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Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Alzheimer’s: Devastating diagnosis for patients and loved ones.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 11, 2009

Do you know someone who suffers with Alzheimer’s disease?  Or someone who is a caregiver to a loved one with this devastating disease?  If so, you understand the heartache associated with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Who are we without our memories of past experiences?  For most of us, the though of losing our memories to Alzheimer’s disease is horrifying.  But there is much more to Alzheimer’s than memory loss.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

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Posted in BlogHer, chronic illness, depression, family, Health, life, medicine, motherhood, news, parenting, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 3, 2009

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month.  I hope this post will provide information and facts about epilepsy, while also showcasing women blogging about life with seizures.

Here are some epilepsy facts from CURE Epilepsy

  • Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.
  • In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
  • Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.
  • In over thirty percent of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment. Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death. Many more have only partial control of their seizures.
  • The severe epilepsy syndromes of childhood can cause developmental delay and brain damage, leading to a lifetime of dependency and continually accruing costs—both medical and societal.
  • It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
  • The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is twenty-four times greater.
  • Recurring seizures are also a burden for those living with brain tumors and other disorders such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a variety of genetic syndromes.

I found this video on a blog called My 3 Peanuts – It is a very informative video that explains exactly what happens during a seizure.

Understanding Epilepsy…

READ FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, bloggers, BlogHer, children, chronic illness, family, Health, life, news, parenting, teens, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bloggers For More Birthdays – My Friend Becky

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

I’m honored to be a member of the American Cancer Society’s Blogger Advisory Council, a small group of volunteers that advises the Society on its social media strategy. Part of our mission is to help spread the word that we have power in the fight against cancer. And our first step is to build awareness and encourage women to get involved. Visibility equals power! So we have started a blog “chain” to spread the word among women bloggers. We call it Bloggers for More Birthdays.

You can help me…Join Bloggers for More Birthdays by dedicating a blog post to someone you love who’s been affected by cancer. It’s a simple way to celebrate those you love. Just write a post (like I’ve done here), host our badge, and know that whatever you write, you are helping to raise awareness and inspiring others to join American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer.

Here is my contribution to the Bloggers for More Birthdays Campaign…

Becky was my best friend.  A wonderful mother.  And a great mom-mom.  Even though she’s been gone for over seven years, a day rarely goes by that I don’t think of her and wish she were here.  Time has helped to replace some of my grief with many lovely memories, but it hasn’t healed my anger towards the disease that took her from us.  Cancer.

I hate cancer, and I hate that my friend didn’t get a chance to be a survivor.  Why her?  She deserved to be a survivor, she deserved to have more birthdays.  She fought this disease with every ounce of strength she had, but in the end cancer took away every ounce of strength she had.

Although I’m angry, I’m also grateful for the time I did have Becky in my life.  She was there for me during some very tough times.  I know I’m who I am today, partly because of her influence in my life.  I only wish I was able to thank her for that.

No matter how much time goes by, I will never forget the angel she was…and still is.

Becky

If you’ve posted, let The American Cancer Society know so they can feature it! Just put a link to your post in the comments section here, or email your post to bloggersubmit@officialbirthdayblog.com.  You’ll be showing your support for More Birthdays and bring visibility to your blog.

Posted in awareness, bloggers, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, current events, friends, grief, Health, life, motherhood, my life, parenting, personal, reflections, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breast Cancer Survivors Share Their Stories In Words & Video

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

This is a post in honor of breast cancer survivors.  They are women sharing their stories of hope, struggle, determination, and survival.  Some are in words and some are in video.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, chronic illness, empowerment, family, feminism, Health, inspirational, life, motherhood, opinion, parenting, personal, reflections, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Diet: Tips For Avoiding Sugar During Halloween

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 15, 2009

Avoiding Candy Cravings During Halloween and Sticking To A Healthy Diet

halloween candyI have been successfully off of sugar since my post Conquering Sugar Addiction:  The First Step Towards A Healthy Diet (and the toughest), but I know I am always just one bite of a brownie away from falling off the wagon.  And now there is another huge temptation – Halloween.  It seems like everywhere I go I am faced with those giant bags of Halloween candy.  The next few weeks are going to be a real test of my new-found willpower.

