Liver Love: When and How to Do a Detox

I wasn’t always like this.  Before I turned into this health-conscious, pepperrific mom, I did have my fair share of wild nights and drunken stupors.   Back in the day, I used to make it a habit to go out for a round or two of drinks after a tiring workday.    I remember a time when I even threw up inside a friend’s car after having one too many shots of tequila (yes, I think that marked the end of our friendship!).

Then, I realized that I had to clean up my act.  More than the fear of losing any more friends, what motivated me to sober up was the fact that I wasn’t doing my body any good.  I began showing signs that I wasn’t 100% in tiptop shape.

So, how can you tell that your liver is screaming for a much-needed alcohol detox?  Here are some of the common symptoms:

-          Too much abdominal fat

-          Acne or rosacea

-          Fatigue

-          Mood swings or depression

-          High blood pressure

Good news is, you can still heal your battered liver.  With proper diet and a healthy and active lifestyle, you can bring your liver back to its well-functioning state.  At least try to eat less processed food and eat more fruits and green leafy vegetables.  You can also sign up for a liver detox plan, and in a few days you’ll feel how your body starts to pick itself back up from a degenerative state.

Having a good time doesn’t always have to mean drowning yourself in alcohol as you slip into a state of near unconsciousness.  You can opt to hit the beach or challenge your friends to a game of tennis.

Personally, I know I’m hell bent on taking better care of my liver, and the rest of my body.

 

 

 

Throw your Fears to the Fire!

Today, I’m sharing with you the story of Heather, a strong mom who beat the odds and faced her fears. She is such an inspiring woman, that all my worries and anxieties now seem so trivial. If she can do it, so can you and I. Here’s her story:

Free Web Proxy

I’ve been blessed with a great sense of humor, and that sense of humor is one of the things that helped my husband and me through one of the most trying times of our lives. I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in November 2005. To save my life, surgeons performed an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which included the removal of my left lung, half of my diaphragm, as well as the lining of my heart.

In addition to undergoing this risky surgery, the situation was complicated by the fact that I was a new mom. Fortunately, I was able to pick out things to laugh about. When I learned that my surgery would take place on February 2, I nicknamed my tumor Punxsatawney Phil after the famous groundhog. This immediately took the seriousness out of the situation to help make it not as scary. My sister and I began to laugh about the tumor running in fear when it saw its shadow. Soon, we began to call February 2 LungLeavin’ Day, which is the day I lost my lung.

My husband and sister began discussing how best to celebrate such a day. My sister, being familiar with fire walking, came up with the idea of writing fears on an object to be destroyed in a fire. Naturally, we weren’t all going to walk on a burning plank. Instead, my husband came up with the idea of writing our fears on plates that could be smashed and thrown into the fire.

One year after my surgery, Cameron and I bought two plates and a sharpie and wrote our fears on these plates. Then, Cameron started a fire in our fire pit. Bundled up against the seasonal cold, we went out together and smashed our fears into that fire. It felt so good that we knew we needed to extend this special event to include family members and friends.

Over the years, our celebration has grown as we invited friends and family to join us. Now, we observe the shattering of fears on LungLeavin’ Day as a fundraiser for fighting mesothelioma. The celebration isn’t just for cancer survivors and warriors. Everyone has fears to overcome. On this day, we even get the kids involved, letting them write their fears on paper plates that can be thrown into the fire.

This year, we hope to include even more people in our celebration. We plan to stream the event live on my Facebook page, and we’ve also launched an interactive webpage for the virtual smashing of fears. We hope you’ll join us this year!

Free Web Proxy

Please Pass the Tissues: Kids and the Common Cold

The common cold is like a bad birthday gift that keeps on giving! And back-to-school time means colds are not far behind. But there are ways to prevent the spread of cold germs, and teaching your kids to practice good hygiene can go a long way to keeping them healthy, especially as flu season arrives. Recognizing the symptoms early, good hand washing and preventing the spread of germs are all ways to keep your entire family healthy when the common cold comes calling.

