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5 self-care tips to support your health and wellness

Many women tend to put their own health and well-being last on their
never-ending list of priorities – and I can certainly relate. While I would
love to get around to some “me” time, I often just don’t have the time or
energy. My family’s needs always come first, so I usually spend most of my
day attending to them. And by the end of the day, there is usually little
or no time left for myself.

You Can’t Take Care of Others if You’re Sick

I take great pride in my selfless ways, and I think they make me a good
wife, mother, and daughter. Interestingly, my husband doesn’t see it that

While he appreciates my help (most of the time), he is constantly telling
me that I need to make my health and well-being a priority. Literally, his
favorite thing to say to me is, “You can’t take care of others if you don’t
take care of yourself.” While I hate to admit it, he’s right.

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The pressure of trying to do it all can make you feel overwhelmed and
create a lot of stress. Since having a baby, I’ve realized that taking care
of everything for everyone just isn’t possible any more. Chronic stress can

wreak havoc on your health

by weakening your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds,
weight gain, sleep issues, stomach ulcers, depression, diabetes, and heart

To put it simply: If you neglect yourself to the point that you’re really
sick (physically, mentally, or emotionally), you won’t be any good to

5 Tips for Self-Care

Experts recommend the following self-care measures to help address and
support your health and wellness so you can be healthy and, subsequently,
able to take care of your loved ones.

  1. Eat well.
    You need the energy from food to function, so be sure to

    eat healthy foods

    that will fuel you throughout the day. Opt for plenty of colorful
    fruits and veggies.
  2. Get up and move.
    Exercise busts stress, boosts the mood, and elevates energy levels, so
    it’s important to

    be physically active
    . It also has great heart health benefits and can help manage many
    chronic health conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Health
    and Human Services,

    adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity
  3. Catch some zzz’s. Lack of sleep increases stress, so it’s important to

    get enough sleep
    . According to The National Sleep Foundation,

    adults need 7-9 hours of sleep

    each night to rest and recharge the mind and body.
  4. Know your limits. Finding the time, energy, and resources to do everything can be
    challenging. Be honest with yourself, and

    say no when you have to
  5. Find ways to decompress. Everybody needs time each day to do something for themselves, so find
    ways to

    integrate breaks throughout the day
    . Whether it’s taking a walk, talking to a friend, or reading a book,
    take a few minutes each day to do something you enjoy and unwind.

Make You a Priority

I used to be one of those people who believed it was selfish to take care
of yourself or make yourself a priority, but now I know that’s not true. If
it’s important to you to take care of others, then you have to pay
attention to your own well-being — you’re no good to anyone if you’re out
of commission! You have to be healthy to manage all the demands of your
life and family, and that requires caring as much about yourself as you do for others.

I think I’ll start my self-care journey by redeeming that gift certificate
that my husband gave me for a relaxing massage. I’m worth it!

This content was originally published on

IBX Insights

About Veronica Serrano

Mother. Wife. TV junkie. Shopaholic. That’s me in a nutshell – outside of
work. As a copywriter at IBX, I enjoy learning about the health and
wellness topics that I write about and hope to incorporate more healthy
habits into my daily life to give me the energy to keep up with my baby

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Health: Tips for healthy eating during pregnancy

Have you been wondering how to make healthy food choices during pregnancy?

March is National Nutrition Month, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offer some tips for healthy eating for expectant mothers.

Here a few tips:

• Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner: Don’t skip meals. You may also need to eat between meals if you are feeling hungry.

• Choose a wide variety of foods that you enjoy: Eat foods from each of the food groups every day.

• Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day: Eat salads, cooked or raw vegetables with lunch and dinner. Snack on fruit.

• Drink low-fat milk with your meals: Also eat foods made from milk, such as cheese, yogurt, soy milk and cottage cheese.

• Make at least half your grains whole grains. Try oatmeal, popcorn, whole-grain bread and brown rice.

• Choose a variety of protein foods. Choose seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.

What should I eat?

A healthy meal starts with making half your plate fruits and vegetables. Choose fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice. Include dark-green, red and orange vegetables; beans and peas; and starchy vegetables.

Do I need to drink water?

It’s important to drink water every day. You need extra fluids when you are pregnant. Let your thirst be your guide. Water is an important nutrient for the body, but everyone’s needs are different.Choose fluids such as water, low-fat milk and other non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated drinks.

Is weight gain important?

