Category:

Health

tips for raising healthy daughters, heart health

Disclosure: This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with the Healthy For Good initiative of the American Heart Association. The views, opinions and positions expressed within this post belong to The Truth and do not necessarily represent those of The American Heart Association unless explicitly stated.

Food is something that I’ve always had a strained relationship with. Kind of like that bad boyfriend you just can’t quit. Let me rephrase it, it’s not the quitting part that I’ve had the problem with, it’s the walking away in a healthy way.

As many of you know, I have a past with eating disorders. It started when I was 12, the same age my oldest daughter is now, and it lasted actively until I was 25-years-old — though anyone who has ever survived disordered eating will tell you, much like alcoholism, it’s a lifelong disease but unlike alcohol, you can’t quit food and that has always been the trick.

I won’t spend a lot of time explaining my past with anorexia and bulimia because I’ve done that already. If you are interested, you can read all about my eating disorders here and my body dysmorphic disorder here. I just wanted you to know where I’m coming from now. We are all products of our past, after all.

As I said, I have daughters; my oldest is 12 and my youngest is 10 and one of my biggest fears since becoming a mom is that they’d inherit my predisposition to eating disorders. So, I decided years ago that I needed to shift my thinking from dieting and restricting to eating healthy, moving more and controlling my portions. For better or worse, we are our children’s first role models. They see and hear everything we do, even the words we don’t speak. These little people are smarter than we usually give them credit for.

But how does a woman who has spent her entire adult life, since she was 12-years-old, having a love/hate relationship with food and her own body teach two little girls to be healthy?

It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s something I work on every single day. I have become very aware of just how disordered I was through this journey of motherhood but it’s also made me more mindful of what kind of relationship with food that I want to model for my girls.

My eating disorders have made it so that I have a better handle on what to say and not say, do and not do, in relation to food and body image with my girls. I’d like to think, if anything good could possibly ever come from eating disorders, it was that they made me better equipped to raise strong, positive self-image, self-loving, confident and healthy girls and that almost makes what I went through worth it.

Here are my tips for raising healthy daughters.

So how do I do it? How do I model healthy eating habits for two little girls on the precipice of becoming women? Carefully and thoughtfully. We try to keep red meat to once a week or less. I’ve always fed the girls a variety of foods that included lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Those are the staples but I have also taught my girls that everything is okay in moderation. There can be no absolutes because always and never just end in disappointment and fall short.

It’s my responsibility to demonstrate a healthy lifestyle that includes free will, informed food choices, living actively and drinking plenty of water. No one says that has to be boring. My girls love infused waters. I want being healthy to be a way of life for them, not a chore so we look for activities that they enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter so much what you are doing, just that you are moving. Food is fuel for the body and our bodies really are a temple. But we only get one, so we’ve got to take care of it.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re foodies in this house. We love a good meal full of different colors, textures and flavors. We love to try new foods, the more exotic the better. In fact, we implemented a rule when the girls were still toddlers that you try everything at least twice and if you hate it, well, then you try it again at a later date. This has made for children who are very food adventurous which helps to integrate a variety of healthy foods rather than them always wanting chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese but hey, like I said that’s okay too, in moderation.

One of our favorite things to do, and we’ve done this since the kids were small, is to cook together. Both girls love to help us cook. I found out a long time ago that even if there is something that they don’t really like, if they help cook it, they will eat it. Somehow, their hard work seems to magically make it infinitely more appetizing to them. Plus, it gives us the chance to experiment with new recipes and flavors. For instance, why not throw some fruit on the grill?

These are just a few simple tips for raising healthy daughters.

The biggest thing I do and it really is so simple, if you don’t want your family to eat certain things, don’t buy them. Why not do a pantry audit and add healthy staples to your shopping list. If unhealthy foods aren’t in the house, they’re harder to put into your body. If you don’t want pop and chicken nuggets to be a part of your kid’s regular diet, then don’t let it be an available option. This will eliminate you having to police what your children eat.

I don’t ever want to tell my children not to eat something because I think the natural assumption when you tell someone not to eat something is that they don’t need it. And, speaking from experience, especially coming from a parent, thinking they think you are anything less than perfect is soul crushing. Not that any of us think we are truly perfect but we all believe, at least our parents believe we are.

The key is trying to be mindful and purposeful in what we eat most of the time. Sure, sometimes we want a pizza night or some frozen custard but I really try to make that the exception more than the rule.

If you are like me, you are always looking for good resources to keep your family healthy. The American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good website is a great resource full of healthy living content. It offers an extensive suite of recipes, videos, and editorial/infographic health content. Healthy For Good focuses on the following 4 pillars.

 

  • EAT SMART (smart shopping, cooking, and label reading)
  • ADD COLOR (eating healthier by adding colorful fruits and vegetables to your meals)
  • MOVE MORE (becoming more active)
  • BE WELL (whole body health; including mindfulness, stress reduction, wellness)

Did you know that June is National Fresh Fruit and Veggie Month? What could be a more perfect time to get some fresh inspiration from the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good Eat Smart and Add Color pillars? I say eat the rainbow! Variety is the spice of life and it’s healthier too.

The AHA’s ultimate goal is to help people navigate barriers so they can create and maintain behavior change. They don’t just tell you what to do, they show you!

Why not join the Healthy For Good movement for amazing weekly tips, recipes and motivation (scroll down here www.heart.org/HealthyForGood and click “join the movement.” I did! What are you waiting for?

What are your best tips for raising healthy daughters or sons?

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discipline, exercise, parenting, how to change bad behavior with exercise

I found the cure to all bad habits and I can tell you the secret of how to change bad behavior with exercise! Nope, it has nothing to do with exerting yourself and distracting yourself. It has nothing to do with feeling better about yourself or being a better person. It’s much simpler than that and I promise you, it works. I am living proof. You can change bad behavior with exercise and achieve parenting level master status. It is discipline in the best way possible.

We all have bad habits. It’s the truth. I try to be a good example for my daughters. We want our children to grow up to be upstanding citizens of the world. We want them to go out into the world and be so fierce and fearless that they impress everyone they meet. We don’t want them to be jerks. One of my life goals is for people to meet my children throughout their life and be like, “Damn, that is one bada** woman!” At the same time, I want them to be like, “What a lady she is.” That’s my mom getting in my head.

I want my daughters to be the perfect lovechild of Audrey Hepburn, Maya Angelou and Lady Gaga. I want them to be fierce, caring and relentless in their pursuit of good and happiness. That’s what I’m going for but I want them to use their words. I want their words to be the vehicle that can gain them entry into any conversation in the world. I want their brains to be their sexiest body part.

I want them to be giving, loving and embrace life and love and people. I want them to live out loud with no walls or prejudices. I want them to fully appreciate the world they live in without fear or self-doubt. I think I am succeeding, or at least on trajectory with this path, with the exception of one small kink…using their words.

