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Archive for the ‘heart disease’ Category

It’s Time To Quit Smoking: Are e-cigarettes that answer?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 1, 2010

A few weeks ago my daughter and I were at the mall doing some back-to-school shopping and walked by a kiosk selling what looked like cigarettes.  We both thought it was odd, but we assumed it must be some type of “quit smoking” devise.  But, on the way out we actually saw a man demonstrating this product which looked exactly like a cigarette (including the smoke).  I have to admit, it was very strange seeing someone smoke in a mall, you just don’t see that anymore (except for right outside the mall).  As we walked by I noticed a sign that claimed it was a “clean” way to smoke.  At the time we just rolled our eyes at the ridiculousness of it all, and wondered why anyone would want to pay money for something that looked like a cigarette but wasn’t?

Fast forward to a few days ago when I was asked to write a post about the controversy surrounding the e-cigarette.  I hadn’t heard of an e-cigarette, but after researching it, I realized it was the same thing we saw being sold at the mall.

After reading more about e-cigarettes, I have mixed feelings about their benefits.  On one hand, the manufacturers of the e-cigarettes are claiming they only want to give smokers an easier way to quit smoking.  But on the other hand, they are marketing the product by glamorizing a new “cleaner” way to smoke.  So what is it?  It’s clear the real motivation (as always) is in making money, not so much the health or best interest of the consumer.  And that’s why I’m happy to hear that the FDA is cracking down on these “questionable” products.

From Reuters – FDA Cracks Down on 5 Makers of e-cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warnings to five makers of electronic cigarettes for marketing them illegally as stop-smoking aids and said on Thursday it intends to regulate the products as drugs.

The move is the latest attempt by the FDA to assert its jurisdiction over electronic or e-cigarettes, battery-powered devices that allow users to inhale a vaporized liquid nicotine solution instead of tobacco smoke.

I think if it’s determined that this product is a safe way to help smokers quit, it might be a better idea to make it available by prescription only (rather than the local mall and internet).

This is an interesting video on e-cigarettes from ABC News…

This is from the American Cancer Society

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, contain carcinogens and toxic chemicals, according to a new analysis by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One sample even included diethylene glycol, a toxic ingredient found in antifreeze.

E-cigarettes are often sold as a way to quit smoking or to get nicotine in places where smoking isn’t allowed, but they aren’t currently regulated by the FDA.

. . .

While these products have been billed as tools to help smokers quit, they have not been submitted to the FDA for that purpose.

In addition to the possible risks associated with these e-cigarettes, I also worry about whether more people could actually become addicted to nicotine because they are being told it’s a safe alternative to cigarettes.  Will people who would have never thought to try smoking be loured into a false sense of security and end up addicted to nicotine and e-cigarettes?

There is also a pretty big concern that e-cigarettes could become a trend among teens

The e-cigarettes have been made readily available on internet with tobacco, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla flavors and are made accessibly legal for the minors as well.

But teenagers of New Hampshire are opposing the technological cigarette smoking as they think that e-smoking is bound to become popular among youth of their age, making them addict to the nicotine intake offered by the same.

What do you think?  Is this the first you’re hearing of e-cigarettes?  Do you think they have a place in our society?  Would it be weird seeing people smoking in restaurants and hospitals again?  I would love to know what you think in comments.

Here are some reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking from the American Cancer Society…

  • Health concerns usually top the list of reasons people give for quitting smoking. This is a very real concern: Half of all smokers who keep smoking will end up dying from a smoking-related illness. In the US alone, smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths, and about 8.6 million people suffer from smoking-related lung and heart diseases.
  • Nearly everyone knows that smoking can cause lung cancer, but few people realize it is also a risk factor for many other kinds of cancer too, including cancer of the mouth, voice box (larynx), throat (pharynx), esophagus, bladder, kidney, pancreas, cervix, stomach, and some leukemias.
  • Smokers are twice as likely to die from heart attacks as are non-smokers. And smoking is a major risk factor for peripheral vascular disease, a narrowing of the blood vessels that carry blood to the leg and arm muscles. Smoking also affects the walls of the vessels that carry blood to the brain (carotid arteries), which can cause strokes. Men who smoke are more likely to develop erectile dysfunction (impotence) because of blood vessel disease.

Also see my post from last week Why Are So Many People Still Smoking?

