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Posts Tagged ‘health

It’s supposedly the most wonderful time of the year, but all that celebrating can leave partiers facing some unexpected, life-changing consequences.  Fortunately, Shelby Knox, an expert in sex ed and women’s issues, provided Marvelous Girl with some safety tips for social media, college parties, New Year’s Eve and more.  If you have a daughter you should definitely check out the interview below.

You can also catch Knox on the upcoming PBS documentary, This Emotional Life, January 4, 5, and 6, 2010, at 8pm ET.  To see the trailer, click here.

About Shelby Knox:
Shelby Knox, star of the award-winning documentary “The Education of Shelby Knox,” is a well-known progressive activist who fought for comprehensive sex education at her own school and is now working to make a difference at other schools and communities across the US with her forward-thinking views on women’s issues. In Knox’s recent post on The HuffingtonPost.com, she reminds young women about the potential pitfalls during their college years, pointing out that it’s always better to be prepared in the face of certain dilemmas. In her Smart Girl’s Guide, she gives concrete suggestions and ways that young women can prevent pitfalls. Her goal is to remind young women that they need to be savvy and have a plan.

Knox studied government at the University of Texas in Austin, and traveled to speak at high schools, colleges, and community events about comprehensive sex education and youth activism. After graduating in 2007, she moved to New York to work as a freelance writer and consultant to organizations working on young women’s issues.  She continues her work as a sexual health educator in partnership with colleges around the country.

 

Amazon has some great last minute magazine deals.  Click Here to see all offers.  Here are just a few..

$5.00 1-Year Subscriptions

This Old House, Health and Southern Living

$8.00 1-Year Subscriptions

Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Esquire and Harper’s Bazaar

This is a great inexpensive gift for those who are hard to buy for.

Pregnancy.org, a company dedicated to the lives of women trying to conceive, pregnant or whom have kids already, has released a study with alarming results. The survey, which interviewed over 400 pregnant women, revealed that 78% admit to a poor diet, inadequate exercise or not taking a prenatal vitamin daily. The survey also showed:

  • 61% don’t take a pre-natal vitamin daily as they feel it makes them more nauseous
  • 55% did not seek expert advice on which pre-natal vitamin was suitable for them
  • Over 25% of respondents admitted to consuming alcohol, cigarettes or caffeine
  • Folate and Iron are the most sought after vitamins/minerals in a pre-natal vitamin but over 50% respondents don’t know what foods naturally contain them
  • When asked what they look for in a pre-natal vitamin price was considered more important than absorption rates or ingredient quality
  • 80% don’t change their pre-natal vitamin formula from pre-conception to breastfeeding Founder and General

Manager of Pregnancy.org, LLC, Mollee Bauer, said “Our community boards are always buzzing about how pregnant moms struggle with diet, exercise and taking their daily pregnancy or prenatal vitamin and much of it can be attributed to feeling nauseas. In response we have created the first ever prenatal vitamin with a 100% anti-nausea GUARANTEE and an online nutrition clinic.”

Many women don’t realize that their vitamins may be making them feel unwell, adding to typical morning sickness symptoms. Typically, prenatal vitamins include iron, an essential nutrient during pregnancy, but when taken with other vitamins and minerals it can be hard to absorb and cause an upset stomach. The new anti-nausea formula allows moms to take a separate, highly absorbent iron + Vitamin C capsule and a prenatal multivitamin with B12, which has been shown to reduce symptoms associated with morning sickness.

The company enlisted the help of Beverly Hills Registered Dietitian, Deborah Klein, to develop the new anti-nausea vitamin. “In the last fifteen years of practice I’ve worked with thousands of moms-to be and as a mom myself I know the importance of getting enough nutrients and choosing the right prenatal supplement. Our aim was to create a pre-natal vitamin with everything a mom and baby needs that could help alleviate nausea not create it. If mom’s try any of the products and it doesn’t help we offer a 100% anti-nausea money back guarantee!!”