It’s nice to know I’m not the only one struggling with Halloween candy temptations.

*Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, body image, dieting, food, Health, kids, life, motherhood, my life, nutrition, parenting, personal, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Keeping Your Children Safe

Posted by Catherine Morgan on August 8, 2009

If you’re a mom, you probably have concerns or questions about child safety.  And you can find a great resource at the Home Safety Council.  It’s a great interactive website with tips, links, resources, videos and more.

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes.

All ages are represented on this site, but here is a bit about the little-ones…

READ FULL POST AT CATHERINE-MORGAN.COM

Posted in children, family, Health, kids, life, parenting, teens, Women, women blogging, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tips For Avoiding Getting Sick at BlogHer or Whenever You Travel

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 21, 2009

Are you going to BlogHer ’09?  Sadly, I won’t be able to make it this year.  But, if you’re planning on flying to Chicago (or anywhere else for that matter), you might be worried about getting sick.  If so, I can totally understand.  Because after my first BlogHer Conference in 2007 I ranted about how sick I got from flying, and in 2008 I blogged about coming down with the dreaded Post BlogHer Bola Virus.

It’s not just BlogHer, I seem to get sick whenever I travel. So even though I can’t make it to Chicago this year, I thought I would share my recently discovered tips about avoiding getting sick while flying.

Here goes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bloggers, BlogHer, current events, Health, life, my life, parenting, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Your Family Affected By Food Allergies?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 23, 2009

Is Your Family Affected By Food Allergies?

Do you have children that suffer with food allergies?  It seems like food allergies are becoming more and more prevalent.  Why is that?  My personal opinion, is that it has something to do with how germ and bacteria free we’ve become as a society.

Last week was food allergy awareness week, so I thought I would use this post to look at food allergies and how some parents are coping.

What are food allergies?  From The Mayo Clinic

Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Food allergy affects an estimated 6 to 8 percent of children under age 3, and about 4 percent of adults. While there’s no cure, some children outgrow their food allergy as they get older.

Here is an informative video on food allergies

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Announces New Food Initiative Advocacy Committee

WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2009 – Today, as we continue to mark Food Allergy Awareness Week, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., member of the Board of Directors of the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), announced the formation of FAI’s Advocacy Steering Committee. The committee’s objectives are to help build a strong nationwide presence for the food allergy community in the public policy arena; and to actively seek to increase federal funding of food allergy research, as scientists believe that with proper funding, a cure can be found in less than a decade.

The new steering committee comprises 16 leading parent advocates nationwide who confront the daily dangers of raising children with severe food allergies.

There is a lot of discussion about how schools are dealing with food allergies

From No Whey, MamaA Food Allergy is a Food Allergy

I don’t mean to get all Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and I certainly am not trying to get into a “my child’s allergy is more severe than yours” discussion. It’s inappropriate, and it doesn’t matter. The school system should treat all food allergies as if they equally severe. It’s just safer that way. Besides, you never know which reaction is going to be the anaphylactic one, so it’s best just to avoid reactions altogether.

From Pink Preppy Party Girl:  Child Food Allergy Etiquette

My children go to a “Nut Free” school which has changed to a “Nut Aware” school since the school cannot guarantee that it is “nut free”. So, more or less, no peanut butter sandwiches allowed–no vital protein (that doesn’t spoil) at lunch. There have been stories about lunch ladies taking Skittles away from children because they are made in factory that also makes M&M’s. We call the lunch ladies Peanut Nazis because they embarrassed and humiliate the children who bring in the Skittles too.

How does your school deal with food allergies?  Are they doing enough?  Could they be doing more?

As with everything in life, sometimes bad things can lead to something good…

How A Debilitating Food Allergy Led To Launching A Baking Company

Beth George’s story touched me and I think you will feel inspired too. Beth was unwilling to accept the host of diagnoses and psychotropic drugs doctors recommended to deal with her son’s unpredictable behavior. Instead, she was determined to figure out the cause. After years of struggling, she discovered that her son was allergic to a common wheat and certain artificial food additives. Once she removed these ingredients from her son’s diet, miraculously his symptoms disappeared. This inspired her to start a baking company, Spelt Right® Baking, that only uses organic, all natural materials with no artificial ingredients of any kind in their products.

