Friday, December 28, 2012

Better Work! Fitness Focused

Another week of Cross Fit, this time we are now beginners!

T'was the morning after Christmas and we had a lot of family fun and delicious food. We signed up for a morning session and off we went heading to the city. Once again, I was excited. I had no idea what was in store and if I would be able to survive.

Interestingly, while I was in my elements session, there were other sessions going on and they were moving quickly from one thing to the next with the coach yelling out "Let's Go!!!" How surprised was I to find out that they were not the advanced classes but beginners. Naturally, I began to have some doubt, I questioned whether I should sign on to take the elements class over. Well, it was too late now. I signed up to do this and I will follow through.

This week I took the beginner sessions - pull ups, ring fall outs, over head squats, sit ups, push ups, wall walks (my husband did it with ease while I prayed that my sneakers would stop slipping and that my face would not be flattened by the fall), kettle bell swings, hang clean, front squats, tabata squats, jump rope. I did it all and I was not the last to finish nor was I racing to be the first to finish. It was difficult but I knew that I could do it. After last nights session, someone from our session asked me how did I like it, I said "I hate it but I will be back on Saturday."

No, I do not really hate Cross Fit, it challenges me and that is exactly what I need.
Are your pom poms still waving? I sure hope so :-)

Friday, December 21, 2012

What You See - Is What You Get!

And so it goes.......... The final week in CrossFit elements.

Here's what we covered:

Handstand Push-ups - Here's an impressive demonstration. Of course we did not do the parking lot handstand push-up or the dangling mid air on the bars. However, we learned how to do the handstand push-up on the wall as well as using the box. My husband can do the hand stand push-ups on the wall and on the box. I am happy to share that I was able to kick my feet up and hit the wall - almost there. On the other hand, I can do the handstand push-up on the box :-)

Ring Dips - picture me balancing myself on the rings and then dipping down and coming back to my original position. Yes, you cannot imagine that either :-)I did manage to hold myself up on the rings for about 5 seconds. Naturally, it will take some time for me to get the rest of the actual exercise together.

We did the Elizabeth - I used the bars as opposed to the rings and for the clean reps, I had the bar without added weights. Now for some good news, I was not the last one to finish (confetti time).

Watch out now....... then there's the Helen. Our cross fit training is located indoors, the running part was substituted by burpees (yuck!!!) You guessed it, I was the last one to finish, but I made it through the Helen. 21 of each, then 15 of each and 9 of each.

The morning after my body ached and I smiled :-) I asked for it and I got CrossFit. Elements completed - next up beginners. More to come......

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Time To Talk and A Time To Take Action!

The Sandy Hook Elementary School killings has become another moment where I pause and ask God - WHY???!!!

However, in the meantime, it is time for we the people to have a serious talk.

Let's discuss mental health and the services that are available for people with mental illnesses and disorders. There is something unethical about allowing someone who is known to have violent behaviors to blend in with the population where at any point, something tragic can happen to someone.

Let's also discuss the issue with assault weapons.

Who should have them? What is the criteria? Why? etc. It just seems to me that too often we hear the common statement, this doesn't happen here or this is not supposed to happen here. Where is it supposed to happen?

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) told Fox News Sunday that he believed more guns are the answer to violence in schools.

"I wish to god she had had an M4 in her office," he said of Sandy Hook Elementary School principal Dawn Hochsprung, who was also killed in the shooting.

Really???!!! Is that the solution???!!!

As a mother, this hits close to home. I cannot imagine what the other parents and families are going through right now. I cannot imagine what the husbands and children are going through without their loved one returning to their homes. I feel such a sadness about it, yet my sorrow cannot be compared to their unbearable grief.

We really need to get serious about this issue. I do hope that parents who have children with mental illnesses/disorders who exhibit violent behaviors can recognize the danger that they may be facing and it's impact on society as a whole. There is a huge responsibility that comes with being a parent. Recognize your role, get support, find a group, organization or create one. Shake the stigma and deal with the situation at hand. Yes, there will be good days but please do not allow those days to keep you from actively seeking help. Speak up and speak out loudly - don't wait for another situation like the one we're facing to come forward only to slip helplessly back into your norm.

In the midst of this emotional period, let the lives of those who were so violently taken away be the prompt for us to make a change.