Posted in BlogHer, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, thoughts, Women, women's health, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Are We Sitting Ourselves To Death?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 3, 2010

What are you doing right now?  Aside from reading this post, you are most likely sitting somewhere.  On your couch?  At your desk?  In a chair?  Wherever you find yourself sitting, I’m sure that it won’t come as a surprise to you, that sitting isn’t good for your health.  But did you know that it is so bad for your health that it could be taking years off of your life?

It’s true.

Unfortunately, I can’t even say that I’m setting a good example for any of you by doing something other than sitting on the couch with my laptop myself.  However, this new study did get me thinking about ways I might be able to do less sitting, and I think I am going to give a few of them a try (tomorrow).

From WebMD – Are We Sitting Ourselves To Death

After adjusting for smoking, height/weight, and other factors, Patel’s team found that compared to sitting less than three hours a day, sitting six or more hours a day:

  • Increased the death rate by about 40% in women
  • Increased the death rate by about 20% in men
  • Increased the death rate by 94% in the least active women
  • Increased the death rate by 48% in the least active men

It wasn’t just that they weren’t getting exercise. Patel and colleagues found that sitting itself was detrimental to health.  Sitting increased risk of cancer death, but the main death risk linked to sitting was heart disease.

That’s scary stuff.  I’m sure that I’m sitting more than six hours of the day, and up until very recently I was getting little to no exercise.

So, how many hours a day do you spend sitting?  Could you be sitting your way to an early grave? What about your kids?

In the age of couch potatoes, it’s not surprising that a lack of activity has become a serious health risk.  The question is — What are you ready to do about it?

Are you ready to take steps to be more active and less sedentary?  If so, now is a great time to start.  The best part is, the study doesn’t suggest that you have to replace hours of sitting with hours of activity.   It seems that even just breaking up your sitting time with a bit of active non-sitting time can be beneficial.

Here are some tips for increasing your life expectancy by decreasing the amount of time you sit. Remember, these are just ideas, use these ideas as guidelines for developing a personal plan that works best for you.

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Posted in awareness, BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, family, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, self-help, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Politics: How is the healthcare crisis related to the high cost of healthy foods?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 18, 2010

Are healthcare, politics, and the high cost of healthy foods related?

Yes.

Let me start by saying…I am so sick of politics I could throw-up. But that said, this is about much more than politics. It’s about the warped reality we are all living in, from the White House to our local supermarket and fast food joint.

About two weeks ago I read an article comparing the cost of health care to the cost of food. It suggests that the best way to solve the healthcare crisis, is for all consumers to be forced to pay more for healthcare – Because then people would think about the cost before “choosing” certain tests and treatments. What a shocking revelation…Who would have thought (other than the CATO Institute) that the people who can’t afford expensive health care services would “choose” not to have them? Although, I wouldn’t really consider that a choice.

*Read full post at catherine.morgan.com

Posted in family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, opinion, political, Politics, universal healthcare, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are Doctors Doing Too Many Invasive Heart Tests?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 12, 2010

We’ve heard a lot about too many mammograms leading to too many invasive biopsies.  But now a recent study is showing that doctors may be doing too many invasive heart tests as well.

Every year more than a million people in the United States are given an angiogram to check for blocked arteries, but in many cases the tests reveal no significant blockage.

Does that mean that all of these tests were unnecessary?  Not at all.  The study suggests that doctors begin to do a better job determining which patients really need an angiogram…Specifically, that careful evaluation be done when patients have no known heart disease and they are not in an emergency situation.

From NPR

Patel thinks that “the entire diagnostic process from start to finish needs reevaluation — from talking to patients to the threshold for going invasive,” meaning angiography.

The best place to start, he says, is with patients without symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain. Almost 1 in 3 Americans who get angiograms today are symptom-free. Their doctors order angiograms presumably because they suspect “silent” heart disease, perhaps because a patient has a family history of coronary disease, diabetes or other risk factors.

But angioplasty and stenting–procedures commonly done during angiography to widen clogged coronaries and keep them open–have never been shown to lengthen life, Patel says. The reason for doing them is to relieve symptoms. And if a patient doesn’t have symptoms, then doctors and patients should ask themselves what’s the point of doing the angiogram — instead of reducing coronary disease risk factors.