Cold Symptoms

The common cold usually begins about one to three days after a child or an adult is exposed to a cold virus. According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of a common cold can include the following:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Slight body aches or a mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild fatigue

The discharge from your child’s nose may become thicker and greener in color as the cold runs its course. The biggest difference between a cold and other types of illness is that it does not usually cause a high fever or significant fatigue. Children do not need to see their pediatrician for a cold unless they are experiencing ear pain, high fevers or other symptoms. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following guidelines for determining if your child needs to see a doctor:

  • Fever of 100.4 F (38 C) in newborns up to 12 weeks
  • Fever that rises repeatedly above 104 F (40 C) in a child of any age
  • Signs of dehydration, such as urinating less often than usual
  • Not drinking adequate fluids
  • Fever that lasts more than 24 hours in a child younger than 2
  • Fever that lasts more than three days in a child older than 2
  • Vomiting or abdominal pain
  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Persistent crying
  • Ear pain
  • Persistent cough

Cold Remedies

Colds are not treated with antibiotics, and using antibiotics too frequently or for the wrong reasons can increase the number of drug resistant germs. Even though you want your child to get better quickly, the common cold just has to run its course. But there are things you can do to make your child more comfortable while her immune system does its job. Use acetaminophen and ibuprofen according to package directions and based on your child’s weight and age for general discomfort and low-grade fevers. Never give aspirin to a child under the age of 12; and teens under the age of 19 should not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products for viral illnesses as it increases their risk of developing Reye syndrome.

The Kidshealth website recommends the following to ease the symptoms of the common cold in children:

  • Saline nasal sprays or drops help relieve nasal congestion
  • Cool mist humidifier to moisturize the air
  • Petroleum jelly under the nose to protect and soothe the skin
  • Cough drops or hard candy can relieve sore throat pain
  • Warm baths or steamy showers to help with chest congestion

Cold symptoms typically last for about a week and your child is contagious for the first three days she has symptoms. During this time it is important to keep your child at home as much as possible and to make sure she gets plenty of rest. This will help your child feel better sooner and recover completely in a timely way.

Cold Prevention

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the best way to prevent the spread of the common cold is by thorough hand washing. Cold viruses live on your hands and washing them thoroughly and often and keeping them away from the eyes and nose can prevent the spread of infection. Cold viruses can live for up to three hours on your skin and on the surfaces in your home and school. Disinfecting telephone key pads, computer keyboards, stair railings and door knobs with products that kill viruses can help prevent the spread of the common cold at home. Teaching kids to sneeze into their sleeve when a tissue is not available, wash their hands after using tissues, and flushing tissues instead of throwing them into a trashcan can also cut down on the spread of cold germs.

Preventing every cold virus from entering your home is impossible. Teaching your children how to keep germs from spreading can keep everyone healthier during cold and flu season.

 

Sandy Mitchell lives in the heart of Ohio’s wine country, where she’s a homeowner, landlord, and organic gardener. She is also a regular contributor to the Ross Feller Casey, LLP blog, where shares her advice on family safety and health issues.

 

Blueberry Pancakes and Yoga

Free Web Proxy

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Getting up in the morning is, for some of us, a very daunting task.  If you often find yourself struggling just to lift a leg up from the comforts of your bed, well you’re pretty much not alone.  For one reason or another, nothing motivates you to rise and shine.  The idea of curling up under the sheets proves to be much more appealing than pulling your ball-in-chain body off the bed.

Somehow, I’ve managed to dig myself up from this rut by practicing yin yoga.  It’s a lot like blueberry pancakes to me, as yin yoga gives me something to look forward to every morning.  It has given me a reason to get out of bed and start the day right.

What exactly is yin yoga, and how different is it from the other types of yoga?

You might be familiar with the yin-yang Chinese symbol of two swirls- one black, one white- on top of each other forming a circle.  Yin is black, Yang is white.  Think of your usual types of yoga as yang, while the opposite of course is yin.

Unlike the more popular forms of yoga, yin yoga focuses on restoring the body’s balance by bringing back the energy which we normally expend doing our daily activities.  It aims to stretch the connective tissues of the body.  These comprise of the hips, thighs and lower part of your spine.

My love affair with the yoga mat began two weeks ago.  I was terrified at first, unsure of what to expect.  I was afraid I’d make a fool of myself.  But as I started to ease into the poses, I was amazed at how I was able to hold them for 3-5 minutes each.  I felt the stretch where I was supposed to.  Save for that unintentional head butt I gave my yoga teacher as she was helping me with a pose, I think I got along just fine.

What I initially thought was an ordeal turned out to be the most relaxing thing I’ve experienced.  At some point, I even felt like breaking out in tears.  I felt like I was opening myself up to the universe, welcoming new things while letting go of the bad.  Yin yoga is, as they say, more mental than physical.

Yin yoga is best done in the morning when our muscles are relaxed.  This allows for the stretches to sink deep into the tissues.  Now I have something to go with my fluffy pancakes.   Waking up in the morning and breakfast will never be the same again.

Top 4 Reasons to Eat Red Rice

Free Web Proxy
Centuries ago, torture meant being fed to the lions or being burned at the stake.  These days, torture means slipping into a pair of skinny jeans after a night of wild partying and careless binge eating.  Nothing is more difficult than trying to fit into sexy outfits after cruel carbs have found their way around your midsection.  Lucky for me though, I have managed to sneak my way out of that kind of torture after making the big switch to red rice.