It's time to talk! It's time to take action...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Whip It Real Good - Cross Fit

Week 2 of Cross Fit and what a whipping it was! Sophia our instructor came in and eased us in with some demonstrations for doing various workouts. However, by the end of each session, I was gasping for mercy, air and water. My favorite was the wall balls which she referred to as the suck balls workout. In this workout we had to hold the ball, squat and throw it up to the mark on the wall then jump into burpees (my least favorite) and we were timed to complete 21, 15 and 9 of each. Yes, I was the very last one to finish but I did them all.
This week I did the scarecrow, pull ups, burpees, snatched, clean, jerked and sucked balls. The pulls up were rather difficult. I just had the most difficult time using my arms to pull myself up, so I would dangle there holding on. I jump down get the chalk and massage them into my palms and fingers - feeling like a professional athlete. I jump back on the bar and dangle some more until my arms let go. I hate doing the pull ups. However, I do the pulls up with the assistance of the band and it really is tougher that it looks.
Another workout that we did included barbell thrusters and then pull ups. The aim is to complete 21 barbell thrusters and 21 pull ups getting your chin up above the bar. Next you jump down get the barbell and thrust for 15 and jump up on the bar to do 15 pull ups. As soon as you are done, jump down get the barbell do 9 and jump up on the bar and do 9 pull ups all within 1 minute and 52 seconds. I did it all within 6 minutes and 18 seconds :-)By the way, this time, I was not the last to finish. Unbelievable yes, but the guys who had weights on their barbells were still going at it when I was finished. Obviously my barbells had no added weights but it was heavy just so you know ;-) The Fran workout was quite a way to end the workout. I cannot imagine what to expect next week. I just hope that you are still cheering me on. Check out Jason Kaplan showing us how it's done.........

Monday, December 10, 2012

All Things in Moderation

It's a new week and as I prepare for my second week of Cross Fit, I think of the emails I've received with questions and concerns about beginning or getting back to working out. Whenever I get back on track to focus on improving my health and wellness, I always begin at a pace that is comfortable for me. As I have mentioned in previous blogs and on the Health & Wellness Show, your health and wellness depends on you. You are the one who is charge of taking care of yourself. Not only are we focusing on the diet and exercise but also the well being of the mind and spirit.

There's no need to punish yourself with thoughts of where you should be in your health, or constantly fuss about the weight you have gained, just make a decision to change the way you do things - gradually. In doing so, you will begin to settle in to a different life style. You will notice that you are able to make more changes and may even look for new ways or methods to improve your health. Whatever the case, begin at your own pace. Do NOT try the quick fix remedies, it will fade as quickly as it came - once you have a flash back craving.

Even though there was a time that I could run 16 to 20 laps on the track, whenever I begin my track workout after having a long break, I begin with walking and perhaps running a lap after every three laps walked. Eventually I will walk one run one until I am able to run 4 laps and then walk one and then 4 laps, etc. It is important to note that I also run slowly. I run at a pace that is comfortable for me. As my ability to run more laps increases, my pace picks up.

As excited as I am to face the challenges of the Cross Fit program this week, I still work out at my own pace when I am on my own. In this case, the challenges are timed and I am able to compete - at my own pace :-)

Here are some suggestions that you may want to consider in beginning to improve on your health and wellness.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Thrill Is On

Please keep waving the pom poms, it's only the second session of CrossFit and I am feeling it. First, I must clarify the level of CrossFit that I am taking is called Elements. The first session was not as intense as I imagined it to be. However, it was in it's own respect, an introduction to how intense it will become. Thanks be to the good Lord, my partner (husband) is also taking the classes with me. It would be great to get his perspective, perhaps I can convince him to share his experience with you also.
A Peek Into Week 1
Nothing is more awkward than the feeling of entering a new forum and feeling like the new kid who enters the classroom in the middle of the school year. Here we were walking into an open area with groups of people and instructors working on all sorts of reps - well advanced. Then there are the looks you get that translates into "Oh look who finally stepped away from the buffet table." It made me pray that I would not end up flat on my face begging to sit something out.

Our instructor who was filling in for the week had us introduce ourselves and then gave us a brief introduction to what we should be expecting in our level of training. Then it was on.... the moment to begin. Our first night included squats, push ups and sit ups beginning with 20,15,10 and 5 of each while timing it for the reps to be completed within 8 minutes. I came in just under 6 minutes at 5:57 (Yippeeeee!!!) Albeit, I was the last one to finish but I was happy to know that I did it with time to spare.