Yes! Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy is important for your baby to grow and be healthy. Not gaining enough weight during pregnancy increases the chances of having a baby born too early (before 37 weeks gestation) or a low birth weight baby (less than 5.5 pounds at birth).

How much weight should I gain?

The right weight gain depends on your weight when you became pregnant. If your weight was in the healthy range, you should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Babies born to women who gain enough weight are healthier. Check with your doctor or WIC staff to see what weight gain is best for you.

May I exercise?

Yes! Staying active during pregnancy is good for your muscles, your heart and your baby. It can help you relax and feel good. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program. Be active on a regular schedule and walk, swim, dance, do low-impact aerobics or ride a stationary bike. Listen to your body. If you are out of breath, you may be working too hard. Use caution with activities that require balance and coordination and remember to drink plenty of fluids.

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Health: Tips for keeping your child healthy through food

Young children get hungry often and need regular meals and snacks to keep them going – and growing, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Here are a few tips to keep your little ones healthy through food:

• Offer food five to six times a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, with snacks in between.

• Make at least half their grains whole grains by offering 100 percent whole-grain cereals, breads and pasta.

• Choose a variety of protein foods such as seafood, beans, lean meats, poultry and eggs.

• Serve fat-free and low-fat milks. Yogurt and cheese also provide much needed calcium.

• Serve a variety of colorful choices. Brighten children’s plates with red, orange and dark-green vegetables. Fruit can be a quick and easy way to make meals and snacks healthier and more colorful.

• Encourage your child to be active and make it fun for the whole family. Walk, run and play with your child.

• Support teeth brushing. After snack, have your child brush his teeth or rinse his mouth with water to protect their teeth.

Snack Suggestions

For a healthy snack choose foods from two different food groups. Here are a few healthy combinations that you can try:

• Peanut butter spread on an English muffin.

• Apple slices and peanut butter.

• Plain yogurt and fruit.

• Crackers with cheese.

• Unsweetened cereal with milk and fruit.

• Quesadilla (tortillas and melted cheese.)

• Green pepper strips and cottage cheese.

• Cut vegetables with hummus.

• Popcorn and peanuts for children age 3 and older.

Some Days Your Child Won’t Eat Much

Some days your child won’t eat much. That’s OK. Other days your child may eat a lot. It all works out if you let your child choose how much to eat and are serving good, healthy foods.

Be Patient with a Child Who Doesn’t Want to Eat

Your child may not be hungry, or may be tired, excited or not feeling well. Or maybe your child had too many snacks close to mealtime. Not to worry!

As long as your child is healthy, growing normally, and has plenty of energy, he or she is most likely getting the nutrients he needs.

Wait until the next planned meal or snack to offer food. Your child will eat when he or she is hungry.

Best Drinks for Kids

Here are recommendations for drinks for kids:

Offer milk or water with meals and snacks.

Offer water between meals and when your child is thirsty.

Offer water more often when it is hot and when your child is active.

Set a good example. Your children will drink what you drink.

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Health tips from Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen for 3-19-19


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2. Area Catholics react to diocese list of clergy accused of sexual abuse AREA

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Yes Foot Health Awareness Month – tips for healthy feet Press Release 10:45 AM, Mar 21 – WSYM

LANSING, Mich. — Special attention is given to foot health each April as National Foot Health Awareness month is observed. The Michigan Podiatric Medical Association (MPMA) would like to remind the public that this is the perfect time to determine what shape ones’ feet are in.

“Foot and ankle concerns are too often overlooked by the general public,” said Dr. Jodie Sengstock, MPMA director of professional relations. “Our feet are the foundation of our body. One of the goals of the MPMA is to reach out to the public to let them know that annual foot exams can lead to a better quality of life and also may help detect the onset of other life threatening diseases.”

A podiatrists’ examination of ones’ feet can help identify early symptoms of serious disorders such as vascular disease and diabetes. Foot issues can also cause other problems throughout our body.

Normal changes to the foot as we age include:

  • The foot becomes wider and longer
  • There is mild settling of the arch which is seen as flattening of the foot
  • The fat pad on the bottom of the heel thins out, causing loss of natural padding and spring in the step
  • The foot and ankle lose some of their normal range of motion and become stiffer
  • There can be some loss of balance while walking

As these physical changes occur, shoe sizes and support needs also change and must be addressed.

