One of the things I enjoy about living in Ohio (once I block out the never ending political ads) is knowing I’m putting my vote to good use. Every vote counts, and no where is it more apparent than in my adopted state. Even with the political ads, and the incessant campaign visits complicating our daily lives, being able to vote is a pleasure and a privilege and this election has incredibly high stakes for all of us. So, please if you haven’t voted by absentee ballot or cast your ballot early, please take some time today to have your say in how you want our democracy to be run. And if you live in California, please consider voting YES on Prop 37.
Because it is breast cancer awareness month, instead of talking about how to treat cancer once you’ve been diagnosed, we thought we’d talk about ways to keep your breasts healthy. Frequent readers of this blog will no doubt notice that our recommendations by and large remain the same regarding how you can keep yourself healthy.
Before any men think, “breast cancer, that won’t affect me.” You’d be surprised. It might be rare (only 1% of cases are male) but it does happen. I personally have one friend whose husband was diagnosed with breast cancer. It is more common in older men, but weight and lifestyle are most certainly factors. Continue reading
One of today’s hot button parenting issues is whether or not to breastfeed your baby. In our culture, everyone has an opinion on breastfeeding and it seems to be okay to share it whether you’re a mom or not. There are many factors that contribute to the low breast feeding rates in the United States, maternity leave being a primary contributor but inadequate knowledge and available education in places such as hospitals. Additionally, not having a history of breast feeding in families can be detrimental when a new mother wants to breast feed their baby but might have initial difficulties. If they don’t have strong support early, their breast feeding relationship with their baby may not develop satisfactorily. For example, I know one young girl who is pregnant and wants to breast feed, but because she doesn’t have any women in her family who breast fed and her friends tell her it’s hard and ‘lots’ of women can’t do it, her stint with breast feeding may be over before it starts. She just doesn’t have the support or knowledge base available to her to make decisions while being fully informed. Continue reading
In our culture, menopause is often considered a four letter word and instead of being discussed openly, many women suffer through the symptoms without much support. Medically, a woman is not considered to be in menopause until they have not had a period for 12 months but the process leading up to that milestone can be significant and can last anywhere from two to ten years starting as early as a woman’s mid-thirties. Continue reading
The fight against GMO crops and food has been on our radar for a while, but has recently heated up significantly with Proposition 37 being added to this November’s ballot in California. Those of us who live outside of California may question whether this directly affects us, the answer to that: it does. That is the reason why corporations from Monsanto to DuPont to Coca Cola as well as many more have contributed over $25 million dollars to defeat Prop 37 and continue to funnel money toward that cause. They know that if California starts requiring GMO products to be labeled, the rest of country will eventually as well. Continue reading
In my part of the world, most kids are already back to school and in fact we are busy getting ready to send our daughter to preschool for the very first time. Taking care of purchasing the supply list and school clothes are small time issues. The biggest worry on my mind is when she comes home with the first back to school bug that we all know is inevitable. We’ve already had one round of it, when my husband’s football season started early in August. I don’t know why him getting sick every year surprises me, but it does. Perhaps it’s because it’s August and most kids (and teachers) are still reveling in summer, eeking out every last bit of fun or that it’s summer and getting sick in the summer just seems like a cruel joke.
At any rate, I’m gung ho to do everything I can to prevent a serious bout with the back to school bug for Rowan. Continue reading
Most of us try to live a healthy lifestyle: eat a good diet, exercise regularly, and tread lightly on the planet. Even so, sometimes it can be hard to incorporate herbs into our regular routine and keep it up when we don’t have a pressing health issue. I know I have this issue and as the daughter of a health care practitioner I would imagine I might be in the habit of taking herbs more regularly than a lot of people. (You should see my mini-pharmacy!) One way to make this easier is to incorporate herbs into your diet. Continue reading
With the surging popularity of local farmers markets, local farms are creating a new business model for success.
It’s been a while since we linked to some of the news articles that have caught our attention. Here are a few that we’ve read that you may have missed. Continue reading
Many of us wake up daily feeling foggy, groggy, or like we cannot seem to clear our head enough to start the day with out a kick in the pants from some caffeine. In fact, in our go-go-go society doesn’t tolerate a mentality that thinks it is okay to take a break. For many of us who feel like we are scheduled within an inch of our lives, or have a young baby at home, are a care giver for an elderly family member, or any other myriad of scenarios, here are a few suggestions.
1. Know that you are not alone. The vast majority of us are trying to do more and there is only a finite number of minutes in a day. It’s okay to know you can’t do it all.
2. Once you’ve acknowledged that you can’t do it all, you have a couple of choices. First, ask for help. So many of us are terrible at that! Second, or if you are unwilling to ask for help, prioritize and be okay with everything not getting done. For example, right now I’m staring at a sliding glass door covered in toddler hand prints and dog slobber, carpet that needs to be vacuumed, and numerous piles and projects on the bookshelf that need to be put away and none of these are likely to get done today. Instead, I’ve got laundry going, the kitchen is clean, and because both kids are quiet, I’ve sat down to write this.
Would I love to have a spotless house as well as be able to get the three year old to her gymnastics class, take her to the library, weed the garden, exercise, and entertain the four month old? Sure! But because it is low on my priority list (and I dislike cleaning), it gets pushed to the weekends when my husband and I do a blitzkrieg clean to make the house liveable.
3. Don’t forget time for yourself. Did you snort your coffee when you just read that? There are days when I get my me-time in 5 minute snatches and usually only because my three year old hasn’t found me in the bathroom. I only recently started taking a whole hour once a week to go to yoga. But speaking from experience, even that makes a difference to my attitude.
4. Don’t cut out your sleep. In Chinese medicine, the most important and beneficial hours of sleep occur before midnight. Irregular or poor quality sleep can contribute to a host of health issues including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
5. Exercise. It will keep you healthy and will help your energy and endorphin levels which will help your mood and motivation.
6. If you’re looking for something other than caffeine to help get you through the day, we have a few suggestions. Foglifter will help you focus and push through your list without pushing into adrenal stress by supporting the liver. Guarana helps with fatigue and headache. Immune Plus helps by supporting your immune system and keeps your body from breaking down under stress. Mega Ginseng Plus assists with energy levels and stamina. UP! is a caffeinated tonic that will support your body instead of crashing once the caffeine wears off.