We thought it would be fun if we each wrote an article about New Year's Resolutions, to get three different viewpoints. We will post them today, tomorrow, and Friday. Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year when people start thinking about making some healthy changes. In fact, more people strive to improve their health on January 1st than at any other time of the year. That probably has a lot to do with the symbolism…you know, a new year and a whole new you.
I’m a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, although I would argue that any time is good for making healthy changes. If you think you might want to give it a shot there are a few tips to keep in mind:
Above all else, have fun with your New Year’s resolutions. My goal in 2015 is to decrease my stress. To do that I’m heading back to childhood and will be doing many things that I loved as a kid such as coloring, playing my flute, reading, etc. Just thinking about the possibilities is making me giggle.
I wish you a fun and Happy New Year!!
I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was great! Use a memory jar to commemorate fun or special events throughout your year, and then on New Year's Eve go through it to take a trip down Memory Lane.
You can use any container--I like the idea of a glass jar so I can see the contents, but a shoebox or coffee can would work just as well. Decorate the container however you wish. I used scrapbook stickers of words such as "laughter" "blessings" and "memories". I was going to put 2015 on it, but decided against it so that I can use the jar every year.
I will put small mementos in the jar all year long--ticket stubs, trinkets, etc.
I also have a small note pad with colorful patterns, and will write out memories with the date. By 12-31-2015, there should be lots of items in the jar and Dave and I can look back on our year and remember all of the fun we had.
These make great gifts, too!
Stocking Stuffers: what's not to love? Small, wrapped goodies shoved into an overflowing sock; the possibilities are endless!!
Each year I labor over what to put in Dave's stocking. It's usually so heavy with "stuff" that it tips almost sideways over the fireplace. There are things that he gets annually (fun boxers and Ho Ho's) but I also try to shake it up each year.
If you get stuck on what to include, think of the recipient's interests and go from there. Here are some ideas:
Dental hygiene items: toothbrush, floss
Make-up remover wipes
Tickets to a show, sporting event, or a movie theater
Wine glass charms
Cute cocktail napkins
1st Aid supplies for car
Car wash certificates
Decorative cupcake liners
Measuring spoons or cups
Packets of seeds
Travel alarm clock
Travel size toiletries
Bring some extra holiday joy with stocking stuffers!!
Types of Hysterectomies
Has your doctor told you that you need a hysterectomy? There are many reasons for having one done but the 7 most popular are listed below:
4. Uterine prolapse
5. Abnormal vaginal bleeding
6. Adenoymosis, or thickening of the uterus
7. Chronic pelvic pain
A hysterectomy is usually a last resort for women who have been suffering for quite some time. In my case the pelvic pain from endometriosis had been going on for over twenty years!
Once you have decided to go forward with the surgery, your doctor will discuss which procedure they plan to use based on your medical situation. The most common type of surgery is an open abdominal hysterectomy where a 5 to 7 inch incision is cut into your abdomen. The uterus is then pulled out through that opening which is then closed with stitches, staples, or glue. If this is the procedure you are having done you can expect a 1 to 3 day stay in the hospital and a scar afterwards. Your recovery time will also be from 6 to 8 weeks long.
The minimally invasive procedure (MIP) is less traumatic on the body and involves cutting an incision in your vagina. The uterus is then pulled out through the vagina. In this case the scar is hidden and you may not even have to stay in the hospital overnight. Your recovery time will also be shorter, from 4 to 6 weeks. However, there is a greater chance of pain afterwards as the vagina can sometimes be injured.
The MIP procedure can be done using all kinds of nifty tools such as a laparoscope, which is a tube with a light and a camera on the end of it. The doctor will cut a small incision in your belly or belly button to insert the tube. They may also make another small cut in your belly to insert another tube that blows gas into the abdomen. This gas pushes the other organs aside so the doctor can clearly see what they are doing. These small incisions usually heal very well and are cut low on your abdomen so you can usually still wear a bikini.
Another tool that some surgeons are using during an MIP is a DaVinci Robot. This is a small robotic contraption with surgical tools attached that is inserted through one of the tiny belly incisions. The doctor then controls this system with a computer outside of your body. This procedure is much more expensive because of the high-tech equipment, so make sure your insurance will cover it.