You know how it feels the morning after, the work out is real and it tells you throughout your body. My muscles ached, I was in pain yet I was thrilled, something is happening :-)

Last night we began with the jump rope (50), plank for 30 seconds then 5 ring rows. It was also timed to be completed within 10 minutes. We moved on to the bars, squats, chest press and lift over the head, and then lowering to the thighs pass the shin then back up again keeping the body in perfect form. We ended with pull ups and squats. I am not a fan of pull ups as it requires me to use my arms to lift my body up and bring my head above the bar. There we were all six of us standing on the box and waiting for the instructor to say "GO!" I did my pull ups, struggling to pull myself up 5 times and then jump down to do 8 squats and then back to the pull ups and squats as fast as I could in 10 minutes. I worked very hard and did everything. As usual, I was the last one to finish. None of that bothered me one bit, I was determined to give my best. I even told myself that eventually, I will be better the next time. As I walked to the bathroom to change, I smiled to myself. I was really loving the sweat, it made me feel as though I gave my body a well deserved shake down.

While having dinner with my partner (husband), we spoke about the sessions comparing them in terms of the intensity. As I was sharing with him that the lady next to me did only 3 pull ups and then jumped down to do the squats, he said that's what the instructor told us to do. 3 pull ups and 8 squats. Really???!!!! How did I miss that?!!! Oh I know, I was the last one to complete the previous challenge/rep and the group had moved on to the instructions for the next workout.

Keep waving the pom poms. Next week, I will be listening ;-)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Practice What You Preach.........

As I have often heard the saying 'practice what you preach' it has never meant as much to me as it does now. I have openly shared on the Health & Wellness Show and in my speaking engagements that I have some reckoning to do with myself. Thankfully, I have made some major changes to improve on my health and wellness. However, I am still in need of many more.

I have always enjoyed running, walking, going to the gym and getting my work out on. On the other hand, I have also enjoyed my Pepsi, chocolate, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and for movie watching, popcorn with raisinets blended together with a large Pepsi or Orange soda to wash it all down;-) I get my runs in; I really enjoy being physically active. The difference is that my work out has decreased and my intake of snacks has increased. Needless to say, this is not good, especially coming from someone who practically has a bull horn approach when discussing health and wellness.

Today, I'm going to begin CrossFit training and I will give an update on my progress. I took an introductory class and it was a killer. I have a sneaky suspicion that the introductory class was really a mild session. However, I am excited. Pray for me! :-)


Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I love Pink!

The pink ribbon serves as a symbol that most people recognize as the support of breast cancer awareness. Lately, the color pink and the symbol has had a bit of backlash from those who find it to be overwhelming. October is referred to as Pinktober/Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are those who complain of the color, while there are those who are upset that the pinktober theme appears to focus only on survivors and those who complain about the attention given to breast cancer as opposed to the other cancers that are also deserving of awareness. I agree every cancer deserves awareness. In fact, all diseases deserve to be given attention. However, I can remember that there was a time that no one spoke openly about cancer - even more so breast cancer.

I love to see the courageous women and men who have faced breast cancer share their journeys with others. Their journeys are unique to each individual as well as their support system.

I love hearing about the decisions that some have made which may seem a bit drastic to others but completely logical to the person making an important personal decision. Rene Syler a spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, author, TV personality and CEO of Goodenoughmother shared her decision to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.

I love going into the stores and seeing the products that are supporting the fight against breast cancer.

The pink theme parties, events, symbols and products are great reminders that breast cancer awareness is very important. It has made a huge impact in the fight against breast cancer - it funds research and assist in helping those who are unable to afford the services among other vital concerns. Whether you like the pink theme/symbol or not, lives are being saved.

Here's a brief history of the Pink Ribbon as shared via Wikipedia

The first known use of a pink ribbon in connection with breast cancer awareness was in the fall of 1991, when the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.

The pink ribbon was adopted as the official symbol of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month the next year, in 1992. The pink ribbon was derived from the popular red ribbon for AIDS awareness. Alexandra Penney, the editor-in-chief of the women's health magazine Self, and breast cancer survivor Evelyn Lauder, the senior corporate vice president at the cosmetics company Estée Lauder created a ribbon for the cosmetics giant to distribute in stores in New York City.