Some foot changes can occur that are abnormal or pathological. These problems do not happen naturally and many can be prevented, or their progress halted, by addressing them early.

Podiatrists can provide a wide range of treatments, from conservative care of the skin and nails to surgical options for advanced wounds or complications involving the bones of your feet. See your MPMA podiatrist if you experience:

  • Sprains or fractures: Pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty walking on the affected foot or ankle are the most common symptoms.
  • Pain that doesn’t go away: Pain, stiffness, tingling, or other discomfort that doesn’t resolve quickly is your body’s way of communicating. Get these symptoms checked in a timely manner.
  • Skin irritation or discoloration: Rashes, cracked skin, and other changes to the skin of the feet can leave you vulnerable to infection and should be checked by your MPMA podiatrist.
  • Abnormal growths, lumps, or bumps on your feet and ankles: Warts, corns, calluses, and other bumps can be indications of infection, abnormalities in your gait, or more serious conditions.
  • Changes to your nails: Discoloration, thickening, pain, or drainage can be signs your toenails require a podiatrist’s attention. They can also be signs of more serious health issues.

A yearly exam with an MPMA podiatrist is vital to tracking changes, checking for proper sensation and circulation, and calling attention to abnormalities. Early detection and treatment of problems help keep individuals on their feet and active.

Prepare your feet for summer fun:

  • Limit walking barefoot as it exposes feet to sunburn, as well as plantar warts, athlete’s foot, ringworm, and other infections and also increases risk of injury to your feet.
  • Wear shoes or flip-flops around the pool, to the beach, in the locker room and even on the carpeting or in the bathroom of your hotel room to prevent injuries and limit the likelihood of contracting any bacterial infections.
  • Remember to apply sunscreen all over your feet, especially the tops and fronts of ankles, and don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been in the water.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Drinking water will not only help with overall health, but will also minimize any foot swelling caused by the heat.
  • Keep blood flowing with periodic ankle flexes, toe wiggles, and calf stretches.
  • Some activities at the beach, lake, or river may require different types of footwear to be worn, so be sure to ask the contact at each activity if specific shoes are needed. To be safe, always pack an extra pair of sneakers or protective water shoes. If your shoes will be getting wet, they should be dried out completely before your next wearing to prevent bacteria or fungus from growing.
  • In case of minor foot problems, be prepared with the following on-the-go items:
  • Flip flops—for the pool, spa, hotel room, and airport security check points
  • Sterile bandages—for covering minor cuts and scrapes
  • Antibiotic cream—to treat any skin injury
  • Emollient-enriched cream—to hydrate feet
  • Blister pads or moleskin—to protect against blisters
  • Motrin or Advil (anti-inflammatory)—to ease tired, swollen feet
  • Toenail clippers—to keep toenails trimmed
  • Emery board—to smooth rough edges or broken nails
  • Pumice stone—to soften callused skin
  • Sunscreen—to protect against the scorching sun
  • Aloe Vera or Silvadene cream—to relieve sunburns

To find an MPMA podiatrist near you, visit []


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Flood clean up health tips – KMTV

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — In order to provide one convenient source of emergency health information, the Douglas County Health Department has summarized and recommends the following flood cleanup health tips.


If you suspect your well water may have been compromised by the flood, please use bottled water until the well can be tested by a professional.


Stagnant water is to be avoided in all instances as it can be a source for numerous diseases and infections. It also needs to be removed when possible as it will provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.


- Do not pump your tank until surface and ground water recede to normal levels
- Do not pump unanchored tanks until the drain field is saturated. The tanks could float out of the ground or collapse.
- Have septic systems inspected by a certified professional and serviced if not functioning properly.
- Use as little water as possible while the system is restoring itself. Little things like taking laundry to a laundromat will help.
- Do not dump flood waters that entered the house into plumbing that will go into the septic treatment system.


To prevent food-borne illness, the following items should be destroyed if they have been exposed to flood waters: Fresh meants and poultry, prepared and processed foods, home-canned foods, medicines and cosmetics, and packages that are not sealed airtight, including flour, packaged frozen foods, and other bagged commodities.

Throw out foods needing refrigeration if the fridge has been out of service for more than four hours. Don’t refreeze frozen foods which have thawed for more than four hours. Call the health department if there is any question.

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Ovarian health tips (or how an alien invaded my body)

I lost 20 pounds recently.