The new range of prenatal and pregnancy vitamins are exclusively available through Pregnancy.org. The clinic also provides information on how to eat right during pregnancy and online consultations with Registered Dietitians.

infant mortatlity rate highDid you know it’s riskier to have a baby in the U.S. than in Cuba or the Czech Republic?!

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 7 of every 1,000 babies born in the United States will die before their first birthday, and the rates among African American, Hispanic and Native American populations are even higher. Premature births occurring before 37 weeks and low-weight babies (less than 5 pounds) account for the highest number of these deaths.
 
Since September is National Infant Mortality Awareness Month, Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway—a board-certified ob-gyn, an advocate for quality healthcare and patient safety and author of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy—offers these SMART tips to help pregnant women improve their chances of having a healthy baby.
 
S =   Seek prenatal care early. Tests for potential chromosome problems, including mental retardation and spina bifida (a condition that causes paralysis) can be conducted only in the first and second trimesters. A first trimester ultrasound is also the most accurate in terms of determining a due date.
 
M =  Mention all risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, Rh negative blood, premature labor, bleeding problems or genetic conditions to your healthcare professional as soon as possible. Do not omit information such as smoking or using “recreational” drugs because such activities can affect your baby.
 
A =   Ask to have your cervix measured during your ultrasound if you have a history of premature contractions or delivery. A cervical length of 2.5 centimeters or less is a risk factor for preterm labor. If you are at risk for delivering before 37 weeks, ask your healthcare provider about receiving steroids to help your baby’s lungs develop.
 
R =  Research your hospital and prospective physician or midwife carefully. Is the physician or midwife skilled in managing high-risk conditions? Will your care continue if you lose your insurance? Has the newborn nursery had any recent outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections? Is the hospital a level-three facility?
 
T =   Test for potential problems such as gestational diabetes, sickle cell trait and cystic fibrosis, and check for appropriate fetal growth with an ultrasound.
 
The United States is one of the most industrialized countries in the world, yet The World Factbook indicates that we rank below Cuba, Taiwan, Greece, Ireland, Canada, England, Czech Republic, South Korea and other countries in national infant mortality rate. Being aware of your risk and following these SMART tips will help you to have a healthy baby.

chocolate study women heartDo you ever wish you could eat chocolate every single day? Well, some lucky women are getting the chance as scientists are looking for women willing to eat chocolate every day for a year — for medical science of course!

Researchers in England are trying to prove chocolate lowers the risk of heart disease and need 40 women to conduct their study.

The majority of the women must eat two bars of “super-strength chocolate specially formulated by Belgian chocolatiers” daily for one year while undergoing several tests on the health of their hearts. The remaining participants will eat regular chocolate as a placebo.

Volunteers for the research should be menopausal but aged under 75 and have type two diabetes. Peter Curtis, the study’s coordinator, said, “A successful outcome could be the first step in developing new ways to improve the lives of people at increased risk of heart disease.”

tips expecting momElizabeth Stein, a leading midwife and women’s health expert with 25 years of experience in fields of obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health gave Marvelous Girl her Top Tips for Expectant Mothers.  And some of them might surprise you…

1.      Vitamins:  Take prenatal vitamins with folic acid and essential fatty acids, starting 2-3 months before conception (when you start having unprotected sex in order to get pregnant).  Take at least 800 micrograms of folic acid per day.  Folic acid prevents open neural tube defects such as spina bifida. The neural tube closes approximately day 24 of pregnancy.  Also take a supplement of essential fatty acids (omega-3, 6, & 9) each day.  Essential fatty acids can be found in many foods, but have been added to most prenatal vitamins. They have been shown to be good for babies’ brain and eye development, as well as moms. 
 
2.      Dental Health:  Have a dental check up prior to conception to make sure there are no infections in your mouth.  This is important because bacteria in your mouth may cause preterm labor and preterm delivery (premature baby).
 