Red rice has a lot of health benefits.  Here are the top reasons why you should start eating this grainy treat:

It’s rich in fiber.  Because red rice is unpolished, all the goodness of fiber remains intact.  When you eat fiber-rich food, your stomach stays full for a longer time.  As you eat more fiber, you find yourself having less hunger pangs.  You get more by eating less.  This is great if you want to lose weight.

It’s loaded with antioxidants.  These help protect cells from damage, thus inhibiting aging and other illnesses.

It’s packed with minerals.  Magnesium and calcium are the top minerals found in red rice.  Magnesium helps reduce asthma and migraine attacks, and even tones our muscles.  Calcium, of course, builds strong bones and prevents osteoporosis.

It lowers cholesterol.  Bran found in red rice is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and does a good job at keeping cholesterol levels down.  Blood sugar levels are likewise regulated.

Since I started eating red rice, I haven’t looked back.  Gone are the days when I’d wolf down 2 cups of white rice in one sitting.  I have rekindled my romance with the weighing scale, and am now feeling- and looking- fit and healthy.

photo credit: Sheta via photopin cc

Living a Natural Way of Life

If you live a healthy lifestyle and love to use products that are in conjunction with the way you work, sleep, and have fun, Nardos Natural products and similar products will ensure that you are living a natural and simple life that you really enjoy and believe in.

 A Pure Approach

There are various products in the market that are used every day to help you physically, mentally, and emotionally. You have always valued the health of your family, and it is critical that you use items that are good for your health and that will help your body in the long run. This means that when you shop for your health, you want the highest-quality products available for consumption. Your health food store will give you the option to choose what you desire for vitamin health, skin care, food, and even household products. Living a healthy lifestyle does not have to be difficult, just as long as you keep your eyes peeled for bargains and avoid being wasteful at home. If you want your children and spouse to follow you and your healthy ways, start your children young and always talk positively about the items they are consuming or using. This will allow them to appreciate and understand why this is the way they are living. Let your spouse know why it is important to you, and in the long run, you will be loved and appreciated for it.

A Useful Product

Using natural and healthy products do not just benefit you, but the environment as well. If you are purchasing natural and organic items, the chances are that the packaging is also organic and chemical- free. This will make you feel good in that you are doing something useful for the environment and the land around you. It can also teach your children about the importance of recycling and chemical use.

Choose Healthy Items

If you begin to live a healthy lifestyle with items that are just like Nardos Natural, your whole life will completely change. You will begin to genuinely feel healthy, energetic, and excited that you are doing well for your health and the environment.

Five Suggestions for Finding a Pediatric Dentist

Finding a new dentist when you need one can be very difficult. Looking for a good kids’ dentist is even more complicated. A regular dentist may choose to treat children, but that doesn’t mean he or she is a pediatric dentist. The American Dental Association (ADA) has a different accreditation for a pediatric dentist. This means that the tests and standards that a doctor must take and follow are specifically geared to treating children.

That said, every pediatric dentist is different. One might be great for the needs and personalities of one family but not work well with another. Finding a good kids’ dentist for your family may take a little research on your part, but it will be well worth the effort. Following are five suggestions to help your search for pediatric dentistry in Simi Valley.

  • Ask your pediatrician.
  • Get references from friends.
  • Check online resources.
  • Look at reviews online.
  • Visit the office.

Ask Your Pediatrician

A great resource is your children’s pediatrician. Their doctor and nursing staff will be familiar with your children’s specific needs and personalities. With that information they might be able to give a good recommendation.

Get References from Friends

Check with friends and coworkers who have children. Find out who they go to, who they have gone to, and who they would avoid. Ask specific questions about what a particular dentist does that they like and dislike.

Check Online Resources

There are online resources that have a list of pediatric dentists. For instance, a great resource is the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Their website has a search feature that will pull up a list of doctors affiliated with their association in your area.

Look at Online Reviews

Before you settle on a specific doctor, check the online reviews. Individuals often leave very valuable feedback about their experiences with a certain dentist. Because these reviews are fairly anonymous, they can contain valuable information.

Visit the Office

Finally, as part of your search for pediatric dentistry in Simi Valley, go visit the clinic or office that you are interested in. Make an appointment to meet the staff and doctor. Go prepared with a list of questions that will help you determine proper fit.

What Is Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis?