As one who had my own scare with breast cancer, I welcome all the pink awareness themes and events. The emphasis on early detection/prevention is extremely important. The love and support from the Pink awareness supports women and men who are also facing the fight with cancer.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Meningitis - The Concerns Are Heightened

You go to your doctors office with complaints of back pain and you are given an injection to alleviate the pain nothing alarming about that except shortly after, there is major breaking news of an outbreak which may have included several deaths. This is the big news of our day and there seems to be a number of cases reported throughout many states. Needless to say, the concerns are heightened.

Although the onset of symptoms is typically 1 to 4 weeks following injection, there are also reports of shorter and longer periods of time between injection and onset of symptoms. It is very important to contact your physician if you have any concerns.

As of October 10, 2012, CDC’s fungal disease laboratory has confirmed the presence of the fungus Exserohilum in 10 people with meningitis and the fungus Aspergillus in one person with meningitis.

According to the Center of Disease Control who is currently investigating the recent outbreak,the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are coordinating a multistate investigation of meningitis among patients who received epidural steroid injections (medication injected into the spine). In several patients, the meningitis was found to be caused by a fungus that is common in the environment but rarely causes meningitis. This form of meningitis is not contagious. The source of the fungus has not yet been identified, and the cause of infections in the other patients is still being assessed.

If you have received any medication from one of the NECC products recalled on September 26 you should contact your physician.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creutzeldt-Jakob Disease - Combination of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease

Imagine one day watching a relatively normal person suddenly become forgetful and no longer able to function simple tasks - even more shocking, they may die within 30 to 90 days as this disease progresses rapidly and worse yet it is incurable. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is defined as a form of brain damage that leads to a rapid decrease of mental function and movement. This disease may occur suddenly with someone who is as young as 20, middle age or older.

It is very important to know about the various diseases so that you and your family may be aware in the event you notice that something similar is happening to someone you know.

Be informed.......your health and wellness depends on you.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Caregiver - The Gift of Caring

When a loved one is sick, there are those who visit, those who call, those who send cards with Get Well Wishes or Thinking of You and those who send gift baskets or all of the above. However, there are those who step in and devote their time to tending to the needs of their loved one. The Caregiver is one who is so busy making sure that the doctors appointments are made, they serve as an advocate, speaking with the health care team, picking up prescriptions, cook, clean, feed, bathe, read, entertain, listen, talk, laugh, cry, deal with the ups and downs of the emotions of their loved ones and times deal with the demands of the onlookers (family members who are not actively involved except for their questions and suggestions). Overall, the Caregiver is the one who takes it all the good, the bad and the ugly.

It is time to appreciate the Caregiver. Although the Caregiver may seem to do things with ease, it takes a toll. Caring for a loved one who is ill is not easy. The concerns of their health and wellness can be overwhelming and the Caregiver may wonder if he/she is doing enough. The Caregiver needs someone to come in and help share the load. It is important for the family to get involved to take on some of the tasks. In the cases where there are no family members or friends to help, there are also Caregiver Support Groups and Associations that offers services to help alleviate the stress of caring for a loved one.

National Family Caregivers Association
National Alliance for Caregiving

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Small Things..........

As we go about or daily lives, we often take things for granted. Of course we look at the weather to see what the day will be like and prepare accordingly. However, how often do we take a moment to stop and look at the sky, marvel at the display of the clouds and the brightness of the sun (do not look at directly :-)

When you walk through the park or driving along seeing the trees lined up standing tall and spreading their glorious branches, do you take it in and all that it means to be a tree?

As I reviewed my twitter feed today, I saw several tweets that mentioned - breathe. One tweet simply said - Breathe. Another tweet said Good morning :) Remember to breathe. I thought to myself, how can we forget to breathe? Then I realized that there are so many things that we take for granted.

I have a great appreciation for mother nature and I am in awe of all of it's beauty. In fact, I have many pictures of the sky, it is an amazing canvas that changes from one moment to the next. It all began when I was a little girl and I would lay in the grass and look at the clouds. Some clouds looked like animals or had profiles or figures of people. I loved sunny days and hated when it rained. Thunder and lightening always frightened me. I am not a fan of winter although I love to see the snow, spreading out like a beautiful white blanket.

Now, I try to see the beauty and purpose of the everything nature has shared with us. I would much prefer to dwell in the late spring early fall period but I am also giving in to the seasons and their purpose which presents us with it's own beauty. The flowers, the trees, the fruits, the vegetables, the animals, the ocean, the rivers, the lakes, the grass, the water falls, the sea, the sand, the dirt, the rocks, shells, the fish, the birds, the sun, the moon, the stars, the clouds, the sky and most importantly, the air that we need. It's the small things we must take a moment to appreciate - just breathe.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Breastfeeding Week!