News Editor Elisabeth Waldon

Having a large ovarian cystic mass surgically removed from one’s abdomen is an effective weight loss method, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

When I went to see my doctor for a regular physical Dec. 27, I mentioned I had been having a few issues in recent months, including weight gain in my stomach area, even though I had a reduced appetite. My doctor said to let her know if the symptoms continued and she would schedule an ultrasound.

I had known for some years I had a cyst on my left ovary, but doctors didn’t seem concerned about it, so neither was I. An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac on the surface of an ovary. Ovarian cysts are common and mostly innocuous. One of my doctors once referred to them as a “pimples” — annoying, but harmless.

I can only guess when a mass began to grow from my cyst. I only know I began having a series of subtle symptoms over the past year, becoming more noticeable last autumn. These included inexplicable weight gain (my stomach area looked pregnant), even though I had changed my eating habits to mostly healthy foods. My abdomen felt hard and swollen when I touched it. I was also having random incidents of urinary incontinence. I celebrated my 40th birthday in October and chalked up my situation to being a woman of a certain age.

It wasn’t until my husband commented on how hard my abdomen felt that a little bell went off in my head — maybe there was more going on here than simple aging. That’s when I talked to my doctor.

I had an ultrasound Jan. 25 (“There’s definitely something in there!” declared my doctor … thanks for the vague, yet frightening observation!), followed by a CT scan Feb. 5. I was diagnosed with a large ovarian cystic mass rapidly growing inside my abdomen.

Surgery was the only option, and so my surgery took place Feb. 20. The two-hour procedure resulted in a nearly 11-pound, footlong mass being removed, along with my left ovary and left fallopian tube. A biopsy of the mass was taken mid-surgery, showing it was benign. I was left with a lengthy vertical incision down the center of my abdomen. I spent three nights in the hospital (shout out to the amazing nurses and assistants at Spectrum Health Butterworth!) and another two weeks at home.

My recovery went much better than I had anticipated. My pain level was low and I stopped taking pain meds altogether a few days after returning home (and I’m a wuss when it comes to physical pain).

I was mystified by the large mass growing inside me, but my surgeon, the wonderfully reassuring Dr. Charles Harrison, wasn’t impressed with my case. He’s performed multiple similar surgeries on women, including one woman who had a 75-pound mass successfully removed from her body. Can you imagine?

In order to catch the growth of a mass in an early stage, Dr. Harrison recommends women be diligent about having regular physicals. When I told him I was writing a column about my experience, he referred me to medical journal entries written by Dr. Barbara Goff of Seattle, who is in the process of conducting studies examining the ovarian cancer treatment decision-making process from the perspective of women, their caregivers and physicians (you can read more at

I was so thankful to learn my particular mass was benign, but ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancer and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, according to Dr. Goff. Sixty-five percent of women with ovarian cancer have advanced disease at the time of their diagnosis. Women who are diagnosed and then treated for ovarian cancer experience a 33 percent decrease in disease-specific mortality; yet fewer than 40 percent of women with ovarian cancer actually receive this treatment.

“The reasons that so few women with ovarian cancer receive the standard of care are largely unknown,” wrote Dr. Goff, who is trying to solve this mystery with her study.

Women should be aware of the following symptoms as possible indicators of an ovarian issue, especially when they are of recent onset and occur more than 12 times per month:

• Bloating or increased abdomen size

• Abdominal or pelvic pain

• Difficulty eating or feeling full

• Urinary symptoms

I had most of these symptoms. I don’t know how many months went by before I pursued some answers, but it was probably close to six months.

Why did I wait so long? Well, the symptoms are subtle. Feeling bloated? Most women feel that way once a month, big deal. Pants feeling tight? Guess I should eat more vegetables and drink more water. Reduced appetite? Good, maybe I’ll lose some weight. Urinary incontinence? Well, that was the most unusual incident and I even mentioned it to my husband, but it didn’t set off any alarms in my head.

It wasn’t until I had been experiencing all these symptoms for several months that they all began to add up. This experience has taught me to stay more in tune with my body and not to be so quick to write off random manifestations.

Today, I am happily back to work and getting back to normal. If you see me out and about, feel free to compliment me on my weight loss and ask to see a photo of my mass. Yes, I asked my surgeon to take pictures, and yes, I have one saved to my phone.

Be warned: It looks like an alien gave birth to a monstrously huge and ugly egg.