Research

From The Nut-Free Mom BlogFood Allergy Awareness Week Research News

I just received a press release from FAAN that made me smile! The organization has donated 1.1 million to food allergy research, including peanut allergy therapies and vaccines. I have high hopes for vaccines–more so than I do for immunotherapy studies like the small one just published from Duke University. This study has received a lot of media buzz but is still in its very early and experimental stages and has caused severe allergic reactions in human subjects. In fact, this experimental therapy isn’t currently recommended for those who have high IgE levels (that is, patients whose blood tests indicate they are at high risk of anaphylaxis) or who have ever had a severe reaction to peanut or tree nut. That leaves many of us out! Now, if this therapy has helped you personally, great. I’m just saying that for many it’s not even an option. That doesn’t sound like a “cure” to me.

Also See:

From Food Allergy Buzz:  Food Alergy Grocery Shopping

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis NetworkSee the Food Allergy Quick Reference at

Food Allergy Initiative

What are your experiences with food allergies?  Do you have advice for other parents?  Let us know in comments.

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

Posted in BlogHer, children, chronic illness, cooking, family, food, Health, kids, life, mom's, motherhood, nutrition, opinion, parenting, school, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are You Getting Enough Sleep? Take Poll

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 10, 2009

We all know that in order to be healthy (and happy) we need to get enough sleep. But still, most of us either don’t get enough sleep or our quality of sleep is lacking. Let face it, if you’re a mom you probably don’t get enough sleep. If you work you probably don’t get enough sleep. If you worry, you probably don’t get enough sleep. And if you’re a mom who works and also worries, you may have already forgotten what it means to get a good night’s sleep.

I don’t know about you, but I am tired all the time. I guess it doesn’t help that I stay up till all hours of the night doing my blog posts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in about me, BlogHer, children, chronic illness, Health, life, lifestyle, motherhood, parenting, thoughts, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

Do You Keep Up With Annual Checkups?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 19, 2009

Do you keep up with your annual checkups?  We all know we should, but it’s easy to come up with reasons to avoid them.  Instead of ignoring checkups, try understanding why they are so important.  Even better, know the right questions you should ask your doctor, and how your doctor should be communicating with you.

I found a great resource by Merck that allows you to pick a topic and then gives you all the questions you should ask your doctor about that topic.  It’s called MerckSource

Going to see the doctor? Even the best physician can’t give you the right answers if you’re not asking the right questions. Our simple, structured, and easy to read “Questions to Ask Your Doctor” section helps put you in control of your healthcare.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awareness, blood pressure, chronic illness, family, Health, heart disease, life, opinion, parenting, self-help, vaccines, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Head Injury: Natasha Richardson Dies After Skiing Accident

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 19, 2009

All day yesterday there had been speculation about the condition of actress Natasha Richardson, after she suffered a head injury while skiing on Monday. Sadly, her death has been confirmed in a written statement by a spokesperson for her family…

“Liam Neeson, his sons (Micheal, 13, and 12-year-old Daniel), and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” the statement said. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

The statement did not give details on the cause of death for Richardson, who suffered a head injury and fell on a beginner’s trail during a private ski lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. Seemingly fine after the fall, about an hour later she complained that she didn’t feel well. –read full AP article here

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, family, grief, Health, kids, life, news, parenting, thoughts, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Are Your Children Getting Enough Calcium? Are You?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 25, 2009

Are your kids getting enough calcium?  Are you?

A recent study shows that calcium may play an even greater role in a woman’s health than we once thought.  Apparently, a higher intake of dietary calcium may decrease the risk of a woman developing colorectal cancer.  But this isn’t about taking calcium supplements, it’s recommended that we increase our intake of calcium by choosing to eat more calcium rich foods.  Yes, it’s another reason to eat healthy.  How many more reasons do you need?