3.      Clean Living:  Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use street drugs.  Cigarettes expose the embryo/fetus to over 200 toxic chemicals which can interfere with the growth of the baby, causing the blood vessels to constrict. This constriction of the blood vessels causes as increase in blood pressure and a decrease in oxygen and nutrients going to the developing fetus.
 
4.      Sleep:  Once pregnant, rest as much as possible.  During pregnancy you should not take any sleeping medication, but you can have a glass of warm milk to help you relax. 7 to 8 hours of restful sleep every night is usually sufficient, although sometimes your body wants more sleep. A nap during the day or late afternoon will provide a wonderful “pick me up.”
 
5.      Stay Hydrated:  Drink lots of water.  At least two quarts of water a day is recommended. If dehydration occurs during pregnancy, it can cause your mouth to feel dry and your uterus may cramp, which is very concerning when pregnant. Also, avoid adding salt and sugar to anything you eat or drink. 
 
6.      Watch your weight:  A pregnant woman’s goal should be to gain no more than 25-35 lbs.  Being pregnant is not a license to pig out and gain 40-50lbs or more.  Nutrition during pregnancy is very important and a meeting with a nutritionist can be helpful. Try to eat three servings of protein a day (3 ounces each, about the size of a credit card).  All protein should be thoroughly cooked.  Also, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates are important too since they are the energy food (bread, rice, potatoes, pasta). Average calories per day should be 1800-2000 and that includes the 300 extra for the pregnancy (per fetus). 

7.      Eat Small Regular Meals:  Eat and drink within a half hour of waking and then every three hours (5-6 small meals per day rather than three big meals). You need to have a continuous intake of food (known as grazing) so your body can break it down to provide glucose to your pregnancy on a continuous basis. If you don’t eat small, frequent meals you will feel very light headed (hypoglycemic). 
 
8.      Office Visits:  Find a midwife (or physician) you are comfortable with and keep your appointments. 
 
9.      Stay Informed:  Bring a written list of questions to every visit. Questions may be whatever concerns you.  Be sure to discuss your expectations for labor and delivery (natural, vaginal, epidural, cesarean delivery) and breastfeeding. 
 
10.  Know who will deliver you!  Ask who will be delivering your baby.  Will it be the midwife or physician you see every visit or someone else in the practice?  Sometimes midwives and physicians have cross coverage among practices, so it is important to ask these questions and not assume your midwife or physician will be there on delivery day.

To learn more about Elizabeth Stein and Ask Your Midwife, please visit www.AskYourMidwife.com

michael jackson cardiac arrestThe King of Pop, Michael Jackson, has died.

Jackson apparently went into cardiac arrest and received CPR in the ambulance on the way to a Los Angeles hospital.  According to the Los Angeles Times, he was reportedly not breathing by the time paramedics arrived.

The legendary singer was 50 years old. 

First Farrah and now Michael; it’s a sad day in Hollywood.  Our condolences to both their families.

UPDATE:  Jackson’s former publicist released this statement, “As someone who served as Michael Jackson’s publicist during the first child molestation incident, I must confess I am not surprised by today’s tragic news. Michael has been on an impossibly difficult and often self-destructive journey for years. His talent was unquestionable but so too was his discomfort with the norms of the world. A human simply can not withstand this level of prolonged stress.”

 

farrah fawcett last ritesAccording to Entertainment Tonight Farah Fawcett died this morning at 9:28 a.m. at the St. John’s Health Center in Los Angeles.

Last night, a priest was summoned to the hospital where 62-year-old Farrah Fawcett was being treated for anal cancer.  The Charlie’s Angeles icon had taken a serious turn for the worse and her loved ones reportedly gathered at her bedside Wednesday night.

“There was a moment last week when she was supposed to be released and was going home,” a source told People.com. “But things changed.”

So sad.  Our thoughts go out to her family.