This is where it happens, this is what prompted me to figure out how to change bad behavior with exercise.

Yes, embarrassing as it is, I (the writer) have failed my children in the example of using their words.  You see, I know a lot of words. I know all of the words. I am in love with the words. But sometimes, I am a lazy word user and I resort to profanity. GASP! I know shocking. Well, not really. Not if you’re a long time follower of me. I’ve been trying a lot harder to stop with the lazy words because I don’t want my girls to use all the lazy words. So, I made a decision and it is kind of shocking how well it has worked.

This is how to change bad behavior with exercise.

It’s actually very simple. I implemented a rule a few weeks ago that if you (collective you, as in my family) curse, that is an automatic 50 crunches and if you bicker and yell, that is an automatic 200 pushups and so began the hardest few days of my life. Just kidding, I’ve lived through a lot of hard stuff. I was not going to be broken by crunches and yet, 400 crunches in one day…it was pretty rough but it worked almost immediately. Who knew you could change bad behavior with exercise?

The thing that I’ve learned is that no amount of grounding, taking away of friends, tech or play dates will work to curb my children’s bad behavior. They respond much more astutely to positive reinforcement. I’m not surprised because I am the same way.  I’d prefer to get a reward at the end of hard work than to not get punished. I learned when I was pretty young that I preferred to do what I wanted and suffer the consequences, that’s just how I work and unfortunately, I think I passed that strong will along to my daughters.

However, apparently, none of us love doing crunches. In fact, we despise them. Now, these were not your average run of the mill sit ups. These were those blasted ballet/ floor barre/ physical therapy ones meant to target your lower abdomen. No one works their lower abdomen. It’s not natural and it HURTS!

3 days is how long it took to cure me of my cursing habit. 2 days is all that it took for the girls to never want to use any sort of lazy word ever again. You see apparently, our lazy words are not worth getting off our lazy butts and doing 400 crunches. And the bickering, well, my girls hate push ups even more than crunches. Bickering has been at an all-time low. I can feel my sanity returning. It’s all fun and games until someone has to do exercise.

You see, I’m a die hard, forgiveness over permission gal but I had to be the example and so crunch away I did. I’m still doing 150 every day, just in case I stub my toe or something and need that sweet release plus, I could definitely live without a FUPA. It’s so simple to change bad behavior with exercise. Why did I never think of this before?

I’ve also realized that crunches can probably cure just about any bad habit we have. Think about it. You want to gamble, each bet is 100 crunches. You want to drink, each cocktail is 100 crunches. Want to eat that whole sleeve of Oreos? That will be 50 crunches per cookie, thank you. I’m pretty sure most of us would think twice before doing that again because I don’t know about you but a swear word is not worth 400 crunches and there are no cookies worth 50 crunches. Then again, at the very least, I’d be a heathen with great abs!

Would you have ever thought it was possible to change bad behavior with exercise?

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what its like to have an eating disorder, are eating disorders hereditary, skinny, vanity, weight loss, are eating disorders genetic? , raising girls, tweens, eating disorder, bulimarexia, eating disorders, anorexia, weight

Have you ever wondered are eating disorders genetic? I have since the day I gave birth to my first daughter because the last thing I wanted to pass down to my girls were eating disorders. Many of you know that I have been in recovery from bulimia and anorexia for nearly 20 years, with very few slip-ups. But eating disorders don’t just magically leave, they plague you for life. It’s impossible to unlearn those behaviors and almost as hard not to act upon your instinct. I know that’s not what anyone wants to hear but it is my truth.

Today, it finally happened. The day I’ve been dreading since she was born. The day she compared herself to me. The day I had to really consider …

Are eating disorders genetic?

Unfortunately, my research says, yes, eating disorders are, in fact, genetic just like Bipolar disorder, depression and so many other mental illnesses. We like to think we can protect our children from illnesses but what do we do when we are the very people who gave them the genes to develop the disorder? It’s through no fault of our own. We can do everything right and still not be able to protect them from these kinds of things. I’ve tried my best to do everything right and I am super aware of the behaviors because of my own experience but what if none of that can stop any of it?

For me, there is no competition. She is better than me in every single way. She is a tall, leggy blonde with blue eyes that smile, a sweet voice and the perfect peaches and cream complexion. She is everything I hoped to be as a young girl. She is smart, graceful and strong. She is independent, cultured and not afraid to stand up for herself and for what’s right. She is my idea of perfection.

 

In many ways, we are alike. That strong, independent bossy streak that runs deep in her, is all me. Her smile, me too. The intelligence, well she got that from both of us and the culture is something I have been instilling from birth. However, the tall, graceful leggy blonde is not me at all.

I have always been average to tall, 5’7”, dark hair, hazel ish-brown eyes and small boned. My parents are not big people. My mom is 5’3” and my dad is probably around 5’10”. So, I was always the youngest and often one of the smaller kids in the class.

Today, as I was cleaning out my attic to prepare for the yearly garage sale, I was pretty excited because I have a bunch of “vintage” clothing that my newly 12-year-old can rock. These are pieces I loved but just will never look right on me again. I’m not 21 anymore and I’ve birthed 2 children; half tops and low-rise flared jeans are just not appropriate for me in my current situation. Read; an adult with some junk in the trunk and a tiny spare tire.

Anyways, as we sifted through the tubs, I got very excited because I was excited to pass these pieces on. Then it hit me, she is bigger than me now then I was at 21 ( because I was 3 years deep into my eating disorders; I was anorexic.) I knew this might happen, I’d planned to adjust for it but I forgot.

You see, a few months back, I told my oldest about my eating disorders as a preemptive strike. Now, I really struggled with whether or not I should tell the girls because I don’t want them to think less of me, think its ok or, worse still, be responsible for planting that seed in their brain. But I told her because she is starting to outgrow me in height.

Her feet are passing me by and I noticed that when I tried to give her a pair of my shoes, she compared her feet to mine. Firstly, we have different builds. Secondly, she is a ballet dancer who dances in pointe; wide feet are a by-product. But none of that matters because she was comparing herself to me and I was the bar by which she was measuring herself. She judged her difference as a deficit. I assured her that different does not mean less than, it only means not the same.

Today, as we sifted again through the bins, she began trying things on. Things she knew I wore to my bridal shower and on our honeymoon and I could see her judging herself. It broke my heart. I had to jump in and explain that we have different builds and that I was not healthy when I was that size, the size that is smaller than a 12-year-old child. In all honesty, my 9-year-old happily accepted and fits into one of my favorite outfits from when I was 25. I was sick. I could have died and none of that is ok.

I’ve tried to explain that I had already gone through puberty and my shape was different than hers is now. I also explained how I had no boobs and hairy legs when I was her age; to give her some perspective. Still, I saw the defeat in her eyes when she tried on one of my favorite skirts from the 90’s and she couldn’t fasten it.