From Women’s Health

High dietary intake of calcium may reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer, especially for women, but has no apparent effect in reducing other malignancies, a U.S. National Cancer Institute study finds.

Why calcium should influence cancer risk differently in women versus men isn’t clear, said Yikyung Park, a staff scientist at NCI who led the study. “One can speculate that hormonal or metabolic factors contribute to this difference,” she said.

Women with higher intake of calcium appear to have a lower risk of cancer overall, and both men and women with high calcium intakes have lower risks of colorectal cancer and other cancers of the digestive system, according to a report in the February 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

From New Wrinkles for old souls

So, what does all this mean. The bottom line comes down to this: If you have to grab a quick meal, grab something that includes calcium, such as low-fat dairy products—yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese—or calcium-fortified beverages, such as orange juice or soy milk. Dark green leafy vegetables—kale, watercress, and bok choy—are also calcium-rich. Eating calcium foods will do your body more good than supplements. However, if you’re falling short on calcium or if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, you should still take calcium supplements, particularly if your health care practitioner told you to take them.

But how do we know if we are getting enough calcium?  Do you know if you are getting enough caclium in your diet?

Try this easy to use calcium calculator to find out how much calcium you should be getting, and how much your current diet is providing.   I was shocked to find how little calcium I am actually consuming each day, I will certainly need to pay more attention to this in the future.

Once you know how much more calcium you should be getting each day, use this list of calcium rich foods
to find ways to add more to your diet.

And don’t forget about your kids.

From Kids Health for parents…

During childhood and adolescence, the body uses the mineral calcium to build strong bones — a process that’s all but complete by the end of the teen years. Bone calcium begins to decrease in young adulthood and progressive loss of bone occurs as we age, particularly in women.

Daily calcium needs for kids

It is also important to understand how much calcium kids actually need. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recommends:

* 500 mg a day for kids who are 1 to 3 years old
* 800 mg a day for kids who are 4 to 8 years old
* 1,300 mg a day for kids who are 9 to 18 years old

My daughter (14 years old) was recently diagnosed with a slight herniated disk in her lower back.  It’s most likely the beginning stage of degenerative disc disease (which runs in our family).  The doctor wants her to begin doing regular cardio exercise (at least 45 minutes 3 times a week), and also make sure she is getting enough calcium in her diet.  Hopefully making these changes will decrease her pain and reduce her risk of future problems.

Is your child getting enough calcium?

Young bodies need adequate calcium to build strong bones, especially during growth spurts. In fact, 90 percent of a person’s peak bone mass for adulthood is established by the late teen years: The strength and health of an adult’s bones largely depends on calcium intake during formative years. Some experts call osteoporosis a juvenile disease because poor bone mass in adulthood often begins in adolescence.

Other factors also help build bones, such as engaging in weight-bearing physical activity, for example:

  • walking
  • running
  • jumping rope
  • team sports
  • weight lifting

But calcium intake remains critical. An added bonus to consuming calcium: Some studies link diets rich in dairy products with more lean body mass and better weight management.

From A Mom’s Memories

This was a challenging subject to blog about – especially since one of my kiddos is the pickiest eater ever. Here are my 5 tips for making sure my kids get the vitamins and minerals they need for strong bones.

From Food Blogga

When I was kid there was nothing better than coming home from school, opening the refrigerator, and seeing those old-fashioned ice cream dessert glasses filled with Mom’s chocolate pudding, bananas, and Graham Crackers. Cool, creamy, and soothing, just what any kid could use after a long day at school. Plus it’s low in fat and high in bone-building calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Also See:

Nutrition Matters: Five Tips For Healthy Eating For One

What is heart healthy eating anyway?

Nutrition Tips: You are what you eat.

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, daughters, dieting, family, food, Health, kids, life, lifestyle, motherhood, news, nutrition, parenting, pregnancy, self-help, teens, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Easy Ways To Reduce Stress With Positive Affirmations

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 21, 2009

Is stress wearing you down?  Are you worried about the bad economy?  Your job?  The mortgage?  Your health?  Your family?  If so, you are not alone.

