The Holidays: An Emotional Feast

Every year, I swear that I will be thin enough to wear my smallest dress to the office party. And every year, I dont quite make it. Oh, I can usually get into it by the beginning of February after a diet-obsessed, guilt-ridden January, but it doesnt mean as much then. Why are November and … Continue reading The Holidays: An Emotional Feast

Every year, I swear that I will be thin enough to wear my smallest dress to the office party. And every year, I dont quite make it. Oh, I can usually get into it by the beginning of February after a diet-obsessed, guilt-ridden January, but it doesnt mean as much then.

Why are November and December so toxic to our weight control efforts? Certainly there is abundant food available during the month long celebration from Thanksgiving to New Year. It is the season for non-stop parties and gifts of food from colleagues, friends, family, and customers.

But more than just the food, there is a special atmosphere that descends on the Western World at the end of November. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzai whatever the celebration involved evoke the onset of primitive emotions. We wax nostalgic over the holidays we recall from childhood. We turn towards family and traditions that have been absent from our thoughts for the rest of the year. We indulge ourselves in the joy of giving and receiving.

Cookies, and chocolates, and gift baskets bursting with preservatives, which we would politely refuse during any other time of the year, are now gratefully accepted in the spirit of the season. Food we would normally avoid creamed soups, fruit glazes, gravy, fruit breads, honeyed hams appear as comfort foods, warming and welcoming. Our sophisticated and world-weary veneer fades in the face of traditions that make us feel whole and contented again.

The goodwill we feel demands a context and a continuity that was established many years ago. Each December, we trot out the same old carols, enjoying the familiarity of tunes we learned to love sitting next to a glittering tree and a roaring fire. For a month, we emotionally step back in time to reconnect who we are with who we were. Despite its current crass commercialism, we need the holidays to remind us of our roots, our values, and our beginnings.

So this year, I am going to throw myself into the fray, eat whatever I want, and let the chips fall where they may. I can always wear something else to the office party and there will be innumerable occasions in the New Year when I can attain caloric virtue through deprivation and denial.

This year, Im going to have guilt-free, unalloyed, and omnivorous fun.

Bon Appetit!

Allergy Season Brings Trouble for Many

Allergy season is here, and that spells trouble for millions of Americans.

Allergy triggers, like oak, ash, alder, elm, poplar, sycamore, grasses, molds, mulberry, and ragweed, can cause anything from sneezing to watery eyes to fever.

Experts estimate that 20 percent of Americans suffer from allergies. And that number is even higher in certain regions of the country. For example, almost half of the population in the Southwest fights the allergy battle every year.

To help keep allergens out of the air in their homes, many people use special filters as part of their air conditioning system. But what about the millions of allergy sufferers using evaporative coolers instead of air conditioners?

Evaporative coolers, also referred to as “swamp coolers,” bring in outside air to cool the home, but most units have no built-in air filtration.

Coolers generally consist of a fan and damp pads. Units cool outside air by about 20 degrees by drawing the air through the wet pads and blowing it into the house. As opposed to air conditioners, which make circulating air drier, coolers slightly increase the humidity of the air.

Now, cooler owners can filter the air coming into their homes. CoolPad Plus is an evaporative cooler pad that provides both high-efficiency cooling and allergy relief. Coolpad Plus has a special layer of polyester to provide increased air filtration of pollen, mold spores, dust and ragweed. It is designed to help relieve allergy symptoms and also to keep the cooler and home cleaner.

Coolpad Plus removes up to 89 percent of pollen, dust and airborne particles. Eight out of 10 people say CoolPad Plus out- performs their previous cooler pad, and it lasts twice as long as competing brands to cool all season long. Rigid pad construction prevents sagging and hot air leaks. CoolPad Plus also contains a special wetting agent for faster cooling and has more than 190,000 water absorbing baffles per pad for better comfort.

Whooping Cough Is On The Rise. Mom and Actor Cheryl

Whooping Cough Is On The Rise. Mom and Actor Cheryl Hines: Keep Yourself And Your Family Healthy

Whooping cough has been popping up in communities across the country and it’s affecting people of all ages. If you haven’t heard about this serious infection yet, chances are you will. But protection against whooping cough is readily available for you and your family.