There is another controversy brewing with the latest promotion of breastfeeding. The New York State Department of Health has a Breastfeeding Campaign program that provides training and guidelines to help get more mothers to breastfeed and to get them to breastfeed longer. This is not a political issue, it is the position that the health department should take in promoting health and wellness. New York's Mayor Bloomberg supports this campaign as it is a positive move in creating healthier babies as well as great benefits to the mothers.

Needless to say, there are those in the media who are creating a debate on whether or not this is another effort to control people and tell them what to do. Is it an effort to control mothers? Take down the formula companies? Make new mothers feel guilty for having difficulties with breast feeding? NO!!!!!! It is not, it is about health and wellness for mother and child - where is the controversy in that?

As you know there are many benefits to breastfeeding and the campaign is a way to bring awareness to new mothers and those who may find the information good enough to give it a try. Just imagine there was a time when breastfeeding was the way to go and introducing formulas was not necessarily embraced immediately. O course, formulas offer a lot of conveniences to those who would prefer not to breastfeed for many reasons that includes - working, difficulty with the baby latching on, etc. However, if you knew all of the benefits to breastfeeding, perhaps more mothers would give it a try.

In support of Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7, 2012)I would like to share the following videos. Take a gander and do share :-)

Breastfeeding in Public - A Mother's Choice

Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting to Know the Kidney - Conversations

The kidneys are extremely important organs that are essential in our body being able to function effectively. However, unless you or someone you love suffer from kidney disease, this issue may be of no concern to you. On the other hand, being the wise and wanting to be in the know of how you can improve on your health and wellness, this is something that you need to know.

Thanks to the National Kidney Foundation, Dr. Leslie Spry - a kidney specialist shares a series of information that may seem a bit repetitive in the initial phase of each video but that is not the case. Each video contains very vital information. Listen, learn - be informed!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Here Today, Gone Today - It's Up to Your Heart!

"I love you with all my heart"
"My heart belongs to you" or "My heart beats only for you"

Yes you've heard it all before. The truth is the heart is an organ that can change your life instantly. Unlike the diseases that may give you time to get treatment, transplants or time with your loved ones - a heart attack may not be that merciful. If you are fortunate enough you may survive an attack. On the other hand, there are those who are taken away completely, leaving everyone in complete shock.

I have found some videos that may provide some insight to your heart and how you may eliminate heart disease. Be informed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Health Matters - And Health Care for All?

As we cover various matters in health, we need to focus on a very important topic - access to care or our health. You may have heard of the many great health care programs in Canada, Cuba, Europe, Netherlands, etc. This week is a big one as the Supreme Court prepares to issue its ruling on President Obama’s signature health care law. Here is a brief look at various health care systems that are in place throughout the world. However, let's begin with a look at what the President wants to pass into law here is the United States of America.

For more Health Reform

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Fathers Day - An Amazing Man!!!

While I tooted my own horn on Mother's Day, I am extremely thrilled to pull out the bull horn on Father's Day for the most incredible man I know. Fathers are quite essential in the making of babies. However, it takes a very special kind of Father to take on the babies that are not his own.

I use the term babies but my children were not technically babies. They are my babies even though they are now all grown and in college. As a divorced mother with three children, I happen to be quite blessed to have met someone who was a perfect match.

He was not a disciplinarian figure but his presence, his demeanor, his words of encouragement was enough to gain a tremendous respect and love from my children.
He is overall consistent. A great son who loves his parents and his mother means the world to him (can you say -- thanks be to God!!!) He is also tops at being a brother, I love their relationship - they're truly brothers. As a father of two fantastic kids, his love, commitment and dedication is outstanding - bar none. In fact, just watching him with his grandmother who is 103 years old is heartwarming.

He is all kinds of wild, fun and adventurous. He loves to ride. He can go hard on his sport bike (Honda CBR 1000) and cruise on his Road King (Harley). He can also get behind a cause and ride his bicycle from New York to Boston for AIDS Awareness. He's participated in many other AIDS and cancer awareness fundraising events, runs, walks, rides - you name it.

He remains calm and acts as though he is not embarrassed when I spin around in church, scream and holler at concerts, dance and just carry on the conga line. He's by my side, laughs with me, talks with me, enthusiastically disagrees with me yet remains buckled in and works through the turbulence.