Life is always changing, and that can feel very stressful.  But often, seemingly bad things will happen in our lives, that will actually turn out to be the catalysts to something positive.  It’s very true that when one door closes another will open.  Although it never feels so great when that one door closes.  Recently I’ve had several doors close on me.  But as hard as it’s been, I can already see that these things needed to happen to bring me closer to where I am meant to be.

There are three things we can do to help relieve the stress in our lives…

Number one is acceptance.   We need to accept that life does not always go the way we perceive to be best.

From This Journey – Stress or Sadness

Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:

  1. Accept that some days you’re the pigeon, and some days you’re the statue.
  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
  3. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
  4. Drive carefully. It’s not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
  5. If you can’t be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
  6. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
  7. It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply be kind to others.
  8. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won’t have a leg to stand on.
  9. Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.
  10. Since it’s the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.
  11. The second mouse gets the cheese.
  12. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
  13. You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
  14. Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
  15. We could learn a lot from crayons… Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
  16. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Number two is gratitude.  Take time to recognize all that you have to be grateful for.

From Britt Bravo – Keeping a Gratitude Journal

One tool to help keep life in perspective is a gratitude journal where you write down a few things each day that you are thankful for. They can be big things, like I’m thankful that I have a warm, dry place to live in the midst of this crazy California rainstorm, or small things, like I had a really yummy hot chocolate the other day.

Number three is your inner game and positive affirmations.

What is your inner voice saying to you?  Have you developed the habit of saying negative things to yourself?  If so, this is a habit that needs to be broken.

From Family Matters

Whether we speak out loud or we are in silence, our brain is in continuous chatter. We have thoughts about things to do, feelings, expectations, ideas, reminders, theories and conversations.

. . .

Much of our mind chatter is thoughts we have been given by others, thoughts based on past experiences we have had (as kids), things we have seen in the media and interpretations of what has happened around us. The real challenge is to switch from negative thoughts to positive ones.

From Creating Effective Affirmations

Taking a wealth/prosperity affirmation as our example, it’s unlikely that a wealthy person would tell someone “I’m a very wealthy person” or “I’m a multi-millionaire,” but they might tell someone “I’m never in need of money” or “My finances are better than they’ve ever been before.” Think of a way in which you’d tell your friends and family about your wealth, and use that as your money mantra. If you use a lot of slang or colloquial phrases, fashion your affirmation that way. A person who refers to money as “dough,” for instance, would probably be better off writing her mantra as “I’m rollin’ in dough!” than as “I have a lot of money!” Keep your own speech pattern in mind when you write out your affirmations, and they’ll be much more powerful for you.

From Angela Booth’s Writing Blog – Affirmations For Writers

Here’s how to create your own empowering affirmations: create them from your mind tapes. Just switch the old tapes from negative statements to positive ones.

For example:

* Writing is hard, I’ve never been good at writing BECOMES: “Writing is easy and fun for me, I’ve always been great at writing”;

* I can’t write BECOMES: “I write easily and effortlessly, I’m an excellent writer.”

Try it. Affirmations enhance your creativity and your income. Why walk around with old, damaging self-talk? Start changing your self-talk today, with the power of affirmations.

Here are some videos on the topic of positive affirmations that your might find helpful…

Your thoughts create your future…

An affirmation video…

A healing affirmation video…

How do you keep your stress at bay?  Let me know in comments.

Posted in BlogHer, blood pressure, chronic illness, coaching, depression, empowerment, family, happiness, Health, heart disease, inspirational, life, lifestyle, living in the moment, motherhood, parenting, peace, self-help, spiritual, success, Women, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Are Parents To Blame For Childhood Obesity? Take Poll.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 19, 2009

Who is to blame for childhood obesity? There certainly seems to be a lot of blame to go around.   What do you think?  Are the parents to blame? Take this poll and let me know…

Katherine Berry from Pajamas Media wrote…

It’s not something we, as parents, like to hear and yet it’s precisely what we need to realize: if our children are fat, the chances are we bear a big load of the blame. Kids aren’t the ones pulling the minivan into the drive-through lane at McDonald’s for dinner between dance lessons and karate practice. Again. They aren’t the ones zipping past the produce aisle and dried beans in favor of high-fat, calorie-dense convenience meals that promise to be ready after five minutes or less in the microwave. They don’t keep files crammed with the take-out menus for nearby restaurants, nor program the phone number of the pizza joint on their cell phones. Parents do.

