Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Newbie in the Room

You've finally arrived...your first taste of freedom...your dorm room at college. Along with all those things you have been looking forward to at college can comes a few undesirables you need to be on guard for. Living in the close quarters of dormitory life can be like living in a petri dish...germs can harbor, grow and spread rather easily. One serious and potentially fatal bacterial infection, like the flu, that is spread via salavia is bacterial meningitis. There is a vaccination for meningitis and also you can help protect yourself by frequently washing your hands (being someone who swears by the benefits of essential oils, I use a product called On Guard ), not sharing drinks, beer or sodas and avoid close contact with someone who is know to be not feeling well (especially if they are complaining of a severe headache, stiffness of their neck and/or fever). Good nutrition and rest also helps to keep your immune system strong.
Talking about being knock out for the count, mono (commonly referred to as the “kissing disease” can have you laid up from anywhere between four to six weeks. Unfortunately once you have mono you will need lots of rest which could cause a delay in a whole semester, so it is best to try to avoid this one. Again you can help protect yourself by avoiding sharing beverages and close intimate contact with someone who is not feeling well.
Protect those feet as much as you can, dorm showers and floors are a common place to pick up athletes feet, which is a fungal infection. One way to help prevent this is to wear flip flops in the shower and avoid walking around bear feet. . Be sure to dry your feet well, getting in between your toes. You might want to also powder your feet when you wear closed in shoes to help them remain dry during the day. As a precaution when I was using a communal shower I would always use a little Melaleuca “tea tree” oil in the shower when I washed my feet and put a few drops inside the lotion that I put on my feet at night. You want to try to stay on top of this one because once the infection gets to the nail it can be a lot more difficult to get rid of it.
Check back in a few days for a demo on proper hand washing.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Who Will You Answer To???

When you desire to make significant lifestyle changes in your life one of the first things to do is to set some short and long term goals. Your goals should always be realistic/attainable (for example it is not realistic to say you have a goal of losing 15 pounds in a week...that is in a healthy way). One of the problems with goals is that many people find it hard to stay on track consistently. A great way to avoid straying is to have an accountability partner. Some people hire Personal Trainers or a Life Coach to help keep them focused but you can also find an accountability partner at no monetary cost.
If you have a friend or networking associate that is goal minded and serious about personal growth, they would make a good choice to form an accountability partnership with.
The first thing to do is to set a time frame (3 months is a good starting point) for the partnership, which can be re-evaluated at the end of this time. Establish a schedule for connecting on a regular basis...it is good to meet at least once a week, where you do your check in of what happened during the last week and what your plans are for the following week. To help keep the partner connected, sometimes it helps for there to be an incentive for them (for example you have set a goal to exercise 3 times a week..you can say that if you fail to stay on track during the week you will owe them a car wash or a gift certificate for a manicure). You will find this will keep them better connected and you more committed to your goals.
Having another person involved in your effort for change is crucial. It will make a big difference in not only your life but also in theirs. Now start setting some end of the year goals...don't wait until the New Year...find your accountability partner and just watch your results soar.
Take the first step and connect with the "Let's Talk Health" bi-monthly teleconference calls.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Writing Your Way Through

It is a fact of life that at some point, all of us will face some sort of health challenge in our lives. Thankfully, for many, it will be short lived. For others, recovery can be a longer and difficult journey. Feelings of being lost and despair can creep in. A healthy way to deal to with those feelings is through journaling.

Scientific studies have found that journaling can help people to express emotions and by doing so they achieve physical as well as psychological benefits. Journaling prompts you to think about your feelings and help you better be able to cope with your illness. Some people find that writing helps them gain clarity of their thoughts and goals, allowing them to better communicate with others.

Journaling can be the start of self-discovery and for some spiritual development. Journaling is a safe way to express feelings of fear, anger and pain without lashing out directly at someone. It can be a much needed outlet until you reach a space where you feel comfortable confiding in others those very personal moments.