From the Wall Street Journal

Typically, patients suspected of heart disease based on family history or, say, unexplained chest pain, first undergo non-invasive tests such as a stress echocardiogram or nuclear perfusion study to see how well the heart is functioning. Guidelines suggest such tests should indicate a potential problem before a patient is referred for an angiogram. In the study, 84% of patients got at least one of these tests, but the information they provided was only modestly helpful in predicting whether patients had significant disease. Researchers said this underscored the need to find more effective ways to recommend patients for angiograms.

Other factors contribute to demands for more angiograms, doctors say. Among these: financial incentives for doctors to perform angiograms, worries of malpractice suits if a blockage is missed on early tests, and patients demanding more specific information about their condition.

“Our whole system is incented to do more,” says Chet Rihal, a cardiologist and director of the catheterization clinic at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “We’ve got to get much smarter about how we’re ordering and interpreting these tests.”

What do you think?  Do the benefits of angiograms outweigh the risks for patients without known heart disease?

Posted in Health, heart disease, life, news | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

You May Not Want To Know What’s In That Burger

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 16, 2010

Would you like a little dog food and ammonia with your burger? –

Question.  Would you eat dog food?

No?

What if it was mixed in with your hamburger meat?  Would you eat it then?

What if I told you it wasn’t your choice?  What if it was already in the burgers you are eating?

Don’t shoot the messenger.  Anyway, it’s not like they are just putting dog food into your burger, they are adding ammonia first to kill off the E. coli.  Well that’s a relief.  And if the USDA says it’s safe, it shouldn’t matter whether you know about it or not.  Right?

I don’t know how I missed this – It was in the New York Times back in December…

Eight years ago, federal officials were struggling to remove potentially deadly E. coli from hamburgers when an entrepreneurial company from South Dakota came up with a novel idea: injecting beef with ammonia.

No worries though…The USDA says it’s a perfectly safe way to turn fatty slaughterhouse trimmings (once sold as dog food) into burgers from your favorite fast food joint, grocery chains, and even school lunches.

Yes, you heard right.  Rather than make dog food out of this otherwise trash, it’s now being processed into food for you and me (and our kids).  What are the poor dogs going to eat?  And how long will it be before we are all eating that too?

And get this…The USDA has exempted this new beef product from its mandatory E. coli testing, based on studies done by the same company making millions selling this disgusting stuff.

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Posted in cooking, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, news, nutrition, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Secret To Good Health: Red Wine & Dark Chocolate

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 14, 2010

By now most of us have heard that there are many health benefits to red wine and dark chocolate.  But what is it about these two (seemingly not so healthy) foods that make them good for us?  And…Is it possible to get too much of a good thing?

In this post we’ll take a look at these two foods and their surprising health benefits.

Let’s start with my personal favorite – dark chocolate.

Today you can buy just about every type of chocolate candy (from M&Ms to Kit-Kats) in dark chocolate.  But, it’s not just any chocolate that’s good for you…It must be dark chocolate with a high percentage (70%) of cocoa, to get more of the health-enhancing antioxidants.

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Posted in chronic illness, dark chocolate, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Carnie Wilson Talks About Her Food & Alcohol Addiction on Dr. Oz

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 11, 2010

carniedrozEarlier this week I was part of a conference call with Carnie Wilson, who was recently featured on the Dr. Oz Show to talk about her food and alcohol addiction.

Carnie Wilson has always struggled with her weight.  She even had gastric bypass surgery in 1999.  Then after going through two pregnancies, and gaining 50 pounds each time, she found herself battling the extra weight all over again.

Carnie told us that the show was “very dramatic,” and “the fact that he had labeled me morbidly obese really shocked me.” But, she also says, “Dr. Oz was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.”   Carnie was confused when Dr. Oz told her that she was pre-diabetic – “I was actually in shock because I just had blood work done.  All that blood work came back normal.  To this day I am not pre-diabetic,” she said in the press call. “If he wants to call me that, it’s fine, but my glucose levels are at a normal range.”