Miriam Stoppard of Dear Mariam wrote…

If a child is obese at the age of two, there’s no one to blame but the parents.

Traditionally toddlers have the healthiest lifestyles – they naturally run around all the time, burning up calories.
So it’s difficult to imagine what these children’s parents have been doing to let them get so fat. If you’re busy and stressed and feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with your child, you’re probably looking for quick and easy ways to make it up to them.

Is fast-food to blame? Or is it the parent who provides the fast-food to blame?

From Dawn at Belle of the Blog: Fat-Bottomed Girls

If my child doesn’t eat well it’s because I as his mother and provider of nourishment have in some way failed to bring good foods to him or convince him to eat those good foods.

It’s bullshit to say that “…America’s chain restaurants have set parents up to fail.” God that attitude sickens me.

What about those unhealthy school lunches?

From Childhood Obesity: A Threat To Our Public Health

School systems have instituted nutrition and exercise programs with some success. For example, a research group, The Healthier Options for Public Schools, followed 3700 students in a Florida county over 2 years. School districts instituted an intervention program in 4 schools and the results were measured against two schools that did not have a program. The intervention program included dietary changes, increased exercise and nutrition awareness. There were dramatic changes in the kids who had intervention, however, when those students returned from summer vacation, most had reverted back to their old habits.

There is also evidence that the economy plays a roleChildhood Obesity: Why Are More Poor Children Overweight?

What do you think? Take the above poll and let me know what you think about who is to blame for childhood obesity.

Personally, I think there is enough blame to go around, but the best thing to do is focus on ways to solve the problem.

What can parents do to help children make healthier food choices?

Create a healthy and active environment

  • Healthy Choices: Stock the fridge with a lot of healthy food and snacks, such as whole-grain choices, fresh produce and milk. Get rid of the junk food and soda.
  • Behavioral changes help: Serving water or milk at dinner instead of soda, sitting at a table instead of around the T.V., eating dinner at a regular time—these changes are small but can break old habits and make a real difference. Make small decisions to increase the activity in your day.
  • Beware of the TV: studies have shown that TV time directly correlates with snacking. Instead, encourage your child to be active, or work on a project that engages his or her hands so they are less likely to snack.
  • Slow down the consumption: Encourage your child to eat slowly and engage them in discussion during mealtime. Serve them smaller portions, and if they are old enough, don’t cut their food for them.
  • Food as nutrition, not reward: Don’t make food a source of reward or punishment. Allow your child to stop eating when they are no longer hungry and never force them to finish their plate.
  • Engage them in physical activity outside of the home: Enroll your child in a physical activity they might enjoy, such as gymnastics, dance or martial arts. Encourage him to join a school team or play basketball with his friends.
  • Be a good role model: Create a healthy lifestyle, not just a goal for your child’s weight. There are old habits to break and good habits to establish- acting as a role model for your child is the most effective way to help him or her make changes that last.

From Misty Humphrey at Healthy Transitions

Often, I say to my adult children “I wish I knew then what I know now”. Our lives would be very different. I would advise that parents involve their children in the healthy choices. A meal always tastes better when the child is involved in the preparation. Make sure the fruit bowl is always full. Take control as a parent over the media hype. Do not give in. I would also advice parents to start with the elimination of “hydrogenated oils” and “high fructose corn syrup” from any products they purchase. Make sure your child starts their day with a nutritious breakfast that would exclude modern breakfast cereals. We drink green smoothies daily and every child loves a smoothie. Cabbage and spinach are the easiest veggies to mask and this can sustain a child with clearer thinking and brain function. In sharing with your child the importance of healthy choices and the affect on their bodies, we can reverse this preventive epidemic we call obesity.

Helpful Links

Overweight Children – Prevention and Treatment

My Overweight Child

Help For Parents – Overweight Teenagers

Also See:

Eat your vegetables and do your circut workout, kids.