I know that feeling because even though I was not a huge tween, I was huge compared to my mom. I outgrew her clothes around the same time. This was also the same time; I began my lifelong battle with body dysmorphic disorder so all of this is scaring the shit out of me. Like, I am literally lying awake at night wondering how this is all going to play out and praying that eating disorders are not genetic because they never go away. You are never cured. You are just in a constant state of recovery for the rest of your life. I don’t want that for my girls.

To this day, I follow girls in recovery on Instagram. I’m invested in their recovery from eating disorders. Part of it is because I miss being in control like that and part of it is to cheer them on in their recovery. I want them to get better; to survive and have a life and a family and be able to eat food without mental anguish; cruelty-free without torture. But then I get this thought in my head, what if I’m cheering them on and they see me, overweight now, and relapse?

The same way I am terrified that my clothes are going to push my daughter in that direction. She is almost as tall as me and she is going to be much taller. She is also built more athletically than me. Her father is bigger than my father. She is buying S/M in clothes and I am L/XL and I am afraid she is going to see the gap narrowing too much and see herself as bigger than she is. So, I have to get healthier so I don’t negatively affect the way she sees herself.

Believe me, I know this might sound crazy to many of you, especially if you’ve never had eating disorders but if you have, you know what I am talking about. And if it came down to it, if one of us has to be sick or feel bad or unhappy, please God, let it be me.

I may not be able to change her genetic makeup and predispositions but I can certainly be aware and be present and try my hardest to not let genetics outrank my nurturing. Maybe the answer to the question, “are eating disorders genetic?” might be yes but the outcome doesn’t have to be the same as it was for me.

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cancer, cervical biopsy, when cancer's on the table, waiting for biopsy results, FemiLift, vaginal lift, pap smear, cervix, xanax, miscarriage

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with FemiLift. However, all opinions are my own.

A couple weeks ago, I told you all about the FemiLift procedure and shared with you an interview I had with Dr. Ghozland who performs the FemiLift procedure. It was very informative but you know me, the proof is in the pudding and I wanted to speak with someone who actually experienced the procedure. Because who is going to give it to you more real than another mama?

I had a million, some very personal, questions and Jackie Jorge was a great sport and answered every single one of them.

All the questions about FemiLift you were too embarrassed to ask.

On a scale of 1-10, how painful was it?

I would say it’s a 2, if 10 was the worst pain ever. (Wow! Less painful than I expected.)

How invasive did it feel? I hated the early pregnancy ultrasound wands so how does it compare to that?

It’s way smaller than the ultrasound pregnancy wand, but there is definitely something going “in” you, so you can feel it. I think a pap is more invasive (and painful) than FemiLift treatment. (Good to know because my paps are pretty painful thanks to my extra deep cervix.)

How many treatments did you need?

Doctor recommended 3 FemiLift treatments.

What was your personal recovery time?

There is no recovery time. I was able to go about my day just as usual. The nurse said I shouldn’t have intercourse on the night of the treatment. (Definitely shorter than I expected.)

Can you tell a difference? How? Is it visible or strictly internal and a change in sensation? 

Yes! I can absolutely feel the difference. I had two major issues that I was trying to address. The first was stress incontinence and the other was dryness during intercourse. By the 3rd week of the first treatment, I noticed I wasn’t peeing when I laughed or sneezed.

By the second treatment, I had actually caught a cold and it was the first time I didn’t need a mini pad during my cold! Another great difference is when I take my daughters to the bathroom. I used to have to use the toilet first or I would pee myself! Now, I’m able to let them go first!

As far as intercourse… after the first treatment I noticed right away that I was able to “last longer” and I didn’t need to stop my husband to get the lube out!

What does your husband say? Has he noticed a difference?

I actually wasn’t expecting this… but he said last week that he thinks I’m tighter. He never complained before, but it was nice to know that he is enjoying the benefits too.

Has it improved your sex life? How?

OMG… 100% yes!!! After the second treatment, sex feels incredible!! It is a gift to be able to really enjoy and want sex at 40 (Something)… You have no inhibitions so you’re able to reach climaxes that you never knew existed (and in record time).

Has it made you more confident in bed?

Yes. See above statement 🙂 I’ve never really had confidence issues in bed, but I can say that after FemiLift, I am so much more excited to have sex!

Has it made it easier to achieve orgasm through penetration?

Yes. I am like totally blown away how much more sensation I have. It’s like FemiLift has re-awakened my vagina. It’s pretty amazing!

Would you recommend it to your friends? Sisters?

YES. I DO RECOMMEND FEMILIFT EVERYTIME IT’S BROUGHT UP IN CONVERSATION! I’M ACTUALLY NOT SURPRISED THAT IT COMES UP AS OFTEN AS IT DOES… MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH THE SAME ISSUES. I HAVE FOUND THAT WOMEN ARE LOOKING FOR RE-ASSURANCE THAT WHAT THEY’RE DEALING WITH IS “NORMAL”…  I WOULD SAY TO ANY WOMAN WHO COMPLAINS OF DRYNESS/PAIN DURING SEX, STRESS INCONTINENCE OR THE CONSTANT URGE TO PEE… THAT YOU CAN FIX YOUR LEAKS AND URGES TO PEE AND THAT SEX CAN BE AMAZING AGAIN! MY FRIENDS AND SISTERS HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING MY PROGRESS AND I HAVE GIVEN MY DOCTOR’S NUMBER A FEW TIMES! :))

Just a side note the entire interview was in All Caps, I corrected it. I thought it was a caps lock issue however, now I realize Jackie just thinks that FemiLift is ALL CAPS AWESOME!

Hope this has been helpful to anyone who might be interested in taking action to reverse time and babies effect on your lady bits.

For more information about Femilift please check out my previous FemiLift article that goes in depth about the procedure itself.

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FemiLift, vaginal rejuvenation, the changing female body, laser vaginal tightening

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with FemiLift. However, all opinions are my own.

As I get older, I’ve been considering things I never considered before like what I would look like as a blonde or what if my boobs were back to where they were before I breastfeed. Time is a fickle broad and she takes us all down eventually. It’s not even really about how old I am so much as the use I’ve gotten out of my body.

I’ve had a life full of living, loving and laughing and I’m hoping for at least another 50 years or so of more. I laugh loud and smile really big. I use my parts, people. What am I going to save them for? I don’t put much stock in being a good looking corpse. I want to enjoy life to its fullest.

I liken it to your favorite dress. Some people save those dresses for special occasions that never come. Me, I say wear that sucker every day. Why not? You’ve got it and it makes you feel special; do it. And boy, have I done it all.

The only thing is, even though you are enjoying every moment of living that life, the inevitable happens and you are putting wear and tear on your body. There are things we can do to counteract the “wear and tear” like working out, eating healthy and just enjoying life. Life is too short for stressing out and worrying about everything. Sometimes you’ve just got to let stuff go but not everything.

