Friday, December 25, 2009

How To Survive the Holidays and Other Special Occasions ~ Your Guide to Healthy Eating All Year Long~

The holiday season is a special time to gather with friends and family, but as we know the holidays can play havoc on your wallet, your nerves and your waistline.  While this is a time for celebrations and watching and attending sports events it can also be quite stressful.  And many times stress leads to overeating or over indulging.  During stressful times the key is planning and preparation ~ this goes for the holidays and any other special occasions throughout the year.

While there are many mouthwatering meals and tempting appetizers at the center of these occasions, you don't have to avoid all of your favorite foods to eat healthy.  The key is to choose  a variety of healthy foods and limit your portion sizes.  Here are some tips to help you stay within your guidelines:

  • Have a snack ~ Eating a healthy snack before the party will keep you from overeating.
  • Plan Ahead ~ See what the food options are before you start eating then make a mental note of what you want to eat and how much you will eat.
  • Move away from the Buffet~  After you fix your plate, move away from the table - chatting with friends can often cause unconscious 'grazing'.
  • Enjoy the Flavor of the Dishes ~ Slow down - eating slowly and enjoying the flavors can reduce your chances of overeating.  Remember it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to realize that it is full.
  • Trim it Down ~ Eat smaller portions and trim off extra skin and fat from meats.
  • Contribute Healthy Dishes ~ Bring a healthy dish to the party and you can feel good about eating your healthy contribution and sharing it with others.
  • Practice Portion Control ~ You can eat a wider variety of foods including your favorites by controlling the amount you eat.
  • Drink plenty of Water ~ Water is a no-calorie beverage that will keep you full.
Whether you are the party giver or the party goer - Plan ahead; get your shopping done early, stay active and maintain your cool ~ this will help control your stress.  Also you must enjoy yourself; get caught up in the festivities, the decorations, the music the people and yes even the food (but the food on your terms!)

And finally, stay active; staying active will help you burn the excess calories.  Exercise is central to your overall health, especially during the holidays and other special occasions when calorie laden food is all around.  Maintain an exercise plan to avoid gaining weight between Thanksgiving and Christmas and those other special times of the year.

"Eat to Live Don't Live to Eat"

Your Continued Health and Success!
Miss Juilia

Thursday, December 24, 2009

How to Improve Your Eating Habits and Manage Your Weight ~

You can improve your eating habits tremendously by making the right choices and doing  things just a bit differently. Healthy eating and an active live style can also reduce your risk of becoming overweight and obese which increases your risk for developing other chronic health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and many forms of cancer.

Consider These Tips for Healthy Eating
  • Consider Starting your Day with Breakfast ~ Breakfast fills up  your "empty tank" ~ also known as "breaking the fast".  Breakfast gets you going after a long night without food..  Eating breakfast will  give you better endurance, strength, and concentration throughout the day.
  • Eat a Variety of Foods.  Please don't feel like you have to give up things that you really like and enjoy-such as hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs and ice cream.  Understand you just have to be smart about how much you eat of these and how often you eat them.  Your body needs nutrients such as fats, carbohydrates and proteins as well as vitamins and minerals.  You can get these nutrients from a variety of different foods but you must balance your food choices to stay on a healthy course.
  • Whole Grains, Fruits and Vegetables (Must Haves!!) ~ These foods give you energy, they also give you vitamins, minerals and fiber and quess what? ~~ They taste good too..  Try foods like brown rice, or whole-wheat bread.   Strawberries, bananas, blueberries  and melons are fantastic tasting fruits.  These fruits and vegetables are amazing in salads or on a sandwich.  And remember they come in a variety of forms ~ fresh, cooked. frozen, canned, dried.  So, no excuses not to eat your veggies and fruits.
  • Watch You Portion Control ~ A portion is the amount of food a person eats.  Portions and servings are different.  A serving is a specific amount of food,  and it is probably smaller than you may think. Check out these examples:
    • A serving of meat is two to three ounces this is roughly the size of the palm of your hand, a deck of cards or an audiocassette tape.
    • A serving of fresh fruit is one medium piece and that would be about the size of as baseball.
    • A serving of cooked pasta, rice or cereal is 1/2 cup or half a baseball or a rounded handful.
    • A serving of nuts is 1/3 cup, or a level handful.
    • A serving of peanut butter is two tablespoons or abut half the sixe of a golf ball
Eating the right amount of food at each meal is just as important as eating the right foods.  Consider these other tips to improve your eating habits.

~  If you normally use or drink whole or 2% milk try using low fat or fat free milk.
~  Instead of drinking soda drink water or other calorie-free drinks.
~  If you tend to always have a second helping, try putting the food away after you serve instead of placing serving dishes on the table.
~  Instead of white bread and pasta- eat a variety of whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread, low-fat popcorn and brown rice.
~  Pack sandwiches, yogurt and lowfat crackers instead of buying fast food on the road.
~  Instead of snacking on chips and junk food- keep graham crackers, peanut butter, low fat cheese and and crackers along with fresh fruits and veggies on hand for those 'snack attacks'.
~  Try grilling and roasting instead of frying.
~  And remember ` Don't Skip Breakfast'.

