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Archive for the ‘self-help’ Category

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

Tips For Increasing Your Dieting & Weight Loss Willpower

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 12, 2010

How important is willpower when it comes to our ability to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle?  Is it possible to change poor eating habits to healthy ones if you don’t have a lot of willpower?

My answer:  The more willpower you have the easier it will be, but perfection isn’t necessary.

No one wants to admit that they lack willpower or self-control, but the truth is, none of us has an unlimited supply.  Some days we may have less self control than others, but that makes us normal, not imperfect.

When it comes to healthy living, a healthy dose of willpower is helpful.  The good thing is, once you’ve had the willpower to resist certain unhealthy choices and adapt healthy ones, willpower is needed less and less because your new choices become habit.

If you have unhealthy habits, it is possible to change them into healthy habits.  They say it takes about three weeks for something to become a habit (or to unlearn a habit), so those first three weeks are when willpower is most needed.  And there are things we can do to help maintain are willpower during these critical times.  Here are a few tips…

1.  Have a plan for dealing with times of low willpower. Making the plan before you’ve lost your willpower is key.  Think of all the possible problems that could arise, and then come up with some ways to help you overcome them.

For example:  If eating healthy is your goal, make sure you have a lot of healthy alternatives available for the days you’re feeling you must eat something that you know you shouldn’t.  If you don’t think that will work, then go ahead and eat what you’re craving, just limit yourself to one serving of it (rather than the whole box).  If you think it will help, write down your solutions to the possible problems in a journal or on a post-it note, and review them frequently.

The most important thing is to be prepared.  Because it’s not a matter of  will you have a moment of weakened self-control, it’s a matter of when.

2.  Find ways to reduce the stress in your life.  Emotions definitely play a role in the amount of willpower we have on any given day.  If you’re an emotional eater, you know what I’m talking about.  Do what ever you can to reduce stress in your life.  Here are a few ideas…

Do what ever you can do to reduce the stress in your life.  This isn’t just a way to help your willpower, this is a necessary component of healthy living.

3.  Have a glass of orange juice. Studies show that glucose is a key ingredient that your brain needs to help maintain an effective level of self-control (willpower).

4.  Exercise the willpower muscle.  Don’t wait for something huge to come along and challenge your willpower.  Instead, make an effort to challenge your willpower on a smaller scale more frequently.  Doing this actually builds up your ability for having greater willpower at the times you really need it.

These are a few tips that can help you develop stronger willpower.  But it’s important to know that we will all have times we falter, there is no such thing as having complete self-control, and that is perfectly okay.

What are your willpower issues?  Do you have any tips you can share about ways to maintain willpower for healthy living and healthy eating?

Posted in BlogHer, body image, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , | 7 Comments »

Dieting, Weight Loss, and a Choose You Giveaway.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on May 26, 2010

An Update and a Giveaway…My very first give away.

I’m happy to report that even with additional temptations this weekend [It was my mother’s birthday and we got her an ice-cream cake, chocolate volcano cake, and cheese cake.] I was still successful in my goal to not eat sugar.  It actually wasn’t hard at all to resist, I think because it’s been over two weeks, I’m just not craving the sugar the way I normally do.  So that’s a plus!

Do you want to see the Birthday Dance of my mother that I made with the American Cancer Society’s new dance application?  Here’s the link – Frances Ellen Disco Dancing (Feel free to tease her about it in comments, she loves all the attention).

OK, back to my post.

Since I was so successful with my first (two week) commitment, I decided to make a longer and more difficult commitment next.  For the next six weeks I will be continuing to avoid sugar, but I will also eliminate high fat/calorie snacks and junk food, and lose 5 pounds.

That’s a lot…But you think I can do it, right?

So that’s my new commitment.  Now for the giveaway.