My husband is my lover, my best friend and above all my King!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Time to Sleep - The Need to Sleep

While you may have heard some people talk about their work ethics and how they don't sleep - as if it's badge of honor, the truth is a lack of sleep can lead to a decline in your overall health and wellness. Yes, I have heard it all, "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and the lack of sleep might just make that sleep time come a little sooner.

According to the National Institute of Health, the amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual. The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a "sleep debt," which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually, your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don't seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.

People tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans as they get older, although they generally need about the same amount of sleep as they needed in early adulthood. About half of all people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems, such as insomnia, and deep sleep stages in many elderly people often become very short or stop completely. This change may be a normal part of aging, or it may result from medical problems that are common in elderly people and from the medications and other treatments for those problems. There are many studies that indicates that a lack of sleep is dangerous. Furthermore, experts say that if you feel drowsy during the day, even during boring activities, you haven't had enough sleep. If you routinely fall asleep within 5 minutes of lying down, you probably have severe sleep deprivation, possibly even a sleep disorder.

Here is an interesting discussion moderated by Alana B. Elias Kornfeld at the Forum at the Harvard School of Public Health:

For everything on sleep --> The National Sleep Foundation

Everyone needs sleep

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Takes A Stand - The Large Soda Ban!

In an effort to address the enormous growth in people who are overweight or obese, New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on selling sodas/sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Sugary drinks are defined as beverages that are "sweetened with sugar or another caloric sweetener that contain more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces and contains less than 51 percent milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient."

According to the recent research studies, the public health statistics of New York indicates that 58 percent of New York City adults and nearly 40 percent of city public school students are obese or overweight. Obesity comes with many health risks, illnesses and complications which puts a burden on the cost of health care. I appreciate the Mayor's effort to take on the challenging position to help others make healthier choices and this will be quite the challenge. Unfortunately, there are so many ways that people with bad habits can get around this. Needless to say, there are those who are against the Mayor's proposal and he has been called the Nanny among other things. The plan is to ban them from restaurants and movie theaters where they sell the larger size drinks. This is not sitting well with those who enjoy going to the theater and having a large soda, to go with their big bucket of popcorn and candy. "You mean I can't have my super size soda? Why? I don't have it everyday? I don't go to the movies that often?" "What will happen to the 711 Big Gulp?" I've heard it all. However, the ultimate stand will be up to the individual to take full responsibility in what they consume and how much they will consume. Your health and wellness begins with you.

Keep in mind you can still purchase your sodas at the stores. What's your position?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What Gives? Understanding the Cervical Cancer Screening 2012

It appears that there are always changes in the cancer screening guidelines and many people are confused with the frequent changes. With the various forms of cancers, it is often difficult to know which one has changed. After attending a dinner program for healthcare professionals on the progress of cervical cancer screenings, I wanted to share it with you. I have followed the cervical cancer screenings and the controversies that surrounded it as it had not been completely accepted by some in the medical community. However, it appears that the latest guidelines have ha a better reception.
The best thing to do is discuss your concerns with your doctor. Your doctor knows your health history and if you do not know your family's health history, find a way to be screened for the necessary tests. Be sure to share your health history with your children.

Based on the latest research studies, the United States Preventative Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society have released a new guideline for cervical cancer screenings.

Dr. Peter Frederick a gynecological oncologist explains the new cervical cancer screening guidelines for 2012. Be informed and share! :-)

Here's a look back....
New Cancer Guidelines Controversy (Part I)

New Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines (Part II)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Something to Talk About!

After receiving numerous emails regarding an issue that many hesitate to discuss, I've decided to take it head on. This condition can be terrifying to men and women, where some describe it as their worst nightmare. Erectile dysfunction also known as impotence is downright scary, it is the inability of maintaining or having an erection.

Although having difficulties with an erection may be due to stress and not necessarily an indication of impotence, it can be a sign of an underlying health condition that needs treatment. However, once it is determined that there is a health issue, an effective treatment plan may reverse your erectile dysfunction.
This is a very sensitive topic that is not easy for men and women to talk about even in the privacy of their own environment. Communication is vital to the survival of your relationship, your own self confidence and peace of mind. Above all, seek medical attention, do not assume that you are under stress - you may be right but then again you may be wrong. Your health and wellness is in your hands.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Business of Being A Mother

Being a mother is no easy task - it is filled with challenges. As I reflect on this position that I have held for the past 26 years, I realize that I have every right to run for the president of the United States of America if not the world :-)

Culinary Expert

I have fed the kids when they have declared there is nothing there to eat -miraculously I manage to whip up meals without leaving the house.