No matter what type of surgery you are having, you will want to discuss with your doctor whether or not to keep your ovaries. Many women opt to leave their ovaries in to prevent menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, and osteoporosis down the road. If you keep your ovaries you will still need to have a pelvic exam done every year.
For those women who are at risk for cancer or endometriosis regrowth, you may decide to have your ovaries removed. If that is the case, be sure you have a plan for how you will counteract your risks of osteoporosis and heart disease due to the lack of estrogen. Most women who need their ovaries removed are not good candidates for hormone therapy. Therefore you will need to be vigilant about your exercise routine and also eat a diet rich in healthy nutrients. You will also need to get a pelvic exam every 1 to 3 years, depending on your condition. Cancer can still grow in your vagina and on your cervical cuff so don’t skip this!
The thought of a hysterectomy can be scary but most women sail through the procedure with very few problems. By educating yourself on what will be done you are taking the first step to control the situation and empower your mind. Sit back, relax, and marvel at the wonders of modern day medicine. I hope you have a very happy hysterectomy!!
I recently wrote an article about the importance of sleep and mentioned a serious condition that can mess with your ability to log some zzzz's...sleep apnea. It is a condition in which you stop breathing periodically throughout the night because your throat closes. It's considered serious because it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, medical and surgical complications, liver problems, and angry sleeping partners.
How do you know if you have sleep apnea? The only way to tell is to see your doctor. They will either order a laboratory sleep test or a simpler one that you can do at home. Signs you may have a problem include loud snoring, fatigue, insomnia, headache, sore throat, and dry mouth upon waking. Risk factors include being overweight, having a thick neck, a family history, being male, getting older, of African American descent, smoking, and alcohol/sedative use.
The good news is there are things you can do to prevent or treat this disorder. They include:
These simple steps can help you to breathe easier and have a more restful night of sleep.
Here's a recipe for some great comfort food that both kids and grown-ups will enjoy!
1 16 ounce box of bow tie pasta
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/4 cup butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or mushroom)
2 cups frozen peas
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 cup finely chopped spinach
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta and set aside. In avlarge pot, cook the chicken and sweet red pepper over medium heat until the chicken is fully cooked.
Stir in all of the remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until everything is heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in most of the cheese. Add pasta and toss to coat. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Enjoy!
This is delicious re-heated!
You could make the chicken mixture and freeze it, and then when you need it all you have to do is cook the pasta and mix.
We all know about menopause, which usually occurs around age 51. This is when all of your menstrual periods end for good. Before that, though, there is a transitional period called perimenopause. It is during this transition that many women experience problems.
Perimenopause can begin as early as the mid-30's and can last from five to ten years. During this time a women can experience some crazy symptoms. These may include:
There are several risk factors that can make these symptoms more severe and bring on perimenopause and menopause early. These include smoking, a family history, and certain cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
The good news is if you have perimenipausal symptoms, they won't last. Women can also do things to ease the symptoms including exercise, calcium and Vitamin D supplements, quitting smoking, taking an anti-depressant, eating healthy, using vaginal lubricants and moisturizers, and decreasing stress through meditation.
Hormone therapy is another option that works well but can put certain women at an increased risk for cancer. If you do opt for hormones, make sure you take a combination of estrogen and progesterone. This will help to shed the uterine lining and decrease your chances of at least one cancer, uterine. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your gynecologist.
Perimenopause and menopause are a natural part of life. Try to embrace the changes and live your life fully!
My husband is a diet soda junkie. He can't get enough of the stuff. I keep telling him how bad it is for his health but he does't listen. Being the nag that I am (those are actually my initials), I decided to write an article on the subject.
Diet soda can be sweetened with different artificial sweeteners. There is a lot of research on each of these but it all appears to be inconclusive. Here's what we do know about diet soda in general, though:
I'm not a nutritionist but I get asked all the time whether or not it's okay to eat red meat. I was taught to answer with the standard personal trainer response..."eat everything in moderation." I know. I know. That sounds pathetic even to my ears! That's why I decided to do some research. Here's what I discovered:
This reminds me of the Chik-fil-A commercials where the cows hold up signs about eating more chicken. I think they're on to something!!!!
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