Since I know my Choose You Commitment is going to get more and more difficult to stick with, I wanted to do something to increase my online support.  It may sound silly, but I love getting comments of support and tips from my readers.  And the more feedback I get, the more encouraged I get.  So I asked the folks at the American Cancer Society if I could do a giveaway.  Not only did they say yes, but they agreed to donate a Choose You Stainless Water Bottle and a Choose You Lapel Pin.

All you have to do is go to MY CHOOSE YOU BLOG POST and leave a comment on the post and you will be entered to win (I’ll announce the winner when I post next Tuesday).  Any comment will do, but like I said in my first post I could use all the support I can get from you.

Also See:

Catherine is the mother of two teenagers, she writes about health & wellness at BlogHer and catherine-morgan.com.

*cross posted at Choose You

Posted in about me, blog, body image, cancer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Foods That Increase Your Energy

Posted by Catherine Morgan on April 22, 2010

Are you tired and sluggish all the time?  If so, it could be something you’re eating (or not eating).  Knowing what foods can help keep your energy up might be just what you need to get through your busy day.

Before we talk about what food are best, lets take a quick look at what you should try to avoid

Stay away from “quick-fix” foods that contain a lot of sugar or caffeine (like candy bars, soda, and coffee). Although these may give you a quick spike in your energy level, that energy will rapidly bottom out leaving you feeling even more lethargic.

Energy drinks are particularly bad because of their high levels of caffeine and sugar. Energy drinks may also cause…

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Increased Blood Pressure

Consuming high levels of salt may also contribute to a sluggish feeling.

Well, those are the things you should avoid, now let’s take a look at the foods with the most benefits.  Try to focus on low-glycemic foods, because they release energy slowly.  The best are foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat.

Whole Grains – These are high in fiber (which slow the breakdown and absorption of sugar) and complex carbohydrates, they also contain antioxidants similar to those in fruits and vegetables. In addition to increasing energy, whole grains are believed to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For the most benefit, try to eat 6 or more servings of whole grains per day.

Oatmeal is a whole grain that is also beneficial for its high source of soluble fiber.

Foods high in protein but low in fat will also help keep your energy up…

  • Salmon is high in protein, and is also high in omega-3 fats that can also boost your cardiovascular health.
  • Beans are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Best fruits for increasing energy…

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Apricots
  • Watermelon
  • Berries

Top vegetable for increasing energy…

  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Yams

Great energy snacks…

  • Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Soy Nuts
  • Trail Mix

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.  Not only can dehydration lead to fatigue, but water also helps flush out toxins that can drain your energy.

Eating these high energy foods can have other benefits besides just reducing fatigue.  When you avoid foods that cause fatigue and instead eat healthy high energy foods, you reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer.  Eating these foods can also help you maintain a healthy weight.  And don’t forget that you are the role model for the children in your life, you can teach them by example how to make healthy food choices.

Also See:

Posted in BlogHer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Eat Healthy For Life, Not For Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 5, 2010

Eat Healthy For Life Not Weight Loss

We know that the food we choose to put into our body can have a huge affect on our health and quality of life, but many of us still choose to eat unhealthy foods.  Let’s face it, the unhealthy stuff tastes really good, and we don’t usually have cravings for healthy food.  That’s exactly why obesity is such a large problem for both adults and children in our country…But is dieting the answer?  I don’t think so.  As we all know, dieting can often lead to a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain, that leaves many weighing more in the long run.

So if dieting isn’t the answer…What is?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, teens, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | 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 »

How To Reduce Holiday Stress

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 20, 2009

Christmas.  Is it the most wonderful time of the year?  Or the most stressful time of the year?  Would it surprise you to know that 8 out of 10 people suffer some degree of stress during the holiday season?

Read Full Post at catherine-morgan.com

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

8 Tips For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 29, 2009

8 Tips For Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

Will you be trying to avoid gaining weight this holiday season?  If so, you’re not alone.  But this is a tough time of year to be watching your weight.

So…What can you do to avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain?