Office of Administration

Time management - scheduling various appointments,parties, attending recitals and other related events while maintaining my own.
Reviewing papers, filling out forms, signing permission slips, attend meetings.


I have served as a strong advocate on behalf of their health, education, etc.

Domestic Policy/Homeland Security

I have successfully mediated and at times end major wars.

Event Planner

Slumber Parties, Birthday Parties, Museum Trips, Broadway Shows, Amusement Parks, Family picnics/barbecues, Vacation/Traveling Abroad, After Christmas Shopping, Concerts, Baseball games and more.

Chief Cheerleader

Cheering at every performance at home, school or any other venue. Cheering them on to greatness.

Economic Council/Adviser

I have had to balance budgets with next to nothing left

Health Care
Office of Drug Control

I have experience in taking care of the sick children bringing them back to health without having to run to the emergency room and calming their hysterics at the sight of blood when they merely have a bruise.

Official Spiritual Adviser

Very close connection to God for the ultimate guide that I do not mess up this position.

Office of Mental Health

Listen to the constant reasons why the other person is stupid
Listen and counsel on having compassion, the importance of caring, being kind, and knowing when it's time to hit back

Education/Guidance Counselor

Selecting the appropriate educational materials/courses/path/programs
Filling out Financial Aid Forms for College

I can go on and on with the other duties but it may appear to be bragging. Well, I wont be running for anything as being a mother is a life term position and that's a major position that I wont trade for anything.
I must go and celebrate this day although I am still on full duty..............

*Updated version originally written in 2008

Friday, May 11, 2012

Honoring Mothers!

Mothers give birth naturally while some mothers open their lives to adopt. Mothers are those who may use a surrogate to carry their child. Mothers comes in many forms - let us celebrate and honor mothers everywhere around the world!
The moment you first meet your baby is indescribable. There is nothing like it, it is such a special, magical moment.
Mothers nurture, care and love their babies.
Mothers understand the important role that they have and want nothing but the best for their children.
Mothers give great hugs and kisses. They are simply wonderful :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother - It Takes One to Know One

I remember when I first found out that I was pregnant the sheer fright of it all was overwhelming. I had so many things to consider but most importantly - my parents specifically my mother. I was raised by a God fearing, God loving, God everything mother. I was raised in the church and Sundays was reserved for church starting from Sunday School to Sunday morning service and then back for the evening service. The week nights had services as well which I also attended. I could not understand why I had to go to church all the time, I thought my mother was so mean. I was sent to the best schools that they could afford, graduating from an all girls high school. Next step - college. Well, not for me, with my new found independence, I became pregnant. I was so ashamed, I could not find the courage to tell my mother. I knew it would hurt her and after all that she invested in me, this is what I gave in return. I kept my mouth shut and let my pregnancy show for itself. My mother and I coexisted in silence, she was too numb to speak.

During my pregnancy, I had nightmares of having an alien for a baby. I wondered if I would die during the birthing process. I prayed and asked God to please let it be a girl but I just knew it would be a boy because I had no right to ask for a girl knowing that I had sinned. It was such a God fearing ten months, yes it felt as though I was carrying my baby for almost a year. However, after giving birth and hearing that it was a girl, I became overwhelmed. What kind of mother would I be? How would I take care of her?

On the other hand, I was excited that I had a healthy baby girl and I felt that perhaps God was not as disappointed in me as my mother. Somehow, I was able to get through motherhood by applying some of the values that my mother gave me and maturing into setting my own standards and values. I realized very early, while holding my newborn baby in my arms that I wanted the best for her. I wanted her to be smart, to have an exceptional relationship with God, be nice to others, go to college, have great friends and have an amazing life.

While making my detours through life, I completed college and excelled academically. I have accomplished quite a lot and my mother is proud. I am a mother and now a grandmother of girls and I am so thankful to God for giving me the best mother in the whole wide world! I could not have done it without her.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Fitness, Summer Fun!!!

Spring is here and before you know it, summer will be exposing us. I am working my way to getting myself in the best shape that I've ever been. However, I am learning that I really need to consider where I am now as opposed to my former years.