Scoliosis is a condition affecting your spine, and is defined as a curvature of the spine of more than 10 degrees. The curvature can lead to an “S” or “C” shape in the spine, depending on the location and degree of the curve. Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) is a common form, occurring between the ages of 10 and 18 at the beginning of puberty or during a growth spurt. Idiopathic means that the condition does not have a known cause, but a genetic link is suspected. While most cases may remain small and cause no problems as well as requiring no treatment, some of the cases may become severe, meaning the curvature develops past 45 degrees. The Scoliscore test can be used at the diagnosis of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis to determine if the curvature is likely to become a severe case of scoliosis.

Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis

Symptoms of AIS may include some back pain, a difference in leg length, asymmetrical shoulders (particularly when bending forward), a curvature of the spine to the left or right, or a misalignment in the torso between the ribs and the hips. The condition is normally painless for the patient, and the organs will remain unharmed. Diagnosis involves measuring the degree of the curvature and possibly x-rays. Treatment depends on the degree of the curvature and how much more growth the patient is expected to have. For mild cases, core-strengthening exercises or inpatient rehabilitation may be used, while braces and surgery may be chosen for more serious progressions.

The Scoliscore Test

The use of the Scoliscore test can help doctors plan out the treatment plan for specific scoliosis cases. The test looks at the DNA in the patient’s saliva to determine how likely they will be to develop a severe case of AIS. Along with the current angle of curvature of the spine, the doctor can better determine if the case may need more involved treatments such as braces or surgery. As of now, the test is only being used for Caucasian males and females with signs of Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis with a curvature of higher than 10 degrees.

 

What You Need to Know about Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is ideal for a wide range of conditions. It is also a safe, effective treatment approach for patients of all ages and lifestyles. Throughout the years, clinical trials have shown that it is extremely safe, virtually pain-free, and can provide a widely preferred alternative to traditional pain medications. Every clinic is different, but some clinics, such as The Brost Clinic, take efforts to provide safer solutions. For instance, some clinics offer a comprehensive treatment approach, which is customized to fit your body.

What Does Treatment Consist Of?

Chiropractic care treats more than just the problem itself. It treats the source of the problem and can provide a more thorough treatment approach. It works by assisting your body with its natural healing ability to promote fast, effective pain relief.

Your particular treatment plan should vary based on a number of factors. Most treatment plans include one or more of the following:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Therapeutic exercises
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Changes to your diet and exercise plan
  • And more

What Can It Treat?

Chiropractic care can safely, naturally treat the following types of conditions:

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Back, arm, leg, and neck pain
  • Injuries or sports-related incidents
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Asthma and emphysema
  • Allergies
  • Stomach disorders
  • And more

After a session, most patients feel the same type of relaxation and wellness benefits commonly associated with deep massages.

Choosing the Right Chiropractor

It is important to carefully choose your chiropractor of choice. They should have the experience, qualifications, and skills necessary to meet your needs. They should also offer personalized treatment plans to ensure that you are getting the right type and level of care you need. This will also ensure that your doctor can easily adjust your treatment plan to ensure that you are progressing quickly and safely.

Many chiropractic clinics, such as The Brost Clinic, offer free, no-obligation consultations. This will provide you with time to discuss your needs and treatment goals with the doctor and address any questions or concerns you may have.

The Advantages of Seeing a Children’s Dentist

Have you ever looked at the signs of dental offices and seen some that say “pediatric dentist”? Do you know what the difference is between a children’s dentist in Fresno and a general dentist? Many people do not know what sets apart a children’s dentist from a general dentist, but there are many advantages with going to a pediatric dentist. Read on to find out why many people choose to go with a pediatric dentist for their kids.

Extra Training

A pediatric dentist goes to medical school just like a general dentist, but after that schooling, a pediatric dentist will go to two extra years of schooling to get training to work with children. They understand more about dental issues that deal specifically with children such as monitoring baby teeth and teaching proper tooth hygiene. Some of their treatments include infant oral exams, preventative dental care, tooth defect care, and dental care for special needs children.

Smaller Equipment

It should come as no surprise that children are smaller, so it makes sense that children would also need smaller equipment. A pediatric dentist has smaller bite wings for x-rays. There are smaller chairs for kids to sit in. Kids can enjoy smaller dental instruments that fit in their mouths easier. It makes the dental experience easier for kids. Dentists can also treat children easier with these smaller instruments.

Love of Kids

One of the main differences with pediatric dentists is their love of kids. If they didn’t love kids, why would a pediatric dentist go to two extra years of school just so they can work with children? In a pediatric dentist’s office there are more toys, the office is more kid-friendly, and the staff is used to working with children. Most kids actually look forward to going to the dentist when the office is a fun place to be.

If you have young children, children with disabilities, or even adolescents, a children’s dentist in Fresno can provide dental care that will help your child to love the dentist. It will instill a love of caring for their teeth and a desire to continue to visit the dentist.