After watching the show, I can understand how Carnie may have been shocked by some of the things Dr. Oz was saying to her.  It’s funny to me how Dr. Oz seems to try so hard to make medical issues more understandable to the average person, but he didn’t clarify many of the comments he was making about Carnie.  For instance, doctors refer to patients as “morbidly obese” strictly based on their weight and BMI.   But clearly, although Carnie may fit the medical definition of morbidly obese, she is obviously in a much healthier place than she was in the past.   And when Dr. Oz checks her glucose level, he does so by using a method diabetics use to keep track of their blood sugar throughout the day. Carnie’s doctor would be using a much more accurate method that involves fasting blood work, and that’s why she is so certain she is not pre-diabetic…she probably isn’t.

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Posted in body image, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

My Bday List: A resolution to better health in 2010.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 7, 2010

My new years resolution is about doing everything I can do to have more birthdays.  At the moment the one thing that could keep me from doing that, is my blood pressure.  I’ve had blood pressure and heart rate problems since my twenties, but now in my forties, I know I’m at a much greater risk for having a heart attack or stroke.  So this year I plan on taking specific steps to hopefully lower my blood pressure.  Like Morra Arrons-Mele, I would like to make these changes holistically.  I’m still planning to take my medications, but even on medication my blood pressure is still not controlled.

Here are the steps I plan to take in 2010…

1.  Continue to eat healthy, but kick it up a notch.

2.  Reduce stress by using meditation and Reiki on a regular basis.

3.  Get the Wii Fit and begin doing light exercising and yoga.

I’ll keep track of my progress by documenting my blood pressure and the days I’ve used any of the above steps.

Well, that’s my “more birthdays list.”  I hope you’ll join me at the American Cancer Society’s Official Birthday Blog, by sharing a list of your own.  You can also easily share you list on Facebook and Twitter here.

Posted in blog, blogging, blood pressure, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, my life, self-help, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Catherine’s Top 3 Tips For Healthy Living

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 20, 2009

appleHere are three easy tips that can help anyone become a healthier version of themselves.

via Catherine’s Top 3 Tips For Healthy Living.

Posted in body image, children, chronic illness, Health, heart disease, kids, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

7 Lifestyle Tips For Reducing Blood Pressure

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 12, 2009

Did you know that one in every three adults has high blood pressure?  Are you one of them?

I had some good news the other day.  It seems that all of my hard work trying to eat healthy and lose weight is finally paying off.  For the first time in years my blood pressure is actually normal.  Yaaay! This is just the kind of validation I was looking for when I began my journey of weight loss and healthy living.

If you have high blood pressure or know someone who does, here are some tips that can help lower blood pressure naturally.

Tip #1 – Lose 10 Pounds

Did you know that most Americans are overweight (66% are overweight or obese)?  It’s true.  It’s also true that losing as little as ten pounds can help reduce high blood pressure.

Read full post 7 Tips For Reducing Blood Pressure at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, blood pressure, chronic illness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Is It Possible To Eat Healthy on a Budget?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 6, 2009

Could The Recession Be Making More Americans Fat?  Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget?

There seems to be evidence that the poor economy is taking its toll on American families and their ability to make healthy food choices.  For some it may be that stress is contributing to an increase in emotional eating, and for others it may be the cost of eating healthy.  For what ever reason, the recession appears to be having a negative affect on obesity in America.  And since there is no sign of economic recovery in the near future, we need to all find ways to get ourselves (and our families) through these hard times without forfeiting our health.

Back in October I wrote a post on saving money while still eating healthy, and now more than ever, I think we need to take another look at how we can do that.

Today Newsweek had an article about how the recession is contributing to an increase of overweight Americans.

Is The Recession Making Americans Fatter?

Could the plummeting economy be contributing to expanding waistlines? Something is: new data released exclusively to NEWSWEEK from Gallup-Healthways shows that in the past year, the number of Americans considered obese has jumped by 1.7 percent—or almost 5.5 million people—and that the obese report a much lower quality of life than those who are at healthier weights.

. . .

The stress of worrying about keeping or finding a job, paying bills and keeping a stable home does take a negative toll on one’s health, including weight. “There’s a clear link between stress and weight gain,” says Leslie Heinberg, director of behavioral services for the Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “People may be more likely to eat comfort foods or eat things that are higher in fat and calories,” she explains. And, this kind of weight gain can be especially unhealthy: “There’s good evidence that stress hormones may play important role in holding onto fat, especially the much more deleterious visceral fat.”  And a tight budget doesn’t just mean stress eating, it also means we’re more likely to choose foods that are cheaper, which are typically foods that are higher in fat and calories.