For example, as I get older, my body is changing. Things don’t bounce back like they used to. When I broke my arm when I was 13, it healed in 6 weeks. When I broke my leg in 2015, well, it’s still healing. On rainy days, I still walk a little bit like a pirate, but I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is never being able to wear heels again, so I will be having another surgery to remove the plates in my leg. Priorities, people.

But there are a host of things, like that, that need some upkeep. I’ve always moisturized but I smile A.LOT. so I can’t fight the crows toes that are starting to form in the crease of my eyes but there are options; botox and fillers, if I ever decide I can’t take the creases. I’m one of those people that needs to know there are options even if I’ll probably never use it.

One of the things that I thought I could never get back to its original state was my vagina after giving birth. Come on, stop blushing, we’ve all thought it. Hell, I even asked the Big Guy once, “Does it feel different (*ahem) down there?”

Obviously, he said no because he’s not stupid. Of course, he swears that I did not poop on the birthing table either. I’m not sure if either of those statements is true and (lalalalala) I chose to believe his version of the story.

My point being, I think most men would agree that a slightly stretched out vagina to play with is better than no vagina at all. Am I right, ladies?

Men, can I get an AMEN?

Then I received an email from FemiLift. I had never heard of it before. Have you?

Here’s the skinny, FemiLift is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that provides optimal results for a variety of feminine health concerns. The FemiLift procedure is performed in a doctor’s office in an outpatient setting, without surgery, anesthesia or downtime. It’s a ‘hit it and quit it’ sort of sitch.

This is the part that interested me, the procedure is performed by gently inserting a probe into the vagina with a 360-degree rotation capability allowing for select targeted treatment areas for specific feminine health conditions. Each procedure takes less than 15 minutes and three treatments are recommended at 4-6 week intervals.

But how does FemiLift work?

The FemiLift procedure uses breakthrough fractional CO2 laser technology to improve the function of the vaginal area by gently heating the vaginal tissue and stimulating the formation of new collagen.

FemiLift was the first to market among feminine health lasers in the United States and Canada and is the only procedure that provides a single use, a disposable vaginal sheath that ensures patient hygiene. I’m imagining the probe wearing a condom. Safety first.



Women who have had the FemiLift procedure report a near-immediate return to activity, including sexual intercourse, with thousands of patients around the world reporting an improved quality of life and deeply enhanced self-esteem.

You know me, I don’t believe everything I read and to be honest, it sounded a like intimidating to me. So, I got some answers from Dr. David Ghozland, a board-certified OB/GYN with over 15 years experience, M.D. Board Certified OB/GYN who performs the procedure and a patient who has had the procedure performed. You can see my interview with Dr. David Ghozland below.

Femilift Interview questions

Are you awake during the FemiLift procedure?  

Yes, the procedure is performed completely awake with zero to minimal discomfort. I have performed hundreds of these procedures and have never given out a single pain medication for the procedure itself or the aftercare.

Is there any downtime in which you cannot be sexually active? 

We typically recommend waiting till the next day to resume sexual activity.

What is the average recuperation time?  

One of the many great attributes of this procedure is the no down time aspect.  Patients return to work or to their normal activity immediately post procedure.

How many treatments does one need in order to achieve a noticeable effect?  

Most patients need a total of 3 treatments to achieve their goals.  We will offer a 4th in more complex cases in order to achieve our desired goal.

Are there any issues with urination afterward?  

There is no change in urination afterward.   Although people do feel a quick improvement in urinary stress incontinence.

Does this help with urinary stress incontinence?  

This has been a huge benefit to my patients who suffer from mild to moderate urinary stress incontinence.   I used to perform on an average 15 slings a month prior to owning the FemiLift machine.   I have taken that number down to approx. 1 -2 slings a month due to using the laser in our patients with incontinence.

How do you measure whether or not it worked? 

This is a very subjective test and therefore no grading criteria is used.  However, patients themselves feel a tremendous difference and improvement in vaginal tightening, vaginal lubrication and improvement of urinary incontinence.

Is there a visible difference? How do you quantify change?  

Again, the visible difference lies in how happy and satisfied our patients are after receiving a treatment course with the FemiLift machine.

Is the change permanent?  

Unfortunately, this is not permanent but we have seen results lasting for over a year.   Patients return for a maintenance therapy session once they feel the symptoms returning to what they were prior to commencing the therapy.   

If not, how long before you need to get the procedure done again?  

On average one to two years before someone returns for a maintenance therapy session.

Can it help make achieving an orgasm from penetration easier? (you know I had to ask this)

People do claim improved orgasms for many reasons.  Improved friction from the vaginal tightening aspect leads to improved orgasms. The improved integrity of the vaginal tissue with better lubrication leads to improved orgasms and less discomfort.  Due to all the positive effects of the machine on vaginal health we notice improved self-empowerment and therefore more comfort during intercourse leading to improved orgasms.  

How many FemiLift procedures have you performed? 

We have now performed over 300 procedures successfully with zero complications.

Does it help with vaginal dryness?  

Yes, I use this therapy in many of my menopause patients for improved lubrications and improved vaginal tissue integrity (vaginal atrophy).

What side effects can a patient expect?

NONE

What are the risks? 

NONE

Is there a risk of permanent damage? Or deadening of sensation?  

We have not experienced any complications or changes in sensation with over 300 of our patients.

Has anything ever gone wrong during a procedure? What? (As you can see, I truly believe in safety first.) 

We have never had a complication in any of our cases and truly believe that this is a safe and effective procedure.

This is my interview with Dr. David Ghozland. I hope I answered any questions you might have about the FemiLift procedure. If not, leave them in the comments section below and I will see if I can get you the answer.

Also, I did interview a patient and I know you want to hear her answers but this post is getting a bit long so I will post a separate post tomorrow with her interview.

What’s the one procedure you’ve been curious about but were afraid to pursue? Ladies, have you ever considered FemiLift or a similar procedure?

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healthy kids, physical education, American Heart Association

This post reflects a compensated editorial partnership with Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

When I was growing up, kids were encouraged to play outside. It was the most natural thing to see children outside playing; climbing trees, riding bikes, playing tag, kickball, or just running. Neighborhood parks were our favorite place to be.

Of course, when I was growing up there wasn’t the Internet. There were no laptops, iPads, kindles or Google. There were computers but they were big and bulky and not everyone had access to them. If you wanted to know what the name of that guy was who did the voice of that character in your favorite movie, you couldn’t Google it, you had to get up off your butt, go to the library and check the encyclopedias, the papers and the magazines. It was a whole big thing so why not just go swimming with your friends?

healthy kids, things to do that that make your child happy, childhood, memories, play, fun, best mom ever, happiness is free, the love of a parent

These days, kids are becoming tech savvy at a lot younger age. The Internet is commonplace and as we evolve technologically, we seem to be doing a lot more sitting and a lot less moving. Kids are not playing outside like they used to. Physical education is being phased out. Recess is becoming viewed as an obsolete dinosaur because who needs fresh air and playing on jungle gyms when you can play a video game about being outside and playing on jungle gyms?

things to do that that make your child happy, childhood, memories, play, fun, best mom ever, happiness is free, the love of a parent, healthy kids

We’re supposed to be moving forward but in a way, I feel we are moving backwards. Just because we have the Internet to answer every question we can ever dream of that doesn’t mean that we should stop moving, just because we can.

I believe our children’s physical health and well-being is just as important as their intellect, maybe more so because we only have one body and once that body is damaged, it’s hard to repair that. Research shows kids need 60 minutes of physical activity per day and PE programs can help get them there so why not teach our kids at a very young age to cherish their bodies and physical well-being.

healthy kids, physical education, American Heart Association

It’s our job as parents to ensure that our little ones are healthy, and for me that includes advocating for physical education and more recess. In a world where it is getting easier and easier to do everything from the touch of a button, it’s important that we instill in our children not only the importance of physical activity, but the habit of moving. We need to model that behavior from a very early age. Heaven knows it’s easier to hand our kids the phone to play than to stop what we are doing and engage them physically, but we have to make the time and find the energy to just do it.

Childhood obesity is not only “a thing” in our society but it is commonplace. We live in a world where super-sized everything is the norm, and it is cheaper to buy junk food than it is to buy healthy food. Did you realize only 4% of elementary schools, 8% of middle schools, and 2% of high schools provide daily PE or its equivalent for the entire school year?

Kids don’t get time to just play anymore. Everything is scheduled and those schedules are packed. In my family, 6 days a week, my girls have extracurricular activities. It just so happens that their activities are physical, but there is very little time for free play and not all kids have these kinds of rigorous physical schedules. This is one of the reasons they don’t spend a lot of time on their devices. A healthy body fosters a healthy mind and increases academic performance. That’s a good thing, in my opinion.

healthy kids

I try to fill our summers with activities like hiking, bike riding, swimming and playing outside. The girls like to spend a lot of time on the trampoline, slack line and zip line and luckily for us, they are not that into being on the computer unless it’s for homework. They’ve not discovered Minecraft or video games yet.

I’m always advocating for more recess and additional days of physical education because those days are important, not only for our children’s physical well-being but their mental well-being too. PE addresses the needs of the whole child, positively impacting their physical, mental, and emotional health. Physical education also seems to have a positive impact on children’s self-confidence because when you feel more physically fit, you feel stronger and more confident.

things to do that that make your child happy, childhood, memories, play, fun, best mom ever, happiness is free, the love of a parent

We encourage our girls to embrace physical activity and to strive to be their healthiest. The Voices for Healthy Kids initiative aims to foster a national conversation about the need to ensure quality physical education as a part of every child’s education.

Throughout 2017, they’re aiming to deliberately and consistently insert the need for expanded PE into the national dialogue to push for changes in the states and communities where change is most needed and where clear opportunities exist.

healthy kids, physical education, American Heart Association

Under ESSA (the federal education law), all states must develop a comprehensive plan to ensure all students receive a fair, equitable, and high-quality education. Unlike previous federal education law, ESSA includes physical education (PE) and health as part of a “well-rounded curriculum” this means that for the first time ever, health and PE have access to significant federal funding!

But here’s the caveat: inclusion of health and PE in ESSA is not a mandate. We need to advocate for daily PE to be included as a core component in ESSA plans so that money can be accessed for PE. If PE is not included in the plan, it won’t have access to funding. 95% of parents with children under the age of 18 think PE should be part of the school curriculum for all students K-12. I agree. Children need PE, as often as possible.

Do you know if your kids are getting enough PE? Protect PE by joining the PE Action Team at www.voicesforhealthykids.org/PE

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how to explain where babies come from, where babies come from, having the talk with children, explaining sex, how to feel sexy after having a baby, new mom, marriage, pregnancy. feeling sexy after baby, vaginal dryness

Disclosure: This is a compensated post written in collaboration with Lubrigyn but all opinions about how to feel sexy after having a baby are my own.

I’ve had pregnancy and babies on the brain lately because, any day now, we are expecting a brand spanking new baby nephew. The business of making and growing babies is a miracle. It also happens to be a lot of hard work but, as all of you know, totally worth it. The thing is when you are 40 weeks pregnant, you are usually too exhausted and feeling way too much like your body is a foreign territory to feel sexy.

Sure, we all do that last round of “get this baby outta me” sex but there is nothing sexy about it for us. It is 100% functional. There is a goal, get that baby out. It’s the same reason why we walk miles and eat pineapple by the buckets in that last week. It’s us, trying to deliver an eviction notice to our beloved little miracles. Sure, we want to meet them but also, we want to see our feet. It’s all hands on deck desperate times, desperate measures. I won’t lie, by week 39 of baby girl number 2, I was ready to go full on succubus on the Big Guy.

But I had no idea of how to feel sexy after having a baby.

You promise yourself that after that baby comes, 6 weeks, and boom! It’s on like Donkey Kong. You just know that you’ll be feeling extra sexy once that giant belly is out of the way and you are still rocking those “I just had a baby” breasts but that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of that works.

Aside from the fact that it is impossible to feel sexy when you are sleeping in 2 hour increments and are hearing phantom crying, even when that newborn is asleep, you’ll find that being covered in your baby’s spit up, no matter how much you love them, does not help you get your groove back. Plus, your mind is just not that into it: when you have an adorable munchkin suckling your breasts non-stop, it’s hard to see them as sexual.

The reality is that your body went through profound changes during pregnancy. That doesn’t all just go back to normal as soon as the baby comes out. Sex is one of those things that changes. In fact, 83 percent of female participants in a recent study said they experienced sexual problems in the first 12 weeks after their first delivery.

One of the most common issues is postpartum vaginal dryness. It is very common and a natural condition. We’ve all been there. Many new moms find that vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable or even painful. Who wants to deal with that, right? Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ease the vaginal dryness situation and get your sex life back on track.

Vaginal dryness is opposite of how to feel sexy after having a baby.

Let me explain, I know you probably know this from 9th grade sex ed, but bear with me… The hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced in your ovaries and are what trigger puberty, breast development and menstruation. These hormones are also responsible for the buildup of lining in your uterus during your menstrual cycle. If you do not become pregnant during your cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and the uterine lining is shed during your period. Life goes on as normal.

Estrogen and progesterone levels increase while you’re pregnant because instead of shedding your uterine lining, it develops into a placenta. The placenta also produces estrogen and progesterone, which is crucial to the health and development of your baby during pregnancy, so you are living in the world of estrogen and progesterone abundance.

However, estrogen and progesterone levels drop drastically almost immediately after you give birth because you just shed the mother of all linings. Hormone levels return to their pre-pregnancy levels within 24 hours of giving birth. Your body’s estrogen level can drop even further while breastfeeding because estrogen can interfere with milk production. These are all your body’s way of keeping your baby healthy, but all that missing estrogen can cause vaginal dryness.

Estrogen is absolutely vital to sexual arousal because it boosts the flow of blood to the genitals and increases vaginal lubrication. And every woman knows, that sex without arousal and lack of vaginal lubrication is pretty terrible. I like to see it similar to trying to swallow a mouth full of crackers with no water. No one wants that, right?

This lack of estrogen is also what’s responsible for many of the symptoms women have during menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness so that’s something to look forward to, right? But seriously, it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to and shouldn’t be suffering. Women deserve great sex too.

“Be mindful of your intimate health as you get older. As estrogen levels decline, so does your intimate skin become more delicate.  Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion provides rich hydration and is free from harsh, potentially irritating ingredients contained in other soaps and body washes.”  – Dr. Alyssa Dweck

There are a couple things you can do. You can power through, if you are the rub some dirt on it kind of gal, which I am not. I am not a fan of pain, in any way, shape or form. Not even in the name of sex. A little hair pulling and lip biting I can do… but sandpaper vagina? I’ll pass.

So what does all this vaginal dryness mean for you? Well, the tissue of your vagina may become thinner, less elastic and more prone to injury. Your vagina can become inflamed, which may cause burning and itching. Intercourse can be painful and can even cause vaginal bleeding. Now, I don’t know about you but when I gave birth, I felt like I had a nuclear bomb go off in my vagina, so no, I didn’t really relish the idea of further damage.

The good news is these symptoms are not permanent and should disappear when you stop breastfeeding, when your estrogen levels return to normal. But no woman should be physically punished for breastfeeding, and stopping breastfeeding should not be the answer to the problem. We shouldn’t have to choose one or the other. We deserve to feed our babies and be able to have good sex.

What can you do to figure out how to feel sexy after having a baby?

I’m here to tell you that you can have a stellar sex life, despite postpartum vaginal dryness. The following are tips to help:

  • Avoid harsh soaps and body washes in favor of a hydrating formula like Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion. Today, more women than ever are taking charge of their vaginal hygiene and comfort with Italy’s #1 choice in feminine care. pH-balanced and made with botanical ingredients, this rich, silky formula soothes, protects and moisturizes the delicate skin of the vaginal area. It’s an all-in-one intimate wash that will keep you clean, confident and comfortable all day. It contains hyaluronic acid and elastin which is an effective synergy to alleviate vaginal dryness. Lubrigyn cleanses gently with natural oils without irritating lather or harmful ingredients, it has non-lathering with deodorizing properties. Lubrigyn can also be used in the shower or simply applied with a tissue, making it convenient for use at home, while traveling or on the go.

“There are easy ways to alleviate postnatal vulvar dryness and irritation. My patients love Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion because it cleanses, moisturizes and lubricates so you feel refreshed and hydrated throughout the day.” – Dr. Michael Krychman

  • Talk to your doctor about prescription options
  • Use a lubricant when you’re having sex.
  • Drink water. Keep your body well hydrated.
  • Avoid douches and personal hygiene sprays.
  • Last, but certainly not least, increase foreplay and try different techniques and positions. Seriously, talk to your partner. He doesn’t want it to be painful for you. He wants you to enjoy it too.

If you’d like to give Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion a try for yourself. There is a $5 off coupon on lubrigynusa.com site.

How to feel sexy after having a baby is a tricky situation, what did you do to get your groove back?

 

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Kitchen appliances you need, 5 Kitchen Appliances You Need to Get Healthy, tips to live longer, tips to get healthy

Ever think you might want to live longer than the national average life expectancy? It’s 79 years old, by the way. That doesn’t work for me. I’m aiming for 103. Life goals people. I want to live longer, bolder and fiercer. I want every moment to be packed full of living.

There are very few things that can get me to change my entire life. My children are the reason I want to live longer but other than that, I’m a creature of habit and not all of those habits are good ones. I mean, I’m not smoking crack or anything but I’ve been known to say (on more than one occasion) that I’d rather work out for 3 hours than give up my carbs and I meant it, every single time.

The thing is sometimes those things are taken out of your hands and your only option is to give up the proverbial carbs, or in my case, the literal carbs. That’s what happened to me. Can you say morbidly obese, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetic and anemic? Yeah, that will make you change your, “I’d rather workout for 3 hours than give up my carbs” mantra really quick. I thought I was special.

It reminded me that time is fleeting and I want to live longer… a lot longer.

Well, not really special but I thought, it can wait. Like you, I’ve always been the kind of mom who puts my kids first sometimes to my own detriment. It’s just I want them to fondly remember me as the best.mom.ever.

I don’t pretend that we are friends. They hate my guts sometimes because I am “so mean” because I make them do things like eat vegetables and get their homework done. There will be plenty of time for bonding like friends when they are grown. Right now, my mission is to love them, keep them safe and raise good human beings so sometimes I have to be unpopular. Eye rolls be damned. Besides, I know they love me because they hug me while they are rolling their eyes.

Anyways, back to me, because I am embracing this new “selfish mom” era of motherhood. I had an incident recently, that I truly thought was a heart attack. Went to the doctor with 187/107 blood pressure. Was literally freaking out. Suddenly, no carbs in exchange for my not-quite midlife sounded pretty damn good. I was beyond bargaining and was begging the universe to let me have another chance.

Are you there God, it’s me Deborah and I’m going to need to live longer!

Well, after lots of tests, I found out that I did not have a heart attack. Thank Goodness. But everything else I’d feared was right there in my chart confirming my suspicions, I had been ignoring my own health for way too long.

Eating cold food on the run or late at night after everyone else is taken care of is not good for you. Never taking the time to work out to lose the baby weight (for 11 years) because you are too busy rushing kids to their sports, definitely not good for you. Never looking at labels because you know what’s good for you, surprisingly not good for you. Eating out…so terrible for you. But I live in the real world and I want to keep doing so. So, I’m changing all of my bad habits with the hope of being able to live longer.

Here’s how I am making little changes that will help me live longer and be healthier.

Shaking my bootie

I’ve started at the bare bones. I’m moving. No, not across the country to a weight loss commune. I’m moving my body, morbidly obese as it may be. I, like you, don’t have a lot of extra time in my day so I am designating 30-45 minutes a day where I dance all over my house with the music blaring. I know I dance like Sam Rockwell but I don’t care I am moving. It makes me happy and it feels good.

A couple other things, I’ve gotten myself a Lotus desk stand so that I will no longer be sitting all day. In fact, I’ll probably be dancing at my desk. I’m probably dancing right now.  The Lotus™ Sit-Stand Workstation features Smooth Lift Technology™ to keep your workstation stable and make changing positions from sitting to standing effortless. Lotus is an easy to use, adjustable and worry free setup engineered with the durability to transition working positions throughout the day. Numerous studies have confirmed that sitting for prolonged periods of time is harmful to your health.

Another thing, I’m walking. Why sit or stand when you can walk. Park further away, take the stairs, just do it.

Writing stuff down

Also, like I told my mother (who was not amused at all) thanks to my past history with eating disorders, I am a dynamite list maker and a pretty damn restrictor. I’ve channeled that into something good, I am logging all of my food into my phone and then I am keeping an actual list of all the calories, carbs, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium and fiber that I am getting. Sounds daunting right? You know what’s even more daunting, being dead. Missing my girls grow up, so lists it is!

Making better choices

I am making informed decisions about what I put into my body. I have my guidelines and I am following them. I do believe everything in moderation so if I can fit what I am craving within the parameters of what I am allowed to have on that day, then I have it. I’m eating cleaner with lots more fresh fruits and veggies, no red meat, lots of lean meat and being very aware of the dairy I put into my body and only eating whole grains. Yes, it is an adjustment. My family is ready to murder me in my sleep for all the sneaky veggies that I’ve been feeding them. My daughter was not amused when she found out that her popcorn chicken was actually baked cauliflower with honey garlic sauce. She thought it was amazing until her sister ratted me out.

Letting it Go

Last but not least, I am letting stuff go. I am a long-time, Type-A perfectionist. I have doctor verified control issues but I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to issues that bother me. I can’t let anything go. I’m a fighter but with that comes stress and worry, which are two pointless emotions. They serve no purpose other than to make your situation worse so I’m stepping back, counting to 10 and recognizing my limits. If kids don’t get their homework done, I can’t stay up until 3 a.m. finishing. If the house can’t be perfect, so be it. I can’t make everyone happy. If you are someone who stresses me out, I’m probably not going to be answering the phone or interacting anytime soon.

I want to surround myself with positivity. That’s it. I want to live and I want to be healthy so I have to make it happen. I have to be selfish so that I can be around to be a good wife and mother. My dreams will never come true if I’m dead so I am embracing my new lifestyle.

It’s only been 11 days but I’ve lost 11 pounds and I feel better than I have in ages. This change is not only good for my mind and body, it’s good for my soul. I can see things more clearly when my mind is still and I can focus. So this is me becoming the best version of myself.

Since beginning this journey, I have found a lot of great family-friendly healthy recipes and discovered new and exciting ways to be active at home, with your family or by yourself and I will be sharing them all here along the way. It’s not as hard as I thought, with the right motivation.

What are you doing to live longer so that you can see your little ones grow up and you can grow old with your special someone?

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Get Healthy, working out, New YEar

Time to get healthy. It’s that time of year again when I’m not quite sure what day it is and my jeans no longer fit. Even the jeggings are being pushed to their limits. Well, technically, I can still zip my skinny jeans but they are functioning more like a tourniquet these days than actual clothing and there is nothing “skinny’ about the situation. Unless you consider the magic they hold that can hold a 10-pound sack of ass in a 5-pound bag sort of stretchy magic. I’m afraid I’m going to be in public and a bend in the right direction is going to send my derriere publicly exposed in all directions.

I am in full on Humpty Dumpty land and feeling every bit of all of those holiday carbs that I’ve been shoveling into my face between Halloween and the New Year holding their hands up and demanding to be counted. This happens every year. Somehow, I slowly phase out the cute skinny jeans for full skirts, A-line dresses and the dreaded Christmas leggings and voila, here we are…”fat girl in a little coat” ( or jeans as it were) time.

It sucks. I hate feeling perpetually bloated. And I’ve convinced myself that my skinny jeans have to weigh at least weigh 15 – 18 pounds. It’s not me. It’s them and they need to get on a diet STAT. It’s the only logical explanation. I’m sure this new egg shaped physique that I’m sporting has nothing to do with all the cakes, pies and alcohol that I consumed at all the holiday gatherings. Oh and I blame my period, as I always do. Has to be. I mean that’s at least another 5-10 pounds of water weight, right?

All I know is that if this state of being is not remedied soon, I’m going to go postal in the nearest fast food joint or maybe the nearest 1200 calorie latte serving Starbucks. Sonsabitches, I knew that caramel crème brulee latte was French for fat girl. Bastards. The thing is no one made me eat it. No one forced me to sip that sweet, overpriced, calorie stuffed latte. I wanted it and with wild abandon, I consumed in typical American nature. Moderation? I don’t need any stinking moderation. Come on we all know that I operate on two speeds; restriction or no moderation whatsoever. It’s a sickness. Really.

Anyways, you know me, I’m not one to go gently or silently into anything. I’m scrappy and I’m going to fight it to the death. It’s that time once again when I feel the need to beat the fat back into submission. Okay, all joking aside, I’m not delusional. I’m never going to sport the waif like body of my 20’s ever again. Mostly because I’ve been in eating disorder recovery for nearly 20 years and I can’t relapse into full on anorexic, not with tween girls in the house, that would make me a terrible role model. Hey, I didn’t say it’s right but everyone has their thinspiration’ mine just happens to be healthy for my girls without being off the rails mentally ill in front of my girls while doing it.

It’s a daily battle that I’ve mostly been winning. I won’t lie, there have been days when I’ve purged out of guilt after a particularly rich meal or simply passed on something I should have eaten because I needed the control on that day and there has even been the bad choices of mania laden juicing or over exercising. I know my triggers and I know, like an alcoholic, I’ll be in recovery (one day at a time) for the rest of my life. Eating disorders are a life sentence. Nobody tells you that.

I don’t want the setback if I can help it so that means I have to jump into that familiar territory of “healthy living” or as I’d like to call it “Moderate restriction with good intentions.” Don’t worry, it mostly entails actually watching what I’m eating, getting those 10000 steps in a day and just saying no to all the cakes, pies, fast food and alcohol for a while. But don’t feel sorry for me, it also means looser jeans, better fitting tops, lower blood pressure, lower sugar, feeling sexier in my own skin and feeling strong and the cherry on top, being a good role model for my girls.

I’m sharing a few of the things I’m using to get healthy in 2017. Because I don’t care what the number on the scale says anymore. I do, however, care about how my clothes fit me and that I have enough energy to play with my kids. They are tweens now so we’re not chasing them on the floor but the hours they can walk in the mall is mind boggling. I may as well put on a pair of good gym shoes and become an undercover mall walker. Plus, side note, no one wants to be their kid’s very own Gilbert Grape’s mom, right?

I’m sick of feeling sick and tired. Also, after the break last year and the subsequent loss of weight, now that I’ve gained it back, I can really feel the effect it is having on my knees, ankles and back. It’s not good.

Here are my favorite tools in my arsenal to battle the holiday bulge.

ExoSOLS inserts: These are awesome because they are custom made orthotics that are made specifically for your foot, to give you the support that your feet need. No prescription is required, simply download the SOLS app and capture images of your feet to render your true custom foot support. Made for you, on-demand, ExoSOLS will be shipped six days later.

Gel-Nimbus 18 Lite Show by Asics: I found out that I suffer from supination or as you runners call it underpronation.Basically, my ankles roll out in a state of sprain your ankle or stress fracture your legs at all time so I need to take precautions (Along with my physical therapy and orthotic inserts…see above) just not to fall.My world is filled with metaphorical banana peels.

TRX training: Get the workout of your life using your own body weight and it’s easily taken with you and doesn’t take up a lot of space. TRX, the global leader in Functional Training and creators of the Suspension Trainer and Suspension Training, has teamed up with PEAR Sports, the leader in app-based, real-time audio coaching focused on performance and fitness, to provide world-class interactive training to TRX newcomers and devotees anytime and anywhere, at home or on the road.

Qardio scale: This is my favorite scale ever because it not only sleek and beautiful, it is a very functional, wireless smart scale and body composition analyzer that provides users with in-depth knowledge and a broader view of fitness goals by measuring body mass index (BMI), muscle mass, body fat percentage, and water and bone composition, in addition to weight.

QardioArm Blood Pressure Cuff: High tech blood pressure cuff that works wirelessly through an app on your phone. It is accurate, convenient and awesome. It offers users a convenient way to take medically accurate measurements of key heart health metrics including blood pressure and heart rate. It’s a great way to be proactive about monitoring your health.

PEAR Sports: PEAR Sports delivers an innovative and intuitive technology that guides users through every step of their fitness journey. With over 500 unique workout programs including running, cycling and strength, users can experience real-time, interactive audio workouts and personalized training from some of the world’s most talented athletes and fitness experts. Utilizing biofeedback and data, PEAR’s interactive software empowers its users to train smarter, keeps them motivated throughout the process and shares in their successes. PEAR is helping the everyday fitness enthusiast achieve better results, faster.

Huawei Watch: I wear my elegant like it is going out of style, which it never will. With the Huawei Watch, classic Swiss design meets smart technology to create an enduring timepiece. A superior full circle display offers a window onto the world. A wearable to be worn in the gym, to the office or on a night on the town. I loved it so much I got my husband the classic for men.

Portion Control boxes to measure my food because I need portion control in my life badly.

Oh and CIZE and Pure Barre videos because honestly, I love to do classes but I just don’t have the time and money right now to be on someone else’s schedule at the gym.

Now, I start the work. I’ve already begun the portion control and better choices, less carbs and alcohol part of the new year healthy living plan. Tomorrow, when everybody goes back to their respective places, I will begin my workout regime. Wish me luck.

What’s your favorite thing you do to get healthy?

 

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mammogram, breast cancer, breast cancer awareness

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski but all opinions about breast cancer and breast health are my own.

Breast Cancer awareness is a big deal to me. It’s not about pink anything or freeing tatas or any of that. It’s about women’s health and helping those who are diagnosed survive. Cancer’s a bitch. Awareness is about a cure. It’s about keeping the women we love alive by teaching women to perform self-breast exams, to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and encouraging women to get their annual mammograms.

We women need to become more proactive about our breast health. We spend our lives putting other’s needs ahead of our own but they need us. We know that and if that’s the case, isn’t it our responsibility to take care of ourselves so that we can be around for them?

I get it, the thought of a mammogram is a bit daunting, especially your first one. I’ve had 2 and I was definitely a little nervous before the first one but it’s nothing. You get to wear a nifty half top, you go into a room and (if you’re lucky) a really nice nurse will explain it all to you and then she’ll situate your breast when she places it in the machine. It is a little snug. I am rather well-endowed and I have dense breast tissue and we have to make sure everything is in the scan. Honestly, the most uncomfortable thing about the whole thing is if your nurse has cold hands. Luckily, mine was courteous and warmed hers up first. It only takes a few minutes and it can save your life so get over yourself and do it.

There are a lot of great resources for women readily available to us these days like the National Breast Cancer Awareness organization.  Right now, you can sign up for a free e-book, The Breast Health Guide What every woman needs to know. It includes tips on how to be breast health aware and includes questions to ask your doctor.

I have friends who have survived breast cancer and I thank God for that. Luckily, as more is learned about breast cancer we can be more proactive in catching it before it infiltrates the rest of our body. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States, other than skin cancer and is the second leading cause of death in women. The scariest statistic? The chance of a woman developing breast cancer sometime in her/my/your lifetime is about 1 in 8.

We’ve made great strides in research and currently, we even have genetic screenings in place to look for the  BRCA1 and BRCA2 markers in women who might be predisposed to getting breast cancer but there is more to be done. We can’t stop until we eradicate this disease.

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are human genes that produce tumor suppressor proteins. These proteins help repair damaged DNA and, therefore, play a role in ensuring the stability of the cell’s genetic material. When either of these genes is mutated, or altered, such that its protein product either is not made or does not function correctly, DNA damage may not be repaired properly. As a result, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.

Specific inherited mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 increase the risk of female breast and ovarian cancers, and they have been associated with increased risks of several additional types of cancer. Together, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for about 20 to 25 percent of hereditary breast cancers and about 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers. In addition, mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 account for around 15 percent of ovarian cancers overall. Breast and ovarian cancers associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations tend to develop at younger ages than their nonhereditary counterparts.

A harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation can be inherited from a person’s mother or father. Each child of a parent who carries a mutation in one of these genes has a 50 percent chance (or 1 chance in 2) of inheriting the mutation. The effects of mutations in BRCA1 andBRCA2 are seen even when a person’s second copy of the gene is normal.

A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.

Breast cancer: About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70 years.

 Ovarian cancer: About 1.3 percent of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 39 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and 11 to 17 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by age 70 years.

We’ve all seen the Pink Ribbon, the universal symbol for breast health. But it’s much more than that. It’s an international symbol for hope for a cure and, to me, survival; either survival of one badass woman who beat breast cancer or a family member who survived losing someone to breast cancer. Either way, that little pink ribbon signifies female strength at the highest level.

Touchstone Crystal created some pieces in honor of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer initiative, which supports women in the fight against breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these products will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

To find out more, click here.

mammogram, breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, touchstone crystal

Touchstone provided me with a beautiful dainty Pink Ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness necklace. It’s absolutely gorgeous and so delicate and feminine. I love it but I’m sending mine on to a friend who just celebrated her 10th breast cancer-free anniversary. She found out she had breast cancer when her daughter was just a newborn. She is one of the kindest and sweetest women that I’ve ever known and the world would be a far less interesting place without her in it. She also happens to be a total badass cancer survivor.

Touchstone Crystal is also providing me a necklace to give to one lucky reader. For the chance to win one for yourself or to give to someone in your life who is struggling with or has survived cancer enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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