Remember the saying "Eat to Live ~ Don't Live to Eat" ~

To Your Continued Health and Success ~
Miss Julia


    Monday, November 30, 2009

    Seasonal Health Tips ~

    NOVEMBER is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.
    One person develops Alzheimer's disease every 70 seconds. And 50 to 70 percent of people with dementia-major loss of memory and other cognitive abilities-have Alzheimer's. Although there is no cure, there are treatments that can help with symptoms. To learn more, visit

    is Safe Toys and Gifts Month.
    Toy-related injuries sent more than 170,00 children younger than 15 to the hospital in 2007. So remember safety when picking holiday gifts for children. Choose durable toys that won't break into sharp pieces or choking hazards. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for recalls of unsafe toys. Visit

    JANUARY is Glaucoma Awareness Month.
    People ages 60 and older are at increased risk of developing glaucoma, a group of eye disease that can cause blindness when left untreated. If you are 60 or older, talk with you doctor about glaucoma screening. To find out if you have other risk factors for glaucoma visit

    To Your Continued Health and Success!
    Miss Julia

    Friday, November 27, 2009

    Heavy Menstrual Periods? Blame It on your Thyroid.

    Your Thyroid Gland and the hormone that it produces regulates everything from your metabolism to your digestion. Because many symptoms usually slowly creep up on you, it is very common not to realize that there has been a change in your energy level, memory, menstrual periods and skin texture. Menstrual periods can vary from woman to woman; changing hormone levels can cause a variety of symptoms which may result in heavy menstrual periods. If you are experiencing any of the fore stated problems and especially heavy menstrual periods then you need to consider that there may be a problem with your thyroid. Getting timely treatment of your thyroid gland is essential to maintain optimum health. Some women may feel the worst of it, yet some others may feel the very least of it.

    One of the most noticeable changes that occur during the onset of menopause is visible changes in occurrence of periods. Many women experience less regular periods; some have a lighter menstrual flow than normal; others face a heavier flow and may bleed a lot for many days. Women, who have had previous problems with heavy menstrual periods and cramps, will usually find marked relief from these symptoms, when menopause starts. But if your menopause time is far away as you are if you are in your thirties or even below that age then this is the gray area for you. With that said consider that your thyroid gland might not be functioning well and may be the culprit of your problems.

    During heavy menstrual periods with severe pain, one more noticeable symptom is the repeated occurrences of ‘hot flashes’, which is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of a woman’s body. Face and neck become extremely flushed. Flashes can be as mild as a light instant blush or it can be severe enough to wake you from a sound sleep (also called night sweats). Most flashes usually last between 30 seconds but can last as long as 5 minutes.

    The Thyroid Gland controls your entire body's metabolism. That means that your weight, your hair, your skin, your sex drive, your menstrual periods, all sorts of things that go on in your body depend on the proper functioning of your Thyroid Gland.

    There are supplements that can rectify the malfunctioning of your thyroid gland and keep you healthy without any negative side effects. These supplements contain natural ingredients to help get your thyroid back in action and treat the symptoms related to thyroid disorders.

    As always consult with your doctor regarding any supplements that you decide to use; especially if you are taking other medications.

    For more information: Help for your Thyroid

    To Your Continued Health and Success !
    Miss Julia


    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Mother Nature Can Help You Quit Smoking

    Mother Nature Can Help You Quit Smoking. Today, it is well known that smoking is a habit that invites nothing but grief, not only to oneself but also to all the surrounding people. With this raising awareness, more and more people are genuinely trying to quit smoking. Some find it easy and some find it terribly difficult – depending upon the degree of addiction and their own will power. The good news is that Mother Nature can effectively support you in this daunting task. Quit Smoking – The Natural Way.

    The reason for the high rate of failure of quit smoking plans is that most people hate the withdrawal symptoms that follow – such as depression, craving for nicotine, anxiety attacks, irritability, body ache, lack of sleep, interference with body functions (mostly when the person was in habit to go to the toilet or sleep only after lighting a cigarette) and so on. Some of the most popular herbal quit smoking aids are described here. Choose one or a combination of two or more and get rid of this deadly habit.

    You could take the advice of homeopaths and herbal doctors (ayurvedic doctors) to help you decide which combination works best for you. You could also buy the herbal products that are already available on the market. These are used as patches on the skin and hence are very easy to use.

    1. Gotu Cola – this is an herb that literally clears the head and improves the sharpness of the brain. It is particularly beneficial in the quit smoking process as it fights anxiety attacks and increases the level of concentration.

    2. Avena Sativa – this is an herb that has been used to fight serious drug addictions (such as opium) with great success for centuries. This herb too, prevents anxiety attacks and reduces the craving for and dependency on many harmful substances.

    3. Garcinia cambogia – one of the side effects experienced during quit smoking process is sudden weight-gain. This could be because people feel depressed and substitute the smoking habit with that of eating. Garcinia cambogia is classified as a citrus and is an excellent appetite suppressant. At the same time it raises the rate of the metabolism thereby increasing the rate of burning fat. This means a double bonus – reducing the compulsion to eat and reducing the weight.

    There are many other wonder herbs that can help with your quit smoking plans. Some of these are bayberry, ginger root, eucalyptus, skullcap and safflower. Let nature help you quit smoking today.

    Stop Smoking the Natural Way

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    "Doctor I Have a Question" ~ How to Talk to Your Doctor ....

    Waiting in your doctor's office can become a bit unsettling. Especially if you came with a specific problem or concern (as in, this is not your routine/yearly check up)

    As you flip through old magazines or view the latest health news, you are probably worrying about what is wrong and what is going on with you. You are probably aggravated because it's past your appointment time and you haven't been called yet. And finally, you're called in, have your vital signs taken and placed in a room. Then, when the doctor comes in the visit seems to fly by, it seems that you have only minutes to explain your symptoms and concerns. And after you explain your symptoms, the doctor may quickly write a prescription or order a test; so you have the prescription filled and you go and get the test ~ but you still have questions and concerns that you thought about but did'nt ask.

    Here are some tips for talking with your doctor:

    ~ Make a list of concerns and questions - take them with you to your appointment.
    Review these questions while you are waiting to be seen. Use this time to review your list and organize your thoughts.

