or damaged hair will benefit from less washings and thick, curly or wavy hair tends to feel better without regular washings compared to straight thin hair.

And if you do decide to shampoo, remember shampoo is for the scalp. Shampoo the roots of your hair and rinse for best results.

Even if you do join the no poo movement, you will still be washing your hair. You’ll just do it without using shampoo. Some people just use water, and others use alternatives like baking soda or apple cider vinegar (which also helps with itchy scalp).

Do you shampoo? If not, what do you use on your hair?

Photo credits: AshleysGreenLife

Snoring Is More Than Annoying

Posted on Apr 27, 2015 by No Comments

Snoring can be annoying. It’s one of those things that can affect anyone, but it is more common in overweight people and occurs more often in men. Plus it can also affect others who live with the snorer.

The noisy habit is bad enough at any age, but it has a tendency to worsen with age. I’ve got friends who now sleep in separate bedrooms, just because of the snoring has chased the missus to the guest bedroom because she can’t get any sleep.

Habitual snorers can be at risk for worse than having the wife move into the other room though. It can actually lead to serious health issues that range from a poor night’s sleep to obstructive sleep apnea which interrupts breathing during sleep caused by an obstruction of the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea can put strain on the heart because it often results in higher blood pressure and may lead to an enlarged heart and a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

Less serious, but still life altering, is the drowsiness that results from a poor night’s sleep. It can interfere with your daily life and increase the risk of getting into a car accident.

If you or a loved one are habitual snorers, it will pay to talk to your health care provider for solutions. Losing weight can help in many cases, but snoring may be caused by allergies or deformities like a deviated septum or nasal polyps.

No matter the cause, the snoring happens because the flow of air through the mouth and/or nose is physically obstructed. It can be a combination of factors but worth checking with the doctor for relief.

Snoring can be detrimental to your health and can rob your loved ones of sleep, too. If you don’t have it checked out for your own health, do it for those who live with you. They will be grateful.

Photo credits: freez frame films

Could Your Coffee Pot Be Making You Sick?

Posted on Apr 24, 2015 by 1 Comment

Is coffee good or bad for me? Sometimes I think it depends on the week and latest research. With some of the most recent research, I’d say coffee is once again on the winning side with the “discovery of a series of phyto-components with a beneficial profile.”

However, even the conclusion of this research approaches such findings with a bit of caution saying that the news must be tempered with the insufficiency of the clinical data, which in most cases come from observational studies.

Now there’s a whole new aspect to the coffee controversy to consider. It has to do with the coffee maker itself. It led one doctor to ask “what if your coffee pot were contributing to chronic disease?”

Needless to say, this caught my attention. She pointed to one of her patients who experienced some troublesome symptoms that mimicked classical perimenopausal symptoms, however she also suffered from a skin condition that left her with little bumps on her shins. And it was worsening.

The doctor put her on an elimination diet and ordered some tests. The patient gave up wheat, dairy, soy, citrus, and eggs and chronicled her symptoms. The doctor also gave her information about environmental precautions with recommendations to avoid things like artificial fragrances and insecticides.

After 12 days, the patient called and said that she had figured it out. “It’s the coffee.”

She had a cup each afternoon, a fairly recent habit, after a new employee had carried her old, electric coffeemaker to work. After an office visit with the doctor, she suspected it might be the coffee maker.

As hot, acidic coffee passed through the plastic tubing, she thought it might be leaching BPA and phthalates. Could this be it? To test her theory, she replaced to old coffee maker with a pot with a glass French press.

To her astonishment, her periods went back to normal and her skin problems disappeared. This story made me thankful I use an electric percolator with metal parts. No plastic tubing for me!

It certainly does raise another concern though! How much chronic disease are we dealing with because of exposures like this?

Photo credits: pixabay

Lice Season Is Here

Posted on Apr 23, 2015 by 2 Comments

Lice season is here again. Actually, there isn’t an official lice season, but these little buggers are more prevalent in warmer months.

Lice outbreaks are common and it’s one of those things that happen in other families until it happens to your child. Like when my son was scratching his head, and it started to be a habit. I said, “Get over here and let me look at your head.” I was thinking dandruff, dry scalp — what I saw was an actual louse! A bug in my son’s hair.

It creeped me out! I was instantly itching everywhere!

So once you learn your child has lice, then what do you do? I’ll tell you, now, that you will have all kinds of advice shooting your direction.