Suddenly those “Alien” movie plots don’t seem so far-fetched …


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Health and Fitness News, Tips and Technology

Thinking about getting computer glasses? Read this first

They claim to help stop headaches and keep us from staying up too late, but are they worth the money?

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Health tips for obese pregnant women benefit babies: London study

Obese women who follow through on tips to exercise and eat better during their pregnancy have healthier babies, a new joint study by London researchers says.

It may sound obvious, but it’s a message that doesn’t always get through to expectant mothers, who may not be aware of the potential long-term consequences for their child of being obese during pregnancy.

“What we really haven’t come to grips with before is what the outcome is, the forward trajectory for these babies,” study collaborator David Hill said.

“What we found is that there’s a big increase in fat in babies from mothers who are overweight during pregnancy. But by lifestyle change during pregnancy, you can actually significantly reduce the amount of this excess fat. . . by almost 20 per cent.”

Hill, a scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute — the research arm of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London — and his counterparts in nine European countries, found educating expectant mothers on healthy eating and physical fitness helped the obese women gain less weight during their pregnancies, increase their physical activity and improve their eating habits.

Babies born with excess body fat are at risk for health issues. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, the babies can have a higher level of the hormone leptin, which is produced by fat cells. Leptin impairs the body’s ability to make blood sugar-controlling insulin and to control appetite. Hill said babies with higher levels of leptin might eat more before they feel satisfied, a factor that could contribute to obesity.

“It’s a sort of longtime trajectory of poor health for the child that we might be able to intervene with through, basically, lifestyle change for the mother during pregnancy,” Hill said.

Researchers studied obese expectant mothers and a total of 334 babies. Some study participants received counselling on physical activity, healthy eating or both during their pregnancy. The results of that group were later compared to a control group who received no counselling.

The diet and activity changes were not meant to be extreme regimens, Hill said, adding even reducing the amount of time sitting showed promise in reducing infant body fat.

“Every woman chose her own targets. The target might be, ‘I’m going to walk the dog around the block three times today,’ ” he said. “We’re not talking about radical hours in the gym or marathons. These were modest targets the women set with the idea that they could achieve them.”

Lawson researchers designed the database used for the research study and archived and supervised use of the data.

In 2014, there were an estimated 41 million children around the world under five years of age who were overweight or obese, more than the entire population of Canada.

The study appears in the latest edition of Diabetologia.

Plant cellulose could be used for healthy bone graft

Plant cellulose

Washington DC: In a new finding, researchers have developed what could be the bone implant material of the future: an airy, foam-like substance that can be injected into the body and provide scaffolding for the growth of new bone.

It’s made by treating nanocrystals derived from plant cellulose so that they link up and forms a strong but lightweight sponge – technically speaking, an aerogel – that can compress or expand as needed to completely fill out a bone cavity. The study was published in Journal Acta Biomaterialia.

“Most bone graft or implants are made of hard, brittle ceramic that doesn’t always conform to the shape of the hole, and those gaps can lead to poor growth of the bone and implant failure,” said study author Daniel Osorio, a PhD student in chemical engineering at McMaster. “We created this cellulose nanocrystal aerogel as a more effective alternative to these synthetic materials.”

For their research, the team worked with two groups of rats, with the first group receiving the aerogel implants and the second group receiving none. Results showed that the group with implants saw 33 per cent more bone growth at the three-week mark and 50 per cent more bone growth at the 12-week mark, compared to the controls.

“These findings show, for the first time in a lab setting, that a cellulose nanocrystal aerogel can support new bone growth,” said study co-author Emily Cranston, a professor of wood science and chemical and biological engineering who holds the President’s Excellence Chair in Forest Bio-products at UBC. She added that the implant should break down into non-toxic components in the body as the bone starts to heal.

The innovation can potentially fill a niche in the $2-billion bone graft market in North America, said study co-author Kathryn Grandfield, a professor of materials science and engineering, and biomedical engineering at McMaster who supervised the work.

“We can see this aerogel being used for a number of applications including dental implants and spinal and joint replacement surgeries,” said Grandfield. “And it will be economical because the raw material, the nanocellulose, is already being produced in commercial quantities.”

The researchers say it will be some time before the aerogel makes it out of the lab and into the operating room.

“This summer, we will study the mechanisms between the bone and implant that lead to bone growth,” said Grandfield. “We’ll also look at how the implant degrades using advanced microscopes. After that, more biological testing will be required before it is ready for clinical trials.” 

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