    ~ Describe your symptoms clearly and briefly.
    Tell your doctor when the symptoms started, how they make you feel,what you may be doing when the symptoms start what makes them better etc.

    ~ Tell your doctor what over-the-counter medicines you are taking such as vitamins, herbal products or any other supplements.

    ~ Don't be embarrassed about sensitive issues. Chances are your doctor has heard it all before...
    You also need to be honest with your doctor about your diet, physical activity, if you smoke, your drug or alcohol use and your sexual activity. And please mention if you are being treated by other doctors. - withholding information can be harmful.

    ~ When you are given medicines and other treatments make sure you understand how to take the medicine
    Understand what to do if you miss a dose and if there are any foods or activities that you should avoid while on the medication. Find out how long the medication or treatment will last. Ask about the side effects; if it's covered by your insurance, are there genetic substitutes. Your pharmacist can also help answer questions regarding medications.

    ~ If your doctor orders tests, be sure to ask how to find out about the results as well as the dangers and/or side effects of the tests. Make sure you get all instructions as to how to prepare for the tests and any do's or dont's regarding the test(s)

    If you need to, bring a family member or friend to your appointment; that person can take notes as well as provide moral support and can help you remember what was discussed.

    Understand everything before you leave the doctor's office. If you do not understand something, ask to have it explained again.

    Knowing how to talk to your doctor or the nurse or any other health care professional will help you get the information you need - when you need it and will help you make the most of those often 'short' doctor visits.


    To Your Continued Health and Success!
    Miss Julia

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    STRESSED OUT? Stress Can Affect Your Health~Learn What to Do About It...

    If you are feeling stressed out lately, join the crowd. With today's hectic lifestyles it seems to become harder and harder to stay calm and relaxed. Not only do our everyday activities stress us out but many of us are dealing with other peripheral factors such as illnesses and family problems. If you happen to be a woman, well then - how many hats do you wear? Spouse, mother, friend, caregiver, co-worker, cook, housekeeper, household business manager, soccer mom, single mom; not to mention the other activities and organizations that you may be a part of ~~~ and the list goes on!

    With all that we have going on in our lives, finding ways to 'de-stress' may seem impossible. However, it is very important to find ways to relax ~ your health depends on it.

    Women's Reactions to Stress
    While we all deal with stressful things like job issues, disagreements with spouses, traffic and other issues, there has been research to show that women handle stress in a very unique way ~ women 'tend' and 'befriend'.
    ~ Tend: Women protect and care for their children and other loved ones.
    ~ Befriend: Women seek out and receive social and emotional support (you know the girlfriend that you can call and just bear your soul to..)

    We have also learned that our bodies produce certain chemicals that are believed to promote these responses. Oxytocin which has a calming effect during stress and the hormone estrogen, which boosts the effects of oxytocin. Just a Note: Men on the other hand have high levels of testosterone during stress which blocks the effects of oxytocin and causes hostility, withdrawal and anger (that explains it ladies).

    How Stress Affects Your Entire Body
    Understand that we all have stress at times. We may have short term stress with everyday events such as making time for errands, planning meals, dealing with homework, running late for work; this kind of stress generally makes us feel worried or anxious.

    And then there are other times where we may be facing long-term stress such as chronic disease, life-threatening illness, disability and even divorce. These very stressful events may affect our health on many different levels.

    Both short-term and long-term stress is very real and can also increase your risk of other health problems such as depression. Research continues to identify the serious effects of stress on our bodies. Stress tends to trigger changes in our bodies and is very likely to make us sick or make the problems we already have much worse.

    Look at These Problems that may be Triggered by Stress ~~
    - Depression
    - Anxiety
    - Weight gain or loss
    - Problems sleeping
    - Lack of energy
    - Headaches
    - Less sexual desire
    - Heart problems/High Blood Pressure
    - Stomach Problems
    The list goes on....

    Stressful Life Events
    Any change in our lives can be stressful, even some of happiest events (like having a baby or getting a new job) can be stressful. According to Holmes and Rahe Scale of Life Events 1967, listed below are some of life's most stressful events. You have probably experienced one or more of them in your lifetime.
    - Marriage
    - Birth of a child
    - Death of a spouse
    - Divorce
    - Spending time in jail
    - Death of a close family member
    - Marital separation
    - Personal illness or injury
    - Retirement

    Stress Will Make You Sick if You Let It
    As women we tend to carry more than our share of stress. Most of the time we are not even aware of our stress levels. We must learn to listen to our bodies so that we can know when stress is affecting our health. Here are some tips to help you manage and handle your stress.

    RELAX (easy said, right?) It's important to unwind. Find 'your' best way to relax. You might try deep breathing, meditation, getting or getting a massage. Other ways include listening to soothing music or reading a book; just find whatever works for you.

    MAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF (Some 'ME' Time)It's important to take care of yourself. Regardless of how busy you are or think you may be try to set aside at least 15-30 minutes each day (schedule it in your PDA or Daytimer); take a bubble bath, take a walk, call a friend ~ just sit with you eyes closed and meditate; talk to your Heavenly Father.

    Sleeping is a great way to help both your body and your mind.


    Fueling up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains is the way to go.

    Physical activity not only help relieve your tense muscles, but helps your mood as well.

    Friends are good listeners. Having someone that will allow you to talk freely about your problems without being judgmental really does a world of good. True friends will also remind you that you are not alone.


    Believe me, it's OK. Talking to a therapist can help you work through stress and also help you find better ways to deal with problems. Many times there may be underlying issues that you are not aware of.

    Have you ever sent an email to a friend about the terrible day that you had or how the kids are driving you crazy or you just can't get your spouse to understand why you need a new dining room table? Did you feel better afterward? OK then, get a pen and paper and start writing down what's going on in your life. Many people find that keeping a journal is a great way to get thinks off their chest and to help them work through everyday issues.