Healthier Kids – Moving Beyond Pizza and Hot Dogs

Introducing Slow Food For Our Children

The value of family dinners and giving children presence.

From Fat Fighter TV News Nugget – Obese kids have middle aged arteries , Children are Copycats and Fast food near schools mean fatter kids.

Big Fat Deal – Poor, Obese Children Not Eating Enough

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan

at Catherine-Morgan.com and Women4Hope

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Do You Have A Weight Loss Resolution? Buy Frozen Diet Entrees Now While They Are On Sale.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on January 2, 2009

shrimp-entree

Have you made a weight loss resolution for the new year?  If so, now is a great time to stock up on those frozen diet entrees from your grocery store.

Whether you live alone or with your family, it’s difficult to adjust your eating habits when you want to lose some weight.  But, it’s a lot easier if you can plan your meals ahead of time.  A great way to get started is with portion and calorie controlled frozen meals.  This way, if you still need to cook dinner for the family, you don’t have to spend a lot more time making something healthy for yourself.  And even though that would probably be your best option, it might not be realistic to think it’s something you’ll be able to do during the hardest and most critical time of your diet (the beginning).

In order to be successful on a new diet, you need to do two things right off the bat…

1.  Get rid of ALL the food temptations in your home.

That doesn’t mean your whole family has to “suffer” through your diet with you.  Get rid of all the foods that are tempting to you, and leave unhealthy foods that aren’t tempting to you.

Does your family love ice-cream, but it’s a huge weakness for you?  Get them together and decide on a flavor (or flavors) that you don’t really care for.  This way, your kids are happy that they have their ice-cream, and you don’t feel tempted to indulge.  Do the same with cookies, cereal, candy, and any of the other “junk” foods that you normally keep in your pantry.

2.  Stock up on the healthy foods you CAN have on your diet.

The worst thing you can do to sabotage a good diet, is to not have enough healthy foods in your house.  When you get those hunger pangs between meals, you absolutely need to have plenty of healthy (and quick) choices available.

This is where those frozen diet entrees come in handy, and this is the time of year when they all go on sale.  Not just 25% off either.  Most grocery stores are having buy one get one free and 50% off during these next few weeks after the holidays.  These manufacturers understand that losing weight is a huge new year’s resolution, and they want you to buy their products.  So if you can, save money by stocking up on them now.  Yesterday, I was able to get a bunch of Lean Cuisine frozen dinners for less than $2.00 each. For that price, I can have a healthy lunch and dinner for less than $4.00 a day.  That’s less than the cost of one meal at a fast food place.

Personally, I find these portion controlled meals a little small, and not very filling.  But a great way to compensate that drawback is by adding fresh (try cleaned/pre-cut) or frozen vegetable.  They only add a few more calories, and you can mix them right in with your frozen dinner to give them a bit more flavor.

So, get rid of the funk food and stock up on the healthy food.

Good luck, and let me know how you make out in comments.

Here are more posts on dieting and weight loss that you might find helpful…

Posted in body image, dieting, empowerment, family, food, Health, life, nutrition, parenting, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can The Movie ‘Mama Mia’ Reduces Stress and Make You Happy?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2008

Can a good movie reduce stress? I’ve always believed that smiling and laughing is healing in some way. And, there is a lot of evidence that supports that theory. I also know that for me, music can deeply affect my mood. Some songs are sad reminders of the past, and others are happy reminders of experiences I never want to forget. Seeing the movie Mamma Mia with my daughter, and listening to all the music, is definitely going to be a lasting and happy memory for me.

This is what happened. My daughter has been wanting to see the movie Journey To The Center Of The Earth in 3-D, and we’ve also both wanted to see Mamma Mia. So, on Thursday, we decided to see Journey To The Center Of The Earth. But, when we got to the theater we found out it was only in 3-D at “selected” theaters, and we weren’t at one of those. Mamma Mia was showing in the same theater about 15 minutes later, so we decided to see that instead.