Photo by coloniera2

Photo by coloniera2

Despite an ailing economy, pet owners are showing they are more than willing to splurge when it comes to the health and happiness of their animals. According to industry research firm IBISWorld, the pet business is expected to generate $51.6 billion this year, an increase of 1.3 percent from 2008, with trends in health and nutrition altering the market.

Veterinary services are forecasted to grow the fastest, at an average annualized rate of 4.3 percent in the next five years—accounting for an estimated $22.3 billion in revenue this year.

“Pet healthcare is a big business, as awareness in health is driving growth in this area” said George Van Horn, senior analyst at IBISWorld.

Veterinary practices are now expanding their range of services in order to cater to the health-related needs of animals. Chiropractics, ophthalmology, dentistry, and dermatology, to name a few, are becoming more readily available.

Pet Food production can expect steady growth in the next five years, and is projected to generate approximately $15.2 billion this year. This sector is also being affected by and adjusting to trends in natural and organic products. In recent years, over half of all pet-owners have shown concern in what their pets are eating, causing a greater shift in demand for premium pet food—ranging from breed-specific brands, to weight-loss diets, to special or natural-ingredient foods claiming nutritional benefits.

The Pet Grooming and Boarding sector, expected to generate $2.69 billion this year, is comprised primarily of pet-care, training, and pet-sitting—all of which are experiencing growth within the industry. Such practical services accommodate convenience to the increasingly busy American lifestyle, and pet stores are starting to incorporate these services in recognition of this growing need.

Pet stores are expected to generate revenue of $11.45 billion this year.  Live animal purchases contribute the least in sales, and this will continue its decline as companies become socially responsible in response to ethical concerns surrounding puppy mills, as well as overpopulation issues of homeless animals in shelters. Major pet store retailers now affiliate themselves with organizations that help dogs and cats with adoption. For instance, PETCO now hosts an in-store adoption center, introducing the philosophy “Think Adoption First.”

In 2009, the population of dogs and cats as pets is approximately 169 million, which has increased roughly 2.4 percent since last year. Of those, 18 percent of cats and 10 percent of dogs have been adopted from animal shelters.

“Americans consider their pets as members of the family, making businesses that cater to our four-legged friends a stable, growing market,” said Van Horn.

Photo by lusi

Photo by lusi

Dr. Rebecca Booth, prominent gynecologist, author of The Venus Week and Huffington Post blogger, calls this your Venus Week—and has tips to help women harness the energy so they can feel this good ALL MONTH LONG!
 
· Indulge in High-Quality Dark Chocolate: Antioxidant, pro-circulation effect, natural antidepressant, good satiety and it’s delicious! Moderation is key—indulgences should be kept to no more than 1 ounce a day.  The darker the chocolate is the better but watch out for hidden sugar such as sugary fillings, caramel and dried fruits.
 
· Probiotics are Pro Venus: Eat yogurt that’s rich in probiotics; including these cultures in your diet help create bacterial balance in your gut, vagina, mouth, on your skin and scalp.  The benefits of eating Probiotics include: Helping prevent yeast infections, reducing body odors, lessening foot and other skin fungus and even lessening halitosis. Dannon’s Activia Light is an excellent source of probiotics.
 
· Increase Your Intake of Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  It has been proven that Omega 3s reduce damage that comes from the natural process of aging but also increase dopamine, which improves mood and sexual function in women.  Elevating dopamine can help offset mood swings associated with your period (but not with your mother-in-law!) and medications that elevate dopamine have been shown to improve your libido.  A safe way to add in your Omega 3s is adding a fish oil supplement to your diet, but make sure you consult with your doctor if you are taking blood thinning medications.
 
· Heat Things Up with a Daily Dish of Cinnamon: Studies have indicated that cinnamon has an amazing effect on increasing sensitivity to insulin and lowering blood sugar.  The simple dietary addition of ½ teaspoon of cinnamon a day can improve hormonal balance by ensuring better carbohydrate metabolism.  Treat yourself to a low-fat latte with cinnamon sprinkled on top while helping the kids with their homework!


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