    Helping others can help you. Volunteer with church and community activities.

    This includes using drugs, drinking too much, smoking or overeating.

    When it comes to things like work and family, decide what you can really do. Set limits for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to say 'NO' to requests for your time and energy.

    Step Back, Relax, Refresh ~ Maintain a Healthy Balance~Don't Let Stress Control Your Life.

    To Your Continued Health and Success!
    Miss Julia

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    Shea Butter as a Moisturizer and Emollient

    Shea butter is natural fat extracted from fruit of the shea tree. It is especially known for its cosmetic properties as a moisturizer and emollient. Shea butter is a popular ingredient in many products.

    It is so safe that shea butter is edible. It can be consumed in foods and is also used in the manufacture of chocolate as a substitute for cocoa butter. The two kinds of shea butter available are unrefined certified organic and chemically refined. Unrefined shea butter is processed without chemicals. The chemically refined shea butter is bleached, heated, and solvent extracted using a petrol-chemical. Purist claim the chemically refined version lacks the healing properties found in unrefined organic shea butter.

    Shea butter is also a known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used for treating skin conditions such as burns, rashes, fading scars, eczema, severely dry skin, and in reducing the irritation of psoriasis. Shea butter provides some natural UV sun protection although the level of protection varies and should not be relied on.

    Shea butter is available in many expensive moisturizing skin products. It is also used in high quality hair conditioners to add moisture in dry hair, and reconditioning split ends. This butter has been used for centuries by the people of Africa to moisturize and protect their skin from sun, wind, heat and salt water. Shea Butter is also used as hairdressing to moisturize a dry scalp and encourage hair growth. It is also used to hold hairstyles and lightly relax curls.

    One of the richest emollients available, scarcities of the supply of shea butter results in an erratic market price Shea Butter is frequently used in massage to create a frictionless surface on the skin, allowing for therapeutic deep tissue work. It also acts as excellent base for the addition of medical and cosmetic ingredients. It is a key ingredient in the most reputable beauty products and soaps, only recently gaining recognition in the United States in products like Revitol. Shea Butter can actually help stimulate collagen production in the skin, making it very effective in helping to reduce wrinkles, burns, and scars.
    The anti-inflammatory properties of Shea butter have been studied for medical use. It has been found to be useful in cases of arthritis and in cases of rheumatism. Shea butter has also been studied as a nasal decongestant by application to the inside of the nostrils. It can also be helpful in cases of eczema and dermatitis and can help reduce skin bruising and soreness.

    For more information learn how this Revolutionary Product can work for you.

    To Your Continued Health and Success!
    Miss Julia

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    How Resveratrol Can Enhance Your Weight Loss Program

    Resveratrol and Weight Loss

    Resveratrol Antioxidants and Weight Loss: A Good Pairing?The golden rule in weight loss is pretty simple: take in fewer calories than you expend in exercise. However, as any dieter will tell you, it’s far from easy. Americans spend billions of dollars a year on weight loss supplements, exercise programs and other diet aids—and still we can’t seem to win the battle of the bulge—even when we get desperate enough to try risky surgery or fad diets.

    Recently a new product has come to light that may help people trying to lose weight stay on the healthy end of the spectrum: Resveratrol Select, which is unlike many diet supplements in that it uses a combination of natural and herbal ingredients designed to help the body stay healthy while losing weight. How? By mimicking certain aspects of the Mediterranean diet.

    Studies have shown that part of America’s war with weight lies in the uniquely modern American combination of stressful lifestyle and fast-food consumption, and that the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle seem to be more conducive to healthier weight levels and longevity. In fact, much as been made on the news in recent months of the purported “French Paradox,” (how the French eat a high-fat diet, enjoy rich desserts, drink wine and still have better cardiovascular health than the rest of us).

    One of the biggest differences between the American and French diet seems to be the wine consumption, and red wine (a staple on most Mediterranean tables) contains one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, resveratrol, which is a key ingredient in Resveratrol Select.

    In addition to wine, resveratrol is also found in grape skins, blueberries, cranberries and other plants, and recent animal and in vitro studies indicate that it can have a positive effect on helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, supporting insulin health and optimizing metabolic and immune pathways that protect cells and improve mitochondrial function. One capsule of Resveratrol Select includes as much resveratrol as 200 glasses of wine—without the added calories that alcohol can add to the waistline.

    Consuming resveratrol alone isn’t enough to help with weight loss—so the manufacturers of Resveratrol Select also added a different type of antioxidant, Green Tea Extract (EGCG), which could make a big difference. Over time, green tea consumption helps increase metabolism, burn fat and reduce fat storage due to its caffeine and L-theanin content, which can be pivotal in helping to maintain energy for exercise.

    Resveratrol Select combines these two powerful antioxidants with yet another energy boosting ingredient, Chromium, a niacin-based mineral that plays an important role in how the body uses insulin to burn sugars, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy.

    Although relatively new to the market, Resveratrol Select seems to be making a big splash, and many people are taking advantage of the free trial offer to see how well the product works for them.

    The trial offer also includes two bonus tools to help with weight loss: an e-book with over 70 weight loss tips, and a weight loss visualization audio.Of course, consuming fewer calories while burning more is the most efficient form of weight loss, and it’s always a good idea to inform your doctor before taking a weight loss supplement, but this new combination herbal supplement is worth a look for those concerned about maintaining good health while losing weight.

    For more information on Resveratrol Select’s free trial offer and bonus materials, follow this link to Healthy Weight Loss .

    To Your Continued Health and Success!
    Miss Julia

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    SURVIVING MENOPAUSE (Who Turned Up the Heat?) Part 4~Healthy Living During Menopause

    Improve Your Health Whether You Use Hormones or Not

    There are a lot of ways to stay healthy during this time in your life. These steps are more likely to keep you healthy than just taking hormones.