To tell you the truth, I really didn’t think that either one of the movies was going to have much of an impact on me. I was feeling quite depressed, and was only taking my daughter to the movies because I thought that was what a good mother would do.

So, since I was feeling like a failure as a mother when it came to my son, I thought I shouldn’t let my anxiety affect my daughter. However, I didn’t think anything, much less a movie, would be able to take my mind off of my troubles.

Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised.

Posted in depression, family, Health, inspirational, life, opinion, parenting, reflections, self-help, thoughts, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Living Well With Chronic Illness – Redefining Yourself

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 25, 2008

This issue is so important, and that is because; When you suffer from chronic illness, although you are being treated (even successfully), going back to your former life before you were sick may be impossible. I hear this all the time from others suffering with CFS and FM, and I am certain it holds true for many others suffering with chronic disease as well. The biggest problem, is that many of us “define” ourselves through our work, or what we do for a living. Quite frankly, this is a bad idea even if you are a healthy person. None of us “are” our work. Our work is not who we are, it’s simply what we do. But, we all know it doesn’t always feel that way, especially when out of nowhere, we are unable to do what we do.

So….What do you do, when this happens to you? Well, it’s not so different than when a stay at home mom sees her last child off to college. They call it “Empty Nest Syndrome” for her, and it can be quite devastating for a women who has devoted her life up until then (usually at least 18 years or more) to being the best mom she could be, and doing it as a career. Now she is left with no-one to mother, and she loses her sense of “self”. At this point, she can choose to except her new life and find new and exciting things to do with herself (maybe go back to school, get back into a career, take up a hobby, or maybe travel), or she can choose to be sad and depressed and feel like her life is over because she has no-one left to take care of. It’s not the same as losing your identity due to illness, but it is an example of seeing your life (or identity), as half full or half empty.

Feeling sorry for yourself can be a full time job, but it’s a job that doesn’t benefit you in any way….so just take it on a part-time basis. Then on the days you’re not working hard at that job, focus on finding something to do with your life that can benefit you.

Step 1 – Make a plan. Take some time to write a list of all the things you can do in your current condition (not just work things; hobbies, school, etc)….even if it is something you don’t know how to do. Write down some “dream” ideas too.

This isn’t something you do in one day…do it over days or even weeks. Open your thoughts to ideas you may not have ever even considered before…this is the first step in “re-making” yourself.

Step 2 – Believe in yourself. Start believing it is possible for you to do one or more of these things. Take your pessimistic cap off for a little bit, and let yourself “feel” the possibilities…..see it in your minds eye.

Now, it’s o.k. if you don’t “feel” it right away, it’s going to take some time. The important thing is, to not let yourself feel hopeless, there are always possibilities out there. It’s just that many times we can’t see these opportunities, because we live in a box that we think we can never escape from. Just remember…This happens to everyone, not just you. So just do yourself a favor, and allow yourself to believe that you can escape if you wanted to.

Even thought it’s just two steps, doing them right takes time. This can be a very long process, so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s taken me years, and I am still only in the middle of the process. But, you do need to start the process…you can’t reach your dreams or your potential, if you don’t open yourself up to the possibility.

Posted in blogging, chronic illness, family, Health, inspirational, life, parenting, self-help, success, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Dooce on Nightline — See Full Video Clip

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 13, 2008

Dooce on Nightline – Posted by Catherine Morgan

In a much better interview than had been done by Kathie Lee on the Today Show last week, tonight’s Nightline interview with Dooce was witty, clever, and informative. Here is a video clip of the full segment on Nightline…

SEE FULL VIDEO OF DOOCE ON NIGHTLINE HERE

Posted in bloggers, blogging, children, Dooce, family, feminism, kids, life, opinion, parenting, thoughts, Women, women blogging | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mommy Bloggers and Dooce on NBC with Kathie Lee (see video)

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 7, 2008

Did Kathie Lee just diss Mommy bloggers???

SEE FULL VIDEO HERE

Also See:  New Video of Dooce on Nightline

Posted in bloggers, blogging, children, Dooce, family, kathie lee, kids, life, news, opinion, parenting, pregnancy, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's issues, writing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »