Preventative Care For Moms….on

Moms (and Dads) are overworked, stressed, and care so much for others that they forget to do what they need for themselves.  Find out what you need to get checked out, and what you can hold off on at

Yours In Good Health


Another Reason to Know the Source of Your Food.

There have been many cases of food coming from other countries, being contaminated, causing significant health issues, and then we never really hear about it again. I have been asked recently a lot about the contaminated powdered milk and baby formula from a few years ago, if other foods had melamine in them, and what the big deal is?  I think this Melanine issue in foods from China merely highlighted the fact that we need to really take a good look at where our food comes from and the standards that we have in the US, UK, and EU are not shared worldwide.

What was the big controversy?

In 2007 and 2008, a factory in China that was producing formula, tried to undercut the competition, by cutting their milk production costs by using raw milk (non-pasteurized) and then cutting it with water to increase the volume. In order to make the milk products have that have the appropriate amount of protein, they needed to add something. Protein levels are usually checked through the levels of nitrogens present. What they decided to add is Melanine.  Melanine is and organic powdered chemical that is very high in nitrogens, and it is frequently found in adhesives, plastics, countertops, etc. It is NOT a form of food, and it has no nutritional value. Melanine was found in wheat gluten, rice proteins, frozen yogurt, some coffee drinks (with Milk products), and various pet foods that came from China. It is actually detrimental to our health, and this is not an approved additional supplement/practice by any of the organizations worldwide that regulate food.

What are the side effects of Melanine?

Most of all the information that we have regarding the effects of Melanine are from animal studies, as it is nowhere deemed safe for human consumption, so it has never been studied. When the pet food contaminated with Melanine were hitting the shelves in the US, large numbers of animals died, shortly after ingesting the foods. Melanine can cause irritability, blood in the urine, high blood pressure, and renal (kidney) failure.  It is assumed, based upon animals, that the Melanine crystallizes with other byproducts in the body, and can clog up the kidney tubules causing kidney stones and lead to total blockage of urine passing, leading to renal failure.

 What does this mean?

Well, since the issue in 2007 and 2008, the use of Melanine has become much more scrutinized, and foods from China are now being tested for it, so we are pretty certain foods do not have it.  But the whole issue made me really question foods processed outside the US.  I clearly try to live a clean lifestyle, I eat organically and minimally processed (as much as possible), and I like to think it works for me, and I realize it is not possible for everyone. But I really want you all to think about where your food comes from, where it is processed. I loved that when I lived in the UK, the food source was well labelled on the package; I knew exactly where my veg came from, my fruits, etc. if they were grown and packaged outside the UK. Think about buying fruits and veg at local food sources, like local farms, farm stands, farmers markets, or other stores that sell locally sourced organic foods. Join a Community Sustained Agriculture (CSA) group, and support local farmers all while ensuring you are eating fresh, organic, unprocessed foods.  It is a piece of mind for me, knowing that my food does not have anything, like Melanine, added to it that could kill me, my family, or my pets.

Food for thought!

Yours in Good Health



Use Ginger to Improve Your Wellbeing

I am asked at least once a day about how to prevent colds, or what you can take once you feel one coming on to prevent it from becoming a full-fledged cold, leaving you feeling miserable and down for the count for a while. I don’t believe that most of the over-the-counter (OTC) remedies work for cold prevention, and my avid readers know that by now, but there is some research to support the use of ginger to prevent colds, and even help to kick the symptoms you already have!

How does Ginger help?

There are few studies that have specifically looked at ginger and exactly how it works, or really IF it even works at all.  But it has been used for hundreds of years as a staple in Eastern medicine as a treatment for colds, the flu, and any other virus, and it still continues to be because it really works.  In 2002, there was a small study done in a smaller international journal, that found ginger to have antiviral properties.  They were doing their study to specifically look at its use in respiratory tract infections, viral in nature, but many respiratory infections originally start as “head colds” so most likely the antiviral properties work on those viruses as well.  By effectively attacking the viruses and preventing them from causing a further infection, it stops your cold in its tracks, and prevents the infection from spreading or getting worse.

How do I use it?

Usually when you get a cold, your nose, throat, and mouth are all infected by the virus, which is why you get the symptoms you do: sore throat, stuffy nose, and sometimes cough.   So, there are some ways to use the ginger to make sure that you are hitting your “target” areas for its antiviral effects:

Make ginger tea: Take two tablespoons of fresh ginger (roughly an inch off of the root), peel it and squish it, place it in the bottom of a coffee/tea mug, then pour boiling hot water over it. Even better for you? Add some honey to sweeten it, and it also helps with its antibacterial properties! It is suggested that you can drink this 2 to 3 times a day while your symptoms last.

A ginger steam: You can chop fresh ginger and put it in a bowl of boiling hot water, put your head over the steam, with a towel over your head, and inhale the steam. You can do this twice a day. Your nose will run like crazy, but it will help to kick that cold!

Eat it: You can eat ginger in candy form and various eastern meals also include ginger. It is good to eat to stave off a cold or viral infection!

I drink ginger tea frequently and love it, but I know it isn’t for everyone. There is no right or wrong amount to eat, but truly everything in moderation, and if you greatly dislike ginger or are allergic, do not eat it! There are ginger supplements that you can try, and if you truly have an aversion to ginger, maybe you just don’t need it. And, as always, if you have any other medical conditions and take other medications, talk to your HCP before starting a new regimen. Give it a try and let me know what you think. AND don’t forget to drink lots of fluid and rest, as you would any time you are ill. Plus, if your symptoms do not go away, or get worse, definitely consult your HCP for further treatment.

Yours in Good Health


Asthma: Action Plans

There are more people with Asthma worldwide than is actually documented, because not everyone knows the signs and symptoms.  But for those of us with documented asthma, we should have an asthma action plan to prevent flare ups and hospitalization.

What exactly is asthma?
Asthma is a long-term disease that causes narrowing of the airways due to an allergic type reaction or hypersensitivity. The bronchus (airways) spasm, making breathing a very difficult task.

What are signs and symptoms?
Coughing: that is usually worse at night or early in the morning, making it difficult for you to sleep.
Wheezing: high-pitched whistling or squeaking that occurs when you breathe and coughing won’t make it go away.
Chest tightness: your chest just feels tight, like there is a vice on your upper body and you almost physically feel like you cannot take a deep breath.
Shortness of breath: no matter how much air you take in, it is not enough.

What can cause it to flare?
Since asthma can be caused by allergens, many of the “triggers” for asthmatics, are: Allergens: Dust, animal fur, bugs (such as cockroaches), mold and pollens
Irritants: cigarette smoke, chemicals, air sprays (hair, room scents), bug sprays
Medications: aspirin containing medications, beta blockers (for heart rate control)
Viruses: causing upper airway/respiratory infections
Physical activity: cardio exercise

There are tons of treatments, ranging from taking anti-allergy medication, to inhaled steroids to oral steroids, inhaled non-steroidal treatments, and emergency inhalers (which immediately open up the airway in an emergency).  I will talk more about Asthma treatments in my Asthma: Medical and Alternative treatments blog!

Action Plans: What are they?
Action plans are super important in the treatment of asthma.  Literally, they are plans that you, the patient, and your HCP come together and create; it’s a plan that works for YOU.  You create plans so that you know what the early signs and symptoms of a flare-up are, what your triggers are, and what you should do as soon as you realize you are going to have an asthma attack.  For some people, it is to take their rescue inhaler, some can stave off an attack by drinking ice-cold water, others just need some caffeine, and some people need to go immediately to the Emergency Department (ED) because they will have a major attack.  Action plans help to prevent those trips to the ED, and to prevent those major asthma attacks that can keep children out of school, and people out of work.

It is imperative that you are a part of the action plan, because it is your body and your life, if part of it is unfeasible, then you know you will not do it, so speak up and have open and honest conversations with your HCP, because we all want you to be successful and stay healthy.  So, if you are allergic to dogs, but have one, be honest and tell your HCP that you are not going to get rid of your dog, and work on a way that maybe your dog sleeps in another room, and you use a HEPA filter in your room to clear the air.  There are many different plans, and tons of different treatments, we need to create one that is good for you, and that you will stick to!

Read here for more treatments…….

Yours in Good Health