    Be active and get more exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Try weight-bearing exercises, like walking, running or dancing. If you smoke, quit. Ask your doctor for help.

    Eat healthy. Eat lots of whole-grain products, vegetables, and fruits. Choose foods low in fat and cholesterol. Get enough calcium to keep your bones strong. Before menopause you need about 1,000mg of calcium per day. After menopause you need 1,500mg per day. If you drink alcohol, limit it to no more than one drink per day.

    Control your weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you. Talk with you doctor and get regular checkups.

    Discuss bone health. Ask if you're getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Get a Bone Density Test if you are older than 65, or if your doctor says you have a high chance of Osteoporosis. Ask about taking medicine to help preserve bone and slow down bone loss.

    Have your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar checked. Have a breast exam and a breast x-ray (mammogram)

    Researchers used to think that thin women have the worse menopausal symptoms. But researchers are now finding that the opposite is true ~ the heavier the woman, the worse some menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or night sweats, actually are.

    Who should NOT take hormone therapy for menopause ~

    Women who

    • think they are pregnant
    • have problems with vaginal bleeding
    • have had certain kinds of cancers (such as breast and uterine cancer)
    • have had a stroke or heart attack
    • have had blood clots
    • have liver disease

    Just remember menopause is a normal change in you life. You can feel better by learning all you can about menopause and by talking with your doctor about your health and your symptoms. If you want to treat your symptoms, he or she can teach you more about your options and help you make the best treatment choices.

    Part 1 - What's it all About Any?

    Part 2 - Treatments for Menopause

    Part 3- Practical Ways to Help Your Symptoms

    Part 4 ~ Healthy Living During Menopause

    To Your Continued Health and Success!

    Miss Julia

    SURVIVING MENOPAUSE (Who Turned Up the Heat?) Part 3 ~ Practical Ways to Help Your Symptoms

    In this article we will discuss ways other than hormone treatment that can help your menopausal symptoms.


    • Hot Flashes ~ A hot environment, eating or drinking hot or spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine, and stress can bring on hot flashes. Try to avoid these triggers. Dress in layers and keep a fan in your home or workplace. Regular exercise might also bring relief from hot flashes and other symptoms. Ask your doctor about taking an antidepressant medicine. There is proof that these medicines can be helpful for some women.

    • Vaginal Dryness. Use an over-the-counter vaginal lubricant. There are also prescription estrogen replacement creams that your doctor might give you. If you have spotting or bleeding while using estrogen creams, you should see your doctor.

    • Problems Sleeping~ One of the best ways to get a good night's sleep is to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week however, avoid a lot of exercise close to bedtime. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, large meals, and working right before bedtime. You might want to drink something warm, such as herb tea or warm milk. Try to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Avoid napping during the day and try to go to bed and get up at the same times every day. Natural sleep aids are also available.

    • Memory Problems~ Ask your doctor about mental exercises you can do to improve your memory. Try to get enough sleep and be physically active.

    • Mood Swings~ Try to get enough sleep and be physically active. Ask your doctor about relaxation exercises you can do. Ask your doctor about taking an antidepressant medicine. There is proof that these can be helpful. Think about going to a support group for women who are going through the same things as you, or consider counseling to talk through your problems and fears. Share with a trusted friend.

    These practical methods along with the help and advise of your health care professional should help you through this time.

    Stay tuned for Part 4 ~ Healthy Living During Menopause

    Part 1 -"What's it All About Anyway"

    Part 2- "Treatments for Menopause"

    Part 3- "Practical Ways to Help your Symptoms"

    Part 4 ~ "Healthy Living During Menopause"

    To your Continued Health and Success

    Miss Julia

    Surviving Menopause (Who Turned Up the Heat?) Part 2~ Treatments for Menopause

    For many women, symptoms may go away over time without any treatment. Treatments include prescription drugs that contain the hormones estrogen and progesteron that your ovaries stop making around the time of menopause; as well as natural treatments such as herbal, or plant-based products.

    Hormone Therapy can contain the hormone estrogen alone or estrogen with the hormone progestin (for a woman who still has her uterus). Estrogen therapy is usually taken by pill, skin patch, as a cream or gel, or with an intrauterine device (IUD) or vaginal ring.

    How estrogen is taken will depend on its purpose. For example, a vaginal ring or cream can ease vaginal dryness, leakage of urine or vaginal or urinary infections however, it does not relieve hot flashes. If you are trying to prevent bone loss, you should speak with your doctor about treatments other than hormone therapy to treat your bones.

    Benefits and Risks of Hormone Therapy

    Benefits- Hormone therapy can help with menopause by:

    • reducing hot flashes

    • treating vaginal dryness

    • slowing bone loss

    • decreasing mood swings and depression

    DO NOT use hormone therapy to prevent heart attacks, strokes, memory loss, or Alzheimer's disease.

    Risks- For some women, hormone therapy may increase their chance of getting:

    • blood clots

    • heart attacks

    • strokes

    • breast cancer

    • gall bladder disease

    If you decide to use hormones, use them at the lowest dose that helps and for the shortest time needed. Check with your doctor every three to six months to see if you still need them.

    Because of both benefits and risks linked to hormones, every woman should think about these in regards to her own health and discuss these with her doctor. Long and short-term effects of hormone therapies on women's health is still being studied.


    Some women decide to take herbal, natural or plant-based products to help their symptoms. Some of the most common products include:

    • Soy - This contains phytoestrogens (estrogen-like substances from a plant). However, there is no proof that soy or other sources of phytoestrogens--really do relieve hot flashes. Any risks of taking soy, especially the pills and powders, are not known.