Truth is your body changes with age and it does not respond as easily as it has when you were a teen, twenty or thirty something year old. Once you reach 40, you will notice the change. Your metabolism slows down by five percent every decade of life past age 40. An example that can put it in perspective is if your resting metabolic rate is, 1,200 calories per day at age 40, it will be 1,140 at age 50.

So we are here to figure out the solutions.

1. Consistency is key - keep working out and try to maintain not gain
2. Watch your diet - easier said than done,remember you're getting older and the metabolism is too :-(
3. Try new workout routines - change is good (hiking, biking, boxing,rock climbing, dancing, etc.)
4. Speak with your doctor first before making any changes no matter how simple they may seem.

Now, let's get it going so that we can have a fabulously fit body to take us through summer and beyond..............

Monday, April 16, 2012

Let's Open Up - Irritable Bowel Syndrome

There are many conditions that can inhibit open discussions based on the embarrassing nature of the illness and when it comes to bowels no one really wants to talk about it. After all it is impolite to pass gas in the company of others and no one wants to know whether you are regular or not with the bowel movement, it's just considered as a gross subject. Well, I am willing to open up and explore this health concern that affects many - mostly women. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. Although they may seem similar in name, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not the same as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. In IBS, the structure of the bowel is not abnormal and does not cause permanent damage to your colon.

Listen to the first hand account of someone who has IBS and watch Dr.Liz Lipski nutritionist, and Dr. Mark Gostine as he explains Irritable Bowel Syndrome and how it may be relieved.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Be Still And Know - You Are In Charge

Life is filled with challenges, how you handle the challenges? Do you become overwhelmed? anxious? depressed? ill tempered? or do you remain calm? seek guidance? look for solutions?

There are many ways that we can cope with the ever changing moments of life. Challenges exist for all living things. The trees, the animals and the earth all face challenges. As humans, we face challenges daily. The wealthy, rich, successful people are constantly facing challenges. It is how you handle the challenges that really makes the difference in your health and wellness.

As we have previously explored meditation and it's benefits, it is time to take a listen to those who have benefited from this practice. Hopefully, you too will take the time to add meditation to your daily habits. Take a moment, be still - your health and wellness depends on you.

The Medical Findings

Think Happy Thoughts

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Health Disparities - Minority Health Awareness Month 2012

April's here again and with that it is the month where we focus on Minority Health Awareness. The health disparities continues to remain high within the minority communities - leading in higher mortality rates. No need to read a long article, listen to the experts who would like to give you an insight to the concerns of major diseases that are rampant in the minority community.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Celebrate Life!!

Life is what you make it.......

This past weekend was a big weekend for my family and me. I celebrated my birthday. As March 1st begins, the pre-celebration begins. It is another countdown for me, my very own personal new year. My family has all joined in to help me celebrate and although they say that can't wait for it to be over, they really make it a special time for me as well. With all of the excitement of adding another year to my life, it is also a moment where I can review and renew my commitment to being the best me that I can be.

Here's what I do to celebrate life.........

** begin each day with meditation
** give thanks for another day and all that it has to offer - challenges and all
** pray throughout the day - seek guidance
** give a shout out to the sun thanking it for doing such a great job
** take notice of the sky, see how beautiful the color is and acknowledge it
** on cloudy or rainy days, give thanks for the provision of water
** when it snows, admire the beauty of the snow
** show appreciation for the trees, plants, flowers, animals
** seek out positive affirmations
** smile, laugh, encourage
** give hugs and kisses to your loved ones, tell them I love you as often as possible
** work to make each day a great one and if it does not work out quite that way, look
forward to the next day
** be kind, thoughtful and considerate of others
** exercise and try to maintain a healthy diet
** pamper myself, treat myself to something nice :-)
** attend church, visit museums, go to the movies, concerts, plays, dine out, travel
** sing, dance, listen to music, read a good book
** make time for family and friends
** make time for me
** end each day with thanks

Do I ever cry, get angry, upset, disappointed, discouraged? Of course! I acknowledge those emotions as they are valid for the moment. However, as with the seasons, they are sure to come and go. I let them go and in some cases, it may take a bit longer to let go of the anger/disappointment. In the end, it is all up to me to let go and move on. The goal is not to pretend that life is all about sunshine, flowers, giggles and fun but to exercise the option to accept the challenges, seek solutions, let go of the things that hinders my happiness/progress - move on and celebrate life!
How do you celebrate life? (think about it)