Category - Your Health

1
Step One For An Extraordinary Life: Pay Attention
2
#MeToo and What Comes Next
3
A Dietary Cleanse: And You Can Have Your Chocolate, Too
4
Happy New Year 2018: a Resolution Revolution
5
The Influenza Vaccine: Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled
6
Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?
7
Why Date Night is Important
8
What Cold Remedies Really Work?
9
The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered
10
Beware of Hidden Allergens

Step One For An Extraordinary Life: Pay Attention

  While driving down the busy artery through town, I noticed patriotic lights flashing behind me.  What?  Me?  What did I do?  I honestly had no idea.  I wasn’t speeding.  I didn’t run a red.  Maybe I had a light out?  My face flushed hot as I desperately looked for a place to pull over, wanting to halt the embarrassing parade-of-two on the busiest road, at the busiest time, through town. The amiable police officer approached my van as I nervously located my registration and insurance (thankfully I hadn’t left my license in my other purse, as I have been…

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#MeToo and What Comes Next

  I’m not easily swayed.  To the frustration of Kirby vacuum salespeople and real estate agents across the Midwest, I’m not quickly convinced, if at all convinced.  As Jimmy Buffett sings, “Indecision may or may not be my problem.”  Maybe that’s my affliction, too,  but I think it really it comes down to my preference for being in my head, mulling things over. And over.   And over.       Aaaaaand…       over. Constant wheel-turning is one of my seriously introvert traits.  Overall, I’m an ambivert, sitting on the fence between getting jazzed from socializing and feeling…

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A Dietary Cleanse: And You Can Have Your Chocolate, Too

  I do not enjoy drinks that are green (my suggestion for the sequel to Green Eggs and Ham).  I avoid the green smoothie at juice bars and bypass the same in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, reaching for something in a more pleasing pink or purple hue (grape kombucha, please).  There is an exception, however:  the shamrock shake.  I will make just one pilgrimage a year to the golden arches in order to sit in a frustratingly (and concerningly) long drive-through in order to sip on that miracle concoction of milkshake and mint.  Plus, this tradition harkens…

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Happy New Year 2018: a Resolution Revolution

  It’s a new year, a new calendar, a new start.  I love a new calendar, it’s like a clean slate.  No creases or dog-ears, no chicken-scratches lined through and rewritten in another box.  No mayhem.  Just an open book full of possibility and promise. Before I write in all the appointments, extracurriculars and school inservices, I page through my calendar and enjoy the work my husband has gone to to create each month’s snapshot and how I want my family’s year to be filled with the same joy his art brings to each of the calendar’s 12 months.  I…

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The Influenza Vaccine: Questions Answered, Myths Dispelled

(This post was originally published January 22, 2014, and has been updated for the 2017-2018 influenza season.) As the days grow colder the influenza vaccine rhetoric heats up, even at the most zen of locales, the yoga studio.  A few years ago I recall the discussion of who was ill and for how long infecting the air over the patchwork of exercise mats and the talk leading to a count of who got the flu vaccine, who did not, and the defense of their decisions. Back when I was a practicing physician assistant in Wisconsin, the misinformation about the flu…

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Are Chemical Sunscreens Safe?

Summer, summer, summer.  Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen.  While sunscreen is recommended year-round to prevent burns, aging and the increased risk of skin cancer, in the warmer months we dress less and slather up even more.  Have you ever wondered whether those chemical sunscreens are safe to use in such large-and-frequent proportions?  In this repost from July of 2015, I describe some of the myths and facts surrounding the totally-tubular and ubiquitous poolside essentials. Everyone notices when someone sports that gorgeous sun-bronzed skin from a sunny vacation.  But my family?  The people who get sunburned through car windows?  We return from a…

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Why Date Night is Important

  We had to think about it for a moment.  Then we remembered:  it had been four years since my husband and I took a trip together, just the two of us.  How time flies, just like we were, taking an early morning flight to Boston.  It’s not like we haven’t had the occasional “date night” but there’s something about the freedom a couple has when they can do things on their own schedule for more than a few hours at a time. Author Ayelet Waldman (Bad Mother:  a Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, 2009)…

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What Cold Remedies Really Work?

A couple weeks ago, in The Common Cold:  Your Questions Answered, we looked at some of the lesser-known (but widely-wondered) aspects of that pesky triad of runny nose, sore throat and sneezing (etc.).  Now let’s dig in to the burning question: What remedies really work to cure the common cold? Well, the bad news is no medication or remedy cures the common cold. And unfortunately, there are no prospects on the horizon.  But the good news is there are options that help minimize symptoms and give relief while the virus runs its course: For the full gamut of symptoms:  Rest and…

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The Common Cold: Your Questions Answered

It’s morning.  I’m getting ready for school and hear my family in the kitchen.  My husband’s rattling cough, punctuated by wall-shaking sneezes, echoes through the house.  My daughter harmonizes with a wheezy, low melody.  My older son, who normally sneezes three times in a row on a good day, seems determined to break the world’s record for ah-choos in rapid succession.  And my younger son?  Still out “cold” and I’m just letting him sleep.  As for me, I’m dragging and achy and my throat is sore.  I don’t have the sonorous coughing or sneezing like the rest of my family…

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Beware of Hidden Allergens

Remember Snackwells?  The near-miracle treat that contains no fat?  Back when we were told that fat, any fat, in our diets would surely lead to our artery-clogging demise, these cookies were a godsend to those of us with a raging sweet tooth.  And I remember my indulgence, eating almost a whole box of the devil’s food variety, proudly avoiding an eminent heart attack by eating dessert so wisely. But now, times have changed and the “devil” in the name of those (let’s face it) tasteless, half-dessicated cookies has an updated meaning.  Most of the calories come from sugar (satanic carbs!) and…

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