Journaling may feel a little strange at first, but just grab the journal (a great resource for a journal with scripture is DaySpring) pick up the pen and begin. If you want to keep your journal on your computer, there is an excellent website that allows you to set up a journal that you can also share with your friends and family if you choose...CaringBridge.org.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Conviction vs. Condemnation

Have you stopped and thought about the difference between condemnation (something not of Christ) vs. conviction (something good we all can do when there is a change needed in our lives) - “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1 (NIV)
I think our humanness, amplified by mass media, causes us to think something is wrong with us when we do not conform to “the norm”. Consider the amount of money spent on weight loss and the lengths people go to attain “thin is in”.
Condemnation comes from the enemy where conviction from the Holy Spirit. Condemnation will lead us away from God, whereas conviction will turn us towards Him in faith and trust to guide us. Condemnation causes despair and self-pity and conviction will give hope. When we know we need to do something to maintain our temple we should have conviction, never condemnation. Conviction is that unshakable belief without the need for proof or evidence- “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” - John 14:14 (NIV). It should have nothing to do with how you look or what media says. God has blessed us with life so therefore we have a responsibility to live as healthy a life as possible. Anyhow, I can't remember seeing anything stating what size we should be.
If we can keep our focus on living healthy (physically, spiritually and emotionally) we are doing our part to honor God- “you were brought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” - 1 Corinthians 6:20 (NIV)

Monday, August 9, 2010


Nothing helps accentuates a classy outfit like a pair of heels...from the two inch to the stilettos, you can make one heck of a fashion statement. But with frequent wearing of high heels comes a potential health risk – joint degeneration and knee osteoarthritis. A recent study conducted by a Masters student of kinesiology has found that prolonged wearing of and/or walking in high heels can cause problems. In addition to the lower joints of the body, they found that wearing heels two inches or higher alters ones posture, changing your joints position which also puts a strain on the lower back.
It is too soon to say with certainty that women who wear heels on a regular basis will develop these problems, but it is something to consider, since it can put you at a higher risk, as a healthier lifestyle change, you curtail how frequently you wear them. Not that they will do much for your fashion statements but a pair of New Balance in your bag can be a good switch from time to time.
By all means if those shoes on your feet have your whole body in pain, (been there/done that...while on travel, I had connecting flights at an airport that seemed like it was ten miles to get to the gate, the pretty shoes on my feet made every step I took almost unbearable, finally something had to give, so my feet won...those shoes got tossed into the can in the airport)...get rid of them!!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010


As an advocate for "taking time out for me"...I think a salon manicure/pedicure is a much deserved pampering treatment we can give ourselves. Back in March, I posted a blog on the danger in salons from the chemical fumes, “Fumes That Harm” but recently there has been talk about another danger “the UV lights used to help dry and add that finishing touch to your treatment. This is one of those subjects that is relatively new but worth keeping up to date on as more studies are done over the next few years. It is suspected that frequent expose to the UV drying lights can over time lead to skin cancer. One recommendation is that if you choose to use the lights that you put sunscreen on your hands/feet before using the lights or the better choice of course would be to go back to air dry with the small fans. Whichever your choice, be sure to do one or the other. Read more “The Claim:Salons UV Nail Lights Can Cause Skin Cancer”

Monday, August 2, 2010

Drop off...pick-up and consultation

Most people consider over-the-counter medications to be "safe" but that can be the far from an accurate deduction. It is wise to always when you are purchasing any medication, be it prescription or over-the-counter to consult with the pharmacy staff to see if there are any interaction with other medications you may be taking, supplements, herbs or foods. My family found this out the hard way when my father began taking ginko (a common herbal product that people takes for memory enhancement) and also was on a blood thinner for a heart condition. We could not figure out for months why he was experiencing nose bleeds which required numerous emergency room visits and eventually the need for a tranfusion. Finally a physician during one of his ER visits asked if he was taking any herbal supplement and bingo...we found that ginko was the problem...you cannot mix the two. Had we asked the pharmacist before purchasing the ginko, they would have pulled up my fathers medication profile and seen that interaction. This is just one of the many interaction that can occur between medications, supplements and food...some being very serious and life threatening.
Remember that section at the pharmacy counter that says "consultation" it is there to help keep you and your loved ones safe...us it.