That is why popular film and TV actor Cheryl Hines has teamed up with the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ (NFID) Wipe Out the Whoop campaign. Together, they are encouraging all moms to make an appointment for themselves and their families to get the whooping cough booster vaccine.

“Work keeps me very busy, but family is my number one priority,” says Hines. “It’s important to take your baby to the doctor, but parents need to take care of themselves as well. Since whooping cough is such a problem, moms need to take the lead in getting family members vaccinated so the infection stays out of their homes and away from their babies.” Hines is a series regular on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and has appeared in numerous movies, most recently “RV” with Robin Williams.

Whooping cough, medically known as pertussis, can be tricky. At first it may appear like a common cold or bronchitis. But the infection can develop into uncontrollable coughing fits that may lead to difficulty breathing and sleeping and even fractured ribs. It takes months to recover and you could miss school or work. Even worse, whooping cough is very contagious, so other family members could get sick as well.

The childhood whooping cough vaccine eventually wears off, leaving adolescents and adults at risk for catching whooping cough and spreading it to others. That is why it is so important to get a booster vaccine to protect against whooping cough.

A mom infected with whooping cough can give the infection to her baby, who may be too young to be completely protected by childhood vaccines. Babies also tend to suffer from more serious complications, resulting in hospitalization and sometimes death.

“Whooping cough can be a serious infection, regardless of age,” explains infectious disease specialist and NFID Medical Director Susan J. Rehm, M.D. “But babies are at greatest risk, so caregivers-moms, dads, grandparents-should make prevention a priority.”

The whooping cough booster vaccine is called Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis). It also protects against tetanus and diphtheria, two other infectious diseases for which boosting is needed over time. Tdap is a new vaccine, so call your doctor before your next appointment to make sure it is in stock.

A Successful Weight Loss Diet Starts from the Inside

If you’re like most women, you’ve been on a million weight loss diets, from Weight Watchers and Atkins to South Beach and celeb diets. You voraciously read magazines for their weight loss tips and gravitate toward the headlines that promise you can lose weight fast. The chances are good that you have, indeed, lost weight on many of these diets, but the chances are even better that you’ve gained it all back – plus some. Your skinny jeans become your tight jeans, and then they get tucked in the back of your closet, along with your fantasies of becoming a size 0.

Weight Loss Diet Failure

You’ve probably bought into the propaganda that says you’ve failed at dieting; a different – and more accurate – way of looking at it is that the weight loss diet has failed you. That’s because most diets focus on short-term changes that result in temporary weight loss, but never tackle the underlying factors that make you put on the pounds to begin with. In other words, they focus only on the “outside” problem – your body – and neglect everything below the surface – your emotions, your intellect, and your relationships.

A diet for summer might work for swimsuit season, but if you don’t strengthen your foundations before you lose weight, those Diesel skinny jeans won’t fit when fall rolls around.

Turning Failure into Success

In order to lose weight and keep it off, you need a guide who will lead you on an exploratory journey to discover the power and control that you possess. Then, you need to be taught how to harness those powers to achieve all that you want in life – including fitting into your skinny jeans.

You may have been told – either verbally or through insidious advertisements – that if you don’t have power over your eating, you have no power at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every woman is magnificent, and every woman has mental powers, emotional powers, social powers and physical powers just waiting to be tapped. When you heal your past wounds, and recognize and reinforce the power within you, you have laid the foundation for permanent weight loss.

Practical and Fun

If a weight loss diet is a drag, you’ll never succeed in reaching your goals. On the other hand, if you have an empowering program to follow that is also practical and fun, you hold the keys to success. In fact, you can even drop a whole size in two weeks.

The “secret” – if you want to call it that – is to adopt a well-tested exercise program that can instantly fit into your lifestyle. Remember, the success lies in simplicity, clarity, and practicality. Then, you need to adopt an eating plan that works synergistically with your exercise plan to build on the foundation of the inner work you have done in order to embrace your personal power.

Remember that, with the right guide, you can do more than go on yet another weight loss diet; you can truly win in all areas of your life and achieve an outer beauty than matches your inner beauty.