    • Other sources of phytoestrogens. Include herbs such as black cohish, wild yam, dong quai, and valerin root.

    • Bioidentical hormone therapy. Some women visit alternative medicine doctors to get a prescription for these products, which are made from different plant hormones that are like those in a woman's body. Each prescription is hand-mixed, and the dose can vary from patient to patient.

    Make sure to discuss herbal products with your doctor. You should also tell your doctor if you are taking other medications to avoid any interactions with the herbal products.

    Stay tuned for Part 3 ~ we will discuss Other Ways to Help your Symptoms.

    Part 1- "What's it all About Anyway"?

    To Your Continued Health and Success!

    Miss Julia

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Healthy Being LLC: Natural Health & Wellness Tips, News & Recommendations: Top 10 Foods Women Should Eat More Often (Fruits, Veggies, Fats, Omegas, Nuts)

    Healthy Being LLC: Natural Health & Wellness Tips, News & Recommendations: Top 10 Foods Women Should Eat More Often (Fruits, Veggies, Fats, Omegas, Nuts)

    Menopause Symptoms and Memory Loss

    While you may experience the misery of hot flashes and mood swings as you enter menopause, one thing you can't blame on the "change" is memory loss.

    In the latest study that exonerates menopause as a cause of impairing the ability to recall, Taiwanese researchers compared the memory of hundreds of women before they had any menopausal symptoms to their memory as they entered menopause.

    They found the women who were going through the menopausal process scored as well or nearly as well on five different cognitive function tests. Results of the study are to be presented Oct. 4 at the American Neurological Association annual meeting in Toronto.

    "When women go into peri-menopause, they don't need to worry about cognitive decline," said Dr. Jong-Ling Fuh, an attending physician at Taipei Veterans General Hospital and an associate professor of Yang-Ming University School of Medicine.

    The researchers said the myth of memory loss during menopause is a perception some women have because as they went through menopause, they felt their memory wasn't as sharp as it had been before. Studies suggesting that hormone replacement therapy might protect against dementia strengthened that belief. However, a large study later found that in older women, hormone replacement therapy not only didn't help protect women from dementia, but could actually increase the risk.

    To try to answer the question of whether menopause did have any effect on memory, Fuh and her colleagues studied nearly 700 pre-menopausal women living on a group of rural islands between Taiwan and China. The Taiwanese government restricted access to these islands until the 1990s, so the authors report that the study's population was nearly homogeneous, which would help rule out other potentially causative factors of memory loss.

    The women were between the ages of 40 and 54. None of them had had a hysterectomy, and none took hormone replacement therapy during the study.

    All took five cognitive tests designed to assess their memory and cognitive skills at the start of the study, and then again 18 months later.

    During the study period, 23 percent of the women began to have symptoms of menopause.

    The researchers then compared the memory of the women who had entered menopause to those who had not, and found very little difference. In four of the five tests, there were no statistically significant differences in the two groups of women.

    Only on one test was the difference statistically significant, and that difference, said Fuh, was very slight. This test was designed to assess verbal memory and involved showing the women 70 nonsensical figures. Some of the figures were repeated during the test, while most were not. The women were asked whether they had seen the figure earlier.

    "For women, menopause does not mean you'll develop memory loss," said Dr. Raina Ernstoff, an attending neurologist at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. As you're going through peri-menopause and experiencing symptoms like hot flashes, she said, you may feel lousy and have trouble sleeping, which might temporarily affect your cognitive skills.

    "I don't think declining estrogen levels are what causes memory loss," said Dr. Steven Goldstein, an obstetrician/gynecologist at New York University Medical Center in New York City. "It's not like your memory is bopping along, doing fine and then takes this big dive during menopause, like bone density can."

    Both Ernstoff and Goldstein said they weren't aware of many women who believed that menopause might cause significant memory loss. They also both felt that results from this group of women who were so homogeneous might not apply to different groups of women, such as those living in more industrialized society. And they both said that other factors that weren't studied could play a role in memory loss, such as hypertension, which can contribute to vascular dementia.

    Ernstoff also pointed out that the education backgrounds can play a large role in memory loss. Fuh acknowledged the researchers did attempt to control the data for educational differences.

    SOURCES: Jong-Ling Fuh, M.D., attending physician, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, and associate professor, Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan; Steven Goldstein, M.D., obstetrician/gynecologist, New York University Medical Center, and professor, obstetrics/gynecology, New York University School of Medicine, New York City; Raina Ernstoff, M.D., attending neurologist, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich., and member, Alzheimer's Board of Detroit; Oct. 4, 2004, presentation, American Neurological Association, Toronto.

    To Your Continued Health and Success!
    Miss Julia

    For more information visit:

    Tips to Avoid Winter Skin Problems

    Don't let Winter weather pose a new 'wrinkle' for you during this Winter season. Protect your skin with these tips:

    • Shorten Your Showers. Frequent, long baths and showers can remove the lipids (fats/lubricants) which help retain skin moisture.

    • Moisturize. In the shower, use soaps with moisturizers or add oils t bath water. After your shower, pat dry and replenish moisture with an overall moisturizer.

    • Use Sunscreen. Casual sun exposure adds up over time, even in winter. Choose skin products with SPF 15 protection or add sunscreen to your routine.

    • Make Your House Skin-Friendly. Use a humidifier, especially in your bedroom while you sleep. Also, avoid exposure to cigarette and cigar smoke as they can accelerate the skin's aging process.

    • Stimulate, Exfoliate and Rejuvenate. Winter is a great time to pamper your skin. Scrub your face to remove old skin cells and use face creams with retinoids that can help reduce facial lines and wrinkles. Just don't overdo the scrubbing, too much can remove valuable natural lipids.

    Please check with your Dermatologist to discuss your particular skin type and what may be the best recommendations for you to avoid the Winter 'doldrums' for Your Skin.

    To Your Health !
    Julia Gray, Licensed Practical Nurse
    Your Personal Success Coach
    Proud Member ~ My VM Team

    Google Me ~~ Julia Gray Online

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    SURVIVING MENOPAUSE (Who Turned Up the Heat?) Part 1 ~ What's it all about Anyway?

    Menopause ~ The Change of Life. Consulting with your physician, educating yourself and staying informed are the best ways to help you through this time. This 4 part series will help y0u understand what is going on, how to understand the symptoms, what treatments are available (both hormonal and natural) and finally, how to survive and get through this very significant 'period' (no pun intended) in our lives.

    Changes and Symptoms
    Menopause is a normal change in your life (when your period/menstrual cycle stops). This is why this stage is called "the change of life."

    During menopause your body will make less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This generally happens between the ages of 45 and 55. You may know that you have reached menopause when you have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months (providing there are no other reasons for this change).

    As you near menopause your body may start to exhibit symptoms from hormonal changes. The majority of these symptoms are normal. Unless you have other underlying health issues, most of these symptoms are natural and normal. However always consult with your physician if things don't feel 'quite right'.

    SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE ~ Every women's period/menstrual cycle will stop at menopause. Some women may not have any other symptoms. However, other women may experience any, all or a combination of the following symptoms:
    • Changes in your period/menstrual cycle ~ the time between periods and the flow from month to month may be different.
    • Spotting or Abnormal Bleeding ~ while this is a common occurrence during menopause, if you have not had a period in 12 months and you experience "spotting" you should report this to your doctor to rule out other significant conditions such as cancer.
    • Hot Flashes ~ This is the sensation of getting warm in the face, neck and/or chest.
    • Night Sweats and sleeping problems may lead to feeling tired, stressed or tense.
    • Vaginal Changes ~ The vagina may become dry and thin, this may cause sex and vaginal exams to be more painful. You also may develop more vaginal infections.
    • Thinning of your bones (also known as Osteoporosis) may lead to loss of height and bone fractures.
    • Mood Changes ~ mood swings may include depression and irritability.
    • Urinary Problems ~ such as leaking, burning or pain when urinating, or leaking when sneezing, coughing, or laughing.
    • Problems with concentration or memory.
    • Less interest in sex and changes in sexual response.
    • Weight gain or increase in body fat around your waist.
    • Hair thinning or loss.
    Remember, you may have one or a combination of these symptoms. However, the one all of us will have is YOUR PERIOD WILL STOP!!!!! Stay tuned for Part 2 ~ Treatments for Menopause (Hormonal and Natural).

    To Your Continued Health and Success,
    Miss Julia

    Monday, March 16, 2009

    Prostate Cancer ~ Early Diagnosis is Key (We Love You Guys - Go Get Checked ~~PLEASE!!)

    FACT: More than one in six men will get Prostate Cancer in his lifetime. In the state of South Carolina alone, more than 3,300 men were diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in 2007. Studies also show that African-American men are more than twice as likely as any other ethnic group to die from Prostate Cancer. Experts believe that this is due to African American men being diagnosed with a more developed stage of the disease.

    Dr. Augustine M. Boateng, board certified urologist explains that today, cancer of the prostate is the most common cancer in men over 50. Dr. Boateng further states that "fortunately, we have seen an increase in early prostate cancer diagnosis ever since the development of the PSA blood test. And listen guys, early detection is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT !!

    The PSA is a blood test that measures the level of prostate-specific antigen (this is a prostate-produced chemical in your blood). Dr. Boateng explains that while it is normal to have a certain level of PSA in your bloodstream, elevated levels could indicate a prostate infection, enlargement of the prostate or cancer. If you do have unusually high PSA levels, your physician will perform certain other diagnostic exams to identify the cause.

    POINT ~ Early prostate cancer has no specific symptoms. Men with prostate cancer are often unaware of their condition.

    REMEMBER ~ A PSA screening can detect prostate Cancer before symptoms appear. And early detection is essential for successful treatment.

    Prostate cancer symptoms may include the following:
    • Urinary difficulty
    • Reduced or interrupted urine flow
    • Erectile dysfunction
    • Frequent pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs
    • Frequent urination, especially at night
    • Pain or burning with urination
    • Blood in urine or semen
    These symptoms may indicate other conditions as well as a benign (non-cancerous) enlargement of the prostate. Contact your doctor immediately if you should experience any of these symptoms.

    Come on guys ~~ do it for us !!!

    To Your Continued Health and Success !
    Julia Gray, Licenced Practical Nurse

    Google Me or Visit me online at

    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Why Women Hesitate To Call 911 During a Heart Attack

    Women too often hesitate to call 911 during a heart attack. This could be for any number of reasons, such as not believing they are really having a heart attack or just not wanting to raise a false alarm. Women must remember to never take a wait and see approach to a heart attack. The longer you wait the more damage a heart attack can cause. Take your symptoms seriously, because they are.

    A recent CNN report states that women make other, often critical, mistakes that delay their treatment in these situations. Some women will downplay these symptoms, while others will self-diagnose themselves as having heartburn or other minor health issues.
    These delays and mis-judgements can cost you your life. Don’t wait around for symptoms to worsen. Just call 911.

    When emergency personnel arrive, clearly and completely describe your symptoms. For example, if your chest pain feels like someone just parked a car on your chest—tell them that exactly. If you have a unusual nausea or shortness of breath, tell them how unusual it is. If you have a family history of heart disease or if you have a history of heart attacks in your family, tell your paramedics about this as well.