Well, its NOT diet (save that for your New Year’s resolution).

Until then, here are my top 8 tips for avoiding weight gain this holiday season…

Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in about me, BlogHer, dieting, family, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Quit Smoking for the Great American Smokeout

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 17, 2009

The Great American Smokeout happens every year on the third Thursday in November, and it has been going on each year since 1977.  This is a day that smokers all across the country are encouraged to not smoke, or at least cut back on their smoking for one day.  Each year millions of smokers participate in the smokeout in the hope that this one step will be the catalyst to their quitting permanently.

On the American Cancer Society‘s website you can find a lot of great information to help you with this challenge…

You can also read about the history of The Great American Smokeout here.

From Suite 101

The American Cancer Society uses this yearly event to not only draw attention to the health issues and dangers that accompany smoking, but also to point smokers who struggle with quitting towards the many resources and tools available to them.

It has been proven that success in quitting smoking is greatly increased when smokers have support. This support can come in a number of ways. The ACS recommends that smokers eager to kick the habit employ one or more of these resources:

  • nicotine replacement products (such as the patch or gum);
  • counseling;
  • prescription medication to lessen nicotine cravings;
  • joining a stop smoking support group;
  • using telephone smoking cessation hotlines;
  • guide books;

Are you a smoker?  Will you be abstaining from smoking for the Great American Smoke Out?

Here’s a look at some of what other women are blogging about quitting smoking…

READ THE FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, lifestyle, self-help, teens | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

The Cookie Diet: Can you really lose weight?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 31, 2009

cookie dietIs it possible to eat cookies and lose weight?  Well, Dr. Sanford Siegal would certainly like you to think so.  After all, at $56 for a week’s supply, Dr. Siegal is going to make an estimated $18 million this year selling his weight-loss cookies.   It’s called The Cookie Diet, and if you like cookies it may sound like a great way to lose weight.  But is it?

Usually, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.  And apparently the first deception about this diet is calling it a cookie.  The word “cookie” implies that it’s a yummy treat, but it seems everyone agrees they don’t taste very good.  Also, the meal-plan for the cookie diet restricts the dieter to only one meal a day, and less than 1000 calories.  Anytime you restrict calories that low, weight-loss is inevitable (with or without the cookie).

A friend of mine tried these cookies because someone she worked with seemed to have lost quite a bit of weight using them.  But she told me the cookies were very dry and not tasty at all.  She also said she would never buy them again, because they didn’t work.  When I asked her about the co-worker that had lost so much weight using the cookies, she mentioned that she saw the guy recently, and he had gained all the weight back.

Here is more about The Cookie Diet…

READ FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in body image, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, opinion, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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 »

Lose Weight, Boost Immune System, and Increase Energy with Isagenix

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 24, 2009

I recently posted this on my Living With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome blog, but I thought it would be good here too.

I don’t normally recommend products on my blogs, but as a person suffering with chronic illness I know how important it is to share information that could benefit others. I started using these products about a year ago, in the hope of boosting my immune system, and increasing my energy. I believe it has done both of these things and more, I just feel so much better on the days that I use this product than on the days I don’t.

This product has the potential of benefiting your health in so many ways…And for anyone looking to generate an income, the company also offers a very simple way to do that too.

These products have really increased my quality of life.

It’s by a company called Isagenix. They have many products but I’ve been using three.

The first one is a nutritional shake. They come in Vanilla and Chocolate (and they actually taste good). Even though it is “technically” a meal replacement, I often use it as a supplement between healthy meals.

isagenix-isalean-shake

The shake contains 23 grams of the highest quality New Zealand whey and casein protein from grass-fed cows with no added hormones or antibiotics, as well as filling fiber, calcium and vitamins to support the body’s vital functions.