The easy answer is to buy the special shampoo or other product designed to get rid of lice and be sure to read the directions. Most of them have you use it once and then follow up with a second application about 10 days later. That’s to kill off any of the newly hatched nits that weren’t killed as eggs with the first washing.

But what about school? Can kids go to school with head lice? That answer is not always as clear. It may depend on your child’s school’s policy. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently updated their stance, saying kids should still attend school and camp even if infested with lice. They say that by the time your child has symptoms, they’ve already been infested for about a month.

If you learn your child has head lice, first of all don’t over react, or you’ll make them feel like they did something wrong. I’ve seen children so ashamed because they had lice, it makes me wonder if people still think it’s because you’re dirty.

It’s not. It’s because you have blood and hair and were near some of these nasty little creatures.

Another misconception is that head lice jump or fly, and they do neither. Plus they don’t carry disease of any kind (body lice do). Preschoolers have the best chance of getting them because they are making close contact, sharing a nap mat and such things.

Older kids, if they are in close quarters are also susceptible, but tell your kids not to try on other people’s hats, share combs, brushes or hair accessories, etc. However, the most important activity you can teach your kids to avoid during lice season is head to head contact.

Head lice can be hard to get rid of; you just have to be vigilant. And the thicker your child’s hair, the more challenging it can be.

Photo credits: Gilles San Martin

Kelly Clarkson Is Okay With Her Weight

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 by No Comments

Recently, Kelly Clarkson showed up on American Idol as a mentor to this year’s contestants. I had seen pictures of her recently, and read some of the stir about her weight gain and even some of the mean-spirited comments.

Yes, she’s heavier since her daughter River was born, but as she worked with the Idol contestants, for me anyway, all the weight stuff disappeared, as her bubbly, down-to-earth personality came through and with it, I just saw Kelly, not how much she weighs.

Kelly Clarkson was the first American Idol winner. Hard to believe, but that was 13 years ago. When she appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, she talked about the ongoing criticism about her weight.

She said, “I love how people think that’s new. Like welcome to the past 13 years.” She went on to tell Ellen that the criticism started when she was an Idol contestant back in 2002. Even though she wasn’t big, she was the biggest girl on Idol so people called her big even then.

If you want to talk about big, I suggest we talk about Kelly Clarkson’s heart. While she has learned to let comments about her size roll off her back, she said, “I think what hurts my feelings for people is that I’ll have a meet and greet after the show and a girl who’s like bigger than me will be in the meet and greet and be like, ‘Wow, if they think you’re big I must be so fat to them.’ And it’s like, you’re just who you are. We are who we are — whatever size. And it doesn’t mean that we’re gonna be that forever.”

She went on to talk about her fluctuating size and how it depended somewhat on her mood. “I’m such a creative person that I yoyo. So sometimes I’m more fit and I get into kickboxing hardcore. And then sometimes I don’t and I’m like … I’d rather have wine.”

That comment received a large round of applause, and then Ellen presented her with a gift that could serve as a diaper bag and wine dispenser. One side dispensed red wine and the other white. The joke lightened the mood.

Now if everyone else could just lighten up and appreciate this talented young woman and mother for who she is.

Photo credits: KCFCGermany4

What Is Triple Negative Breast Cancer?

Posted on Apr 22, 2015 by No Comments

I’ve lost friends to breast cancer. We are reminded regularly of the importance of catching this disease early.

This is especially true of triple negative breast cancer which is one of four subtypes of breast cancer. It tests negative for estrogen receptors (ER), progesterone receptors (PR), and HER2 (HER2-). It does not respond to certain hormonal therapies which can help women with other forms of breast cancer.

A new report based on nationwide data and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and co-authored by the American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health offers information that could help doctors identify which patients are at most risk for each type of breast cancer as well as which treatments may be most effective.

“This is just such a complex disease. We used to think of breast cancer as you were before or after menopause. It really is more about the biology of the cancer.” – Dr. Joanne Mortimer, an oncologist at City of Hope in Duarte, California via CBS News

Doctors report the breast cancer subtype now in order to provide the most effective treatment for the patient. Now that this information is being added to the nationwide cancer registries, along with specific demographics, researchers have been able to look at why some women are more likely to develop one subtype or another.

The authors of the paper took into consideration the impact of a number of different factors including genetics, environmental, and social factors including race, age, and poverty level and to see how they may contribute to breast cancer risk.

Results of this study showed that non-Hispanic black women had a higher rate of triple negative breast cancer and were inclined to be diagnosed at a later stage of the disease when compared with other racial groups.

Non-Hispanic white women were more prone to HR+/HER2- breast cancer which is the least aggressive subtype. However, this type of cancer increased as levels of poverty increased in every racial and ethnic group.

We keep learning more about breast cancer. I know this can help us fight it, I just wish we’d actually figure out the cure.

Photo credits: Army Medicine

Link Round-up: Teacher Appreciation, Apps, Sleep, and More

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has apps you may love, teacher appreciation gifts, tips for getting a good night’s sleep, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make pleated pom-pom curtains.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom shared tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

Staying Close to Home shared teacher appreciation gift ideas under $10.

link ru owl cake
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make an easy owl birthday cake.

Creative Green Living taught us how to make a bag from a t-shirt without sewing.

Cupcakes and Cashmere told us all about the technology that manages her life.

Rainy Day Mum showed us how to make a rhubarb crumble with the kids.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons

Penn Jillette Loses More than 100 Pounds in 3 Months

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 by 1 Comment

You might know Penn Jillette as half of the funny illusionist team, Penn & Teller. He’s the big guy who does all the talking.

Or should I say, he was the big guy.

Turns out he has lost more than 100 pounds since December. Yes, that is a lot of weight. So how and why did he do it?

First of all, it is worth noting that Jillette is 6′ 7″ tall and 60 years old. His weight was at 330 and doctors were having trouble controlling his blood pressure.

He told People magazine, “I was on six very powerful meds to bring the blood pressure down. My doctor said I needed to get my weight down, and if I brought it down 30 or 40 lbs. it would be a little easier to control. And then he said something in passing that completely blew my mind, he said, ‘If you got down to 230, you probably wouldn’t need any of the meds.’”

Penn Jillette and family

Penn Jillette’s children have noticed an increase in his energy.

That was in December, and by March the illusionist had dropped from 330 to 225 pounds and it was no magic trick. He did it by limiting himself to a vegan diet of no more than 1,000 calories a day.

While 1,000 calories doesn’t seem too restrictive for some of us, when you take into consideration his height, 1,000 calories is a very low calorie diet for him.

Since then, he has moved on to follow Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Diet, which included no animal products, processed grains, and no added sugar or salt. The term “nutritarian” means it is a way of eating which bases food choices on maximizing the micronutrients per calorie.

Along with changing his eating, he has begun to work out. He lifts weights, juggles, and takes 10-mile tricycle rides. Jillette admits that the biggest benefit is that his children – Zolten, 8, and Moxie, 9, have noticed he has more energy.

Another benefit is that his waistline has gone from a 44 to 34 and his meds have been greatly reduced.

Photo credits: Long Island Vegans

Young Mom Partially Paralyzed From Bacteria on Friend’s Makeup Brush

Posted on Apr 16, 2015 by 1 Comment

A young Australian mom by the name of Jo Gilchrist is struggling to recover following a virulent staff infection that threatened her life and has left her partially paralyzed. How did it happen? She used her friend’s makeup brush.

According the Daily Mail Australia she started having symptoms on Valentine’s Day which started with pain in her back. It grew worse quickly and according to Ghilchrist, the pain was “worse than childbirth.”

She ended up losing all feeling in her legs and lower body, which resulted in her being airlifted to the hospital in Brisbane for emergency surgery.

Doctors found the problem to be a drug-resistant strain of staph (MRSA) called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. She had gotten it from the friend’s makeup brush she used to hide a pimple. It turns out her friend had had a staph infection on her face.

Ghilchrist said, “I had no idea that could even happen. I used to share with my friends all the time.”

Now Gilchrist who is 27 may never walk again because the infection damaged her spine. But she’s a fighter and working hard to get back on her feet with physical therapy.

In a post on Facebook she said:

“It’s been the hardest struggle I’ve ever faced. There’s been lots of sleepless nights and days spent sleeping. There’s been vomiting, tremendous pain. Tears for the unknown and tears for all the accidents. As hard as it has been I’m so lucky to have muscle power and no feeling than the other way around!”

With her hard work and right attitude, the doctors are saying her prognosis looks better. They say she might be able to walk for an hour or two a day in the future, which is better than not walking at all.

Gilchirsit agrees and has said, “I’m happy with that. I honestly didn’t even expect that.”

Photo credits: MixVideo