Let’s take a look at what other women are blogging about eating healthy on a budget.

Read full post on Eating Healthy on a Budget at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in dieting, family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, news, nutrition, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Vitamin D: Are You Getting Enough?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 30, 2009

Are you getting enough vitamin D? Would you know if you weren’t? Apparently, most of us are deficient in vitamin D, and that is putting us at greater risk for heart disease, osteoporosis, some types of cancer, diabetes, and possibly other chronic medical problems (like asthma, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis).

You might be surprised to learn how important vitamin D is to your overall health, and how easy it is to make sure you’re getting enough.

From BlogHer joyofnutritionVitamin D May Make You Brighter

A study published this past week indicates that increasing your levels of vitamin D may help older people stay mentally sharp. Your body can produce vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun as well as through the diet. Sources of vitamin D include oily fish, liver, mushrooms and fortified products, such as orange juice.

From Women to WomenSymptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency may be characterized by muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings, and sleep irregularities. Women with renal problems or intestinal concerns (such as IBS or Crohn’s disease) may be vitamin D deficient because they can neither absorb nor adequately convert the nutrient.

From BlogHer HeartStrong

A recent study (The Framingham Offspring Study) published earlier this year reported an increased risk for heart disease in people whose Vitamin D levels were low. People with high blood pressure were at an even higher risk than people with normal blood pressure.

From The National Women’s Health Network – Basking in the Benefits of Vitamin D

Although we have known for ages that Vitamin D is a crucial for healthy bodies, it has received extra attention in the media lately that may have left you wondering what all the fuss is about. If you’re as skeptical about hyped up new health trends and dietary supplements as I am, then you probably haven’t gone out and bought every bottle of Vitamin D pills at your local health food store. However, the more I read and understand about it, the more inclined I am to soak up the sun and drink a tall glass of fortified soymilk.

From BlogHer eapgourmetVitamin D and Heart Health

Studies conducted by the American Heart Association indicate that low levels of vitamin D may be associated with an increased risk for PAD, which occurs when the arteries in a person’s legs narrow or become clogged with fat. The association estimates that 8 million Americans are affected by PAD.

From BlogHer Fighting FatigueVitamin Deficiency Dangers

I never realized until I was diagnosed with a serious Vitamin D deficiency what all problems this could cause. My doctor was very concerned because my levels were dangerously low and he immediately put me on a high dose Vitamin D supplement. Some other health problems my doctor told me Vitamin D deficiency could cause include heart disease, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases.

From Naturally Knocked UpBoost Your Fertility With Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and exists in several forms. Some of these are basically inactive in the body and have limited ability to function.

Why is it important for fertility? Well, you need it in order for your body to produce sex hormones. And without the right amount of hormones in your system, you can suffer from pcos, PMS, and infertility. Vitamin D is also key in regulating cell growth and deciding how those cells grow.

In the news from PR-USA

Pregnant women with low levels of vitamin D may be more likely to suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV) – a common vaginal infection that increases a woman’s risk for preterm delivery, according to a University of Pittsburgh study. Available online and published in the June issue of The Journal of Nutrition, the studymay explain why African-American women, who often lack adequate vitamin D, are three times more likely than white women to develop BV.

The Sun Screen How-To

I’m reading that sunscreens block Vitamin D absorption — should I be worried about that?

No, and you definitely should absolutely not skip the sunscreen in order to get some Vitamin D. If you’re wearing sunscreen daily on your face (which I wholeheartedly recommend) then you are getting enough incidental exposure during your normal day to boost your Vitamin D intake. But for a day when you know you will be out in the sun for a long time, especially around water, please lotion up. The damage that even a mild sunburn does to your skin is not balanced out, in any way, by the Vitamin D you will get from being sunscreen free.

Take this quick vitamin D quiz at Fit Sugar.

Also See:

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com and Women4Hope

Posted in awareness, blogging, BlogHer, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Stalker Nutritionist Ambushes Women For Reality TV Show

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 11, 2009

Stalker Diet Detective Ambushes Overweight Women For Reality TV Show

Yes, you heard right.  There is a new show on We-TV that has many women (including myself) up in arms – It’s called I Want To Save Your Life.  But what could be so bad about a show that wants to save lives?  Well, it gives the impression it is a kind of “intervention” type show…but it’s really an attack on women who are overweight.

This show is wrong on so many levels that I barely know where to start.  Below is a promo clip of this pathetic excuse for reality tv.

I did happen to see this show last week, and it was quite shocking.   I think the worst part about it is how family members (in the case I saw it was the husband), basically “rat out” the women and allow this guy to stalk them and then confront them about their weight and diet on reality tv.   I don’t know who is worse, the stalker nutritionist or the husband who rats out his wife?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in BlogHer, body image, coaching, dieting, family, feminism, food, friends, happiness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, media, opinion, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are You An Emotional Eater?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 27, 2009

Understanding why we overeat is an important step on the road to making healthy food choices.  And for many of us, our unhealthy emotions are contributing to our unhealthy eating.

It’s called being an emotional eater.  Are you one of them?  I can admit…I am. I think if we are being honest with ourselves, we all do this to some degree. And in small doses, emotional eating isn’t so bad. But many of us have gone way beyond minor emotional eating. Many of us are using food to avoid dealing with our true feelings…and not only doesn’t it work, but it also compounds are troubles with feelings of guilt and anger toward ourselves.

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Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, cooking, depression, dieting, food, happiness, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, love, nutrition, personal, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Healthy Fast Food? Help…I’m Addicted To The Angry Whopper!

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 23, 2009

Is there a such thing as “healthy” fast food?

I think if you work hard at it, it is possible to eat healthy at some fast food restaurants.  But to do this you also have to find the willpower to see those giant pictures of burgers and fries all around, and still choose to buy the less attractive healthy item.  It’s not always easy, and recently it’s become a real problem for me.

After doing well at making healthy food choices and even losing weight, a few weeks ago I fell off the wagon.  It’s so bad that I am actually afraid to get on the scale to see the extent of the damage.  The crazy thing is, I’m not a fast food junkie (or at least I never was), but something called an Angry Whopper is turning me into a total addict.   Seriously, I feel totally out of control.  The worst part is, it was just a whim that I even tried this stupid thing in the first place, and every day since I have been wishing I could turn back time and replay that decision.

angry-whopper

I really need to get a handle on this, and even though I know it is sooooo bad for me to eat these things, something is just not clicking.  Ironically, it was about two years ago that I developed a similar problem with a Natcho Cheese Chalupa at Taco Bell.  I think the turning point for me with the Chalupa was when I actually looked up the nutritional value (or lack there of).

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Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, my life, nutrition, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dr. Oz on Oprah: Calorie Restriction Diets & Extreme Life Extension

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 4, 2009

Would you like to live to 100 years and beyond? Dr. Oz and other medical experts believe that a calorie restriction diet can help people to live longer with a higher quality of life. The calorie restriction diet also focuses on consuming calories that provide a high nutritional value, not just low calorie.

Many claim that a Calorie Restriction Diet is the answer to living longer. Personally, I don’t get the whole “extreme life extension” thing – It’s just so the opposite of living in the moment and that’s really not for me. And it’s not just a diet, it’s literally a lifestyle, one that I’m just not that into. But I do admit, there are aspects of this lifestyle that could be helpful to anyone interested in making better food choices and generally living healthier.

Read full post Dr. Oz on Calorie Restriction Diet at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, coaching, current events, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, nutrition, opinion, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

New Study: Reading Is Best To Reduce Stress

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 4, 2009

New Study:  Reading Is Best To Reduce Stress

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today, and then I came across this interesting article on how reading can reduce stress.  Since I love to read, and I also love anything that can help me reduce stress, I thought this would be a great post for today.

Are you stressed about the economy?  Your job?  Your kids?  Politics?  It’s no secret that life is very stressful these days.  So…What can we do to reduce stress?  Apparently, reading a book is one of the best ways to reduce stress.

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds or 68%.

New research by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex says reading works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea.

Are you a reader?  Does it help you relax and de-stress?

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Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, books, chronic illness, family, feelings, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, news, opinion, peace, self-help, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Valerie Bertinelli Inspiring Women To Lose Weight At Any Age

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 3, 2009

Valerie Bertinelli’s Weight Loss:  Inspiring or Controversial?

Last week I watched Valerie Bertinelli and Marie Osmond on the Oprah Winfrey Show talking about their personal weight loss success stories, and I found both stories to be very inspirational.  As most of you already know, I’ve been struggling with my weight for several years now.  And for that reason, I find myself easily able to relate to these two women.  After watching that show I felt more motivated then ever to continue eating healthy and losing weight.  I don’t think I was alone, but as always, there was also a backlash.

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Posted in about me, BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, coaching, daughters, dieting, empowerment, family, feminism, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, my life, news, nutrition, opinion, personal, self-help, success, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Wrapping Up BlogHer’s 2009 Good Health-A-Thon

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 24, 2009

Good Health-A-Thon Final Check In

The BlogHer 2009 Good Health-A-Thon is coming to an end, but your good health choices can still continue.   I hope we’ve been able to help you get on the right track to better health in 2009, I would love to hear how you’ve been doing in comments.

I thought I would take this opportunity to do a little wrap-up of our Good Health-A-Thon…

We started off talking about setting goals.  Did you set any?  Have you stuck to any of them?

Zandria posted on fitness goals.  Mir had goals for getting healthier with the kids, skeeterbess tackled good health in midlife, and sassymonkey took a couples approach to better health.

Then there was nutrition

Suzanne looked at how nutrition and diet affects relationships, Maria had tips for singles eating healthy, and Melissa covered the importance of families taking the time to eat together.

Let’s not forget how important exercise is to good health…

We had Debra blog about exercise and the middle age woman, Zandria covered getting motivated, Denise addressed couples and exercise, and Mir blogged about exercising with the kids.

I asked if you are getting enough sleep?

Suzanne wondered if sharing a bed with a partner affected sleep, Melanie addressed insomnia, and we also heard from a Midlife Insomniac.

Then we talked about stress reduction and positive affirmations

Denise talked about good stress vs. bad stress, Suzanne about stress and relationships,  and I wondered if the economy was stressing you out.

We also covered bad habits and addictions…

I blogged about addictions like sugar, coffee, and Facebook, Suzanne wanted to know about your partner’s bad habits, Super Jive talked about how our kids are watching our bad habits, and Laurie wondered if we should be trying to break our bad habits.

We talked about yoga and yoga with a partner.

And we just finished up talking about annual checkups

Suzanne covered couples and how to get your partner to go for a checkup, and Melissa blogged about the family checkup.

But that’s not everything.  Here are a few other posts you might have missed…

The Tao of Healthy Living and Weight Loss

Do You Know Your Resting Heart Rate?

Mashing The Internet Potato and Tales of an Internet Potato

Getting Off The Couch

What is Heart Healthy Eating?

Heart Health

Memory Loss

So that’s a quick roundup of BlogHer’s 2009 Good Health A-Thon, you can check out all of the Good Health-A-Thon posts here.  Did you have a favorite topic?  Did you blog about good health?  Are you on your way to better health?  Let us know in comments.

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
at Catherine-Morgan.com and Women4Hope

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, body image, chronic illness, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, heart disease, life, lifestyle, nutrition, parenting, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, yoga | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Depression and Heart Disease

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 22, 2009

Are you depressed?  In a bad relationship?  Stressed out over the economy?  All of the above?  If so, you could be at a greater risk for heart disease.

There is new study that links serious depression to sudden cardiac death in women.  Depression linked to heart disease

Severe depression may silently break a seemingly healthy woman’s heart. Doctors have long known that depression is common after a heart attack or stroke, and worsens those people’s outcomes. Monday, Columbia University researchers reported new evidence that depression can lead to heart disease in the first place.

The scientists tracked 63,000 women from the long-running Nurses’ Health Study between 1992 and 2004. None had signs of heart disease when the study began, but nearly 8 percent had evidence of serious depression.

The depressed women were more than twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death — death typically caused by an irregular heartbeat, concluded the 12-year study, published Monday in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They also had a smaller increased risk of death from other forms of heart disease.

How is your marriage?  Are you happy?  Did you know that an unhappy marriage could increase a woman’s risk for heart disease?

A strained marriage can lead to heart disease risks for women. A new study show the chances of developing depression, leading to metabolic syndrome and obesity is worse for women in strained marriages than for men. The result is increased heart disease risk for women who are in an unhappy marriage.

And recently I blogged about a new study that found women are increasingly stressed over money and the economy.

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