This perfectly balanced shake also contains Ionic Alfalfa™, our proprietary blend of 70 super-charged minerals, trace minerals and alfalfa juice. Active enzymes in each serving helps maximize the absorption of key nutrients.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in about me, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, life, lifestyle, my life, nutrition, personal, self-help, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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 »

Is It Ever Too Late To Follow Our Dreams?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 15, 2009

freedoms

via Is It Ever Too Late To Follow Our Dreams?.

Posted in awareness, children, coaching, empowerment, faith, family, happiness, inspirational, life, lifestyle, marriage, opinion, personal, self-help, success, thoughts, Women, women's issues | 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 »

Losing Weight and Getting In Shape For The Summer

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 22, 2009

Sunday marks the first day of summer…How are you feeling about getting into your bathing suit?  Personally, I was hoping to be in a little better shape by now.  Even though I’ve been successful at getting closer to my ideal weight, I’ve been playing one step forward and two steps back for the last several weeks.

Since I know I’m not the only mom out there struggling to eat healthy and lose weight, I’m not going to give up.  I’m determined to have my Valerie Bertinelli moment, and it would be great if I could get to it sometime this summer.  And yes, I do have a plan.  It involves a few of the things that have already worked for me, and a couple of new (somewhat unconventional) ideas too.

Here’s an unconventional idea from izzimomBest Weight Loss Tip Ever

I’m not implying that any of YOU need to lose weight but if you ever need some inspiration to keep your eye on the ball and your ass in gear, just put on your bathing suit and look in the mirror. This is especially important if you’re putting on your bathing suit for the first time since it got warm. The impact will be much greater. But possibly more depressing, too. Consider yourself warned.

Then? Repeat EVERY SINGLE DAY so you never, ever become complacent or forget that you have NOT reached your goal…mostly because you sit in front of your computer all day. Ahem.

Check out some of the comments here.

I don’t know about you, but I can totally relate to This Mama

From This Mama Cooks! On A Diet – My Weight Loss, Slower Than A Herd Of Turtles

Most weight loss and diet bloggers do a lot of weekly update posts. I haven’t since going back to Weight Watchers earlier this year and starting on their Momentum Plan. You know why? Because reading that I’ve lost 1 pound here, or gained a few pounds back there, is boring.

Well, it’s beyond boring to me that is. In fact, it’s downright maddening.

I know I’m going to need to shake things up a bit if I’m going to get back in the swing of things.  So, here is my plan…

First, something new – I’m going to take the advice of Violette DeSantis from Type-A Mom and try eating a Horned Melon (hopefully they aren’t too expensive)…

If we are not eating right our efforts at dieting and exercise are complemented with fatigue. Truth is we are more apt to work at eating right and continuing on a course of fitness when we have energy and less frustration. One remedy to fight fatigue is iron and a favorite source for most of us is melon. What usually comes to mind is our summer favorite, watermelon but let’s discover a new melon that packs a wallop of iron, the horned melon.

Yes, it looks scary; a puffer fish on a vine. I promise it won’t bite back.

Second, something old – I’m going to get more exercise to try to increase my metabolism, as suggested by Workout Mommy – Simple Ways To Lose Weight

Instead of spending your free time on the couch, walk around and get a few household chores done as you keep an eye and an ear on the television. Instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs. Park at the end of the lot so that you need to walk longer to get to the office or your home. And get down to enjoy some rambunctious fun with your kids. These are small things, they’re certainly not what we would call exercise, but they do increase your metabolism and help you lose weight.

And third, something unconventional – I’m going to try a subliminal weight loss program that I received a few months ago.  I listened to it a few times, but never committed to using it every day.  But starting tonight, I’m going to give it a real try.

I’m hoping these subliminal messages will help keep me motivated to make healthy food choices and say “no” to the empty calories and angry whoppers.  I’ll keep a journal for the next month so I can report back to everyone on whether it actually worked or not.

So that’s my plan, and I’m going to try really hard to stick to it.  Do you have any plans for staying healthy or losing weight this summer?  Will you be trying any unconventional weight loss methods?  Does the thought of being seen in a bathing suit affect your desire to get into better shape?  Let me know in comments.