    All of this information is vital. By giving the paramedics a complete history of your symptoms, they can prepare emergency physicians and other medical personnel to provide you with the best treatment possible. This can save your heart and your life.

    To Your Continued Health and Success!

    Julia Gray, Licensed Practical Nurse

    Sunday, February 15, 2009


    Heart Disease is the number one killer of American women. Statistics show that it accounts for nearly one-third of all female deaths. That is six times as many deaths as is caused from breast cancer. Wake up ladies!

    In 2004, in the state of South Carolina alone more than 144,00 women suffered from heart disease. In local communities more than 500-600 women a year are sent to hospitals with some form of heart disease.

    Still we find that many women do not recognize heart attack symptoms. Many others simply delay calling for assistance (either because they don’t understand or they are just plain afraid); this puts their health and their lives in jeopardy.

    As women, we need to know our unique heart attack symptoms. Please understand these can be quite different from a man’s. IF YOU EVEN THINK THAT YOU MAY BE HAVING A HEART ATTACK ~~ CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY, WITHOUT DELAY! Even if it is a false alarm, when your life is at stack this is the least of your worries.

    Point to Remember ~ When thinking of heart attack symptoms, you may think of someone gripping their chest in pain or gasping for breath. You would be right - some of the time.

    While chest discomfort may be the leading cause of heart attack in both men and women, in women it can feel a lot different than we would even expect.

    Very often a woman’s heart attack feels like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. It usually starts in the center of the chest, lasting for sometimes no more than a few minutes.

    During a heart attack other areas of your upper body may experience discomfort as well. You could have pain in your arms, back, neck, lower jaw, or stomach. This may be accompanied by shortness of breath or other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting.

    While chest discomfort may be the primary symptom, studies show that almost a third of all women experience no chest pain at all. Instead they experience shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain or pain in the lower jaw.

    Of course these symptoms will vary from woman to woman; pain can come and go, it can either be mild or severe. The thing to know is that it is an unusual~ pain, different than one you have felt before. When this is the case call 911 or your local paramedics immediately.


    To Your Continued Health and Success
    Julia Gray, Licensed Practical Nurse

    Thursday, January 8, 2009

    Can Fast Food and Meat & Potatoes Really Equal Weight Loss?

    Fast Food
    Drive-thru food is great because it's quick and it tastes good. But there are ways to get the
    "fast" without the fat. Many burger places offer grilled chicken sandwiches and salad bars. If
    fried chicken is your weakness, picking off the breading strips calories while retaining the
    flavor, says Susan McQuillan, RD, a registered dietitian in New York City.

    Overall, sub shops are a pretty safe bet--if you go easy on the mayo. And your grocery store is
    a great place to pick up healthy convenience foods such as reduced-fat hot dogs, low-fat frozen
    dinners, or stir-fry ensembles for quick meals at home.

    But when you just can't shake the craving, it's perfectly fine to hit your local hot dog stand
    or burger joint--just mini-size your meal. Menu To make losing weight easy, it has to fit into your busy lifestyle. Here are some options you can grab on the go.

    Breakfast 8 oz fat-free plain yogurt 1/3 cup strawberries 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 Tbsp
    fruit spread. Wash and slice fruit the night before, or thaw the frozen kind in your refrigerator overnight.

    Lunch 1 fast-food hamburger 1 small order fast-food french fries 1 12-oz cola. For a more filling meal, load up on low-calorie extras such as tomatoes, lettuce, onion, and pickles.

    Dinner 3 fish sticks, frozen 1/2 cup spaghetti with marinara sauce tossed with 1/2 cup cooked
    spinach and 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 1 whole wheat roll. Jarred tomato sauces with vegetables are still pretty light on fiber. For more bulk, microwave frozen veggies, and add them to the sauce.

    Snack 1 banana 4 oz orange juice

    Total: 1,739 calories; 56 g fat

    Meat & Potato Lovers
    The key to losing weight while still eating the comfort foods you grew up with is learning how
    to prepare them with fewer calories. Start with smart choices: Lean cuts of red meat such as top
    round, sirloin, and London broil average 240 calories per 3-oz serving compared with their fattier cousins: prime rib, T-bone, and filet mignon, which weigh in at 340 calories for the same-size portion. Then grill or saute them in olive oil spray instead of butter to cut calories even further.

    For variety, try pork tenderloin or tuna steak as hearty red-meat substitutes. And explore other
    side dishes such as sweet potatoes and whole grain rice or pasta. They have the same starchy
    feel as potatoes but boost your fiber intake to fill you up faster.

    Menu The protein from meat and the carbohydrates from potatoes are a great way to control your hunger. And with a little planning, they can help control your waistline too.

    Breakfast 1 cup bran flakes 1/2 cup 1 percent milk 1/2 cup blueberries

    A high-fiber breakfast will help move some of the fat and calories from last night's dinner out
    of your body.

    Lunch Ham sandwich: 2 slices whole wheat bread 1 oz reduced-fat Swiss cheese 2 oz turkey ham 1 roasted red bell pepper Romaine lettuce 1/2 cup macaroni salad 1 medium banana.
    For fewer calories, ask if your deli prepares low-fat or fat-free side dishes.

    Dinner 1 cup tomato soup made with 1 percent milk 1 serving Sauteed Steak and Mushrooms 1
    serving Guilt-Free Scalloped Potatoes 1 cup steamed broccoli. If you stick to the 3-oz serving size, you can eat meat most days of the week.

    Snack 1 apple 12 potato chips. Having a piece of fruit along with the chips can stop you from eating the whole bag.

    Total: 1,530 calories; 51 g fat

    Happy Eating !
    Julia Gray
    Proud Member My VM Team

    Google Me ~ Julia Gray Online

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