Posted in body image, dieting, Health, life, lifestyle, nutrition, self-help, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

What You Need To Know Before You Fill Out An Online Questionnaire

Posted by Catherine Morgan on June 1, 2009

How private do you think your personal medical information is?  You may be surprised (or angry) to find out the truth.

Could you be unknowingly giving away your private information to unscrupulous marketers?  Well, if you’re one of the 27 million people that have taken an online questionnaire to determine your real age, that may be exactly what has already happened.

From Stephanie Clifford at The New York Times

While few people would fill out a detailed questionnaire about their health and hand it over to a drug company looking for suggestions for new medications, that is essentially what RealAge is doing.

RealAge allows drug companies to send e-mail messages based on those test results. It acts as a clearinghouse for drug companies, including Pfizer, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, allowing them to use almost any combination of answers from the test to find people to market to, including whether someone is taking antidepressants, how sexually active they are and even if their marriage is happy.

From The Great Fitness Experiment — Is Your Real Age Accurate?

At first I will admit I was thrilled with my results. See? That healthy living obsession is paying off in the form of high-kicking organs and a mind that could battle wits against a Sicillian and win (although not in a land war in Asia.) But then the doubt started to creep in. I fussed around with my results and discovered something interesting: the test puts an immense, some might say disproportionate, emphasis on certain supplements. Especially confusing to me was the pro vitamin E stance, considering all the recent research about its harmful effects. A supplement that reportedly causes a 15% increase in early death actually added years to my life according to the quiz. Are they just operating off of old research? After all, Vitamin E used to be the wonder supplement before Vitamin D threw it off the bridge with cement shoes. Or, is something more nefarious going on?

. . .

In addition, The Real Age test, backed by Oprah’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, has branched out into a full online community with mailing lists, chat rooms and even recipes. Boasting a membership of over 27 million, they’ve got a lot of eyeballs. So not only is the test assigning an arbitrary number based on dubious health principles but they’re also creating one of the largest online drug marketing databases in the world.

This is from Cranky Fitness — Find Your “Real” Real Age

Have you taken the “Real Age” test? It’s that site where you sign up and answer a bunch of family history and lifestyle questions. Then the site figures your health risks and tells you how old you “really” are.

Twenty seven million people have taken it so far. And it’s energetically pushed by Oprah’s pal, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Jodie Andrefski wrote Those Fun Online Quizzes May Be More Than You Bargained For

Then, you have sites like RealAge. Oh, this one is nifty. This one is popular for telling you what your biological age is based on your answers to a detailed quiz about health habits and family history. Are you depressed? How often do you have sex? Now, the answers to these rather personal questions aren’t just to figure out your “Real Age” by the way. Ahhhh….no. Your information is then used to market you based on your answers. Depressed? Having problems in that area and Viagra is starting to look good? Well, let us (RealAge) help. We will allow partners to sponsor messages that we will then send to you. Aren’t we ever so helpful? *cough, cough*

“These [types of sites] are data-mining havens where users willingly opt in from the very beginning,” says Ryan Jacobson, an attorney and co-chairman of the Entertainment Media and Privacy Law Group at the law firm SmithAmundsen in Chicago. “I’m afraid that the average user fails to recognize or take the time to understand what privacy rights he or she is actually giving up by responding.”

What do you think about the way this RealAge site is using our basic desire to stay young and healthy, just to turn around and sell us out to pharmaceutical companies?  Is it dishonest?  Or a shrude business plan?  Have you taken the questionair?  Is so…How does it make you feel knowing your personal information  is being used to send you pharmaceutical spam?  Let us know in comments.

Posted in blog, bloggers, blogging, BlogHer, body image, chronic illness, food, Health, life, lifestyle, media, medicine, nutrition, opinion, self-help, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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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

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